Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones, making them less dense and increasing the chances of a fracture. Since there are no specific symptoms related to osteoporosis, people often fail to recognise the onset of the disease unless tested for it, or unfortunately, after breaking a bone.
For people suffering from osteoporosis, yoga can be an effective addition to their treatment plan. The ancient sacred practice slowly builds strength, stability, agility and flexibility in the body which helps to ease the symptoms, lower the risk of complications and improve bone health. A study conducted in 2009 found out that when yoga is done consistently and diligently, it can increase bone strength.
Dr. Rajeev Rajesh, Chief yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute shares six yoga poses to be practiced for osteoporosis:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)
How To Do
Start on all fours to form a table-like structure.
Lift the hips, straighten the knees and elbows.
Make sure that the hands are in line with the shoulders and feet are in line with the hips.
While forming a V structure, press the hands on the mat and lengthen the neck.
Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and release gently.
Benefits: Apart from strengthening the core, this asana also strengthens the bones, improves blood flow and body posture, stretches the back and makes the arms stronger.
Veerbhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose)
How To Do
Stand straight with both feet together and arms by the side.
By keeping the right foot flat on the mat, lunge with the left leg.
Stretch the arms straight above the head.
Hold this position for a few seconds, release gently and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This asana regulates the adrenal glands responsible for providing the body with adequate amounts of estrogen and androgen for healthy bones. It is also effective in increasing the strength of the spine, shoulders, arms, knees and elbows.
Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
How To Do
Stand erect with the arms by the side of the body.
Bend the right knee slightly and place the right foot high up on the left leg.
Ensure that the legs are erect, inhale gently and raise the arms above the head into the Namaskar mudra.
Keep the spine straight and hold the position for 30 seconds.
Come back to the original position gently and repeat with the other leg.
Benefits: This pose improves poise and balance. This asana is also effective in toning the leg muscles while making the tendons and ligaments of the feet stronger.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
How To Do
Stand with feet hip-width apart.
Raise the arms above the head in Namaskar mudra.
Bend the knees slightly, just like sitting in a chair so that the hips remain at a 45-degree angle.
While breathing, consistently hold the pose for a minute.
Release gently and repeat.
Benefits: This asana creates stability and strength in the shoulder joints. Apart from that, it also helps to strengthen the gluteus and quads.
Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
How To Do
Lie on the back and keep the arms by the side.
Bend the knees so that the feet are firmly pressed on the ground.
With the strength of the arms, push the pelvis off the floor.
Make sure that the neck and back lie flat on the ground.
Stay in this position for 30 seconds before releasing gently.
Benefits: The asana can be therapeutic for people suffering from osteoporosis. It is beneficial in the strengthening of the hips, spine, and thighs.
Santolanasana (Plank Pose)
How To Do
Lie on the stomach.
Bring the hands towards the shoulders by keeping the palms on the ground.
Now gently push up the body to form a straight line.
The arms must be perpendicular to the ground and the body must be parallel to the ground.
Hold the pose and come back to the original position.
Benefits: It strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists. It is also good for the spine muscles and improves posture.(By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More► Heartfulness Meditation Helps in Reducing Stress, Reveals Study
Heartfulness meditation, a simple heart-based meditation practice aimed at attaining a balanced state of mind, helps in reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep, revealed a study.
The mixed-method study was conducted by US researchers during the Covid-19 pandemic and was published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said Heartfulness Institute, which has its global headquarters in Hyderabad.
Heartfulness meditation was associated with significant reduction in perceived stress and improvement in the quality of sleep of participants who completed the online-based meditation programme.
Kamlesh Patel, also known as Daaji, the guide of Heartfulness meditation, underlines the need to immediately address stress in one's life.
"The simple focus of life is to become better and better each day. To achieve this we need to be in a state of complete awareness about our self and raise our consciousness in tune with our true nature. Stress is the modern day ill created by our inability to focus on things that matter. Stress and its negative impact on our overall wellbeing has slowly but steadily taken control of every individual," he said.
"While we know Covid-19 as the pandemic, the build-up of stress and its ill impacts is the bigger pandemic and equally a bigger health crisis. Stress needs our urgent attention as well and in consistent practice of meditation we have the most effective vaccination to ward off stress and is the visa for living your life in joy," he added.
The study was conducted by Dr Kunal Desai, Dr Priti Parikh and Dr Alpa Desai of the Department of Internal Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright University, Ohio, and Prof Dr Pratibha Gupta, Food Nutrition and Health Agricultural Research Development Programme, Central State University, Ohio.
Stress and lack of quality sleep are considered serious public health challenges despite modern lifestyles, comforts, and technological advances. The Covid-19 pandemic has genuinely brought attention to this pre-existing stress problem by making it significantly worse.
The study aimed to investigate whether using a virtual heart-based meditation program is associated with improved stress levels and quality of sleep. The researchers enrolled 63 participants to receive an eight-week virtually conducted Heartfulness meditation program. Of these, 36 (57 per cent) completed the entire eight weeks of the Heartfulness meditation programme.
The participants were recommended to attend a minimum of two out of a total of eight virtual trainer-guided group Heartfulness relaxation and meditation sessions each week. These sessions, conducted by one of the authors and a Heartfulness trainer (KD), included 5-7 min of relaxation followed by 20 min of meditation.
They were also provided instructions on using the phone application called 'HeartsApp' on their phones. They could connect as an anonymous seeker with a Heartfulness trainer through the application and meditate without any audiovisual interaction. They were also suggested self-practices to the best of their abilities.
"Our study showed that following Heartfulness meditation practice, PSS and PSQI improved significantly in the participants from different parts of the United States. About 31 per cent were healthcare professionals, and the entire programme was conducted virtually. Based on these observations, we propose that meditation programmes offered via virtual platforms can offer a convenient, helpful, and easily accessible tool to a large community at once to help improve the psychological wellbeing of individuals," said Dr Kunal Desai, who led the study.
"The results of qualitative analysis in our study bring a unique perspective to this aspect as we were able to show that the participants' subjective experiences strongly supported the results of the survey findings. Thus, these results enhance our understanding of how Heartfulness meditation practice helps reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep. Our qualitative analysis suggests these effects could be because a simple heart-based meditation brought a 'calming effect' in our participants, resulting in an 'inner peace'. Such an effect also resulted in inner changes in our participants, including positive thinking, accepting and empathic attitude, and an increase in awareness of one's own emotions and the needs of others."
This study adds to the existing literature supporting the benefits of Heartfulness practice, as reported by some previous studies showing the benefit of Heartfulness relaxation and meditation to reduce stress, burnout, loneliness, and improve the quality of sleep.
Read More► Six Ways to Keep Exercising in Winter
नई दिल्ली के प्रगति मैदान में रविवार को भारतीय अंतर्राष्ट्रीय व्यापार मेला के पहले दिन आयुष मंत्रालय के पवेलियन में मोरारजी देसाई राष्ट्रीय योग संस्थान के योगाचार्यों द्वारा लाइव फ्यूजन योग प्रदर्शन, विभिन्न आयुष धाराओं के विशेषज्ञों द्वारा मुफ्त चिकित्सा परामर्श और पोषण-युक्त तथा अच्छे स्वास्थ्य को बढ़ावा देने वाले विभिन्न खाद्य पदार्थों का प्रदर्शन आकर्षण के प्रमुख केंद्र रहे।
पवेलियन में आयोजित गतिविधियां 'समग्र स्वास्थ्य, पौष्टिक आहार' के विषय के इर्द-गिर्द घूमने वाली रहीं, जिसे आयुष मंत्रालय विभिन्न भारतीय पारंपरिक चिकित्सा पद्धतियों के माध्यम से प्रचारित करता है। आयुर्वेद, योग और प्राकृतिक चिकित्सा, यूनानी, सिद्ध और होम्योपैथी धाराओं के विभिन्न संस्थानों और अनुसंधान निकायों ने प्रगति मैदान के हॉल नंबर 10 में आयुष मंत्रालय के मंडप में लोगों को इस बारे में जागरूक करने के लिए अपने काउंटर स्थापित किए हैं कि कैसे वे आयुष प्रणाली के तहत उपलब्ध पौष्टिक खाद्य पदार्थों और अच्छी आहार शैली के माध्यम से अच्छे स्वास्थ्य को बनाए रख सकते हैं।
आगंतुकों को गिलोय समेत कई औषधीय पौधे दिए गए, जो कई स्वास्थ्य लाभ वाली जड़ी-बूटी है। आगंतुकों को सिखाया गया कि कैसे वे वाई-ब्रेक मोबाइल एप्लिकेशन में उल्लिखित योग का अभ्यास करके केवल पांच मिनट में अपने कार्यस्थल पर खुद को तरोताजा और ऊर्जावान कर सकते हैं।
आयुष मंत्रालय के स्टाल पर सीधे पकाने योग्य पौष्टिक-औषधीय गुणों वाली सामग्री का एक नया सेट भी प्रदर्शित किया गया है जो मधुमेह, मोटापे, पुराने दर्द और एनीमिया के रोगियों को आवश्यक आहार सहायता प्रदान करता है। पाउडर के रूप में पैक, इन खाद्य सामग्री को संस्थान के एक प्रस्तावित खाद्य स्टार्ट-अप, महाभाष्य के तहत अखिल भारतीय आयुर्वेद संस्थान (एआईआईए) के शोध विद्वानों द्वारा विकसित किया गया है। इन व्यंजनों में एक कैंडी, एक क्षुधावर्धक, आटा और एक लड्डू शामिल हैं। इन पैकेटों पर उनको बनाने की विधि और उनके स्वास्थ्य लाभों के बारे में बताया गया है।
आगंतुकों को यूनानी धारा के काउंटर पर मुरब्बा-ए आंवला, हरीरा, यूनानी कहवा और हलवा घीकर चखने के लिए मिला। सिद्ध काउंटर पर भृंगराज चॉकलेट के अलावा भुने हुए चने और काले तिल के लड्डू और पौष्टिक कुकीज भी दिए गए।
यह भी पढ़े► राष्ट्रीय आयुर्वेद संस्थान में मनाया गया राष्ट्रीय आयुर्वेद दिवस 2021
Live Fusion Yoga performance by practitioners from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, free medical consultation by experts of various Ayush streams and display of various food items that promote nutrition and good health were the major attractions at the pavilion of the Ministry of Ayush on the first day of the India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan on Sunday.
The activities at the pavilion revolved around the theme of ‘Holistic health, Nutritious Diet', which the Ministry of Ayush propagates through various Indian traditional medicine systems. Various institutes and research bodies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy streams have set up their counters at the MoA’s pavilion in hall number 10 of Pragati Maidan to make people aware on how they can maintain good health through nutritious foods and good dietary habits available under the AYUSH system.
The visitors were given medicinal plants with the focus on giloy, a herb with multiple health benefits. The visitors were taught how they can refresh and re-energise themselves at their workplaces in just five minutes by practicing the Yoga protocol mentioned in the Y-Break mobile application.
A new set of ready-to-cook nutraceuticals-based items that provide necessary dietary support to the patients of diabetes, obesity, chronic pains, and anemia among others have also been displayed at the Ministry of Ayush’s stall. Packed in powder form, these recipes have been developed by the research scholars of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under Mahabhaishajya, a proposed food start-up of the institute. These recipes include a candy, an appetizer, flour and a laddoo among others. The packets have the method of preparation and the health benefits mentioned on them.
The visitors were also given Murabba-e Amla, Harira, Unani Kahwa and Halwa Gheekar to taste at the counter of Unani stream, Bhringraj Chocolate at Siddha counter apart from Roasted gram and black sesame laddoos and nutritious cookies.
Read More► National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur celebrates National Ayurveda Day 2021
In the world we live in, life can be challenging. For most of us, waking up early, working late at night, daily commuting, exercise etc is a lot to balance with so much on the mind, it's easy to feel stressed for anyone. Stress is present on a daily basis which can be mild and sometimes unbearable resulting to hypertension, depression etc.
Thus, finding ways to relieve stress and stop it from creeping deeper into your life is imperative and one way to shake off the stress is to practice yoga. We all need an effective solution that helps us overcome mental disturbances and allows us to live peacefully with a healthy mind and body. For any stressed individual, yoga can be a game-changer, especially meditation and physical asanas are magic to overcoming stress immediately.
The practice is mood and energy-boosting but it seems to be ideal to help reduce levels of stress in day-to-day life. If you need help managing stress and anxiety, yoga may be a great solution and self-care ritual.
Here's how yoga reduces stress and manages these issues effectively:
Yoga reduces stress and promotes relaxation, which is the natural opposite of stress. Yoga can benefit three aspects of ourselves that are often affected by stress: our body, mind, and breathing. By practising yoga, a little bit daily can drastically affect your well-being in a positive manner. It induces positive energy to your body making one calmer, focus, balance and relaxed. Whether you are at home, work or somewhere in between, yoga is always here to help you relax.
When we're under stress, we often start thinking more about the repercussions of things that we do or wander about what will be the future instead of being in the moment and enjoying for the time being. Sometimes practising yoga lets you think introspect yourself and makes you be in a moment of mindfulness. For instance, focusing your body with yoga indirectly makes you notice a lot of things about yourself, allowing oneself to be just rightly present in that particular moment. Being in the moment like this helps you build your ability to focus and concentrate, which helps in all aspects of life.
Helps you know yourself a little bit more
Yoga is nothing but uniting mind, body and soul and therefore, one of the best reasons to add yoga in your daily kitty is that it helps you find out more about your mind, body, and emotions.
Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga can enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Yoga might also help you manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety that are due to difficult situations. If you are performing Yoga outdoors, experiencing the vibrant colours, sounds and feel of the outdoors during your yoga practice can provide a positive energy boost.
Improves mental strength
A common benefit most people recall is that yoga improves your strength and flexibility for your body as well as mind. Yoga exercises improve mental toughness as it pores in confidence with the body movements and forces the mind to be more focused. When one is doing yoga, the mind gets busy taking care of the coordination of the muscles or making the body stay in a particular posture or form. The staying power as it develops in the mind with its efforts to keep the body still is what is called mental stamina. Yoga is one of the most effective natural ways to improve brain power. After all, a strong mind is definitely linked to a healthy brain.
Yoga helps move the body in directions and ways which one would have never moved before, these new experiences and how one master the new maneuvers lifts the confidence of the practitioner related to the unknown. A boost in the confidence level is necessary to remain persistent on any path chosen by an individual.
Yoga help gather the scattered mind from everywhere, and focus its energy on one thought, action or task. The concentrated energy provides additional power to do what is desired, scattered mind is a weak mind. Practising yoga meditation regularly helps habituate the mind on remaining focused and concentrated.(By Abhishek Otwal)
Read More► 10 Minutes Daily Yoga Can Help Improve Mental Health Problems
Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
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