Monthly Archives: February 2015

Surya Namaskar – For healthy mind and healthy soul

suryanamaskar-sunsaluteSurya Namaskar (Salutations to the Sun) is devoted to the worship of the Solar deity, the provider of energy and intellect. It has been practiced in India for thousands of years. The 12 “asanas” combined with proper deep and rhythmic breathing can provide significant physical and mental benefits. When practiced in the morning, Surya Namaskar relieves stiffness, energizes the body and refreshes the mind.

The Surya Namaskar Postures and Breathing Patterns:

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The 12 postures are:

1. Stand facing the Sun with palms folded and  both the thumbs touching the chest.

Breathing: Inhale while raising the hands and exhale as hands are brought down to chest level.

2.  Raise hands upward, with feet firmly on the ground, bend backwards, stretch arms fully.Breathing: Inhale.

3.  Slowly bend forward, hands touching the earth with respect, head touching the knees. Breathing:Exhale.

4. Set both hands with the palms down firmly on the ground, pull the left leg backward, raise the head looking at the Sun, full weight resting on the two palm and ten fingers. Breathing: Inhale

5. Bring right leg back close to left leg, keeping hands and legs straight, bend the body at the hip forming an arch, just like a mountain, known as ‘parvathasan or mountain pose’. Breathing: Exhale

6. Stretch yourself fully on the ground in the Saashtanga Namaskar pose (all eight ‘anga’ or parts of the body on the ground – head, thigh, eyes (sight), mind, word, feet, hands and ears (hearing)). In reality, feet, knees, thighs, chest, forehead touch the ground with the hands stretched out and in folded position, with your mind and thoughts on the full namaskar, then slowly turn the head to the sides first to left and then to right so that each ear touches the ground. Breathing: Inhale first and then Exhale fully

7. Slowly raise the head, bend backward as much as possible, hands straight, in the cobra pose. Breathing: Inhale

8. Parvathasan – same as Step 5. Breathing: Exhale

9. Same as Step 4 with the difference that the right leg is brought forward. Breathing: Inhale

10. Same as Step 3 – Breathing: Exhale

11. Same as Step 2 – Breathing: Inhale

12. Same as Step 1 – Breathing: Exhale, Inhale and Exhale.

You don’t need to be doing yoga regularly in order to practice the Surya Namaskar. If performed correctly, this exercise does not strain or cause injury. If performed in the morning, it relieves stiffness, revitalises your body and refreshes the mind. Do it during the day and it will instantly boost you up, practice it after sundown and it helps you unwind.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  • Tones up the digestive system by the alternate stretching and compression of abdominal organs. It activates digestion and gets rid of constipation and dyspepsia.

  • Abdominal muscles are strengthened and improves muscle flexibility

  • If you are suffering from sleeplessness then, surya namaskar is the best medicine as it promotes sleep and calms anxiety

  • Prevents skin disorders and makes skin look refreshed

  • Thoroughly ventilates the lungs, and oxygenates the blood.

  • Tones up the nervous system and improves memory.

  • Prevents loss of hair and greying.

  • Reduces fat.

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7 Benefits of Ginger that we never knew!

a-ginger-root-and-bowlNothing beats cold in the winter like a piping hot cup of ginger tea. With its high levels of Vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals, ginger root is extremely beneficial for health.

Here’s why you should have this spice that also belongs to the same family as cardamom and Turmeric.If you recall we did a section on benefits of Turmeric in our last edition !!

Health Benefits of Ginger

1. Respiratory problems -Ginger’s antihistamine property helps in treating allergies. It is also known to inhibit airway contraction and help stimulate the secretion of mucus. Hence it is the herb of choice for persistent cough and sore throat associated with colds.

2. Treating nausea and vomiting – Chewing on ginger could reduce nausea and vomiting. According to studies, ginger can treat sensations of nausea following surgery, and due to motion sickness, seasickness, etc. It is also beneficial for nausea as a result of adverse effect of chemotherapy.

3. Remedy for loss of appetite – Fuel a dull appetite by eating fresh ginger just before you have your meal. So for moms complaining about their kids poor appetite – instead of running to doctors and trying various things; try this one out ! Ginger can get their digestive juices going and increase appetite.

4. Aiding indigestion and an Anti-Flatulent- Had a large meal? Eat ginger. Ginger improves absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients and aids in digestion. It also helps break down the proteins in your food. Ginger protects your stomach against ulcers by promoting mucus secretion. Further, its carminative (gas expulsion) property provides relief from bloating and gas and helps reduce flatulence

5. Reduce menstrual pain- Ginger, when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period, can reduce symptoms of menstrual pain in some women. Here are some tried and tested tips to relieve menstrual pain.

6. Arthritis – The analgesic and anti-inflammatory property of ginger may help reduce joint pain of arthritis in some people. To help relieve muscle and joint ache, add some ginger oil into your bath.

7. Preventing morning sickness -Some pregnant women may find ginger beneficial in preventing their morning sickness. But it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking it. Read more about how you can deal with morning sickness.

No Magic Potion; but simple steps for healthy skin

skinFebruary is the season of love .They say “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”; but imagine this – a nice Louis Vuitton bag, Christian Dior watch and a face with make-up that reveals a patchy dry skin! There’s something that is not quite correct here.Beauty lies farther than being skin deep and our skin is the largest and most visible expression of this inner beauty. It is a physical organ that needs to be kept healthy and nourished. Most beauty treatments available today address the physical needs but there is so much we can do to ensure that each cell of our skin is pulsating radiance that eventually gets reflected as inner beauty.

There is no magic potion that can help maintain a glowing skin, but a few simple tips can come handy in cleansing and rejuvenating the skin.

1. Keep it simple – fresh food and lots of water!

A healthy mind in a healthy body; we are what we eat. Hence eating simple non spicy balanced food, fresh juicy fruits and vegetables enlivens the skin. Drinking lots of water is a secret known to all but rarely followed by all. It helps to detoxify the body. One of the best ways is to start a day with a glass or two of water. These initial glasses are important as you are reversing any mind dehydration that may have occurred overnight. It is always advisable to have water empty stomach as it avoid unnecessary dilution of digestive juices.

2. Sweat it out!

A brisk walk or some jogging in the fresh morning breeze with an uncluttered mind is a good way to start the day. This can be replaced by a few fast paced rounds of Surya Namaskars as well. Both these help increase blood circulation and pump oxygen to our heart.

3. The more you meditate, the more you radiate!

Meditation helps in bringing our mind in sync with our body. We become conscious of our inner self, regulate our breathing and take control of our thoughts. Thus Meditation helps to kindle our inner candle which is further reflected as a glowing face.

4. Look beautiful the Ayurvedic way – simple home remedies for a beautiful skin.

Long before the concept of parlours and spas, our grandparents relied on simple home remedies for glowing skin. The secrets of beauty lie in the ancient Ayurveda – with ubtans and and scrubs that gently nourish our skin and provide them the required nutrients. One such popular ubtan is mentioned below:

Your perfect beauty pack:

1. Chickpea Flour – 2tb ,

2. Sandalwood Powder

3. Turmeric Powder – Half teaspoon

4. Camphor – a pinch

5. Plain water / Milk / Rose Water

Mix chickpea flour (besan), sandalwood powder, camphor and turmeric powder in plain water, milk or rosewater to make a thick paste and evenly apply on your face. You may leave on for 20 minutes and wash with water. You could make it an even more rejuvenating experience by dipping two cotton swabs in chilled rose water and place them on your eyes. Better still – switch on some soothing instrumental music! At the end of 20 minutes, what do you have? A glowing skin and a relaxed you!

Finally – we would like to add that the icing on the cake would be to have that radiant smile on your face all the time. It is a perfect blend of inner beauty and confidence that is seen by all. We are sure that with these simple tips will emerge a more confident and radiant you ; completely ready to take on this season of love!