Contrary to popular belief, Meditation is not about zoning out and emptying your thoughts or mind. It's about zoning inwards, acknowledging your thoughts, and then detaching from them without judgment.
The most common reactions I get when I talk about meditation are "I cannot meditate", "I cannot empty my mind", "as soon as I empty my mind a thousand thoughts enter my mind", "sitting for long hours hurts my back and hips" or "mediation makes me more anxious". Well, all of this can be true if you throw yourself into the deep end of mediation without any experience.
Start From The Basics
Preferably start by preparing your body through basic simple asanas (yoga stretches) and breathe through pranayama (breathing techniques). Find a place that is comfortable for you to meditate. Some people use a quiet space at home or in the office. You can meditate outside in nature as well.
Meditation Reduces Stress, Anxiety, And Negative Emotions
Meditation is a gift that you should dedicate to yourself every day. Use your breath to help de-stress and become more aware and present at the moment. Stress, anxiety, and negative emotions are unpredictable, they come and go as they please but through meditation, you can control the power they have over you and your mind.
Over time you will observe a transformation in the amount of stress/anxiety you accumulate within. Simply closing your eyes and steadily breathing has a tremendous effect, especially when you acknowledge stressful situations arising. Meditation is so powerful to reduce anxiety.
One of the main reasons people meditate is to help quiet a loud, overactive mind. Daily meditation might be able to help support the treatment and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is because meditation helps fight stress and anxiety, which are both major triggers for depression.
It Helps Increase Focus, Creativity, and Productivity
Want to feel more creative and productive at work? Start meditating now! Meditation can encourage creative thinking and problem-solving. Meditation also helps us separate our emotions from our work, which helps us think more clearly and develop new ideas. Daily meditation can help you perform better at work! It helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask. Meditation helps clear our minds and helps us focus on the present moment - which gives you a huge productivity boost.
Boasts Emotional Intelligence
Unless you make the effort to observe your thoughts and attempt to understand what the mind is doing, you are never going to learn about your inner self. Many of us have trouble understanding our emotions. Meditation teaches us how to be more aware of our feelings and emotions and helps us process them better. Simply believing every thought that pops in your head and living under your mind's umbrella is not constructive. Practising meditation changes how you think and helps you learn to understand your emotions without having to act upon them.
A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control runaway thoughts that interfere with your sleep cycle. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the quality of your sleep.
Helps Fight Addictions
Meditation develops mental awareness and can help you manage triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, manage unhealthy eating habits, and redirect other unwanted habits.
Regular meditation has been shown to help boost your immune system. It increases electrical activity in the left side of the brain which is responsible for your immune system. It was also found that those who meditate have higher counts of antibodies in their blood, which helps fight illness.
Get More Out of Your Workout
Exercise, especially HIIT workouts (High-intensity interval training) and long hours of cardio can do a number on your muscles and your central nervous system. Such workouts could unintentionally cause stress on the body and the mind and cause an increase in your cortisol levels in the body. Meditation allows you to deeply rest your body and mind removing stress from your physiology. With meditation's ability to reduce our stress levels, we're able to perform our workouts at an optimal level and at the same time meditation might also help minimize sensitivity to pain.
After reading all these amazing benefits, isn't mediation worth a try? (Celebrity meditation expert Samiksha Shetty shares benefits of meditation)
Read More► Exercise Key to Keep Muscles Healthy, Stay Young
London: Want to stay young? Lifelong physical activity could protect against age-related loss of muscle mass and function, according to research.
The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, showed that individuals aged 68 and above who were physically active throughout their life have healthier ageing muscle that has superior function and is more resistant to fatigue compared to inactive individuals, both young and old.
This is the first study to investigate muscle, stem cell and nerve activity in humans, said researchers from University of Copenhagen.
"This is the first study in humans to find that lifelong exercise at a recreational level could delay some detrimental effects of ageing. Using muscle tissue biopsies, we've found positive effects of exercise on the general ageing population. This has been missing from the literature as previous studies have mostly focused on master athletes, which is a minority group," said lead author Casper Soendenbroe, from the varsity.
They found that elderly individuals who keep physically active throughout their adult life, whether by taking part in resistance exercise, ball games, racket sports, swimming, cycling, running and/or rowing had a greater number of muscle stem cells, otherwise known as satellite cells in their muscle.
These cells are important for muscle regeneration and long-term growth and protect against nerve decay.
In the study, 46 male participants took part and were divided into three groups: young sedentary (15), elderly lifelong exercise (16) and elderly sedentary (15).
They performed a heavy resistance exercise, sitting in a mechanical chair performing a knee extension movement to evaluate muscle function. The amount of force produced was measured. Blood samples were taken, and muscle biopsies were analysed from both legs.
The researchers found elderly lifelong exercisers outperformed both the elderly and young sedentary adults.
Importantly, the study showed that even a little exercise seems to go a long way, when it comes to protecting against the age-related decline in muscle function.
"This is an encouraging finding which can hopefully spur more people to engage in an activity that they enjoy. We still have much to learn about the mechanisms and interactions between nerves and muscles and how these change as we age. Our research takes us one step closer," Soendenbroe said. (agency)
Read More► Why Exercise Gets Harder The Less You Do It
London: Doing less exercise could deactivate a vital protein in the body, causing further inactivity and making exercise more difficult, new research suggests.
Scientists at the University of Leeds have discovered that deactivating the Piezo1 protein, a blood flow sensor, reduces the density of capillaries carrying blood to the muscles.
This restricted blood flow means activity becomes more difficult and can lead to a reduction in how much exercise is possible, the team found.
The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, may help to explain the biology of why exercise becomes harder the less you do it.
Exercise is known to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer.
"Unfortunately, many people fail to exercise enough, for reasons such as injury and computer usage. This puts people at more risk of disease. The less people exercise, the less fit they become, often leading to a downward spiral," said lead author Fiona Bartoli, a Postdoctoral Researcher in the University's School of Medicine.
Although many responses to exercise are known, how the benefits of exercise are initially triggered at a molecular level has remained mysterious.
"Our study highlights the crucial link between physical activity and physical performance made at this level by Piezo1. Keeping our Piezo1s active by exercising may be crucial in our physical performance and health," Bartoli said.
While the experiments were carried out in mice, the Piezo1 protein is found in humans, suggesting the same results could occur.
During the experiment, scientists compared two groups of mice - a control group, and a group whose Piezo1 levels had been disrupted for 10 weeks.
Walking, climbing, and running wheel activity was observed, with the Piezo1 mice showing a striking reduction in activity levels. This suggests an important role for Piezo1 in sustaining normal physical activity.
The researchers considered whether the Piezo1 mice were less interested in exercise, but they found no differences in the amount or duration of activity between the two groups.
Instead, there were fewer running wheel revolutions per exercise session, and slower running speed, suggesting a lowered ability to exercise, without a lesser desire. (agency)
Read More► 5 Minutes Face Yoga Before Bedtime
We live in a world where we are constantly occupied with either work, daily chores, technology, etc. and therefore we fail to take out time for ourselves. The importance of self-care, mental and physical well-being is highly undermined.
In the continuous mission to help one age gracefully and radiate a feeling of internal harmony, many individuals are looking for a natural, reasonable choice that will help them look and feel good. Face yoga is a natural choice to help achieve enduring outcomes.
Face yoga includes massage and activities that stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic framework. This procedure is intended to mellow and loosen up your face muscles to help get rid of tension, stress, and worry.
This may also assist you to stop making facial expressions associated with these feelings. In addition to this, individuals these days have trouble falling asleep.
People all over the world are not enjoying the average amount of sleep that they used to decades ago. Face yoga has also proved to be beneficial in helping one sleep at night.
Aditya Arya Co-Founder Yes Madam shares types of face yoga you can practise anywhere:
Forward folds carry fresh blood and oxygen to the skin, which boasts a healthy glow.
Back bending tones up and makes the front neck muscles firm, while twists firm the side of the face and release neck pressure.
Slower kinds of yoga that include holding poses for increased periods might offer you a greater amount of a chance to carry this attention to your facial muscles.This includes Hatha, Yin, or supportive yoga. You can likewise deal with loosening up your face muscles during your meditation, pranayama, or yoga Nidra practice.
Some simple Facial yoga exercises are as follows:
An eye massage where you close your fists but push your thumbs towards your eyes in a circular motion helps you get rid of dark circles and release stress
The simple exercise of blinking your eyes helps in improving vision
Lifting your chin by your thumbs helps you get rid of your double chin, cheek squeezing to improve blood circulation by squeezing and grabbing the flesh
Placing both index fingers on either side of the nose directly next to the corner of the inner eye helps to sleep better
Everyday Facial Yoga harmonizes our human connection to our facial expressions, movements, facial muscles and nerves. Facial yoga is less painless than surgery which temporarily makes fine lines and wrinkles disappear.
This is one reason it's been gaining so much popularity. Facial yoga gives you the benefits of a facelift without any chemicals injected into your skin. Though achieving results is really slow, good things usually take time. Facial yoga is the latest craze in India for people regardless of their age. (agency)
Read More► A 15 Minute Yoga Routine for Workaholics
Thyroid disorders are quickly becoming one of the most common health concerns in India, with more than 42 million people suffering from some form of thyroid disorder. Also, 1 in every 10 people in India has thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer, and over 60 per cent of them go undiagnosed.
It can affect people of all ages, but women are more likely to be affected because it is often inherited from family members and also results from iodine deficiency. While traditional treatments usually focus on drugs and surgery, eastern treatments like acupuncture can effectively manage thyroid issues. While acupuncture has many applications, it has proven to be especially effective in the safe and natural treatment of all types of hormonal imbalances.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid happens to be a butterfly-shaped gland that is situated at the front of the neck. The gland is responsible for metabolism, energy, hormone regulation, body weight, and blood calcium levels.It is one of the endocrine glands that make hormones.
Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine hormone. Similarly, hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain crucial thyroid hormones. Here are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism:
Weight loss despite good appetite
Increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, heart palpitations, nervousness and excessive perspiration
Frequent bowel movements, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea
Shorter or lighter menstrual periods
Development of a goiter (an enlargement in the neck)
Lethargy, depression or slower mental processes
Increased sensitivity to cold
Reduced heart rate
Numbness or tingling in the hands
Heavy menstrual periods or dry hair and skin
Hormones are like messengers in the body that are responsible for numerous functions, such as overseeing the regulation of sleep cycles, emotional health, reproduction, physical growth, metabolism, mental acuity, body temperature, the immune system, and energy levels.
When they go out of balance, all of the body's systems can be adversely affected. Fluctuations can be a natural occurrence, but long-term imbalances are not. That is why it is important to get diagnosed by testing the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood.
How Acupuncture Helps
According to traditional Chinese medicine philosophy, most diseases stem from imbalances in the key energies of the body and spirit. "Qi" which can be defined as life force energy, flows along pathways through the body known as "meridians".
It must be kept strong and flowing freely. If Qi is weak or the meridians are blocked, certain organs will not get the nourishment they require, and illness will result.
Acupuncture is a process that involves inserting very thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body that coordinate with particular pathways of Qi. By targeting these meridians or pathways, an acupuncture practitioner aims to bring back into balance a disruption of Qi believed to cause thyroid disorders or other symptoms of a disease.
According to the British Acupuncture Council, acupuncture can treat thyroid disease in many ways, such as:
Lowering thyroid hormone levels in patients with hyperthyroidism
Increasing thyroid hormone levels in people with hypothyroidism
Reducing sensitivity to stress and pain, as well as promoting relaxation
Improving joint mobility and muscle stiffness by increasing blood circulation in small blood vessels
Enhancing the release of the chemical adenosine, which reduces sensitivity to pain
Reducing inflammation by helping in the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
Along with acupuncture, certain lifestyle changes like a diet rich in calcium, protein, magnesium, and iodine help support thyroid function. Also, certain foods known as goitrogens may interfere with thyroid hormone production and should be limited.
These include cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), soy, and peanuts. Stress-reducing exercises like yoga or tai chi can also be helpful. (Dr.Srividya Nandakumar - Senior Naturopath, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
Read More► Yoga and Home Remedies To Help Treat Dengue
Children, like adults, require some form of exercise in their daily routine to stay healthy. Your children are watching you and attempting to mimic everything you do, good or bad. As a result, it is critical to have an exercise routine in place in order to instill the habit of exercise in your children from the start. Encourage your children by telling them about the benefits of exercise or by finding fun ways to exercise.
0 age should spend more time playing on the floor.
1 - 3 should exercise for at least three hours per day. This entails playing aggressively.
3 - 5 years old should exercise for at least three hours per day.
5 -18 should engage in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, as well as a few hours of light exercise. This should include activities that strengthen the muscles and bones at least three times per week.
18+ should engage in a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to ensure adequate overall activity. They should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.
Asha Vaghasia, Founder and Parenting Coach, We Positive Parenting, Ahmedabad commenting on fitness across young age says, "As a parent, all you can do is create a fit environment. To encourage your child, you can set up a family routine.
The activities you do as a family have a profound effect on children. Encourage them to do their chores by doing your chores yourself. Limit the use of T.V and smartphones and encourage the children to do the same.
Start walking to the nearby shops instead of driving, and the kids will follow suit. Instead of watching television after dinner, encourage your child to set up and lead a few fun activities that they can do with friends and family.
I have seen my parents wake up early and workout on a regular basis which inspired me in my childhood and it lead me to run marathons today and further ahead I have put my children into vigorous sports since a very young age and today exercising and being active is an essential part of their lifestyle."
Asha shares ways which ensures that your family moves at least for 60 minutes each day. With activities ranging from informal, busy to planned sports:
Start early. Young children love to play and be active. Encouraging more safe and informal movement and play can help build a solid foundation for an active lifestyle.
Set a good example by living an active life for yourself.
Make exercise a part of your daily routine by taking family trips or playing sports together.
Give your children ideas and things that encourage exercise.
Exercising can be done with a lot of fun like dancing on a Bollywood dance number, playing blocks or simple activities like walking a pet or riding a bicycle to get milk.
Take young people to places where they can work, such as community parks, community baseball stadiums, or basketball courts.
Have a positive attitude about physical activity when your child is involved and encourage them to take an interest in new activities.
Make bodywork fun. Recreational activities can be anything your child enjoys, organized or unorganized. Activities 9. can range from group sports or individual activities to leisure activities such as walking, running, skiing, cycling, swimming, playing activities, or playing free time.
Make sure they are safe! Always provide protections like helmets, wrist pads, or knee pads for activities such as cycling, or scooters, skateboarding, roller skating, rock-wall, and other activities where there is a high risk of injury. Also, make sure that the activities are appropriate for your child's age. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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