Yoga is an ancient practice that has been shown to improve physical, mental and emotional health as it involves a series of postures, breathing exercises and meditation, which can help reduce stress, improve flexibility, strength, balance and promote relaxation and fitness experts believe that it is a safe and effective way to prevent and manage chronic health conditions. A 2017 study found that practicing Yoga for six months reduced body weight, BMI and waist circumference in overweight and obese adults.

4 Yoga asanas and Pranayam technique to prevent chronic health conditions (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

A 2016 study found that practicing Yoga for 12 weeks improved bone mineral density and reduced bone turnover in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis while a 2013 study found that practicing Yoga for eight weeks reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with major depressive disorder.

Another 2016 study found that practicing Yoga for six months improved glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes while a 2014 study found that practicing Yoga for three months reduced systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have a chronic health condition or are pregnant.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Institutions, suggested 4 Yoga asanas and Pranayam technique to prevent chronic health conditions:

  • Bhastrika Pranayam Technique

Bhastrika Pranayama
(File Photo)

Method - Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana). Straighten your back and close your eyes. Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra). Inhale and fill your lungs with air. Exhale completely. Inhalation and exhalation should be done in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you breathe in for 6 counts, you must take 6 counts to exhale

Duration - You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Paschimottanasana or seated forward-bend of Yoga

Method - Begin with Dandasana. Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward. Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect. Exhale and empty your stomach of air. With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body. Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers. Try to touch your knees with your nose. Hold the asana for 10 seconds.

Utkatasana or the chair pose of Yoga

Method - Begin with Samasthithi. Join palms to form namaste at your heart chakra and raise your arms up. Bend your knees and slowly lower your pelvis. Ensure that your pelvis is parallel to the floor with a 90degree bend at the knees. Align your ankles and knees in one straight line. Focus your gaze towards your namaskar. Ensure that your spine remains erect and avoid hunching of the back. Hold the posture for 10 seconds.


Method - Lie down on your back. Bring your upper body 45° off the floor. Pivot your body weight on your hips and lift your legs 45° off the floor. Your toes must be aligned with your eyes. Try to prevent a bend in the knees. Keep your arms parallel to the ground and pointing forward. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Straighten your back.

Tiryaka Tadasana
(Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar)

Method - Begin with Samsthiti and come into Hastauttanasana posture. Join your palms to form Pranam mudra. Now, slowly bend your body towards the right side. Stretch as much as possible. Hold this posture for a while. Repeat on the other side.

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