Bally Chohan Fitness Tips

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Dhanurasana - The Bow Pose

"Dhanus" means "bow" in Sanskrit. As the name suggests, this asana involves stretching the body to prepare a shape of a bow, drawn tight to shoot an arrow. The arms and lower legs are stretched in thye form to give an impression of the taut bowstring, while the trunk and thighs give an impression of the wooden part of the bow.

  • Start with lying down straight on your abdomen, along with chest and chin resting on the ground.
  • Keep the arms at a distance from the body stretched on the sides. Feet must be at a little distance from each other.
  • Lift the legs up and bend them backwards holding the ankles with hands firmly.
  • Keep the arms stiff and straight. There must be a comfortable distance between knees.
  • Lift your chin up and bend your head and neck in the backward direction but ensure not to lift up the chest.
  • Breathe in, stretch the legs gradually in upward direction towards the ceiling (not the head).
  • The most important step is to pull hard against the ankles, raise the knees, thighs, hips, the lower region of the navel, chest, shoulders, chin, neck and head upward all together to the extent the body is balanced on the navel region which alone should touch the floor.
  • Make an arch with the help of back to the extent you feel comfortable, using the arms and legs tugging at each other.
  • Keep the big toes, the inner edges of the feet and the knees closer gradually and join them together.
  • Make the shape of a bow with your head lifted up and backward and keep looking up.
  • Get relaxed and hold your breath so as to maintain the posture to the extent of strain.
  • Breathe out, and gradually come back to the original position in the reverse order.
  • Patients of high blood pressure, heart ailments, stomach ulcer, colitis, hernia or slipped disc are advised not to perform this asana.
  • It is recommended for the people who have undergone any surgical abdominal procedure to avoid this asana till recovered fully.
  • Women are advised not to practice this asana during pregnancy.
  • Dhanurasana is a beneficial remedy for rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints, hands.
  • Helps to get rid of pain in the neck and back, and also certain types of lumbar pain.
  • Helps to cure sciatica.
  • Beneficial to set right slipped disc.
  • Good remedy to get rid of flatulence after meals.
  • One can get permanent releif from dyspepsia, sluggishness of the liver and urinary troubles.
  • The asana synchronizes the peristaltic action of the intestines thereby curing constipation. It also helps to cure piles.
  • The patients of diabetes must do this asana regularly to cure diabetes as it stimulates pancreatic action.
  • It prevents sterility.
  • Dhanurasana is specially beneficial for the muscles of the thighs and buttocks to give them strength. It makes the abdominal, lumbar and pelvic muscles supple and strong.
  • This asana improves the functioning of the heart, liver, spleen, bladder, the genital organs and the solar plexus.
  • Dhanurasana cures indigestion by stimulating gastric secretions and helps to combat congestion of blood in the abdominal viscera.
  • It diminishes the extra fat around the abdomen, waist, hips and thighs and thus helps women who are weight conscious.
  • It balances the posture. It also rectifies slouching.

Yoga for Diabetes

Diabetes is known as a common killer all over the world. On an average, around 18 million Americans suffer from it. Diabetes is a medical condition in which insulin is not produced or used within our body, and that is responsible for transformation of sugar, starches and other food items into energy.

Diabetes is basically divided into two types: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when insulin is not produced in the body and even yoga cannot treat it. Here insulin doses need to be inserted in the patient’s body externally as insulin shots or insulin pumps. On the other hand, Diabetes 2, the main reason of which is inadequate life style or stress-related ailments, has a treatment in yoga better than medications. Irrespective of the age and sex, this form of diabetes can be developed in anyone’s body. Although lifestyle changes need to be administered, additionally, yoga makes our body more energetic and life style more balanced to keep the diabetic symptoms under control. Yoga asanas help to combat negative effects of stress-related ailments.

Yoga experts recommend sun salutation, the most effective exercise for diabetic patients. It helps to stimulate blood supply to various parts of the body and thereby increasing the absorption of insulin in the body. This exercise works as a miracle and gives immediate benefits if four rounds are done within a minute. If done at a slow pace, it gives the benefits of asanas.

Along with sun salutation, few asanas are also prescribed for curing diabetes completely. The body gets relaxed due to Asanas. Due to the various twisting and stretching experienced during the asanas, the internal organs of the body are stretched and subjected to strain. As a result the flow of blood increases and oxygen intake of the organs gets stimulated, thereby increasing effectiveness of all body systems. The various asanas which prove beneficial for a diabetes patient are Dhanurasana, Ardhamatsyendrasana, Vajrasana Yoga Mudra, Pavan Muktasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana and Matsyasana.

The pranayamas are also effective in curing diabetes. Pranayamas relaxes the mind, brain and nervous system simultaneously, thereby decreasing stress levels and thus helps in the treatment of diabetes. Pranayamas also help to improve the oxygen intake of the body and reduces carbon dioxide levels in the blood. However, an important thing which needs to be kept in mind is that pranayamas should be practiced under the expert guidance of a Yoga Guru.

When we talk about stress management, the discussion is incomplete without talking about meditation. It is recommended to practice meditation for diabetic treatment as it helps in stress reduction. Meditation not only creates a calming effect on the nervous system, but also synchronizes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Concentration on pancreas during the meditation significantly reduces the sugar levels, and that is indispensable for diabetes treatment.

Besides all recommended yoga exercises, one can also do yoga nidra and the cleansing processes like shanka prakshalana.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yoga For Men

Yoga, the buzz word of today, is the need of today’s technological era. Especially for men, yoga offers beneficial asanas that help men to keep pace with rapidly moving life?

Men generally spend most of the time of their life in comparatively more strenuous activities for which they need to be fit and have strength both - physically and mentally. Practicing yoga Asanas makes their body flexible and sporty so that they can get easily involved in sports and other physical activities and reduce the frequency and intensity of the jerks and wounds that come packed with these activities. When yoga and meditation become a regular and routine activity of men’s life, they can introspect easily and can listen to their inner voice, and develop a more positive view attitude, thus, improving their relations in the society.

If we look at Yoga as a holistic approach that works on all body systems then only we can understand how yoga helps men to get both strength and flexibility and that is what men need. That is why yoga is reliable method to become fit and healthy. Yoga is becoming more popular among men, and for good reason. Not only it reduces the risk of heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure, but also assures you of a life free from ailments. As stress has become a part of everyone’s life and men are more prone to become a prey of it, yoga helps to lead a stress free life by synchronizing mind-body which is necessary for a person’s health and general well being. In India, although the practice of yoga has been since ages but has got tremendous popularity in the past few decades .Virtually all the Indian masters who brought yoga in the west were men.

Contrary to the western countries where yoga has been largely practiced by women, in India it’s domain of men. However we all must include Yoga in our daily chores for overall fitness and healthy lifestyle.

The most interesting fact is that Yoga helps you to know your body better and the strength and weakness of your own body in your own terms. While making future plans in the present your ability to cope with change without losing your balance becomes easier. Men today are equally concerned about their health and fitness as Women and hence adapt to yoga more often than women Irrespective of the benefits of today’s technological advancement, the stress for men has grown up many times than few it was decades ago. Stress not only affects our health negatively but also spoils our relations in society. Definitely men find the solution in yoga

A lot of information is available about yoga through various sources. So let’s make our life easier with the help of Yoga and bring surprising changes in our life?


Monday, November 23, 2009

Yoga for Constipation

We all face so many problems and challenge in our life everyday but some where we feel confident that we can handle whatever comes in our way. But sometimes a very small problem can soil not only our mood but a whole day. And that is constipation.

Yes, constipation — a major problem of our daily life. Everyone in the world suffers from it sometimes in life and at least once. We all have a habit to ignore Constipation as long as there is no major problem that crop up if constipation is not treated properly for a long period and the result is the complications like abdomen pain, formation of wind, appetite loss, headache, lethargy, distension of the abdomen, nervous exhaustion, pimples, rheumatism, arthritis and lastly, the deadly cancer.

As a temporary treatment for the time being laxatives can be used, but body becomes habitual of it in the long run when used regularly and suddenly we feel that effects are gone away. Doctors also warn not to use laxatives regularly. As an alternate therapy Yoga is a better option to get rid of constipation. The following asanas may prove beneficial to cure constipation:
  • Bhujanghasana: Cures constipation by releasing gas from the body and improves digestion.
  • Trikonasana: It eases to pass stool without any difficulty.
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana: It stimulates digestive juices and benefits to cure constipation.
  • Supta Vajrasana: It helps in digestion and provides relief from constipation.
Apart from these four asanas, a patient of chronic constipation, should also try Dhanurasana, Sarvangasana, Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and Mayurasana.

All these yoga poses realign the abdominal movements and as a result there is no difficulty to pass the stool. The main aim of these asanas is to modify the human digestive system and therefore, one can get rid of constipation completely from the digestive system. It is recommended to take care of diet and adequate sleep in order to treat other ailments along with curing constipation, with the help of these yoga postures.

However, it is advised to practice all these asanas under the guidance of yoga expert. A word of caution is to avoid these postures if you are pregnant or having a heart troubles.

Doctors advise a constipation patient to avoid taking too much of tea, coffee or junk food. The diet must incorporate all necessary vitamins and minerals to make it healthy and balanced and at least 1.5 litres of water should be consumed by the person.

Earlier it was assumed that only yogis are allowed to practice yoga. But that’s not true. A common man can practice yoga to treat not just constipation but also various dreadful diseases. So include yoga in your daily life in order to make your life happier and free from diseases.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yoga And Food

Q1. Do I need to consult a yoga teacher for my diet chart?
Basically a yoga teacher cannot teach what experience can teach to anyone. One must enjoy whatever one eats and drinks and therefore get maximum health benefits that cannot be obtained if one takes food just because it is recommended and not enjoyable. Hence one must set one’s own rules and discipline for making diet chart. There are a lot of things that cannot be ignored while choosing diet. They are age, size, weight, habits, tastes, metabolism, climate, availability, resources, occupation, lifestyle, physical activities and social customs. For example, we must change our diet gradually as we grow in age from a child to an old taking in account the medical history and circumstances.

Q2. Is there an ideal diet for a yoga practitioner?
Not exactly an 'ideal diet' but a balanced diet is always preferred and advised and that must include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals, roughage and the so-called trace elements every day in recommended quantity. Any wholesome diet including all necessary food elements in recommended amounts with variety of natural food sources is best for the health.

Q3. Will vegetarian food serve as an ideal ingredient for my diet?
Lacto-vegetarian food is the best meal any yogi. This includes whole-grain cereals, pulses, legumes, wheat-germ, gram flour, oilseeds, vegetable oils, nuts, roots, tubers, green and fresh vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, honey, sugar, milk, ghee, butter, sweet buttermilk, sweet curd and germinated grams. Variety of diets can be prepared including couple of these ingredients in a correct proportion is the best meal for a practitioner.

Q4. Do I have any specific timings for having my food?
There must be a routine for taking meals and the routine must be followed religiously on a daily basis. Eating frequently at irregular intervals is not good for health. Eating pattern must include adequate gaps in between and must be followed regularly. However there must not be too long intervals between any two meals it can be extremely harmful for the body if our belly remains empty for a longer time.

Q5. Does light eating in between proper meals help?
Generally, for healthy adults the total calorific requirements for a day are met easily by two wholesome diets. It is not advised to consume fillers like nuts, chocolates and snacks in between the meals as the metabolism of body is disturbed as they will get consumed by your digestive system and as a result appetite is not stimulated your main meal.

Q6. What is the best time to eat before going to bed?
Experts advise to take dinner 2 hours before the bed time. It is harmful for the body to have dinner too late at night or having sleep immediately after dinner. Also never skip dinner as going to bed empty stomach is also harmful for body. Belly must be full but with light food.

Q7. Can I eat something just before or after my yoga sessions?
It is not recommended to eat just before starting or at the end of yoga session. Rather take rest and get relaxed and make up your mind to have your food.

Q8. Why is being a vegetarian stressed so much while practicing yoga?
Nothing has been recommended like that to prefer vegetarian diet while practicing yoga. A normal diet full of all necessary supplements with balanced protein, fats and carbs is more important. However, if your ethics and morals restrict you to kill and eat animals you can change your food habits.

Being vegetarian Helps in many ways and even doctors recommend veg diet. Most important among them is that, Asanas and Pranayama give an automatic repulsive force to body and mind that refuses flesh-based diet in order to bring cellular quietness. Therefore, simple vegetarian dishes do not irritate the system.


Ten Good Reasons to Practice Yoga

Ten Good Reasons to Practice Yoga
  1. Contrary to the popular myth that yoga is necessary for athletes, pop stars and supermodels! The fact is that yoga is for benefit of all of us: we, our children our grandparents, both man and woman, healthy or sick. Irrespective of the age, sex and geographical locations, yoga gives tremendous benefits to each and every one once adapted to individual needs

  2. In a world full of challenges, stress and anxiety everywhere, yoga is answer to all health queries. Start practicing yoga and get benefits immediately, such as stress-relief. Apart from health benefits, one can notice enhanced self esteem, renewed positivity and enthusiasm, once yoga becomes a part of life and practiced regularly.

  3. Unlike other physical exercises that might put a strain on your heart, muscles and joints, Yoga is comparatively safe option. On must be aware of one’s strain bearing capacity and practice yoga following expert guidelines. Yoga does not harm our body in any way.

  4. Generally there is no mandatory requirement of special equipments or accessories for yoga practice. If you have few props you can practice easily, but the only thing that pays is your concentration and will power.

  5. While respiratory system gets better equipped to help you to breathe more fully, deeply and easily (thus increasing your oxygen intake), your physical and mental health also improves due to enhanced energy.

  6. Yoga helps all body systems to work effectively, improving digestion, helping in assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of toxins.

  7. Yoga is a boon to insomnia patients as helps to get better sleep, reducing the sleep breaks so that, when you wake up, you feel refreshed and full of energy and enthusiasm.

  8. Yoga brings synchronization in mind body and soul helps you to utilize your energy effectively, thereby avoiding tension, stress and negativity.

  9. When practiced regular yoga techniques, you get awarded with a genuine sense of outward tranquility, which leads you to the spiritual path of getting deep state of inner peace, too.

  10. Yoga is immense source of positivity if combined with FUN!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Health Issues and Yoga

Troubled with aches or health disorders? – Worry no more!
Stress, Anxiety, Aches, disorders!!!!!!!!!! These are few buzz words of today’s hi tech world we are living in. Yoga is the only solution to all this and to get relaxation of the mind and body.

Yoga not only cures lots of our physical ailments but also brings internal healing. Yoga as healing practices is has been used since ages and traditionally used for personal fulfillment and self realization. Even medical experts today recommend including regular practice of Yoga in our daily routine to get rid of many diseases that can be treated with the help of yoga.

Nothing can relieve us from stress permanently other than Yoga that gives us healthful life.

Yoga has asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing techniques), kriyas (cleansing techniques and special dietary recommendations) for healing almost all health disorders, allergies, aches, pains etc. Contrary to the popular myth, even the simplest yoga asanas have a magical effect on most ailments.

Practical hints on Yoga practice
Following guidelines must be followed to get maximum health benefits of yoga:
  • Be aware of your body’s limit to bear strain and do the yoga to the extent your body feels comfortable. Don’t force, strain, or, least of all, judge yourself.

  • Make sure to notice at first any sort of pain, exhaustion, dizziness, shortness of breath, or any other discomfort and do not hesitate to slow down or stop, immediately.

  • Feel relaxed and comfortable, and go easy to become a healthier, happier person, naturally. Do not compete with others as far as yoga is concerned and follow your own pace. Choose the starting easier asanas and pranayamas in the beginning first. Gradually move to other practices that seem a little difficult to you.

  • It is advised not to practice Yoga for 2-3 hours after meals. For best results yoga must be done when your stomach and bowels are empty. It is alright to have a few sips of water before, but not during Yoga practice. Always avoid direct sunlight for doing yoga whatever the pose may be.

  • Avoid tight fittings and wear loose and comfortable clothes, if possible cotton, to Yoga practice, to allow making movements freely. Even slippers or shoes must be avoided rather, use a large thick towel or Yoga mat.

  • Ensure to relax for at least 10–15 minutes after each session Even if you are not a beginner it is recommended to practice Yoga under expert supervision. Above all, consult your doctor how it suits you, before starting Yoga practice.
Everyone wants the best and the same is true in the case of choosing the right set of Yoga practices. This is why we have discussed Yoga practices keeping in mind the individual ailments and needs.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Pregnancy Massage Therapy

Pregnancy massage therapy is generally used for the benefit of both the expectant mom and the fetus. Specially used for pregnant women, the soft gentle touches give her and the foetus the feeling of comfort, awareness, love and many other feelings. As a result many aches and pains are reduced significantly and create a psychological effect in the mind of pregnant woman.

Pregnancy massage therapy
is specially designed for the body needs and requirements of mother would be. It is also known as pre-natal massage.

The advantages of Pregnancy Massage Therapy are:
  • Both the body and mind get relaxed and strain is diminished.
  • Improves flexibility in the joints and muscles and reduces Cramps and myofascial pain, particularly in the hips, neck, lower back, and legs.
  • The circulation of blood and lymph improves, thereby decreasing the swelling in body parts.
  • The strength of the weight-bearing joints increases and stress is reduced.
  • Eases labor pain.
  • Skin glows better due to increased blood flow and suppleness of fundamental tissues rises.
  • Both physical and mental help to the new mother who has passed different phases of physical and emotional stress of mother hood.
Unlike regular massage, the hand movements are a little different in massage during pregnancy so as to ensure that there is no harm to the baby in the womb. The therapist must be an expert of pregnancy massage therapy and must be aware of the pregnancy delicacies and the anatomy of a woman body.

Careful hand movements during the massage are essential for the safety of both the mother and the baby. Not every part of the body needs to be massaged.

It is advised to use only the table especially set up for pregnancy massage therapy so that you can feel utmost comfort when you lie in a semi-reclining position. This is necessary for the safety of the baby. While massaging back and hips, you can safely turn side to side.

The setting of the room for massage of a pregnant woman is quite similar to a traditional massage room. Sharp lights in the room must be avoided and a warm extra padded table will be used for the woman to lie down. Soft music is an option if the woman likes so that the woman can relax and enjoy massage. Soft music with a baby’s heart throb on the background soothes most of the women. Pregnant women also prefer candles due to good smell.

Contrary to the popular myth even women who carry multiple babies can enjoy and get benefit without any harm to the babies from pregnancy massage therapy. This pregnancy massage therapy eases labor pains. But the therapist must have an idea what techniques used may be unsafe. In other cases Pregnancy Massage Therapy is very good.

Precautions to be used:
  • Avoid massage in the 1st trimester.
  • Due to some critical health conditions in some cases, medical experts do not advise pregnancy massage therapy.
  • It is recommended to take an opinion of your doctor or a qualified pregnancy massage therapist.
  • Ensure to touch the belly only outwardly with a soft gentle hand.
  • Any pressure enforced to the inside of the legs should also be outward.
  • Some pregnant women are advised bed rest and they must avoid massage on their legs as there may be a higher risk of blood clots in their legs.
Pregnancy massage therapy is beneficial in reducing aches, pains and stress of the body, however it is advisable to be careful during massage and learn more about the massage before going for it.

Related Articles:

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  2. Benefits Of Yoga For Pregnancy
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  4. Lose Weight through Yoga
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Benefits Of Yoga For Pregnancy

Motherhood is one of the most fulfilling experiences for women all over the world. The most beautiful time period for any woman is during Pregnancy stages. While waiting for the child to come in the world they feel increasing joy but ironically there are some hidden fear factors. Fear about your baby's health, delivery without much pain, mood swings, fatigue, morning sickness, constant craving for strange items, increasing weight and overall the feeling about pregnancy can be overwhelming.

The fact is that there are many risk factors associated with pregnancy. While carrying a baby in the womb, your body has to adapt to lot of changes. Though everything goes in a natural planned way and the body adjusts automatically but and these variations leave a long lasting impact on your body. Studies show that with pregnancy come chances of getting caught with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, liver disease and many more.

But here is the good news!!!! If some yoga asanas and breathing exercises are practiced during pregnancy under expert supervision regularly, all these risk factors are minimized to a great extent. And also body can be prepared for an easy delivery with lesser pain. But before doing any of these exercises consult your doctor.

Yoga keeps high blood pressure in control and also keeps a check on your weight. Breathing exercise is very simple but care must be taken to avoid too many jerks and jumping in this condition. Some poses or asanas specially chosen for pregnant women are:
  • Mountain yoga pose – that increases body strength, and relaxes joints and muscles,
  • Triangle Yoga Pose- makes your spine flexible, tones up your spinal nerves, improves digestive system.
  • Warrior yoga pose - which includes warrior I and warrior II,
  • Standing side stretch - Benefits your stomach, arms and legs
Other suggested asanas are Standing spread leg forward bend and Forward bend yoga exercise, Hero yoga pose, Cat pose, Fish pose, Headstand, Tree yoga pose and many more including Corpse pose.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pregnancy Yoga - Yoga for pregnant women

Most of the pregnant women are concerned about their fitness and body shape post delivery. But only few are aware of the fact that there are yoga poses especially for pregnant women. Pregnancy Yoga can answer all their queries.

It has been noticed practically that Pregnancy Yoga brings calming effect on the mind and body thereby making mood happier. Let us now discuss how Pregnancy Yoga helps to keep pregnancy hassle-free;

Ancient yogis have described Pregnancy Yoga as a holistic approach that not only maintains shape of body during and post-pregnancy but also eases the pregnancy tannure.

Thus pregnant women are advised to practice yoga for overall well-being – body, mind and heart. If practice under expert supervision, Yoga for pregnant women can help would be mother enjoy their pregnancy without any burden and with maximum comfort. Pregnancy Not only it eases childbirth but also helps overcome postpartum blues in the post-delivery stages.

Independent nurses and doctors vouch for the fact that Pregnancy Yoga plays a vital role in smooth and safe delivery. Studies show that pregnant women who practice Pregnancy Yoga exercises gain better physical and mental health. The flexibility in the body is enhanced and the relaxed joints help her to adapt to the different positions in labor as her ligaments are more elastic. The result is reduced labor pains.

Pregnancy Yoga’s stretching exercises help relieve aches and pains. It is the only solution for postpartum back problems as the overall posture gets strength. Further Pregnancy Yoga helps expectant mums to make up their mind for childbirth. It makes them aware of breath and body, overcomes worries and helps pregnant women get familiar with their situation. The benefits of Pregnancy Yoga are long lasting even after pregnancy, too. It is advised for new mothers to start Postnatal Yoga around six weeks after childbirth. This helps strengthen abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Most of the mums do not know that getting back to pre-pregnancy shape is easier if Postnatal Yoga is practiced six weeks after childbirth.

Parallel to practicing pregnancy yoga exercises, pregnancy massage therapy must be started on a regular basis. This therapy helps to get back into shape and gain strength as it provides complete relaxation and blood flow in the body is improved. The therapy is also known to help during labor. Women must learn about pregnancy massage therapy before undergoing it. A pregnancy massage therapy should be undertaken from a certified physical therapist in your city.

Related Articles:
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Yoga for Allergies

Allergy!!!!!!!!!! A very small word and very irritating manifestations. Only the sufferer can describe that it can affect not only the sleep, concentration, and productivity and but can also worsen the condition by spoiling the mood.

Doctors generally prescribe Allergy shots, nasal steroid sprays, and over-the-counter antihistamines but what is more necessary is the holistic approach towards treatment. Yoga has emerged as a boon to help allergy patients as it allergy symptoms countered by tempering your immune system's response to the offender.

What is required is to include calming poses in Yoga practice so as to synchronize breathing and breathe easily.

Allergy symptoms are aggravated due to stress reactions that cause physiological responses, as a result of which stress hormones and histamine are released from the body, and triggers inflammation. Such patients if practice Relaxation exercises, then the fight-or-flight response of the body is averted, and allergic symptoms are countered.

In the relaxation process, the nervous system guides and directs the immune system to hold its fire. Once the immune system follows directions of nervous system, the inflammation and mucus start to go away, and symptoms are vanished.

Yoga for allergies

Allergy patients must keep in mind that when allergies attack, keep those things away that could aggravate the symptoms and add insult to injury thereby keeping energy level high, since allergies are also associated with low 00210111010000001energy. Yoga experts also advise to restrain you from doing forceful breathing or any pranayama through the nostrils, as congestion worsens the symptoms and breathing becomes difficult and uncomfortable. Make sure to emphasize exhalation more during breathing. It has been noticed practically that; a short inhalation followed by a longer one has a calming effect. If comfortable then moderate Kapalabhatti, Anuloma-Viloma, Ujjayi and Brahmari.

Inversions are best suited in these conditions as the upper respiratory tract gets smoother and secretions from the nose are washed off, allowing freshly oxygenated blood to flow into the oral cavity. Nasal passages become clearer if one practices Sarvangasana and Halasana, thereby resulting in drainage of sinuses. However, it is recommended to avoid bending head too long in poses like Adho Mukha Svanasana and Sirshasana. The allergy symptoms may get aggravated due to extra pressure on nasal passages."

Yoga experts advise to include forward and backward bends, and twists – in yoga practice to get rid of allergy. These exercises give a soothing effect to the thoracic cage and the lungs and also massage various parts of the spine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breathe Easy With Yoga - How Yoga Cures Asthma?

Medical experts define Asthma as a disease of respiratory respiratory system and the system manifested are chronic inflammation, labored or shortened breathing, wheezing, coughing and sticky mucous from chest. Lets us discuss first the outline of the article to help readers understand better. We will discuss how yoga benefits to cure and the different yoga poses specially selected to be practiced by asthma patients.

The Symptoms of Asthma
There are no hidden Symptoms of asthma and generally all symptoms are easily recognizable. Generally the inflammation in the trachea (wind pipe, connecting throat to lungs) becomes the first alarming sign and tightness in the chest or shortness of breath confirms that the patient is affected with asthma. At times asthma attacks abruptly all of a sudden and constriction of the wind pipe and chest totally becomes unbearable followed by extremely difficult breathing. But if the patient becomes alert then the dangerous situation of attack can be averted if one pays attention to the warning signals such as the wheezing sound while exhaling and inhaling (breathing) due to the presence of sputum in the respiratory system, coughs etc.

What Triggers Asthma
The main culprits are allergens like cold, house dust, pollen, animal dander, irritants such as smokes, chemical fumes etc. For some people, in certain cases, stress from emotional and exercising reasons can trigger the symptoms.

Some Statistics on Asthma
No case in the medical history has been reported so far where the death is due to Asthma unless the patient is not careful for proper and timely care. However, researches show that death toll due to asthma has been increased since 1970s in the United States as well as around the globe. The no of asthma sufferers in the United States only is about 20 million. More pathetic is that slightly less than half of them (about 9 million) are children below 18 years. Out of the total asthmatics, about 70% have other allergies and 10 million of Americans suffer from allergic asthma. Asthma children have been increased significantly by 160% in the 1980-1994 period. Cases of asthma deaths have been increased to 5000 annually and direct cost of treatment is pegged at $11.5 billion and indirect costs at %4.1 billion. African Americans are 39% more prone than white Americans. Total loss of work days is 24.5 million and school days lost is 12.8 million.

Some Yoga Poses that Help in Combating Asthma (Yoga for Health)
Yoga experts have defined some poses to cure asthma. If practiced sincerely and regularly these yoga poses for asthma may benefit you to fight asthma attacks better. Ongoing debates on how yoga benefits asthma patients are still under study by different researchers. But what has been noticed practically is that yoga helps to cure asthma.

Easy Yoga Pose
One good news for asthma patients is that Sukhasana, is the easiest poses for asthma. Choose a Sitting posture and sit down straight on the floor, keep your legs crossed and clasp your knees easily and that's it. Breathe easy for 5 minutes.

Shoulder Lifts
Choose a posture where you can lie down comfortably on your back straight on the floor. Keep your hands stretched above head and get relaxed. Breathe easily for a few moments and slowly lift up shoulders towards front together with head crouching abdomen as in curls. Breathe in as you get up and breathe out when retracting.

Sun Salutation
Yoga sun salutation, popularly known as Surya namaskara, involves 12 sequential poses that start with stand-at-ease pose and also end with the same. The unique feature is that, the 5th and 6th of them are the standing pose on four limbs where the body lies horizontally on the ground. Care must be taken to ensure that the forehead and nose touches ground. The sequential inhalations and exhalations during the Sun Salutation empower the respiratory system to fight with asthma. This pose also cures backaches. This is among the top 10 yoga asana to relive asthma.

Kapalabhati Breathing Technique
When we talk about Yoga and asthma, the discussion cannot be completed without talking about pranayama, a the most popular and practiced meditated breathing technique. While practicing Kapalabhati, you need to control the movements of the diaphragm (a membrane separating abdomen from chest.) consciously simultaneously controlling inhalations and exhalations while breathing rapidly in short sequences and This strengthens the entire respiratory system.

Anuloma Viloma Breathing Technique
Popular as alternate nostril breathing technique. One needs to breathe in through one nostril and breathe out through the other while holding breath in between. This brings breathing a much needed rhythm.

Best Yoga Poses For Asthma
It is advised to practice Yoga Asanas to cure Asthma, under expert supervision as some yoga poses for asthma need utmost care to practice them. While some practices to cure asthma such as kung fu involve rapid movements, these yoga poses involve slow steps. The thumb rule is controlled breathing under stress. One needs to breathe in while bending and breathe out while straightening unless the focus is on weight reduction.

Pada Hasthasana
As appears from the name, Pada means feet and palms are hastha. This particular posture involves standing while the hands are fully raised, leaning forward fully to touch your feet and forehead, the knees. It has been noticed practically that this yoga gives best results for lungs and heart.

This yoga asana is quite similar to padahasthasana the only difference is that one needs to begin with sitting erect and ensuring that both legs are stretched forward. The next step is to bend forward to touch feet with hands and knees with forehead.

The beginning is quite similar to paschimothanasana where the posture is sitting erect and legs are stretched. Keep the right foot in relaxed position on left knee, lock it by your left armpit and make sure that you body is supported with the help of right palm resting on the floor on the right side. Twist torso to the extent you feel comfortable, to right and breathe 4-5 times. Go back to original position and do it for the next part of your body.

Get relaxed and bend on knees and stretch legs backwards alternately. Simultaneously lift the stretched out leg and both hands to the extent you feel comfortable to hold your foot. Stay there for a couple of breaths.

Start with sitting in padmasana, breathe in to the full capacity of lungs. Hold breath as long as possible. Breathe out from left nostril and keep the right one closed using right thumb. In the next cycle, breathe out from the right nostril, and make sure to close the left nostril using right index finger.

Relatively different breathing technique, that is basically started with a sitting posture in sukhasana (some exponents prefer oadmasana). Breathe in through one nostril and breathe out through the other using alternate nostrils, using the right thumb and index finger to close the alternate nostrils. Hold breath in between inhaling and exhaling as long as comfortable.

Yoga and asthma are quite popular words to fitness freaks. It is advised to consult an instructor for these yoga poses for asthma and follow a regular routine. The yoga poses must be started practicing before winter starts to get optimum results. Apart from extremely cold or rainy season yoga must be practiced early morning in open air.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Be Free From Anxiety With Yoga

We all suffer from anxiety at some point of life. Fear of anticipated (usually ill-defined) misfortune, results in the vague unpleasant emotion that is characterized as anxiety. It is the fear or apprehension about the uncertainties of present and future. It is advised that yoga for anxiety deals better than any mode of therapy. In fact yoga poses for anxiety has been in practice for long time.

Symptoms of Anxiety
Medical symptoms of anxiety are increased pulses, heartbeats; mouth going dry, acceleration in breathing and perspiration are noted on the physiological side. Diarrhea, phobias, palpitations, sweating and fainting are also observed. But moreover a person suffering from anxiety is similar to that of a tired person.

Some Commonly Noticed Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety symptoms appear as a manifestation of different disorders. Here are some of the disorders commonly noticed.

Panic Attack Disorder
Panic, a feeling of fear and anxiety in anticipation of some misfortune. When panic attacks, usually attacks abruptly, and the common symptoms are palpitations of heart, fainting and short breaths in rapid succession etc. As medical experts define there are three types of panic attack disorders. The first one being the unexpected disorder, the second is situational disorder - particular situations that trigger disorder and finally the situation ally predisposed panic attacks such as the chance panic attacks while driving.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
People who become prey to PTSD are those who have witnessed some great physical trauma or ordeal, terrific event in life, exposed to threatening situation, or threatened. Incidences like rape, threat to life, exposure to disasters etc cause PTSD. Things are never over in the minds of PTSD patients and they continue to get haunted by bouts of memories of the ordeal. Such patients usually complain of sleep problems, and may get startled easily.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, comparatively more common disorder is manifested in the form of strong and unwanted thoughts that crop up any time in the mind of sufferer and particular repetitive acts of any kind or recurring behaviors. Repetitive behaviors such as rechecking, counting and perhaps the most symbolic hand washing are done with the hopeful mind that things got to be corrected.

Phobia is a disorder the root cause of which is anxiety. Phobia is identified in people who have extreme and irrational fear of simple things of life or normal, day-to-day, social situations. Phobia is, more often than once, due to the fear of or aversion to something.

How Yoga Helps In Recovering From Anxiety?
The slow breathing exercising technique of yoga helps to get rid off anxiety. Contrary to the symptoms and characters of the anxiety yoga brings a sigh of relief. The breathe control techniques of yoga involving prolonged breathing, help to deal with the causes of anxiety within ones mind. The neutralization of hormones by determined practice brings a soothing effect. The oxygen supply to the body is significantly increased due to yoga and all the symptoms like shortness of breath, rapid pulses and heartbeats get relaxed. Take for example the case of shava asana that is very powerful to dampen anxiety?

Some Yoga Poses for Anxiety
Some specific yoga asanas if practiced regularly and under expert supervision are helpful in curing anxiety. Those having recurring episodes of anxieties, must practice these asanas as yoga is capable of dealing with anxiety.

Single Leg Raise
This is one of the best yoga poses for anxiety. Keep your back straight and Lie down. Start breathing in and raise the right leg up straight to the maximum. Breathe out and keep the leg down to original position. Then repeat the same with left leg. Now raise your feet and hold it using opposite hand. Hold it there for a while till you took a few breaths.

Double Leg Raise Yoga Pose
The procedure is the same as single leg raise but instead of raising one leg at a time, you raise both the legs together with knees being straight and buttocks on the floor. Repeat ten times. Sequential breathing must be followed ie. breathe in while raising and breathe out while lowering legs.

Cobra Pose
This is one of the simplest yoga poses for anxiety. Lie down on stomach and keep your palms besides your shoulders. Keep the feet together and ensure toes pointing outwards, push-up your head and chest gently off the ground and slowly lift up head to it’s full. Sequential breathing must be followed ie breathe in while pushing up and breathe out on the way back.

Child Pose
This yoga posture helps to reduce stress and anxiety significantly. First begin with shvana asana. Spread the knees fully on the floor and start bending forward to the extent that it becomes possible to touch your belly to thighs and make sure the forehead touches to ground. Keep the hands fully stretched in front of you.

Sage Twist
This is also known as ardha matsyendrasana. Beginning is similar to paschimothanasana. Raise your right foot and rest it on left knee, lock it by your left armpit and balance your body by keeping right palm on the floor on the right side. Start bending the left knee to the extent to touch your hips by left heel. Twist torso as much as is possible to right and breathe 4-5 times. Get relaxed and come back to original position and do it for the next leg.

Some Pranayamas for Anxiety
Breathing techniques are indispensable part of yoga. Pranayamas are breathe control techniques that are easy to practice independent of yoga asanas. Some pranayamas are discussed here to help reduce anxiety.

Ujjayi (Victorious Breath)
Get relaxed and sit in padmasana, inhale to the full capacity of lungs. Hold breath as long as possible. Close the right nostril with right thumb and then breathe out from left nostril. In the next cycle, close the left nostril using right index finger and then breathe out from the right nostril.

Alternate-Nostril Breathing
This breathing technique is quiet different, with the beginning from sukhasana (some yoga experts advise padmasana). Breathe in through one nostril and breathe out through the other alternatively, using the right thumb and index finger to close the alternate nostrils. Feel relaxed and hold breath as per your comfort in between inhaling and exhaling.

In the era of medical advancement people choose Yoga to combat anxiety. Yoga for anxiety is getting popular among the 21st century generation. However it is recommended to consult your doctor before experimenting with yoga poses for anxiety.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yoga Music - The Real Celebration of Body And Mind!

Yoga music brings additional peace to people while they are doing yoga. Free Yoga CDs are easily available on Internet It is the music combined with traditional yoga moves. Yoga music helps to bring harmony in mind and body. However, some yoga music CDs may contain music that is not really suitable for yoga.

Nada Yoga
The meaning of the word Nada is “sound” and hence nada yoga means "Yoga combined with sound". Yoga poses that involve sound and music (or the absence of sound) come in this category. In nada yoga, focuses basically on the internal sound that is found within the body, and not on the sound that is heard with the ear. Chanting may or may not be involved in nada yoga. The use of music can assist in the practice of nada yoga. Nada yoga can be practiced concentrating on simple music for around 15 minutes every day during yoga practice.

Yoga Music as Background for Yoga

Yoga meditation music or yoga relaxation music gives a soothing feeling if used as background music for yoga. It helps the mind to concentrate better and avoids distraction of mind. Yoga meditation music gives mental, spiritual benefits, as well as the physical benefits to the body. People suffering from poor concentration, may feel relaxed and keep their mind focused during the day by using Yoga music as background music for routine activities.

Types of Yoga Music

There is variety of yoga relaxation music for practicing yoga. Music for yoga should be relaxing, slow and relatively simple. Such type of music includes:
  • Special yoga CDs;
  • World music;
  • American flute music;
  • Meditation music;
  • Classic music;
  • Nature relaxation CDs;
  • Celtic music.
Yoga meditation music or yoga relaxation music is prepared with an aim of providing the right background for a yoga workout. However, It’s not a hard and fast rule and other type of music can also be tried if you believe it would be good in a yoga workout. The music must be enjoying, but not something to take your mind off your yoga workout. Make sure to keep away the music you dislike, as it will not serve the purpose of bringing relaxation.

Benefits of Yoga Meditation Music

Yoga meditation music poses a lot of benefits, particularly for those who have just started doing yoga.
  • The mind can concentrate better.
  • Distractions are removed from your mind.
  • Gives perfect ambience for yoga.
  • Nothing can be more relaxing and soothing than Yoga music.
  • Other background noises are absorbed in Yoga music.
  • The mind becomes habitual to practice letting go of any thoughts.
  • It can make a yoga workout more interesting.
Sources of Yoga Music
Yoga music is quite popular among today’s generation and hence easily available. Yoga music is specifically designed with an aim to help for better concentration in yoga workout.

Music Specifically Designed For Yoga

Special yoga CDs can be traced out easily in the markets worldwide. While Internet is a good source for online shopping, it can also be bought from music stores, some health food shops and can be easily downloaded on the Internet. Special yoga and meditation radio stations give a facility to enjoy yoga music for free on the Internet.

Other Music That Can Be Used In Yoga

If the special yoga music does not suit you, you may choose other music that keeps you focused for yoga workouts for example classical, Celtic, world or relaxation CDs. Quite popular among today’s generation, yoga music is easily available from music stores. Another good option is classical music station that can help in concentrating on yoga as it serves as good background music for yoga. However, make sure to choose a time when there is only yoga music, without gossips.

Yoga can be practiced in better ways with the help of Yoga music. Nothing can be more relaxing and the good news is that distracting thoughts are eliminated and concentration on yoga workout improves when you hear yoga music. Yoga music has emerged as a boon to beginners, who feel that they can concentrate better on their yoga workout and keep unwanted thoughts away from their mind. Internet is a great source for free yoga music and you can find good collection of music if you search. However specific yoga CDs can be bought any time.