Category Archives: Health

YOGA: An art as well as a Science: 1 to 4

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Yoga, it is a science as well as an art. It’s an art, for unless it is practiced sensitively and intuitively it will yield only superficial results and it’s a science, cause it offers practical ways for controlling mind and body, thereby making non-shallow meditation possible. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual – body with mind and mind with soul – to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with the supreme. Yoga is a very ancient science; it is thousands of years old. The perceptions derived from its practice form the backbone of the greatness of India, which for centuries has been legendary.

Why Yoga is Beneficial

The health and fitness benefits of yoga have long been reported by practitioners and are now being confirmed by scientific research. Give yoga a try and discover what it can do for your body, your mind, and your soul.

  1. All-round fitness. Yoga asana (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase yoga_1strength literally from head to toe. And, while these postures strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, “Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life – in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are.” This is where yoga helps: postures, pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation are a holistic fitness package

  1. Yoga for weight management: Yoga even less can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortical levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self esteem.

  1. Stress relief: A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to get rid of stress that accumulates daily – in both the body and mind. Yoga postures, pranayama and meditation are effective techniques to release stress. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.

  1. Improve Strength: Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while these postures strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.

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YOGA: An art as well as a Science: Continued

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  • Improved immunity: Our system is a seamless blend of the mind, spirit and body. An non-regularity in the body affects the mind and similarly un-pleasantness or rest-lessness in the mind can manifest as an ailment in the body. Yoga poses strengthen muscles and massage organs, meditation and breathing techniques release improve immunity and stress.

 

  • Better flexibility: Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Gradually they begin to use the correct muscles. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible. Yoga also helps to improve body alignment resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.

  • Improved Circulation: Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

Healthy Diet

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to deliver nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development.

A well-balanced healthy diet provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. There are five main food groups that we need to eat food from every day to stay healthy. Food is the fuel for our body and we need the fuel for energy, to help our body grow and repair itself, and to keep warm.

The main 5 food groups are:

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Grains
  4. Protein Food
  5. Dairy Products

FruitFruits:
The fruit food group encompasses a wide range of fresh fruits and fruit products, including dried, frozen and canned fruit, and 100 percent fruit juice. Berries and melons, which tend to be particularly nutrient-dense, are highlighted as important subgroups of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100 percent fruit juice or 1/2 cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup.

 

 

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Vegetables:
The vegetable food group includes an array of fresh vegetables and vegetable products, including frozen, canned and dried vegetables, as well as 100 percent vegetable juice. The main group is divided into subgroups comprised of nutritionally similar foods, including dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables and beans and peas. The purpose of these subgroups is to promote eating a wide variety of vegetables.

 

 

Grains

Grains:
Grains are divided into two groups: whole grains and refined grains. Experts recommend that at least half your grains be whole (the more, the better). Refined grains, such as white-flour products, have been processed and have less nutritional value than whole grains. Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice and wild rice.

 

 

 

High Protein Foods

 

Protein Food:
Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products and beans and peas make up the protein food group. Although they’re included in the vegetable group for their fibre content and nutrient profile, beans and peas are also excellent sources of vegetarian protein.

 

 

 

dairyDairy:
The dairy food group is mostly comprised of dairy products that are high in calcium. All types of yogurt, most cheeses and all liquid milk products are part of the dairy group, as are calciumrich milk-based desserts such as ice cream and pudding.

 

 

A sample of healthy Diet
6-6.30 am: (Within half hour of waking up) – any mid size fruit. (Mango, apple, banana, bowl of papaya, muskmelon, watermelon, orange,)
7.30-8 am: (within an hour of meal 1) serving of carbohydrates with lean protein ( museli/ oat, poha, upma, sandwich, idli-sambhar, dosa, pancakes, sprouts salad) + milk products (Milk, cheese, curds)
9.30 – 11 am: (mid meal) handful of peanuts/chana/almonds/walnuts/khakhra etc
12.30 – 1 pm: (Lunch) 3-4 chapati/1 tbsp rice + 1 bowl dal/pulses + 1 bowl vegetable(leafy one is preferred) + few pieces of raw veggies (salad)
2.30 -3 pm: (mid meal) 1 bowl curd/ 1 cup milk/ 1 cheese slice
4.30 – 5 pm: (mid meal) Brown bread sandwich/ khakhra with cheese spread/ dhokla / idli / plain dosa
6.30- 7 pm: (mid meal) any fruit/ milk/ butter milk
8- 8.30 (dinner) : 1-2 chapati / 1 tbsp long grain rice + dal + salad + 1 bowl veg.
10- 10.30 – 1 glass plain milk.

Exercise: Physical Movement

Exercise is a type of physical movement that’s planned and structured. Physical movement simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Resting, walking, running, dancing, swimming, yoga, and gardening are a few examples of physical activity. For health benefits, physical movement should be moderate or energetic intensity.

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Moderate physical movement include:

  • Walking briskly
  • Bicycling
  • General gardening (raking, trimming shrubs)
  • Dancing
  • Golf (walking and carrying clubs)
  • Water aerobics
  • Canoeing
  • Tennis

Energetic physical movement include:

  • Running/jogging (5 miles per hour)
  • Walking very fast
  • Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
  • Heavy yard work, such as chopping wood
  • Swimming (freestyle laps)
  • Aerobics

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Exercise controls weight
  • Helps protect from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
  • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
  • Exercise Prevent weight gain, support weight loss (when combined with a lowercalorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss.
  • Exercise promotes better sleep
  • Help in relaxation and reduced stress.

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Yoga Asana: Halasana

Halasana

 

Steps-to-do-Halasana
This asana is called the plough pose. In this posture, the abdominal muscles are strengthened and it ensures a healthy condition of the spine. It enhances the flexibility of the spine and all the 31 pairs of spinal nerves are well nourished. Lifting the legs to touch the ground above the head is not easy in the beginning. Try to do only as much as you can. The muscles of the back and rear thighs are affected here. Try to concentrate on what you are doing for better results. Relax into the posture. Feel the changes in your position and in your spine as you come to the starting position.

Steps to follow (Halasana) :

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Raise the legs slowly and touch the ground with the toes above the ground.
  3. Keep the palms flat on the ground.
  4. Do this asana for 1to 2 minutes

Benefits:

  • It cures obesity, constipation, dyspepsia, liver and spleen disorders.
  • It strengthens the abdominal muscles and nourishes the spinal nerves.
  • It also cures myalgia, lumbago, sprain in the neck and neuralgia

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Yoga Asana: Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana

In ancient yoga, as well as in modern science, the spinal cord is the most important and most subtle part of the body. Most asanas involve the spinal column. The asanas are designed to cultivate the root of our tree of life, the spinal column. This asana helps to develop the spine.This asana is also called the Bow pose. In this asana, the focal point of concentration is the spinal column. Just relax in this posture. With full awareness and concentration, feel the pull exerted in the spine and back muscles. Know your flexibility, and do not strain beyond a point. Thoughts must be gently brought back to focus, if they tend to drift away. The mind must be fixed on the bodily movements and should be relaxed.

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Steps to follow (Dhanurasana):

  1. One should lie on the ground facing downwards.
  2. Catch the ankles with the hands by bending the legs backwards.
  3. The body will resemble a bow when you bend the  body by resting on the Abdomen with the spine arched.
  4. This pose must be maintained for a few a seconds, and then come back to the starting position.

 

 

 

 

Benefits:

  • This asana is very good for ladies.
  • It cures constipation and removes excess fat.
  • It acts as a cure for dyspepsia, rheumatism and gastro intestinal disorders.
  • It improves digestion and appetite.

Dhanurasana

Yoga Asana: Anuloma Viloma

Anuloma Viloma

What is Anuloma Viloma?

Anuloma Viloma is a breathing technique. In Sanskrit Anuloma means with the natural order and Viloma means going against. Thus it is called an Alternate Nostril breathing technique. In this breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Anuloma Viloma balances the rhythm of breathing and restores, equalizes the flow of Prana in the body.

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Steps to follow (Anuloma Viloma) :

There are six steps that form one round of Anuloma Viloma. First, raise your right hand, curling your forefinger and middle finger into your palm, leaving thumb, fourth finger, and little finger extended.

 

 

 

  1. Place your thumb on the right side of your nose and apply gentle pressure just under the bone, where the fleshy part of the nose begins.
  2. Inhale through the left nostril, to the count of four.
  3. Hold the breath by closing both the nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
  4. Then exhale through the right nostril, closing the left with the ring and little fingers, to the count of eight.
  5. Inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed with the ring and little fingers, to the count of four.
  6. Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
  7. Exhale through the left nostril, keeping the right closed with the thumb, to the count of eight. Initially practice three rounds and gradually reach upto twenty rounds.

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Benefit:

  • Anuloma Viloma helps to balance and harmonize the functioning of the right and left hemispheres of the brain and ensures optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity.
  • It is the best technique to soothe the nervous system and calms the mind.
  • It encourages the removal of state air and toxins as the exhalations are longer than inhalation in this technique.

Yoga Asana: Vajrasana

Vajrasana

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What is Vajrasana?
‘Vajra’ means diamond. The body is rigid as a diamond in this posture. This is a basic position for many other asanas and meditation.

Steps to follow (Vajrasana) :

  1. With knees, ankles and big toes touching the ground, take a kneeling position.
  2. One should sit on the heels and place palms on the knees.
  3. The Spine should be erect and breath should be deep.
  4. Draw the abdominal region inside and expand the chest.

Benefits:

  • Those suffering from blood pressure will benefit from this asana.
  • It gives longevity and strengthens the spine.

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Yoga Asana: Padmasana (Kamalasana)

Padmasana (Kamalasana)

What is Padmasana?
‘Padma’ and ‘Kamala’ means lotus. The position resembles a lotus, a very calm, peaceful and holy symbol. The Hindu God, Lord Shiva and the founder of Buddhism, Emperor Gautam Buddha are usually depicted in this posture. This is a basic posture on which many other asanas are based. This is also one of the postures for meditation and many other breathing exercises in yoga.

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Steps to follow (Padmasana) :

  1. Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward.
  2. Place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh.
  3. Place the hands on the knee joints.
  4. Keep the body, back and head erect.
  5. Eyes should be closed.
  6. One can do Pranayama in this asana.

Benefits:

  • It helps in improving concentration.
  • It helps to preserve vital fluids in the body.
  • It prevents abdominal diseases and female disorders connected with the reproductive organs.
  • It brings peace, solitude and longevity to the practitioner.

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