Yoga Therapy for High Cholesterol

Everyone’s body needs cholesterol, but too much can spell trouble for some.  Cholesterol is both our friend and foe.

Cholesterol is found in foods delivered from animal products like meat, cheese, poultry or fish.  Bacon, burger, fries – fatty foods, which some find delicious, are all high in cholesterol.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy for high cholesterol is focused on overall decipline in controlling and managing the body, including healthier diet.

Specifically, asana practice helps in toning the body and stimulates all the internal organs.  For example, forward bending and inverted poses help improve circulation to the brain and heart.  Backward bending and twisting postures massage the internal organs.  Pranayama helps in improving the circulation and eliminates any blockage in the flow of energy.   

Although high cholesterol can be inherited, it is often the result of lifestyle choices.

Various changes to lifestyle are recommended for those with high cholesterol levels in order to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. 

1. Eat a “heart-healthy diet”.   Six “super foods” have been identified to actively lower cholesterol levels:

(I) Soya foods – soya milk, soya desserts, soya meat alternatives, soya nuts, edamame beans and tofu;

(II) Nuts;

(III) Oats and barley, which provides soluble fibre beta glucan;

(IV) Plant sterols/stanols which are found in a wide range of foods;

(V) Fruits and vegetables; and

(VI) foods rich in unsaturated fats such as canola and vegetable OILS. Further, use low-fat toppings  and sauces, and avoid foods high in saturated fat.  In addition to fruit and vegetables, eat fibre-rich whole grains.

2. Take regular exercise and asana practice, including meditation

3. Avoid smoking

4. Keep a healthy weight

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