The liver is often referred to as the “gatekeeper” of the body. Whatever your body consumes and digests goes through the liver. Bile is secreted by liver, stored in the gall bladder and it plays a important role in digestion. It helps to break down the fats into fatty acids and promotes absorption of soluble vitamins. It also carries the waste from the metabolic processes. Almost all blood, apart from the stomach, passes through the liver. And, not just that it also regulates chemical levels in the blood. Too much functioning by a single organ, isn't it and imagine what if it starts dysfunctioning? Hepatitis B or C, sudden weight gain...and what not!
Yoga can help in stimulating the liver and keep it healthy in the long run. Here are 3 effective yoga asanas you can practice daily for a happy healthy liver.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Fish pose)
‘Ardha’ in Sanskrit is half, ‘Matsye’ is for fish, ‘Indra’ is a King, and all together, they make- Ardha Matsyendrasana. It is a deep twisting pose that works well for flexing the spine, tones the belly, stimulates internal organs, and relaxes the whole body.
HOW TO PRACTICE?
- Begin by sitting in a basic sitting pose (Dandasana)
- Now, bend your left leg such that the heel of the left foot lies next to the right hip.
- Then, place the right leg next to the left knee by taking it over the knee.
- Place the right hand behind you, and the left hand on the right knee.
- Twist your waist, neck, and shoulders towards the right, and set your gaze over your right shoulder. Make sure your spine is erect.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds, about 30 to 60 as you breathe slowly, yet deeply.
- Exhale and release the right hand, and then the waist, chest, and finally the neck. Relax as you sit straight.
- Inhale and exhale slowly, feel the breath. With every inhalation, you’ll feel a lengthening of the spine and with every exhalation, you’ll feel the twist.
- Repeat the steps on the other side, and then exhale and come back to the front.
- Release the asana slowly and come back to the resting position.
- Relax by shaking the legs or moving them left and right slowly, to calm the heat caused by the twist.
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Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)
“Sarva” means entire; “anga” refers to body parts and “asana” means yoga pose. Together, it is known as Shoulder stand yogic pose.
HOW TO PRACTICE?
- Start by lying down in the supine position or simply lie down on your stomach.
- Lift your legs very slowly and bring them to an angle of 90 degrees.
- Now, bring the legs closer towards the direction of the head and raise the buttock upwards.
- Along with the legs, try to raise the abdomen and chest as well. Bring them together to form a straight line.
- If you need support, you can push them a bit by placing your hands at the back.
- Place the chin against the chest.
- Stay in the position only till you are comfortable. Even maintaining it for 30 seconds will be great.
- Return to the original position slowly.
- When you do so, start by lowering the buttocks with both the hands at the back and then come back to the basic position.
- Practice it once or twice for starters.
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Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breathing)
The technique of Kapalbhati involves short and strong forceful exhalation, along with abdominal movements and inhalation that takes place automatically while doing so.
HOW TO PRACTICE?
- Start by sitting in sukhasana with legs crossed, or you can also sit on a chair.
- Keep your hands on your knees such that your palms face upwards or one over the other for higher focus.
- Keep the spine erect and head in line with the spine.
- Take a deep breath through both nostrils and expand the chest.
- Exhale the air, with a little force, and breathe in again.
- Feel the air gushing out of your body by placing your hand on your lower abdomen.
- Repeat the pranayama for 15-20 minutes.
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Along with these yoga poses, it is also important that you pay attention to a healthy diet by including nutritious food like whole grains, fresh fruits, cereals, etc. Consult a dietitian online to get a personalized meal plan for all your needs. Avoid smoking as it can injure the liver cells to a great extent. Please note, if you notice a strange sudden drop in your immunity, it can be due to liver problems. Immediately following up with a doctor virtually on The Wellness Corner can prove to be beneficial for you.