During our school days we all have studied how important kidneys are for our system. Kidneys inspite of being small in size like bean, are a vital organ of our body. They act as filters in our system to cleanse blood. Blood flows through our kidneys several times during the day. The kidney functions to remove all waste materials from blood retaining the essential elements. Kidneys also maintain the balance of salts and acids in the body. They produce hormones and enzymes that control blood sugar level, maintain fluid balance within our body and keep bones healthy and strong. As the kidney performs so many functions its priority being cleansing our internal system, we need to take special care of our kidneys and nothing can be better than yoga asanas and meditations.
Following are some yoga asanas that will help maintain your kidney health.
1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half lord of the fish pose):
- Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Your spine should be kept straight. If you feel your spine straining, then support your back on a pillow.
- Now fold your right leg at the knee with feet on the floor. Your right foot should be placed over your left leg.
- Now bend the left leg such that the sole of your left leg is positioned close to your right buttocks.
- Place the right arm behind you and grasp your right knee with your left arm as shown in the picture.
- This being done inhale and straighten yourself.
- Now exhaling, twist your waist to turn right.
- With each inhale straighten your spine and exhale every time to twist further right.
- Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths.
- Don’t drop your shoulders at any stage of this asana. Keep your shoulders straight extending your collar bones.
- Repeat in the same way to twist towards the left side too.
2. Supt Vajasana (Reclining adamant pose):
- Start by sitting in Vajrasana keeping hands on your thighs. Breathe normally for a few seconds to relax your body.
- Now shift hands from your thighs by your side keeping palms on the ground.
- Bend backwards towards the floor with the support of your elbows. You should keep bending back till your back, shoulders and head touch the ground.
- Your knees should not rise up from the floor and also your buttocks should be positioned on your heels.
- Close your eyes and just relax by taking in deep breaths.
- When you want to release from this posture, grab ankles with both your hands and rise up slowly.
3. Dragon pose:
- Place yourself on the ground with your hands and knees. Your knees should be hip-width apart and your arms should be placed right below your shoulders with palms facing the ground.
- Now bring the left leg forward from between your arms. The knee should be perpendicular to the left heel.
- Slide the right leg back. The soles of your right feet should be looking at the ceiling and the toes should be pointed outwards.
- Now supporting yourself on the legs, draw hands away from the ground to grasp them around the left knee.
- Hold this position for a few breaths and repeat with the right side too.
4. Square pose:
- Sit on a yoga mat cross-legged.
- Your left knee should be on the floor and your right knee should be above with the right foot on top of the left knee.
- A little variation you may do is to bend forward and try touching the floor with your forehead.
This yoga pose stretches the tissues connecting the thighs and buttocks that gently stimulates your kidneys, liver and gall bladder.
5. Urdha Dhanurasana (Upward bow pose):
This yoga pose is also known as wheel pose. Your body needs to be really flexible; with a stiff body you won’t be able to finish this pose.
- Lie flat on the ground with your legs bent at knees. Your feet should be placed on the floor at hip-width apart.
- Bend your elbows and place palms beside your shoulders with fingers pointing inwards towards shoulders.
- Inhaling lift your hips towards the ceiling keeping your feet grounded. Stay like this for some 2-3 breaths.
- Inhale and when exhaling pull your feet an inch inwards towards your hips.
- Now pressing on your palms, lift your upper body. For beginners, if you find it difficult to lift your entire body off the ground, just lift your head so that the crown is on the floor.
- When you have lifted your body up, straighten your arms.
- Hold this posture for 5-10 breaths.
- When you want to come out of this posture, be careful not to hurt yourself. Exhale and bring yourself down looking towards the ceiling.
6. Paripurna Navasana (Full boat pose):
- Sitting on a yoga mat pull your legs inwards bending them at knees.
- Keep your hands by your side with palms on the ground.
- Lean your torso backwards a little and extend hands to keep them parallel to the floor.
- Now extend your legs and slide both your legs in between your hands.
- Retain this pose for 30 seconds and then retreat.
All these above yoga asanas works on massaging and toning your kidney muscles that boosts their proper functions.
Not only asanas, some pranayamas also work on kidneys.
1. Anulom Vilom (Alternate nostril breathing):
- Sit in a cross-legged posture on yoga mat.
- Breathe a few normal breaths.
- Now pressing the right nostril gently with the thumb of your right hand, breathe in deeply through your left nostril.
- Press the left nostril with the ring finger and retain the breath uptil 5 counts.
- Now release the thumb from the right nostril to exhale the retained air.
- Next breathe in through the right nostril, press this nostril and retain the air.
- Remove your ring finger from left finger and release the air.
- Repeat for another 10-15 times.
Other than Anulom Vilom, also practice Kapalbhati.
Kidneys are a very important internal organ, take care of it and stay healthy.
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