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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Yoga for Depression: 5 Effective Poses That Can Curb the Negativity

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At some point of time in our lives, we have all felt low and depressed. We have often questioned who we really are and whether we are good enough or not. It is very natural to be happy at some point in time and sad at the next. However, the concern arises when these changes in your mood persist for a fairly long period of time and interfere with your daily life.

An individual with depression often finds himself spending long hours isolated from family, friends and others who matter. Disturbed sleep patterns, changes in eating habits and excessive mood swings are some of the characteristic symptoms of depression.

While there is medical help available to enable one to tackle with depression, another means of bringing in positivity is yoga. According to a study done by Boston University School of Medicine in the US, joining yoga classes can help patients experience significant reduction in symptoms without the side effects associated with antidepressants. The power of yoga has cured innumerable health problems since time immemorial. With depression too, yoga comes to the rescue of individuals. Often known to improve physical health, yoga works wonders in the case of your mental health and well-being as well. It is a natural and simple way of helping you overcome fears and improving self-esteem and self-worth.


"This study supports the use of yoga and coherent breathing intervention in major depressive disorder in people who are not on antidepressants and in those who have been on a stable dose of antidepressants and have not achieved a resolution of their symptoms," explained corresponding author Chris Streeter, Associate Professor at the University. The findings, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, provide support for the use of yoga-based interventions as an alternative or supplement to pharmacologic treatments for depression

Yoga is believed to relax the mind and lower the heart rate thus reducing anxiety, which comes along with depression. It is built on the philosophy of helping one live in the moment, mitigating negative thoughts and focusing on all good things that life sends our way.

Lamya Arsiwala, The Yoga House Mumbai, suggests several yoga Asanas that could be practiced to enhance one’s state of mind in case of depression.

1. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly/ Bound Angle Posture)

It is often referred to as the “Cobbler pose”, named after the position cobblers sit in while working. The asana helps strengthen the thighs, knees, hips and the back. It is a great anti-depressant pose and improves emotional stability.

How to do: Sit with an upright back, knees bent and holding your feet tightly together. Deeply inhale and flap your bent legs up and down like a butterfly.

2. Supta Baddha Konasana (Supported Bound Angle Posture)

Supta means reclining. It is often referred to as the “reclined cobbler pose”. This asana helps one become calm and instills a sense of relaxation.

How to do: Lie down straight on the ground with bent knees on either side of the body. Join your feet and bring the heels closer to your groin. Place your palms next to your hips, facing downwards. Slowly exhale and inhale.

3. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)This asana relieves fatigue and relaxes the mind. Since it is called the baby pose, the individual practicing the asana really feels the happiness of a baby in that moment.

How to do: Lie down on your back, bringing your knees closer to your stomach. Inhale and hold your feet with your hands. If you have difficulty holding your feet then hold on to your ankles in the beginning and progress towards heel as you continue to do the pose daily. Breathe gently and rock from one side to the other if you feel comfortable.

4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

It is a great asana for reducing stress and anxiety. It takes the shape of a bridge and hence the name. It also helps maintain normal blood pressure.

How to do: Lie flat on the ground, face up and hands on either side. Slowly lift your hips upwards while inhaling. Bring it back down and repeat.

5. Child's Pose

An extremely soothing posture, the child's pose helps achieve peace and is a great relaxation technique.

How to do: Sit on your knees. Slowly exhale and bring your torso down between your thighs. Place your hands on the floor alongside your torso and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor

Practicing these asanas on a regular basis will help overcome depression and improve mental health and well-being tremendously.

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World Asthma Day 2018: 6 asanas to ease the effects of asthma

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Wheezing, gasping for air, feeling a general tightness in the chest might be common symptoms for you if you suffer from asthma. A chronic breathing disorder, asthma causes the narrowing of the bronchial airways that hampers normal breathing. This contraction may be triggered by allergens like pollen, dust, leading to a decreased amount of airflow in the lungs.

The breathing exercises that are prominently taught in yoga focus on slow inhalation and exhalation that build up the lung capacity. The intercostal or breathing muscles are also strengthened by yoga that can improve breathing. However, there are some specific asanas that you can try to get relief from asthma.

Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

Back-bending exercises like bhujangasana help in the opening of the chest, expand the rib cage and improve lung capacity, says Seema Sondhi, yoga expert, The Yoga Studio.

Salabhasana or Locust Pose

This pose strengthens the back and the abdomen and opens up the chest. The final position of the body in this asana resembles a locust.

Ustrasana or Camel Pose

One assumes a camel-like posture in the Ustrasana and it works towards opening the front of your body, pectoral muscles and hip flexors. It engages the entire frontal region and the sides of the body and helps in toning and relaxing the airways.

While these asanas can be challenging for beginners, they can always start out with easy breathing exercises. Dr Anjali Sharma, yoga expert, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, recommends specific ones to try out.

Tadasana or Mountain Pose

It involves standing and practising some stretches while giving special attention to regulating your breathing. Sondhi advises working more on the inhalation as patients tend to gasp for air while having an asthma attack and deep inhalation exercises can strengthen the muscles.

Kati Chakrasana

This pose improves the inhalation capacity and also gives the spine a nice stretch.

Pawanmukta Asana or Wind Relieving Pose

This asana involves lifting up the legs to a 90-degree angle from the floor while maintaining slow inhalation and exhalation of the breath. It also stretches the neck and the back, and relieves constipation.

Besides these, one can also try the Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), and Matsyasana (Fish Pose). Dr Sharma encourages animal form of breathing and Yogi Kriyas to get relief from asthma. She recommends Jal Neti, which is a form of nasal cleansing and involves passing salt water through one nostril and eliminating it out of the other.

Another kriya she recommends is Vaman Dhauti that includes vomiting out salt water, thereby cleaning the passages from where allergens can enter.

Regular practice of these asanas will help give relief, however, it is recommended to practise under the supervision of a teacher.

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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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7 secrets of yogic nutrition

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Ever wondered what is so special about the way yogis eat? Here’s revealing some of the top secrets of yogis that can help attain a balance between the mind, body and soul…

An Alkaline start

There is a build-up of toxins and acids in our bodies overnight, hence a ritual of lemon water on an empty stomach is very dear to yoga. It is extremely alkaline, detoxifies and wakes ups all the organs much better than coffee does. Add pink Himalayan salt to it and you amplify its detoxifying power.

Sattvic eating

In ancient texts, there is no mention of carbs, proteins and fats. Food is divided into Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Sattvic diet is one that leads to clarity of mind and physical health. It is plant-based, light, extremely alkaline and eco-friendly – like fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains. Rajasic is more stimulating, heat producing, rich and acidic, which includes meat, eggs, pickles, tea/coffee. Tamasic diet leads to dullness and lethargy. It’s acidic, putrid and reheated. It includes alcohol, sugary foods and beverages. Yogis only follow the Sattvic way of eating.

Plant-based

Everything in yoga is related to prana (life force). Food which has prana gives us physical and emotional strength. Cooked food is of less importance – heat destroys its fibre, nutrients and enzymes to quite an extent. So are canned, frozen, microwaved, or highly processed foods. Raw food, as intended by nature, gives us all vitamins and minerals – and in the most bio-available form. The method of sprouting is given top importance as it’s one of the best ways to consume functional “live” enzymes. Enzymes play a vital role in digestion and fighting disease.

Fasting

Yoga believes that accumulation of toxins breeds disease. Wrong eating habits, exposure to chemicals, build-up of negative emotions lead to an imbalance of mind and body. Fasting is one of the most common practices that can counter-balance this. There are various ways of fasting: water fast, fruit fast, giving up one or two meals in a day. The main reasoning behind this is to give our digestive system a break.

Smaller portions

A famous yogi once said: “The greatest enemy of health and long life is overeating.” There is a term in yoga called Mitahara, which means moderate eating, leaving one quarter of the stomach reserved for the movement of air. This eating style is easy on digestion and in quantities that can keep the body and mind clear and light.

Good fats

Yogic nutrition is incomplete without ghee, coconut oil and soaked nuts/seeds. They make food appetizing, digestible and satisfying. They help in healing the mind too. The presence of fats in the body improves memory, neural conductivity and mental well-being.

Herbs & adaptogens

Teas or concoctions of intensely flavoured and power-packed herbs like turmeric, ginger, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom are the go-to beverages for yogis. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and detoxifying in nature. Yoga also encourages use of adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Triphala. They are known to lower stress, stimulate thyroid function and protect against oxidative stress.

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Can diabetes be cured by yoga?

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Yoga can cure anything and everything, isn't that what we all thought. But is that true when it comes to diabetes? Can yoga help in curing diabetes as well? Let's look at it.

Diabetes
In colloquial terms, diabetes for people is about sugar. But on a medical note, diabetes is how our body manages sugar. The major hormone insulin does not behave the way it should if you have diabetes. Insulin brings energy to the cells and that's why people suffering from diabetes feel lethargic and tired, despite resting and eating properly.
Yoga and diabetes
It would be wrong to say that yoga does not do any good when it comes to diabetes. Not only in diabetes but for any other health condition, practising yoga is of great help. The most important and beneficial thing that yoga does to your body is it mitigates stress. And we all know, be it any health condition stress has a major role to play.

Yoga works?
Full of restrictions and an incurable disease, diabetes can be controlled by yoga if it's practised regularly. Asanas like Kapalbhati and Pranayama have proven to be excellent in controlling diabetes. People suffering from high-level sugar should practice these asanas for 15 to 30 on an empty stomach.

Conclusion
There are medicines in the market which can control diabetes for sure but there are no medicines which can improve the function of the pancreas and thus, cure diabetes. The case with yoga is a little different as yoga can improve the functioning of pancreas and strengthen them and thus, help them to produce the an improved amount and regulate the hormone insulin. However, diabetes can be controlled to such an extent that you may not need medication but it cannot be cured, even through yoga.

Dr. Dr.Shivangi Patil
Dr. Dr.Shivangi Patil
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Manish Jawale
Dr. Manish Jawale
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shital Chavan
Dr. Shital Chavan
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Chandrakant Raut
Dr. Chandrakant Raut
BAMS, Family Physician General Surgeon, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Chhaya Helambe
Dr. Chhaya Helambe
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 20 yrs, Pune
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