yoga techniques for HIVBy Faye Martins

Depending upon the advice of a doctor, yoga techniques for HIV and AIDs are a viable option. Yoga has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of different issues for centuries. HIV and AIDS are relative newcomers in the world of disease, which in turn has made them more difficult to treat. Nevertheless, yoga has proven beneficial for those who have HIV and AIDS, leading to greater levels of physical fitness, improved immunity, lower levels of stress and a greater sense of inner peace. While almost all yoga poses will prove beneficial, there are a few which may yield a greater benefit for this particular disease.

It is believed that inversions may be good for those with AIDS and HIV because they redirect the blood and energy flow to the thymus. The thymus is a large endocrine gland which helps regulate and control T cells within the immune system. Since HIV and AIDS attack the T cells, supporting the gland which controls them seems like a logical way to help the body fight this disease. Improving the efficiency of the thymus and in turn the immune system certainly couldn’t hurt.

Beneficial inversions include Headstands, Shoulders Stands, Plow Pose and Feathered Peacock Pose. When performing inversions it is important to keep safety in mind. If you are feeling weak or dizzy; it is a good idea to have someone spot you, during your yoga practice. This person may be your instructor, a fellow student or even a close friend since intimate knowledge of the poses is not required for basic spotting.

Backbends are also believed to be beneficial because of the fact that they open up the chest. Opening up the chest increases the performance of the thymus gland which in turn should increase immune function.

Beneficial backbends include Reclining Bound Angle Pose, Supported Bridge Pose, Cobra Pose and Upward Facing Dog.

In addition to supporting immune function, yoga may be used to reduce levels of stress. Stress reduction is critical for those with HIV and AIDS. Anything that can decrease stress levels is profoundly helpful.

Beneficial poses for stress relief include Child’s Pose, Corpse Pose, Hero Pose and Legs Up The Wall Pose.

Those with HIV and AIDS are encouraged to talk to their doctors about adding yoga as a complementary treatment to be used in addition to HIV and AIDS medications. It is important for an individual with AIDS or HIV to consult their doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.

Yoga is something that patients of HIV and AIDS may do for themselves to promote the health of the body, mind, soul and spirit. Having the ability to improve these areas is a positive, empowering thing for anyone, especially individuals dealing with a chronic illness.

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