Prostate problems are common among aged or elderly males. Though the primary effects of prostate problems are related to urination, they can indicate the onset of prostate cancer.
Yoga: The Perfect ExerciseYoga combines cardiovascular and strength workouts in one package, providing the perfect workout for the entire body. It strengthens muscles and connecting tissue, and also increases your endurance.
The prostate gland's main function is adding volume to semen; about 50-70 percent of semen is made up of prostate secretions. But due to its location - it is situated below the urinary bladder, and surrounds the urethra - its maladies severely affect the urinary system.
The most common prostate problems are prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer. All of these can be prevented, delayed, or at least alleviated, by strengthening the muscles in the hips and lower abdomen, and improving circulation in those areas.
Several yoga poses can help in strengthening the aforementioned muscle sets and, like any exercise, improving blood flow. Here are some of the easiest and the most effective.
DISCLAIMER: This article is meant as a guideline, and not as a replacement to medical advice. Professional medical advice should be sought before starting any exercise routine. In the case of yoga, it is imperative to consult your doctor - especially if you have a preexisting spinal or cardiac condition.
Yoga Poses For Prostate Health
One of the most basic poses, this one isn't even strictly part of any yoga routine, but can help massively in relieving the stress on the muscles in the hips and lower back.
Lie on your back, and pull your knees towards your chest. Don't lift your upper body, and concentrate on moving the legs towards the chest, and not the other way round. This exercise relieves the pressure on the lower back, and stretches the muscles in the hips and thighs, improving circulation in the area.
This asana is named after the superficial resemblance of the practitioner to the shape of a boat.
Lie on your back. Lift both legs and arms simultaneously and without bending. This asana can be done in two ways: paripurna (complete) navasana, and ardha (half) navasana. If performing the former, maintain an angle of about 45 degrees between your upper and lower body; increase the angle to about 60-75 degrees if doing the ardha navasana.
As in the boat pose, the name of this asana derives from the superficial resemblance of the practitioner to a stretched bow (dhanu means 'bow' in Sanskrit).
Lie on the floor facing downwards. Grasp your legs with your hands, and raise yourself into the bow pose. Engage the abdominal muscles to support the shape.
This asana is beneficial to the spine, and improves circulation in the abdomen and hips.
Stand erect. Stretch one leg forward, and adopt a stance similar to a lunge. Lift your hands either side of your head, and if possible stretch them behind.
This asana, with the backward stretching motion of the spine, is particularly helpful for spinal health, and also confers the same benefits as a lunge.
Stand erect. Bend down, and extend your arms as far down your legs as you can, while keeping your legs straight. If you can't reach the toes, don't stretch beyond your capability.
This asana stretches the hamstring, the calves and increases blood flow into the sacral region.
If some of these asanas prove to be too difficult for you, try surya namaskara, or sun salutations. This is a set sequence of 7 distinct asanas, and is perfect if you are very much at the beginner level. Surya namaskara imparts lasting benefits to the entire body. The last two asanas in this list of asanas are, in fact, part of the sequence of sun salutations.
Like in all yoga, don't force yourself into completing the asana by twisting and jerking your body into it. If you can't naturally do the full pose, maintain the pose at the maximum you can, without discomforting yourself.
Prostate problems can range from irritating to fatal. The best cure, as always, is prevention. Practicing yoga will help you do just that. Combined with the right diet, regularly performing these yoga poses can improve your health no end.