Articles on yoga as exercise or alternative medicine

5 Yoga Poses to Stay Ahead in Life

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Yoga is a way of living; one should try to make use of it in life for a healthy body and mind. So for those who think they cannot stretch, twist and fold their body like professional yogis, we have chosen some of the easiest Yoga techniques or Yoga poses, anyone can do at home or at work, with minimal experience. All you need is a yoga mat, some willingness to stay ahead and change your life. These Yoga poses for beginners are so easy that you can do it at home, on the roof terrace or wherever there is a comfortable place to sit down.Basic meditative Position:These 5 Yoga exercises start with a basic meditative position so it is necessary to get familiar with it. First sit on the Yoga mat relaxed,legs crossed and spine straight as shown in the picture below.1.KAPĀLABHĀTI (Forceful Inhaling and Exhaling exercise.) Sit in the basic meditative position with your eyes closed and body relaxed. Now you have to inhale deeply so that your lungs get filled with air, wait for 1 second and forcefully exhale the air from your lungs by contracting the abdominal muscles. Do this 20-30 times per round and then take rest by deep breathing and slow exhaling.Good for: Sinus problems, Asthma, Fatigue, dust allergies and other respiratory diseases. It increases the blood flow to the lungs and face.People with heart ailments, high blood pressure, nasal bleeding, vertigo, and stroke should avoid this exercise.2. PRĀNẠ̄ YĀMA (Alternative breathing) Sit in a comfortable position ,slowly inhale through the right nostril with blocking the left nostril by the thumb, wait for as much as you can then slowly releasing the thumb and exhaling the air out. Repeat the same process with the right nostril this time. Increase the duration according to your strength.Good for: It provides the oxygen to the deeper parts of the lung and increases the lung capacity to fill the oxygen. It helps in relieving anxiety, stress and refreshes the mind. The best exercise for most respiratory disorders like Asthma, Sinus, Seasonal allergies.3. BHRAMARI (The Humming Bee buzzing sound)Bhramari word comes from the buzzing sound coming from bees. It is a type of Pranayama with focus basically on sound. Sit in the basic meditative position, with the eyes closed and relaxed breathing. Take a deep breath; focus on the area between the eyebrows and humming the (Om or Hmm) sound while exhaling. Make sure your jaws are locked so that the (Om or Hmm) sound creates a vibration in the head.Good for: Stress, Anxiety, Anger, hyperactivity of the mind, boosts concentration, great for attention deficit disorders. It has a tranquilizing effect on the mind.People with Ear and Nose disease should avoid this.4. DHYĀNA (Meditation)DHYĀNA is to dig deep within your soul to find all the answers to the questions asked by life. It is a good way of soul-searching.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 sometimes shifts 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.5. SANKALPA (The Vow)Sankalpa is all about determination and will power. I vow to change my life; I will do anything to achieve my Fitness, peace, love and Aim.At the end of the session make a Sankalpa every day stay focus on your goal to do whatever you want to.Good for: DE-addiction-Tremendous Will power is the most important ingredient to conquer any kind of addiction. Sankalpa practice gradually increases the will power,determination and could be used effectively against addiction.

7 Yoga Poses for Better Health

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The benefits of yoga are varied. The body welcomes and requires active movement. Any form of stretching will help the body stay limber. However, the physical benefits of yoga, as reported by the millions of people who perform various types of asanas, go beyond that, like better flexibility of the spine and joints, Increased flow of blood and oxygen, better balance, better posture, improved digestion, toned and strengthened muscles, reduction of toxins built up in the body and heightened immune system response are some of its benefits.Below are the second set of yoga poses for you to make your life more enjoyable and healthy living:Mountain Pose or Tadasana: This is a simple pose for beginners. Tadasana helps to bring the body and mind in balance and alignment position. Practicing  with proper execution and continual along with other postures helps to re-train the body to stand correctly and reverse the negative effects of poor posture. 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 alsostrengthens and lengthens the spine. 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.Matsyendrasana or The Lord of the Fishes Pose: This stimulates the liver and kidneys and stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck. The Lord of the Fishes Pose energizes the spine and stimulates the digestive fire in the belly. Matsyendrasana  also relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache. Noose Pose or Pasasana: Pasasana  provides relief in asthma, menstrual discomforts and tension in shoulder, neck and back. Performing Noose Pose stimulates the abdominal organs and also helps in improving digestion and elimination. Pasasana also brings about the stretching of the ankles thus providing them with strength and flexibility. 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. Accomplished or Adept Pose or Siddhasana: Siddhaasana is a simple beginner’s asana which not only helps to establish equilibrium throughout body/mind but also help stretching the legs and pelvic area to the point where the padma-asana can be held effortlessly. This also helps to cultivate concentration. Get these yoga poses into your stride and practice them till the next set of poses come in for you.

Yoga Therapy

Dr. Lakshmi T Rajan, Psychologist
Yoga therapy focuses on all the elements of human being – Body, Mind and Soul. Medical research proves that yoga therapy is the most effective alternate therapies for many common ailments. Yoga therapy focuses on the adaptation and application of yoga techniques derived from the yoga tradition of Patanjali and Thirumoolar. This therapy helps people to face and manage their health challenges at any levels, reduces symptoms, restore balance and improve attitude.By combining different techniques, yoga brings about specific changes in muscles, joints and organs. Yoga therapy enhances the blood circulation in the body and brain. A good example would be the way to understand how yoga can help overcome panic attacks and anxiety attacks.When a particular way of technique is followed which has to be learnt from a trained professional, blood circulation in the prefrontal cortex of the brain is increased and hence a sense of control is gained. This allows the mind to rest calm and increases emotional stability.When we introspect on the psychological level, the various techniques when followed correctly allows the psychic transformation. Yoga considers the psyche to be spread in different centers called chakras along the spine. Each chakra is associated with an endocrine gland and specific psychic qualities.Common disease and CureLow Back PainIn today’s mechanical world, 85% of people have low back pain and knee pain. In addition swelling in the ankle and leg pain have become very common. This is associated with the Mooladhara chakra which is related to feet, legs and spine. This chakra is also associated with the stability and rootedness. This chakra is related to the endocrine gland Adrenal. With special combination of yoga techniques and breathing controls this chakra can be regulated and the pain can be avoided.Gastritis/IndigestionLike the low back pain and leg pain another common disease seen today is digestion related problems. This is associated with the digestive organs and the endocrine gland pancreas. The chakra related is the Manipuraga chakra popularly known as Solar Plexus. When concentrated on this chakra with special combination of yoga techniques, this problem can be avoided.PCODAs we all know PCOD is a problem of the ovaries and the associated chakra is Swadishtana Chakra. A combination of postures, breathing regulation and relaxation techniques can regularize this problem.Blood PressureBlood Pressure is related to the heart and the endocrine Gland is Thymus. The chakra associated is Anahata Chakra. This chakra is also responsible for the respiratory tract infections and Asthma. With a combination of yoga techniques respiratory problems, blood pressure can be controlled.DiabeticsBlood sugar level increases or decreases as per the hormone secretion of the endocrine pancreas. The whole digestive system gets interrupted if this manipuraga chakra does not function well. Diabetics can lead to many other physical illnesses as well. Simple and effective combination of yoga techniques and relaxation techniques can avoid this silent killer disease.Anger ControlControl of anger can be achieved with the regulation of breathe. Relaxation techniques, yoga, breathing and meditation can help the individual to get control over the anger.It is evident from the above discussion that each chakra is associated with a particular endocrine gland and has specific control over our emotional stability. Yoga therapy focuses at regulating the chakra thereby regulating the concerned body parts. Hence yoga therapy focuses on the total wellbeing of the individual – Body, Mind and Soul.

5 Yoga Poses That Seniors Can Do in a Chair

Dr. Saurabh Gupta, Dentist
Yoga has so much to offer that almost everybody can get healthy by adding it to their lifestyle. When no exercise seems to be safe and doable, here is how seniors can stay healthy with Yoga without.Seated Mountain (Tadasana)Take a deep breath, sit up straight and extend your spine. As you exhale, root down into the chair with the lower part of your tailbone, keeping your legs at 90-degree angles and knees directly over ankles leaving a little room between the knees. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, roll your shoulders down the back, pull your bellybutton inwards and relax your arms down at your sides. Now, you will need to engage your legs by lifting your toes and pressing them firmly into all four corners of your feet.Seated forward bend (Paschimottana) Begin with mountain pose, focus on extending the spine and fold your legs. Now,  put your hand on the thighs and slide them down the legs as you fold for a little extra support. You will then need to take  5 or more even breaths in this pose in order to massage intestines, helping you with digestion. In addition, it will also help lengthening the spine and stretching the back muscles. Now, inhale as you lift your torso back to an upright position.Warrior I (Virbadrasana I)Start with seated mountain pose and take a deep breath. As you inhale, lift your arms out to the side and raise your hands up to meet above your head. Keep your pointer fingers and thumbs out and lace rest of the fingers together. Point in the direction of the ceiling. Now, as you exhale, roll the shoulders away from the ears. Keep taking deep breaths for few seconds and then release your clapsed hands on an exhale.Eagle arms (Garudasana arms)This pose helps you relax the shoulders and upper back because it stabilizes and flexes the shoulder joint. Start by taking a breath or two and as you inhale, just stretch your arms out to the sides. Bring them in front of you as you exhale and swing the right arm under the left and left under the right, grapping the shoulders as if you are giving yourself a hug. Now, as you inhale try lifting your elbows as higher as you can and then roll your shoulders down as you exhale, relaxing them away from the ears. Try repeating this process few more times.Reverse arm holdThis yoga pose is good for stretching the shoulders and opening up the chest helping you with with posture, stress, and breathing difficulties. As you inhale, stretch both the arms out to your sides and place your palms down. Roll both shoulders forward so that both your palms are facing behind you. Now bend the elbows and let your hands swing behind your back. Clasp your hands and gently pull your hands away from each other without releasing your hold. After you’ve taken 5 slow, even breaths with arms clasped this way, re-clasp the other wrist or elbow and hold for 5 breaths. 

4 Ways Couple Yoga Can Take Your Fitness and Relationship to the Next Level

Dr. Rajiv Mehta, Physiotherapist
Different from traditional yoga (involving a single person only), couple yoga involves the merging of your body rhythm with that of another person. This sync between partners is achieved through touch, movement, breath and body positions. The benefits that you gain from this practice are not only limited to your body but extend to your relationship too.Far from the seriousness that you usually associate with traditional yoga, couple yoga allows the two of you to be more happy and playful. This is because trying to get the right pose with your partner can lead to a fair share of fun and laughter. You not only have to figure how to get into that pose, but also how to hold it.In terms of how it affects your fitness levels, couple yoga can.1. Strengthen your coreCouple yoga comprises of poses that strengthen your core, leading to improved metabolism and overall strength. The varied poses that you'll come across in this form of practice strive to engage the muscles of your back and abdomen, which are crucial in building your core strength. Double boat pose and side plank pose are two of such core strengthening poses. You can check out these various poses online.2. Boost immunityWhether it's your nervous system or the digestive system, the different yoga poses (like the child poses or the upward dog pose) bring about the stimulation of one or more of the body's systems, leading to a bolstering of your immune system.Here's how couple yoga can deepen your relationship -1. It builds trustThe practice of couple yoga can help build trust as certain poses call for trusting your partner implicitly. Difficult yoga poses may require you to hold onto your partner to stay balanced; and this total dependence on the other person creates a sense of confidence and comfort as you realise that your partner is there for you. A case in point is the partner tree pose, which can be both entertaining and challenging. It calls for great amount of trust and balance to sustain this pose successfully.2. It improves intimacy between the two of youApart from all the fun, there's to this form of yoga, couple yoga also calls for a certain level of intimacy. While practicing it, you not only get to learn your own limitations but also those of your partner, helping you to accept all of them. The opening poses (heart hug) serves to do just that, it opens the two of you up so that you can fall in sync. Gestures like placing your hand on the heart of your partner, feeling the other person's heartbeat and keeping pace with each other's breathing serve to strengthen the bond between you two.While improving your health and fitness levels, couple yoga strives to improve your relationship with your partner and help the two of your to explore patterns and aims within your relationship.

Do You Exercise Like a Rookie?

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Breathe & stretch rightIf you think you cannot go wrong with Yoga, think again. Yoga experts caution against holding your breath as this deprives your body of oxygen, thereby making the exercise ineffective. Practice relaxed, normal breathing in the initial stages of yoga. Once you are comfortable with this pattern, hold your breath to a tolerable level before exhaling.Running on the right trackWhen done right, running is one of the best ways to meet your daily dose of exercise. But getting this wrong can lead to ruptured knee joints for life. Ensure that your body is relaxed; take easy strides when running.Skip away your caloriesNo amount of skipping will help you lose weight when done wrong. Get it right by maintaining a distance of 3-4 inches between your feet. Keeping your feet too close or too far could harm your leg and thigh muscles. Jump lower; the lower you jump the more effective your exercise will be. Look in front of you while skipping and remember to keep your shoulders, neck, and body straight throughout the routine.Scaling Mt. StairAlthough climbing stairs is quite a task, the benefits you reap are worth it. Studies show that the best way to climb stairs is by maintaining a steady rhythm and taking a 30-second break between two flights of stairs. Taking two stairs at a time can be dangerous. Keeping your torso straight will help you gain momentum. Do it right and feel the difference! Get connected with best Nutritionist to lose weight. Effective exercising is not about losing weight. It's about getting fit and looking fabulous, every single day of the year! So, get your workout right and get gorgeous!

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.

Warning Signs of a Ligament Injury

Rahul Gupta
We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.We all have excuses when it comes to exercise. However, doing some form of physical activity is one of the best ways to build immunity. Pick any activity of your choice (jogging, swimming, yoga, aerobics) and do it at least 5 times a week.

Benefits and Differences Between Yoga and Gyming

Dr. Rajiv Mehta, Physiotherapist
To keep up good health, it is absolutely necessary for one to indulge in physical exercise or activities. Physical activities, in general, are linked to a host of good benefits, such as reduced stress and a healthier and better outlook, besides increasing the body's resistance against complications like heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and muscle pain among others problems.Similarly, the practice of yoga is an ancient tradition well known for its health benefits. In addition, walking can further complement the practice of yoga and they can together prove to be highly advantageous, to the extent where they can be possibly regarded a better alternative to the act of gyming.Benefits:Here are a few benefits of gym workouts followed by the benefits of yoga plus walking: Benefits of gym and other exercises:Keep muscles fitEnhance respiration and perspirationHelps in weight lossRelieve stressIncrease appetite and food consumptionBenefits of yoga and walking:Keep you active throughout the dayHelp bowel movementIncrease mind control over the bodyImprove blood circulationRelieve anxiety and keeps one stress freeCan be practiced anywhere and everywhereDifferences:Although it can be argued that gym workouts are better than yoga and vice-versa, the subject matter is highly ambiguous and debatable. Since both activities are good for your health, physically as well as mentally, it is very difficult to say which one is better; perhaps a detailed comparison of the differences between the two may be more helpful:While gymming and other exercises focus on building the body and helping you attain the desired body figure, yoga and walking aims at regulating the entire body mechanism, with more emphasis on mental control.While gym workouts may be more expensive, yoga requires minimal accessories and is therefore, more economically convenient.Yoga is suitable for people of all ages, whereas gymming and other intense physical activities are not advisable for old people or those with specific medical ailments like hypertension and heart problems.There are minimal withdrawal effects with yoga, in contrast to gym workouts.Gymming requires you to go to the gym, whereas yoga and walking can be done anywhere and everywhere.