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Yoga improves the breathing pattern of the patients into a slower and deeper rhythm.

The word "yoga" comes from Sanskrit "Yuj", meaning to yoke or to join together. Yoga is originated in India approximately 4,500 years ago and several styles of yoga continue to be practiced in the world to date. Yoga harmonizes body and mind to support health and healing. It is multi-dimensional in nature consisting of several elements. There are different types of Yoga styles including Raja yoga which involves mediation, and the eight phases of this yoga practice have considerably influenced other yoga styles. Hatha yoga, which emphasizes the notion of life energy (prana), is a driving force for the mind and body; practitioners of Hatha yoga attempt to control the mind by using the flow of prana. Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga are the subtypes of Hatha yoga. Practitioners of Ashtanga yoga try to achieve a deeper state of meditation by harmonizing breathing with movements, whereas the purpose of Iyengar yoga is to take control of the mind by using postural regulation. The detailed postures are the most significant feature of this yoga style. Bikram yoga is practiced under hot and humid conditions and laughter yoga combines laughter exercises with yogic breathing.

Yoga is now one of the most common forms of alternative and complementary medicine therapy which has gained popularity and is practiced all around the world. A disease that lasts for an elongated period like three months or more or a lifetime is considered a chronic illness. Yoga does not completely replace the traditional treatment of these ailments instead it is used as a complementary practice to regain an individual's overall health and well-being.


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In recent years, chronic illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and various other ailments have emerged as a matter of concern worldwide. And as per the studies, Yoga has had reportedly positive effects in decreasing patients' distress and improving their functional performance. It has been reported to improve various immunological parameters. Defensin antimicrobial peptides exert their effects by destroying the hydrophobic core of the lipid bilayers belonging to microbes.

yogic posture Yoga has had reportedly positive effects in decreasing patients' distress and improving their functional performance.Pexels


The practice of yoga is also associated with some profound biochemical changes which were demonstrated in a one-year trial of yoga training amongst military officers and the results were astounding, significant reductions in perceived exertion were reported. These individuals became more efficient in dealing with oxidative stress by increased metabolism of glutathione, increased production of antioxidant enzymes, and eliminating peroxidation products more efficiently. Practicing Yoga improves the breathing pattern of the patients into a slower and deeper rhythm, helping them to tolerate higher workloads. Patients who regularly practice yoga breathing exercises can control an attack of severe shortness of breath without having to seek medical assistance.

Numerous studies claim that yoga can be an effective treatment for "improving" a wide variety of conditions such as musculoskeletal problems, cardiopulmonary function, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, chronic low back pain, sleep problems, stress, depression, etc. The asanas are the aerobic components of yoga are associated with stimulating the central nervous system to release endorphins, monoamines, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. Pranayama and dhyana regulate the emotional responses by reducing the sympathetic and increasing the parasympathetic tone of the body's response.

ALSO READ: Yoga: A tool for harmonious existence

Meditation has been positively associated with mental health. Length of lifetime yoga practices is significantly associated with better overall physical health, which suggests that yoga has a potential cumulative benefit over time. The most powerful aspect of every chronic illness physical or mental is the negative impact it has on an individual's mind and spirit. People suffering from a chronic disease can develop a sense of wellbeing through the proper practice of healing and restorative yoga. This positive state of being, in turn, allows the body to heal itself physically and drives it to its maximum capability with astounding and unbelievable results.

Keywords: Chronic Illness, Medicine, Yogic Practice, Alternative Treatment


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