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Ukrainian Institute of Yoga and Yoga Therapy at the International Symposium “The Issues of Biophysical Medicine”
Olga Golovnya, Yoga-therapist, the instructor of Ukrainian Federation of Yoga, submitting her report at the International Symposium “The Issues of Biophysical Medicine” held by Bogomolets Institute of Physiology (Kiev, Ukraine).
The scientific report “The Effect of Hyperkinesis in the Course of Assessing the Impact of Asanas and Pranayamas on Myocardium with the Help of Echocardiography” was based on the investigations pursued within the scope of the Ukrainian Institute of Yoga and Yoga Therapy research program.
The data for study
We have studied the practice of snake breathing (the “ujjayi” after Swami Satyananda Saraswati) by method of ultrasound Doppler sonography using the Toshiba Nemio XG device.
We have examined a group of 10 persons who do yoga and enjoy fairly good health.
The test participants are 25 to 33 years old.
Their “track record” in Yoga has been from 1 year (4 persons) to 4-5 years (6 persons).
The parameters measured are the following:
— the simplest indices of hemodynamics when in asanas (systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate – or pulse (HR)).
The device used in terms of the investigation is an AnD tonometer, model UA-668.
The asanas that have been examined are: the downward-facing asanas (Yoga-mudra, Paschimottanasana) and the upward-facing ones Bhujangasana, Ushtrasana).
Here are some interesting things that we have observed in the course of the experiment:
1. Regardless of whether it is an upward-facing or a downward-facing asana, the body responds by rise of its hemodynamics parameters (SBP, DBP, HR).
2. The rise of the afore-mentioned parameters is experienced by the examined person:
— in form of heat,
— in form of general muscular tone increase (in upward-facing asanas),
— as a feeling of heaviness in one’s head (while staying in downward-facing asanas).
In both upward- and downward-facing asanas the participants of the experiment reported their sense of muscle tension within the initial 30-60 seconds after coming into asana.
While staying in asana and getting accustomed to it, the people under study as a rule used to feel their muscle tension localized in some particular zone (for instance, when performing Ushtrasana – in one’s lumbar zone or in the neck, between the shoulder-blades; in case of Yoga-mudra these were the areas of the neck, pelvis, etc).
Sometimes the test persons referred to the zone where they had their muscle tension localized as a problematic zone “for real” – that is, regardless performance of asanas this zone was characterized by periodical muscular contractions, discomfort, painfulness or anchylosis.
External examination of the test participants confirmed these observations – in 100% of cases the local zone identified in the asana proved to be rigid or inactive (in scope of spinal muscular constitution determination in static and dynamic). (далее…)
The golden rule of yoga-therapy applied in scope of correct work with one’s spine is that any asana shall be accompanied by spinal traction. The basic set of exercises is aimed at mastering this skill while all subsequent, more complex exercises are as if “beaded” upon it.
This is necessary for reduction of neurothlipsia (compression of the nerve roots), normalization of paravertebral muscles’ tone and performance of an adequate load upon the spine ligaments.
Besides, there is another interesting mechanism that works in favour of spine improvement. In order to understand it we shall consider the innervation of the spinal body. In so doing we shall be interested in the receptors of joints and ligaments. They can be divided into 4 main groups:
The 1st type is represented by receptors of the external layers of the intervertebral joints’ capsules that adapt them to continuous load imposed through stretching.
The 2nd type are the receptors of the internal layers of the intervertebral joints’ capsules that adapt them to slow load imposed through stretching.
The 3rd type are the receptors of ligaments and tendons (the places of muscles’ affixion to the bone).
The 4th type are the receptors that unlike those in previous groups can be found both in the ligaments tissue and in joints’ capsules. These receptors have one more difference — in response to mechanical and chemical stimuli they cause the sense of pain (they are also called the nociceptors), and after that — the reflexive muscle contraction.
It is interesting here that activation of receptors of the 1st and 2nd type causes inhibition of the receptors of the 4th type. Therefore one can stimulate the anesthetic effect by means of correct stretching. Besides, the receptors of the 1st and 2nd types have a reflexive-relaxing effect on the muscles of the whole body that also contributes to reflexive workup of paravertebral muscles subjected to spasm, and of muscles’ contractions as well.
This is the reflectory mechanism of asanas that are performed for stretching the spine. This mechanism can be also conveyed by the observed changes occurring in the internals innervated by corresponding segments of the spinal cord (A. G. Safronov «Yoga: Physiology, Psychosomatics, Bioenergetics”).
Yet it is important to note that the pain relieving effect of exercises shall be effective mainly at the early stages of osteochondrosis when the radicular pain syndrome has not yet revealed. In the latter case they are other mechanisms that will be more important, and so the approach to treatment will be a bit different.
Elena Akhramieieva, Yoga Instructor, Yoga-therapist
Asanas exert an intense effect upon one’s cardiovascular system. Having investigated the mechanisms of asanas impact we have established the existence of a cumulative effect emerging in terms of performing a set of asanas.
In other words, the effect of asana performing shall be enhanced if asana is performed repeatedly, several times in a row.
Let us look at the cumulative effect on the instance of Bhujangasana performance. (далее…)