As we celebrate World Hepatitis Day, it is a good day as any other to talk about our liver that plays a crucial role in purifying the blood and metabolizing drugs we take every day. Today medical experts have voiced concern about the global burden of liver conditions, be they chronic or metabolic.
The rise in the incidences, in part, have a lot to do with dietary and lifestyle habits. Alcohol is known to be one of the most common causative factors for chronic liver diseases, along with Viral Hepatitis and obesity. Many people today are leaning towards non-invasive and natural treatments like Ayurveda and Yoga, for post treatment and preventive care. The results have been only encouraging.
Here’s Your Total Ayurvedic and Yoga Remedy Guide For A Healthy Liver
Along with Ayurveda, practicing certain breathing techniques or Pranayam and Yoga poses that work to strengthen the liver, go a long way in improving the liver functions. These practices are specifically important because liver detoxifies chemicals in the body
Yogasanas For Liver Strengthening
They are common and can be done for liver, stomach, adbomden and pancrease
1) Skull Shining Breathing or Kapalbhati Pranayama
-Sit with eyes closed, spine erect, hands on the knees, and palms facing the sky.
-Place both the hands on your knees with the thumb joining the index finger, take a deep breath in and slowly as you exhale, relax your whole body. You can also place your right hand on your stomach to feel the movement in the initial days of the practice.
-For Kapalbhati, take a deep breath in and as you exhale, breathe out forcefully while pulling the stomach all the way in every time we exhale. You will see, every time you exhale forcefully, the inhalation happens on its own.
-Continue this fast paced exhalations for 15-20 times or according to your capacity, till the body can hold the breath.
-Repeat the cycle 3 times
Kapalbhati helps to remove all the toxins from the stomach and liver region.
For liver, breathe in completely and pull your navel forcefully and breathe out forcefully
2) Agnisara is another powerful Pranayama taught in the Art of Living’s Sri Sri Yoga program which works wonder for the liver, helping improve and regulate the bile secretion.
3) Cat and Cow Stretch or Marjari Asana
How to do it?
- Come on the knees.
- Place your toes on the floor, knees on the floor, about 2 feet apart
- Place your palms on the floor, in line with your shoulders and your back resembles the top of a table.
- Then as you breathe in, take your head up, push your naval down,
- As you breathe out, take your chin to the chest, and slowly pull your navel in.
- During this stretch, your attention should be on stomach and abdomen region
Repeat the cycle 5 times.
4) Child Pose or Balasana
How to Do it?
- Bend your knees and bring them to the floor along with your ankles.
- Hips on the legs, ankles on the floor, stretch out your hands in front.
- So your arms on the floor, forehead on the floor, chest is resting on your thighs, and your hips are resting on your legs near your heels.
- Relax here in this pose for 5-7 long deep breaths
5) Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottanasana
-As you breathe in, hands by the sides go up, biceps touching the ears, stretch your arms up and
-as you breathe out, squeeze your belly in and slowly bend forward trying to catch your toes or ankles, wherever possible. Stay there for a couple of breaths.
-Slowly as you breathe in, come up, bringing your arms up with your biceps touching your ears.
-And as you breathe out, place your hands by the sides of your body all the way back on the mat.
8) Purvottanasana or Upward Plank Pose
For Purvottanasana, as you breathe in, lift your body up on your palms then on the toes.
-Slowly as you breathe out, come down and as you breathe in, hands by the side, repeat Paschimottanasana. Repeat this cycle of both the asanas together 5 times.
9) Seated Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana
How To Do It?
For this asana,
-Bend the right knee,
-place the right foot next to the left hip,
-bend the left knee,
-place the left foot next to the right side of the right thigh,
-the left hand is on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
Now, twist the waist, shoulders and neck in that order to the right and look over the right shoulder.
Take a few deep breaths and feel the twist. Come back to the center and switch sides.
10) Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
How to do it?
-Slowly lie down on the stomach. In Bhujangasana, take the mind towards the chest region.
-Both the hands and both the palms by the side of the shoulders.
-Slowly as you breathe in, lift your head up and chest up.
-Once your head and chest are lifted up, the stomach and rest of the body should be on the floor.
-Your ankles are on the floor and your elbows are close to your waist.
-Slowly come down as you breathe out.
11) Bow pose or Dhanurasana
How To Do It?
-Lie down on your stomach. Let there be a slight gap between your feet.
-Place your arms by the sides of your body.
-Taking your hands backwards, folding up your knees, try and hold your ankles in the shape of a bow.
-As you breathe in, try to lift your chest off the floor.
-Try pulling your ankles towards you for a better grip.
-Let your face be straight and chin up.
-Stay in the pose for a few deep breaths and observe your breath. Make sure you are comfortable in this pose and do not overdo the stretch.
-As you breathe out, slowly release the hold and relax.
12) Locust Pose or Shalabhasana
How To Do It?
-Lie down on the stomach
-Chin on the floor
-Both the legs on the floor,
-Place both the palms under your thighs closer to the groin region
-Now as you breathe in, slowly lift your head, chest, legs up in the body in the air. So your entire body will be on your stomach.
-Keep your body in this posture for 5-7 long deep breaths in and out.
13) Boat Pose or Naukasana
How To Do It?
-Lie down on your back
-For Naukasana, lift your head, chest, legs together in the air.
-Make sure your eye gaze, toes and palm are in a single file
-Keep your body in this pose.
-Take your attention to the abdomen region and feel the tightness here.
-Stay here for 5-7 long deep in-breaths and out-breaths
-Slowly bring your body down on the mat
14) Wind-relieving Pose or Pawanmuktasana
-As you are lying on your back, breathing in, bend your knees.
-Hold them with your hands.
-Interlace your fingers around folded knees and
-as you breathe out lift your head up.
-Try to touch your knees to the chest and nose.
-Stay there for 5-7 deep breaths.
-Relax your head back and slowly relax your fingers and knees in that order.
Those who have Cervical Spondylosis should not do this pose.
15) Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana
How To Do It?
-Bend both your knees and place the feet on the floor, very close to your hips.
-Catch your ankles by the sides of your body and then
-slowly as you breathe in, lift your stomach up, lift your hips up.
-Your neck is resting on the floor and your head is resting on the floor.
-Stay in this posture for 5-7 long deep breaths.
-Slowly as you breathe out, relax your hips down and relax your entire back and bring it down and then slowly stretch out both the legs.
16) Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep
Having felt the stretch in the abdomen and all other parts of the body, now it is time to rest and let the body cells relax. It is very important that after doing asanas, we either finish the session with a guided meditation of Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep). Without proper rest after the asanas, you miss out on the most important experience of Yoga which is a deep spiritual rest that your body gets, after having exhausted the Rajas Guna in the body through focused activity.
Along with Yogasanas and Pranyaams, the ancient herbal science of Ayurveda has deep secrets hidden in it for treating liver related maladies.
1) A useful Ayurvedic remedy for liver related disorders
-Make a paste of tender castor leaves, black fennel in cow milk
-Have it on empty stomach early
-Drink a lot of tender coconut water.
2) Some highly effective herbal Ayurvedic medicines that have been showing significant results in working with liver problems are
A) Arogyavardhani Vati is a herbal formulation with minerals which literally translates to ‘herbal preparation for improving health and a disease-free body’. It is also greatly beneficial for not just liver, but also fights diseases of heart, stomach, intestines, thyroid, gall bladder and skin.
It contains the cumulative strength of
-Kutki or Picrorhiza Kurroa which is known to be a helpful herb in healing the liver,
-sap of gum resin,
-Indian gooseberries, tropical almond, myrobalan among other powerful herbs.
B) Liv On Tonic
You can have the highly effective and herbal Ayurvedic medicine called Liv On which is the perfect solution for all liver problems. It is known to help recover from indigestion, jaundice or other liver complications. Some of its benefits include
-It helps eliminate acetaldehyde, a toxin that builds in the system due to excess consumption of alcohol.
-It helps people with liver damage since it supports regrowth of healthier liver cells.
-made from the magical herbs and ingredients like Tamarisk, Ayurvedic formulation called Mandur basma rich in iron oxide, extracts of yarrow, chicory, caper, Capparis spinosa, black nightshade plants, and and Arjun tree.
-Rich in anti-oxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties.
C) Shakti Drops-Immunity Boosting Essence
Strengthening over all immunity of the body, this herbal extract is made from some of the most powerful herbs found in nature with extraordinary healing capabilities, like
–Amla or Indian gooseberries: antioxidant, anti aging, rejuvenator
-Ashwagandha or Rennet: strengthening, nourishing
–Bringaraj or false daisy: improves digestion, liver tonic
–Brahmi or water hyssop: stress reliever, immunity builder
–Shankapushpi or morning glory: tridosha balancer, memory sharpener
–Satavari or asparagus: maintains hormonal balance, nourishing
-Yashtimadhu or licorice: tridosha balancer, enhances antibody production
(With inputs from
- Jai Desai, a Sri Sri Yoga corporate trainer.
- Dr. Nibin Nirmalan, BAMS, Ayurveda Consultant at Sri Sri Ayurveda
Disclaimer: This article is only for informational purposes. It is strongly recommended that you learn and practice these Asanas under the guidance and supervision of a trained and certified Sri Sri Yoga faculty.The conditions and illnesses could also be due to a mix of Dosha imbalances. Please do not try to self-diagnose. This article is purely for informational purpose. We strongly recommend you consult a Sri Sri Ayurveda physician for a thorough examination of the imbalances in Doshas or bio elements, where diseases first show signs of manifesting, according to Ayurveda.
Feature Image: www.bivda.co.uk