Articles on mind body interventions

Benefits of Meditation

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Seeking calmness, peace of mind, joy, vibrant health, greater energy, positive relationships and fulfillment in life? Wish stress-free and worry-free life? Meditation, an ancient Indian methodology as part of YOGA.Meditation offers innumerable benefits for your body, mind and spirit. The rest you gain in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep.Procedure:Sit in any meditative posture, keeping your back straight and body relaxed. First focus on the toe then shifting the focus on the knees, after some time shift your focus on the genital area, next on to the heart area and at last the area between the eyebrows.Try to practice this technique in a peaceful area. Some people recommend soft music, but it can turn your focus to the music itself and here we are trying to dig deep in our soul, so music should be avoided.Good for: Concentration, Attention deficit Disorders, Stress, Anxiety, Hyper activity, Soul Searching. Helps in drug abuse, smoking, alcohol or any kind of addiction, self-improvement and temperament. The Benefits of Regular Meditation includes.Physical benefits of Meditation. Meditation prevents stress from getting into the system Meditation releases accumulated stress that is in the systemOn a physical level, meditation Lowers high blood pressure* Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems. Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior Improves the immune system Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energyMental Benefits of Meditation.Anxiety decreases Emotional stability improves Creativity increases Happiness increases Intuition develops Gain clarity and peace of mind Problems become smaller. Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection

Biofeedback - Interactive Training of Body, Breath and Mind

Dr. Kshamashree Madle, Yoga and Naturopathy
Recently, there has been a renewed interest in mind-body interactions. During eating, your hands reach out to the plate, lifts up the food, takes it to the mouth; you chew and then swallow it. You are consciously “aware” of the motions that are under your “voluntary” control. What we do not notice are the subtle things that follow like the salivary and gastric juice secretion, the peristaltic movements of the Digestive system etc.These actions are regulated by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which does not require any conscious control. ANS consists of:Sympathetic Nervous System –‘Fight or Flight response’ to Stress             Parasympathetic Nervous System – ‘Rest and Digest’ for the maintenance of HomeostasisTogether these two components of ANS regulate the Heart Rate, Respiratory rate and the activity of various glands.Changes in the Heart rate under Different conditions - Relaxation and Appreciation shows a uniform pattern and values fall within the normal safe rangeBiofeedback is a technique that can help you gain more control over these normally involuntary functions. The idea behind this is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what's going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health. This feedback helps you focus on making subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want, such as reducing pain, To make the breathing pattern more deep, long and slow which automatically reduces the heart rate and so on.Working of Biofeedback TherapyBiofeedback is used to improve Health, Performance and the Physiological changes that occur in association with Emotions, Thoughts and Behaviors. Eventually one would learn to manipulate the functions even without the help of the Biofeedback.In this Process, electrodes are attached to the skin and a respiratory belt is wrapped to the chest. These electrodes send signals to the monitor that shows wave patterns of heartbeat and respiration moving across a grid. During the session you will be taught to practice particular Relaxation techniques and Breathing practices. The changes and improvement in the pattern of Heartbeat and Respiration can be viewed real time.Skeletal muscle Biofeedback in Sleep - With InstructionsBiofeedback, or in other words Biofeedback Training can be used to manage various physical and mental illnesses like – Anxiety disorders, Asthma, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc. Since it is Non invasive, may reduce or eliminate the needs for medications and helps people to take charge of their own health, it is gaining popularity. Biofeedback is considered be safe. No negative side effects have been reported till date.

How to Tune Your Body and Mind With Meditation

Dr. Rahul Kolamkar, Homeopath
My last article comments made me to write this article. Thanks to all those who asked about meditation, you are the inspiration for this article. Medication is for body and Meditation is for soul. In today's world of commerce and materialism we had forgotten that we are not what we are. Our body is just an instrument and the life(Vital) force is some thing which make us differ from a dead. Force is generated by energy which have vibrations and waves. Meditation is the process to tune the vibration of the energy which brings life to us. As good is the tuning the better is the vibrations, and as vibrations are better the best is your life performance. Lets have a look on how to start with meditation1. Need of Meditation: Need is the mother of all inventions. For every human being if you don't have a need you can't see the path. Same way the need to calmness, stability or any other immaterial demands can keep you focus initially. 2. Faith: A quality which brings hope to your vision. Faith is a proved phenomenon which helps you to act in such a way to get every thing you need. Just it has to be charged 100%. A single percent of doubt can bring fractured fulfillment.3. Consistency: A key to every success. Mediation is not a process of days or weeks, its habit. The more you practice the more you are at core. Initially it seems to be slow moving but as you get connected, you will never feel the slowness. So keep doing.4. Start from where you are: Don't hunt a place for meditation. Its a process of getting connected and not disconnected, so you can start from you room also. Just make sure you are not disturbed by your phone or door bell. 5. Time: The best time for the one who is starting is the early morning schedule. Human brains are in alpha mode which is best suited while meditating. But if you are night watcher then it will be more of lethargic. So early to bed and early to rise. These basic steps will surely help to take you to next level of pro. Now remains the question of whom to follow? Its your personal choice to follow any technique, just make sure its has an immaterial approach. One cannot buy a immaterial thing with material cost. Avoid loud and noisy techniques as you are doing it for inner peace and calmness. Thank you

Foot Massage and Sleep!

Dr. Sita S Bhatt, Homeopath
Reflexology believes that the entire human body and its organs have representations on the soles of our feet! Regularly doing a nice foot massage relaxes, rejuvenates and recharges the body and the mind and helps in good health! A simple daily routine of do-it- yourself foot massage could help you to relax the body and get a really good nights sleep! First wash the feet after soaking them in Epsom salts (2tsp) or rock salt (4 tsp) and warm water in a tub for 10 minutes . See that you are in bed and all your chores done and it's the last thing before you sleep. Keep the lights dim and the surroundings peaceful for this one! No gadgets! Use a nice thick oil with some aroma essential oil ( I give lavender oil to help one relax ) Starting from the arch of the foot, using the thumb, rub the foot in circular motions. Do it from the arch and progress to the entire foot while slowly increasing the pressure. Do 15 repetitions on each sole. Wear a pair of cotton socks to keep the feet warm. A couple of minutes of this ensures that the night's sleep is deep and refreshing!Added benefits of regular and specific foot acupressure and reflexological massage: 1. Relieves aches and pains 2. Helps in digestion 3. Improves metabolism and stamina to exercise 4. Improves circulation 5. Helps in muscle stretches 6. Used in treatment of restless leg syndrome 7. Reduces lactic acid related muscle pain 8. In children, boosts growth and immunity !

5 Yoga Exercises to Get Fit

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you thought that yoga was all about bending and twisting your body in odd shapes, it's time to rethink. It is much more. It means the union of body, soul & mind. This century-old practice is achieved through postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas) and meditation. It helps balance the elements of the body.Yoga is not a religion. It is a way of living whose aim is "a healthy mind in a healthy body".Yogic exercises recharge the body with cosmic energy, it facilitates -- Attainment of perfect equilibrium and harmony- Promotes self-healing- Removes negative blocks from the mind and toxins from the body- Enhances personal power- Increases self-awareness- Helps in attention, focus and concentration, especially important for children- Reduces stress and tension in the physical body by activating the parasympathetic nervous systemHere are the best five exercises of yoga which will help you to lead a healthy life -1. Shava Asana (The Corpse / Death Pose)This is a relaxation pose!Just lie down on the mat, close your eyes and try to put all your weight on the ground. Concentrate on your breathing; breathe deeply and slowly with your nose.Learn to be patient and observe the way your weight is shifting towards the ground and let go of everything, all the heaviness and all the tiredness.Gently open your eyes and roll over to your side before coming to seating position.The mantra of this asana is to just relax.Benefits: It helps in rejuvenating body, mind and soul.2. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)Lay on your stomach, placing your palms down just under your shoulders. Without letting your elbows drop away from your body, have them point straight back behind you.Push gently on your hands to slowly lift your upper body and head and inhale.Do it slowly, and don’t come up too high, your elbow should not become straight.Slowly let your body come down and with your forehead touch the floor, while doing this, exhale.Do this 3- 5 times.Benefits: It helps relieve back pain and strengthens spine.3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)Start on your hands and knees on All Fours.Keep your fingers wide apart and press your hands and feet firmly into the mat in downward direction.At the same time, lift your hips and tailbone to the sky, so your body is in a V-shape.Let your head be down and relax.Stay in this position and hold for 2-3 breaths and finally rest in Balasana.Benefits: It helps in congestion and increases blood flow to sinuses. A great exercise to cure cold.4. Balasana (The Child Pose)In this asana, the body faces the floor in fetal position. This is passive and relaxing pose.The forehead has to touch the floor, if your forehead cannot touch the floor, use yoga block or a book.Rest and breathe for as long as you want.Benefits: This pose helps soothe headaches as it relaxes upper back and neck.5. Uttanasana (Forward Bending Pose)Stand with your feet parallel and hip width apart. Fold forward slowly while exhaling.Allow your arms to come forward. If your hamstrings are tight or your lower back is sensitive, bend your knees.Let your head bang and relax your head and neck completely and let go of all your stress out the top of your head.Hold for 2- 3 breaths and gently come to standing position while inhaling.So, yoga is not only about asanas but also about healthy diet, correct postures, emotional balance and proper sleep. Once you reach the gateway of this proper stability, then with yoga you are sure to attain a healthy body, mind and soul.

Yoga Cheat Sheet- 5 Essential Poses for Being Stress-Free!

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Not only does yoga help in building physical immunity but it also improves digestion, creates mental clarity, and constructs a sense of inner calm. Here's a cheat sheet with 5 essential yoga poses you should treat your body to everyday.Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog):This posture helps you strengthen your chest muscles and improve lung capacity. Avoid shifting your torso far too forward in this posture; we are not aiming at using you as a human plank. Remember to keep your hip high, weight mostly on your legs, and your heels pressed against the floor. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior pose):Treat your hips like headlights and place your legs farther apart from each other to gain better balance. Stretch your arms out and hold at least for 10 counts. This particular pose helps you prevent stroke and provides a stronger core for your system.Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose):Strengthen your legs, knees, arms, and chest with this pose. Focus and maintain a steady body balance. Don't rest your hand on your ankle but support your body by placing your hand behind your foot. Look in the direction of the arm that is stretched upwards and keep your back straight. Chakravakasana (Cat-cow stretch):Cats do it all the time, it helps relieve stress especially if you have back problems. This pose helps improve spinal health. It works a lot better when you look up and down while practicing this stretch. Breathe in to lift your chest and breathe out to drop your chest.Balasana (Child's pose):Take a deep breath and move into the child's pose in order to relax and collect yourself. You may resume this pose and stay still for 10 minutes (or more) and focus on your breathing. Repeat everyday to relieve constipation and calm your nerves. It's time to face-off against all the stress and pain. Work your way around these 5 basic yoga poses and rediscover yourself!

Reduce Stress With Yoga in These Six Simple Ways

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We all get stressed with some reason or the other depending upon our lifestyle. Work, home, partner, family and different aspects of life can be factors in causing stress. Stress can get difficult when it soars high in level causing anxiety, depression and you start to get inefficient. Stress can be tackled easily through yoga and exercise and help you rejuvenate with booming energy levels. Yoga is highly effective in tackling stress and the body releases endorphin, a chemical that makes you feel good.Stress is mostly psychological showing its effect on our body and performance. Yoga is highly beneficial, de-stressing with our breathing and body postures that bring down the stress and clear the mind with the thoughts, eases muscles, makes you feel good and refill you with energy to boost you up. Yoga also increases the blood flow,balances the body and reduces the toxins in the body.It improves the immune system and gives the body more flexibility. Here are a few yoga poses that can reduce stress.Corpse Pose or Shavasan: Lie flat on the back with legs together and (palms facing up)arms close to the body. Relax your body and mind with this pose.Half-moon Pose or Ardhachandra-asana: This pose benefits the lower back, abdomen and chest by stretching and balancing the body. Start with feet together and arms by the side. Bring both the hands at the chest with palms lightly pressed against each other. Breathe-in while raising the arms straight up keeping palms pressed lightly together. Arch your body backwards while keeping the arms alongside your neck and head.Downward-Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana: The Adho Mukha Svanasana helps to cure backaches, relieve stress and mild depression and revitalizes energy.  The Adho Mukha  Svanasana gives the brain more blood flow and also strengthens the spine.Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana: Stand straight with arms by your side, exhale and bend touching the floor with your hand. This pose helps in stretching the hamstring of the legs and helps spine and internal organs.Prosperous pose or Swastikasana: It is a effective meditative process by sitting evenly and meditating. When combined with pranayama cure many diseases and increases balance in body and mind.Straight Angle Pose or Samakonasana: Start the asana with sitting on the ground and stretch the legs forward.  Keep you legs straight and be rested on the ground. Now, slowly stretch your legs sideways so that it should form a straight line and keep the body straight. Stay in this posture for few seconds and then slowly bring back the legs to the normal position. Straight Angle Pose also opens groins and stretches hips, thighs and calf muscles and also strengthens inner thigh muscles.Do these poses slowly and concentrate on your breathing while performing. Take time for each pose and feel good when doing them and let yourself free. It gives relief not only to the mind but the body too.

Yoga Poses to Improve Immunity

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We know that changing season has most of us falling sick. There are simple ways of developing your immune system without taking any medicines.Fifteen minutes a day and the following four wonder yoga asanas will help you build your immunity over time.Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward  facing Dog)This pose sends out energy throughout the body. It provides a great inversion, by increasing circulation.Downward Facing Dog PoseHow to perform the Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)- Start the asana with sitting on the floor on your hands and knees. Stretch your elbows and relax the upper back between the shoulder blades, while doing so you will feel that the arms fall into the shoulder blades.- Breathe out and lift the knees and draw your back backwards from the pelvis, so that your arms and back form one line.- Stretch your legs in such a way that you feel like someone pulling your legs and hips backwards and let your head hang down in a relaxed sort of way.- Now stretch out your arms. This will result in a stretching from two sides i.e. a stretching from the pelvis and a stretching from the arms. When the back and the chest are placed correctly, you will notice that you can quietly breathe in and out through the belly. You should not let your chest hang downwards or make your back extremely sunken. While performing Adho Mukha Svanasana the back should be lengthened along its entire length.Durations/Repetitions of the Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):Hold Adho Mukha Svanasana for anywhere around 30 to 60 seconds or as long as you are comfortable.Bala-asana (Child Pose)This pose boosts immunity. Your head is lower then you heart, therefore you receive more circulation to the face.Child PoseHow to perform the Child Pose (Balasana):- Sit in a “Vajraj-asana” i.e. start this asana with sitting on your knees, feet together and hips resting on your heels. Your knees should be separated about the width of your casino hips. Place your hands on your thighs, palms down.- Breathe in deeply and then breathe out while bringing your chest between knees and stretching your arms forward.- While resting your head on floor bring your arms around to your sides until the hands on resting on either side of your feet, palms up.- Gently breathing through your nostrils while holding the posture. Hold for about one to two minutes. Then return to asana upright kneeling position.- Perform the posture twice atleast.Durations/Repetitions of the Child Pose (Balasana)The bala-asana can be held for as long as is comfortable. Perform the posture twice atleast if it is held for less than a minute.Plough PoseThis pose stimulates the spinal nerves and and strengthens your spine and back. It increases the blood supply and provides healthy nourishment for your internal organs and improves overall blood circulation within the body. Plough Pose helps to develop mental poise and inner balance.Plough PoseHow to perform the Plough Pose (Halasana)- Lie flat on the back.- Breathe-in through the nostrils. Place palms facing down on the floor. Keep hips on the floor, bend the knees and bring them up toward the stomach while exhaling.- Breathe-in, then while breathing-out, raise the legs straight up perpendicular to the floor keeping hips on the floor.- Breathe-out and continue raising the legs over head, bending your body at waist, lifting back and hips until the toes touch the floor directly in back of the head.- Keeping your knees straight. Breathe slowly through the nostrils and hold the posture for several minutes. If you cannot touch the floor with your toes hold them as close to the floor as possible and continue to exert effort to lower them.- Reverse the steps to return to the shavasana.Durations/Repetitions of the Plow Pose (Halasana)The halasana should not be performed by woman who are menstruating, as is the case with all inverted postures (where the legs are raise over the head). No other restrictions apply.Wheel PoseThis pose strengthens your abdominal muscles and opens up the hips. It stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands, therefore improving your overall health. As you stretch in Wheel Pose, you"re also improving your flexibility.Wheel PoseHow to perform the Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)- Lie in the shava-asana position.- While breathing out bend the knees bringing feet as close to hips as possible touching soles of feet flat on the floor.- As you bend arms at elbows and place palms of your hands flat on floor directly under each shoulder as fingers pointing toward the back.- Breathe in slowly, begin to raise head, back and hips off the floor while arching the spine. Raise your hips and stomach as high as possible.- Hold till possible while breathing in. Breathe out and return the back to the floor, returning to the shava-asana.- As soon as the back returns to floor immediately raise it and enter the full posture again.Durations/Repetitions of the Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)Hold this asana for the duration till you can hold your breath or for one to three minutes while breathing gently. Repeat it two or three times.

Get Relief From Stuffy Nose Through Yoga & Naturopathy

Dr. Harini, Yoga and Naturopathy
Stuffy nose is the most common problem we face during this weather. Very tough to handle. Medicines only suppress the problem so that you can get frequent cold attacks after that. So be sure that you are helping and supporting your body to eliminate the organisms completely from your body.So what can we do for this stuffy nose?1. Steam inhalation:As we all know steam inhalation will help to eliminate the phlegm and also helps to get relieve from sinusitis. Steam inhalation can be taken as such or by adding some eucalyptus oil in hot water. It works best when the water is boiled with some cinnamon.2. Turmeric Inhalation:Take a whole turmeric (dried one) and burn it in fire. When it starts smoking, take it out of fire & inhale the smoke deeply. You will feel slight burning sensation inside your nostril. Don't worry it will get resolved by itself.3. Pepper Inhalation:Prick a pepper in a long needle or a pin, burn it in fire. When it start smoking, inhale the smoke deeply. It will produce cough for sometime and get resolved on its own.4. Cinnamon Tea:Cinnamon tea is too good for relieving cold and sinusitis. Can be taken 2-3 times a day 5. Ajwain/Oregano - Cumin seeds decoction:Ajwain/oreganao & cumin seed decoction will help to reduce your cold and improve digestion.6. Jala- neti:Jala neti is a cleansing procedure for nasal passage in yoga. It helps to eliminate the phlegm from you stuffy nose. Most effective treatment for stuffy nose & sinusitis. Should be strictly practised under a well trained Yoga doctor or yoga therapist qualified from a university like Svyasa, Bangalore, Bihar school of yoga etc.