Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spend 2 minutes a day for Bhujangasana !!

Hunch Back / Upper back pain / Sprain ??

Tall people tend to get hunch back on their upper body. Also, we tend to get pain at upper back and shoulders due to sedentary work and posture. This is basically due to weak back muscles and posture. Bhujangasana is the best exercise to get rid of this problem. Bhujangasana- bhujanga- snake. People doing this can bend their body as flexibly as like a snake and also get gambeera look (bold attire)



Bhujangasana is an essential pose for developing the strength and flexibility of the entire back esp. the upper back, while toning the legs and buttocks, increasing circulation, and assisting in kidney function. Like many backbends, it is a "heart opener," subtly releasing held emotions within the rib cage to bring greater joy within the body. It is very easy to do especially if your back is not too stiff and rigid. Generally girls can do it much easily than guys.

How to do Bhujangasana
1. Turn over on the stomach and place the hands on both sides on the floor beside the chest muscles (pectoral muscles).

2. Press the palms down, adjacent to the shoulders (near under arms) on the floor. Inhaling, without lifting the navel from the floor, raise the head and neck and gradually bend the spine.

3. Stretching the body as much as possible.
4. Retain the breath, then exhale while slowly lowering to the floor. Rest, then repeat for 2 more times.

Time: Keep the pose for two seconds, gradually increasing to ten seconds. Do it from two to three times in the beginning and when the spine bends as like in the picture, you can do it up to 8 times.

Second version:

2. Raise the head, neck and also shoulder bending the spine as shown in the figure. Lift up so that you can stretch the entire hand with just palms on the floor. Bend till you feel the stretch on the navel. This version can be practized along with the first version






Potential problems

As already mentioned, guys might find their body to be rigid in the beginning. When they try to lift their head and shoulders, they may lift right away from their thighs. So they may need to consciously hold their body on ground and gradually lifting the head, neck and shoulders. It may take some days to achieve perfectly. Depending on the age and strength of the body, it may take a while..But, trying this everyday would definitely make it possible. Some may face some pain for the first two days. But it will dissapear gradually.

Do it for 2 minutes everyday

The benefits will not come only after you achieve it perfectly. For every trial, this asana gives benefits based on body type. After you start seeing the benefits, if you stop doing them, the benefits will also not last long till life like pension.. It has to be done everyday to get long lasting benefits .
Our body has cells that are taking birth and death cycle. Many things are consumed and released. We eat everyday, use our senses exhaustively, use our brain thereby loosing lots of shakthi. In order to regain shakthi through sookshma indriya, in order to remove digestive waste completely, in order to compensate for all the non natural food we eat and non natural things we do, We need to do bhujangasana everyday!! This will take only 2 minutes. We don't ask " should we brush everyday??.. should we bathe everyday??" right!! Yeh incorporating this asana into our lives will fetch lot of goodness.

Benefits

  • Affects the adrenal glands, sending them a richer supply of blood regulating sex hormones and gives youth.

  • Tones ovaries, uterus and liver.

  • Muscles of the back, abdomen and entire upper body are strengthened by the practice of the Cobra Pose.

  • Aids in relief and elimination of menstrual irregularities.

  • Relieves constipation.

  • Limbers spine.

  • Removes sprain on the upper body as the deep and superficial muscles are pulled, contracted and bent.This improves blood circulation and the spine gets Veeryam. Other nerves that separate out from spine, other hormones also get healthy.

  • People suffering from gas after meals will find this pose very useful.
    Excellent for slipped discs. It adjusts displacements in the spinal column and tones the sympathetic nerves.

  • Beneficial for back ache due to overwork or long hours of standing.

Warning:
Not recommended if you are suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia or hyperthyroid.
When bending the body backwards, be sure not to make any violent jerks, as this may injure rigid muscles.


To be continued..

Sunday, April 08, 2007

White Desert??!!!






Wondering if this is snow!!

No!! It's white sand dunes at Alamogordo, New Mexico (near El Paso)..Believe me... its amazingly white! If you are at U.S, dont miss it!!


Monday, April 02, 2007

Do's and don'ts - 3 Food

வீட்டின் வாஸ்துவைப் பற்றி அறிவோமா??

Guys!! Before we exactly get on to each asana, let us discuss about the food habits that we need to cultivate to stay healthy and intelligent. The science concepts mentioned in this post are based on Sriman Sundaram’s physiology book !!

"I eat to live and not live to eat"- I have heard this from all around. Yeh It’s true to an extent. But when somebody shows importance to eat right thing at right time in a right way, many of us misunderstand and tease them. Infact, people tend to think that eating right means to count calories and/or eat food with calorie value on it. In modern science, though it’s believed to be true, there are controversial articles in the same field in this era!! A friend of mine (pb) told me about a research article that says "our body recognizes and digests the natural food much better than the artificially synthesized caloric and nutritious food. A natural food is a food only when that can be recognized as food by your grandparents (apple, grape, rice, bean). Rest of them do not add value to your health (energy drink etc.) "Surprising right!! Guess its better to eat apple , rice and bean rather than noodles, pasta and energy drinks!!

If I had not been in science or research, may be, I will not believe it to this extent. We discover, prepare and give medicines to alleviate the symptoms or at the max, identify the molecular changes during this illness. Most of our medicines (synthesized chemicals) act on those molecular changes occured and try to repair the state. But, Can you recollect the thirukural " Noy nadi noi mudhal naadi"- that’s what we need to do!! Now, I can see clearly that the modern treatment (therapy) does not target the cause of any illness!! In such case, as we are not doctors, is it not wise to eat properly and protect ourselves??

Okay, let's see the do's and don’ts about food.

We all know that we don’t get ill by sudden infection !! We are surrounded by toxic chemicals and microorganisms. We all have lots of toxic microorganisms living in our body even when healthy. During lack of proper food intake and worries, our immunity decreases, our body fights and finally, these microorganisms take us over and thereby make us ill. Yeh, the food makes the difference!! So, what shall we do to have proper food!!

Mix with saliva and eat slow: Many of us eat rice as main food which is rich in carbohydrate(70%).In order to have proper digestion, we need to mix the food with saliva, chew and eat slow. Why??? : Starch(in carbs) is processed basically through saliva. There has been expts. to test this. A starch containing liquid was held on mouth for a while and was tested to see if its chemical properties are modified. Yeh, it was.. When we eat food, it gets in with saliva. The gastric glands dont attack the food for 1/2 hr after intake. During this ½ hr, saliva processes the starch and makes it ready for gastric glands to act. When we don’t chew food or mixed with saliva properly, it gives stomach pain and affects the intestine as well. You would see people who eat 5 times a day - that too in fast pace may stay skinny with rib cage protruding out or with skin rashes and/or skin boils. It’s because of eating fast.

Do not swallow: People tend to swallow food while in a hurry. (My example.. Can you remember the time when you drink the last portion of rice with rasam/ rice with buttermilk) We tend to swallow... Please let our mouth grind!!! If we swallow, it’s like pressuring the stomach to take care of the food. Remember that the stomach that is supposed to work 100 yrs will work only for 20 yrs ..Gradually due to this pressure, symptoms like stomach pain, bad breathe from mouth, indigestion and loss of appetite becomes a part of us.

Using too much of seasoning ingredients while spluttering esp. mustard seeds and asafoetida is not good!

No Chillies(Red and Green): Sriman sundaram describes Chillies as ‘devil’. and it is the root cause of all stomach problem, piles, intestinal inflammation, indigestion, constipation and reduced blood content. If you google about the badness of chillies, you will hardly find anything. Puranic wisdom evinced by ancient medicine indicates that this is not a satvic thing. It engulfs RBCs from blood and converts it into water (I have not heard anything discovered so in modern science) It throbs the nerve endings and blunts them finally. It inflammates all the smooth muscles through which it goes. When we can feel the hotness of chily on hands (which has rough tissues) while grinding, imagine the state of soft smooth muscle lining and nerves internally!! You can argue that there are gastric glands!! But what about during the ½ hr time when the food just sits in the stomach!! Also, if they were totally taken care by gastric glands, why do we feel irritation the next day??

Sriman sundaram adds “There are people living in different countries without eating chillies at all. Since ages, chillies were never considered to be good. Even the traditional medicine practice warns the use of chillies indicating that it increases Kaama (lust), Krodha (anger),Lobha (greed) and mogham. Also, we don’t use chillies for death ceremonies that has been followed through ages. When you start with eating chilies, it comes out undigested the next day. But when you continue eating, its accepted by our body. Its all the need of our tongue/taste buds to achieve the taste."

Vitamin shakthi??
You can see all google sites showing chily has vitamin shakthi. But Sundaram mentions that it’s not wise to get vitamins from non- satvic food. If we need water, we don’t use sea water right!! The amount of harm it does overweighs the benefits. People eating chilies may not seem to have problem but the nerve shakthi that gives intelligence and intuitive intelligence (sookshma budhi) gets low. Please don’t wait for the modern science to rediscover this makkale !! Its wise to reduce its intake by now and if possible, abandon them. Even if we can’t do that, we should try not to habituate our children/ youngsters to eat hot food!! Pepper can be substituted to chillies though not to the same extent!!

Actually if you see, the real taste of food is in salt and not chillies. We cannot eat any hot stuff without salt.. But we don’t really notice that salt is hidden behind the taste!! Infact, after starting yoga asana practice, nerve strength and sudhi (cleansing) increases thus leading to hate chilies and other additive practices like coffee/ smoking/ drinking. Taking conscious steps to reduce will definitely help to get rid of such habits

Okay!! We shall get on to asanas next week!! Just be ready to spend 5 minutes a day from next week !!