Yoga is defined as collection of mental, spiritual and physical disciplines or practices and it originated in ancient India. There are various types of yoga schools, goals and practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Among the different types of yoga the most well-known ones are the Hatha Yoga and the Raja Yoga.
However, there is no written record about the inventor of yoga. Long before any written account of yoga came into existence, yoga practitioners used to practice these physical exercises. Over the years these practices were passed down to their students by the Yogis, and many schools of yoga were developed as this discipline widened globally and gained popularity.
Many ancient Indian religious texts written in Sanskrit, which is the Indo-European language of the Vedas, contains the records of the various techniques of yoga. The “Yoga Sutra” which is a 2000 year old treatise on yogic philosophy, given by the Indian sage Patanjali is a type of guidebook that provides the techniques on how to achieve mastery over the mind and emotions and advice on spiritual growth, providing the framework upon which all the yoga that is practised today is based. The Yoga Sutra is the earliest written record of yoga and one of the oldest texts in existence.
This type of exercise increases the body’s balance and core strength where various postures go hand in hand with deep breathing. The combination of these lowers blood pressure, improves heart health, increases respiratory rates and controls body’s level of cortisol, a hormone which is produced to combat stress.
These postures which have now become an integral part of health and fitness in many yoga centres all over the word, were not originally a dominant component of yoga traditions in India. Some of the common practices of yoga include Pranayama, Dharana and Nada.
The best time to do yoga is in the morning about an hour before having breakfast. After waking up in the morning, emptying the bowels followed by taking a shower, yoga practices can be done to begin the day. The other most suitable time to practice yoga is early evening just before sunset. It is however much better to do such practices at a time that suits a person’s daily schedule, rather than missing it out by being too routined or idealistic.
It should be remembered that integral yoga is always a balanced practice. For best results, one must mix and match the required elements of practice, whenever possible, which helps to improve and enhance a person’s spiritual growth and awareness.
Yoga Positions may be practiced at any time of the day except within two to three hours of taking meals. One can do such postures whenever the body feels tired, tensed, stiff or hyped up. However, practice of too many stimulating postures just before going to bed should be avoided. It is best to practice Asanas first during a person’s yoga routine, followed Pranayama (or breathing excerise and then meditation.
The practice of Pranayama can be done at any time of the day except within two to three hours of eating. It can be done when stressed or tired or when the space does not allow room for postures. It is best to practice Pranayama directly after practicing yoga. This practice of Pranayama is very much necessary for a successful and complete process of meditation.
Meditation can be practiced at any time of the day when a person feels comfortable and relaxed. For best results meditation should be avoided within two to three hours of having meals, while feeling sleepy, or when mentally “hyped-up”.
Yoga can be done practically by everyone, regardless of their gender, age or physical limitations. It is a deep personal practice and is basically based on the concept of “being in the present moment”. It can be done without judgement of any kind and even without competition. Every pose can be modified to suit one’s specific needs, injuries or ailments. Practicing of yoga helps to gain more strength, balance and flexibility as well as helps in improving concentration and focus. Moreover, it enables a person to sleep at night and feel fresh and energetic throughout the day.
There are no restrictions as such when it comes about practicing yoga. A person of any age, gender or physique can practice yoga. However, a person can temporarily avoid yoga if some conditions arise that hinders them from doing so. These conditions may include asthma, eye surgery, back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache, diarrhoea, heart problems, knee injury, menstruation, insomnia, low or high blood pressure, neck injury, pregnancy or shoulder injury.
Though the benefits of yoga are many, it also has a few disadvantages. Serious side effects of yoga are generally rare Some of the common side effects of yoga include musculoskeletal injury, complication with glaucoma, abnormal increase in blood pressure due to forceful breathing, back injury, muscle strain and others.
An over stretch may happen to occur if a person ignores body’s warning signs and try to go beyond their limitations. Stretching should be done upto the limit one is comfortable with or might feel a mild pull.
Practicing certain yoga positions such as inversions, including Headstand and Shoulderstand, increases the ocular pressure and can cause complications among people with eye conditions such as glaucoma.
Practicing too aggressively and not being mindful as one move into postures can lead to injury. Hence, it is advisable to practice under the guidance of a trained teacher.
Probably the first thing a person feels like doing after a yoga class is that, drinking a lot of water. However, drinking water just immediately after a yoga class should be avoided. Just after a yoga class, it is advisable to take rest at least for 10 minutes in Savasana (with relaxed and normal breathing). It is always recommended that after practising yoga, a person should drink water at least after 15 minutes and eat at least half an hour after the practice of yoga session ends.
One can even have some naturally hydrating drink like fruit juice or coconut water. Hydrating foods like watermelon or cucumber is also good after a yoga session.
Having protein rich food is advisable after a yoga session. This can include drinking low fat milk, eating yogurt, snacking on broiled chicken, hardboiled eggs, sliced cheese or some fruits.
People have many reasons for attending yoga classes. For some, it is at the advice of a health care provider for helping with body pain. Others may attend such classes for a relief from stress and anxiety. A short daily practice of yoga, along with reciting a few mantras helps to seek mental peace and solace.
For people who are active with sports and practice of other exercises, practicing yoga once or twice in a week is sufficient. However, those who want to master complex postures must practice them with more dedication and commitment.
The price of Yoga classes in India varies in different places. However the average price range is Rs 500 per class. It is about Rs 1200 for unlimited class of one day. On the other hand unlimited classes for a week and a month are about Rs 5000 and Rs 12000 respectively. The prices of yoga classes in metropolitan cities are usually higher than as in small towns and cities.
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices. The effectiveness of yoga bears fruit when practiced daily at regular timings. Early in the morning and early in the evening are the two best timings for practicing yoga. Practicing yoga on a regular basis helps to reduce body weight, increases awareness, makes a person stress free, helps to release blocked emotions, detoxifies the body and helps to eliminate bad habits. All these benefits for yoga shows the best result when practiced regularly and under proper guidance of a well-trained teacher.
For people who have practiced yoga and did not find it enjoyable or appealing can switch to other alternative exercises of mind or body. Tai Chi, Qigong, Pilates, Dance and Martial Arts are a few practices that offer an alternative to yoga. All these practices of physical exercise focuses on balance, concentration, reducing stress and tension, improves flexibility of the body, gives a feeling of energy and integrates mind, body and spirit.
A happy and healthy baby is what every couple dreams about. Turning to Ayurveda is the perfect way to make the dream come true. The traditional medicinal system of India offers a holistic approach to treating any disease and disorder. But it does not end there. Ayurveda sets the path for healthy life and guides every individual on how to live wisely. It helps in leading a balanced life, both physically and emotionally.
Plan it in advance: Any species aims at reproducing the next generation. Creation and procreation are, in fact, the basis of life. In the recent years, it has become common to see many couples waiting for treatment to be bestowed with a progeny. With the surge in population every year, the list of infertile couples is growing as well. This is because not many lead a healthy lifestyle. Junk and processed foods fill the plates and the work style is completely sedentary for most of the people. Messing with food, health, and lifestyle certainly affect the chances of becoming a parent. Ayurveda recommends couples to start planning at least three months before you actually want to get pregnant. This planning period should be meant for eliminating toxins and taking nourishment.
What is Garbhasanskar all about?
Garbhasanskar means educating the child in the womb. From the very first day of pregnancy, brain development of the child begins. Garbhsanskar ensures the child is born intelligent and healthy. This is an Ayurvedic approach to pregnancy that recommends eating the right foods and maintaining positive thinking. Doing mild exercises and yoga, and positive thinking are insisted as a part of this technique. Pregnant women are advised to stay happy and relaxed. Getting to know your constitution is the first step in Ayurveda for staying healthy. This can be done only by a medical practitioner.
Consult an Ayurvedic doctor and determine your constitution or prakriti, which is the Sanskrit term. Ayurveda considers eggs and sperms as the deepest form of transformation of nutrients. Foods one consumes are refined multiple times to transform them into the vital essence of life. This is called the seed of the life. Any obstacle in the body can affect the reproductive system. This can be anything from excess weight to anemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, constipation, or an infection.
Diet and lifestyle:
The foods one take can stimulate the production of eggs and sperms. Reproductive foods, as they are called, when taken during the planning period, can help conceive and give birth to a healthy baby. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, saffron, ghee, and honey are good examples of reproductive foods. Asparagus or Shatavari helps in improving the reproductive health of both men and women. The menstrual cycle is considered vital for a healthy pregnancy. Healthy periods should constitute a moderate flow, no pain or discomfort, should be devoid of clots, and the length of the cycle should be of 26 to 30 days.
An Ayurvedic doctor can determine which dosha dominates your menstrual cycle. Based on this, foods and lifestyle changes are prescribed. Pregnant women are advised to take panchamrut. It simply means an elixir with five ingredients. This offers strength and boosts the immune system. Mix curd, honey, ghee, and sugar (one tea spoon each). To this add seven spoons of milk. Taking this in the morning every day is recommended. Listening to music has a great benefit on the health of the fetus. However, listen to the hymns of Vedas, devotional music, and Carnatic music. These relax the mind of both the mother and the baby.
It is often said that Ayurveda is a science and Yoga is an implementation of that science. In treatment, both these connected branches speak for the consistent practice of breathing techniques and medication along with indulging in body purification processes, use of medicinal herbs, well regulated dieting as well as chanting of mantras for uplifting the mind and body. In Yoga, the physical purification processes are known as 'Satkriyas' whereas the same in Ayurveda is called as 'Panchakarma'.
Understanding Yoga and Ayurveda: Yoga and Ayurveda are two interrelated branches of Vedic knowledge that encircles the whole universe.
In this classical Vedic system, Ayurveda is specifically developed for healing purposes and there is no other branch of the Vedic system that can offer such comprehensive healing benefits.
Integral relationship between Yoga and Ayurveda: The term Yoga means combining, harmonizing and above all uniting. Thus a Yogic approach is an inherently integrative approach that harmonizes the body, mind and senses, and is not involved in implementation of sideline techniques but incorporates a synthesis of all aspects of the healing processes. This is the reason why Yoga originally has an eight-fold path directed towards bettering the quality of lives. Otherwise, it is caught in similar variants of physical reductionism that are often addressed in modern medicinal therapies.
Asana is referred to as the internal medicine of Yoga as it brings the vital energy directly into the body. It is aimed at alleviating the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems of the human body. It is crucial to integrate Ayurveda and Yoga for bringing out the total spiritual and healing potential of the human body as well as each of these vast branches of Vedic knowledge.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
How Yoga asana and sexual life is connected?
Practising Yoga on regular basis leads to better body posture, and flexibility lowers blood pressure, improves lung capacity, gives better balance, causes weight loss, cut downs the mental stress. All these things ultimately improve sexual life by improving flexibility, stamina, and muscle tone.
What are best Yoga asanas which help to improve sexual life?
Following are the best yoga asana which is known for improving sex life:
1. The tree pose
The tree pose helps to improve focus, performance, and ultimately results in better satisfaction.
2. Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is especially useful for women as it helps to stretch the vagina, which ultimately intensifies orgasms, and improves their ability to reach orgasm during sex.
3. Cat-Cow Pose
It is best yoga position for improving orgasms. This pose also helps to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
4. The downward dog pose
It reduces muscle tension throughout the entire body and improves flexibility which ultimately improves sexual performance.
5. The Eagle Pose
It increases blood circulation to the lower part of the body more specifically, the pelvic region. It is also beneficial in the cases of erectile dysfunction.
6. The plank pose
The plank pose strengthens the body and generally used in the men who lack stamina during sex.
7. Bound Angle Pose
It increases the range of motion of the hip joints, and it also boosts up the libido.
8. The Cobra Pose
It boosts energy level and improves heart pumping capacity.
9. The happy baby pose
This pose stretches hips with everything else completely relaxed.
It is the relaxation pose. It tries to keep your thoughts clear for at least a few minutes. It increases the focus on your mind.
11. The butterfly pose
It helps to boost energy level and enhances the function of the male sexual organs.
12. The chair pose
This position strengthens the leg muscles and pelvic muscles. It also increases energy level and libido of the person.
13. The runner’s stretch pose
It helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improves the tone of the muscles which ultimately improves flexibility and stamina.
14. The frog pose
It specifically acts on pelvic floor muscles, improves its strength, and stamina.
15. The plough pose
It strengthens the back, and lower leg muscles, improve heart pumping capacity and ultimately results in the flexible body.
16. The rocking pose
It stimulates all the vital organs, such as heart, lungs, kidney, and improves blood pumping, and circulation thereby increases stamina.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The thought of waking up fresh in the morning after a good night’s sleep itself is refreshing. However, many are deprived of this simple pleasure of life, one of the main cause behind it is snoring. Whether you are snoring or have a person next to you snoring, the result is a disturbed sleep, which leaves you feeling tired and not-very-rested.
Snoring is caused by multiple reasons including stress, obesity, smoking, sinus problems, circulatory problems, poor diet, large tongue or tonsils and with age. This leaves the person sleep deprived, including a feeling of drowsiness, sore throat, increased risk of heart disease, reduced libido and decreased concentration.
While there are surgical corrections that can get rid of snoring, yoga has some simple, effective pranayamas and asanas that have been proven to be effective since times immemorial. They improve lung capacity, help in weight management, keep the air passages open and also help in stress management. Try the following asanas and pranayamas to see snoring disappear.
Pranayama: This improves the strength of the facial and throat muscles. Bhramari or Humming Pranayama and Ujjayi pranayama are specifically useful in snoring patients. In Bhramari Pranayama, the lips are closed and the soft palate vibrations are entirely due to nasal airflow. Practised mouth snoring over a period of time where the soft palate is lifted towards the pharynx produces a buzzing bee sound. Both breathing in and out happens through the nostrils producing this sound, although slightly different during inhalation and exhalation. Ujjayi Pranayama is where a hissing breathing sound is produced due to the nasal snoring instead of the mouth snoring in the Bhramari exercise.
Breathing and Chanting the Om Mantra: Sit on the floor in a relaxed position with eyes closed and take few deep breaths. Begin to chant the word OM repeatedly for a few minutes. Break the word into two parts, the first part of OOOO should come from deep within followed by the lighter MMMM. This helps meditate, relax, and reduce snoring. Try to do this breathing and chanting at least ten to twelve times, and more if possible, on a daily basis.
Another effective measure is the Simha Garjasana or Roaring Lion Pose where you kneel down on the mat, lean back so that the hips are resting on the heels. The palms are faced in the space between the knees with fingers spread apart. Tilt your head back while taking deep breaths. This improves the airway and reduces the snoring.
Kapalbhati, Bhujangasana Dhanurasana, Warrior Pose and Surya Namaskar are also other effective asanas. When done regularly over a period of time, it helps in getting rid of snoring. This in turn makes you feel fresh in the morning; ready to take on the day.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
World Health Day, celebrated on the 7th of April every year, is sponsored by the WHO and several other health organizations. It is observed by all the member states of the World Health Organisation. The adage 'Health is Wealth' wouldn't have had much importance anytime in the history of humankind than now. In spite of increased life expectancy, there has been a surge in the incidence of deadly diseases, and the onus is on the health organizations to reduce the trend.
Health for all being the theme for this year's Health Day, WHO & other organizations are focused on providing access to various health services to people who cannot afford them. As per a survey conducted by the WHO, it was estimated that at present approximately half the world doesn't have access to health care services and approximately 100 million people are pushed to poverty every year due to health costs.
The vision of WHO is to extend health coverage to 1 billion people by 2023. While the health organizations and world leaders are working towards enabling the entire humankind to have access to health services, we can also do our bit in moving a step towards healthy living.
In the light of the universal health coverage launched by the WHO, here are some of the basics that you can follow to stay healthy and fit:
Mankind is fortunate to have made a significant advancement in the field of medical sciences and increasing average life expectancy and treating many deadly diseases. However, universal coverage of health services is still a distant dream which the WHO and other organizations are working to achieve. On this World Health Day, as an individual, take a pledge to follow these steps and start living a healthy & happy life.