Vitiligo and Yoga
Vitiligo and Yoga
Vitiligo is a condition after the body status reaches to a stage called "autoimmunity". It is directly related to immune system disturbance. in this status the pigment cells (melanocyte) gets in the stage of dormancy or sometimes with time the cells get dead also. This causes absence of pigments over the skin. The colourless skin is termed as vitiligo.
Yoga is very effective in Vitiligo. As yoga detoxifies the body & mind it is helpful to cope up with the condition of autoimmunity. There are some asanas which are really helpful with Ayurvedic treatment of vitiligo and leucoderma.
Yoga asana to help vitiligo patients:
Pranayama (Breathing exercise) - Pranayama is a yogic breathing control exercise and is an important practice in yoga. Pranayama means: Prana - life energy, Yama - discipline , Ayama – expansion. Pranayama can help to bring balance to our overall well-being. Pranayama helps in cleansing body, balancing it and purifying our essential life force (called “prana” in Ayurveda). Pranayama is a prior stage of meditation.
How to do Pranayama?
1. Firstly sit in a calm & silent place. Close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing.
2. Now close your right nostril with the right thumb. Simply press and clip the thumb against your nostril to close it.
3. Inhale slowly through the left nostril till your lungs fills with air. Allow the lungs to expand forcing the abdomen out, then feel your chest expand.
4. Remove the thumb from your right nostril and immediately close your left nostril.
5. Exhale slowly and completely with the right nostril. Feel the lungs deflating, and abdomen shrinking. When you’ve finished exhaling, keep your left nostril closed.
6. Inhale through the right nostril. Fill your lungs again.
7. Close the right nostril and open the left.
8. Exhale slowly through the left nostril.
This process is one round of Pranayama. Continue it for 10 minutes. You can take a minute's rest after every five minutes of pranayama.
Other than Pranatama Kapalbhati asana is also helpful in vitiligo management during treatment.
Kapalabhati (Kapalbhati) Pranayama - It can be termed as advanced pranayama that consists of passive inhales and powerful –short exhales. It tones and cleanses the respiratory system by encouraging the release of toxins and waste matter and is a traditional internal purification practice. It rejuvenates body and mind and strengthens the immunity system.
How to do Kapalbhati ?
1. At first sit in a comfortable position with straight spine and your abdomen should not be compressed. Rest hands on the knees. Palms should face down.
2. Now concentrate on lower abdomen. Place hands on the lower abdomen rather than on knees.
3. Then start inhaling through both nostrils deeply.
4. Now contract your lower abdomen or use hands to gently press on this area, forcing out the breath in a short burst.
5. As you exhale quickly, your inhalation will be automatic and passive. But focus should be kept on exhale.
6. Initially begin slowly, aim 30-40 contractions per minute. Gradually speed up, aiming for 50-60 exhalation/inhalation cycles per minute. Always go comfortably at your own speed and stop if you feel weak, faint or dizzy.
7. After one minute of the yoga practice, inhale deeply through the nostrils, and then exhale slowly through the mouth. One can do and repeat the exercise as per the tolerance level..
*The above mentioned practice should be done under trained yoga practitioners initially. Avoid practicing Yoga if you currently have hypertension, heart disease, hernia, asthma or emphysema or pregnancy in case of women.