Yoga Therapy for Healthy AgingJournal: International Journal of Genetics & Cancer (Vol.1, No. 3)
Publication Date: 2015-10-01
Authors : Deepa E;
Page : 115-119
Keywords : Yoga posture; Yoga and healthy aging; CVD; Mental stress.;
Background: Yoga means union of body and mind. Yoga is a therapy for promoting total health and harmonizing body and soul. Mental stress plays a very important role on the autonomic nervous system (ANS). An imbalance in ANS will virtually lead to many diseases. Yoga which teaches holistic life style with good food habits regulates ANS and acts as preventive medicine for most of the diseases helping healthy aging. Aim: To study the physical and psychological conditions of elderly people who practice yoga and who don’t practice yoga. Methodology: Data was collected from 73 people, male-40; female-33 (39 who practice yoga (from two yoga centers in Rajajinagar, Bangalore and 34 not practicing yoga from Rajajinagar, Bangalore). The survey questioners were readout and their answers were noted. Random blood sugar was recorded using ONETOUCH select simple from Johnson & Johnson, and blood pressure (BP) was recorded using standard mercury sphygmomanometer during the survey. The survey questioner covered age, years of yoga practice, whether diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or diabetes (two most common diseases among aging Indians), number of visits to the physician per year, BP, blood sugar as per their previous records, type of yoga posture normally performed and duration of practice. Result: The average age of people surveyed is 52.7 years. 87.2% of people who are practicing yoga for more than 10 years are found to have normal BP, blood sugar, don’t suffer from CVDs or diabetes, and visit to a physician is less than 1.72 times/year. It is found that 9% of people started practicing yoga after being diagnosed with CVDs or diabetes but claim that their BP and blood sugar are under control due to yoga practice. It was also found that 3.8% of people are suffering from hypertension and diabetes in spite of practicing yoga. The yoga posture practiced by people are simple breathing techniques (pranayama), warm ups (jathis and suryanamaskar), breath body movement coordination practices (kriyas), static stretching postures (asana), relaxation and chanting. 28.35% of people who don’t practice yoga were diabetic, 17.5% had CVDs, 21% suffer from hypertension and 65.3% accept mental stress. The average visit to doctor/year is 7.6. Conclusion: Study shows people practicing yoga stay healthy and stress free and lead their life to happy and healthy aging.
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