Yoga is defined as, “An ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with your environment.” We all know that yoga increases flexibility and strengthens the muscles, but did you know that it also protects the spine, perfects posture, improves bone health, increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity, regulates your adrenal glands, improves your balance, deepens your sleep and relieves tension?
Yoga and yoga related practice including asana, meditation, and pranayama may help in mitigating the symptoms of chronic illness, like Sjögren’s, and overcome its weakening effects. While the health benefits may not appear immediately, they become evident with a sustained and regular yoga practice. Research studies provide ample evidence to show that yoga suppresses inflammation, a cardinal feature of Sjögren's.
A regular yoga practice may lower the level of several pro-inflammatory molecules in the body, thereby relieving severe pain associated with the inflamed tissue. Yoga poses stimulate flow of blood and oxygen to all the organs, joints, and tissues resulting in reduction in joint pain, improvement in mobility of joints and muscles, increased energy levels and sense of wellbeing. Patients also report improved sleep after a yoga practice.
Sitting, standing, and supine twists, sun salutation, warrior poses, and inversions in general reduce inflammation. This results in improved blood circulation, stimulates respiration, and relieves muscle and joint pain. The inflamed areas are now better equipped to combat stress and function effectively as there is improved blood circulation and oxygen.
Yoga’s pain management techniques including breath work, deep relaxation, and meditation dampen stress and bring in more mental clarity thereby decreasing the level of pain and perceived suffering. All the benefits are mostly observed in patients that have a sustained yoga practice. So, if you are diagnosed with Sjögren's or an associated inflammatory condition, think of adding yoga and yoga management practices to your list of treatment protocols.
*compiled from articles from www.accessibleyoga.blogspot.com & www.yogajournal.com