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The Prostate And Yoga


The prostate is a small gland approximately the size and shape of a walnut that is located at the base of the penis. It sits in front of the rectum and directly below the bladder. The prostate is an integral part of the male reproductive tract. It produces fluid that helps to move the sperm through the urethra during sexual climax.

The prostate surrounds the urethra where the urethra connects to the bladder. During puberty, the prostate expands evenly. The enlargement that occurs in the second half of life is concentrated in the part of the gland next to the urethra. As the gland gets bigger, it interferes with the flow of urine out of bladder. That makes the bladder work harder to empty urine. Eventually, the bladder becomes thicker and can start having too many contractions. Over time, this extra effort causes the bladder muscle to weaken, and all the urine cannot be emptied. The combination of these problems leads to discomfort and complications.

An enlarged prostate can make it more difficult to urinate. Not all men who have an enlarged prostate experience symptoms. However, about one fourth of all men in the United States report some trouble urinating.

At first, symptoms may be mild because the bladder muscle is able to compensate for the pressure from the enlarged prostate on the urethra.

The pressure of the prostate on the urethra causes an interrupted or weak stream of urine. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty starting to urinate

  • Continuing to dribble after urination

  • A feeling that you have not completely emptied your bladder

The severity of these problems depends on how much the prostate is putting pressure on the urethra.
Another set of symptoms happens when the urine that collects in the bladder causes irritation. These symptoms include:

  • Painful urination

  • A frequent need to empty the bladder, especially at night

  • A feeling of urgency that accompanies the sensation to urinate

Potentially serious complications can occur if the bladder does not empty completely. The stagnant urine is a prime environment for the growth of bacteria, which can cause frequent urinary-tract infections. Also, urinary stones can form in the bladder lining due to an accumulation of debris and chemicals. Broken blood vessels can cause blood in the urine, often because of torn or enlarged veins on the inner surface of the prostate. Blood in the urine also can be caused by the sudden stretching of the bladder wall, which compromises its blood flow. If left untreated, so much urine can be retained in the bladder that urine backs up into the kidneys, which can cause the kidneys to malfunction.

The practice of hatha yoga, which involves deep breathing, stretching and strengthening exercises, and meditation, has helped many of my BPH patients feel better. The exercises improve circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body and can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins. The deep breathing and meditative aspects of yoga can reduce stress and tension, which will improve your general health and well-being.

YOGANIDRASANA

Nidra means sleep. Yogandra is a state between sleep and wakefulness. It is also the name given to the sleep of visnu at the end of a yuga, an age of the world.

In this pose the legs are interlaced behind the back of the neck and the hands are clasped behind the back which rests on the ground. The legs form the yogi's pillow and the back is his couch. The practice of this pose warms up the body very rapidly. It is therefore used by yogis living at high altitude to keep warm.

Technique

  1. Lie flat on the back on the floor.

  2. Bend both knees and bring the legs over the head.

  3. Exhale, move the right leg from behind the right shoulder by holding the right foot with both the hands and placing it well behind the back of the neck, as in Eka pada siraasana.

  4. Maintain the position of the right leg, breathing in several times.

  5. Exhale and with the help of the left palm move the left leg behind the left shoulder and place it under the right leg. Lock the feet at the ankles.

  6. Lift the shoulders well up, move the arms behind the back and clasp the fingers. Te back of the upper arms will be in contact with the back of the thighs. Take a few breaths.

  7. Exhale, lift the chest well up and stretch the neck back. this is the final position which is the reverse position of sputa Kurmasana). Stay in the pose for 30 to 60 seconds, trying to breathe normally.

  8. Exhale and release the hand grip behind the back and the leg grip behind the neck.

  9. Relax on the floor, keeping the legs straight for some time.

  10. Then repeat the pose for the same length of time, first placing the left leg behind the back of the neck with right leg under it.

  11. Loosen the hand and leg grips and relax on the floor.

  12. Do not cross both legs first and the move them behind the neck. This will not give the correct feel of asana. Remember to bring one leg behind the back of the neck and then the other leg under the first one. Before resting the legs behind the necks, raise the neck and dorsal region and also extend the shoulders, so that the latter do not get wedged between the chest and the legs .This will ensure that the pose is correct.

Effects

In this pose the spine is given a full forward stretch and one feels a pleasing sensation in the back. It is one of the best front bending poses. Even the maximum stretch of paschimottonasana does not give the same feeling of right exercise, comfort and rest as the correct practice of yoganidrasana.

In the back bending poses the lungs and the abdominal muscles are given maximum expansion. In this asana the lungs and the abdominal muscles are contracted to the full. In a short time, the practice of the pose tones the kidneys, liver, spleen, intestine, gall bladder, prostrates and the urine bladder. The abdominal organs will be free from diseases by continued practice of this pose. It also exercises the gonads and releases energy and vitality in this system. The nerves will be rested and release energy and vitality in the system. The nerves will be rested and energy will be stored in the body for better thinking and better work.


This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
www.vyasa.org
and Arogyadhama


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