Welcome to Yoga - the best and the most time-tested path to physical and mental well-being known to man-kind
Yoga is the best form of exercise, because or its effect on the internal systems of the body; the bending, stretching, twisting, pushing and squeezing, bathes our internal organs with blood and vitality.
Yoga sooths and tones the nerves and regulates the endocrine systems, which is responsible for the production of hormones.
Yoga improves digestion and eliminations. It strengthens respiratory system and most importantly - yoga is extremely effective in relieving stress - the plaque of modern society.
Yoga has stood test of time. It has also being valuated thoroughly and scientifically studied by professionals, who now use yoga for varies purposes. Physical therapists, for example developed programs for their patients, made up exercises which rather they know it or not as yoga asanas or variations of them. In athletic circles yoga stretches are essential part of any exercise program.
The science of yoga teaches that sound has a tremendous impact on one's physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
I try to always remember to have Wai Lana's original soundtrack "Yoga of the Heart" with me; It helps me easily enter the soothing, inspirational world of yoga sound at my convenience - during yoga sessions, walking, jogging, relaxing at home with friends, even while stuck in traffic.
Wai Lana's "Daydream DVD" takes me and my little one to a magical place of DaydreamIsland. All Wai Lana's little yogis are there, and they do lots of fun things together, like dancing, singing, diving, building giant sand castles and playing with their animal friends.
Little Yogis "Daydream CD" and its soundtrack makes kids close their eyes, cuddle up, and remember the fun world of hidden water falls, pink elephants, happy monkeys, dancing butterflies. Filled with soft words and sweet melodies and calming sound of the ocean, Wai Lana's Daydream CD makes a nap time a different kind of a nap time - it is the perfect afternoon, evening treat for everyone.
Listen carefully to this sacred yoga sound. Focus your attention upon them. After a while repeat them and meditate upon them. [source: Wai Lana's Yoga for Beginners - Easy Series DVDs and Little Yogis DVD and CD]
WHOLESOME ADVENTURE WITH YOGA
Wholesome is a word we often associate with our children's well-being. We feed our kids wholesome food to nourish their growing bodies. We encourage wholesome activities to help them develop good habits and useful skills.
Yoga is not only wholesome, but holistic, mentally, end emotionally. What's more, kids of all ages have fun doing yoga and watching their balance, flexibility, and strength improve. They also learn to focus and relax. This positive experience is likely to keep them practicing yoga as adults, reaping yoga's many benefits for years to come. Many types of exercises help children develop strong muscles, but the strength they gain is rarely balanced with increased flexibility. Yoga postures, however improve both strength and flexibility, giving kids and ease of movement that helps them improve their performance and prevent injuries. Even kids who aren't athletic enjoy yoga. Because yoga is a gentle, noncompetitive form of exercise, they can practice, do well, and build confidence in a nonthreatening environment.
On a deeper physical level, yoga's focus on good posture helps young spines grow straight and strong. The poses regulate and balance the production of hormones, which is especially important as children approach and pass through puberty. Yoga also improves their digestion, nutrient absorption, and elimination while helping to strengthen the immune system.
In yoga, kids get their bodies and minds working together. They concentrate on positioning and moving in a slow, controlled manner. Sometimes they focus on holding a pose, on their breathing, or on the animal they are imitating. This ability to focus carries over into other aspects of their lives, making it easier for them to concentrate on schoolwork and other important tasks.
Yoga also gives children valuable tools to help them cope with the stress they often face. This stress may be in the form of academic pressure, sports competitions, problems at home, and so on. Yoga postures, breathing, and relaxation techniques teach them how to calm the mind and release excess tension from the body. Yoga is a wonderful activity for children. It builds strength, stamina, and flexibility and teaches patience, perseverance, and concentration, helping kids become happier and more productive. Whether children are dealing with tight muscles, obesity, divorce, fear, or anxiety, they can use yoga to bring them relief not only throughout their childhood, but also in their adult lives. [Credits: Wai Lana]
Clinical studies that may be of interest: Dvora Zipkin, MS "Relaxation Techniques for Handicapped Children: A Review of Literature", The Journal of Special Education, Vol. 19:3 (1985), 283-289; Hopkins, L.J. & Hopkins, J.T. "Yoga in Psychomotor Training" Academic Therapy, 11, (1976) 461-465; Jain, Rai, Valecha, et al. "Effect of Yoga Training on Asthma" 28(6), (1991) 437-442.
YOGA IS A PERFECT SOLUTION
With childhood obesity rates skyrocketing and behavioral problem like ADD and ADHD becoming increasingly prevalent, parents are seeking safe and natural ways to help their children achieve a healthy and happy lifestyle
Numbers too big to ignore: Obesity is emerging as one of the nation's leading health problem. Roughly 400,000 deaths per year are associated with physical inactivity; More than $84 billion is spent annually on the five main diseases associated with inactivity, namely, heart disease, depression, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. The percentage of overweight kids between ages 6 and 11 has quadrupled in the US since the 1960s. Over 15% of all kids are now considered overweight. More than 127,000 American youths are morbidly obese, with a body mass index of 40 or higher. Overweight adolescents have 70% chance of becoming overweight adults. Overweight children are more than twice as likely to get high blood pressure and/or heart disease in adulthood as other kids of a normal weight. Over 200,000 Americans under the age of twenty have diabetes, while greater than one of three children born in the years 2000 are expected to develop diabetes during their lifetime. ADHD in one of the most common mental disorders among children. It affects 3% to 5% of all children, perhaps as many as 2 million American children.
Why are the numbers so high? Only half of young people age 12-21 exercise regularly. Daily activities such as walking to school, physical education classes, after-school activities, chores, and general playing have been replaced with a sedentary lifestyle in front of the TV, computer, or video games. The same two decades that brought the country soaring obesity rates also brought us cable TV, home computers, and the proliferation of fast-food restaurants with drive-through windows. A recent Kaiser Foundation Report concluded that kids spend on average 8 1/2 hours a day exposed to media such as television, computers, and video games. Our society is at a crossroads: Fitness programs for children are among the fastest-growing segments in the fitness industry. (2004 IDEA survey) State legislation is being introduced around the country setting nutritional standards for school food sales and requiring greatest emphasis on physical activity for schoolchildren. TV producers and advertisers are coming under increasing criticism not only for airing junk food ads during kids' shows, but also for contributing to the inactivity that leads to obesity. In responses, some kid-orientated cable network are beginning to encourage their viewers to get active and eat better and are promoting the message that it is cool to be fit. Sales for toys in the learning/exploration category jumped 19% last year, and kids' yoga products such as Wai Lana's Little Yogis DVDs and KITS are in high demand. Why so many sports to choose from, why choose yoga? Team sports aren't for everyone. Yoga offers a fun, noncompetitivealternative for physical activity. Many kids are turned off by screaming coaches and the pressure to win in team sports, which can sour their view of exercising altogether. Girls in particular often abandon sports when the emphasis shifts from camaraderie to competition. Many children, especially shy ones, often excel in individual physical activities like yoga because the emphasis is simply on improving their own performance rather than worrying about letting the team down. If kids see exercise as boring or as a chore, they are more likely to become inactive adults. Yoga is an ongoing learning experience that kids can continue to practice throughout their adulthood. Why yoga is the perfect solution: Yoga is for the entire family. Multi-generational activities that get moms, dads, teens, kids, and grandmas all exercising together are a growing trend because they create an atmosphere of real togetherness. Yoga is fun, healthy alternative to television and computers games that gets little bodies moving. Growing evidence shows that children's yoga, with an emphasis on relaxation, breathing, and balancing right- and left-brain activity, can help with behavioral problems such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Yoga has countless long-term healthybenefits for kids, including: oAids concentration and sleep; oBoosts the appetite and immune system; oHelps maintain flexibility; oDevelops cognitive skills; oStretches and lengthens the body; oIncrease range of motion; oImproves circulation. [Credits: Wai Lana]
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOGA FOR SPORTS PERSONS - cross training with yoga
By Dr. Rita Khanna
Sport is not purely a physiological phenomenon, but a complex
interplay of the mind and body. It is now becoming more and more
competitive, and has also become a career, with an emphasis on monetary
gains and the desire to win at any cost. Therefore, it is important to
find solutions to the changing sports scene of today.
A sports person needs four basic qualities: Speed, Skill, Strength,
and Stamina. To achieve these in professional sports, the daily life of a
sports person calls for discipline in training, a balanced diet, a
balanced lifestyle, and an inner focus and determination.
Yoga is a holistic system - teaching skills which many sports persons
seek, such as control over the mind, control over the body, good
breathing habits, relaxation under pressure, highly developed
concentration skills, and the ability to focus on the present. Asanas,
Pranayama, and Meditation unite the forces of body and mind, so that
they are not at odds with one another. They help to develop greater
body awareness and build up vitality and concentration.
HOW YOGA HELPS A SPORTS PERSON
Yoga helps a sports person to feel, and understand, the body processes
more accurately; thereby learning what the body needs. By understanding
this, an athlete can work on areas that need attention, with confidence.
Yoga is useful for all types of sports to help prevent injuries.
One gets extra agility, which helps to avoid damage, provides more
strength, and improves a player's ability to react to a situation.
In competitions - athletes, at all ability levels, tend to have a
fear of losing, of other competitors, or of developing mental deterrents
to excellent performance. Yoga trains us to be our best every single
moment, to hold ourselves at our highest standard, and to go beyond our
Yoga postures work all around a limb and help to knit the muscle
fibers; thus, building resilience to injury. By anticipating areas of
the body that are subject to stress, one can use Yoga effectively to
pre-strengthen areas of concern.
Due to long-term sports training, muscular imbalance can develop in
the body, which can lead to damage and injury. Yoga's practices are
ideal in this respect because integration, balance, and harmony are
keywords of Yoga. These practices correct the one-sided effect of
training, by promoting general harmonious development of the body, and
by improving the whole physical system.
Yoga practices offer the natural remedy because Asanas are based on
the gentle stretching of muscles, which induces relaxation and
increases the blood supply. These also release residual tension and
speed up regeneration. It is a natural counterbalance to the muscular
effort of training and competing.
Sports' training tends to be very intensive over an extended period
of time. This, again, can lead to a form of imbalance, where muscles,
or the body as a whole, becomes weak through over exertion. Regeneration
is a remedial process for regaining strength and for the prevention of
injuries. Yoga regeneration exercises are based on the principle that,
after contracting for a specific time period, in an isometric movement,
against specific resistance, muscles will release and relax. However,
all this would be effective - only if done consciously.
- The Preparatory Exercises
- Surya Namaskara
- Backward and Forward Bending Asanas
- Inverted and Balancing Asanas
- Relaxation and Meditation Techniques
THE PREPARATORY EXERCISES
Preparatory exercises remove stiffness from the joints, and help the
muscles to become flexible. Co-ordination between bones, muscles,
joints, and ligaments improves, so that they work naturally and
spontaneously. Problems in the knee joints, hip joints, ankle joints,
shoulder joints, and wrist joints can all be remedied by these Asanas;
thus, minimizing injuries.
BACKWARD AND FORWARD BENDING ASANAS
Backward and forward bending Asanas increase the strength and
flexibility of the spine. The spine is responsible for posture, free
flow of energy, nervous activities, and body reflexes. Balance of the
whole body depends on the power and flexibility of the spine and
adjacent muscles. By practicing these groups of Asanas, one can minimize
the problem of back pain. Much accumulated stress tends to stagnate in
the spine, especially in the lower region or at the neck and shoulders.
Hence, backward and forward bending, followed by one or two twisting
Asanas, will relax the spine and give the feeling of alertness.
Psychologically, backward bending Asanas prepare the players to
face any situation with courage and optimism; forward bends help to let
go and go with the flow; and twists gently squeeze out hesitation and
SURYA NAMASKARA (SALUTE TO THE SUN)
This is a complete practice in itself. Players can use it for overall
fitness and as a warm-up before any sport. It prepares the body for
handling stressful situations. It is an effective way of loosening up,
stretching, massaging, and toning all the joints, muscles, and internal
organs of the body. It stimulates and balances all systems of the body.
Inverted Asanas encourage a rich supply of blood flow to the brain
and reverse the effect of gravity on the body. During the practice of an
inverted Asana, the breath becomes slow and deep, maximizing the
exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, which encourages correct
The liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas receive a powerful
massage, helping them to perform their functions more efficiently. Blood
and lymph, which has accumulated in the lower limbs and abdomen, is
drained back to the heart, then circulated to the lungs, purified, and
re-circulated to all parts of the body. The enriched blood flow also
allows the pituitary gland to operate more efficiently, tuning the
entire endocrine system.
These induce physical balance by stilling unconscious movement. They
develop the brain centers that control the body functions in motion;
thus, developing the connection between the mind and body. They increase
the co-ordination of movements between different parts of the body,
which develops the sense of poise and balance. They fine tune the
efficiency of the use of energy, both in action and stillness. As the
moving body attains balance, it becomes increasingly free to rely on
other more subtle forces to support and propel it. In this way, the body
conserves its own energy and achieves grace and fluidity of motion.
Pranayama, or Breathing practices, are one of the most effective
means of increasing lung capacity, energy, and stamina. It also helps
control over involuntary muscles, enhances concentration, and balances
emotions. When practiced systematically, and regularly, the awareness
develops - that energy is not purely physical in nature, and that
efficient management of the Pranic energy can be developed through
control of the breath.
Bhramari Pranayama (humming bee breath) and Ujjayi Pranayama
(psychic breath) can be used before any sporting event to induce
relaxation and reduce mental stress; thus, bringing calmness and
quietness of mind.
Cooling practices, such as Sheetali and Sheetkari Pranayamas, are good in a hot summer season.
Bhastrika Pranayama (rapid breathing from the abdomen) generates
heat and vitality and raises the natural energy level; it makes the 'second wind' more accessible in sport after near-exhaustion.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) with Kumbhaka
(breath retention) also increases lung capacity, as well as being the
main practice for balancing the Pranic energy, by stimulating both
hemispheres of the brain equally.
Abdominal breathing is also one of the most simple and effective
Pranayamas, which can be done at any time, to enable one to be in the
Neti, Kunjal, Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana, and Trataka are four of the
six cleansing practices, which are considered important for sports
Neti cleans and clears the nasal passages, giving clarity of mind and
sharp reactions. It induces calmness, and balances the body-mind
relationship, by helping balance both hemispheres of the brain.
Kunjal helps to reduce fear of failure, and
enhances courage, to face changing and challenging situations. It can
induce confidence in players, so that they can express themselves
properly and give their best, without holding back through fear or
Sports persons should do Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana (intestinal
cleansing practice) under the guidance of a qualified teacher. It
cleanses the whole intestinal tract and clears out impurities and toxins
from the body. This practice induces freshness of mind and body. It
keeps the digestive system functioning properly.
Trataka is concentrated gazing at one point. All games require the
ability to develop one-pointed concentration and awareness. This
practice, not only enhances concentration and one-pointedness to counter
distractions, but also increases awareness, intuitive knowledge, and
Yoga-nidra is the systematic method for inducing complete physical,
mental, and emotional relaxation. It works at three levels
simultaneously - the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. Due to
the depth of relaxation, the level of awareness and focus increases. The
level of receptivity is also greater; hence, it is helpful for learning
skills and techniques. For example, there are a number of stages in the
practice of a sport, one of which is the process of Visualization.
While the body lies in a state of physical sleep, the mind is awake
and relaxed. In these circumstances, it is possible to learn and
rehearse moves mentally, by visualizing them. There is a stage in
Yoga-nidra, where a resolve is made, which can increase willpower and
single-mindedness, to achieve success on the field. Players can develop
the appropriate state of mind, so that at the time of need, they can
balance their physical, mental, and emotional states. For most players,
negative emotional responses, including rage, fear, and aggression can
be hard to control during high levels of stress. In Yoga-nidra, players
are asked to submit voluntarily to strong emotions, while preserving a
state of deep relaxation and witnessing the whole process. This helps to
remain balanced, and in control, in any situation.
One of the most important aspects, for the sport persons to
understand, is the Meditative process, which helps us to understand our
own nature, to accept ourselves as we are, and to work from that point.
There is a technique of contemplation, or Meditation, which allows a
close analysis of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambitions, and Needs that
can make the difference between success and failure. It is a written
exercise. Use one sheet of paper, per aspect, and add pages as needed.
For example, you might start writing down all your strengths, then on a
different page all your weaknesses, and so on. In the second session,
examine your strengths and answer questions about them. You might want
to add a page to that section, and so on. After you have written down
all the strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, and needs you can think of,
start asking yourself questions about each principle.
This process can be continued as a short, daily Sadhana, for ten to
fifteen minutes, at the end of each day. This short, daily Sadhana can
be done for two to three months. At the end of each month, count all
your personality characteristics and see what you really are. After two
to three months of daily practice, stop doing this process. Observe what
happens; observe your awareness of yourself. Breaks in between are
essential, as a mental rest, because it is very confronting. After a
break of two to four weeks, start a second round of this Sadhana.
may find surprises, as it may be different strengths from the previous
month. Some qualities that featured strongly in one session, may not
appear in the next; or what appeared as a strength, may come up as a
weakness, need, or ambition, because different situations show up
different aspects of our personality. It all depends on your awareness,
how you look at things, as to whether a quality comes up in one aspect
or another. After some time, you know that what you need is there; you
just have to tap into it. It all becomes very positive. You begin to
realize that your moods and attitudes change, according to the way you
see things. This begins to give you some control over them. Your
self-image then changes too. You realize that any quality is a momentary
thing, and you can learn to unidentify with the aspects of your
personality. You realize everything changes and is really impermanent.
It becomes very exciting, and inspiring, to watch what is happening.
Transformation occurs. It is not instant Samadhi, but practicing Sadhana
definitely has the capacity to transform you. If you want to change and
to know yourself, then do it!
Sports are highly demanding and competitive, and Yoga moves in the
opposite direction, with its apparent emphasis on a relaxed approach and
detached state of mind. However, the state of mind, and physical
preparedness that Yoga brings, is exactly the same state that the most
successful players speak of when at the peak of their performance. Who
cannot perform at his best while being relaxed, ready, and confident;
and who cannot gracefully accept victory or defeat if his body, mind,
and spirit has the equanimity of a Yogi?
Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna's Yogashaastra Studio.
A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health.
Also conducts online Yoga Courses & Naturopathy Guidance.
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and
Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by
world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us
to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved
in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years,
she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing
succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga,
Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).
WAY TO GO - GO ORGANIC!
The Healthy, Responsible Choice
Fact: About 1/3 pound of chemicals are used to produce one nonorganic cotton T-shirt.
Fact: Twenty-five percent of global pesticide use is in conventional cotton farming.
Fact: Conventional cotton farmers obtain bank loans more easily than organic cotton farmers do.
Fact: As demand and resources for organic farming increase, organic prices will become more competitive.
Conventional Cotton Farming
Conventional cotton farming has made cotton one of the most environmentally damaging crops on the planet. Farmers apply heavy doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, sometimes as many as ten times in a growing season, to strip the soil of weeds and insects and defoliate the cotton plants to facilitate harvesting. This process leaves fields essentially barren and pollutes air and water, which spread toxic contaminants into human and wildlife communities. Developed originally for use in warfare during World War I and II, many of these agrochemicals devastate human and animal populations, causing birth defects, cancer, brain and organ damage, and reproductive and immune disorders.
But chemicals are not just used on the plants. Bleaches, formaldehyde, and other chemical finishes are also used in nonorganic textile manufacturing. Even after you've washed a cotton shirt many times, chemical traces remain.
Benefits of Organic Cotton Farming
Here are six major benefits of producing cotton organically:
Biodiversity: Organic farming preserves species biodiversity through crop rotation and a "natural enemy complex" in which predator and parasite insects keep destructive insect populations low. Soil fertility: Organic farmers treat soil as a living ecosystem that they enrich with cover crops and natural fertilizers such as compost and chicken manure. Healthy plants: Organic farmers nurture cotton plants so they remain vigorous enough to resist many insects, weeds, and diseases. Healthy working conditions: Organic farmers and field workers are not exposed to dangerous chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and defoliants. Environmental health: Organic farmers grow cotton in soil kept free of chemicals for three or more years and enriched with natural fertilizers. They eliminate the use of harmful chemicals, preventing soil erosion, contamination of water supplies from toxic runoff, and poisoning of people, animals, and helpful insects. Safer products: Clothing made from organically grown cotton is free of much of the harmful chemical content present in conventionally grown cotton. [Content by ProgresiveKids] For more info on organic cotton, see: www.sustainablecotton.org, see also our site at Natural Clothing Describtion
REUSABLE BOTTLE? THAT'S RIGHT!
BYOB!...everywhere you go. There are so many great reasons to Bring Your Own (water) Bottle. It's good for the earth and good for your wallet. And taste tests and chemical analysis reveal there's usually no difference between tap water and bottled water, oftentimes it's actually the same thing!
Approximately 40 billion plastic bottles are produced annually in the U.S. About two-thirds of them end up in landfills.
The amount of petroleum saved by using post-consumer recycled bottles instead of virgin materials in the manufacturing process is enough to power a city the size of Atlanta for a year.
According to a recent Earth Policy Institute Report, just to bottle and ship a year's worth of bottled water to the US., companies such as PepsiCo and Danone burn 1.5 million barrels of oil, enough to fuel 100,000 cars per year!
Bottled water costs 10,000 times more than tap water and is often more expensive, per gallon, than gasoline. [Content by Nubius]
Due to the recently released report on some polycarbonate plastic #7 bottles leaching the chemical BPA, people are urgently looking for a safe alternative to plastic.
"Earth Month" has further raised awareness with Americans that using a reusable water bottle makes more eco-sense than using disposable PET plastic bottles.
Using a premium reusable bottle like SIGG greatly helps reduce unnecessary environmental waste caused by plastic PET water bottles. Sadly, Americans add over 30 million plastic water bottles to our nation's landfills... everyday!
While not everyone is ready to purchase a hybrid vehicle, we believe every little bit helps. And thinking "reusable" instead of "disposable" is a great place to start. So, Rise Above Plastic - and consider the advantages of hydrating with a SIGG.
[Content by mySIGG.com] If you would like to find more on reusable bottles visit Nubius official site; you may link to Nubius from playtimeyoga.com at Links to Goodnes_NUBIUS
Yogic Approach for Chronic Backache
By Dr. Rita Khanna
Our back or spine is like the pillar on which the entire body rests but the strongest part can also be the vulnerable spot if not taken care of well. About 80% of the people suffer back pain at some time or the other in their lives.
The spine consists of many small bones called vertebrae. These vertebrae are further divided into five sections, namely the cervical region (the neck area) which contains 7 vertebrae (C1 to C7), the thoracic region (the chest area) which contains 12 vertebrae (T1 to T12), the lumber region (the abdominal area) consists of 5 vertebrae (L1 to L5), the sacrum region (the pelvic area) consists of 5 vertebrae (S1 to S5), and the coccyx region (the tail bone area) consists of 4 vertebrae. These vertebrae are separated by discs which allow the spine to bend. In a slumped posture, instead of the weight passing through these discs there is pressure on the facet joints of the spine which are not designed to be weight bearing. Gradually this can lead to localized pain at these joints and surrounding tissues, producing swelling from the loss of fluids from minute tears. This clears away in the healing process but leaves a residual area of scarring, hardened tissues and weakness. However, not all back pain is from facet joints (facet joints of the spine allow back motion); it can come from soft tissues (tendons, cartilage, ligaments) and surrounding muscles and from the nerves as they emerge from the spinal column.
Lack of exercise, standing or bending forward for long periods, slip disc, cervical problems spondylosis, lumbar spondylosis, overgrowth of bones, pain in the pelvic region or pelvis, gastroenteritis, chest pain, constipation, kidney problems, sprains, using the wrong mattress ( Mattress should neither be too soft nor too hard), bad posture, drooping shoulders, sitting in a sloppy manner or with a bent back (at your workplace make sure you use a comfortable chair with a backrest), watching T.V. lying on the bed or the sofa, carrying a heavy load on your back like a school bag, laptop, shopping bags, slinging bulky bags which apply pressure only on one side of the shoulder, wearing high heels, a sudden gain of weight, obesity or beer bellies, degeneration of bones,driving with the chair tilted back etc .
YOGIC APPROACH FOR CHRONIC BACKACHE
Regular practice of Yoga is beneficial for people with chronic backache and it also helps relieve pain in the neck and the shoulders. Let’s begin with correctly aligned posture in the standing position:
• Bring the feet a few inches apart (10 cm) and parallel to each other. Then bring the awareness into the soles of the feet and gently rock backwards and forwards coming up onto the toes and back onto the heels. Then return to a standstill position and feel the contact with the floor through both feet. The body sways and the weight moves forwards and back and left and right quite naturally. Be grounded through the feet and allow them to take the weight evenly.
• Make sure that the knees are unlocked and pull up the kneecaps. If they point in towards the centre then rotate the thighs outwards and tighten the buttocks.
• Now tilt the pelvis backwards and forwards finding the balance so that the spine can grow comfortably upwards out of the hips.
• Bring the shoulders up and back, and let them go wide with the arms hanging loosely.
• Hold the head and neck upright so that the ears are above the top of the shoulders and the head feels lightly balanced on top of the neck.
• Imagine that a string is attached to the top of the head and that someone is lifting the head up and out of the shoulders. Feel how your posture alters when you ‘let go’ of this imaginary string.
Lying in supine positions:
Supta Tadasana, Ek Pada Uttanansana, Kati Makarasana, Ardha Pavanmuktasana, Pavanmuktasana
Kapalbhati, (In case you have acute backache, don’t do Kapalbhati), Anulom Vilom Pranayama
• Lie down with the face up on the wooden bench.
• Relax the body.
• Keep both the fists open, legs a little relaxed and widespread.
• Now listen to the beating of the heart.
• Remain a witness of the inhalation as well as exhalation.
• Breathe 50 times slowly with breath consciousness
• Create a feeling that your body is peaceful, composed and completely disease free.
• In this manner, without the movement of any part of the body, remaining fully composed having no restlessness of any type, go deep into mentally quiet attitude.
BENEFITS OF THE ABOVE ASANAS
• The vertebral column and the discs between the vertebrae are made strong and flexible.
• The spinal cord is massaged.
• Increase the blood flow into the spinal cord ensuring a good supply of nutrients.
• The autonomic nervous system is rebalanced and toned up by the action of the blood supply and the massaging effects.
• The back muscles are strengthened and nourished by the increased flow of blood.
• Posture is readjusted and corrected, removing spinal deformities. Backache will be cured by relaxing tense muscles, releasing compression of the spinal nerves and removing general body fatigue.
• The whole body is made healthy through these Asanas. The abdominal organs are massaged and Manipura Chakra, the Pranic centre of the body, is stimulated and rebalanced. The lungs are fully inflated and massaged, cleaned and stretched. The heart is stimulated and cleansed. The blood is purified more efficiently by the lungs, kidneys and liver. The brain benefits from an increased amount of blood. Massage of the spinal cord also improves brain function. When the spinal cord and brain are relaxed and the whole body is toned up, back problems are eliminated.
TO BE AVOIDED
Sit ups, avoid double leg raising, Halasana (plough pose), Sarvangasana (full shoulder stand) , Forward bends, Trikonasana twisting to the opposite foot and variation 2 with the arm stretched over the head, lying on the side and lifting both legs up, Shalabhasana (full locust pose) Dhanurasana (bow pose)- can be done with knees remaining on the floor, Vyaghrasana (tiger pose)- is OK if the leg being raised does not go past 15 degrees above the horizontal (the lumbar spine is stressed beyond this point especially when the movement is done too quickly), Paschimottanasana (back stretching pose) is not recommended to stretch hamstrings, Squatting and Vajrasana to be avoided where knee problems exist.
If you are feeling uncomfortable while doing Yoga Asanas by yourselves, do not push yourself. It will be helpful to actually sign up for some Yoga Classes where a professional teacher will guide you through each Asana and will make sure that you are doing the exercise correctly.
Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio.
A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health.
Also conducts online Yoga Courses & Naturopathy Guidance.
Mobile: + 919849772485
Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India).
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).