Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Be your own motivational guru

Be your own motivational guru                              source: TOI Jan. 11, 2012
We often try to change ourselves but give up midway - and then blame everyone around for our failure. Clinical psychologist Pulkit Sharma shows you how to keep yourself motivated
All of us crave and plan for certain changes within, whether it is starting a new exercise regimen, giving up a self-defeating behaviour, quitting an addiction or striking a work-relationship balance. We begin with great zeal, but after a few days, the motivation dries up.
Soon, we are back to our old ways even though we despise them. If we keep the motivation alive, there will be a new beginning. It sounds simple, but being your own motivational guru is tricky and requires a deep psycholigical analysis. Here are some tips that could help.
Understanding negatives:
Every behavioral pattern has a psychological reason behind it. An attempt to uproot it from your psyche is the wrong approach, your overreating could be a way to keep away distressing thoughts and this crutch cannot be simply thrown away. An alternative way is to understand the reason behind the behaviour.
Discover your pace: What motivates one person can be disastrous for another. Get in touch with your core and follow your rhythm. Even if your gym couch tells you that a person of your age should be doing 45 minues on the treadmill but you can just manage 20, feel comfortable. If you disregard your instincts, you will feel burdened.
Acknowledge progress: People become self-critical and hopeless when the goal seems unattainable. Even if you are managing to do a little, acknowledge the progress. You may be miles away from the desired goal, but as long as your steps are in the right direction, there is a reason to celebrate.
Balancing acts: A lot of hard work goes in trying to inculcate a new habit, often resulting in burnout. So it is sometimes important to take a break from goals, targets and progress reports. It may even be a good idea to just allow yourself to enjoy what you are reading rather than calculating how many pages you have read.
Smart preparation: Set realistic goals and targets. Review your progress and adjust the goals and targets in case these are required.
Handling failure: Prepare yourself to handle failure and continue to work. Tell yourself that your attempt has failed, but you haven't.

Learn patience with yoga

Learn patience with yoga  source: TOI June 26, 2012
Regular practice of yoga can help us De-stress, develop patience and recover from illness faster, writes yoga exponent and teacher, Umesh Dwivedi
Self-healing works when you have faith and patience. Chemical reactions inside the body are a resuit of our thoughts and mental state, but patience gives us the endurance to fight our troubles with a stable mind. Yoga works on the body and mind simultaneously to achieve perfect balance.Knowledge or unknowingly, we are stressed most of the time because of lack of patience. An impatient mind is always restless. Once you are stressed, psychosomatic ailments, can affect you. As a start, yoga asanas help you become it is easy to focus on the body.
Practice of asanas
Asanas when practiced with full awareness build patience to accept yourself the way you are. Awareness of stretching, pain, breath, and posture, is the first step towards the development of patience. When a yoga aspirant struggles to get into a perfect posture and keeps trying repeatedly, a sense of persistence is created. You need patience to see yourself through after a prolonged illness, when you have to watch and wait. 
In our day-to-day life, it helps in keeping our BP normal and our temperament in control with the family and in the office! Yoga helps in understanding the body and listening to all the fine signals that it conveys, so that you are aware of your situation.
Whether it is a weight loss regime or recovery from disease, developing patience can help you tap into your inner healing mechanism.
Holding on
The philosophy of retention of asana or breath in yoga makes it different from any other form of exercise. It is also advised that you should be as steady as possible while holding an asana. Your acceptance of a situation should be as steady as possible while holding an asana. Your acceptance of a situation should be so rooted in the practice that it becomes a part of your daily life. Balance in asana teaches us how to remain focused. Pranayama moves awareness inward and meditation takes it beyond the mind. Yoga practices help us conserve energy, which can be used to speed up the healing process. Persistence learnt from yoga helps to have faith in the fact that things take some time to manifest and there is no point in hurrying.
Yog Nidra is another technique that links the mind, body and emotions to improve endurance.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Home remedies for back pain

Home remedies for back pain    source: TOI 9.5.2012
Yoga expert Surakshit Goswami gives practical suggestions on how to cure your back pain-with massage, hot water packs, state of mind and food.
There are simple remedies for back pain that give immediate relief.
Oil massage
Ayurveda says back pain is a vata symptom caused by maladjustment of gas within the body. Massaging with oil at the point of the pain is very soothing. Do not press the spine while massaging the oil, but gently massage the muscle around it. Avoid exposure to breeze, so switch off fans and ACs. Cover with a sheet and rest after the massage.
Hot packs
Using a hot water bottle or sitting in a bathtub filled with warm water helps.
Temperature and back pain
In winter, muscles shrink and old wounds and pains resurface. Current wounds also give more trouble. Likewise in summer, pain worsen with AC draughts. Avoiding direct breeze on your back, is, therefore,
Food and back pain
Food also plays an important role. Some foods aggravate the pain and some reduce the intensity.
Ayurveda says that back pain is avata ailment. Our body remains healthy when its vata, pitta and
kapha are in balance. Therefore, avoid food that increases the vata element in your body as this
aggravates your pain. Keep away from rice, curd, lassi, kadhi, urad dal, rajma, okra, arvi and lemons
till the pain disappears. Eat light and easily digestible food. Keep your spine strong with calcium. Also
walk in the sun for your daily dose of vitamin D.
Mental state and back pain
Back pain can also be psychosomatic. If you are pessimistic and grumpy, there are chances that the
problem may aggravate. If you remain positive and cheerful, it will pass.
Obesity and back pain
More weight means more pressure on back muscles become weak and this leads to pain. So keep an
eye on your weight.
Constipation and back pain
It has been seen that when you have back pain, your metabolism is affected too. in fact constipation,
gastric trouble and back pain are very closely related. To treat constipation, take two big tablespoon
og isabgol husk half an hour before dinner or take a spoonful of trifala powder or 8-10 munnakas
boiled in milk. Also have fibre-rich food.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Healing back pain with yoga, preparing for yoga asanas

Healing back pain with yoga resource: The Times of India 13.6.2012

  Yoga guru Surakshit Goswami tells backache patients how to do recommended yoga asanas in a certain way and why they are beneficial
  Stretchingis an excellent treatment for common back pain; it increases circulation to the painful area as yoga stretches and relaxes muscles and ligaments. Yoga is excellent for strengthening specific muscles that do not receive much exercise during your normal, day-to-day routine.Yoga teaches you the proper way to move, stretch and breathe. Posture is very important and is stressed in yoga instruction. With yoga, there is mental focus that infuses you with calm and a feeling of well-being. The body becomes more flexible as a result of the asanas.
Preparing for yoga asanas
Yoga asanas are usually done on the ground, but for people with back pain, it is better to do them on
the bed. Ensure the mattress is uniform and is not uneven. It should not be too soft. Do the asanas
when you wake up on an empty stomach or in the evening, at least four hours after lunch.
Try and do the exercises facing the east or north direction. When you do this, the positive benefits of
cosmic energy impact you as well.
While performing yoga
Be calm and happy. Don't perform yoga in haste or when you are angry or irritable. While doing exercises, your face or eyes should not feel any strain. Keep your age, body and mental state, and suppleness of the back in mind while doing the yogic exercises.
Don't be in hurry to perform the asanas and do not force yourself into doing exercises. Do not give your waist any jerk while doing yoga. While exercising, keep your mind focused on your back and repeat to yourself that the posture increases the strength and suppleness of the back muscle and the pain is subsiding and the problem is cured.
After performing yoga
Once you have done the asanas and the stretching, wait 30 minutes before taking a bath or eating.
Keep a fixed hour and place for your exercise. Even if you are out of town, try and keep your schedule.
If required, repeat the exercise regime twice or even thrice a day.
After performing your exercises, don't talk loudly or be angry. After performing the exercises, lie down for some time on your back and fold your knees.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Science of the Chakras

The Science of the Chakras                                     resource: The Times of India 28.12.2011
Physicist-writer Amit Goswami explores ancient Indian wisdom with love for scientific exploration. Here, he describes the chakras and maps their connection with our health
Each chakra is near important organs of our body. Here is a description of their vital functions, corresponding physical organs, and emotional feelings:
Root chakra: The body function is elimination and the organs are kidneys, bladder, and large intestines(rectum and anus). The feelings are selfish rootedness and survival oriented competitiveness when energy moves in, and fear when energy moves out.
Sex chakra: The body function is reproduction and the organs are uterus, ovaries, prostate and testes. The feelings are sexually and amour when energy is inward (increasing); when energy is outgoing and depleting, there is unfulfilled lust.
Navel chakra: The body function is maintenance or anabolism and the organs are stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Upsurge of energy at this chakra gives pride and anger; when energy moves out, unworthiness and resentment result. 
Heart chakra: The body function is self-distinction(between me and not-me). The organs are the heart and thymus gland of the immune system whose job is to distinguish 'me' from 'not me'. There is romance when energy moves in loss, grief, hurt and jealousy when it moves out. You feel romance here when you meet an appropriate partner and the me extends to include a partner. But romantic love is still 'me-oriented' and the partner is important because he or she is mine. When the self-distinction extends to everyone, compassion enters.
Throat chakra: Self-expression is the function and organs are lungs, throat and speech organs, hearing organs and thyroid gland. There is freedom of speech when energy moves in and frustration when the opposite happens.
Brow/third eye chakra: The function is evolution. This is the chakra of intuitive energy. The organs are the middle and hind brain, eyes, and pituitary gland. As energy moves in, there is clarity of understanding and confusion with depletion of energy.
Crown chakra: The function is self-knowledge and it is associated with the pineal gland. There is satisfaction when energy is gained and despair as it gets depleted.An endocrine gland is associated with each chakra. These communicate with the brain where the mind is mapped. In this way, the mind gets control of vital energies.

Keep your bones healthy

Keep your bones healthy resource: The Times of India 5.6.2012
Power of sunshine
Limit Protein
Quit smoking
Cut down salt
Be active
Drink sensibly
Maintain a healthy weight

Cut down on salt, expose yourself to sunshine and exercise regularly for stronger bones, says orthopedic surgeon Subhash Jangid. A healthy set of bones is vital for good posture, balance and strength. Our bones lose calcium and other minerals and become lighter, and more porous as we age. The following tips can prevent your bones from becoming porous.
Eat calcium-rich food: Adults should eat at least 700 mg of calcium a day, and 1,200mg if diagnosed with osteoporosis. Include yoghurt, cheese, a handful of almonds and spinach in your daily diet.
Power of sunshine:
Your body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. This is found in fish, oil, liver, fortified spreads, cereals, and egg yolk. Your body also makes its own Vitamin D when you are exposed to sunshine. Take in sunshine for 15 minutes two to three times a week.
Limit Protein: 
Excess intake of meat, cheese protein drains the body of calcium and weakens bones. Your daily diet should contain a balanced portion of protein (meat, fish, egg, nuts and seeds), fresh fruits and vegetables, and carbohydrates(bread, pasta, potato and rice).
Quit Smoking: 
The more you smoke, the more likely you are to suffer from osteoporosis
Cut Down Salt: 
Salt speeds up the body's loss of calcium. Most of us consume 9 gm of salt a day, but the recommended limit is 6 gm, or just a teaspoonful. Don't add salt to your food. Avoid foods that contain high salt like crisp, ham, cheese, sauces, and processed food like french pie, pizza and soup.
Be Active:
Bones get stronger when you use them. The best way to strengthen them is to do five hours of 'weight-bearing' exercise a week. This includes walking, running, dancing, golf, tennis or netball. It doesn't include cycling or swimming.
Drink Sensibly: Alcohol, tea, coffee, and other fuzzy drinks reduce the amount of calcium you absorb, and weaken the bones. Stick to the recommended amounts of alcohol, and swap your caffeine-fuelled drinks for water and diluted juice.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: 
Losing too much weight too fast under a crash diet programme can increase your risk of osteoporosis. The same is true if you are anorexic. Weight loss can cut the amount of oestrogen (a hormone that helps to protect your bones) in your body. If you need to lose weight, do it sensibly.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Yoga works wonders on both mind and body

Yoga works wonders on both mind and body  resource: The Times of India 3.8.2011
Yoga expert Umesh Dwivedi says the yoga is excellent both for the mind and body. It is also suitable for all ages, but beneficial only when done regularly. Yoga is very good for older people as it is mild and gentle. But with old age, come several limitations and by the time we are old, we have already developed ailments and caused damage to the body.
Starting yoga, early, is therefor a good idea. It keeps you fit through life and evan as you age, you are still flexible enough to continue intermediate and advance level of asanas. It is good to start young as the younger generation is now prone to physical and mental diseases because of sedentary lifestyle.
Yoga is not only asanas, but pranayama and meditation too. Yoga begins with physical action, but gradually, cognitive, mental, and reflective actions are integrated into yoga practice. Normal exercise deals with mostly isotonic muscle activity.
Yoga change the brain
Yoga also brings neuroanatomical changes and balances irregularities of the brain's neuron movements and the endocrine system responsible for hormonal secretion. Yoga works on both mind and body, and gives importance to breathing with changes of posture in asanas.
In yoga, result are a trifle slow, but this is because when you first start yoga, you first have to decondition the body and mind that might be wrongly conditioned for years. Muscle, bones, nerves and organs, therefore, take time to adapt to the new routine.
Pranayama also increases ventilatory capacity of the lungs, and oxygen, then, reaches all parts of the body. Results, however, come only after regular practice of yoga.
Dietary Changes
Yoga helps in weight loss and cures many autoimmune and psychosomatic ailments, but diet change is a must. Without dietary changes, there is no way that yoga can help. Diet directly affects the mind and body.
Yoga is more of a lifestyle than a therapy. It should form a part of your life, just as you do bathing and brushing daily as a preventive action. Many people think that yoga just twice or thrice a week is enough, but in reality, body conditioning(muscle stretching, massaging of organs, and breathing patterns) require continuous practice so that strength are maintained.