Did you know that kidneys operate much like a smart phone?
Every so often, Apple or Android sends you a notification to update your phone with new features, update resets and fresher, improved versions. So do the kidneys, except their update is natural and automatic, at least when they’re healthy.
Kidneys are vital organs of the human body that are bean-like and are located below the rib cage. The right kidney is usually smaller, sits under the liver and is placed lower in the body than the left kidney.
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering waste and toxins in the blood, regulating fluids in the body and producing hormones that regulate blood pressure. They’re responsible for processing everything you eat. To keep your kidneys protected, you consume a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
To prevent kidney disease, it is important to reduce intake of processed foods, limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is one of the leading causes of death globally.
According to The Global Burden of Disease (GBD), in 2017 CKD resulted in 1.2 million deaths and was the 12th leading cause of death worldwide. In addition, 7.6% of all CKD deaths (1.4 million) could be attributed to impaired kidney function.
Over and above a healthy diet, yoga, through its asana (poses), pranayama (breathwork) and meditation, can help in the prevention of kidney disease by promoting overall health. Yoga improves the function of the kidney and can improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease while reducing the risk of kidney cancer.
How Does Yoga Help?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, 54 patients with CKD were studied and divided into two groups (yoga group and control group) to see the effect of yoga in CKD. Patients in the yoga group were offered yoga therapy along with other conventional treatment modalities while the control group was only on conventional treatment.
Subjects in the yoga group were trained to perform specific yogic asanas for at least five days a week for 40–60 minutes a day.
Poststudy comparison between the two groups showed a statistically significant reduction of blood pressure, nonsignificant reduction in blood urea and serum creatinine and significant improvement in physical and psychological domain of QOL in the yoga group as compared to control group.
For subjects in the yoga group, the need for dialysis was less when compared to the control , although this difference was statistically insignificant. The study concluded that six months of yoga is safe and effective as an adjuvant therapy in improving renal functions and QOL of CKD patients.
Yoga has many benefits. However, the thought of going to yoga class can be daunting for beginners. If you’re interested in yoga, you can explore free classes on YouTube or visit Yownn Yoga studio for a free trial. To learn more, visit www.yownnyoga.com
Bonolo Phaladze is registered yoga teacher (RYT200) with Yoga Alliance, a global governing body for yoga teacher. She is the teacher lead at Yownn Yoga Studio in Gaborone.