The Power of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice of exercise and meditation, followed in India and her neighboring states. Since 2015, 21st June has been celebrated every year as the International Yoga Day to attract people into yoga, which has extensive health benefits. Each pose has its own advantages and also requires daily practice. The beginners should try easy postures and moves, and only after mastering them should they move to more advanced forms of yoga.

For the limitation of this article, we have listed down the following health benefits of yoga, along with three examples in each category.

1)Yoga for Mind Relaxation :

Relaxing the mind and increasing one’s mental concentration is a challenge nowadays due to the fast-paced life. Along with physical exercises, yoga also targets mental wellness and refreshment of our mind. Yoga is a quick and effective way to remove mental stress, fear, anxiousness, and distractions and focus well on the current job. While Savasana or lying back on the floor with mind rested can be chosen as one of the best ways of relaxation, some good forms of yoga in this category are Balasana (child pose) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose).

Balasana (child pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose)

2)Yoga for Meditation :

Meditation could have fallen under the previous category, but meditation not only relieves the mind but also promotes breathing and maintains posture. Yoga gives the importance of breathing well while in a sitting position, which may not always be relaxing. Pranayama is a good breathing exercise where air through each nostril is regulated. However, two good meditation postures are Padmasana (lotus pose) and Vajrasana (diamond pose).

Padmasana (lotus pose)
Vajrasana (diamond pose)

3)Yoga for Blood Circulation :

This is another parameter where yoga gives a lot of importance. It helps you from fatigue, dizziness, and sudden fall of blood pressure. Blood circulation can be improved by simply standing with arms stretched upwards, called mountain pose or Tadasana. However, some better poses are Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose) and Trikonasana (triangle pose).

Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose)
Trikonasana (triangle pose)

4)Yoga for Body Balance :

We may think how our body balance is helpful, but this is one of the most vital parameters that make us walk, prevent us from falling, and achieve a quick reaction time. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, which is raising one leg sideways and holding the toe with one hand, is a good example in this regard. Postures that primarily focus on body balance are Vrikshasana (tree pose) and Garudasana (eagle pose).

Vrikshasana (tree pose)
Garudasana (eagle pose)

5)Yoga for Core Strength :

Yoga believes in being more robust from the inside, not just showing muscles on the outside. That is why we have many core exercises that form a part of yoga. Surya Namaskar is one of the best routines to be followed that has a number of advantages including engaging the core. Individual core engaging yoga exercises are Phalakasana (plank pose) and Utkatasana (chair pose).

Phalakasana (plank pose)
Utkatasana (chair pose)

6)Yoga for Flexibility :

Increasing flexibility has many health benefits like less muscle tension, greater range of motion, a lower risk of injuries, and better posture. Yoga is one of the safest and most effective ways of getting flexible. However, yoga stresses that our body takes time to learn, and we must not hurt ourselves while performing yoga. Parsvottanasana, a simple forward bending exercise, may be an excellent choice, to begin with. Two good asanas for improving flexibility are Anjaneyasana (low lunge) and Dhanurasana (bow pose).

Anjaneyasana (low lunge)
Dhanurasana (bow pose)

7)Yoga for Back Stability :

It is always said that prevention is better than cure. These categories of exercises may help you not only to get rid of back pain but may also prevent back pain from coming back. Chakravakasana or cat-cow stretch may be a simple option to try at first, while Matsyendrasana (seated twist) or Salabhasana (locust pose) are advanced choices to stabilize the back, correct posture, and remove back pains, if any.

Matsyendrasana (seated twist)
Salabhasana (locust pose)

So which one of these is your favorite form of exercise or yoga. Did yoga change your lifestyle in some way? You may share your experience in the comment section below.

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Written by – Himadri Paul

What You Can Do at Home during Lockdown

We all are busy working from home or studying from home life. But apart from that, we do get a lot of extra time that goes unutilized. There are many household works that we could do to enjoy our life at home and enrich our amateur skills. Let us go through some jobs that can keep us occupied in a dull lockdown period.

1)Cooking : Cooking comes in the number 1 spot. Cooking is a passion for many of us, while it is a very laborious task for others. It is nice to try your hand at cooking this lockdown. It is not that you have to cook restaurant quality and Masterchef dishes. You may lend a helping hand to those cooking food daily at your home. You may also try making some new drinks or simple desserts, or you may decorate and garnish a particular dish item. Try your hand at chopping, grinding and baking. Most recipes are found on the internet and youtube, so you don’t need a high degree of knowledge or skill to start cooking. Start with basics like brewing tea, frying omelette, or kneading dough.

2)Room Decoration : This may seem unnecessary when no guests are coming to your home, but for people, who like their home tip-top, this is one thing they would like to do all day. Decorating a home doesn’t mean you need to buy furniture or make curtains. Keeping our house clean is also a form of decorating our home. Mopping the floor, sweeping the floor and walls with a broom, destroying the spider webs in ceiling corners or human hair underneath a bed, and even making your bed is a form of cleaning the home. Anytime you can experiment with certain adjustments in your room like moving the furniture to different places, put a separate sheet over the sofa, or rearranging your dressing table. Start with wiping wall clocks, or changing room carpets or dust the tablecloth in your room, it will take away a lot more time than you think.

3)Light Exercise and Yoga : For those who are not a fan of exercising daily, the lockdown period is an excellent time to bring it to a new hobby. It is not that you have to build muscles or lose weight. Start with light exercises and yoga that are taught at school. Exercise rejuvenates your mind, makes you concentrate harder on your work, and helps you stay fit and active at the same time. Start with breathing exercises, brisk walking, surya namaskar, and you are good to go.

4)Sun-Drying Unused Clothes : Clothes that are not regularly worn are likely to harbour moisture and fungus and smell damp. It is an age-old practice in India to turn cupboards out and leave everything on the balcony or roof to dry in the sun. Take them out in small batches, and put them in the sunlight. It is summer now, and the sunlight is likely to kill germs present in the clothes. Small batches will make sure that it is an occupying yet straightforward task. Who knows, you may find a dress that you have always overlooked. If you have a garden, then do a bit of gardening like watering the plants or fertilizing. This will ensure you get Vitamin D from the sun.

5)Knitting and Handicrafts : Do you like weaving? There is a lot of DIY stuff, a short form of doing it yourself, that keeps your mind relaxed at this tense hour. You may learn knitting in lockdown and if you already know it, then make sure to keep the boring evenings occupied by knitting or sewing. Mend pores in old clothes, put up torn buttons, make covers that cover expensive clothes or quilts. If you know to weave, then you can sometimes keep busy knitting a sweater with wool. You may make your cushion with a new piece of cloth. Decorative stuff like coloured bottles, pen stands, wall hanging materials can also be made with minimum requirements. Start with searching youtube for DIY crafts and try to implement the one suitable for you.

Written by – Himadri Paul

RISING TREND OF AQUA FITNESS

The fitness world sees a constant stream of innovative new disciplines that promise to combine physical exercise with fun. Some immediately fade into obscurity or become only short-lived fads, while others gain more attraction and become permanent. A few old aqua fitness favourites are still going strong, like water aerobics and aqua spinning, but there are some more recent trends worth looking into as well.

 Aqua yoga– imagine burning all those calories along with all the benefits of those yoga moves without shedding a drop of sweat. Like its terrestrial counterpart, aqua yoga is excellent for building strength, flexibility and body awareness. With its specific focus on relaxation and concentration, aqua yoga wouldn’t generally be categorized as particularly fun, per se, but it can be deeply satisfying.

 Aqua Pilates-Like aqua yoga, aqua Pilates is a mindful movement discipline that provides primarily strength and flexibility benefits rather than calorie burning. Aqua Pilates has a stronger focus on the body’s core muscles.

Aqua Zumba-If you love dancing, Aqua Zumba could be for you. Fun music and a good instructor can almost make you forget that you’re in an exercise class—but you’ll still burn 500 to 600 calories per session. There are, of course, a dozen more exercises you can carry out for burning those extra pounds. Yet again, this wonderful liquid doesn’t fail to impress us with the so many versatile ways to use it. This hydro-regime sure has a long way to go as it is the perfect balance of fun and fitness.

Written by – Radhika Ahuja

Exercise and Covid-19

Exercise plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Exercise has also been known to boost our immunity and keep diseases away. Now, new research has found out that exercise can make Covid-19 infection less severe. However, it doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get affected by Covid-19, nor does it says that people who exercise daily do not die.

In a study on 50,000 Californians who developed Covid-19, those who had been most active before infection were least likely to be hospitalized or die. The data also found out that the ones who lead a sedentary lifestyle are at greater risk of severe infection, hospitalization or even death. Regular exercise, whether swim, walk, run or ride a bicycle, lowers the risk of getting severely infected by Covid-19. Exercise is also known to increase antibody responses quickly on common cold, influenza, and other related viral diseases.

Another study by Glasgow Caledonian University revealed that exercising for 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of death or severe illness by 37%. The same survey reported that you are likely to have 50% more antibodies after vaccination if you are active than somebody who is inactive. So being physically active makes you more immune to the virus after vaccination. That doesn’t mean you soon after taking a vaccine dose. You will start high-intensity workouts. Exercise, whatever mentioned here, does not mean something extraordinary athletic but refers to easy and moderate exercises that a healthy individual can do daily without any guidance. On the contrary, it is better to rest for a few days after vaccination as your immunity lowers temporarily, causing side effects like tiredness, drowsiness, weakness, or even slight fever.

Now comes the critical point that whether a workout is good post-recovery from Covid-19. If you are asymptotic but Covid-19 positive, you shouldn’t be working out too much as an intense workout lowers immunity. It is best to take a rest and remain in isolation until you recover. Now you have tested negative, it doesn’t mean you are fully recovered from Covid-19, as the virus can damage many body parts. It takes some time before your body starts functioning normally. Thus before beginning any moderate or high-intensity exercise, you should consult a doctor. Usually, respiratory exercises are first suggested after Covid-19 recovery as the respiratory system is most prone to get damaged. After that, aerobic activities like brisk walking or cycling may be taken up, followed by moderate exercises after a good number of days.

Yoga is an age-old Indian traditional exercise done regularly to keep the body fit. Breathing forms one of the key factors in yoga, and there are several breathing exercises such as pranayama. Pranayama has shown a positive response from both doctors and yoga specialists as effective against Covid-19. Thus, while lockdown is in place outside, it is better to remain active at home doing exercises and yoga.

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Written by Himadri Paul