By Dr Rita Khanna
Yoga for Anemia
Anaemia is a condition in which haemoglobin concentration, or the number of red blood cells, is below the defined level. The job of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen around the body. When red blood cells and therefore haemoglobin are low, the blood fails to supply the body’s tissues with sufficient amounts of oxygen. Your lungs and heart will then have to work harder to get oxygen into the blood. Proper food, correct treatment and the practice of asanas & pranayama have proved very valuable for the production of hemoglobin and necessary elements in the blood in the pure form.
Trikonasana and its variations, Sarvangasana (If the child is younger than 12 years then in place of Sarvangasana, child can practice Viparita¬karani-mudra), Surya¬namaskara, Yoga-mudra
The practices of above asana are useful for purification of blood and increase of blood cells.
Sivananda Pranayama, Shitali, Sitkari & Anuloum Vilom
Spread a blanket or a warm cloth on the ground, over it spread a cotton sheet. The reason for this type of blanket being spread and lying down there in is that the energy or capability in form of electrical charge that gets produced from meditation or Pranayama may not be conveyed away to the ground. It is the characteristic of ground to conduct away electricity hence at the time when we sit for meditation, Pranayama or concentration; one should use a spread which is not a conductor of electricity.
By doing Sivananda Pranayama, we get maximum oxygen by inhaling. The air (containing oxygen) that we breathe into our lungs is transferred into our blood, which travels around our body delivering oxygen to our brain, organs and all other parts of our body. It helps the nervous system, the heart, the digestive system, muscles, sleep, energy levels, mental soundness, concentration and memory and much more. When we exhale properly, we also get rid of the waste products like carbon dioxide, toxins etc.
This Pranayama can be done in the morning, noon, evening as well as late night, whenever your stomach feels light, about three hours after meals.
Lie down on your back, bend the legs from knees, knees & feet apart, make sure heels are not touching to the buttocks, keep both the arms a little away from the body with palms facing upwards.
When one lies down with legs bent from the knees and knees pointing upward, the blood circulation in the thighs and parts of the lower body reduces and intestines get enough & good quantity of blood.
Focus your mind on the solar plexus (navel)…Start watching the breath… Breathe in as slow as possible… Breathe out as slow as possible… Now begin to deepen, lengthen and extend this movement consciously… While inhaling, let the abdomen rise to its limit… at exhalation let it fall completely… Keep watch on each breath… Do this practice ten to fifteen minutes. Once you are finished then turn to left side with bent knees. Place your left hand under the head, right hand on the right thigh. Relax for some more time. Then sit up from that side.
The mind here gets concentrated on the solar plexus & it is drawn away from surrounding atmosphere hence the body gradually gets relaxed. The Pran Vayu lying above the navel and the Apana Vayu lying under the navel both get together and awaken Samana Vayu. The energy created thereby distributes any element found short in. Thus whichever element is insufficient in the body the same element is sent at the spot in enough quantity.
The practice of Shitali Pranayama is useful especially for supply of oxygen in a greater quantity.
Spread a blanket or a warm cloth on the ground, over it spread a cotton sheet.
Sit facing East on Padmasana, Sukhasana, Siddhasana or Swastikasana or Vajrasana in the early morning hours before sunrise to practice this Pranayama.
Open your mouth & stretch your tongue outside the lips, fold the tongue like a pipe from both the sides, inhale gently, not forcefully, through the folded tongue, take the tongue inside your mouth and close the lips firmly, hold the breath as long as possible, then very – very slowly exhale through the nose. This is one round. Make 15-20 rounds like this.
Sheetkari is a variation of Sheetali Pranayama. Those people who cannot fold the tongue outside the mouth they can turn the tongue inside the mouth towards the throat.
Turn the tongue in behind the rows of the teeth, Keep the upper and lower teeth together, open the lips, inhale deeply & gently through the teeth with a sound like (si-si-si), then keep the lips closed & hold the breath as long as you can, slowly – slowly exhale through the nose without opening the mouth. This is one round. Make 15-20 rounds like this.
If these two Pranayamas are performed in the early morning before sunrise, a very good digestive power is observed, hunger increases, blood gets purified.
Anuloma and Viloma
If the breath is simply inhaled and exhaled, this process is known as Anuloma and Viloma. The proportion of time to be maintained is 1:2. That means to the time spent in exhaling will be twice the time spent in inhaling.
Bring the palm of the right hand facing the face. Bend the first two fingers next to the thumb inside. Now put the right thumb on the right nostril and last two fingers of the same hand should be used to press the left nostril. Remember, for the practice of this Pranayama always start & finish the breathing from the left nostril.
• Breathe in through the left nostril slowly & deeply. Close the left nostril with the ring & little fingers and breathe out through the right nostril gently & deeply.
• Breathe in through the right nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb & breathe out through the left nostril.
• This completes one round of Anulome-vilome.
• Make 15-20 rounds.
Never make any hurry or haste in inhaling, or exhaling. The belly should expand when you breathe in and the belly should get inside when you exhale. In the execution of all breathing exercises this fact has to be perfectly observed.
Increase of working capacity of intestines creates a new process of sending the iron that is produced additionally, in the various organs of the body.
So the practice of asana, pranayama, relaxation, concentration and meditation play a very major role in arranging for missing elements in the blood.
Other natural remedies
• Close the left nostril with the ring finger & little fingers of the right hand & inhale & exhale from the right nostril whenever it is possible.
• Cold-water bath is very good. After that rub the body dry with the palms of the hands.
• Sun bathing in the morning for about quarter of an hour daily.
• Steam bath, massage, exercise such as walking, swimming are very beneficial.
First thing in the morning
Take a glass of warm water with the juice of lemon with two teaspoon honey
Freshly prepared beet juice
Munacca / raisins (15no.) figs (4 no.), washed & soaked in water overnight in a glass container. The water in which they are soaked should also be drunk. In addition seasonal fruit (dates, apple, orange, papaya, black grapes, strawberries, melon, musk melon, guava, musambi). Eating one variety of fruit each time is very beneficial.
Salad in any quantity (onion, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, carrots, beetroots, radish, cabbage, soaked peanuts)
Chapatti of wheat flour with extra bran, + seasonal green leafy vegetables, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, celery, beets, tomatoes, spinach + curd / buttermilk of skimmed milk.
Veg. soup, veg juice (spinach / carrot)
Same as lunch or dalia (broken wheat), fruit / salads.
Fried, fatty spices, starchy & sugar containing food, tea, coffee, cocoa, white flour, tinned fruit, and refined cereals.
• Drink water as much as possible during whole day other than at mealtime. We can have soup, buttermilk along with the meals.
• Add milk, cheese, egg, almonds, peanuts, wheat germ and soybeans in your daily diet.
• Honey taken in any form is ideal for anaemic patient because of its high content of iron, manganese and copper.
• A combination of ripe banana and honey is considered to be good source of energy as well as all the essential minerals.
• Take black sesame seeds (soaked for a few hours in warm water, ground, strained) and mixed with 1 cup of warm milk with honey or jaggery.
• Garlic can help get rid of some types of intestinal parasites.
• The anaemia patient must have his full quota of sleep.
• Avoid excessive worry and tension. Try to be cheerful.
These are some of the most effective & safe natural remedies for anaemia. Though these natural remedies are safe but it is advisable to consult your doctor before adopting.
Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna