On this International Day of Yoga, industry experts talk about the benefits of yoga in managing modern lifestyle diseases, improving general well-being and leading a healthy way of life
“Chronic non-communicable diseases are fast becoming an epidemic in rural India. It contributes to 47 per cent of deaths, on account of the epidemiological transition caused by lifestyle changes and increasing life expectancy. Tackling them is quite a challenge due to a shortage of physicians with advanced training, lack of awareness and the absence of a safety net to help patients absorb the negative financial consequences of NCDs. According to WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, practising yoga regularly reduces the risk of chronic NCDs such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks. Studies conducted by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) have demonstrated that yoga improves lung function, cardiovascular fitness, enhances functional health, and reduces oxidative stress. Conducting yoga camps in rural areas and integrating yoga programs into primary healthcare centres will promote preventive care, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, and lessen the load on secondary and tertiary healthcare centres” says Dr RK Srivastava, Senior Advisor, Innovation and Public Health, WISH.
“While modern medicine works to address and control the symptoms of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, naturopathy has the potential to address its root cause and help repair the body by restoring its natural harmony with the environment. Diabetes is a major scourge of our times and it is a direct risk factor for hypertension, stroke and heart disease. Using a naturopathic approach to treating diabetes can significantly help patients improve their daily blood sugar levels while reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Srikanth HS, Sr. Naturopath, Jindal Naturecure Institute.
“Yoga is gaining popularity as an accessible, acceptable and affordable practice for both mind and body. People are turning to yoga for mental health improvement. It has been observed that around 15 to 25 per cent of the population is suffering from depression, of which around 10 per cent people are suffering from mild depression, and for that 10 per cent of people don’t need any medication. So here yoga comes into play. Yoga works as a natural anti-depression, anti-anxiety therapy when there is an increase in serotonin (a chemical that contributes to wellbeing and happiness level) levels in the brain. It also helps in managing the day to day stress besides increasing self-confidence, memory and concentration. Stress is one of the major risk factors which leads to depression. As nearly 30 per cent of the population is suffering from stress issues, yoga helps in the improvement of sleep quality that helps them to reduce stress. It also helps to purify your thought process and enables you to produce positive thoughts. Also, yoga can work wonders for people who are into substance abuse. This Yoga Day, turn to this age-old traditional practice for healthy body and mind”, says Dr Tushar Kant, Consultant- Mental Health and Behavioral Science, Fortis Escorts, Jaipur.