Fitness

Asanas: To keep you cool this summer

Sure, you could eat watermelon or take a dip in the pool, but yoga can help your body and mind chill out.

WORDS BY- RUCHI LALCHANDANI

Summer is here. The time of year with the longest daylight hours and a bright sun that is heating up everything and everyone. When overheated, we tend to become more competitive, self-critical, and agitated. Part of the fun of steamy weather is finding the best ways to cool off. Sure, you could eat a slice of watermelon or take a dip in the pool, but yoga can also help your body beat the heat (and your mind chill out).
According to Ayurveda, the science of health native to India, summer inspires the pitta dosha. The doshas are the body errors, that help to create one’s individual constitution, and there are three different doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
Pitta is driven predominately by the solar force, so when the natural cycle of the seasons brings us to the sunny summer months, it is important to pacify the natural pitta inside our bodies so that we avoid the hot climate with similar internal energy. In doing so, we allow ourselves to enjoy the full excitement and thrill that summer brings, without being flooded by too much of one energetic force.

But how do we balance that pitta energy?
During this time of year, a good counter for the sunny weather would be to create a lunar current within the body by focusing on activities and foods that are cooling. This approach will nourish your system and help increase your energy levels.

6 cooling summer yoga poses:
One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Here are a few cooling yoga poses you can include in your daily routine:
1. Moon Salutations: These are a variation of your Sun Salutes. If you want to do regular Sun Salutations, try to walk forward rather than jump forward to maintain the low vibratory feeling.

2. Supported Backbends: Try Bridge Pose

3. Legs Up the Wall: Remember to keep your tailbone flush against the wall and your legs straight up.

4. Supported Shoulder Stand: Place a blanket or towel under the shoulders, letting your neck dip off the edge.

5. Forward Folds: Try Seated Forward Fold or Wide-Legged Forward Fold.

6. Floor Twists: You can do these seated or lie on your back.

All these poses send a calming wave through the nervous system and serve the body’s attempts to self-regulate.

Breathwork: Cooling Pranayama

After you complete your asanas, weave in one or both of the following cooling pranayama (breath work)

1.Shitali Pranayama: This technique is done by curling the sides of your tongue towards one another and sticking your tongue out through your lips. Inhale through your rolled tongue and exhale out through the nose. Repeat 5-20 times. If you have difficulty curling your tongue, try to touch your tongue behind your teeth; inhale through the lips, exhale through the nose.
2.Single-Nostril Breathing: This technique isolates one nostril. For the summer months, we are targeting the left nostril, which is called the Ida Nadi(“subtle channel”), which is the body’s cooling channel and is located on the lunar side of the body. Close the right side of the nostril and breathe in and out through the left nostril for 5-20 breaths. Cooling foods, herbs and spices

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YOGA POSES TO INSTANTLY BOOST MOOD

MOOD swings are the most dreaded thing for women. We go from “the happiest person alive” to “will kill every single soul alive” in a fraction of a second and the worst part is we cannot control it, we have absolutely no power over it.

MOOD swings are the most dreaded thing for women. We go from “the happiest person alive” to “will kill every single soul alive” in a fraction of a second and the worst part is we cannot control it, we have absolutely no power over it.

In today’s hectic lifestyle women find it difficult to take time out for yoga and meditation to keep stress at bay. Women who have a busy schedule can practice these simple Yoga Asanas for instant mood and stress buster.

A session of yoga can last anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour; an average session is thirty minutes. Forty-five minutes is usually ample time to do all the yoga postures for anxiety and depression with feeling and focus.

Postures of yoga should not be mistaken as simply stretching of the limbs. Every pore of your existence talks to you if you do them with feeling and that is how yoga for mental health yields the greatest result.

Get an instant lift with yoga poses that will help increase endorphins, battle depression, and instantly boost your mood.

THE TREE POSE
Take a yoga mat. Stand straight on it. Now, slowly rise one foot up and place it on your other knee. Try to balance your body while balancing the position, slowly raise your arms above your head along with inhaling. Now, join both your palms together and form Surya Namskar pose with one leg.

THE CAMEL POSE
Kneel down on the yoga mat. Now, exhale and bend backwards, stretch your arms backside and touch your toes. You will feel your spine stretching along with your abdominal muscles. Stretch your throat and move your head backwards. Stay like this for a minute and then release to get back in the initial position, sitting back on your heels.

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CHILD POSE
Keep your legs hip-width apart and gently inhale as you kneel on your hands and knees. Your head will rest between your arms and your palms facing down. Straighten your toes so your toenails touch the floor, keeping them relaxed. Exhale and lower your rear towards your heels. This naturally stretches your torso, and as it folds over your thighs, bend your neck so your forehead touches the floor. Gently inhale and bring your arms by your thighs. The palms will face up presently. Breathe slowly and hold this anxiety yoga posture for thirty seconds.

Easy Yoga Poses to Relieve Sciatica Pain

SCIATICA has a long (and considerable a painful) history. The pain of sciatica goes back as far as the 5th century BCE, doctors and sufferers have tried many imaginative remedies, from leeches and hot coals during Roman times to the usage of modern medicine like pills, creams and injections. The cause of sciatic pain is still under covers but more than 2 million people in India suffer from sciatica, and over a lifetime, an individual has a 40 per cent probability of experiencing it. But on a good note, a mindful, targeted yoga practice can help one overcome the pain.

What Causes Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can be caused by herniation in your lumbar spine – this is the part of your spine that curves inward, near your lower-middle back. This is serious and you should consult a doctor about this immediately. But nearly 70 per cent of sciatica cases is caused by piriformis. This muscle is one of a few small deep hip rotators that you use to turn your thigh out.
In order to reduce pain in your sciatica, particularly if your pain is caused by the piriformis, there are a few backs stretches you can perform that originate in yoga to help stretch your lower back and to help prevent or stop sciatica pain.
1. DANDASANA – The Dandasana or the Staff Pose is a basic, seated pose. It is said to flex the lower back and give the legs a good stretch. This promotes healthy circulation of blood, especially in the affected areas, and releases the pressure built up in the sciatic area, giving it enough space to breathe.
2. ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA - The Ardha Matsyendrasana gives the body a good twist. This twist flexes the hips and lower back and relaxes the area. Blood circulation is enhanced, and pain is reduced.
3. SALABHASANA – The Locust Pose strengthens the lower back and promotes healthy circulation in the lower hip area. This helps release the sciatic pain because when there is a lack of circulation, pressure builds up in that area.

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4. BHUJANGASANA – The Bhujangasa or the Cobra Pose is a basic, but powerful pose. It gives your lower back and spine a good stretch and relieves the pain caused by a slipped disc, which is one of the major causes of sciatica.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

YOGA FOR Constipation Cure

WHEN we think of yoga, we think deep stretches and patterned breathing, but this ancient art is more than flexibility and stretching. Yoga decreases the risk of postpartum depression in reducing levels of inflammation in people with heart diseases. Spending more time on your yoga mat benefits you from head to toe.
Yes, it also includes your gut. The most common cause of constipation, gas and other gut-related troubles has to do with the unhealthy, fast-paced lifestyles. Poor eating choices, stress, and hectic schedules can cause various digestive problems and infrequent bowel movements.
Constipation has different meanings for different people. For some, untimely stools mean constipation while for some, it is the passage of hard stool. Whatever may be the case, the most common explanation for the cause of this problem is undoubtedly our unhealthy lifestyle. Also, a diet low on fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, especially food low on fibre, causes constipation. Less intake of water is another reason.
YOGA TO THE RESCUE
But the good news is, there’s nothing to worry about because before constipation gets serious and results in other stomach disorders, we can take care of it with regular practice of yoga exercises. Infrequent bowel movements lead to straining and bloating of stomach and are not taken care at the time they lead to hazardous pelvic diseases.

Treatment helps many people find relief from constipation. But as we say prevention is better than cure. So, the best way to prevent it is to inculcate Yoga in our daily routine.
Yoga helps revitalize our body and increases the flow of blood and oxygen in the system. Since most of the yoga postures involve pelvic movement, yoga practice can really help in relieving our constipation woes.
Here are some postures which, if practised regularly, can set infrequent bowel movements to normal.
Asanas
-Pawanmuktasana
-Ardhamatysendrasana
-Halasana
-Matsyasna
– Vajrasana
So, stop worrying and start practising! Just a few minutes of your daily time and you can look forward to a healthy digestive system and a happier you! Don’t forget to improve your dietary habits as well – fibre-rich food, fruits and vegetables, and enough intake of water will all help keep constipation woes away!

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Meditation – Deep Thought

Are you cooking with your heart and soul in it? Are you listening to music becoming one with the lyrics and the melody? Are you running on the treadmill with every thought of yours given to your limbs, heart rate and speed? If you’re doing any of these, you’re meditating. Yes, you surely meditate sitting still on a cushion with your eyes closed and listening to the voice commands of a master. But you do meditate when you do anything that you LOVE to, when you give something a deep thought with openness of mind or try to throw yourself away and befriend who you are.

The Sanskrit word “yoga” means “union with the divine”. The stretching exercises that we in the west associate with yoga were originally designed, thousands of years ago, to help the practitioner gain control of their own life force, a spiritual energy known as Kundalini. The stretches, however, are not the only aspect of yoga. Meditation is also a key facet of yoga. Ensure you choose the right location and prepare yourself adequately, your yoga meditation will be a very beneficial experience.

Why to meditate?
For general well-being and health, meditate. For quality sleep and reduced stress levels, meditate. For improved strength, will-power and healthy relationships, meditate. Yes, for better concentration, change in outlook and no frustration, do meditate. Want to cure your diseases, reduce/gain weight, fulfil your dreams, have a better life; give it all that it takes but do make it a point to meditate. Give yourself commands, visualize your changed self, imagine you have already become what you wish to. And, after you’re benefitted, do advocate the wonderful habit to others.

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How to meditate?
Do every single thing that you do with awareness. Be in the moment. Know why you’re doing that thing, how are you doing it and whether you’re doing it well. You need not sit at a quiet place and urging inner peace to come. Mind is a monkey. It keeps jumping. Let it! Bring in total awareness in the act; you could be working out, listening to a dear one, singing a song or driving on a busy road. Be mindful. Do every action with thorough concentration. Soon you will realize that all that you do, you do it correctly, you do it well and you do it much faster!

Inhale the light Healing with spirituality of Yoga

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The dictionary meaning of Yoga, says it’s ‘a set of physical and mental exercises that controls the mind and body. It is a combination of breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. The ancient practice from India has crossed the shores and the world today, is in the awe of it. We are often oblivious to the fact how good our body can feel; how wonderfully our mind can lure our body and rule it too! Regular yoga practice ensures that we learn to observe ourselves objectively like an outsider does.

We are the creators of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and behaviour. It goes without saying that we have the sole control over ourselves. It is important to include Yoga in the routine for the self-esteem, peace, confidence, stress, body flexibility, it renews the self with mind, body and spirit in total synchorinisation.

Starting with this issue, we will see the transformation that yoga can bring in you.

Kapaalbhaati Pranayama
The forehead shining breathing technique doubles up as a warm up. Sit comfortably. Inhale well and exhale deeply, both through the nose alone. It flushes away the toxins of mind and body and this pranayama is supposed to bring innumerable benefits for your heart, lungs, stomach and brain.

Surya Namaskaar
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a sequence of 12 powerful yoga poses. Besides being a great cardiovascular workout, Surya Namaskar is also known to have an immensely positive impact on the body and mind. Each round of Sun Salutation consists of two sets, and each set is composed of 12 yoga poses. You might find several versions on how to practice Sun Salutation. However, it is advisable to stick to one version and practice it regularly for best results.

Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provides an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet.

Matsyasana
Matsyasana or Fish Pose is an asana. This asana aims at being focused and resilient when you feel out of balance, just as the Matsya struck that balance between the earth and the sea.
It is essential to make sure that your bowels and stomach are empty before you perform this asana. This pose works best in the morning.

Bhujangasana
This magical backbend takes care of your digestive system, menstrual uneasiness and lower back. Do up to 3 rounds of 30 seconds.

Shalabhasana
This asana invigorates all the internal organs and improves blood circulation in the entire body. Do up to 3 rounds of 30 seconds each.

Shavasana
End your yoga practice by this relaxing, calming and meditative pose.
Please refer to your physician before you start any yoga practice.