The Endocrine System (Glands) and Yoga
are two words which are very closely related. The yoga health benefit is widely known. Yoga is there to aid both your physical and mental health. Therefore, most people who are interested in practising yoga do so for health reasons. They want to ease their back pain or want to know a method to relieve stress. This yoga and health section takes a closer look at how your body functions and how yoga can benefit your body.
The Endocrine System
As the intricate life functions of the body chemistry are regulated by the "ductless" or endocrine glands, secreting their chemical messengers into the blood stream. Rather like the opposing muscles of the skeletal system, the endocrine system acts a principal of balance - one hormone stimulates a set of responses, another inhibits it, and all act together in a complex interrelationship with each other, and with the sympathetic nervous system, under control of the pituitary, and ultimately of the brain and mind.
Yoga and the Glands
The endocrine system mediates the intimate relationship of body and mind - emotions such as fear or rage, love or grief, both reflect hormonal activity and influence it strongly.
2 - The Pituitary Gland
This master gland reluates secretion in all the other endocrine glands, and is directly controlled by the brain. The Head Stand is the most beneficial asana here.
3+9 - Thyroid and Parathyoid
The thyroid controls the basal metabolic rate, growth and cell processes. The parathyroid controls calcium and phosphate in the blood. Both are massaged by the Shoulderstand.
5+6 - Pancreatic and Adrenal Glands
The secretion of these glands are essential to life, affecting your emotional and physical state strongly. The pancreas produces insulin to regulate blood sugar, and is helped by the Peacock which massages and the spleen.
7- Female Sex Hormones (ovaries)
The ovaries are the main source of oestrogen, the hormone which regulates the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breast feeding and female physical appearance and sexuality.
8 - Male Sex Hormones (testes)
The testes are the main source of the male sex hormones, testosterone. Regular practice of asanas, pranayama and relaxation keeps the male hormones in balance and helps to relieve sexual problems and disorders.
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