Health Tips
Yoga :
Are you aware about the power of yoga? Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices which originated in ancient India. Yoga focuses on your body’s natural tendency toward health and self- healing. You want to know more about yoga practice, start following Yoga Tips.

5 Quick Yoga Ways to De-Stress in Traffic

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Morning snarls, rush hour traffic, and the pollution can weigh the best of us down, even before reaching the work place, drawing from our productivity. The result is, we reach work half tired, irritated and ready to unleash our wrath on the slightest provocation. But what if there were ways to retain the loss of energy and simple exercises that you can practice while stuck in a thick unrelenting traffic! Here are seven yoga exercises from yoga expert Kamlesh Barwal, author of the book, Log Off To Log In, that you can do right at your steering wheel to relax and find peace in the moment.Seated Head Massage
Keep the spine erect and the head straight
Breathing in, raise the right arm
Place the palm on top of the head
Gently massage the top of the head, in a circular motion, in a clockwise direction
Keep breathing smoothly and deeply throughout the exercise
Feel the tension in the head region easing
Feel more relaxed
Blink, Squeeze, Eyes Open Wide
Keep the spine erect and the head straight
Close your eyes
Blink your eyes rapidly about 10-15 times
Blink your eyes slowly about 10-15 times
Shut your eyes as tightly as possible
Open your eyes as widely as possible
Repeat the action a few more times
Keep breathing smoothly and deeply throughout the exercise
Feel the tension around the eyes being released
Jaw Release
Keep the spine erect and the head straight
Place the tips of your three fingers on the cheekbones
Look for muscles that make knots
Keeping your mouth relaxed, press firmly and massage the knots in a circular motion
Pressing down firmly, run your fingers, down along the jaw line towards your chin
Repeat the action a few more times
Keep breathing smoothly and deeply throughout the exercise
Feel the tightness in the face easing out
Neck Rolls
Keep your spine, neck and head erect
Breathing in, raise your chin up and take the head back
Feel the stretch on your throat and the compression in your neck muscles
Hold the posture for a few seconds
Breathing out, bring your chin towards the chest
Rotate your head slowly a few times in both clockwise and anti-clockwise motion
Feel the relaxation in your neck
Ear to Shoulder Stretch
Keep your spine, neck and head erect
Breathing in, raise your shoulders to your ears
Hold the posture
Breathing out, drop your shoulders
Repeat the action a few times Feel the muscles being squeezed in your upper back
Feel the energy move up as the spine is being stretched
Quick Body Shake
Sit straight and tall
Keep your spine, neck and head in a straight line
Bring your hands near your chest
Relax and loosen your wrists, shoulders, and head
Shake your wrists, body and head together (more like when you dance)
Feel the stiffness leaving your body
Simple Seated Twist
Sit straight
Keep your spine, neck and head in a straight line
Breathe in and twist your body towards the right
Twist your spine as much as you can
Stay in this position for 5 seconds
Breathe out and come back to your previous position
Repeat on the other side
Investing 5-10 minutes in such short Yoga breaks can work wonders for the body and mind, says Kamlesh Barwal also CEO, Sri Sri School of Yoga. So, the next time you are stuck in a jam and find your head blowing a little steam, do these exercises and arrive at your destination with a lighter mind.

Anti-Stress Diet Tips

Dr Nisha Manikantan, Founder Director at Sri Sri Ayurveda and author of Ayurveda Simplified shares some food tips that you can use before you start out, or binge on while stuck on the road!

- Fruits such as strawberries, orange, guava and pineapple have large amounts of Vitamin C and are extremely beneficial against stress. The nutrients present in them help reduce fatigue.

- Beans and peas are good foods to fight against stress because they contain high levels of tryptophan. This amino acid helps in the formation of serotonin, a substance that induces a sense of well-being and happiness.

- Bananas are rich in tryptophan too. They also have a type of protein that is converted to serotonin. In addition, they are loaded with Vitamin B and other nutrients such as potassium that work wonders to combat anxiety levels.

- Cereals such as oats and brown rice are rich in lean protein, vitamin B complex, amino acids and essential vitamins - all of which help combat stress and help stay focused and balanced.

- Milk too has a calming effect on the body. Lactium, a protein found in milk helps reduce levels of cortisol (stress hormone).

- Almonds are known to be a super food for the brain. They are packed with antioxidants and are known to relax the muscles and reduce stress.

The Art of Living's international team of experts has introduced the knowledge and real essence of Yoga and Ayurveda to millions all over the globe, not just as a set of physical exercises and diet regime but as a deeper science that discusses them as a union of the mind, body, and soul.


Power Yoga: Is it Really Worth the Hype?

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In the words of Yogacharya Anoop of the Chaitanya Foundation, the traditional form of yoga focuses on correcting and strengthening the nervous system in order to benefit the body. Edit out the pauses, the breaks and trim down the necessity to hold a posture and you get Power Yoga. The practice entails doing asanas back-to-back, without stopping.

"The traditional form of yoga requires you to focus on breathing and holding a posture for a number of breaths. This not only affects the nervous system but has an impact on your hormones as well. Traditional yogic practice aims at cleaning and fixing the body inside out. Power Yoga, on the other hand, focuses on the exterior - weight-loss and muscle build up. It is fast paced, pumps up your heart rate, induces sweating and therefore facilitates rapid weight drop," noted Yogacharya Anoop, Chaitanya Foundation, Mediyoga.

It is often believed that Power Yoga gives little importance to breathing, which would be a grave misconception. A leading Delhi based yoga expert, Seema Sondhi explains that breathing always remains at the core of all yogic practices.

"Whether traditional or its power variant, yoga is always performed in sync with your breathing. It is a simple mechanism of exhaling and inhaling while getting in and out of a posture. Power Yoga need not be fast paced. You can just increase the number of repetitions or play around with the duration you hold a pose for and it turns into a dynamic activity," she noted. Essentially, all forms of yoga are associated with enhancing flexibility, reducing stress, weight-loss, and muscle strengthening. Power Yoga is just a way to bring together the many yogic postures and design them in a way to render a cardio, sweat-breaking effect.

The simple idea behind the concept of Power Yoga is to create heat in the body. Along with increasing the reps and the intensity of each pose, it is teamed with the practice of ujjai breathing. Alternatively know as glottis breathing, Ujjai breathing is a technique wherein you exhale filling up your belly first followed by the lower rib cage, the upper chest and finally the throat. It creates heat in the body and facilitates weight-loss.

Surya namaskar pranayam or the Sun Salutation is usually the most practiced posture in a Power Yoga class. It is a series of asanas which when done in repetition can leave you gasping for breath. "When you attend a Power Yoga class you can ideally expect a series of various yoga poses tied together and done one after the other to exercise the entire body, Surya namaskar is definitely the standard posture all across. In fact, Power Yoga comprises a tailor-made routine of postures to suit different body types and requirements," Mangesh Trivedi, Vedic Power Yoga, Delhi.

Besides Suryan amaskar, practicing the Warrior poses one after the other also make for a great Power Yoga routine.

Power Yoga can be termed as a dynamic activity that brings together traditional yoga and amps it up to suit contemporary preferences. "This practice is good for muscle build up as we work with our own body weight. It is great to tone the body; however, it doesn't come with the relaxing and calming effects of traditional yoga," noted Anju Kalhan, a Delhi based yoga expert.

Never forget to warm up before beginning your session. Cooling down is equally important. Stretch your body to ensure releasing lactic acid formulation and alleviate muscle soreness. Get in touch with a certified yoga expert to know what suits your body the best.


Yoga for PCOD: 5 Simple Poses That Can Help

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What is PCOD?

PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease is a disease described as multiple cysts in the ovaries. Cysts are small sacs filled with fluid. These cysts are the result of changes in the normal menstrual cycle, because of which the ovary becomes large and produces great amount of androgen and estrogenic hormones. Polycystic ovaries are larger than the normal ovaries. It is also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Being an ovarian disease, PCOD causes problems during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, diabetes and cardiac function. The disease is likely to get transferred from the mother to her offspring. Here's what you need to know about PCOD and natural ways to reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Symptoms of PCOD

It includes excess hair on the body, decrease in breast size, deeper voice, thin hair, acne, weight gain, pelvic pain, anxiety or depression, infertility. PCOD is on the rise these days among young girls because of stress, obesity, unhealthy eating habits, anxiety, depression, no exercise, and inadequate sleep.

If you have been facing any such problem, you can see the doctor to diagnose your problem. The doctor will perform a pelvic examination such as blood tests or ultrasound to begin with your treatment. The treatment varies from woman to woman seeing their symptoms. Every woman with PCOD should take a healthy diet and do regular exercises. The treatment focuses on inducing ovulation to help them conceive.

Weight loss mostly is a powerful treatment for the patients of PCOD. Increased physical activities like aerobics, dance, jogging, running,etc can help a lot in reducing weight. Vitamins and minerals supplements can prove to be helpful for the PCOD patients to overcome the symptoms. Most of the patients become obese because fatty tissues are hormonally active and produce estrogen, which hinders ovulation. Surgery may be recommended for some women if the PCOD exceeds the normal level or is more problematic. The problem can’t be cured but ingredients like cinnamon, flaxseed, apple cider vinegar and fenugreek can help, or taking fresh foods and salads, avoiding coffee and alcohol, drinking adequate quantity of water, avoiding junk food, etc.

Yoga Exercise for PCOD

Apart from the above mentioned remedies, you can also resort to yoga. Here are five asanas that can help -

1. Kapalbhati

Kapalbhati comes from the word 'Kapal' (forehead) and 'Bhati' which means 'to shine'. It is believed that the regular practice of the exercise brings a natural glow to the face. It is a shat kriya, which means it's a form of a cleansing technique that removes toxic air and toxins from the body. It involves you sitting still in a yogic posture while the breathing exercise takes over the game.

2. Yoni Mudra

Yoni means uterus or womb and this gesture is named the Yoni Mudra because the person who practices it regularly has no external contact with the world, resembling a baby in the uterus. It helps in decluttering the mind.

3. Pawanmukt Asana

This is also known as the Wind Release Pose and it is excellent for stomach and digestive problems. It is known to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and increase blood circulation.

4. Halasana

'Hal' stands for 'plow' and 'Asana' stands for 'pose'. Halasana or 'the plough pose' takes its name from the farming instrument, plough, used by farmers. Halasana is usually performed after Sarvangasana, which is basically a shoulder stand.

5. Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana, also known as the bow pose, is a yoga exercise which is credited to relieving stress and anxiety, among other benefits.


Yoga Asanas

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