Hair loss is one of the most talked about and common conditions that people suffer from, and ironically is one of the most common problems that people want a solution for. Here are some causes of hair fall you should know about. Instead of reaching for artificial methods to stop hair fall and stimulate hair growth, try an all natural method yoga. Here are some of them:
Balayam, literally meaning exercise for the hair, is an acupressure therapy which is useful in increasing the circulation in the scalp and is believed to stimulate the growth of hair. Originally practised a number of years ago, this exercise was made famous by Baba Ramdev. Balayam is a technique where the acupressure points associated with the growth of hair are massaged. These points, mainly present in the tip of the finger (under the finger nails) help stimulate hormones that promote hair growth and hair darkening, help improve circulation in the scalp, revitalise hair follicles and beat oxidative stress (one of the most common reasons for hair fall).
Steps to do this pose: Sit comfortably in padmasana, now bend your finger tips so that they face each other. Point your thumbs away from your fingers (do not rub the tips of the thumbs together). Now, rub the nails of one hand with the nails of the other hand. Make sure you rub only the broadest part of the nails together.
Yoga asanas to beat hair loss:
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Adho Mukho Svanasana: The downward facing dog pose strengthens the arms and shoulders, increases circulation to the head and face, stimulates the nerves of the scalp, tones the muscles and rejuvenates the body.
Steps to do this pose: Lie on your stomach on your yoga mat. Now, place your palms near your ears and point your toes downwards so that your heels are facing the ceiling. Now, exhale and push off your hands such that your buttocks are pointing towards the sky. In this pose you will look like an inverted V . Now push back onto your feet so that they are flat on the floor. You will feet a stretch on your hamstrings. Do not walk closer to your hands to put your feet flat on the floor, this defeats the purpose of doing this pose. Practice this regularly and you will slowly increase your flexibility and be able to flatten your feet.
Uttanasana: This is a forward-bending pose that stretches out the hamstrings, and the muscles of the abdomen. It also makes the blood rush to your head, helping your body switch from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, helping you relax.
Steps to do this pose: To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Then bend forward completely pushing your buttocks back till your palms touch the floor and your forehead touches your knees. If you cannot bend completely, or are uncomfortable with the stretch on your hamstrings, bend your knees a little. Stay in this pose till you are comfortable.. To return back to the standing position, as you inhale slowly bring your arms above your head, raising your upper body. Then as you exhale bring your arms down from front of your face. Do not jerk up. Remember to rise up from the hips, without straining your muscles.
Vajrasana: This is a simple pose that is great to relax the mind and improve digestion. It is believed that a good digestive system is the key to a healthy body. Therefore this asana is ideal to improve hair growth. Vajrasana also massages the kanda spot about 12 inches above the anus that is the point of convergence for over 72,000 nerves. Here is how vajrasana or suptvirasana could help strengthen your legs.
Steps to do this pose: All you need to do is place a yoga mat on the floor. Kneel on the mat, and let the top surface of your feet touch the mat such that your heels are pointing upwards. Now gently place your buttocks on your heels. It is important to note that your heels are on either side of your anus. Now place both your palms on your knees, facing downwards. Close your eye and breath in deeply at a steady rate.
Apanasana: This asanahelps relieve any gas built up in the stomach and abdomen and assists in better digestion, thereby purifying the blood improving the growth of hair by stimulating hair follicles. Apanasana is also a great pose for relaxing the back and the tense muscles of the neck and thighs.
Steps to do this pose: Lie on your back, and place your palms on your knees. As you exhale pull your legs to your chest gently. Allow your legs to move with the strength of your thighs rather than using your arms to pull them in too much. When you inhale loosen your grip, allowing your legs to move completely away from your tummy. Do this for a few breaths at your own pace. Let your breath guide your movement. Hold this position for some time. Close your eyes, and if your mind is not at rest try counting your breaths. This helps reign in the mind and helps it calm down. When you feel calm, slowly lower your legs to the floor and relax.
Sarvangasana: This pose is essentially known for its ability to regulate the working of the thyroid glands and helps the head get ample supply of blood, helping in hair growth. Since the thyroid glands are responsible for the proper functioning of the entire body including the digestive, nervous and reproductive system, regulating metabolism and the working of the respiratory system and mitigating hair fall, this pose is a boon for those suffering from conditions like male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness and hair fall due to hormonal imbalance. Apart from that, it nourishes the spine with a good supply of blood and oxygen, helping you beat nervous system disorders, and improving your all round health.
Steps to do this pose: Lie on a yoga mat with your legs extending outwards. Now slowly raise your legs either by first folding them at the knees or by lifting them straight. Place your palms along your back and hips to support it, and raise your body while pointing your toes to the ceiling. All your weight should be on your shoulders. Make sure you breathe slowly and lock your chin into your chest. Your elbows should be touching the floor and your back should be supported. Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable. To return to the lying position, slowly lower your body. Do not fall back to the lying position.
Tips to keep in mind: Do not do this pose if you suffer from any neck or spinal injuries. If you do have high blood pressure, perform this exercise only under supervision.
Breathing techniques that help in hair growth
Kapalbhati Pranayam: This is a form of breathing exercise that helps to oxygenate your body while strengthening the muscles of your stomach and abdomen. It also helps to give one's scalp all the oxygen it needs to rejuvenate damaged hair and helps it grow. Kapalbhati pranayam also improves digestion, an added bonus when it comes to beating hair loss.
Steps to do this pose: Sit comfortably on your yoga mat. Keep your spine erect and your palms on your knees facing downwards. Now exhale through your nose and pull your stomach in towards your spine. When you loosen your stomach muscles you will automatically breath in. Quickly contract your stomach muscles again and exhale. Your stomach muscles should be doing the work of pushing out and pulling in air. Do this initially about 50 times, you can increase the number of repetitions as you feel comfortable. After doing this form of breathing you will initially feel some soreness around the muscles of your stomach and abdomen. This is normal.
Tip: Avoid doing this pose if you have high blood pressure, a hernia or heart disease.
Anulom vilom: This breathing technique keeps your lungs healthy, fights free radicals produced due to stress, helps in the proper circulation of oxygenated blood throughout the body and can help relieve a cold by stimulating the inner mucosal lining. Because of its multiple benefits on the body and its systems, it also leads to the growth of healthy hair, by nourishing the scalp. The constant and regulated breathing also massages, cleanses and tones the entire nervous system making you feel much more relaxed. Apart from all this it also strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, increases lung function, keeps the digestive system healthy, and most importantly gives your skin a lovely internal glow. You could also try hatha yoga for other health benefits.
Steps to do this pose:
Sit on a mat on the floor. Cross your legs into the padmasana pose. If you cannot fold your knees completely, bend them as much as you can. In case of people with arthritis, they can sit on a wooden chair with a straight back. Now place one hand with the palms facing the ceiling. Place the the thumb of your other hand on one nostril and fold the index finger. Keep the ring finger extended so that it can be used to close the other nostril. Do not lift your elbow too high, your hand will get fatigued after a while. Leave it loose and by your side. Now inhale deeply through one nostril while keeping the other one closed with your finger. Now, open the other nostril and close the one you breathed in with and exhale. This is one cycle. To start the next cycle, breath in through the same nostril that you exhaled out of and repeat the process.
Remember, not to slouch or raise your shoulders while breathing in. Also, breathe in deeply using your lungs and try not to allow the air to fill in your stomach.