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This is the eleventh in a series of articles on how to practise yoga, in consultation with Ayurvedic and Yoga Consultant Dr Pushpika Attanayake. This weeks discussion is on utilizing the benefits of yoga to control skin diseases.

The benefits of yoga could be utilized, specially for control of eczema. “Eczema is a chronic (long-term) disease, aggravated by stress and toxins produced in the body. Yoga balances hormones, reduces the effect of free radicals, increases blood circulation, reduces stress and increases immunity, contributing in turn to control of eczema,” says Dr Attanayake.

Laghu Shankaprakshalana
This is a cleansing process with a set of postures, which mainly improves digestion which in turn helps control eczema.
“Prepare five litres of water and add enough salt to give the water the taste of tears. Drink two glasses of this salt water and then perform the following exercises,” she says.

Tadasana
1. Stand erect with your feet about 15cm apart.
2. Interlock the fingers of both hands and then hold your hands directly above your head. Adjust the hand so that the palms face upwards.
3. Stretch the whole body upwards, as far as possible, straightening the arms. Ensure that the fingers remain interlocked.
4. Raise yourselves and be on tip toe, stretching the body as high as possible. Remain in this pose for a few seconds.
5. Then lower the body and relax the back of your hands on top of your head.
6. Repeat for eight times

yoga (1)Kati Chakrasana
1. Stand erect with your feet about half a metre apart and arms by the sides.
2. Inhale and raise both arms up to shoulder level.
3. Bring the right hand to the left shoulder and wrap the left arm around the back. Then look over the left shoulder as far as possible. Keep the neck straight.
4. Accentuate the twist and gently stretch the stomach. Then, breathe in and return to the starting position.
5. Repeat to the other side, this time, bringing left hand to right shoulder and wrapping right arm around the back and looking over right shoulder.
6. Then, repeat whole process eight times.

yoga (5)

Udara Karshanasana
1. Squat on the ground, with your feet about half a metre apart.
2. Place your hands on the knees.
3. Turn to the right side, pushing your left knee to the ground without repositioning the feet.
4. Twist your head and back as far as possible and look over your right shoulder. Remain in this position for a second before returning to squatting position.
5. Repeat the procedure to the other side of the body, pushing the right knee to the floor and looking over the left shoulder. Then return to step 1.
6. Repeat whole process for eight times.

yoga (3)

Tiryak Tadasana
1. Stand erect with your feet about 15cm apart.
2. Interlock the fingers of both hands and then hold your hands directly above your head. Adjust the hand so that the palms face upwards.
3. Stretch your body and remain on tip toes.
4. While on tip toe, bend your body to the right. Hold for a few seconds and then straighten up, still holding the hands above your head.
5. Then bend your body to right. For step 4 and step 5, your arms should be in line with the trunk. Straighten up after holding position for a few seconds.
6. Repeat eight times.

yoga (4)Tiryak Bhujangasana
1. Lie down on your stomach and keep both the hands on either side of the chest, close to the shoulders.
2. The elbows should be touching the sides and raised.
3. While keeping a distance of about one foot between the legs, maintain the toes stretched  backwards.
4. While inhaling, lift the chest.
5. When the portion of your navel area is raised, look at the left heel over the right shoulder. Remain for a second or two and then come down while exhaling.
6. Repeat to the left side.
7. Repeat whole process for eight times.

yoga (2)