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Archive for March 16, 2011

Yoga and Its Benefits – Traditional art form of Indian physiotherapy

The most important benefit of yoga is physical and mental therapy. The aging process, which is largely an artificial condition, caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning, can be slowed down by practicing yoga. By keeping the body clean, flexible and well lubricated, we can significantly reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration. To get the maximum benefits of yoga one has to combine the practices of yogasanas, pranayama and meditation.

Physiological Benefits
Physicians and scientists are discovering brand new health benefits of yoga everyday. Studies show it can relieve the symptoms of several common and potentially life-threatening illnesses such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue, diabetes, AIDS, asthma and obesity.

Psychological Benefits
Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind,
centres attention and sharpens concentration.

Spiritual Benefits
When you achieve the yogic spirit, you can begin knowing yourself at peace. The value of discovering one`s self and of enjoying one`s self as is, begins a journey into being rather than doing. Life can then be lived practicing “yoga off the mat”.

Types of Yogasanas:

We should begin with basic yoga postures of the gentle surya namaskar before adding more postures to our yoga routines. With expertise comes confidence. Postures from the primary series should be gradually slotted into our yoga routines. If all goes well and you don`t tear a tendon, hinges don`t lock and so on, then the third week might be generous enough to allow you to begin practising sitting postures. A few words of caution: don`t gallop, you could end up unseated and kissing the turf. The slower the learning process, the more the chances of learning the tricks of the trade. And most importantly, never practise without a teacher.

Surya Namaskar,

or Salutation to the Sun, is a sequence of 12 asanas, to draw in peace, harmony and strength in the body. Surya Namaskar accords overall strength and flexibility to the body, which is why it is generally performed before other asanas. The simple exercises fight aging and rejuvenate the entire body.

TADASANA
Tada‘ means a mountain and sama upright, unmoved. ‘Sthiti‘ means standing still. ‘Tadasana‘, therefore, implies a pose where you stand firm and erect like a mountain. ‘Tada‘ also means a palm tree growing straight. This is the basic standing pose.  Tadasana is useful for an alert body and mind. It induces lightness and agility. If practiced as in the picture here, it also relieves stiffness in shoulders and back and tones ankles and knees.

UTTHITA TRIKONASANA
Utthita‘ means extended and ‘trikon‘ is a triangle. The asana tones the leg muscles and removes stiffness in legs and hips. It relieves backaches and neck sprains and straightens the ankles and neck.

VIRASANA CYCLE
Vira‘ means a warrior. The asana resembles a warrior in sitting position.

SALAMBA SIRSASANA
In Salamba Sirsasana, the head supports the whole body.
The asana enhances blood supply to the brain. It gradually activates the endocrine glands. Regular practice increases intellectual clarity, improves will power, respiration and digestion. Minor ailments such as common cold, cough and sore throat can be cured.

SALAMBA SARVANGASANA

As the entire body benefits from this pose, this asana is generally known as Sarvangasana. In the classical pose, the hands support the back. This is called Salamba Sarvangasana. This asana develops patience and emotional stability. It is particularly beneficial and soothing for the nervous system.
It helps relieve ailments of the chest such as bronchitis, asthma, and breathlessness. It also helps decrease anemic conditions. It helps better digestion and hastens recuperation from any long illness.

USTRASANA

Ustra‘ means a camel. As the name suggests, this asana is so called because the pose resembles a camel. People with drooping shoulders and hunched backs specially benefit, since the whole spine is stretched back. This pose is useful for elderly people and those suffering from spinal injuries.

URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANAUrdhva Mukha‘ means facing upwards. ‘Svana‘ means a dog. The pose resembles a dog stretching itself with its head up. This asana rejuvenates the spine and is specially recommended for people suffering from a stiff back. It is also good for people with lumbago, sciatica, slipped and prolapsed discs. The lungs gain elasticity due to chest expansion. Blood circulates in the pelvic region, keeping it healthy.

HALASANA

Hala means plough. This posture is generally performed after Sarvangasana and therefore is often considered its extension. This pose is beneficial for headaches and fatigue. It is good for arthritis and stiffness of the shoulders. It soothes the nerves. Abdominal organs are also rejuvenated. It helps relieve backache. Cramps in the hands are cured by interlocking and stretching palms and fingers.

SAVASANA

Sava means a corpse. Savasana is thus the posture of emulating the dead. Though this apparently simple posture is the most difficult to master, it is also the most rewarding and refreshing. Savasana is a precise method of disciplining both body and mind. It connects asana and pranayama and leads one to the spiritual path.

World News Headlines of March 16

Haiti cholera ‘far worse than expected’, experts fear

Haiti cholera challenge ‘failed’ Why is Haiti still struggling? The cholera epidemic affecting Haiti looks set to be far worse than officials had thought, experts fear. Rather than affecting a predicted 400,000 people, the diarrhoeal disease could strike…

Hundreds shot in Bahrain protest

AT least 200 people have been shot and wounded in a Shiite village south of the Bahraini capital, a medic says, as the king imposed a state of emergency after bringing in Saudi and Emirati troops to help quell anti-regime protests. As the violence escalated, close ally the United States warned that there was “no military solution” to…

Libyan government forces overwhelm rebels in Ajdabiya

Libyan troops loyal to Moammar Kadafi mount a punishing assault to capture the last obstacle on the coastal highway to Benghazi, sending opposition fighters who had vowed to fight to the death fleeing. Share By David Zucchino and Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times…

Japan jolted by new earthquakes as fears of radiation exposure take hold

Earthquakes of magnitude 6.1 and 6.2 strike areas south of Tokyo. As Japan holds it breath over radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear complex, the latest quakes raise fears about another nuclear facility. But the International Atomic Energy Agency says the Hamaoka plant is operating normally….

Gunmen slowly closing net on Ivory Coast strongman

On a road that curves around a swath of vegetation at the far north of this commercial capital, cars leave territory controlled by strongman Laurent Gbagbo at a checkpoint consisting of a pile of logs. Beyond it is the first barricade manned by gunmen loyal to the country’s internationally recognised president Alassane Outtara.

Gen. David Petraeus reports ‘important but hard-fought progress in Afghanistan’

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. David Petraeus says the U.S. has stopped the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, but he warns that the gains are ‘fragile and reversible’ and that hard fighting still lies ahead. Key senators express confidence in the war effort.

Israel Seizes Ship Loaded With Arms and Headed to Egypt

JERUSALEM — Israeli naval commandos intercepted and commandeered a cargo vessel on Tuesday loaded with weaponry en route from Turkey to Egypt, according to Israeli officials. Military officials said that the ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, had sailed to Turkey from Syria.

Europe, US rethink reactors push

THE nuclear crisis in Japan has raised doubts about President Barack Obama’s push for a new generation of power plants across…

Latest World News

 

Imprtant Events on March 16

March 16

Amoco Cadiz

  • 597 BC – Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem and installed Zedekiah as King of Judah.
  • 1190 – Around 150 Jews inside York Castle in York, England, committed mass suicide rather than be killed by a mob.
  • 1621 – Samoset became the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims when he strolled straight through the middle of the encampment at Plymouth Colony and greeted them in English.
  • 1978 – The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz (pictured) split in two after running aground on Portsall Rocks, about 3 miles (5 km) off the coast of Brittany, France, resulting in one of the largest oil spills ever.
  • 1988 – Iran–Iraq War: Iraqi forces began attacking the Kurdish town of Halabja with chemical weapons, killing up to 5,000 people.

The lost prince

It’s in the middle of the night and I couldn’t sleep, so I thought for myself, why not write? Sitting in front of my window and looking out on the clear sky with the moon illuminating the snow outside. Sitting alone made me think about loneliness. Then I remembered the story about a little boy who was hidden away from public eyes because of his illness. How difficult it must have been for a child in this age to be isolated to prison life when his father was King of England. What did he think? Did he at all understand why he was placed at the farm with only the staff as friends?

When Prince John died in 1919 only 13 years old, many British people didn’t remember that he had ever existed even if he was the son of the royal couple, King John and Queen Mary. He lived such a mysterious life that, after his death, very few people could tell his story. The reason was that the royal couple’s son suffered from epilepsy which in those days was considered as shameful. When King John was crowned as King George V in 1911, John was about 6 years old and did not participate in the ceremony.

Prince John was born at York Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, England. His father was then Prince George, Prince of Wales (later King George V), the eldest living son of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. His mother was The Princess of Wales (later Queen Mary), the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck. At the time of his birth, he was sixth in the line of succession.

As the years past, the little Prince got more and more ill. He was so ill at one point that his mother, Queen Mary considered to send him to a mental institution, but was persuaded by the Prince’s old nanny, Charlotte “Lalla” Bill to let her take care of him.

The illness

Prince John had his first epileptic seizure at age four and at age 12, his condition was deteriorated. He was looked after by his nanny, Charlotte Bill, known in the family as “Lalla”, Thomas Haverly, a coachman from Windsor Castle, chosen to drive John because he was known to be reliable and would take the Prince on outings in the country or to the sea and to the “big house” at Sandringham when any members of the family were in residence. Wood Farm also had its own cook and a live-in maid. John had a tutor, Henry Peter Hansell (1863–1935), as well. An area of the garden was set aside for him with a plaque, “Prince John’s garden”, and gardeners who helped him tend it. Indoors, he had his books, a pedal car and a ride-on train. Family photos show him riding a bicycle and a horse without assistance.

In 1916 he was moved to Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate. Some say he lived a lonely and isolated life there, and that Queen Mary kept a cool distance. Other sources tell of experiences and journeys to the sea, and that he had company in Winifred Thomas, niece of coachman at Sandringham. Winifred was the same age as Prince John, and was sent to live with her uncle and aunt in the country because of her asthma problems. Soon after Winifred’s arrival, the Strattons received a visit from Queen Mary and the nanny (a role Victorians referred to as a nurse), who were looking for a friend for John. Winifred’s delicacy probably recommended her to them and after the visit she played with the Prince almost every day. When he was ill, she sat by his bed while the nanny read to them. They went on nature walks together and worked in the garden. No date is given for Winifred’s arrival but it must have happened long before the move to Wood Farm in 1917.

Winifred Thomas remembered John’s mother, Queen Mary, as a loving and interested parent who spent a lot of time with her son. A passage of the Queen’s diary, written some days after John’s death reads: “Miss the dear child very much indeed.”

The Prince’s death

Neither of John’s parents was present at the Wood Farm when the little Prince passed away suddenly January 18th, 1919 only 13 years old. He got a powerful attack and never woke up again.

Later Queen Mary wrote:

Lalla Bill called from Wood Farm and said that our poor darling Johnnie had died suddenly after one of his seizures. The news came as a shock, but for that poor little boy, death came as a relief.

The Queen wrote that she told the news to George, and that they were then driven by car to Wood Farm. Little Johnnie looked very peaceful out there he lay, Mary writes, adding that she believes it was a relief for her son, who had experienced getting increasingly powerful attacks the older he became. He was spared much suffering.

Prince John was buried in a private ceremony at the church at Sandringham January 21, 1919. Queen Mary wrote; Tuesday, January 21st 1919. Canon Dalton & Dr Brownhill conducted the service, which was awfully sad and touching. Many of our own people and the villagers were present. We thanked all Johnnie’s servants, who have been so good and faithful to him. She was genuinely moved by their loyalty and went further than thanking them. Thomas Haverly’s daughter was given John’s blackboard, which in time passed on through her own family, and Winifred was given a number of his books with Queen Mary’s own hand-written inscription, “In memory of our dear little Prince.” The Queen also treasured photographs of him, her own diary notes of their time together, and letters. One of these, written by John to Winifred’s uncle who had broken his arm in a riding accident, reads: “Dear Mr. Stratton, I hope your arm is better. Are you going to church? With my love from John.”

In 1935 the celebrated King George had spent 25 years on the throne but he was killed by his own doctor later.

Award-winning film
The British filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff made a few years back of interest for Prince John’s story, and completed in 2003 toepisoders television series – “The Lost Prince.” Poliakoff has said that he almost gave up the project. “There really is very little source material, and much of what is written is incorrect. I had to puzzle together the pieces I found,” he said. The film received three Emmy awards, and Poliakoff gained praise from various quarters for his portrayal of the prince, who in addition to epilepsy, suffered from learning disabilities, speech difficulties and possibly autistic traits.

The name John

The name “John” has been considered unlucky by the royal family and its use avoided since the death of the prince. The popularly negative historical view of the only English monarch to bear the name — King John (reigned 1199–1216) — especially his fictionalization as the villainous Prince John in the Robin Hood stories has no doubt compounded concerns about the name. It was reported that Diana, Princess of Wales, wished to name her elder son John after her own father, but was prevented from doing so by royal tradition.

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