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.
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Stress Busting Exercises To Maintain A Perfect Health!

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Stress is a very common factor for all working people. Work, home and taking care of the child all together causes great amount of stress in people. Exercising makes the body release endorphins, which are stress fighting hormones and help in relieving stress. There are various types of exercises which a working woman can do.

High energy activities: High energy aerobic exercises lead to an increased heart rate, which results in production of more endorphins that make the body fight stress naturally. They include running, skipping, dancing, etc. These also improve physical and mental health.

Yoga: Yoga is excellent for stress relief. It involves movement and stationary poses or postures, along with breathing exercises. Yoga enhances the body's natural response to relaxation, making your life healthier.

Tai Chi: Tai chi involves a series of flowing movements of the body along with breathing. Having its roots in martial arts, Tai Chi provides efficient stress relief.
Pilates: This exercise involves a series of movements and exercises performed on a mat. Pilates enhance strength, flexibility, endurance and immunity of the body.

Martial arts: Martial arts is an effective way of unleashing energy and venting out frustration, which result in reducing stress. There are different forms of martial arts to choose from, which include Judo, karate, Taekwondo and several others.

Kick boxing: Kick boxing reduces stress to a great extent and involves punching and kicking, which is performed with discipline. Kickboxing incorporates a rigorous workout schedule and is a great way to vent out frustration and energy, releasing stress.

Team sports: Team sports are an ideal way to relieve stress, work out and have fun, altogether. Playing tennis, cricket or football offers a double amount of stress relief. Playing with your family will encourage bonding, fun and help in relieving stress together.

On the go exercises: Several exercises such as running or jogging and cycling allow you to have a break, breathe some fresh country air and get your mind freshened up. Along with the release of energy, travelling across beautiful places helps in stress relief.

Meditation: Meditation is an amazing mind exercise for stress relief. It requires great concentration and must be performed in a quiet atmosphere. Peace of mind is obtained.

Gym activities: A gym has a lot of exercising instruments and devices. They involve power and strength and energy is unleashed. This is an ideal vent for anger and frustration, which results in great stress relief.

People face a lot of stress, which arise from various aspects of life, including work, home and children. Stress busting exercises should be practised to maintain a perfect mental health.

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Practicing Yoga in Late Pregnancy

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Yoga is widely recommended as a good exercise for pregnant women: It keeps the body limber, tones muscles and can relieve stress. But it comes with caveats, warnings that some poses can be dangerous and that all yoga should be done gently. Many women are also worried about doing yoga in the final weeks of their pregnancy.

A new study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and described in the Harvard Health Blog, offers evidence that many yoga poses are safe until quite late in pregnancy -- including some that have previously not been recommended.

The study, led by a researcher from the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., involved 25 healthy women who were 35 to 38 weeks pregnant. Ten practiced yoga regularly, eight were familiar with yoga and seven had no yoga experience at all. In one-on-one sessions with yoga instructors, the women performed 26 yoga postures. In some cases, the women were permitted to balance themselves with the aid of chairs or a wall.

The poses included four that some experts have deemed contraindicated for pregnant women: corpse pose, happy baby pose, child's pose and downward-facing dog.

But during all 26 poses, for all the women, vital signs of both mother and baby remained normal, the women felt safe and comfortable, and none had any problems such as contractions or vaginal bleeding within the following 24 hours. (Three women reported some muscle soreness but still liked the experience.)

The Harvard article noted that most women experience anxiety during pregnancy and about 13 percent of pregnant women experience clinical depression. "This study . . . adds to the growing scientific evidence that yoga is a helpful, safe tool to reduce stress, anxiety and depression throughout pregnancy," wrote the author, Marlynn Wei.

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Yoga classes in school may help kids fight stress, anxiety

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Participating in yoga and mindfulness activities at school helps relieve stress and anxiety in young children, improving their wellbeing and emotional health, a study has found.

Researchers from Tulane University in the US worked with a public school to add mindfulness and yoga to the school's existing empathy-based programming for students needing supplementary support.

Third graders who were screened for symptoms of anxiety at the beginning of the school year were randomly assigned to two groups.


A control group of 32 students received care as usual, which included counselling and other activities led by a school social worker.

The intervention group of 20 students participated in small group yoga/mindfulness activities for eight weeks using a Yoga Ed curriculum.

Students attended the small group activities at the beginning of the school day. The sessions included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and several traditional yoga poses appropriate for children.

The study, published in the journal Psychology Research and Behavior Management, evaluated each group's health related quality of life before and after the intervention, using two widely recognised research tools.

"The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care," said Alessandra Bazzano, associate professor at Tulane University.

"We also heard from teachers about the benefits of using yoga in the classroom, and they reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention," Bazzano said.

Researchers targeted third grade because it is a crucial time of transition for elementary students, when academic expectations increase.

"Our initial work found that many kids expressed anxious feelings in third grade as the classroom work becomes more developmentally complex," Bazzano said.

"Even younger children are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around test time," she said.

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Daily yoga practice improves sperm quality

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A daily yoga routine significantly improve sperm quality, according to a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The study, which was published in Nature Review Urology, an international medical journal, early this year, was conducted by experts in the Department of Anatomy at AIIMS in collaboration with the Department of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The major cause of defective sperm function is DNA damage. The quality of genetic components in sperm are vital for the birth of a healthy offspring, said Dr. Rima Dada, Professor-in-charge of Laboratory of Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS.

"Sperm DNA damage is the common underlying cause of idiopathic infertility, idiopathic recurrent spontaneous abortion, and congenital malformations. Sperm DNA damage also leads to increased chances of denovo germline mutations and accumulation of mutagenic bases. This leads to the offspring being at increased risk of genetic and epigenetic disorders and thus adversely affects health trajectory of the offspring," Dr. Dada said.

The major cause of DNA damage is oxidative stress, a condition in which there is an imbalance between free radical levels and anti-oxygen capacity in the body.

Of all the cells in the body, the male germ cell is the most vulnerable to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress can be caused by various internal and external factors like environmental pollution, exposure to insecticides and pesticides, electromagnetic radiation, infection, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and nutritionally depleted fast food.

All these factors are preventable and simple modifications in our lifestyle can positively improve the DNA quality which in turn can reduce incidents of male infertility.

Performing yoga regularly reduces oxidative stress, decreases DNA damage and aids in the maintenance of telomere lengths, Dr. Rima Dada said.

This study was done in 200 men who practiced yoga for 6 months.

"We observed a significant decline in seminal oxidative stress (within 21 days) and improvement in DNA quality (6 months). There was a decrease in inflammation and normalization in levels of sperm transcripts and maintenance of telomere length. There was a reduction in severity of depression, stress and anxiety scores, she said.

This could be explained by an increase in levels of certain chemicals which increase neuroplasticity.

Yoga reduces the rate of aging by decreasing free radical levels, decreasing DNA damage and maintaining telomere length by decreasing oxidative stress and upregulating telomerase activity.

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Yoga Asanas That Can Boost Heart Health

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With more and more people adopting yoga as a way of life, the ancient Indian practice of physical exercise is gaining popularity across the globe. It not only works to stretch your muscles, but also boosts mental health as well as the functions of the heart, stomach and other internal organs. According to a study conducted by Harvard experts, yoga can be as effective as cycling or brisk walking in reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It has been found to be beneficial in managing and improving the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and can be a 'potentially effective therapy' for cardiovascular health.Heart disease is a growing health concern, with many Indians suffering heart attack or stroke. Blame it on lifestyle habits and lack of physical activities, but preventive measures must be taken well ahead of time. There has been enough evidence to prove that exercise in any form is great to boost your physical and mental health and especially heart health. And for those of you who hate hitting the gym, yoga could be the best way to start.

Here are some yoga asanas that are said to boost heart health -

1. Trikonasana

Trikonasana, as the name suggests, is a triangle-shaped asana, which helps in stretching the spine, stimulating spinal nerves and blood circulation.

How to do: Stand straight with your legs wide apart. Extend your arms at the shoulder level. Inhale and raise your right arm by the side of your head. Make sure that both your arms are parallel to each other and your legs are stretched straight. Now, while exhaling gently slide your upper body to the left and tilt it down. Your arm will also move simultaneously. As your left hand comes down you can keep it on the ankle, over the shin, on your knee or simply rest it on the floor. Your chest and tummy should be facing the front.

Gently stretch your left palm away from the body and press with the back of your hand into the shin or ankle. The weight should be on both the legs and you are just pressing your hands against the inside of the leg to maintain balance. Repeat it using the other arm. You can practice this pose for 2-6 long breaths.

2. Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana, also known as the bow pose, is a yoga exercise which is credited to expanding the chest, improving blood circulation and relieving stress and anxiety. According to an article about Dhanurasana on Yoga International website, it states, "Resembling an archer's bow, this posture encourages a powerful stretch along the front of the body and a deep opening at the heart center, helping you cultivate an attitude of fearlessness and grace."

How to do: Lie down on your stomach with your feet slightly apart. Slowly, fold your knees up and hold your ankles with your hands. Breathe in and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and stretch it out. You should feel the stretch on your arms and thighs. Hold the pose for 12-15 seconds. Slowly bring your chest and legs back to the ground, release your hold on the ankles, and relax with your hands on the side. Repeat for a few sets.

3. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana

This yoga asana is known to increase blood flow to the chest region, thus boosting heart health. "It regulates the flow of blood and prana (energy) to the heart, the glands in the neck and the head, and releases tension," says a Delhi-based Yoga expert, Anju Kalhan of Vivafit Fitness Center.

Dr. Hitendra Ahirrao
Dr. Hitendra Ahirrao
BAMS, Family Physician General Physician, Pune
Dr. Aakash Bora
Dr. Aakash Bora
BHMS, Homeopath, 7 yrs, Pune
Dr. Nitin Desai
Dr. Nitin Desai
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 22 yrs, Pune
Dr. Urmila Kauthale
Dr. Urmila Kauthale
BAMS, Ayurveda, 7 yrs, Pune
Dr. Kirti Dagor
Dr. Kirti Dagor
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 11 yrs, Pune
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