There is an old saying that there are no remedies for two illnesses; envy and baldness. While the sufferers of the former still don’t have a hope in sight, however, we have hit upon something for the latter in the healing art of yoga. Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice whose origin is speculated to have been anywhere between 10000 to 5000 BC. Due to its holistic benefits and with mounting scientific evidence, yoga is recommended for a plethora of ailments and not surprisingly, it also helps in reducing hairfall. Anup Thomas
, a Yoga expert discusses the reasons for hairfall and how Yoga can help to prevent it.
There are many reasons which can lead to hairfall, some are in your control and many are not. Factors such as diet, stress, hereditary are to name a few. While hereditary reasons are out of our control, factors such as diet, exercise and stress management is very much under our control.
Restorative Yoga to reduce stress and hairfall
It has been proven that stress and anxiety can lead to an increase in hair fall. Many of us may think that stress is not under our control but in reality, stress is just a byproduct of our thoughts. The more you think about things out of your control, the more stressed you feel. Stress comes from uncertainty about the future or when you think your life circumstances are not under your control. Regular practice of restorative and mindful practice can be very effective in combating stress that comes from worrying thoughts. Yoga helps you to disconnect from the stress of daily life and brings upon a sense of gratitude and fulfilment.
All forward folding postures and inversions which brings the head below the heart may help reduce hairloss as the blood rushes to the scalp and nourishes the hair follicles with oxygenated blood. Some of the most recommended postures for preventing hair loss are Hastapadasana (forward fold), Shirshasana (headstand), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) and Sarvangasana (shoulder stand).
Stand straight with feet together and arms alongside the body. Balance your weight equally on both feet. While breathing in, extend your arms overhead. While breathing out, bend forward and down towards the feet. Stay in the posture for 20-30 seconds and continue to breath deeply. Keep the legs and spine erect; hands rest either on the floor, beside the feet or on the legs. While exhaling, move the chest towards the knees; lift the hips and tailbone higher; press the heels down; let the head relax and move it gently towards the feet. Keep breathing deeply. While breathing in, stretch your arms forward and up, slowly come up to the standing position. While breathing out, bring the arms to the sides. Sit in Vajrasana, and bend forward with folded forearms resting on the ground with interlocked fingers. The head and the hands are on the floor and form a triangle. Place the crown of the head between the interlocked fingers. Slowly, balance the head on the fingers. Lift the knees and glutes off the floor and straighten them. Slowly walk the feet towards the trunk. Now, prepare to lift yourself off the floor – bend the knees, keeping the heels near the buttocks, and slowly straighten the hips so that the thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly straighten the knees and the calves till the entire body is vertical – one straight line with the feet relaxed. Balance the body and maintain this position for a few seconds or as long as you are comfortable. Focus your attention on the breath, and the head region. While coming back, follow the steps in reverse order. Slowly, fold the legs and bring the thighs back to the perpendicular position. Slowly, drop the legs to the ground.To regain balance from the inverted position, sit in Shishuasana (Child Pose) for some time. Release the hand position, and sit in Vajrasana. Rest for a few minutes in Savasana (Corpse Pose).
Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table. As you breath out, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body. Hands should be shoulder width apart, feet at hip width and parallel to each other and toes pointing straight ahead. Press your hands onto the ground. Widen the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms. Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel. Exhale. Bend the knees, return to table pose. Relax.
Lie on your back with hands by your side. With one movement, lift your legs, buttocks and back so that you come up high on your shoulders. Support your back with the hands. Move your elbows closer towards each other, and move your hands along your back, creeping up towards the shoulder blades. Keep straightening the legs and spine by pressing the elbows down to the floor and hands placed on your back. Your weight should be supported on your shoulders and upper arms and not on your head and neck. Keep the legs firm. Lift your heels higher as though you are putting a footprint on the ceiling. Bring the big toes straight over the nose. Now point the toes up. Keep the neck strong with a feeling of tightening the neck muscles slightly. Press your sternum toward the chin. Keep breathing deeply and stay in the posture for 30-60 seconds. Bring your hands to the floor, palms facing down. Without lifting the head slowly bring your spine down, completely to the floor. Lower the legs to the floor. Relax for a minimum of 60 seconds.