First Hand Yogic Experience in Parkinson’s Disease


There are three types of information-sharing for any project or undertaking. First one, the proposed Project; second one, work-in-progress; and third one, result declaration of the project.

Today, I decided to publish this blog based on the second type of information sharing i.e. Work-in-progress. This is a project on “Yogic management of Parkinson’s disease” and through the practices of Yoga, very inspiring and motivating results are being observed. Purpose of this blog is instead of waiting till the end, to share the information of the progress to let people have a glimpse and motivation, towards preventing and managing Parkinson’s disease or any other neurological disorder.

I met Mr. Sisodia at Sir Jehangir’s house and saw his eagerness to start Yoga. The next day, I received a call from him in which his keen willingness and interest to start Yogic practices showed up prominently. His strong willingness gave clear indication that the right time had come to move towards improvement of his health and happiness through Yoga which is one of the main outcomes of Yogic practices.

We organised a meet at his house where he shared about his problem that he was diagnosed with mild form of Parkinson’s disease in 2014. He told that he will be staying in India for a month or so. Finally, we decided that he’d go through Yogic practices for at least next 2 months.

With the permission of Mr. Sisodia, I planned to publish this blog with date wise information and feedback received by him, from the day we started Yoga till now. I am including my observations as well so that by going through date-wise feedback and observations one can see that slowly and gradually, positive and uplifting aspects are being re-organized and re-established in his life which was disturbed due to the disease.

3rd April 2017

We started the Yoga session on 3.4.2017. On first day, when he started practices and the way his body had tremors, I was unsure of the time he may take to settle down. When he sat, his hands were shaking and head shook while lying down.

7th April 2017

I observed that after performing Asanas, when he laid in Savasana for relaxation, the head shook but for a while the head became steady, which gave me a glimpse of hope.

11th April 2017

In the class, Mr. Sisodia gave the feedback that he slept well for the past nights.

17th April 2017

During Yoga Nidra practice which he did after Asanas, I observed a very clear and positive change in Mr. Sisodia that he had almost no tremor of his head. During and after pranayama practices his hands were steady.

18th April 2017

Mr. Sisodia gave the feedback that before he had to take medication in 3 to 4 hours in order to relax his muscles, but today he has extended up to 5 hours. I suggested him that whenever he starts feeling stiffness in the body next time, then instead of taking immediate medicine to relax the muscles, he should try to do relaxation in lying position which he knew well by this time.

24th April 2017

When I reached his residence for the class, I saw Mr. Sisodia lying on the floor. He said that he was experiencing the stiffness, so was trying to do relaxation instead of taking medicine. When I heard this, then without making any change in the position, I told him to start breathing techniques i.e. Abdominal breathing, Thoracic & Clavicular breathing and Yogic breathing. Then I gave him Yoga Nidra, followed by few Asanas and Pranayama practices. After Yoga session, when I asked how he was feeling, he said- “Good, but if I walk a little bit then I can figure out more clearly”.

I asked him to take his time and walk. So, he went for a short walk and said he was feeling better than normal.

I was happy to hear this. The job of medicines was now being done by Yogic practices (of relaxing muscles consciously).

28th April 2017

The similar situation was repeated on this day. He waited for Yoga session instead of taking medicine as he was feeling stiffness in the body. After almost the same set of practices, he said – “FEELING NORMAL”. This day’s feedback now proved that Yoga was working on his Parkinson’s disease.

29th April 2017

He told he had extended intake of medicine to one hour for relaxing the muscles, which in itself is a big achievement as Parkinson’s is said to be a stubborn disorder. He also told that he was now able to lie down flat on the back for sleeping which was not possible before.

-*-*-*-

These are the feedbacks and observations for the month of April 2017 which show the progress. The important aspect in this progressive phase of Mr. Sisodia is his sincerity and regularity of practicing Yoga. Without his sincere efforts, such progress may not have taken place.

The purpose of this blog is to create awareness of how Yoga helps in all aspects of the life, whether there is some health issue, or we want to experience a higher state by enhancing the skill and excellence because whatever is the case, management of body, mind and emotions are necessary and Yoga harmonises them perfectly.

I request everyone to share this blog with friends and relatives. The objective of this blog is to reach to the needy people who are losing their hopes due to Parkinson’s disease or any kind of Neurological disorder. I want to say that don’t lose hope, results are very positive if you learn Yoga properly, do it with sincerity and regularity. You just need to exercise your will-power to come in the shelter of Yoga or pray to God to give inspiration, motivation and strength to start Yoga today itself. Why to wait for tomorrow!

I’m coating the practices that Mr. Sisodia is doing:

ASANAS:

  • Pawanmuktasana part 1
  • Utthanpadasana
  • Supta Udarakarshanasana
  • Pada Sanchalanasana
  • Chakra Padasana
  • Tadasana
  • Tiryak Tadasana
  • Kati Chakrasana
  • Marjariasana
  • Saral Bhujangasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Ardha Shalabhasana
  • Vimanasana
  • Advasana

PRANAYAMS:

  • Abdominal Breathing
  • Thoracic Breathing
  • Thoracic & Clavicular Breathing
  • Yogic Breathing
  • Nadi Shodhan Pranayam
  • Bhramari Pranayam
  • Ujjayi Pranayam

RELAXATION:

  • Shavasana & YOGANIDRA

MEDITATION:

  • Trataka

MANTRA CHANTING:

  1. Gayatri Mantra- 11 times
  2. Mahamrutyunjaya Mantra- 11 times
  3. 32 names of Devi Durga- 3 times (all 3 mantras daily in the morning)

Mahamrutunjaya Mantra 108 times every Saturday

Aditya Hridayam Path 3 times every morning.

-*-*-*-

Prashant Pandey

(Yoga Teacher, Therapist & Consultant)

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Preventing Memory Loss


Beautiful research was conducted in the United States in the mid-nineties. The theory that the researchers formulated was that as we age, there are certain hormones of the body that stop secreting, and when they stop secreting, dead brain cells collect in the brain and are not removed by the blood. When they collect within the brain, the electrical transference is blocked. That was their view. They said that every twenty years the body undergoes chemical, hormonal changes. When you are growing up there is endocrinal, hormonal activity, which stabilizes at around the age of twenty. Again a change happens at around the age of forty, at the age of sixty and again at the age of eighty.

The power of Pawanmuktasana Part 1

In this twenty-year cycle the body goes through hormonal and chemical changes. Scientists and researchers developed an injection for recovering what people had lost: the memory. In those days one injection costed around ten thousand dollars. Of course, this was too much money, for who could pay that much? Therefore, they looked at other methods that could be applied. They tried yoga, and an interesting combination of yoga was applied: it was only Pawanmuktasana part 1. Not Surya Namaskar or other major asanas; only Pawanmuktasana part 1 to ensure that there is movement and circulation, and no blockage.

This happened over a period of three to five years. The scientists came to the conclusion that the practice of Pawanmuktasana helps in recovering memory. As you improve your circulation, and the circulation begins to remove the dead cells, you gradually begin to recover your memory. Slowly but surely. They suggested that no matter what exercises you do – go to the gym, swim, or any other form of physical culture – if, every twenty years for six months you practise Pawanmuktasana part 1, it will clean the pipes of the body. Otherwise you go for the medical intervention, which is the injection.  When I came across this research, I was happy. You know how to do the practice, so why not apply it? Therefore, prevent memory loss with the practice of Pawanmuktasana part 1 for six months as a regular, continuous practice.

-By Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Recently I received the above important discourse of my Guruji, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, in which he highlighted the importance of Pawanmuktasana Part 1 in relation to preventing memory loss.

Pawanmuktasana part 1 is one of the very important series of yogic practices. In my teaching experience, I realized that many people do come for Yoga practices with their biased and conditioned mind. When they need to believe on the Yoga program prepared by Yoga Teacher, they get caught in their conditioned mind and prefer to do only those practices which they want to do. They want to do difficult postures and practices. They feel bored or are willing to escape from simple yet very effective practices like Pawanmuktasana Part 1. They don’t realize how effective this series of practice is where we establish the connection between our brain and subtle parts of the physical body.

On the other side, there are people who really like to do Pawanmuktasana part 1. I felt that these groups of people who do Pawanmuktasana Part 1 with full awareness and dedication, have gained good health, have developed high degree of patience level, and even managed severe diseases. Pawanmuktasana part 1 has the capability to turn the restless mind to a patient mental state.

To name a few medical diseases, Pawanmuktasana part 1 is also an excellent practice for rheumatism (arthritis), high blood pressure, heart problem, Parkinson’s disease, reducing blood sugar levels, etc. It is useful for eliminating energy blockages in the joints and outer extremities of the physical body, and works wonders on the pranic and mental bodies as well.

Prashant Pandey

(Yoga Teacher)

International Women’s Day


This year, when Jehangir Hospital, Pune, decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, I was approached to present my perspective on women in relevance with Yoga, to which I readily agreed. In Jehangir Hospital, Yoga has now become an integral part.

More than 250 female family members of our Hospital collected when the function started. There were beautiful cultural programs organised by the gorgeous ladies of all varied departments.  They had chosen to give a strong message of “We can & We will” to the society through each performance. We all enjoyed each presentation.

When my turn came, I was pleasantly surprised at the attention and silence during my talk. I had a very good demonstrator who demonstrated all the practices for everyone on the stage. The Yoga presentation was applauded very well.

I chose the subject – “Importance of Yoga for Female Reproductive System” to speak on, as this is one area which is still not very clear to many ladies and they suffer many disorders or abnormalities in regard to this. I know that women even today feel shy or find themselves in a dilemma to speak to anyone on the imbalance in their reproductive system, hormonal troubles (many can’t even figure out), agonising menstrual cycles, etc.

Yoga provides solution with specific Asanas, Pranayamas and Yoganidra. The Yoga practices I selected are the ones which strengthen the female reproductive system, work to manage disorders, prevent future diseases and promote a healthy system with proper balance of hormonal secretions. With regular practice, one can achieve the 3 H’s –

  1. HAPPY( the capability to be joyful in any situation)
  2. HEALTHY( no health issues)
  3. HASSLE FREE (ability to lead a stress-free life)

Now we are working on celebrating each day as women’s Day for this whole year till next International Women’s day in Jehangir Hospital, by giving the practical experience of the Yoga program to each female employee.

This Yoga program is my personal research work. I’m sharing this with you all so that those of you who want to, may benefit from practicing the program.

 

IMPORTANCE OF YOGA FOR WOMEN

  • It’s important for us women to remember to take time out to nurture and look after ourselves.
  • As women we can probably relate to experiencing a hormonal imbalance at some point in our lives causing mood swings, irregular menstrual periods, fatigue, weight gain, digestive problems etc.

How Yoga helps?

  • We must remember that all systems, organs of human body are interconnected and interlinked. One Yoga practice effects many areas of our body, apart from the specific section we are working on.
  • To balance hormones: Yoga helps stimulate, activate and balance the glands, and organs responsible for hormonal health – mainly the pituitary gland, adrenals, thyroid and ovaries.
  • Aides with our menstrual cycle: A regular and dedicated yoga practice can help to regulate our menstrual cycle, reduce symptoms of PMT (pre/post menstrual symptoms), lighten heavy bleeding, and ease cramps and pains.
  • Reduces stress: Stress can be unavoidable and as women we can take on the role of the multi-tasker and play many different roles to different people. Yoga helps to reduce stress levels by regulating the breath, relaxing the body and bringing us into the present moment where we can find a sense of calm.
  • Yoga also helps to:

ü Strengthens bones

ü Tones the body

ü Enhances metabolism

ü Boosts Fertility

ü Experience serenity and calmness within.

YOGA PROGRAM FOR FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM. 

  • TADASANA
  • TRIKONASANA
  • VAJRASANA
  • MARJARI ASANA
  • SHASHANKASANA
  • BHUJANGASANA
  • SHAVA UDARAKARSHAN
  • KANDHARASANA
  • CHAKKI CHALANASANA
  • NADI SHODHAN
  • YOGA NIDRA

 

TADASANA

TYPE OF ASANA:  standing & stretching asana

AWARENESS: On maintaining balance, stretch in the whole body and on breath.

BREATHING: Inhale while stretching up; exhale while lowering the feet

BENEFITS:

  • Develops physical and mental balance.
  • Entire spine is stretched, and loosened.
  • Helps clear congestion of spinal nerves.
  • Stretches the Rectus Abdomini Muscles.
  • Very helpful to check blood sugar level.
  • Thus removes constipation (extremely helpful to open the whole body in the morning after waking up).
  • Useful during the first six months of pregnancy to keep abdominal muscles and nerves toned.

 TRIKONASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: A standing side bending asana

AWARENESS: On coordination of movement, balance and on the stretch to the side of the trunk.

BREATHING: Inhale while raising arms and returning to center; exhale while bending on sides

BENEFITS:

  • Affects the muscles on the sides of the trunk, the waist and the back of the legs.
  • Stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression.
  • Improves digestion, stimulates appetite, activates intestinal peristalsis and relieves constipation.
  • Strengthen pelvic area and tones reproductive organs.
  • Regular practice reduce waistline fat.
  • Its emotional benefits: calms mind, relieves anxiety and reduces nervous tension.

VAJRASANA   

  • The only post-digestive Asana.
  • Very helpful for varicose veins.
  • Assists women during labour pains.
  • Preventive measure against hernia.

 

MARJARIASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting; from Vajrasana

AWARENESS: On the movement of abdomen contracting and stretching.

BREATHING: Inhaling while arching the spine; exhaling while lifting the spine up

BENEFITS:

  • Improves the flexibility of neck, shoulders and spine.
  • Gently tones all female reproductive organs.
  • Gives good relief in cramps during menstrual cycle.
  • Women suffering from menstrual irregularities must practice regularly.
  • Reproductive disorders get eliminated.
  • Helpful in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
  • Improves digestion.
  • Relaxes the mind.
  • Tightens the abdominal muscles, very helpful post-delivery.

SHASHANKASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting, from Vajrasana

AWARENESS: on the pressure of the abdomen against the thigh

BREATHING: Exhale while bending the trunk down; inhale while raising the trunk upright.

BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the back muscles
  • Separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressure on the discs on the back
  • Regulates the functioning of adrenal glands
  • Tone the pelvic muscles, and the sciatic nerves
  • Helps alleviates disorders of both male and female reproductive organs by a strong yet gentle compression of the abdomen.
  • Reduces anger and cools the brain by fresh blood supply

BHUJANGASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: Backward bending asana

AWARENESS: On the systematic arching of the back, pressure on abdomen

BREATHING: Inhale while raising & curling the body; exhale while lowering down

BENEFITS:

  • Removes backache during menstrual period pain.
  • Keeps the spine supple and healthy – a stiff spine interferes with all nervous impulses sent from the brain to the body & vice versa.
  • This asana notably tones the ovaries and uterus, and helps alleviate menstrual and other gynaecological disorders.
  • Useful for leucorrhoea, painful periods and absence of periods.
  • Relieves physical stress and mental fatigue.
  • Stimulates appetite, reduces hunger, thus improving digestion. The kidneys which purify our blood, are compressed thereby removing stagnant blood.
  • The adrenal glands situated on top of kidneys also receive a good massage.
  • Bhujangasana helps to maintain and encourage the correct secretion of Cortisone, a major hormone secreted by adrenal glands, which has been found to be closely associated with the occurrence of Rheumatism.
  • Thyroid gland is regulated.
  • This practice expands chest more than usual, helping to improve one’s breathing habit and eases symptoms of Asthma.

SHAVA UDARAKARSHAN

TYPE OF ASANA: Twisting in supine position

AWARENESS:  On the relaxation of back and the diagonal effect on abdomen

BREATHING:  Inhale in center; exhale on sides

BENEFITS:

  • The twisting of torso squeezes the internal reproductive organs giving good massage and relieving congestion of reproductive system.
  • Tightness and tiredness of lower back are relieved.
  • Pelvic and abdominal organs are toned through its massaging action.
  • Relaxes sciatica nerve and helps alleviate sciatic pain to great extent.

 KANDHARASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: Backward bending asana with Inverted effect.

AWARENESS: On abdominal area, stretch in spine and back, chest expansion and thyroid gland.

BREATHING: Inhale, retain the breath to lift; exhale while lowering body.

BENEFITS:

  • Realigns the spine and navel.
  • Rectifies rounded shoulders.
  • Relieves backache.
  • Massages and stretches the colon, liver and all abdominal organs improving digestion.
  • Tones and strengthens the functioning of male sperms and female ovaries, improves the health of uterus – helping couples overcome infertility and miscarriage.
  • It also helps beats vaginal discharge due to infections and increases lubrication within vagina.
  • Kandharasana is used in yoga therapy for the management of menstrual disorders, prolapse, and various bronchial and thyroid conditions.

CHAKKI CHALANASANA

TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting with legs out-stretched.

AWARENESS: on breath, forward-backward movement of pelvis, lower back & abdomen.

BREATHING: inhale while leaning back, exhale while bending forward.

BENEFITS:

  • One asana which gives very good massage in the lowermost abdominal area.
  • Eliminates energy blockages in pelvis and abdomen.
  • Reduces abdominal fat.
  • It is especially useful for gynaecological disorders.
  • Removes constipation.
  • Helpful in postnatal recovery.

PRANAYAMA

  • Pranayama is a technique through which the quantity of prana in the body is activated to a higher frequency.
  • Pranayama comprises of two words – prana and ayama which means “expansion of prana with the help of breath”.

NADI SHODHAN PRANAYAM

POSTURE: Done in a comfortable sitting meditation posture, breath should be silent and not forced.

MUDRA: Nadi shodhan is done performing Nasagra mudra.

AWARENESS: on breath, on count.

BENEFITS:

  • Our mind has a tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future. Nadi Shodhan pranayama helps to bring the mind back to the present moment.
  • Nadi shodhan pranayama ensures the whole body is nourished by an extra supply of oxygen.
  • Carbon dioxide is efficiently expelled and the blood is purified of toxins.
  • Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
  • The pranic channels are purified and decongested.
  • Controls the oscillations of the body-mind network.
  • Brings balance and harmony throughout the system.
  • Practiced by alternating the inhalation and exhalation between left and right nostrils.
  • It induces tranquillity, clarity of thought & concentration; recommended for those engaged in mental work.

YOGA NIDRA

  • When the internal stress reduces, the actual beautiful self starts to show. This is what Yoganidra helps in.
  • Yoganidra is done in Shavasana.
  • Using the conscious mind, the awareness disciplines sub-conscious mind, relaxes the body-mind complex, and releases the suppressed stress.
  • The secret of Yoganidra lies in withdrawal of mind in a very friendly way, enter a state where you are neither in deep sleep nor completely awake, whatever impressions enter the mind become powerful, and they remain there.
  • Yoganidra also known as “ART OF RELAXATION”.
  • A systematic practice of Yoganidra helps to release muscular tensions, emotional tensions and mental tensions progressively.
  • Yoganidra is the fastest technique to explode Samskaras, allowing the possibility of change of habits, & personality.

 CONCLUSION:

  • This Yoga program covers the important benefits of each practice.
  • One must learn these practices from an experienced yoga teacher.
  • When done with regularity, consistency and dedication, results would show.

 

*The information has been extracted from the books of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, Bihar, India.

Blog written by Ruchira Pandey.

Ruchira Pandey

Yoga Teacher & Therapist