Yoga can help you manage stress, and the best part is it does not take a lot of time. You don't have to spend hours on the mat or invest years in learning complicated postures. Instead, by simply taking out a few minutes every day, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your quality of life. A key component of yoga is that it empowers you to manifest these changes in your breath.
By changing the speed, pace, and quality of your breath, you can calm down your nervous system, thereby moving your body from a state of stress to one of relaxation. Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder -- Yoganama, shares three simple techniques that can help you:
1. Start with the Palming Technique
Palming is very useful for eye fatigue and stress from looking at a screen for long hours. Rub your palms together to find some heat, and then gently cup your eyes, creating a hollow dark space around them. Relax your forehead, eyes, and neck as you hold this for a few breaths.
You can follow this up with a gentle head massage, particularly focusing on the eyebrows, temples, and forehead. Then bring your hands in front of you as you open your eyes with a few gentle blinks looking directly at your palms. If you're doing this outdoors, you can also look far into the distance. Taking a few moments to look outside, preferably at some greenery or standing by the window and looking outside in natural light, is also very helpful.
2. Do Some Deep Breathing
When you are emotional, stressed, or physically tired, your breath becomes shallow and loses its rhythm. The good thing is that this is a two-way street. By consciously relaxing your breath and bringing it to an even pace or rhythm, you can reduce your stress levels. This is important because we spend a lot of our modern-day life in a stressed and hyper state, making it even more necessary to make time for activities that counter stress. Deep belly breathing or Diaphragmatic is just the technique you need as you can do it anytime you're on an empty stomach. Just remember not to become overly conscious of the breath and start forcing it to breathe deeply. By paying attention to the breath, you will naturally slow it down. Immerse yourself in the beautiful experience for 3 minutes, three times a day.
3. Practice Stillness
After some deep breathing, the mind naturally comes into a calmer state, and that's a great time to practice meditation. You can do this by choosing an object of meditation; it could be a deity, a symbol, an affirmation, a mantra, a chant, or even your breath. And try to spend at least 3 minutes observing the nature of your object, introspecting on its meaning, or simply trying to maintain your attention on it. For example, if you've chosen the breath as your object of meditation, try to take five slow breaths without getting distracted. If you do get distracted, which is very normal, start again at one and repeat till you've taken those five breaths with your attention intact.
In this way, you can integrate yoga into your everyday life. These techniques are simple, don't require any equipment, and can be done anywhere. But they are immensely powerful, and you will start to see the difference within a couple of weeks of practice.
Read More► Yoga For Pregnant Women
The most common cause of low birth weight babies is premature delivery, when the baby doesn't get enough time to grow inside the womb of the mother. The second most common cause is when the baby stops growing inside the womb and no matter what the growth just stops. In this case we need to deliver the baby irrespective of the gestational age.
Talking about premature deliveries, there are several reasons as to why this happens. It can happen due to infections in the vagina of the mother like Group B Streptococcal infections or a recurrent urinary tract infection. These infections start the cascade of reactions which ultimately starts the premature delivery process.
It can also happen if the mouth of the uterus is so short that it cannot hold the weight of the pregnancy and with this pressure it just opens up.
Sometimes it can also happen due to the infection of the womb by the TORCH infections, named so due to Toxoplasmosis, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes.
It can also be caused due to some structural anomalies in the uterus like if there is a septum in the middle of the cavity of the uterus or if the cavity of uterus is divided into two parts due to which there is not enough space for the baby to grow inside the womb.
Too much amniotic fluid can also start the process of labor due to excessive pressure.
Sometimes the age of the mother also plays a role, a very young mother, like a teenager, has organs which might not be too well developed to hold the baby till term. Similarly if she is too old then the organs become too weak.
All these factors can lead to preterm delivery and hence low birth weight babies.
Coming to the next part when the baby stops growing inside the womb which is also known as fetal growth restriction, this can happen if the baby is unable to receive proper nutrition either due to the functional abnormality in the placenta (the powerhouse which brings nutrition and oxygen to the baby) or due to abnormality in blood vessels in the umbilical cord (which carries blood from the placenta to the baby).
The abnormalities in the placenta like placenta praevia when part of the placenta is in the lower uterine segment or circumvallate placenta can hamper the growth of the baby.
The reasons for abnormal blood supply through umbilical cord are malnutrition in the mother, drug abuse, smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, chronic health conditions like hypertension, advanced diabetes, autoimmune disorders, sickle cell anaemia, chronic kidney disease, obesity and APLA syndrome. All these factors disrupt the blood supply to the baby and hence the low birth weight.
All the above are the maternal factors which can cause low birth weight in the babies. Along with this there are certain fetal factors also which can cause low birth weight in babies like twin pregnancy, fetal anomalies like aneuploidy, triploidy, trisomy 13,18,21, turners syndrome.
Birth of low birth weight babies can cause lots of problems to the babies because they are born when they are not prepared to enter the world. They can suffer from various complications ranging from inability to gain weight due to difficulty in feeding, breathing problems due to immature lungs, bleeding in the brain also known as intraventricular haemorrhage etc.The only way we can prevent low birth weight babies is by ensuring that the mother takes regular antenatal check ups so that the growth of the baby and maternal weight gain can be measured regularly. With this continuous surveillance even risk factors for preterm labor can be minimised. Preventable risk factors like alcohol consumption, smoking and drug abuse should be avoided completely.
(Obstetrician and Gynecologist Amodita Ahuj)
(IANSlife Features can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
Read More► Meditation has benefits in cognitive impairment, early Alzheimer's
New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has moved the Supreme Court against yoga guru Ramdevs plea seeking a stay on the proceedings against him in connection with the multiple FIRs lodged over his alleged remarks against the use of allopathic medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic.DMA has called Ramdev a "businessman clad as a ‘yog guru'" and claimed that he does not have any degree or licence to practice Ayurveda and prescribe medicines.The medical body contended that Ramdev has insulted allopathy and "instigated" people to disregard Covid vaccines and treatment protocols.On June 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana had asked Ramdev to bring on record original version of his statement allegedly made against the use of allopathic medicine for treating Covid patients.The DMA claimed that Patanjali has earned over Rs 1,000 crore by selling Coronil kits, which were not approved by the medical bodies. "While the entire medical fraternity of the country was fighting the deadly pandemic in unity and were trying to educate the public about the Covid vaccines and correct course of treatment, Ramdev, shockingly, started a false propaganda against Covid vaccines and the treatment protocol for coronavirus with the mala fide intent to promote the sale of products, namely the Coronil kit," said the plea seeking to intervene as a party, which was filed through lawyer Ashish Kothari.The plea contended that Ramdev referred the modern medical system i.e. allopathic science as "Tamasha" and "Stupid Science". The plea added that Ramdev made comments that the doctors who are treating Covid patients don't know anything and claimed that even without a degree, he is a better doctor than the qualified doctors. "By insulting allopathy and allopathic doctors, Ramdev attempted to create a false narrative that ayurveda is a better science than allopathic science and instigated people to disregard ‘allopathic' vaccines and Covid treatment protocols issued by the Central government," the plea added.The plea contended that Ramdev's intent was to create artificial rivalry between allopathy and ayurveda, and he wanted to cast a doubt in the minds of the people against the effectiveness of Covid vaccines and treatment protocols.The doctors' body alleged that it was a methodology to encourage people to buy Coronil Kit, which he (Ramdev) falsely propagated as ‘Ayurvedic preparations'.The Patna and Raipur chapters of the Indian Medical Association have lodged complaints against Ramdev, alleging that his remarks are likely to cause prejudice to the Covid control mechanism.Ramdev, in his plea, has sought the clubbing of the FIRs in Patna and Raipur and urged the top court that a single FIR should be there in Delhi.--IANSss/arm
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.
Read More► Five Yoga Suggestions to Help You Breathe Easy
The rainy season has already begun and parents need to alter their baby care practices and routine to ensure the baby's skin is looked after well. A newborn baby's skin is 40-60 times thinner than an adult and hence needs the gentlest care and nourishment.
Pradeep Suryawanshi, Professor and Head, Department of Neonatology, BVU Medical College, Pune and Member of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), who shares a guide for the best skincare practices for babies during monsoon:
Massaging the baby with oil is an age-old technique followed by almost every Indian household and has various benefits. According to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), massaging when done systematically with the right baby oil results in less stress behaviour, lower cortisol levels and improved cognitive performance in the baby.
The ideal time to massage is when a child is relaxed and not hungry. Ensure the room is warm and begin with a small amount of oil by pouring it into the hands and gently glide over the skin. One should use light and non-sticky mineral oil with enriched vitamin E.
Avoid rigorous massaging, instead, do it gently with upward strokes and circular motions in the front and back. The process when done with the gentlest touch will improve the parent-child bond and add warmth to the baby's skin which is beneficial during the changing temperatures of monsoon.
Bathing With Ease
Bath time like massaging is a good opportunity to engage with the child. During monsoons, a daily bath is not necessary, two to three times a week is ideal. Bathing should be done in a warm room with lukewarm water. Parents can choose to use a baby cleanser or baby soap for bathing the baby. One needs to ensure the products are free from parabens, dyes and phthalates, clinically proven mild and suitable for a child's skin. Baby soap enriched with milk protein and vitamin E is best as it will gently wash away germs and leave behind soft and smooth skin. Like the soap, baby wash with ingredients like natural milk extracts, rice bran protein and 24 hours moisturizing are also easily available in the market.
After bathing, the baby should be dried with a soft and warm towel. The creases should be dried properly to avoid rashes.
Moisturizing is Important
As per research, 2 out of 3 babies in India have dry skin. Using a good moisturizing cream or lotion will help to retain moisture in the baby's skin. A good product will not only nourish but also protect the baby's skin. A lotion having a 24-hour locking system with glycerin or milk extracts and rice bran protein can be used, especially after bath time.
While applying the moisturizer, squirt a little on both hands and apply in a heart shape on the child's front and back. A baby cream with vitamin E and milk extracts can be used on the face and the lotion on the rest of the body.
Taking care of the diaper area is important. Baby in a wet and tight diaper, especially during humid weather can cause increased sweating leading to diaper dermatitis and infection in the perianal area.
Frequently change the diapers or keep the baby diaper-free whenever possible. Use alcohol-free wipes with moisturizing content to clean the diaper area. Keeping the diaper area clean and dry will avoid rashes. If the problem with rashes persists, consult a doctor.
During the monsoon, full-length cotton clothes will allow the passage of fresh air to the skin, avoid rashes and prevent mosquito bites. Make the child wear a soft woolen sweater if the temperature decreases due to heavy rains.
Read More► Essential Steps to Catching Covid Symptoms Early in Children