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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.

Skin care – Tips to achieve healthy skin looking beautiful

Skin is your protective coat of armor. It shields organs and tissues within and regulates body temperature and detects hot, cold and dangerous. Don’t have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics because good skin care routine including sun protection and gentle cleansing can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come. Here are some tips that everybody can perform at home. Your skin needs exceptional care so make healthy skin care a priority.

Protect yourself from the sun

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough dry skin that resemble leather. Too much sun exposure can also cause several of serious skin diseases such as skin cancer.

  • Avoid he sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest and can cause sun burns.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable. Remember also to use sun glasses as strong sun can easily cause wrinkles around the eyes as we frown to see.
  • Use sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.

Quit smoking

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow; oxygen narrows blood vessels and damages the elastic fibers. This depletes the skin not only from oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health but also damages collagen and elastin fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke does also contribute to wrinkles. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

Treat your skin gently

  • Daily cleansing and shaving can damage your skin, so keep it gentle.
  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm rather than hot water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers and use shower oil in the shower.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. Find a moisturizer that fits your skin type and makes your skin look and feel soft that you can use every day. Unless you have acne, your skin needs moisturizer and this will smooth, soften and protect your skin. When you care for your skin, use a mild natural cleanser and warm water. Synthetic detergents and hot water are harsh. Cleanse the face by gently massaging with fingertips, rinse well and lightly pat dry.

Eat healthy food

Healthy food will help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between healthy diet and acne isn’t clear, but research shows that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

Stress managing

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind you can set reasonable limits, scale back your to do lists and make time to do the things you enjoy.

So about the cliché that beauty begins from within is actulally true. Healthy looking skin is a reflection of your overall well being. As the body’s largest organ, it is your skin’s mirror showing whats going on in your body. When you feel good, you look good. So here are some small highlights that everybody should follow.

  • Water: for clear healthy skin, one must drink 8 glasses of water each day. The benefits of drinking water for your skin and health are many.
  • Healthy food: eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Include also other nutritious foods such as whole grains and high quality low fat protein. Cold water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel provides healthy Omega3 fatty acids that are important for health and skin.
  • Beauty sleep: they call it beauty sleep for a reason because lack of sleep will show on your face so aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every nightly.
  • Regular exercise: Get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Stress management: Make time for relaxation. Many find yoga and tai chi to be helpful.

Diet

Diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of the skin. Diet should supply all the nutrients needed to build health, namely, protein, carbohydrates, fats, essential fatty acids and all the essential vitamins and minerals. Such a diet will consist of liberal quantities of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits, supplemented by special protective foods like milk, vegetable oils, yogurt, honey and yeast. Nutrients play an important role in maintaining a healthy skin. For example:

Your skin is unusually dry and rough. You have blackheads and whiteheads. You are probably lacking sufficient vitamin A. You could also be suffering from the deficiencies in iron, iodine and the B Vitamins. Adequate amounts of protein and vitamin C are also important.

The vitamins of the B group are important in producing beautiful skin. Vitamin B1 aids skin health by helping to keep the circulation normal.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin deficiency can lead to brown pigmentation or liver spots on the skin. These ugly spots usually disappear if generous amounts of vitamin B2 are given over a period of six months. Severe riboflavin deficiency can lead to oily skin and hair and small deposits of fat under the skin of the cheeks and forehead and behind the ears. More severe deficiency of riboflavin causes the skin under the nose and at the comers of the eyes and mouth to crack and become sore.

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine deficiency can result in dermatitis or eczema.

Niacin deficiency can also cause an eczema type of skin eruption with brown pigmentation, largely on the face, forearms and legs.

Deficiency of pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, and biotin: This also leads to types of eczema. The symptoms will go away completely when these vitamins are generously added to the diet.

It is clear that Vitamin B plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy skin. So, diet that is rich in Vitamin B can go a long way in skin health. One of the important food in this connection is brewer’s yeast. Even the person whose skin seems smooth and healthy usually notices improvement in texture and glow, a week after adding two or more tablespoons of brewer’s yeast to the daily diet. Persons with eczema should, for an entire month, take a tablespoon of yeast stirred into citrus juice or water after each meal, between meals, and before retiring.

For further reading about healthy food and vitamins, see previous blog articles;

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/vitamins-and-minerals/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/prevent-cancer-with-healthy-food/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/28-days-to-a-healthier-heart/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/12-ways-to-achieve-a-good-night%E2%80%99s-sleep-and-wake-up-rested/

 

 

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