Yoga Poses That Make You Better in Bed


Downward Dog 

downward dog

Downward dog is one of the hottest yoga poses of all. It gets you in the mood for love by boosting blood flow and warming your body. You’ll feel invigorated, yet focused on the moment. On top of that it also provides increased flexibility and releases tension. What more could you ask for from a sexy yoga pose?

Eagle 

Eagle

The eagle yoga pose is sexy enough to have made it into the ‘Kama Sutra.’ It involves legs and arms being wrapped around each other. This not only looks hot — it also causes a rush of blood to the pelvic area when you unwind!

Plow 

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The plow pose might be just what you need to kick your libido up a notch. That’s because it revs up blood flow to the brain. This has the effect of renewing your energy and awakening your senses. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to go! And if that’s not enough, even the sight of your hips above your body may have an aphrodisiac effect all on its own.

Cobra 

cobra

The cobra is a heart opening yoga pose. It heightens intimacy. And it also provides a boost of energy to help get things sizzling in the bedroom!

Goddess 

Goddess

The goddess is a strong and sexy pose that will help you find your inner goddess. You’ll feel confident in your powers. You’ll be relaxed, in tune with the moment, and ready for adventure!

Shoulder Stand 

Shoulder Stand

Get upside down to get better in bed! The shoulder stand is a revitalizing yoga position that increases blood flow throughout your body. It will calm your mind while renewing your energy

Wide-Legged Straddle 

Wide-Legged Straddle

The sexy wide-legged straddle enhances your sex life by intensifying arousal. This yoga pose increases circulation to the pelvic region. And all that extra blood flow heightens every sensation.

Plank 

Plank

Need a bedroom confidence booster? Try practicing the plank pose! It will tone your body all over. And that will leave you looking and feeling hot!

Cobbler 

Cobbler

The cobbler is a hip stretching yoga pose that improves flexibility. It’s great for easing any tension or fatigue that could be interfering with your love life. And it also spices things up by boosting blood flow throughout the pelvic region.

Pigeon 

Pigeon

Feeling flexible? The pigeon pose will make you even more so! It’s also great for deep relaxation and releasing built up tension in the hips.

Lizard 

Lizard

The lizard is a hot yoga pose that will soothe your mind and open your hips. You’ll be able to focus on sexy opportunities in the present instead of being preoccupied by a million other thoughts racing around your head!

Cat Cow

Cat Cow 

The cat cow yoga pose is a perfect playful stretch to awaken your senses. This pose relaxes while also increasing blood flow and sensation. It works in a similar way to Kegel exercises — by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

Bridge 

Bridge

Feel your worries melt away as you ease into the bridge yoga pose. This pose will stretch out your hips and release any tension. It also gives a workout to your pelvic floor muscles to heat up your love life.

Fish 

Fish

Let go of any tension by relaxing into the fish yoga pose. Open yourself up to possibilities. Feel sensual and free!

Savasana 

Savasana

The savasana pose is possibly the most relaxing yoga pose of all. Give into its deep release. Allow yourself to be at one with your body, and in control of your desires!

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Surya Namaskara #Yoga #Meditation


India is known for its unity and diversity in culture, language, traditions and all else. But one thing that has remained constant throughout the centuries is yoga. The age old practice of yoga has been passed on from generation to generation and is still going as strong as it was a thousand years ago.

Yoga is known for its holistic healing properties. Be it physical fitness or mental wellness, yoga heals you all over.

One of the most iconic exercise series of the yoga is the Surya Namaskara set of exercises. This particular set of twelve exercises is said to be the only workout required to keep you fit and healthy.

There are two ways a set of Surya Namaskaras can be performed. One is by focusing on breathing and doing the set slowly and gracefully, and the other is by performing the set fast, one breath one exercise. The slower version relaxes your limbs and calms your mind down. The slower stretches tone your muscles making your body trimmer. The faster version is an excellent way to burn all those calories. The faster version acts as good as a cardio workout and helps you lose that flab.

The recommended number of repetitions for the Surya Namaskaras is Twelve. This means that you should do the set of twelve exercises for twelve times in order for it to show its full potential.

In this article, I will take you through the set of twelve exercises together known as the Surya Namaskaras.

1. The Namaskara Mudra

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The Surya Namaskaras are started with a little prayer to the Sun for being our energy. Each set of repetitions has its own little mantra.

  1. Om Mitraya Namah.
  2. Om Ravaye Namah.
  3. Om Suryaya Namah.
  4. Om Bhanave Namah.
  5. Om Khagaya Namah.
  6. Om Poosne Namah.
  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaya Namah.
  8. Om Marichaya Namah.
  9. Om Adityaya Namah.
  10. Om Savitre Namah.
  11. Om Arkaya Namah.
  12. Om Bhaskaraya Namah.

Chanting the little mantra before each set will energise our body for the twelve exercises that we are about to do.

2. The Ardha Chakra Asana

Ardha-Chakra-Asana

As the name states, this asana is a half-moon shaped asana. We bend backwards with our hands stretched overhead. Breathe in slowly while reaching this position. Do not over exert yourself. Bend only so much that you are comfortable with.

Breathing is very important. Take a slow deep breath IN for this asana.

3. Paada Hastha Asana

Paada-Hastha-Asana

Paada means foot. Hastha means hand. In this asana, we bend forwards touching our feet with our hands. Breathe out while bending forwards. Again, do not over bend yourself down. If you cannot touch your feet in the beginning, do not worry. Slowly, with regular practice, you will start bending more.

Breathing out is very important here. Release your breath as you bend forward.

4. Ashwa Sanchalana Asana

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Ashwa means horse. In this posture, we take up the form of a reigned horse. This posture requires us to breathe in. From the Paada Hastha asana, move your right leg backwards, keeping the left leg as it is. Place your hands on either side of your left leg and look up while breathing in.

Breathing in while doing this posture is important.

5. Parvata Asana

Parvata-Asana1

Parvata means mountain. In this asana, we take up the posture of a mountain. From the Ashwa Sanchalana asana. Bring your left leg backwards to join your right leg and lift up the central part of your body to come to a mountain pose. Breathe out for this posture.

Make sure that both your feet are firmly on the ground. The heels of your feet should not lift up. If you find that your heels are lifting up, shift your hands closer to your feet. With regular practice, you will find that your heels will no longer lift up. Breathe OUT during this posture.

6. Ashta Anga Namaskara

Ashta-Anga-Namaskara

Ashta means eight. Anga means limbs. In this posture, we are saluting the sun god with eight limbs.

From the Parvata asana, go down onto the floor such that your feet, knees, stomach, chest, palms, chin, nose and forehead touch the ground. These form the eight limbs that we salute the sun god with. Make sure your bottom does not touch the floor. Keep your mid-section raised.

Breathe in while you are entering this posture.

7. Bhujanga Asana

Bhujanga-Asana

Bhujanga in Sanskrit means snake. This posture resembles the snake when it is ready to strike.

From the Ashta Anga Namaskara, relax your legs onto the ground, lower your mid-section and raise your torso off the ground keeping your hands flat on the ground.

Breathe IN while entering the cobra pose.

8. Parvata Asana

Parvata-Asana

Again, we go back to the Parvata asana from the Bhujanga asana. Lift up your mid-section while keeping your feet and palms where they are and breathe out to enter into the Parvata asana.

9. Ashwa Sanchalana asana

Ashwa-Sanchalana-Asana

We go back to the horse posture  from the Parvata asana. This time bring your right foot forward leaving the left foot behind. In the first Ashwa Sanchalana asana, we had the left foot forward. Now we do the Ashwa Sanchalana asana with the opposite foot.

Breathe IN while entering this pose.

10. Paada Hastha asana

Paada-Hastha-asana1

Bring your left foot to join your right foot forward. Leave your hands where they are and lift up to enter into the Paada Hastha asana

Make sure to breathe OUT for this asana.

11. Ardha Chakra Asana

Ardha-Chakra-Asana1

Lift your hands upwards and bend backwards to enter into Ardha chakra asana. Breathe IN while entering this posture.

12. Namaskara Mudra

Namaskara-Mudra

Release your breath, relax your breath and come back to the Namaskara mudra.

This completes one repetition of the Surya Namaskaras. It is advised to perform twelve repetitions of the above set of  exercises for maximum benefit.

It is said that we do not require any other kind of exercises if we do the Surya Namaskaras every day. Celebrities swear by this wondrous exercise to stay fit and healthy. It is rumoured that Kareena Kapoor repeats the Surya Namaskaras 120 times every day. No wonder she is so fit.

We can speed up the exercise according to our breathing style. Based upon personal experience, I suggest doing six cycles with a slow breathe-in breathe-out technique and the rest six cycles doing one asana per breath.

The Surya Namaskaras are a holistic cycle of exercises keeping us healthy wealthy and wise.          

28 Reasons to Start Meditating #YOGA #STRESS #PEACE



#1 Forgive And Let Go

Forgive

There are multiple guided meditations for forgiveness available, and learning how to forgive and let go has become a desired quality for many people. It is often believed that peace cannot be achieved without forgiveness, both of ourselves and others, and therefore meditation’s benefits can extend to the entire world. That is, if we choose to let it, of course!

#2 Discover Your Purpose

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Meditation allows for quiet contemplation and the ability to deepen your awareness of yourself and your most subtle thoughts. So through meditation, you are more than likely to ‘tap into’ that special something that you feel is your true purpose in life. Amazing!

It’s a question that we often ponder from time to time – what is my purpose in life, and how do I find it? Well the answer is simple.

#3 Assists In Quitting Smoking

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Yep – meditation can even help you to quit smoking! Often people who are addicted to smoking feel the need to pop a cigarette in their mouth as soon as they begin to feel stressed. Meditation not only allows you to handle this stress naturally, but it also helps you to focus and carry out your goals more easily. Meditation can certainly get you into the right frame of mind to be able to quit smoking for good!

#4 Increased Job Satisfaction

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Some quiet reflection each day can help you to realize that hey, maybe your job isn’t as bad as you thought! You might think, how can meditation help you to like your job more? But the answer is really quite simple! Meditating increases our ability to handle everyday stress, and it also helps us to focus on the little things in life that we often overlook.

#5 Meditation = Sweat Less

facial-sweating

Perhaps the main reason that meditation makes you sweat less is due to the fact that it relaxes your body and cools it down. When we get very stressed out we tend to tense our whole bodies, exerting much more energy than we need to. When we are tense and over-active, our bodily functions go into overdrive and our body temperature rises, which causes us to sweat.

#6 Relief From Asthma

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It has been suggested that a type of meditation based on yoga principals can help lessen the severity of the symptoms of an asthma attack and have been found to even decrease the frequency of these attacks in people who practiced meditation continuously on a regular basis!

Asthma attacks in many people are brought on by stress and tension and the severity of the attack is often increased by fear and panic of the attack itself. Meditation helps ease this stress and tension.

#7 Can Help Infertility

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Is there anything that meditation can’t do? The practice has also been used for many years now in order to assist women who are finding it difficult to fall pregnant. It has shown promising results, as it is believed that the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation.

#8 Meditate To Drive Better!

Young Woman Driving Convertible

You heard us correctly – meditation can improve one’s driving ability! This is because the practice of meditation makes you a calmer person, and as a result, you are able to handle aggravations on the road easier. You also learn vital skills in focusing on the task at hand and avoiding distractions.

#9 Overcome Addiction

addiction

Some people suffer from an addiction to drugs, pills and pain killers, but the truth is that meditating has shown proven benefits and results when it comes to breaking the habit. The physical discomfort, pain and illness along with emotional and mental suffering from undergoing rehabilitation can last weeks or months. Guided meditation and positive affirmations are an important part of giving up drugs as it aims to improve confidence and reprogram thought patterns.

 

#10 Rose-Tinted Glasses

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Meditation allows us to become more objective, and as a result, we are able to analyze ourselves truthfully. Off come the rose-tinted glasses that make us see ourselves as perfect, and instead, we begin to understand and work out how to build upon, or diminish, our true flaws.

If you’ve never meditated before, it can be opening to see what your mind looks like from the inside. Many people go through their whole lives without challenging the way they think or viewing themselves objectively; you can really effect change in your life when you take a moment to think about it.

#11 Time To Slow Down

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In this modern age, it seems as though life is going a little too fast, and many struggle to simply enjoy the present moment. Meditation can help you do this, as it forces you to slow down, find some peace and quiet, and just focus on the ‘now’! Mindfulness meditation is particularly good for this, as it encourages people to quietly take in their surroundings in the present moment.

#12 Migraines Be Gone!

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More and more people are suffering from migraines and headaches each year, but the good news is that meditation can stop all of that! One small study of people with migraines found that spiritual meditation reduced headache frequency and improved pain tolerance more than muscle relaxation. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are testing whether an ancient Indian meditation technique can reduce both migraine frequency and severity.

#13 Better Than Morphine!

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We found this research particularly surprising! Did you know that meditation is more effective at reducing pain than morphine is? Wake Forest Baptist University found that meditation could reduce pain intensity by 40 percent and pain unpleasantness by 57 percent. Morphine and other pain-relieving drugs typically show a pain reduction of only 25 percent.

#14 Secret To Living Longer?

antiaging

Meditation can also help to stop the aging process! Research done by the University of California, Davis’ Shamatha Project has shown that meditators have significantly higher telomerase activity than non-meditators. Telomerase is the enzyme that helps build telomeres, and greater telomerase activity can possibly translate into stronger and longer telomeres, which can give us the ability to live longer!

#15 Lowers Blood Pressure

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In 2008 60 patients who were suffering from high blood pressure were asked to try a meditation program for three months. An amazing 40 of the 60 patients showed significant drops in their blood pressure levels simply from meditating – no medication was used whatsoever! This is because relaxation creates nitric oxide, which opens up your blood vessels.

#16 Boosts Memory

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A 2005 study on American men and women who meditated for 40 minutes a day showed that they had thicker cortical walls than non-meditators. But what are cortical walls? This means their brains were aging at a slower rate. Cortical thickness is also associated with decision making, attention and memory.

#17 Meditate For Better Sleep

sleep-meditation

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or perhaps you wake constantly throughout the early hours of the morning? Well the good news is that meditation can fix all of those annoying sleep problems! Higher mindfulness from meditation is associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress.

#18 Lessons Teen Depression

 depressed teen male

It has been proven that teenagers can also benefit from practicing meditation, and this is because it lowers depression among teens. Meditation will allow teenagers to experience less stress, depression, and anxiety, according to a study from the University of Leuven. Teenage years can be a difficult period of mixed emotions, confusion, and fear, however meditation could provide the answers to all of these problems!

#19 Fights Flu Too!

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Ah, the dreaded cold season! The good news is that meditation can lessen the nasty effects of colds and flu. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that people who meditate regularly miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and they also experience a shortened duration of symptoms. Winning!

#20 Fights Loneliness In Seniors

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Even the elderly should be practicing meditation regularly, as it decreases the common feeling of loneliness experienced as one gets older. Loneliness in seniors can be quite dangerous, especially as it raises the risk of a number of health concerns. A recent study found that meditation can even boost their health by reducing the expression of genes linked with inflammation.      

#21 Helps Others Too

compassion

Meditation doesn’t just benefit you, it can also benefit those you come into contact with on a daily basis. For example, meditation makes us more compassionate and virtuous, and therefore, we are likely to treat others better! This is what a study in the journal Psychological Science found.

Why not take 15 minutes out of your day to not only help yourself, but improve the way you treat those around you? It makes sense that an exercise that helps you see yourself objectively will help you observe how you treat others.

#22 Permanent Rewards!

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets the audience as he arrives at a talk titled "Beyond Religion: Ethics, Values and Wellbeing" in Boston

Another fantastic benefit of meditation is the fact that you can still reap the rewards – even when you’re not actively meditating! Meditation allows for more permanent benefits in the way your brain processes emotions. This is according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. So practice, practice, practice!

Even if you don’t feel results during or right after meditation, you may find yourself feeling the benefits of the meditation exercise throughout the day.

#23 Helps Cancer Sufferers

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Meditation can also provide benefits to those undergoing cancer treatment. Research from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine shows that basic meditation, when teamed with art therapy, can decrease the stress symptoms of some cancer sufferers. We think this news is very promising! A natural treatment like meditation is loads better than having to take a drug which can cause side effects.

 

#24 Makes Music Better?

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Here’s a weird, but true, fact! Meditation can also make music sound better. This is because meditation improves our focus, and as a result, we are able to appreciate and experience music more. If the Psychology of Music journal published it, it must be true!

It makes total sense though; when you meditate you are filtering out all the noise that is normally running through your head. Filter out all that noise and the music will be hitting a blank canvas.

#25 Protects Against Mental Illnesses

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Did you know that meditation can also protect our brains from mental illness? It’s true! A meditation technique known as integrative body-mind training has been linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region. Pretty impressive!

#26 Meditate For Study Success

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Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara found that college students who were trained in basic meditation performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.If you’re currently studying at high school or college, then you’ll definitely be interested in this fact!

#27 Start With Stress

stress

The most well-known benefit of meditation is that it decreases stress levels, and recent research published in the journal of Health Psychology shows that meditating also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. So even science can prove what some people believed to be “mumbo jumbo”!

When you think about it, it makes sense that meditation relieves stress, as it’s basically an exercise in relaxation. Remember, stress can lead to a lot of serious health problems like strokes, coronary disease, and high blood pressure, with that in mind meditation is great for your overall health.

#28 You Can ‘Zen’ Out

MeditationPain

“Zen” is often a word used in association with meditation, but it is also a major benefit of the practice. Regular meditation will allow you to become more focused, or “zen”, and as a result your brain will have better control over processing pain and emotions.

This isn’t just speculation, this is according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Meditation is proven to be good for your emotional wellbeing; after all, who actually likes pain?

An Over-active mind


Our minds are more creative, solution-oriented, clever, and receptive to new answers when we aren’t trying so hard – when we relax. This is difficult to accept because it seems important to work hard. And, of course, it is important to work hard.
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It’s just that it’s not always to your advantage to think so hard. We mistakenly believe that when we relax, our minds stop working. This is far from true. When we quite the mind, it’s still working – only in a different way.When your mind is active, full speed ahead, it tends to spin and churn. An over-active mind often goes over the same set of facts again and again, encouraging you to think “inside the box.” Your thinking becomes repetitive and habitual because it’s going over that which it already knows or believes to be true. Because you’re working so hard, you use a great deal of energy, creating unnecessary stress and anxiety.Somewhere in all the churning of an overactive mind, your wisdom and common sense are lost. These invisible, usually overlooked qualities get buried in a sea of activity and you fail to see the obvious.

FiveYoga Poses That Combat Depression


One of the chapters in my life included a 10-year bout with deep depression. This depression became compounded when I was confronted with loss and grief.

I took antidepressants of varying kinds for many years and attempted talk therapy. For me, none of these approaches worked.This is not to say antidepressant medications and psychotherapy arent appropriate for some people. They just weren’t appropriate or helpful for me.

It was only when I began practicing yoga that I started to see and feel concrete, sustained shifts in my mental patterns, emotions, and internal state of being.

I Died So I Could Haunt You

Anxiety disorders, including depression, are the most common mental illness in the United States.

Many people suffer in silence, not realizing anything is wrong. Thoughts such as, “This is just how I am,” that feeling depressed is normal, or that nothing can make things better can keep people from seeking help.

While it’s normal for everyone to get the blues or feel dishearted or depressed from the loss of a loved one, when these feelings last for more than two weeks and start to interfere with daily functioning and activities, this can be termed a “major depressive episode,” according to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).

There are differing opinions on the cause of depression, but research supports the idea that depression may stem from the mind.

Yoga’s unique mind-body approach is being used more and more to reduce stress in cases of PTSD, treat depression, and to enhance overall well-being.

The following three studies provide some insight into the benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety:

  • One study reported that GABA levels increased after a session of yoga in experienced practitioners. GABA acts as a neurotransmitter which inhibits nerve transmission to the brain, resulting in calming and quieting the mind.
  • In another study of women suffering from mental distress, the women showed “significant improvements on measures of stress and psychological outcomes” after participating in a 3-month Iyengar yoga class.
  • 13 psychiatric inpatients were studied to determine the effects of yoga on mood. Participants reported significant improvements in tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, fatigue-inertia, and confusion-bewilderment.

Yoga asana can be a powerful practice for depression or anxiety, and a key component of this is the breath.

The breathing used in yoga, such as Ujjayi, calms our stress response system and contributes to a state of calm. The result is a mind-body connection that can have far-reaching effects.

There are many yoga poses that individually can be helpful, but an integrated, regular yoga practice, including meditation, can reconnect you with your true essence and your inherent wholeness. In that space of “being,” there is a release of attachment to our worries, problems, fears, or circumstances.

Here are five poses that can specifically help with depression:

Forward fold (Uttanasana). In Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar says about Uttanasana, “Any depression felt in the mind is removed if one holds the pose for two minutes or more.”

Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana). This seated forward fold is calming for the mind, stretches the hamstrings and groin, and stimulates the liver and kidneys [1].

Cobra (Bhujangasana). This backbend can be done in stages. It expands the chest and gives elasticity to the lungs [1].

Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) . Bridge pose is a backbend that strengthens the legs, opens the chest, and stimulates the abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid. Supported bridge, done with a block under your sacrum, is a nourishing restorative version.

Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana). Sirsasana is called the “king of all asanas.” [1] Inversions literally turn your world upside down and give your brain cells a fresh supply of blood. Attention and presence are essential in this pose and thus a great way to pause your thoughts and renew your perspective. Restorative versions of sirsasansa, done with props, are an option as well.

These are just a few of my favorites. I’m also sharing a hip and hamstring practice by Kia Miller on Gaiam TV below. Opening the hips and hamstrings is a powerful practice that can release energetic blocks and allow our bodies and minds to function from a more balanced, open place.

By Monique Minahan

Eight Exclusive Yoga poses for Kids


Yoga is form of exercise that affects both your body and mind. In fact, some yoga asanas have the capacity to cure chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes. So making your kids do yoga from early ages might reap benefits for them later. Some yoga poses help kids in their general body growth and development too. Take the mountain pose for example. This pose of yoga helps kids correct standing posture problems.

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There are some other yoga asanas that are specifically meant for kids. Yoga Poses For Kids To Try

1. Hands To Feet Pose:

Make your kid sit with their legs stretched straight in front of them. Ask them to hold their toes without bending their knees. This yoga asana is an excellent stretching exercise that helps your kids grow taller and improves their blood circulation in the body too.

2. Butterfly Pose:

Allow the child to sit on the floor mat with outstretched legs. Then fold the legs in and join the two feet facing each other.

The butterfly pose is a fun-filled asana that is a great stretching exercise for the thigh muscles.

3. Mountain Pose:

Make your child stand straight and join his/her hands over the head. This yoga pose increases kids concentration, body balance and also corrects their posture defects.

4. Cobra Pose:

Ask your kid to lie flat on the stomach and then lift the upper body by supporting his/her weight on arms. This yoga asana strengthen the spinal cord of the child and also increases flexibility. Apart from that, it helps digest food faster.

5. Swan Pose:

Yours kids would love to imitate a swan and fly away. So make the child lie flat on the belly. Fold his/her legs at the knees and let them raise their upper body by supporting the weight on the arms. Ask the child to look up towards the skies. This pose improves blood circulation in the nervous system making your child more alert.

6. Downward Facing Dog Pose:

Make the child stand on all fours like a dog and bend his/her head downwards. This yoga pose is great for role playing a dog. Apart from the fun, it improves the child’s blood circulation and also strengthens his/her limbs.

7. Triangle Pose:

You too can try this pose along with your kid. Stand with your feet apart. Place your arms up horizontally and then bend down on one side to touch your ankles. This pose of yoga helps the kid’s chest to expand and also stimulates the abdominal organs to function properly.

8. Wood Chopper Pose:

Ask the child to stand with his/her legs apart. Then they can raise their hands over their head and join palms into a ‘namaste’. This pose releases stress from your little one’s system. These are some of the best yoga poses for kids. What else have your kids tried?

Guide to Excellent #Health and #Fitness I Exercise Fitness #Yoga Gym #Calorie Chart and #Stress Management


STAMINA EXERCISES

Walking: Excellent cardiovascular benefits for the advanced age groups.. Should be done briskly with swinging of the arms. Comfortable shoes must be worn. May be done morning or evening for 30-60 minutes.

Jogging: Suitable for younger age group below 50 years. 30 minutes is all that is required and may be done continuously, or jog and walk in between when fatigued. The pace of jogging is equal to that of a brisk walkrun on soft or grassy surface. Wear comfortable clothes and breathe freely.

Swimming: For those who know how to swim, 20 minutes of continuous swimming is sufficient. Alternately swim the length of a pool 10-20 metres, rest at the end for 30 seconds, swim back. 10 such lengths is good. Use any stroke you know. They are all of almost equal cardiovascular and muscular benefit.

Cycling: For any age group. Minimum time 45-60 minutes of continuous controlled fast cycling. Cycling up slopes gives added benefit. Ordinary cycles are good enough and indoor stationary exercycles may also be used at low resistance for 45 minutes.

Games: For the fitter younger age group. Get fit first before playing games such as squash, badminton, tennis, handball, basketball, football etc.. Warm up before the games. 30-45 minutes of the game is sufficient. Weekend or once a week games must be avoided unless other fitness programmes are done on other days. Play within your capacity.

STRENGTH EXERCISES

Strength Exercises: Improve muscular strength with 10-20 repetitions of each of these movements.

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MOBILITY EXERCISES

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BACK EXERCISES

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YOGA

a) Yoga should preferably be done under expert supervision 2-3 times per week.
b) In case you know Yoga, we suggest that the following ‘asanas’ be included in your programme.
c) Each Yogasana is repeated 2-3 times except serial Nos. 1, 14 & 15.
d) Persons with back problems should avoid serial Nos. 2, 4, 10 & 12.
e) Persons with Cardiac problems, HBP, etc. should avoid serial 4 and 5.
f) This programme will not only keep you fit, but is also beneficial for those persons who have high B.P., respiratory problem, mental strain, head – aches, digestive ailments, back problems, joint problems, etc.

STANDARD YOGASANAS

  1.  Stand warm up for Pawan Muktasana series.
  2.  Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation) Effect – on full body including heart and circulation.
  3. Ardh-halasana (30, 60, 90 degrees, double leg raises) Effect – on abdomen, legs, back reproductive organs.
  4. Sarbangasana (Shoulder stand) Effect – on brain, nervous system, thyroid, circulation.
  5.  Halasana (Plough pose) Effect – on spine, nervous system, back, lungs.
  6.  Matsyasana (Fish pose) Effect – on chest, neck, thyroid, lungs.
  7.  Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) Effect – on lower back, reproductive organs, lungs, spine, chest, abdominal organs.
  8. Salabhasana, (Locust pose) Effect – an buttocks, legs, hips, constipation, gas, digestion, etc.
  9. Dhanurasana (Bow pose) Effect – on abdomen, digestion, legs, back.
  10.  Naukasana (Boat pose) (V sit-ups) Effect – on spine, abdomen, chest, etc.
  11.  Bakrasana (Half spinal twist) Effect – on spine, fat on waist, gas, digestive organs.
  12.  Paschmottasana (Sitting toe touch) or Padahasatasana (Standing toe touch) Effect – on digestion, spine, legs.
  13.  Trikonasana (Triangle) Effect – on spinal nerves, waist, digestion.
  14.  Pranayama (Deep breathing) 10 rounds each. a) Anulome / Vilome – alternate nostril breathing, and b) Kapalbhatti.. – belly breathing Effect – on lungs and respiratory system.
  15.  Shavasana (Corpse pose) – as often as required. Effect – on physical / mental relaxation.

YOGASANAS

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GYM EXERCISES / WEIGHT TRAINING

Weight training is basically for strengthening and building up the muscles. An all-round programme must have some stretching and cardio-vascular exercises as well. In addition, weight training loads the bones thereby strengthening and protecting against osteoporosis. The points to keep in mind in weight training are as follows:

  1. The ideal weight training schedule is on alternate days i.e. 3 days a week with a complete rest on weekends.
  2. The systems of training different muscle groups on different days, may be good for competitive sportsmen. The best system for non-competitive sportsmen is to exercise the entire body in each session. The major muscle groups are: Upper body – Shoulders, Arms, Chest and Lower body – Back, Abdomen, Legs.
  3. Suppleness and stamina can also be built up through weight training by following a body builder-type schedule. Weights are also used to stretch muscles, build muscular endurance and cardiovascular stamina by repeating each exercise by using lighter weights with more repetitions.
  4. If repetition are too easy, the weight used is too little. And in case it is not possible to complete the repetitions, it means the weight carried is too heavy.
  5. A repetition is one complete exercise movement from the starting point to finish and then back again to the starting point. A set is a group of repetitions of the same exercise. Therefore, for the upper body 8 repetitions is one set. For the lower body, 15 repetitions forms one set.
  6. We prescribe three sets of exercises for each muscle group. However, several systems of weight training prescribe different repetitions as well as different sets.

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Nutrition and Calorie Management:

Generally speaking, our daily food intake must comprise a balanced diet of 1500-2000k calories with fibre (above 75 gm) and low fat (below 30 gm). Consult your nutritionist for specific advice.

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Micro – Nutrients:
The guide to healthy eating pyramid provides you a balanced diet, with ample vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The therapeutic benefit of these micro-nutrients are explained below.

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STRESS MANAGEMENT
Stress has existed from the time of Early Man but has now become an omnipresent phenomenon in the life of ‘Modern Man’. It has pervaded all layers of life. Stress is the bio-psycho-social response of the body to a demand, mental or physical. Stress is an arousal response the body makes, when a situation is perceived as being stressful. The impact of this arousal affects emotional as well as cognitive thinking. The impact is seen in behavioral and physiological change.. When stress is long term and chronic it leads to chronic psychosomatic ailments. While there is an undeniable link between stress and illness, optimal stress is a prerequisite for success in every task. Stress is the wind beneath your wings pushing you towards achievement. If stress can trigger off psychosomatic ailments in those living in the fast track, it can be a trigger even to those who suffer from monotony, boredom or frustration. It is therefore very essential to bring a balance between too much and too little stress.
The first step in managing stress is to develop a stress-free personality. A high self-esteem, assertive behavior and a positive attitude help in building a stress-free perception. It also helps to focus on areas where control and change are possible. Locate the source of stress and use a problem solving approach to deal with it step by step. All stress you can understand. Some you can change. Some you may have little control over. You may then need to change your attitude and response towards these stressors. Thereby reducing stress. Any exercise programme done regularly utilizes the body’s stress hormones. Exercise not only makes the body fit, but also acclimatizes the heart and lungs to increased activity, as in stressful situations. Relaxation and meditation techniques result in calming brain waves, and reducing the effects of stress. This is especially effective with stressrelated ailments such as Hypertension, Headaches, Digestive ailments, Cardiac ailments, Sleep problems to name just a few. Stress may be an irritant in your life or it may be a factor of passive existence.
Change of perspective will help change this stress to an active, rewarding life. One of the best gifts of nature is sleep. Daily sleep of 6 – 8 hours helps in relaxation and repair of the body and mind. It provides sufficient time for deep – NREM and dream REM sleep restoring physical and mental health. Stress may be an irritant in your life or it may be a factor of passive existence. Change of perspective will help change this stress to an active, rewarding life. One of the best gifts of nature is sleep. Daily sleep of 6 to 8 hours helps in relaxation and repair of the body and mind. It provides sufficient time for deep – NREM and dream REM sleep restoring physical and mental health.

  • Use some of these stress defense mechanisms & optimize your stress.
  • Quality time for family will ensure that you have a retreat called home.
  • Plan your career well, it will give you challenge, satisfaction & security.
  • An assertive personality is responsible to self & others. Learn this skill.
  • Communication is the key to relationship building. Listen better and your conflicts will slowly dissolve.
  • Develop a sense of humor. Learn to laugh at life, its paradoxes and at yourself.
  • Plan a little idleness & quietness each day. You will be able to recharge.
  • Exercise is arousal and relaxation is the opposite. Yet both are necessary on a daily basis. Practice both.
  • Sleep well and you will have renewed energy to face the next day’s Stresses.
  • Plan your time well. You only have 24 /hours a day and many important areas to fit in. A simple formula for time & stress management. You could personalize it to suit your needs. Remember you can’t delete any activity or reduce time for health factors.

The science of Mudra


 
The science of Mudras is based on the principle that “The root cause of disease is the imbalance and improper co-ordination between these elements and proper balance between these elements is the secret of good health.” The secret of health lies in hands, fingers and Mudras, which can be performed with the help of fingers.

Human body is composed of five basic elements and the five fingers of our hands represents these five basic elements. Ancient Sages discovered the knowledge of Mudras. By touching of hands to each other or folding fingers in a particular way, we can cure any disturbances in these five elements with the help of our fingers, we can keep the five elements in proper proportion, any disturbances in them can be balanced. So that our body become healthy.

The human body, like the Universe, is made up of fusion of five elements. Body’s health depends on the proper balance of these five elements in our body. Mudras help maintaining this balance. Mudras are like control buttons of chetana of our body and their proper study help us not only to control five elements but also to cure many diseases and remain healthy.

With the help of Mudras, we can create particular kind of energy waves in the body, when needed. By creating these waves, the five elements get their proper balance which help man in his physical, mental and spiritual progress. By touching or by pressing our fingers on each other in a particular fashion we can perform different Mudras. There are so many mudras performed for different purposes, as in dance or prayer. Here we are studying those mudras which help us in curing disorder, both of mind and body.

Mudras, Hand Postures

There is a tremendous flow of energy in the hands and each finger represents one of the elements. The roots of all diseases lie in an imbalance of one of the five elements and can be corrected with medicines, willpower and Mudras.

Mudras is a term with many meanings. It is used to signify a gesture, a mystic position of the hands, a seal, or even a symbol. However, there are eye positions, body postures, and breathing techniques that are also called mudras. These symbolic finger, eye, and body postures can vividly depict certain states or processes of consciousness.So mudras engage certain areas of the brain and/or soul and exercise a corresponding influence on them.

How Are Mudras Practiced?

“The hands are the bearers of important symbols, which are still universally understood. With his or her hands, the Indian dancer expresses the life of the universe. The rich symbolism of the dancer’s language of gestures has a greater significance for the mind than words could express . Indian art has the spiritual meaning of the mudras and its perfect expression . The gestures of the deities depicted in Hindu and Buddhist art symbolize and evoke specific mythological occurrences.”

Forming your hands and the fingers as they are shown in the various illustrations. The pressure of the fingers should be very light and fine, and your hands should be relaxed. Sometimes the fingers have a mind of their own, too inflexible, and the hands slip away or tire quickly. The flexibility of the hands has a direct relationship to the flexibility of the entire body. Tension at a certain place in the body, will be expressed at a corresponding area in the hands. Even a person’s age can be determined on the basis of the spread fingers.

In the beginning, there may be some problems in doing some of the mudras with both hands, because, you may first have to arrange and hold the fingers of one hand with the other. Just do the mudra with the one hand for the time being. If the fingers that should actually be stretched curl on their own again, rest them. With time, the tensions will dissolve in the fingers or hand, as well as in the corresponding area of the body. Do the mudra as well as possible and the effect will appear in any case. You will gain more strength in your hands, become more flexible, and will be able to use both hands feeling more refreshed ,flexible and younger.

Treat your fingers in a careful and loving way.
You may not do the mudra as healing gesture,
but do it as a holy gesture.
If possible do the mudras in a seated meditation position-
Take into consideration the following basic principles of meditation technique:

Sit with an upright pelvis and a straight spinal column on a stable cushion. Both knees should be flat on the ground or at the same height if necessary, support the lower knee with a cushion until it is at the same height as the other knee. Let the hands relax on the thighs.Let the shoulders fall back and down in a relaxed way, your chest should be open and free.Pull the chin back a bit, and let the neck be long and relaxed. Breathe in an even, slow, flowing, and gentle way.Never end the meditation suddenly. Vigorously stretch your arms and legs.

 

You can practice the mudras at any time and in any place. Mudras can even be done while in traffic, watching television, or when waiting.. It is wiser to do mudras in a meditative, harmonious mood. Without being stressed and fuming with annoyance, or that you sit in front of the television with your mind on various problems you are facing.

Place your thumb and index finger together and think about something wonderful, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it lets you float on pink clouds. Now feel the energy that flows from the index finger to the thumb. Doing it again, imagine something terribly sad. Feel the energy of the fingers is it different? There is difference in the quality of energy that flows, in the first instance it is vibrant and electrifying whereas the other is dull and faint.

Breathing, Visualization and Affirmations

The effect of a mudra can be immensely intensified with the breath.
This is why it is very important to know what breathing does.

Pay attention to a symmetrical posture and hold your arms about one inch away from your body. Even this position alone brings a sense of inner equilibrium and harmony as it regulates the activity of the nervous system and hormonal glands. In addition to carbon dioxide, we also discharge expended energy on the subtle level when we exhale deeply.This is why you should always exhale vigorously several times at the beginning of a mudra. Make room for what you want to achieve.

Always lengthen the little pause after inhaling and after exhaling by several seconds. The most important aspect of the breathing process. The inner powers are developed during the pauses-on every level.When you practice a mudra to calm yourself, then slow your breathing.When you practice a mudra to refresh yourself, then inters your breathing. The optimal quality of breathing is achieved when the breath is slow, deep, rhythmic, and flowing.

In the beginning of a mudra meditation, exhale vigorously
several times and then
let the breath become deeper and slower.

First: Focus on your hands and fingers,
notice the gentle pressure where they touch each other;
This centers, creates inner equilibrium, and builds up strength in general.


Second: While inhaling, you can press the fingertips together a bit more
and let go of the pressure when exhaling;
This variation strengthens the will and refreshes.


Third: The other way around and apply a bit more pressure
while exhaling and let go of the pressure when inhaling.
This variation calms and relaxes.

Feel the difference. You may not immediately feel the effect, but it is still
there

.
The exteranl circumstances of our lives usually shape themselves according to our imagination andour feelings. The possibility of shaping our inner images is in such a way that we can enjoy life, experience success in our work, and have loving and understanding relationships. Create an unshakable faith and be filled with both fervor and serenity to accompany our self-made images. We need to create little experiences of success for ourselves, since what functions in a small way will also succeed on a larger scale. We can slowly build and develop this confidence. If we can clearly express what we do not want and definitively formulate our wishes and needs, this can already be the beginning of a new order in life.

 

Affirming sometimes more, sometimes less. Time and time again, their astounding
effects have astonishing. It is so simple, and some people even find it a bit naive.
But things that are particularly simple and naive usually have the greatest effective power.

 

The same principle applies to affirmations as it does to visualizations.Say them full of faith, fervor, and serenity. You can say them one to three times, during or after the meditation.You can also pause for a moment during the day and speak your affirmation in a quiet or a loud voice. Make use of this wonderful possibility and talk yourself into what you really want-what is good for you. If you want to get rid of something stubborn, a negation can also be help- ful. Speak it at the beginning, while you are vigorously exhaling. For example, “This hatred or resentment, feeling of guilt, pain, fear, desire to smoke, etc. will immediately disappear and dissolve itself.”

 

Mudras and Music

We all know the healing effect of music. But music is also good for healthy people who are occasionally plagued by weakness or physical imbalances. Since the music used for therapy plays anywhere from three to twelve minutes, and this amount of time corresponds to how, long one holds a mudra, it is obvious that mudras and music can have a wonderful influence on each other. Tension-either physical or mental-emotional can be relieved by listening to the right kind of music. The right kind of music has a calming and relaxing effect, possibly even taking a person into a state of deep relaxation. Stress and tension can also lead to an acute or a chronic state of exhaustion that can be positively influenced by music. If you pay attention to the following points, you can get a lot from using music with your mudras:

 

Consider your own taste in music;
Determine how long the playing time should be;
Listen to the same piece at the same time for at least three days in row;
Listen consciously, and immediately let go of any thoughts that may arise.

Mudras and Colour

Colors influence our minds and our lives on every level. In color therapy, various shades of color are specifically applied to regenerate the organs and glands, as well as to activate the processes of elimination, respiration, and circulation. Colors also influence our moods and every type of mental activity.

Red stimulates the circulation, makes us alert,
warms and relaxes, but can also bring out aggression;


Orange improves the mood, promotes lightness,
stimulates sexuality, but can also stimulate superficiality;

Yellow stimulates digestion, makes us mentally alert, and
lets life appear in a bright light, but it can also be obtrusive;

Green is generally calming; it regenerates on every level,
and gives us the desire to start something new;

Blue is also calming, but this calmness goes deeper and provides
a sense of security; it conveys protection, and symbolizes the
silent yearning for the incomprehensible;

Violet is the color of transformation, change, and spirituality;

Brown is the color of stability and connection to the earth,
but too much can lead to stagnation;

White bears the entire spectrum of the other colors
within itself, containing birth as well as death;

Black is the color of protection, of gathering strength, of retreat,
and of the emptiness that already bears abundance within itself.

There are no “bad” colors. Every color can also be seen in our aura or energy body. When a color gains dominance or is not in its right place, it will initially have an effect on the general feeling of well-being. With time, a health disorder may develop as a result. However, the course of an illness can also be reversed with the help of colors.

You can have some beautiful experiences using color meditations. If you prefer a certain color, it may well be that you need the corresponding qualities. However, if you give too much preference to one color, this can develop into an addiction and the color may harm you. While holding a mudra, you can either visualize a color or concentrate on the color of an object. With visualization the color will then come to life.

Using MUDRAS to Heal Physical Complaints

Your destiny lies in your hands, and this should be taken quite literally. Not only because the hand lines show the past and future of a person, but above all because each finger has its very own functions and power. If you know how to use this power, you can maintain your physical health and mental peace.

How can my illness be improved if I do nothing more than just press together a few of my fingers? Begin to trust and carry out the exercises, the effect changes into astonishment. These are extremely valuable gifts that were given to us from the most enlightened masters of ancient times.

An unhealthy lifestyle usually consists of bad diet, lack of exercise, no fresh air, rest and relaxation, too much stress, worry, negative thoughts and feelings. Practicing the mudras, with a healthy diet, routine rest periods, adequate exercise will lead to an optimal lifestyle. And this is the basis for health. When mudras are used to support the healing of chronic health disorders, they should be as a course of treatment over a long period of several weeks or months to be effective.

Some mudras can also be used as help in an emergency. These should be practised when necessary and only as long as they are required. Sudden complaints are not a coincidence, but are of an imbalanced state that has already flared up within us. Mudra should not be used like a fast-acting medication to subdue symptoms. Get to the bottom of the matter. Meditate-ask inside yourself what this physical attack means for you. Ask persistently and honestly, for then you will also receive an honest answer. Perhaps it won’t be comfortable, but it will have a healing effect in the long run.

Mudras and Healing Emotional Problems

Run your thumb along your fingertips in a gentle and conscious way. This feels wonderful! It’s refreshing for your brain. The brain should be trained like a muscle every day. It has been proved that even after a few days of rest in bed the activity of the brain is reduced. The brain can regenerate very quickly through the appropriate training. Practicing mudras can be called pure brain training. There is a positive influence on the brain waves, particularly when the fingertips touch each other.


Affirmations promote a clear manner of expression, which is a mental power. When a mudra is done with full concentration, and a state of serenity is maintained, cerebral activity is calmed and regenerated. In addition, many mudras synchronize the right and left hemisphere of the brain. This promotes memory, the general ability to recollect, and, miraculously, creativity as well.

Always see the good in your fellow human beings, put the negative
aspects of the past behind you, live completely in the present, and
make the best you possibly can of it. Expect the best from the future
and remain in constant contact with cosmic consciousness-then
nothing will stand in the way of a meaningful and happy life.

Mudras have a wonderful effect on the emotional area of our lives, which includes the soul, our feelings, and our moods.To change oppressive moods, you can do so by changing breathing rhythm accordingly. How one breathe’s can stimulate, calm, inflame, or cool one down. Mood fluctuations, can be largely eliminated within a few days by using mudras.

 

Moods and physical complaints are similar. In order to cure them, we must look for and remedy the cause, which almost always lies within. We should never blame our surrounding world for our moods. Parents, children, partners, colleagues at work-they are only reflections of our inner life. Even if we initially can’t change our environment, we can work on our inner attitude toward the surrounding world, changing it in small steps.

 

Chronic bad moods of any type such as aggression, depression, dissatisfaction and fear can be caused by weakened organs, digestive problems, blood pressure, pain, or other phvsical reasons. As you practice the mudras used for physical healing, these moods may be remedied. Meditation, and affirmation have a positive effect on the mental emotional area.

The Energy Systems

These energy fields are subject to various vibrations. The physical senses are oriented toward one very specific vibration, and this is why we can only perceive this vibration in particular. Ancient yogis could perceive other vibrations, such as those of the chakras energy transformers and the nadis, subtle streams of energy. The Chinese researched the system of meridians. Palmistry, the hands and individual fingers are also associated with the planetary powers in astrology.

The Elements

There is a direct relationship between the hands and the neck since the nerve paths run through the vertebral form in the arms, hands, and fingers. The flexibility of the hands always effects the flexibility of the neck. Therefore, hand exercises relieve tensions in the neck. Moreover, spreading the ten fingers creates a reflex that causes the chest vertebrae to spread out.

The hands and fingers also have an additional direct relationship to the heart and lungs. many people can no longer properly stretch their fingers with increasing age. This shows tension in the heart area, which often indicates the prelude to heart disease or a tendency toward osteoporosis. This slightly crooked hand position also impedes inhalation. The result is that the optimum amount of air is not drawn into the lungs, especially into the lung borders, which promotes contamination in those areas.

Reflex Zones

The hand reflex zones correspond to the foot reflex zones, the massage treatment of which is generally known today. Since some of the organs are only found on one side of the body such as the heart and liver, this is reflected in the hands. Since hands come in different sizes, you may not find the exact pressure point immediately. When you have found the desired point, massage it with your thumb, using light pressure and slow, circular movements. One to 3 minutes are enough.

 

Acupressure

The best-known Chinese healing method. Instead of using needles, the meridians are stimulated with the fingers. The nonexpert can simply press them lightly with the thumb for several minutes to achieve a positive effect. If you have high blood pressure, massage the middle finger from the root to the tip. To counteract low blood pressure, massage the middle finger from the tip to the root. Do the same with the index finger if you have diarrhea or constipation.

Planetary Classification and Palmistry

Astrology and palmistry have always belonged together. The mudras can actually strengthen the hands and the individual fingers, even changing character traits in the process. The little finger is creativity, a sense of beauty, the ring finger, a sense of family, the ability to love, and a feeling of security, initiative. The love of order is found in the middle finger. Intellectuality, individuality, and striving for power are in the index finger. Will, instincts, and vitality are in the thumb. “A great deal is in your hands” with the mudras. Take hold of your life with your own two hands and decide what is important to you.

 

Priest bans yoga for ‘being incompatible with Catholic faith’


Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities 
and he banned it because it was advertised as 'spiritual yoga' Photo: ALAMY

Instructor Cori Withell said the classes she booked for yoga and pilates at St Edmund‘s Church building in Southampton were cancelled with 10 days to go.

She was told by the booking secretary of the church that it was because yoga is a Hindu religious activity.

Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities and he banned it because it was advertised as ”spiritual yoga”.

The ban is not Catholic Church policy and decisions are left to the discretion of individual priests. Some Catholic retreats use yoga for relaxation.

Ms Withell, 37, from nearby Eastleigh, said the church accepted the booking two months ago and she paid £180.

She was called later and told that yoga was from another religion so she could not have the hall. A separate pilates class she had booked was also cancelled.

”I had never heard about any religious issue with yoga before but I have looked into it since and found that some other religions feel that when people meditate it could let the devil inside them,” she said.

”But there was never any meditation in my class – it was just exercises. Yoga is not religious: spiritual, but not religious.

”I do not object to anyone having a religious viewpoint, but it seemed terribly petty to cancel the classes.

”As a nation we have an obesity epidemic. I was trying to bring some exercise to the community and coming across blocks like this is frustrating.

”I offered to go down and show them the moves and, literally, the shutters came down.”

Fr Chandler said the church was ”misled” by Ms Withell’s booking because he claimed that, at first, the hall was booked for pilates and then he found out it was also for spiritual yoga.

”Yoga is a Hindu spiritual exercise. Being a Catholic church we have to promote the gospel and that’s what we use our premises for.

”We did say that yoga could not take place. It’s the fact that it’s a different religious practice going on in a Catholic church,” he explained.

”On one hand we say to our parishioners ‘be strong in your faith’, and on the other hand there’s this other religious belief that’s not part of our faith. It’s not compatible. We are not saying that yoga is bad or wrong.”

Fr Chandler added he had not researched what Ms Withell’s class would have included and he had not spoken to her about the issue because he felt ”the relationship had got off to a bad start”.

”There are other halls she could use in Southampton,” he added.

A spokesman for Portsmouth Catholic Diocese said: ”It’s not possible for Catholic premises to be used for non-Christian activities and there is a dilemma with yoga as it can be seen as Hindu meditation or as relaxation.

”There is no national policy on this and the decision is for each priest.”

Hindu philosophy is essentially spiritual.



“It is the intense spirituality of India that has enabled it to resist the ravages of time and the incursion into its motherland of alien philosophies. The founders of philosophy strive for a socio-spiritual reformation of the country. When the Hindu civilization is often called Brahminical, it is so because; its main philosophies are shaped by great thinkers, most of who are Brahmins.”

Broad divisions of Hindu Philosophy are:

Vedic period. Up to 600 B. C

This was the time of forest universities (Ashrams and Gurukuls) where evolved the rudiments of the noble idealism of India. We discern here a progressive thought process, signified by the Mantras (hymns), the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads. The views expressed at this stage are not exactly philosophical. It is the age of brain storming, where superstition and intelligent thinking seem to co-exist.

Epic period. 600 B. C to A.D 200

The Epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata serve as the vehicles through which was conveyed the new message of the heroic and the godly in human relations.

Sutra period. From A.D 200

In this period the mass of material generated was summarized in the form of Sutras (rule in verse form expressed in brief but technical language). Here, critical attitude in philosophy developed. Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vedanta, Vaisesika and Nyaya schools were born. 

Scholastic period. Also dating from A.D 200

By this time the Sutras had become complex and unintelligible. It was impossible to comprehend them without expert commentaries.

Great names of, Bhaskara, Jayanta, Kumarila Bhatta, Madhwa, Raghunatha, Shankara, Sridhara and Vachaspathi, belong to this period. ‘Of these commentators Shankara and Ramanuja have become as distinguished as the original thinkers. Their commentaries are just as valuable as a spiritual discovery’. Dr S Radhakrishnan.

Haribhadra who lived in the ninth century A.D is yet another great Brahmin thinker converted to Jainism. He is the famous author of fourteen hundred Prabhandas (chapters of works) and one of the first to introduce Sanskrit language into the scholastic literature of the Svetambara (white dressed) Jains.

Shankaracharya preached Advaita philosophy. (Monism)

Ramanujacharyapreached Visishtadwaita. (blend of Monism& Dualism)

Madhwacharyapreached Dwaita philosophy. (Dualism).

Some of the well-known later day philosophers, saints and commentators are:

Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
1896 – 1977

The tenth guru in the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ‘Parampara’ (tradition), he was the founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) to spread the Krishna Bhakti movement, beyond the shores of India. ISKON has built exquisite Krishna temples all over the world and also a beautiful palace of Prabhupada at Moundsville, Virginia, U.S.A.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
15th century

Fifteenth century saint, philosopher who gave a tremendous boost to the Bhakti marga’ championed by the Vaisnava (worshippers of Vishnu) acharyas and saints, through his ‘Sankeertana’ movement. (chanting and singing the names of Krishna with transcendental love). He opened the doors of divine love to all, by preaching the glories of Krishna (Hari) by chanting and singing his name.

Dayananda Saraswati
1824-1883

Born to Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and Amrith ba, in Gujarat state, Moolashankar was, a profound thinker from childhood. He left home at the young age of 21, in search of a Guru who would teach him philosophy and the meaning of life and death. It was his Guru Swamy Poornanda who named him as Dayananda Saraswati. Dayananda later founded the Arya Samaj, a social reform movement that condemns caste system and untouchability. He fought for equality of women and emphasized the Vedic way of life.

Raghavendra Swamy
1598 – 1671

Great scholar, philosopher, writer and saint in the Dwaitha tradition. At the age of 23, he renounced his loving wife and took Sanyasa. Legend says, that he resurrected two children from the dead, one of whom was the child of a Muslim chieftain of the town of Savanoor, in Karnataka. He renounced this world by entering into ‘Samadhi sthiti’ (breath control, deep meditation and passing on). As desired by him, his devotees built a ‘Brindavan’ (resting place) around him, using brick and mortar. This town called Mantralaya on the banks of river Tungabhadra in the state of Karnataka, is a pilgrimage center.

Sri Ramakrishna
1836 – 1886

Sri Ramakrishna who later came to be recognized as the ‘Paramahamsa’, was an Un- known temple priest, in the Kali temple at Dakshineshwar near Calcutta. His intense devotion to goddess Kali and his claim that he had seen her, resulted in him being branded as a lunatic. After traversing the whole gamut of Indian spiritual life, he experimented with Christianity and Islam. Realizing that all religions lead to the same super conscious mystic state, he started preaching the essential unity of all religions and the need for harmony among the votaries of all religions. The Ramakrishna Mission and the Ramakrishna Mutt are the direct offshoots of this.

Ramana Maharishi
1879 – 1950

A great soul, he left his home in early boyhood seeking spiritual knowledge and peace. Settling at Arunachala in Tamilnad, he would give simple, short, clear replies to the questions of his devotees. His constant teaching was that the way to cleanse the mind of its impurities was meditation. He has written a book called ‘Upadesa Sara’. He wrote much in Tamil.

Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
1888 – 1975

Was a distinguished writer, Philosopher, Professor at Oxford and President of India. Besides translating Dhammapada, (Buddhist text), he has authored several philosophical works.

Sarada Devi
1853 – 1920

Married to Sri Ramakrishna at he tender age of six, she led a celibate life in service of her master and his disciples. As a spiritual teacher, as a guide to the activities of the Ramakrishna organizations, and as an ardent supporter of women’s education she became a spiritual master in her own right.

Sayanacharya
13th century A.D

Brother of Vidyaranya, Statesman and Philosopher whose commentaries on the Vedas are considered one of the best even to – day. Author of ‘Alankara Sudha Nidhi’. (work on poetics) and ‘Subhashita Sudhanidhi’ (collection of wise sayings’).

Swami Sivananda
1887 – 1963

Forsaking a promising medical career, Sivananda who had a natural flair for study and practice of Vedanta, took to life of renunciation for ministering to the soul of man. Settling at Hrishikesh in the Himalayas, he practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi. For disseminating spiritual knowledge and for training common man in Yoga and Vedanta, he established,’ The Divine Life Society’ and’ The Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy’, at Hrishikesh. In 1953 he convened a ‘World Parliament of Religions.’ He has written over 300 books.

Swami Vivekananda
1863 – 1902

Swami Vivekananda, who was born as Narendra, at Calcutta in 1863 was the favorite disciple and chosen heir of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. At an early age, he came under the influence of Sri Ramakrishna, and took ‘Sanyasa’. After the passing away of his guru, Vivekananda traveled the length and breadth of India, mostly by bare foot teaching universal brotherhood of man, and Vedanta philosophy. Swami Vivekananda represented India at the Conference of World Religions held in September 1893, in Chicago, winning high acclaim for his erudite and forceful representation of Indian culture and Hindu Philosophy. The Vedanta society in Chicago is a befitting tribute to this great son of India, who attained eternal bliss in 1902.

Vedanta Deshikar
1268 – 1369 A.D

A great scholar and saint in the Srivaisnava tradition, he lived for a full hundred years and worked tirelessly in the cause of spreading Dharma. He has written 53 philosophical works, 5 poems, 28 hymns and 19 works, in Tamil language.

Vidyaranya
13th century A.D

A great and famous saint, recognized as the founder of Karnataka. When Hinduism and Hindu culture were facing great danger in South India, he provided hope and inspiration for two brothers Hakka and Bukka to repulse the invaders.

He laid the foundation for the city of Vijayanagara, which later became the Vijayanagar Empire. He guided its kings as preceptor and Prime Minister.

Vidyaranya became the twelfth head of Shankaracharya’s , Sharada Peetha at Sringeri in 1331 A.D. He wrote commentaries on the four Vedas and Upanishads. He was probably 118 years of age when he attained eternal bliss in 1386 A.D.