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Chakki Chalanasana (Moving the Grinding Wheel)

Chakki Chalanasana is a very simple exercise but is very important and beneficial for our well being. Three very important organs get massaged with this exercise. These are liver, kidneys and pancreas. 

We are quite conscious of our teeth, hair, lungs and heart but pay very less attention to the liver, kidneys and pancreas. When the problem of diabetes is detected, people take urgent treatment and start taking care of pancreas. The same situation is there for the kidney problem too. We hardly think of liver because its problems are not manifested. With this Chakki Chalanasana exercise, the functional capacity of these organs increases by increased supply of blood. Before we learn about this exercise we must know about the liver and its functions in details.





LIVER

Liver is the biggest organ in our body. Its weight is about one to one and half kilograms. It is protected by the ribs. It is situated on the right side of the abdominal cavity beneath the diaphragm. The liver has to do various functions such as Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, synthesis of bile, storage of glycogen, iron, fat, Vitamin‐A, D and excretion of toxins and chemicals. Following are the functions of the liver in details:

FUNCTION OF THE LIVER

The liver as a digestive organ serves two purposes–filtration and bile production.

• The unwanted and excessive poisonous substances produced in our body are eliminated from our body by the liver. Certain substances like nicotine, caffeine and some drugs entering in our body through food, water, air and due to our lifestyle get passed through liver and then they are allowed to go towards the heart. If these substances reach the heart directly, it may lead to sudden death. But within five to ten seconds of their reaching in to the liver they are eliminated by the liver through urine or stool. Alcohol that enters the body with cocktails is converted in to water and carbon dioxide by liver. Within one hour time liver converts one and half to two liters of narcotic substances into simple form.

• After filtering the toxins, they are secreted into two main substances; bile and urea. Every second in our body ten millions of red blood cells are destroyed which should be cleared from the body. Recycling of it occurs by liver only. From those remnants liver produces about one liter of bile which is bitter in taste, green in color and greatly helpful substance in digestive processes.
• Bile is an alkaline compound which performs as a digestive and an excretory agent in the intestines and it is made up of cholesterol and waste products. This chemical substance reaches the duodenum through gall bladder. (The duodenum is a part of gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and intestine). As a digestive agent, for simple absorption, bile breaks down fats into smallest parts. As an excretory agent, for removal during defecation, it deposits toxins, filtered by the liver into to the intestines. If extra bile remains in the tract it does Nadishodhana (purification of the nerves) of the channels around the liver.

• After eating the non-vegetarian diet or fish, dangerous ammonia is produced from the protein content in the stomach and intestine. If it directly enters in the blood it may result into life threatening condition. But liver converts it into harmless substance. Even though some amount of it remains that gets converted into urea and it is eliminated by the kidneys through urine. So before permitting the blood to reach the rest of the cells in the body, the liver eliminates toxins and non viable materials.

• The liver produces thousands of enzymes and it provides these essential chemical substances for various functions and keeps the different parts of the body fit. The chemicals which are produced by the liver are so many that we can produce these substances only by installing a big factory spread in many acres of land.

• Chocolates contain high amount of sugar and it raise the blood sugar level; sometimes insulin administration may be required or it may lead to increase in diabetes, coma, paralytic attack or even death. But the liver converts that excessive sugar into glycogen. In the form of glycogen, liver can store 250 grams of sugar so that in future whenever sugar level decreases due to any reason, liver can convert glycogen into plain sugar and it protects the life.

• The energy source of functional capacity of our muscles is from liver only. When we walk, run, climb stairs, the muscles get energy by burning of glucose and some lactic acid is also produced and later on it is recycled. This glucose is obtained from metabolism of glycogen which is stored in the liver.

• Whenever bleeding occurs from the injured part of the body, immediately clotting of the blood occurs by the clotting factors produced by liver.

• The production of immunoglobulin to fight against the infections occurs in the liver.

• The liver also works as a safety valve for our heart. When there is sudden flow of blood towards the heart, liver sucks it as a sponge and later on it gradually releases towards the heart, so that heart can manage it properly.

• The hormone controlling the salt level in our bodies is produced in the adrenal glands. If the level of that hormone increases in the blood, there is possibility of development of swelling in the whole body. But the excessive amount of the hormone is destroyed by the liver.

• Thus liver blesses the people as ‘Mrityunjay Mahaev’ (life protector).

EXERCISE-MOVING THE GRINDING WHEEL

• Sit on the blanket keeping legs as wide apart as possible.

• Interlock the fingers of both the hands and turn the palms outside. (So that back of the fingers is towards you).

• Straighten the elbows in front of the chest.

• Now move the arms (from shoulders to fingers) from left to right (clockwise) and horizontal to the ground as you are moving the grinding wheel. (Keep the arms straight and horizontal throughout the practice. do not bend your elbows).

• Imagine as if you are grinding wheat with an old fashioned stone grinder.

• When the hands come nearer to the chest, inhale deeply. Abdomen is pressed when the hands move forwards. So exhale at that time. (Inhale while leaning back and exhale while moving forward).

• Make large circular movements over both feet again trying to take the hands over the toes on the forward swing and coming as far back as possible on the backward swing.

• Try to move the body from the waist. While bending the body forward bend from the lower back.

• This process should be repeated both in clock-wise and anti-clockwise directions for ten to fifteen times.

SOME OTHER BENEFITS

By this exercise the elasticity of the spinal column improves. This exercise is also helpful in reducing the abdominal fat and obesity. The fat on the belly decreases. Digestion improves, constipation reduces and hunger increases. The stiffness at the back gets relieved. The upper muscle part on hands gets strengthened. It also exercises thighs and legs muscles. This Asana is excellent for toning the nerves and organs of the pelvis and abdomen. Ladies feel improvement in function of ovaries. It is very useful for regulating the menstrual cycle and may be performed during the first three months of pregnancy. It is an excellent exercise for postnatal recovery. This exercise certainly gives us good health all round.


CAUTION

People suffering from slip disc should avoid this exercise. Those having neck pain and cervical problems should not bend down too much. They should do it as the condition of the body permits.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti