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The Prostate Gland and Yoga

The prostate gland is a walnut size organ inside a male’s body that is located at the base of the penis. It sits in front of the rectum and directly below the bladder. Before adulthood the prostate is situated at the bladder neck and its size is like an almond. The size and the functions of the prostate gland increase due to changes in the hormones as the age of the person advances. The semen is produced inside it and then stored in the muscular bag like parts. It is the special type of the liquid that contains protein, enzymes, glucose and fat which provide nutrition to the sperm cells coming from the testes.




FUNCTIONS OF THE PROSTATE

The main function of the prostate is to maintain the reproductive life of the male and to continue the human life on the earth. The liquid material of the semen is produced from the prostate. Each time during ejaculation of the semen there are millions of sperms in it. The acidity in female genital tract is neutralized by the prostatic secretion which facilitates the sperms to travel further towards the ovum. However, the ejaculation of the semen is not controlled by the prostate but prostate has to follow the neuronal message from the spinal cord. 

When there is neuronal message the sphincter valve closes and the opening of the bladder gets closed so that urine does not come out at the time of ejaculation. At the same time the valves of the prostate as well as the mouths of the semen bags also are opened. These pouches of the size of peanuts are situated on either side of the prostate. The twenty percent of the semen comes from these pouches while one spoonful of the semen comes from the prostate. The mixture of these two comes out from the male ejaculatory organ.

DISORDERS OF PROSTATE GLAND

The urethra, bladder and testicles are the three parts of the prostate gland and they are all situated very close to one another. The prostate surrounds the urethra where the urethra connects to the bladder. During puberty, the prostate expands evenly. The enlargement that occurs in the second half of life is concentrated in the part of the gland next to the urethra. As the gland gets bigger, it interferes with the flow of urine out of bladder. That makes the bladder work harder to empty urine. 

Eventually, the bladder becomes thicker and can start having too many contractions. Over a period of time, this extra effort causes the bladder muscle to weaken, and all the urine cannot be emptied. The combination of these problems leads to discomfort and complications. The infection, cancer and inflammation can occur in this part. Due to any of these problems there is enlargement of the prostate which interrupts the flow of urine. The severity of these problems depends on how much the prostate is putting pressure on the urethra.

Potentially serious complications can occur if the bladder does not empty completely. There is retention of urine and stasis of urine leads to infection. The stagnant urine is a prime environment for the growth of bacteria, which can cause frequent urinary-tract infections. Also, urinary stones can form in the bladder lining due to an accumulation of debris and chemicals. 

Broken blood vessels can cause blood in the urine often because of torn or enlarged veins on the inner surface of the prostate. Blood in the urine also can be caused by the sudden stretching of the bladder wall, which compromises its blood flow. If it is not treated in time, so much urine can be retained in the bladder and there may be ascending infection towards the kidneys and to the blood. It may cause uremic poisoning which gradually leads the patient towards death. In such conditions Yoga teachers should advise the person to consult the doctor and to get operated for prostate problem according to medical advice.

YOGA AND PROSTATE GLAND

Yoga definitely eliminates disease but the medicines should not be stopped when Yoga classes are attended. The Yoga teacher who doesn’t have any medical knowledge has no right to treat the patients by Yoga therapy. Yoga can help when the disease is in the initial stage or healing stage. But when the disease is in fully developed stage, Yoga therapy should be advised only under medical guidance. The medicines should be tapered according to the doctor’s advice gradually even after improvement of the disease.

The following sets of two Asanas will be very beneficial for this problem. In both these Asanas, the body resembles the letter ‘V’. By having this V shape of the body, the blood will flow with extra pressure towards the navel from legs and upper trunk. So, all the internal organs and glands will be benefitted. The ovaries and uterus in the ladies will be benefitted and in addition gall bladder, spleen, adrenal, pancreas, small and large intestines, duodenum, pylorus will have extra benefit.

DRONASANA

• Spread the blanket on an even surface.
• Lie down on the blanket on your back.
• Keep heels and the toes touching each other.
• The palms should face the ground.
• Both the hands should remain parallel on the ground and by the side of the trunk touching the body.
• Inhale deeply and extend both the arms over the head as much as possible. Breathe normally.
• Again inhale deeply and lift both the legs and both the hands off the floor by keeping the head between the arms.
• Now exhale and sit up on the hips without any jerk or sudden force and bring the arms towards the legs.
• Maintain the hands parallel to each other.
• You should not hold the legs. The legs should remain at 30-35 degree.
• After that have normal breathing.
• Try to remain in this posture for one and half to five minutes.

UTTITHA PASCHIMOTTANASANA

From Dronasana you are coming into Uttitha Paschimottanasana. Just hold the legs & try to touch the knees with the forehead. In the beginning you will be able to hold the calf then by practice you will be able to hold the ankles. After having further practice you will be able to hold the toes and the head will also touch the knees. Both the elbows will remain by the sides of the knees. Exhale while doing it.

• Spread the blanket on an even surface.
• Lie down on the blanket on your back.
• Keep heels and the toes touching each other.
• The palms should face the ground.
• Both the hands should remain parallel on the ground and by the side of the trunk touching the body.
• Inhale deeply and extend both the arms over the head as much as possible. Breathe normally.
• Again inhale deeply and lift both the legs and both the hands off the floor by keeping the head between the arms.
• Now exhale and sit up on the hips without any jerk or sudden force and bring the arms towards the legs.
• Hold the ankles or the toes by the hands.
• Slowly with control, try to touch the head on the knees.
• Bend the elbows and keep them touching the thighs.
• Hold the breath as much as possible (Bahya-Kumbhaka). You can remain in this position by taking normal breath also.
• Try to remain in this posture for one and half to five minutes.
• Then relax in Shavasana after returning to supine position.

MODIFICATIONS

Initially, it’s difficult to straighten the raised legs; you can take support of the wall for all these Asanas.

NOTE:
Those suffering from hypertension, heart disease, spondilitis & people who have been operated on abdomen should consult an expert before practicing it.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti