In present times of hectic lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, massive amounts of stress and still-rampant spread of COVID-19 owing to the omicron variant, a pair of vital internal organs invariably undergo decline in functions and tissue damage - the kidneys. The kidneys are two reddish-brown organs shaped like beans present on the right and left quadrant of the lower abdominal tract, which perform several important functions in the body. These comprise eliminating toxins, maintaining fluid/water levels and acid-base balance, as well as regulating blood pressure and averting the risk of hypertension. The kidneys also help maintain homeostasis – a state of internal balance and equilibrium in the bodily cells, tissues, as well as synthesize hormones by influencing the activity of adrenal glands situated above them and filtering out wastes from the blood to flush them out of the system. Hence it is crucial to safeguard the kidneys from harm and take active measures to prevent kidney stones, chronic kidney failure and other renal disorders like kidney cancer, urinary tract infection (UTI, glomerulonephritis etc.
In addition to wholesome, balanced diets, ample fluid intake and normal passage of urine, stool and other wastes from the body on a daily basis, the time-tested practice of Yoga also remarkably uplifts kidney health and lowers the risk of kidney damage in the later years. Engaging in yoga asanas for merely 20 – 30 minutes every day stimulates renal functions, improves digestion, combats stress, fatigue, bolsters immune functions and vastly enhances kidney health.
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5 Amazing Yoga Exercises To Augment Kidney Wellness:
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lie down flat on the floor, with the face touching the ground. Place both arms close to the body, with palms in contact with the floor and elbows touching the hips. Inhale deeply, raise the upper body off the ground, bend backwards and balance using both arms. Retain this posture for 15 – 30 seconds, then exhale and come back to the floor in the initial flat position.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Start the posture by lying flat on your back. Now bend your knees and elbows. Place your feet flat on the floor close to the hips and your hands firmly on either side of the head. While supporting both your hands and legs on the ground, slowly try to lift your body up into the air. Hold this arching posture for 20-30 secs and slowly bring your body up into a standing pose.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Sit down on a flat, even surface on the floor. Stretch both legs completely forward, with the feet pointing directly upwards. Inhale deeply and raise both arms over the head. Then breathe out and curve the body forwards to try and touch the knees, maintaining a comfortable posture of the spine. Hold the big toes with the thumb and index finger of both hands. Stay in this posture for 10 seconds, then gradually release the hands, lift the torso and come back to the initial seated position.
Naukasana (Boat Pose)
Start by lying down flat on the ground, with the back facing downwards. Place both arms by the sides of the body. Slowly inhale and exhale for a few cycles to regulate breathing patterns. Then simultaneously raise your upper body off the ground, while lifting both feet above. Place both hands directly forward, stretched out between the body and knees. Stay in this position resembling a boat for at least 5 minutes to attain improved muscle flexibility and balance. Exhale and relax the body, gradually bring it back to the ground. While regularly practising the Naukasana, increase the time of holding the boat pose from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, to attain the maximum benefits of this exercise and vastly improve blood circulation in the body.
Supta Baddhakonasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
Lie down flat on the floor. Gently bend your knees and bring your feet together with the outer edges of both your feet on the floor. In the lying positing, try to bring your heels close to your groin. You can keep your arms resting by the side, on your thighs or raise them up your head and join them. Now stay in the pose for 1-2 minutes, breathing naturally throughout the pose. For exiting the pose, slowly straighten your knees, turn to one side and then get up slowly.