Lose Weight and Get Flexible with Paschimottanasana

By Atul Vyas

The liver is the biggest organ in our body that weighs around one and a half kg. It is protected by ribs and situated in the abdomen on the right upper side of the body. Live performs more than 500 functions and controls the functional capacity of muscles, digestion, and production of vitamins. It also produces immunoglobulin to fight against infections. It converts dangerous ammonia gas produced after eating tamasic food into harmless substances. It also works as a safety valve for our heart as it prevents the sudden flow of blood to the heart by regulating it. It stores sugar in form of glycogen to be released whenever needed. It also regulates red blood cells. The liver produces bile for digestion and so on. In present times, this vital organ is under huge pressure due to modern lifestyle and eating habits.

Yoga offers wonderful techniques to keep your liver healthy. Yoga enhances the unique capacity of self-regenerating of the liver to heal itself. One yoga pose known as Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend is a posterior stretch that is found to be very effective. This pose is named Paschimottanasana because the bottom side called Paschim (west) is stretched.

The famous yogi Gorakhnath ji has called this asana as foremost of all asanas. It directs the flow of prana Vayu posteriorly and stimulates gastric secretions. It also leads to calmness.

Technique

  • Sit up straight with legs stretched out in front
  • Keep the neck and back in a straight line
  • Raise both arms straight above your head
  • Exhale and bend forward from the hips
  • Try reaching to your ankles with the hands
  • Hold the ankles or foot with fingers for 3 -4 seconds then come back to normal position
  • Repeat four times

Benefits

  • Ensures proper circulation of blood in the whole body
  • Makes spine resilient
  • Cures skin diseases
  • Removes bad odor from the body
  • Induces longevity
  • Makes face radiant
  • Alleviates constipation
  • Massages liver, kidney, pancreas
  • Makes liver very strong and healthy
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Improves Lymphatic flow, venous blood return, and increases intra-abdominal pressure

Note of Caution

Those suffering from cervical spondylosis, osteoporosis, and oedema of the legs should avoid it

(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: The Yoga Collective) and Provided

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