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.
Read More► Yoga Asanas That Can Help Men Boost Their Immunity
New York, June 19 (IANS) Older adults who struggle to fall asleep and experience frequent night awakenings are at high risk for developing dementia or dying early from any cause, a new study suggests.The findings, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, indicated that people who reported routinely experiencing difficulty falling asleep had a 49 per cent increased risk of dementia.And those who often woke in the night and had difficulty falling back asleep had a 39 per cent increased risk of dementia, reports CNN."We found a strong association between frequent difficulty falling asleep and nighttime awakenings and dementia and early death from any cause, even after we controlled for things like depression, sex, income, education and chronic conditions," said researcher Rebecca Robbins from Harvard Medical School.For the study, the team analysed data collected by the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), which conducts annual in-person interviews with a nationally representative sample of 6,376 Medicare beneficiaries.Data from between 2011 and 2018 were examined for the new study, with a focus on people in the highest risk category -- those who said they had sleep issues "most nights or almost every night".Self-reported sleep difficulties by participants in the study were then compared to each participant's medical records.The study found that people who had trouble falling asleep most nights had about a 44 per cent increased risk of early death from any cause.Those who said they often woke in the night and struggled to return to sleep had a somewhat higher risk -- a 56 per cent increased risk of early death from any cause."These results contribute to existing knowledge that sleep plays a very important role, every night, for reducing our long term risk for neural cognitive decline and all-cause mortality," said Robbins.--IANSvc/sdr/
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The Coronavirus pandemic which started last year has taken a heavy toll on the working mothers in India with significant reduction in their average sleep time and more than two-fold jump in time taken to care for elderly in the family, a nationwide survey showed on Friday.
Working mothers in the country are now sleeping for only 5.50 hours per day as compared to 6.50 hours every day on average in pre-Covid era (before 2020), a reduction of about 17 per cent.
They are now spending 01.50 hours more taking care of the elderly/others in the family than in pre-Covid times, according to a survey carried out by market research agency Market Xcel Data Matrix covering 1,200 working mothers across the country.
The pandemic has also altered working mothers' routine and lifestyle -- their time of exercise and entertainment has also been reduced significantly.
Juggling between various responsibilities, they are struggling hard to finish their office work and are spending 08.55 hours to finish office work as compared to 06.50 hours earlier. Their household work has also gone up with the absence of housemaids in many cases.
Moreover, the working mothers are spending more time on their children's education now, with the absence of proper guidance in schools. Around 30 per cent women reported more household chores since the pandemic started and about 26 per cent said there were more childcare responsibilities.
As many as 30 per cent women also reported mental health issues since 2020 while another 26 per cent said they were having some kind of physical health issues.
"The present pandemic situation has had a ripple effect on everybody's life. The working mothers have especially been impacted who are burdened and stressed working round the clock fulfilling professional responsibilities and household duties," said Ashwani Arora, Senior Vice President, Market Xcel Data Matrix, in a statement on the Friday.
"Multitasking and playing many roles simultaneously is gradually becoming hectic. Working mothers have to compromise with their exercise and sleep. Managing office and home school (of kids) at the same time at the same pace is definitely not easy and we need to give some extra care for the caregivers," Arora added.
For the survey, 1,200 working mothers, aged between 25-45 were surveyed in 17 states across the country.
Hyderabad, May 16 (IANS) Telangana is in a better position compared to other states when it comes to the availability of oxygen and medicines, state Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Sunday.He claimed that the state government is ensuring a continuous supply of oxygen to avoid any deaths due to the oxygen crisis.The minister was talking to reporters after receiving 200 oxygen concentrators donated by leading renewable energy firm Greenko.A special flight from China carrying the concentrators landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said that the state government is taking all the steps to combat the Covid pandemic.He also claimed that irrespective of political affiliations, public representatives are working as a team to combat the pandemic.Noting that Hyderabad has been providing Covid treatment to the patients coming from neighbouring states, KTR thanked the Centre for increasing the supply of oxygen, Remdesivir injections, and also vaccines to the state. He said this would help treat the patients on time."Under the leadership of CM KCR, the government is working with complete coordination with the medical institutions. The public representatives and officials are on the ground to take stock of the situation and are acting swiftly during an emergency," KTR said.KTR appreciated Greenko Group for coming forward to donate 1,000 oxygen concentrators to various states in India. In its first phase, the firm on Sunday handed over 200 oxygen concentrators to Telangana.He thanked Greenko Group MD and CEO Anil Chalamasetty for helping the state government during these pandemic timesThe minister also thanked the management of Indigo Airlines for facilitating the transport of these oxygen concentrators from China.Noting that various corporate organisations are coming forward to help the state during the pandemic, he appealed to the other corporate firms to come and join hands in combating the covid virus.Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that with the arrival of 200 oxygen concentrators, an additional 2 tonnes of oxygen will be available now.--IANSms/vd
New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the constitutional authorities can do better than to complain and ask for shackles on the media.The remarks were made by the top court in its verdict on the Election Commission's petition complaining about media reports on the Madras High Court telling the poll body it should be booked for murder for not stopping political rallies amid Covid.A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: "Open access to courts is a valuable safeguard to constitutional freedom. Freedom of the press is a facet of constitutional freedom of speech and expression."The top court said it does not find any substance in the prayer of the Election Commission to restrain media from reporting court proceedings and it is essential to hold judiciary accountable. The top court also observed that the remarks made by the Madras High Court were "harsh and the metaphor improper" and judicial restraint was necessary.The top court emphasized that media cannot be stopped from reporting oral observations made by the judges during a court hearing.The top court said: "Therefore we cannot stop the media from reporting. Constitutional authorities can do better than complaining and seeking for fetters on media."The top court noted that High Courts are constantly in touch with ground realities and during the pandemic they have done great work and have experienced anguish over the state of affairs. Justice Chandrachud added that today the court has not been called upon to decide the constitutionality of the actions of the Election Commission. "We find here that the High Court was faced with rising cases of COVID and was reposed with the duty to protect the citizens," said the top court.On April 26, the Madras High Court had castigated the Election Commission for the surge in COVID-19 cases amid the second wave of the pandemic. The High Court held it responsible for the spread of the viral infection and called it most irresponsible institution. The High Court had added that its officials may be booked under murder charges.--IANSss/in
New York, May 5 (IANS) Stress levels of mothers with preschoolers soared during the Covid-19 pandemic, with twice as many of the mothers reporting loss of sleep during the virus outbreak than before it, finds a study.The study, published in the scientific journal 'Women's Health', supports the necessity of providing mothers with reliable, affordable childcare options and a clear path to maintain a healthy work-life balance."Moms of young children are already less likely to get the recommended amount of sleep and physical activity than women who don't have children. These shortfalls could raise the risk for obesity and poor health, and the lockdown worsened the situation by increasing the levels of stress and household chaos," said Chelsea Kracht, post-doctoral researcher in the Pediatric Obesity and Health Behaviour Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in the US.Mothers who worked remotely during the Covid-19 shutdown reported more household chaos than those who were not teleworking. This is likely because the first group of mothers had to supervise their children's remote schooling and telework at the same time.Having fathers or other family members take on some of the childcare and housework would help the mothers balance the demands of their careers and personal lives, Kracht said."There are a number of ways moms can reduce stress, such as taking a break from the news and spending a few minutes unwinding before they go to sleep. But what moms really need is more support, from their family, workplaces and communities. They need systemic change," said Amanda Staiano, Associate Professor and Director at the Laboratory.The study looked at the relationship between household chaos -- disorder, noise, crowding stress, physical activity -- and sleep for moms. Researchers surveyed more than 1,700 mothers of 3-to-5-year olds during May 2020.--IANSrvt/arm