Yoga has been evaluated for its ability to help enhance mental health and physical health. It can be beneficial for a wide variety of applications: enhancing digestion, reducing anxiety, improving flexibility, and even enhancing the health of your kidneys.
In this article I’m going to cover the most important information that anyone should know if they’re hoping to improve their kidney health through yoga.
A Bit About the Kidneys
The kidneys are incredibly important in the body. They are similar to the liver, in the sense that they help to detoxify the body and eliminate toxins. However, the kidneys work primarily to purify and remove toxins from the blood.
Kidneys also help to regulate fluid levels in the body and produce hormones that are used for regulating blood pressure. Kidney diseases can lead to a number of problems and can be caused by improper nutrition, stress, anxiety, and other blood problems.
Yoga and the Kidneys
While yoga might not be a cure-all – especially for someone struggling with acute kidney disease – it can certainly be useful for helping to stimulate, soothe, and massage the kidneys. This can lead to enhanced kidney health and can reduce the chances of developing kidney disease.
- One of the ways that yoga can help to reduce strain on the kidneys is to help reduce stress. High stress can contribute to diseases of various sorts, including renal (kidney) disease. A regular yoga routine will reduce the chances of developing a stress-related illness.
- Yoga helps to manage the amount of water that the body retains. This can help to make the kidneys’ job easier, and can also promote sound sleep and better rest. A well-rested body is able to function better than a sleep-deprived one.
- Certain yoga asanas help to stimulate the organs and can bring balance to fluid and hormonal systems. Some can promote internal cleansing and promote the speed at which toxins are flushed out of the body. Yoga postures can also bring blood to certain areas and organs, like the kidneys, stimulating their function.
Best Yoga Poses for Kidney Health
These are the best yoga poses to enhance the health of your kidneys.
- Naukasana (boat pose): this pose is helpful for building strength in the abdomen and the organs, as well as enhancing digestion
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (sitting half spinal twist): this pose can directly stimulate the kidneys
- Salamba Bhujangasana (sphinx pose): this pose is known to help stretch and bring strength to the abdomen, and is said to enhance immunity
- Paschimottanasana (two-legged forward bend): this pose directly stimulates the kidneys and can also reduce menstrual pain
- Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose): this is another pose that can stimulate the organs in the abdominal cavity, as well as reducing blood pressure
Yoga is a holistic form of exercise that can help bring strength and balance to all the organs of the body. If you follow a regular practice, including some of the poses described above, you can help improve kidney health.
Written by Nigel Ford
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)