Category: Lifestyle

Yoga Benefits for Health & Fitness

Look out for these signs; yoga is working for you.  Health and fitness benefits of yoga are generally measured in terms of weight loss or inches loss. A goal of healthy weight is always desirable and appreciable as we can protect our self from many lifestyle diseases, look more young and beautiful, and live long and happy too. But considering your yoga regime as just a means to shed your extra pounds is like asking a Genie a fruit plate or a glass of water when he can offer you something more magnificent than your expectations. Yoga benefits beyond weight loss Some of my students keep on asking me when they will achieve their targeted weight loss (in kilograms). This question generally comes after they register desirable changes in their sleep quality, breathing patterns, and shape of the body, looks and overall health. Sometimes they carry just 5 to10 pounds of excess weight than their ideal weight. And I have to observe their body through zoom lenses to find out where those extra pounds reside in her/his body as his/her appearance looks quite in shape and attractive too. But obsession with ideal weight doesn’t allow her/him to enjoy other benefits of yoga practice. Yoga means complete wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional & spiritual The concepts of health, fitness or wellbeing cannot be defined merely in terms of weight loss. You...

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What Yoga & Ayurveda say about your food

Ayurveda defines body and food relationship as Ahar Sambhavo Deha–means body is derived from the food. The enlightened men always believed you are what you eat. The kind of food one eats; plays a catalyst role in building one’s personality and life. In Marathi, we say Anna he Poorna Brahma–it means food is equal to God. The whole Brahma (universe/Almighty) resides in the food. That’s why we believe in practices like not wasting food and Annadana (offering food to the hungry). The basic knowledge of our Prakriti (constitution) and how food nourishes our body and mind can help us to maintain optimum immunity, strength and stamina throughout life.  Pic courtesy: Yoga by Anil Our age-old sciences; Yoga and Ayurveda describe in detail about food, types of food and Prakriti of the person. Modern nutrition science talks about macronutrients and micronutrients. Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein are known as macro nutrients whereas vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. A person is supposed to eat in a certain quantity and ratio all the macro and micronutrients as per age, gender, level of physical activity and medical conditions. Let’s understand our food through the lens of Yoga and Ayurveda now. Vata, Pitta & Kapha According to Ayurveda, the person should take his food and medicines as per his Prakriti. Prakriti is a genetic code of the child which is confirmed at the time of his birth. The...

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Yoga For Thyroid Disorder

Butterfly shaped thyroid glands Thyroid disorder has become common like cough and cold. You are either a person having some issue with your thyroid gland or you know at least a half dozen of women in your social circle with thyroid problem. Even men can have issues with their thyroid but women are more prone to it than men. Why thyroid is so rampant today? Medical specialists believe that this is a by-product of our wrong lifestyle and habits. The blame, off course, has to put on sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices. Thyroid is a very important endocrine gland that regulates our both physical and mental health. This butterfly shaped gland, located in front part of the neck, secretes T3 and T4 hormones which regulates our metabolism and also secretes important brain chemicals like endorphin, dopamine and adrenaline. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, situated in the brain, control the thyroid. Pituitary gland, in turn, produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland and TSH shares an inverse relationship—the high level of TSH results in an under active thyroid gland (Hypothyroid—the gland produces too little hormones) that slows down the process of metabolism resulting in weight gain among people suffering from it. And the lower level of TSH induces hyperactivity in the gland (Hyperthyroid—the excess secretion by the gland), means extreme weight loss. Hypothyroid is more prevalent than...

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Decoding Stress/Sufferings in Yoga Way

You may have come across this saying many times that “Yoga is a way of life, not just one of the tools of a healthy body and mind.” If one deciphers these Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in a modern perspective, we will find that the philosophy of life in Yoga Sutras stands to the test of time even today. The stress factor takes the credit for being the most common complaint nowadays and also the root cause of the majority of our lifestyle disorders and diseases. The “stress phenomenon” is one of the highlights of our modern world.  One will be surprised to see the reasons for stress/suffering in the 2000 years old Yoga manual, “Yoga Sutras.” The factors that may cause miseries are defined as the kleshas in sutra. Reasons of Sufferings The Sanskrit term klesha means mental infirmities or destructive thoughts/feelings. Kleshas work as the roadblocks in our progress.  They damage our ability to perceive things in the right light. The picture presented through the eyes of kleshas is always camouflaged one. If our decisions, reactions, actions are based on this false understanding; it is going to invite more  nuisances than solutions. Stress is the outcome of our destructive and passive thoughts along with vulnerable emotions. If we understand what exactly is making us feel terrible, then fixing it becomes easier.  Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra traces the five kleshas...

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The Hero’s Journey

Finding Joe-A must watch documentary Link: Life is nothing but an odyssey of self-discovery. You are always occupied working on a never ending list of wish lists—happiness, peace, success, money, relationships and the list goes on. But there are times when you are in doubt about your direction. You feel demotivated and lost. You desperately seek the clarity for the course of life. You want to discover badly where exactly you bliss lay. “Finding Joe”, this path breaking documentary guides you find your bliss Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.Joseph Campbell The beauty of bliss journey is that you enjoy each moment of it whether it brings suffering or joy to you.  Your unwavering faith in the expedition adds magic touch in it. When a person listens to inner voice and opts for adventure call from the universe with all his strength and conviction; he certainly meets “Hero” inside of him. This inspiring movie actually takes you on the voyage of ‘Finding you’. The movie borrows inspiration from renown American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell’s philosophy. He studied mythological stories of different civilizations in depth. And he derived the conclusion that though there are thousands of different tales in all mythologies but their core remains the same irrespective of eras. The Hero’s journey follows the same pattern across the world-separation, initiation...

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