The 5 Best Yoga Asanas For A Healthy Liver

The 5 Best Yoga Asanas For A Healthy Liver

The liver may not be the body’s largest organ, but it is one of the most important ones, making it paramount to keep it as healthy as possible. The American Liver Foundation conducted a study that concluded that 100 million U.S. citizens had some form of liver disease. An estimated 1.8% of the population has been diagnosed with liver disease. An additional 80-100 million adults had a fatty liver, but were unaware of their condition. 

What do those liver statistics have to do with yoga? Well, different yoga asanas can benefit the liver in myriad ways, stretching it or allowing more oxygen flow to the organ. Continue reading to learn how these yoga asanas benefit the liver and how to do them correctly. 

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Also known as King of the Fish pose, this is thought to benefit a damaged liver. By putting pressure on the liver, this pose helps to strengthen and stimulate a liver that suffers from apoptosis, fibrosis, inflammation, and stress. If you are currently undergoing a medical intervention for your liver, consider avoiding this pose so that you don’t put unnecessary stress on the liver. 

To do the pose, sit down on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your right leg at the knee and bring your foot back toward your left buttocks. Bend your left leg to raise your knee and then step your left foot over your right knee, placing it on the floor. Twist to your left, crossing your right arm over the outside of your left thigh. Maintain this posture for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout, before returning to the center. Repeat on the other side. 

Gomukhasana

The more common name for this pose is Cow Face pose, which is great for correcting poor posture. It is also a great pose if you have fatty liver or cirrhosis. If you have liver cirrhosis, blood flow and oxygenation is prevented by scar tissue. The liver can no longer remove toxins or pathogenic bacteria, nor can it metabolize fats. Practicing this pose can help stimulate the liver, which promotes oxygenation and blood flow to the organ. 

Sit on a chair and ground both of your feet. Lift your right arm up towards the ceiling and bend at the elbow to bring your hand between your shoulder blades. Bring your left arm by your left side, bend at the elbow, and reach your left hand towards your right hand between your shoulder blades. Try to clasp your hands, but do not force yourself to experience discomfort. You can use a towel to bridge the gap if needed. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then switch sides to repeat.

Kapalbhati Pranayama

Pranayama is a type of breathing exercise that helps to boost the health of the liver, especially in those with cirrhosis, jaundice, or hepatitis. Kapalbhati pranayama, or Yoga Skull Shining Breathing Exercise, works to stimulate the liver and aid the functionality of the spleen. 

This breathing exercise works best when you sit up straight in a cross-legged position, ideally on an even surface. The goal of this breathing exercise is to inhale deeply and breathe out with force through your nostrils every time. Your main focus should be on exhalation, forcing all of your air out with each exhale. Isolate your abdominals for this breathing exercise to expel that air. For this to be effective, practice for at least 15 minutes daily. 

Dhanurasana 

Also known as Bow pose, this asana is beneficial for people who suffer from fatty liver disease. It works to stretch, strengthen, and stimulate the liver, helping the body use the fat deposits in it as a source of energy. 

Lie facedown on your mat with your arms by your sides. Take a few breaths in this position before lifting your arms and legs off the mat, engaging your glutes and lower back muscles. Bend your right leg toward your right hand and grab the outside of your shin. Do the same with your left leg. Lift your chest and arch up like a bow. Hold for three deep breaths and then relax. Repeat two more times.

Naukasana

Naukasana, or Boat pose, is an effective asana to help strengthen your core. It also works to stimulate and strengthen the liver, allowing it to clean the harmful toxins from the body. Practicing it regularly can aid liver function. 

Start by sitting up straight with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are planted on the ground. Lean back slowly and simultaneously extend your feet up, creating a “V” shape between your torso and thighs. You can have your shins remain parallel to the ground. Reach your arms past your thighs and keep your back straight. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.

2024-04-26T14:58:29-07:00
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