Yoga’s Effect on the Lymphatic System

Today’s blog is dedicated to yoga enthusiasts in Perth. Inviting you Perthians to join ‘Yoga With SapnaOnline Yoga Classes, brought to you all the way from yogas birthplace, India. Enrol via this link Online Yoga Classes in Perth.

Since a Perthite broached this topic of the Lymphatic System, today we enhance our knowledge of the body and how yoga benefits the Lymphatic System. In our body, the Lymphatic System plays a substantial role in maintaining fluid balance, fighting infections, and removing waste and toxins from the body. So if problems arise within the Lymphatic System, this would disrupt our balance within and impact overall health negatively.

The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System is like the body’s sewage system. It comprises of the tissues and organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells, that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic vessels are a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells. So our Lymphatic System supports our immune function by transporting white blood cells throughout the body to battle infections. Lymphatic vessels, tissues, organs and glands work together to drain a watery fluid called lymph from the full body. The Lymphatic System drains fluid that has leaked from the blood vessels into the tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream via the lymph nodes. A key role of the Lymphatic System is managing the fluid levels in the body.

How Yoga Can Boost The Lymphatic System:

Certain yoga asanas can help to stimulate lymphatic flow and facilitate the removal of toxins and waste from the body. Some of these are as follows:

Inversions: Inversion poses, where the head is positioned below the heart, such as Sirshasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), encourage lymphatic drainage by reversing the flow of gravity on the body. The Lymphatic System is dependent on muscular contractions and activity to keep the lymphatic fluid moving from the feet upwards, against the force of gravity. When we invert, gravity acts in favour of the Lymphatic system and gives it a boost. So upside down postures prevent lymphatic fluid from stagnating and facilitate it’s movement towards the heart, where it can be filtered and purified. The lymph drains out through large veins near the left and right side of the neck, back into the blood stream.

Twisting Poses: Yoga poses that involve twisting, such as Bharadvajasana (Seated Twist) and Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose), help wring out the Lymphatic System, promoting detoxification and circulation.

Compression Poses: Poses that involve compression, such as Utkatasana (Chair Pose) and Garudaasana (Eagle Pose) stimulate lymphatic flow by exerting pressure on lymphatic vessels and nodes. Compression poses also help flush out toxins and improve circulation.

Half-inversions: like the Downward Dog pose and any number of variations from this ‘Adho mukha svanasana’ propel the fluid along the lymphatic vessels.

Yoga Neck Exercises: help with head, neck or upper body lymphedema. Neck stretches will help to increase drainage and get relief from swelling in the region of the head, neck, shoulders and arms.

The Bridge Pose: Is very effective in exercising regions of the legs hips and spine. Lymphedema often affects ones arms and legs but it may also affect other areas of the body.

Breathing Techniques and Lymphatic Flow:

In addition to specific yoga postures, certain breathing techniques, or pranayama, can also enhance lymphatic flow and overall health.

Deep Breathing: Deep diaphragmatic breathing, commonly practiced in yoga, helps stimulate the lymphatic system by aiding and improving the movement of lymphatic fluid through the body. Conscious breathing also promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which further helps all body systems function efficiently and peacefully.

Kapalabhati Pranayama: ‘Kapalabhati’ involves rapid, forceful exhalations with passive inhalations between these quick short powerful exhales. This dynamic breathing technique not only energizes the body but also serves as a strong abdominal workout which stimulates lymphatic drainage, helping to eliminate toxins and improve circulation.

The Bottom Line

When the lymphatic system is compromised one can suffer from lymphedema, infections that lead to cellulitis, lymphangitis or lymphadenitis, autoimmune disorders, or cancers such as lymphoma or leukaemia. However, one can do one’s part in maintaining holistic wellness by living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Let yoga support and guide us on our life’s journey. A message for those in Perth – do enrol in Online Yoga Classes in Perth at Yoga with Sapna for overall health and to keep your lymphatic system balanced and working efficiently.

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