Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences of a woman's life. It is a time when a woman is overwhelmed with different emotions happiness, excitement, anxiety all at the same time. During this phase, a woman can also experience frequent mood swings, thanks to the hormonal changes taking place in the body. Fatigue and discomfort too, become permanent companions owing to the physical changes occurring.
Yoga offers holistic benefits to expecting women helping them to keep the body healthy and mind, calm and relaxed. Yoga prepares women for labour and delivery as well as assists them in recovering better post-delivery. Rajeev Rajesh, Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, shares five yoga asanas that can bring multiple benefits to pregnant women.
How to do: Stand erect and keep the feet a little wide apart. Interlock the fingers, raise the hands up and turn the palms upward. Take a deep breath. While breathing out, bend from the waist to the right, keeping the elbows straight and feet firmly on the ground. Hold the posture and breathe normally. Feel the stretch on the sides. While inhaling, gently come back to the original position. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This asana stretches the waistline and improves the flexibility of the spine. It provides relief in back pain and constipation, a common problem during pregnancy.
How to do: Standing erect and spread the legs 3-4 feet apart. Turn the right foot 90 degrees outwards and the left foot by 15e inward. While inhaling, raise the arms sideways so that they are parallel to the ground and in line with the shoulders. While exhaling, bend the right knee and turn your gaze towards the right. Gently push down on the pelvis and maintain this position with normal breathing. Inhale and gently come up and while exhaling, bringing the hands to the sides. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: It helps develop balance, releases stress from the arms and shoulders and relaxes the mind and the body. It is also an excellent asana to strengthen the lower back, legs and arms.
How to do: Stand on the knees and keep them a little apart. Bend forward and place the palms below the shoulders and in front of the knees on the ground. While inhaling, lift the head up and push the lower back down. While exhaling, lift the back up and bend the head down. Repeat the practice ten times.
Benefits: This asana stretches the spine and makes it flexible. This helps support more weight during pregnancy. It also tones the abdominal organs and improves blood circulation.
How to do: Sit straight with the legs stretched forward. Bend the knees and join the soles of the feet together. Interlock the fingers and hold the feet firmly. Bring the heels close to your genitals. Breathe in deeply. Keep the elbows on the thighs. While exhaling, gently press the thighs and knees down towards the floor and then allow it to move up.
Benefits: This asana gives a good stretch to the inner thighs and pelvic area. This helps improve the flexibility and strength of the pelvic and hip region. If practiced regularly, it will facilitate a smooth delivery.
How to do: Lie down straight on the back. Keep the legs slightly apart and hands slightly away from the body. Turn the palms up. Gently close the eyes and relax the body completely. Keep breathing gently and slowly. Do not allow any thoughts to come into your mind. Stay in this position for 10 minutes.
Benefits: The asana helps to achieve a deep, meditative state that fosters the repair of tissues and cells, relieving stress. It is also a good practice to reduce blood pressure, insomnia and anxiety.
Finally, a word of advice: It is crucial for pregnant women to remember that they should not indulge in asanas that require them to lie flat on the stomach. Also, inverted and forward bending asanas must be avoided as they might put pressure on the abdomen. Always Practice yoga asanas under the supervision of expert.
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Yoga provides one with various physical, mental health and well-being benefits; it requires a tiny investment in equipment compared to other forms of exercise.
A yoga mat is one of the most versatile essentials you need to have, especially in these challenging times where the predictability of gyms opening or closing is incalculable. Practicing on a yoga mat allows one to properly perform different poses while remaining safe and free from unnecessary stresses such as slipping or experiencing pain from uncomfortable body support.
Whether you are a hardcore yogic or someone about to embark on your fitness journey, a Yoga Mat will help you elevate your performance and keeps pains and aches at bay.
Pallav Bihani, Founder Of Boldfit, shares some tips on how to select the best Yoga Mat for home workouts:
There are several yoga mats in the market with varying thicknesses. You need to factor in comfort, portability, and safety before you narrow down on few products. If you love the extra cushioning or are purchasing for senior citizens, opt for mats with 10-12 mm thickness. While if you are someone who loves to connect with the ground while you move from one asana to another, then a yoga mat with a standard thickness of 6mm is the ideal fit for you. Opting for anything below the 10-6 mm thickness range won't provide you with the benefits of stability, comfort, and cushioning that you are factoring in.
Size is one of the most important factors when looking out for a yoga mat. 6 feet by 2 feet is the standard size in the market, which is more than enough to perform all the asanas and exercises. If you are tall or big stature-wise, you should opt for a larger mat. Consider how much room and portability is also required before fixing the size of the yoga mat. Portability is a crucial aspect of purchasing a yoga mat; buying a large yoga mat that you can't carry around easily defeats the purpose. On the flip side, purchasing a small one will have your limbs touching the ground.
The texture of the yoga mat is quite essential for proper movements. The yoga mat's surface provides traction and prevents slipping; everyone has different preferences: some like their mats with manufactured texture, while some prefer a smooth cushioned mat.
This might be a surprising one, but people who perform Yoga regularly know the importance of stickiness in a mat. A sticky yoga mat will keep you from sliding all over the place and help you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another, as well as when you hold asanas. Make sure you purchase a mat that provides just the right amount of stickiness for you.
Last but not least, factor in the material when planning to purchase a yoga mat for your home workouts. Most budget yoga mats under Rs 600 are made of recycled plastic such as EVA or PVC, leaving a nasty odour and can cause skin allergies. Although these are yoga mats, they are not optimized for performance to perform an asana that may require your mat to hold your grip during the movement.
If performance is one of your concerning parameters, then TPE material is the perfect match for you. TPE yoga mats provide you the confidence and quality to perform your exercise while lasting for years without degrading in nature. This is the ideal investment you can make in your fitness.
If late, there are advancements and innovations around rubber as well as cork yoga mats, these are pricey, and they lack performance. Though they are a boon for the environment, these mats don't provide the bang of your buck.
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Whether you are a skincare fanatic or have just started your journey towards creating your own beauty regime, you would have come across a multiplicity of ingredients on skincare product labels that often leave you wondering what's a good fit for you. The most versatile yet tricky amongst those is Vitamin C.
Most people get a fair dose of this vitamin from the food, fruits, and vegetables they eat. It is a legendary supplement required to keep our immune system robust and fortify our bodies against diseases. It has also played a crucial part in our fight against Covid-19.
With countless benefits internally, the vitamin has equal, if not more, dermatological advantages. Arushi Thapar, Senior Marketing Manager, Plum, PurePlay Skin Sciences Pvt Ltd. shares more on the new 'in' natural additive.
C the advantage! : Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, but what does that mean for your skin? Vitamin C is known to be a difficult ingredient to develop and work with owing to its fragility and photosensitivity. With advancements in research, we know that the potent L- Ascorbic acid or also known as the most stable form of Vitamin C which can effectively reduce dark spots, protect from sun damage & treat dull skin.
With age and due to sun exposure, collagen synthesis in the skin decreases, leading to wrinkles- once again Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles. Therefore, its important to understand the make of such a potent concoction with multifold benefits. Many skincare products on the market today, deep dive into the skincare science and highlight the vitamin C derivatives, which is an important part for consumers to understand and choose the right Vitamin C serum. Products with the right concentration, formulation and other mix of ingredients like Japanese Mandarin and Kakadu plum that boost the performance of the Vitamin C, are important factors to take into consideration before purchasing a Vitamin C serum.
Why Plum Mandarin & Vitamin C serum should be your holy grail: Make sure your Vitamin C serum checks these boxes before purchasing or using them.A greater absorption of skin is possible with the use of vitamin C in serum-based formulations. The concentration should be between 10-20% with the sweet spot at 15%- any higher nullifies the benefits and could damage your skin. Another important aspect to pay attention to is the pH value. Human skin tends to have a pH value between 4-5 hence, the serum should have a similar value to be effective.
Other factors to consider while adding Vitamin C to your beauty shelf include packaging, colour, and smell. As mentioned before, Vitamin C is photosensitive i.e its properties change with exposure to light. It is, therefore, important for the serum to be packaged in a dark or amber coloured bottle. Store away from sunlight and in a dry environment. Be mindful of the colour and smell- ideally any skincare product should be free of artificial colours & fragrances. A change into a yellow, orange, or brown colour means it has oxidised; a sour or rancid smell means the product has lost stability and its use must be discontinued.
Once you have the ideal Vitamin C infused serum you can mix it up with your existing AM/PM regime- As a base alongside sunscreen is basic but an absolute must-have for glowing skin. It can also be used with Hyaluronic acid for hydration; combined with peptides making it a specialist for mature skin, or mixed with Vitamin E for ultimate nourishment for your skin! Ingredients such as niacinamide, chemical exfoliants, and retinol should not be applied together. Vitamin C with Niacinamide could be potent, with exfoliants causing destabilization, and combined with retinol becomes too much for the skin to handle at one time.
Now that you know all there is to know about Vitamin C, add one to your cart that suits your skin the best. Go ahead, #CtheGlow for yourself!
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A workout doesn't mean spending hours in a gym or sweating on a treadmill. The foundation of working out should be laid at a young age. Delhi-based fitness and sports nutritionist Hasti Singh shares top five reasons to include workout in a child's daily routine.
* Stronger muscles and bones
* Fit and lean posture
* Lower risk of becoming obese
* Lower chance of attracting diseases
* Controlled B.P and cholesterol
Singh says, to start with, parents can ask their child to do yoga or meditation for at least 1 hour daily. The trick is that parents should also do with them as then they will try to imitate and will enjoy doing the exercise.
Kids can also do aerobics as it strengthens the heart and helps in circulating oxygen to the cells. Aerobics can be done at home and parents can also participate in these exercises like playing basketball, swimming, jogging, running, cycling.
Singh points out: "When I say workout, don't confuse it with weight-lifting. Kids could do push-ups, crunches with stomachs, stretching, and other exercises to give a shape to their physique and gain strength. These exercises don't include much hard work and are also good from the kids' perspective. By doing push-ups, the child would learn to tackle weight and it will improve his shoulder and arm connection."
Rope Skipping is another good workout activity that you can introduce to your child. Skipping strengthens hand and leg muscles.
Kids can also join any dance classes which is an ultimate form of exercise. It helps in the complete movement of a kid's body and hence gives a complete opportunity to work out.
Exercise not only improves a child's abilities but will also help him/her to gain concentration. Kids nowadays spend a lot of time taking online classes and hence expose themselves to uncalled problems like strain, headache, and health issues.
Taking out time and doing workouts daily can save your child from these issues. Also, a regular workout helps in better sleep and makes your child energetic.
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Yoga is often mistaken as an 'exercise' that only caters to the body. But the most important thing we forget, is that the central dogma of yoga is breath. Life is breath.
"We breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, it's simple biology," is what some said. But breathing is a very powerful way to control the mind.
Here's an example, if you breathe slowly and deliberately, you begin to feel sleepy. Your heart rate normalizes and you feel calmer. But when you are stressed, your breath quickens, it increases blood pressure. It increases heart rate and so on. If we flip the situation here and breathe easy while stressed, we're training our body to react calmly to situations of stress! I'd say breathing is not just inhaling and exhaling, it's actually a complex combination of intricate internal processes that lead to life!
Here are five things you can practice for better breath control and easier breathing. (Inputs are from Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA, yoga-based wellness platform.)
The first pose is Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose. Designed to open the chest muscles, the Bhujangasana is a beginner-friendly pose that not only provides relief in asthmatic conditions but also allows one to calm the mind and promotes an overall feeling of happiness.
The second pose is the Ardha Matsyendrasana or the half-fish pose. Designed to be a great twist for the upper body, this induces deeper breathing than usual and enhances the muscles of the Lungs to perform better. It also aids in better circulation to the body and provides relief in times of stress.
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The third pose is the toughest. No, it's not an elaborate twisting and balancing exercise, it's Shavasana. We carry tension around our bodies for several days/weeks and some of us even years! This can really affect our breathing patterns. Shavasana helps regulate these in a resting pose. Clearing your mind of the chaos and the body of all the tension is a challenging task for us, who live every single conscious moment thinking or doing something!
The last two are breathing techniques that one must practice to breathe better. Not just this, there are a host of other benefits that are attached to these.
The concept of pranayama is often mistaken for deep breathing. The difference is, In pranayama, the movements are so slow that there is adequate time for every part of the lung to absorb oxygen. Breath retention is a powerful way to energize the body.
Anulom vilom is a specific type of controlled breathing (pranayama). It involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, then holding the other nostril closed while exhaling. The process is then reversed and repeated. Alternate nostril breathing is said to have many physical and psychological benefits, including stress reduction and improved breathing and circulation.
And lastly, Bhramari Pranayama. Bhramari word is made from the Hindi word "Bhramar" which means Bumble Bee. Brahmari (Bee Breath) is a very effective pranayama for calming the mind. The activity of this respiratory exercise helps to induce a calming impact on the mind rapidly. Brahmari Pranayama edges in reducing high vital signs, fatigue, and mental stress. This Pranayama is one of the great breathing exercises to release the mind of disquiet, anxiety, or frustration and get rid of anger.
There is research that corroborates the fact that Yoga is very beneficial for breathing. While the universe of Yoga is endless. It speaks of asanas, pranayamas, mudras, meditation techniques that have several benefits from their practice, the above are suitable for beginners to start their journey to yoga. We must remember that breath is life and life is breath.
SARVA's latest campaign #StarttohKaro is a call to action for people to start on their physical and mental health journeys with any style of activity that suits and excites them.
Consistent daily exercise, breathing techniques to boost immunity and good nutrition can do the trick, just like it did for me during the time I suffered from Covid. June is celebrated as International Day of Yoga Month, as it lauds a practice that ensures holistic well-being. We want people to start their tryst with good health and utilize our platform towards helping communities thrive and work towards feeling healthy, physically and mentally.
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According to a National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health survey, 1 in 12 children practice yoga. Over the years, yoga has become increasingly popular among Indian children. It helps in improving balance, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. It can also help to boost memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behaviour, thereby reducing anxiety and stress in children.
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As we approach International Yoga Day, Tata Sky Fitness is introducing Yoga Ki Paathshala, by Shrradha Setalvad. The series will focus on 3F's Fitness for the body, Focus on the mind, and Fun for the soul. Setalvad explains in details the 3Fs:
Fitness for Body
Asanas like Shavasana, Navasana, Tolasana, Suryanamaskar, Chakrasana helps in strengthening the overall being of kids. It aims to develop both physical health as well as cognitive skills in children. It opens the energy channels throughout the body, increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones, and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing, these poses or asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress.
Focus on Mind
Asanas like Pranayama, Padmasana, Sukhasana, and others, help a child to be aware of themselves and help them control their emotions. These act as a tool for calming and energizing the child to develop a state-of-relaxed mind, which is crucial for learning. It also develops social-emotional awareness, body awareness and coordination, and interpersonal skills.
Fun for Soul
Children can adapt to all kinds of exercise and practicing yoga asana at an early age can lead them to having a healthy head start in life. In this fast-paced world, it helps to rejuvenate kids inside-out. The meditative pose helps to relax both our mind and body. It promotes spiritual awakening and awareness of higher consciousness. It is a perfect choice if you want a holistic approach to mind and body strength.
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