Yoga derives its name from the word ‘Yuj’, which means to connect, join, or unite. It has been a part of our lives and culture for centuries. The origin of this word points to the basic meaning of Yoga, which is to establish a connection between mind and body and experience peace and harmony in day-to-day activities. The art of yoga has given us numerous physical and mental health benefits.
With a history of 5000 years, yoga has been practiced by people for different reasons. It has been practiced for spiritual attainments, flexibility, improving oxygen supply and blood circulation in the body, and reducing stress. It has been found through several clinical tests that Yoga exercises positively impact the Red Blood Cells which carry oxygen inside our body. This helps in the reduction of age-related inflammation that affects the sensitivity to hearing and smelling in elderly individuals
Recent researches show that yoga can be useful in improving our hearing, and preventing hearing loss and hearing issues like tinnitus. Moreover, yoga is greatly helpful for people with hearing loss as well.
Yoga helps people with hearing loss by:
- Increasing the blood flow to the ears
Yoga increases blood flow into the inner ears as it reduces the stress and adrenaline in the body. This blood flow also increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients inside the inner ears. The increased blood flow and nutrition supply increase the sensitivity of the tiny hair cells in the inner ears. When the blood supply is reduced or cut off, these tiny hair cells can get damaged leading to hearing loss.
- Releasing dopamine or feel-good hormones
Yoga helps in increasing the Gamma-aminobutyric acid which acts as a good neuro-transmission chemical inside the brain. Through research, it has been found that people with low Gamma-aminobutyric acid are at a higher risk of issues such as tinnitus, depression and anxiety. It has also been found that with just one 60-minute session of yoga, GABA increases by 27%.
- Relaxing muscles around the ears
Yoga helps in the relaxation of muscles in the neck and around the ears. These relaxed muscles enhance the blood flow to the ears. This helps in preventing hearing loss and issues like tinnitus. The nerve function near the ears increases and also helps in preserving the health of auditory nerves. Apart from this, the pranayama exercises in yoga which mainly consist of breathing exercises, increase the blood and oxygen supply to the inner ears.
Yoga poses that help in increasing hearing ability and prevent hearing loss:
Karna Rogantak Aasana:
Karna Rogantaka Aasana is known to be believed as one solution to all ear health issues by many yoga gurus and experts. In Karna Rogantaka Aasana, the inhaled air is circulated through the ears, nostrils and throat which makes this aasana a perfect cure for issues like tinnitus and hearing loss. To state specifically, with help of this Yoga aasana the irritating guny sound in the ear will be cured.
Steps to perform Karna Rogantaka Aasana:
1) First Inhale deeply through both nostrils
2) Then close both nostrils and mouth with fingers of your right hand
3) Now while keeping nose and mouth closed, exhale slowly. In this situation the air moves inside the ears.
Caution: People suffering from Red eye, ear leakage and those who have gone through ear and eye surgery in past one year should avoid doing this Yoga aasana.
Karna Rogantaka Aasana Ref Video:
Brahmari Pranayam, which is also called the Bee Breath mainly works for the ears, nose, throat, face, and brain. In this pranayama, a humming sound is generated with the ears and eyes closed. This creates a simulation inside the ears, nose, and head, which generates electrical impulses and improves hearing.
Brahmari Pranayam is effective in the treatment of tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss.
Steps to perform Brahmari:
- Begin with sitting in Padmasana.
- Close your ears with your respective thumbs and close your eyes with your middle and ring fingers.
- Keeping the mouth close, inhale deeply.
- And let the air out through the nose while making a humming sound
Brahmari Aasana Ref Link:
Greeva Chalaan is one of the most suitable yoga aasana for stimulating and relieving all sensory organs around the neck region. This makes it suitable for ear health and alleviating issues related to hearing.
Greeva Chalaan is also very useful for relieving stress as the slow movements of the neck with deep and rhythmic movements calm and relax the mind. It is also useful for people with vertigo, cervical spondylosis and high blood pressure.
Steps to perform Greeva Chalaan
- Head rotation exercise-
Rotate the head first to the right then back to the normal position and then left.
- Neck flexion exercise (upwards and downwards)-
First tuck the chin slightly towards the chest by gently bending the head downward. Then gently bend the head upward towards the back without forcing yourself
- Lateral Neck flexion exercise-
In this exercise, first touch the right ear with the respective shoulder by bending the neck sideways. Then come back to the normal position and slowly bend the neck towards the left shoulder.
Greeva Chalaan Ref Video :
Kumbhaka pranayama or Kumbhaka respiratory exercise stimulates the ears and nose. While performing this yoga aasana, one has to exhale the air from the lungs in a steady manner with maximum capacity. This yoga aasana is very useful in regenerating the hearing area.
Steps to perform Kumbhaka
- Begin by sitting in padmasana
- Take deep breaths slowly through your nostrils
- Then slowly bend the neck down and tuck the chin into your chest.
- Now close your nose with your thumb and ring finger and hold the breath.
- Then slowly remove the thumb and finger and lift your head steadily while exhaling through the nostrils.
- Repeat these steps for 15 minutes
Kumbhaka Aasana Ref Video:
Viparita Karani Aasana
Viparita Karani aasana helps in correcting the circulation of blood in the body. With the help of this aasana, the blood is properly circulated into every part of the body. Hence, it can alleviate any illness including tinnitus in the body. This asana is also called the Legs Up in The Wall pose. It helps in relieving stress and balancing the fluids in the ear region.
Steps to perform Viparita Karani:
1) Sit in front of a wall while facing it.
2) Now lie down and gently raise your legs against the wall.
3) Then stretch your arms with palms facing upwards.
4) Now close your eyes and breathe.
5) Then come back to the normal position after 10 minutes.
Viparita Karani Aasana Ref Video:
Matsya aasana helps in alleviating blood circulation-related issues which happen generally around the head and part of the ears. As we age, the blood supply in the head and parts of the ear reduces. Matsya aasana is easy to perform for elderly people and very helpful in relaxing the muscles around the neck and ears. It also helps in balancing the fluids in the ears. This helps in preventing any hearing-related issues.
While performing this aasana, the throat and the upper neck area is stretched. It also helps in strengthening the upper back region and the neck muscles.
Steps to perform Matsya Aasana:
1) First, lie on your back with hands gently placed on your side
2) Then put your palms under the hip for support
3) Now inhale deeply and gently raise the head and the upper torso.
4) While remaining in the same position, lower your head towards the back to touch the ground
5) Lift the chest up with the help of elbows while breathing in and out
6) Relax slowly by coming back to the normal position.
Matsya Aasana Ref Video:
Practicing yoga regularly comes with several benefits for our body and mind. According to a study in the journal “International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology”, yoga contributes greatly in pacifying issues like chronic tinnitus which mainly happen due to harmful audio consumption and due to stress. Another study present in “The Hearing Journal”, suggests that people over the age of 50 without any history of genetic hearing loss can easily maintain their hearing ability by practicing yoga five days a week, for at least 30 minutes.
In order to maintain your hearing, one has to be aware of practices that help in the restoration of ear health. Because, just like without following a good diet plan, any amount of exercise doesn’t help you get fit. Similarly, just practicing yoga without avoiding unhealthy audio consumption will not help in maintaining your ear health. One has to be aware of the harmful effects of excessive use of regular headphones/ earphones which cause stress around the neck and ears and cause hearing loss.
WeHear is working hard to bring about this awareness that would help the present generation and our future generations prevent hearing loss or issues like tinnitus.
On this International Day of Yoga, WeHear team members took part in the morning yoga session organized by the Athayog Living in Bangalore. The team also helped people learn about healthy listening habits and how yoga helps in conservation of our ear health.
Reference Link :