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Tips for Glowing Skin

Posted by Rahat al imran Wednesday, December 29, 2010 3 comments

6 Foods for Glowing Skin

6 Foods for Glowing Skin

Best source for skin glow is the home remedies using home remedies for skin glow with consistency and persistence then results shall be seen in a short while.

A glow on the skin communicates a healthy you from inside and outside. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable and drink 2-3 liters of plain water in a day to keep the body fit from inside. Furthermore for the outside skin well being, use the face packs made from these 6 foods for glowing skin.

It is the skin''s best friend. It replaces the dull skin with striking glowing skin. Grate one cucumber and squeeze out its juice. Dab this freshly prepared cucumber juice on the face and neck with a cotton ball. And put the left behind grated cucumber on the eyes. Re-apply the juice on the skin 2-3 times in the span of 20 minutes. Later wash the skin water. Use it everyday for that wonderful glow on the face.
Egg Yolk
The yellow part of the egg called as egg yolk is excellent for skin glow. To one egg yolk mix ½ olive oil and 4-5 drops of lemon. Apply it on the skin. Keep it for 15 minutes and rinse it off. In case the pack dries up prior to the set time of 15 minutes then also wash it off. Egg packs must be cleaned immediately once it dries up else it stretches the skin and might lead to fine wrinkles. Hence ensure to wash the face as soon as the pack dries. It is best for dry skin and normal skin.

It is a nutrient-rich fruit. It leaves the skin well nourished and moisturized. Take one fully ripped avocado and mash it thoroughly. To this add ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Mix well. Smear this paste on face and neck. Hold it for 10 minutes, then after rinse it off. With regular use the face shall start glowing face.

This fruit when mixed with honey gives instant glow. Take one tablespoon well mashed fully ripped banana and ½ teaspoon honey. Mix both together and apply it on the face. Then after 15 minutes clean skin with lukewarm water. This can be sued once in two days for best results.

Coconut Milk
Freshly prepared coconut milk does wonder for the skin. In 2 tablespoon concentrated coconut milk add 1 teaspoon sandalwood powder. Mix both well. Using a flat brush apply the mixture on the face. Allow it to dry and after 15 minutes sponge down the pack from the skin. This pack suits all the skin tones.

It is a good source of ingredients that assist for getting the skin glow. Take out the juice of half orange. To this add 2 teaspoon of curd and mix well. Apply the mixture on the face and leave it as it is. In the course of 20 minutes orange juice and curd shall penetrate deep inside the skin layers and fulfill all skin nutrient requirements. Later rinse the applied pack and pat dry the skin. Glow shall come on the skin with regular use of the pack.

Make the skin happy with these 6 foods for glowing skin because the natural skin glow comes on a happy skin. You would agree to this!
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Gram Flour for Skin Whitening

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How to Use Gram Flour for Skin Whitening

How to Use Gram Flour for Skin Whitening

Gram flour for skin whitening is used since many years. It is combined with other ingredients from the kitchen shelf to make the various packs and scrubs for improving the skin color. The gram flour skin whitening packs must be used once or twice in a week for the desired results.

Gram flour is the natural scrub that assists in improving the complexion. Skin whitening can be attained by applying different homemade packs prepared using gram flour and other ingredients. After using skin whitening gram flour face packs the skin feels soft and smooths same as the skin of an infant.

Skin Whitening with Gram Flour Face Mask
To make the face pack for skin whitening using gram flour bring together 1 tablespoon gram flour, 1 tablespoon wheat flour, 1 tablespoon rose water, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon raw milk. Mix all collectively in a bowl. If required add little water to make the paste semi-liquid in consistency.

Prior to putting the paste on the face and neck, clean the skin well with raw milk. Then apply the paste with the help of a flat brush. Leave the eyes and mouth area. Allow the mask to dry. Once again re-apply the paste after 5 minutes and relax. After 10 minutes move the fingers in anti-clockwise direction in circular motion. Keep the hand very gentle. Little applied paste shall come out as in small balls, for the remaining wash the skin with water. It must be used once in a week to acquire skin whitening. This face mask is best for oily skin because the gram flour and milk shall pull all the excessive oil from the skin pores. Olive oil is added to nourish the skin with necessary nutrients for skin fairness.

Gram Flour Facial Scrub for Skin Whitening
It is the scrub that is helpful in the enhancing the skin color. To prepare it take 2 tablespoon gram flour, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 4-5 lemon drops, 4-5 honey drops and 1 teaspoon fresh milk cream. Mix all these ingredients together to make the paste. The consistency of the paste must be such that it easily spreads on the skin. Add little water if required to get the moderate semi-liquid paste.

Apply the paste on the face and neck with the help of fingers. Massage the face in circular motion moving the fingers in anti-clockwise direction. In between keep taking paste so that the fingers mover freely on the skin. Carry it out for 5 minutes. Next allow the applied scrub to dry 50%. It might take 1-2 minutes. Then again move the fingers in the same way. All the paste on the face and neck shall come out in form small balls. Wash the face and neck with lukewarm water. It should be used once or twice in a week. Slowly and gradually the skin shall become fair to the best possible extent. This facial scrub can be used as the body scrub too. To use it as scrub for the entire body take the quantity of the ingredients more but keep the proportion same. This pack is suitable for dry skin and normal skin tone.

Gram flour makes the skin so malleable that you would feel like touching it again and again. You would be proud of the skin you are in!
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How to do Neck Massage at Home

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How to do Neck Massage at home

Neck massage at home using coconut oil or olive oil. One must take deep breathes while taking the neck massage as it helps to attain most of the neck massage benefits.
Neck massage is crucial for reliving the tension and eliminating the stress. It is also important to keep the skin well toned because as we progress towards the growing numbers with the ticking of the biological clock the neck skin begins to sag. The reason being slowly and gradually the skin elasticity reduces and it starts becoming loose. This loose skin sags and takes the form of wrinkles. Therefore along with reducing the stress, neck massage is vital for staying young for a long time.
Next thought after knowing the merits and purpose of neck massage could be how to do neck massage?
Well it can be carried on your own in few simple steps. Prior to starting the neck massage ensure to take deep breathes while massaging so that maximum benefits of the neck massage can be attained. Use coconut oil or olive oil for the massage. Massage therapists recommend mixing little essential oil in coconut oil for the neck massage as it gives deep relaxation along with the toning of skin.
Step 1: Sit Comfortably The first step of the neck massage is to sit comfortably on the chair. This is the self-massage therefore lying down shall not be convenient.
Step 2: Move Head Side to Side
Keep the head in between the palm of both hands. Then move the head from one side to another. Do it very gently without giving any sort of pressure to the head. Carry this out for a minute or two.
Step 3: Massage the Neck
Rest your head on the back of your chair. Get into a comfortable position. Set all four fingers close to one another leaving the thumb away. Take little oil in the fingers and apply it on the neck. Now start moving the fingers from bottom of neck up towards the chin. Move both hands simultaneously one after the other. In between if it feels that fingers are not moving freely from down the neck to up the chin then take little more oil. Entire movement has to be very gentle without any sort of pressure.
Ideally one must spend 5-6 minutes on this step. This step is very important as it tones the neck skin. With this massage the skin is protected from getting sagged as it restores back the skin elasticity.
Step 4: Rub the Nape
The back of the neck is referred as nape. Again set the fingers of any one hand together and take little oil. Apply it on the nape and move it up and down along the back of the neck. Here a more firm hand can be used compared to the front neck massage. Do it for 1-2 minutes. This helps in relieving all the stress and tension. It kind of soothes the person.
In step 3 and step 4, oil is used as it assists in the finger movement and it nourishes the skin. Therefore, take little oil else it can become too sticky and oily. Usually in 2 teaspoon complete neck massage can be completed. Always apply oil first and then do the massage because with massage the oil penetrates inside the skin layer leaving the top skin layer oil free. Practice this neck massage and feel the change!
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Secret Neck skin care recipes are especially created to nourish the neck skin and keep it tightened up so that wrinkles do not appear.
The anti-aging neck skin care recipes aims to uphold the neck skin well toned up and free from wrinkles. The aging sign seen prominently on the neck takes away the beauty charm from the lady''s persona. These beauty care home remedies shall be utilized twice a week with similar diligence as that of facial packs and masks. It also mildly ex-foliates the neck skin thereby assist in keeping the top neck skin layer free from dead cells.
Tone the Neck Skin with Raspberries
Wash 6-7 raspberries with lots of water to ensure it is utterly dirt free. Cut it into small pieces and put in the mixer jar. Take half cucumber and wash it too. Chop it and put in the mixer along with raspberries. Without using any water grind the two together to make fine paste. Collect the prepared mixture in a bowl. Add one teaspoon apple vinegar to this paste and mix well. Clean the neck skin meticulously with cleansing milk then apply the raspberry pack with a flat brush. Allow it to dry, after 20 minutes rinse it off. Raspberry and apple vinegar shall tighten the skin while cucumber would hydrate the skin .
Apple Mask Controls Sagging of Neck Skin
Grate one apple and ¼ musk melon. Mix both together. First clean the neck skin with raw milk, and then apply the prepared mixture. Let the fruits juice get deep inside the neck skin layers and repair the skin cells. It should be left as it is for 20 minutes. Then after first clean it with lukewarm water followed by splashing cold water on the neck. Later pat dry the neck with soft cotton cloth. Apple and melon are excellent for skin as it helps the skin to get the nutrients needed to protect it from sagging.
Almond and Olive Oil Anti-Aging Neck Pack
Take two tablespoon grounded almond powder and three teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Blend two together to make paste. Apply this paste on the neck as well as nape. Then wrap the entire neck from front and back with a wet cotton cloth for 20 minutes. After this set time is over remove the cloth and clean the neck with lukewarm water first and later with cold water. This is suitable for all skin tones and is quite an effective remedy to tighten the loose neck skin.
If the time permits and in case it is manageable then apply the neck packs after having a good neck massage. Alternatively, use any of these anti-aging neck skin care recipes twice in a week to tighten the skin may be one time with massage while the second time in the week without massage.
Once the skin starts sagging then it shall become slightly difficult to bring it back to the original state. This is the reason why it is better to bring into practice the neck skin care recipes as soon as you enter late twenties. We all have heard the famous proverb ‘stitch in time to save nine'' that mentions about taking preventive measures before the upheaval occurs. Now time has come to act!
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Almond Cleansing Solution

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Almond Skin Cleansing

Almond Skin Cleansing

Almond Cleansing solution is a homemade cleansing solution. It is easy to prepare at home in few simple steps. In addition, its application too is effortless. It is used along with milk powder that assists in making the skin pores free from the dirt and keeping the skin clean.

The Mantra of staying beautiful is to keep the skin utterly clean. Cleaning the face meticulously before sleeping in night is the key to healthy skin. Moreover, if the cleansing solution is made from pure components without any chemical processing then nothing can stop the skin to be hale and hearty. One such homemade cleansing solution using natural ingredients is Almond Cleansing Solution.

Ingredients Used:
Almond Powder: 1 Teaspoon
Dry Milk Powder – 2 Teaspoon
Sugar – 1 pinch
Scientific name for almond is Prunus dulcis. To prepare almond powder, dry roast 1 cup almonds without any oil in a pan. Keep the pan on slow flame burner for 2 minutes and stir it occasionally. Then switch off the gas. Allow the temperature of roasted almonds to come down. When it is normal, grind the almonds in the mixer without water. Collect the powder and store in a jar.

Mix all three ingredients together. Now add 1 teaspoon lukewarm water and make it a paste. If it is too thick then add some more water but drop by drop. The consistency of the cleansing solution should be moderately thick.

Apply the prepared paste on the face with the fingers starting from the chin to the forehead. Gently massage the face and neck moving the fingers in the anti-clockwise direction for one minute. Slowly the applied paste shall come out in form of small balls. Then after rinse the face and neck with lukewarm water and pat dry with soft cotton napkin. Ensure to massage it softly.

When almond powder is mixed with milk powder it gains properties effective for pulling the dirt from the skin gently. Sugar is used for the binding these two ingredients and attracting the dirt that is accumulated within the skin pores. This homemade cleansing solution cleanses the skin soothingly without leaving any traces of dryness in skin.

This almond cleansing solution is safe to use daily. It suits all the skin tones. Almond powder, milk powder and sugar can be mixed and stored in a jar. One has to the keep the proportion of the ingredients same but take larger quantity as it is tedious to mix the dry powders fresh everyday. Hence, simple way is to mix the powder for one week and keep it in the jar. Everyday use 2 teaspoon powder in the palm and rest repeat the same steps.Keep the skin clean and maintain healthy skin forever!
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Moisturizer for Dry Skin

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Moisturizer for Dry Skin

How to Make Herbal Moisturizer for Dry Skin

How to Make Herbal Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Dry Skin needs constant herbal beauty care to prevent the itching and skin inflammation. To avoid such skin tribulations one can prepare herbal skin moisturizer at home that is apt for dry skin.

Herbal nourishing the skin so as to keep the skin dryness away. The regular application of this moisturizer shall ensure that the skin never gets cracked or chapped. It can be used for the entire year with little variations in the quantity used in accordance to the weather conditions. For instance in winters the need for moisturizer is more when compared in summers.

Ingredients Required for Making Dry Skin Herbal Moisturizer
The main purpose behind applying moisturizer is to minimize the skin dryness hence the ingredients used for preparing the herbal skin moisturizer for dry skin consists of natural oil in it.

Cocoa Butter: 1 Oz (28.3 grams)
Almond Oil: 4 Oz (113.2 grams)
Orange Peel Oil: 1 Oz (28.3 grams)
Orange Peel is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory in nature. Scientifically it is known as Citrus aurantium var. dulcis and C. aurantium var. sinensis

Coconut Oil is ideal for curing the skin dryness. Cocos nucifera is its scientific name.

Rose Oil acts as a stimulant and antiseptic rub for the dry and irritant skin along with regular moisturizing and hydrating source. It is extracted from the plant scientifically known as Rosa Damscena.

How to Prepare the Dry Skin Herbal Moisturizer
First and foremost melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler. Once it is melted add almond oil and turn off the gas burner. Stir it well. Next add orange peel oil drop by drop. Ensure to continuously stir the mixture while adding the orange peel oil. Then allow the temperature of the mixture to come down to the room temperature. Later add coconut and rose oil drops and mix it well. Collect this solution in a dark bottle and use as required. Keep the bottle away from the sunlight.

Apply Herbal Moisturizer on the Dry Skin
To begin with first clean the skin. Then take the moisturizer and rub it gently between the palms. Next apply it on the skin and merge it on the skin so that it is absorbed well. No need to massage it on the skin.

When to Use the Herbal Moisturizer
It can be used any time in the day. Ensure to take the quantity of the moisturizer that is easily absorbed well in the skin without making the top skin surface greasy and sticky.

If you are suffering from the white patchy skin then do not worry. Use this herbal moisturizer for dry skin and bid goodbye to the skin dryness!
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Guide To Yoga Poses

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Learning yoga poses does not have to be hard. And though yoga can appear quite challenging when looking at the advanced poses, it is important to approach it from the point of view that it should be adapted to your own needs and strengths.
Yoga has a huge range of benefits, from simply toning up the body, to supporting it in its natural healing process.
And yoga poses can be done by people with a whole range of abilities, or even physical difficulties. One lady wrote an article in the Australian Yoga Life magazine describing how yoga had helped her deal better with the chronic pain and depression she had experienced all her life resulting from congenital dislocated hips.
She was 48 years old when she started doing yoga poses, overweight, in need of a walking stick to move around, and disabled. She still uses a walking stick, but writes that within the 6 months she had been doing yoga, her body moves more freely. She has also dropped two dress sizes, and is much more able to cope with the 'bad' days.
Just as important as the physical benefits, she describes how yoga transformed her attitude in life from one of "I can't do this", to "Maybe I can!" So much so that this grandmother of 5 began a yoga teacher training course with the intent of teaching yoga to people with physical disabilities.
yoga poses explainedThe key point from this is that yoga poses can be adapted to suit your own physical needs, limitations, and strengths. Flo Fenton, a yoga teacher from Byron Bay, wrote of how her yoga practice changed with respect to the needs of her body. She became more sensitive to her lower back, which she describes as "delicate and temperamental" (Australian Yoga Life). In her example, she no longer does the more extreme backbends and other poses that previously she always did.
In the following articles on individual yoga poses, I have given examples of variations of yoga asanas (postures) where I have found them available.
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Yoga Breathing

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Yoga breathing is one of the most important aspects of a successful yoga practice. It is even more important than whether you are able to technically perform a yoga pose perfectly!
As we develop a yoga practice, we are not going to necessarily do an asana perfectly. And that is fine - as long as we engage the breath consciously.
You might be wondering why such a simple and common thing like breathing can become an element which can make all the difference in a yoga session.
Well, first of all you need to acknowledge that by the process of breathing we provide our bodies with the necessary amounts of oxygen that we all require in order to thrive. Moreover, the breathing process is vital because it is an efficient way of getting rid of the by-products of metabolism our bodies generate.
While flowers need water in order to develop and to grow properly, one of the vital nutrients for the human beings is oxygen. It is important both for the nervous system, as well as our internal organs and glands. However, there is no doubt that the organ, which must by all means be irrigated, is the brain - not least because of its central function in regulating all our bodily functions.
Now, let's talk about the healthy ways of breathing in yoga. Although breathing is an activity that we do not learn how to do, we sometimes restrict or modify the way we perform this action. Thus, it has become common for people to assume weird positions for long periods of time because of the jobs they do, which diminishes the capacity of the lungs and makes breathing intervals shorter.
learn about yoga breathingAlso, if we are anxious or stressed - both common problems in today's world - we tend to breathe in a more shallow way. When we sit slumped in a chair, we are restricting our breathing. The list of examples goes on!
Both specialists, as well as yoga practitioners, agree that there is a close connection between the mental state and the manner in which a person breathes.
Thus, in order to achieve the optimal state of harmony between the body and the mind, yoga teachers sometimes organize sessions dedicated completely to teaching the proper yoga breathing techniques. This really helps facilitate the desired state of peacefulness and synchronization between the inner and outer self.

Yoga breathing does not encourage shallow and fast breathing, but tries to promote the benefits of deep breathing. Among the most important beneficial effects of this manner of breathing we can see:
  • Improvement of health and brain irrigation systems
  • Rejuvenation of the skin, which becomes considerably smoother, while facial wrinkles are gradually reduced
  • Deep breathing leads to stronger lungs and to a healthier heart
  • Relaxation of the body and mind
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Yoga Overview

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Does Yoga Have Prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites to yoga, despite what some books or classes may imply. You do not have to give up smoking, eating meat, or all your worldly goods!
All you need is a yoga mat, or a towel or rug, instruction on how to do yoga, and some quiet time to do it.
Yoga has traditionally been used to develop a relationship with the Divine. And, of course, that relationship is fundamental to our very existence. However, we find the Divine by developing first our relationship with ourselves (the Divine within each of us), and by clearing our body and our lives of the things that get in the way of knowing and expressing that. We won't find the Divine in any 'gurus', or anything that asks us to place our power outside of ourselves.
Yoga asanas are excellent for centering ourselves, clearing blockages and stiffness within the body, and many other things. For that alone, they are worth doing. But we certainly don't have to subscibe to any belief system to get the physical benefits of yoga.
benefits of a yoga practiceSome of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:
  • lose some weight
  • tone up our body
  • become healthier 
  • more flexible
Other benefits of a regular yoga practice include an
  • improved posture
  • a stronger back
  • a greater stillness of being
  • a sense of peace within your own body
  • improved concentration
 This can spill over to bring great benefits in our work, and yoga is a great way of handling stress and revitalizing ourselves physically and mentally.

The Breath

In yoga, the breath is joined with the movement of each posture. And every movement is led by the breath. The breath is also a long subject in yoga, and there are articles on various aspects of it on this site. If you are new to yoga, or new to this aspect of yoga, its a good idea to read through these as it is integral to the practice of the asanas.

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Enjoy Yoga Benefits Today

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The beauty of yoga is that the yoga benefits you can feel are apparent even after the first session. And it doesn't matter what level of flexibility you have, or if you are able to fully get into the postures you are trying to do.
Some of these benefits of yoga include:
  • relaxation of body and mind
  • which in turn revitalizes your nervous system
  • a feeling of peace and stability
  • a feeling of being 'taller'
  • holding good posture more easily and without effort
  • becoming acquainted with muscles you didn't know you had - which is the first step in toning them up
  • a feeling of being more energized - if not immediately, certainly the next day

Yoga benefits that come about after more longer term practice include:
  • enjoy yoga benefits todaygreater self-discipline
  • more self-control
  • increased self determination, which really flows through into other aspects of your life
  • greater ability to concentrate
  • vastly improved flexibility - if you couldn't touch your toes before, you certainly will be able to now!
  • a greater sense of well being in your body. This really helps get us through life's little and bigger obstacles, by providing a physical example of our strength and positivity
  • improved strength in our back and stomach - great if you have back problems
  • less stiffness in our joints
  • slowing down the effects of aging on our bodies
  • a clearer, more healthy looking and radiant face
  • improvements in blood circulation
  • improvements in our capacity to breathe fully, and direct the breath to parts of our body. This is especially good for helping release stiffness and physical pain
  • a more relaxed and stable mind
  • many people lose weight, and some of the twists are great for getting a tiny waist (or at least greater definition in your waist, depending on your body type)
  • more graceful movements
  • some types of yoga, particularly ashtunga yoga, are great for developing strength. This goes for both men and women.
  • other types of yoga, like hatha yoga, are better for the elderly, or those simply wishing to really relax and become more aware of their body. Whereas ashtunga yoga is very dynamic, and also suits people who like to move a lot, hatha yoga holds the postures for longer. This really lets you release areas of stiffness in a focused way. Its also a great yoga to start out on.
  • a greater awareness of your body 
    So, as can be seen, there are many yoga benefits for both the long and short term. Yoga is successfully used by pregnant women, and those recovering from injury, as well as by people seeking to balance out their workouts by stretching the muscles they may be building in the gym - and so avoiding the extreme stiffness many bodybuilders have. The benefits of yoga can also be enjoyed by any age group, from children to the elderly, and across any range of fitness and flexibility
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What Is Yoga?

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If you're looking for a free online yoga guide, then you've found the place! We cover yoga poses, yoga breathing and the spiritual aspects of yoga, as well as yoga props, clothes, mats and videos.
Clear view of a yoga practice It is hard to explain the concept of yoga briefly, as it is part of a long spiritual Indian heritage that has spanned many writers, and traditions, and has gone through a lot of changes over time.
Yoga as it is practiced in the West is often times simply the asanas, or yoga postures. And there is nothing wrong with this.
This site presents a lot of information on yoga postures, including diagrams, on many postures. And information on the importance of the breath, which is integral to yoga and which differentiates it from other forms of exercise.
There are a lot of benefits to doing yoga postures. You certainly don't need to take yoga any further than that, but there is more information on these spiritual and healing aspects if the interest is there. Like anything, take what is appropriate for you, and leave the rest.
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Yoga Tips

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Common Sense Advice for Beginners

With a few yoga tips, it's easier to avoid some of the frustrations that can occur by just starting yoga without any idea of the complexity or variance that is yoga.

Much has been written about the many benefits of yoga, from increasing muscular strength and flexibility, to lowering blood pressure and stress levels and plenty in between.
With this increased awareness has come an increase in popularity, with many people keen to learn yoga tips to make their experience more fulfilling and enjoyable. This article of yoga tips will offer advice on selecting a class, preparation for yoga, tips to help you get the most out of classes and precautions to help avoid injury.
When starting any new fitness program, it's most people's first instinct to start out brimming with enthusiasm and effort. This is particularly true of yoga, which is often thought of as easier and less intense than aerobic exercise. Do not be fooled, however! As with anything, it's important to start out slowly. Listed below are some yoga tips to consider before taking classes:
  • Borrow or buy a yoga book (or even better a DVD or video) that's aimed at beginners. The health and wellness section of any good bookstore will have good books that offer plenty of yoga tips and visual demonstrations of poses.

  • Using the examples in your book, DVD or video to practice at home will help you master some of the poses before you start attending classes, and help build your confidence.

  • There are MANY different styles of yoga, each with a different emphasis (eg stretching, strength, or fitness) and it's important to find the one that best suits you.

  • Find a teacher that you like and trust, and who gives all their students individual help and attention as needed. A good teacher will gladly pass on his or her own yoga tips.
Once you've started taking yoga classes, there are many things you can do to to make things easier and more enjoyable. These yoga tips involve both things you should do to prepare for classes, and things to keep in mind during classes:
  • yoga tips for beginnersThe best time for yoga is in the morning before breakfast, or later in the evening.

  • Before beginning a yoga class you should empty your bowels and bladder, and remove mucus from your nose, throat and lungs.

  • It's best to wear clothing that's loose and comfortable, for easy movement.

  • Try to avoid eating (except for a light snack if you need it) for 2 hours before a class, as it will more than likely make you feel tired and heavy.

  • Try and be punctual to classes; the poses are done in sequence for a reason.

  • Make sure you completely master the easy poses before you move onto the harder ones. DON'T feel foolish if you can't master a difficult pose the first few times you attempt it.
 Like anything physical, yoga does carry the risk of injury if it's not done properly. The following yoga tips address how to protect your body while nurturing it at the same time:
  • If you have a permanent injury or condition that you think could be worsened by doing yoga, have a chat with your doctor about which poses might be best avoided.

  • Be sure to tell your yoga instructor before the class if you are ill or injured; they can tell you how to alter the poses to avoid making things worse.

  • Whatever you do, DON'T force yourself to look exactly like the instructor in the class, the person on the TV or the picture in the book. Just because you mightn't look exactly like your instructor when you do a particular pose, doesn't mean you're not doing it "right". Forcing your body beyond its' limits will only cause injury.

  • Be wary of the difference between feeling sensations or resistance and feeling pain; you should not feel pain while doing yoga, and if you do it could mean you aren't doing something right or need to adjust a pose to suit you better.

  • Many yoga instructors assist students hands-on; if they try and move your body too much for you, or force your body into various poses, however, you could end up injured.

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15 Best Diet Tips Ever

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Best Diet Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.
"If you don't like plain water, try adding citrus or a splash of juice, or brew infused teas like mango or peach, which have lots of flavor but no calories," says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Best Diet Tip No. 2: Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.

Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
"It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food," says chef Laura Pansiero, RD.
You're also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that's not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. More than 200 studies have documented the disease-preventing qualities of phytochemicals found in produce, says Pansiero.
Her suggestion for getting more: Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.
"I love to take seasonal vegetables and make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or layer on sandwiches," Pansiero says. "It is so easy to buy a variety of vegetables and incorporate them into dishes."

Best Diet Tip No. 3: Consider whether you're really hungry.

Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger, suggests Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry?
"Hunger is your body's way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn't come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it," she says.
When you're done eating, you should feel better -- not stuffed, bloated, or tired.
"Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably," says May.
Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Best Diet Tip No. 4: Be choosy about nighttime snacks.

Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax.
"Sitting down with a bag of chips or cookies in front of the television is an example of eating amnesia, where you mindlessly eat without being hungry, but out of habit," says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Malena Perdomo, RD.
Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Once you find that you're usually satisfied with the low-cal snack, try a cup of zero-calorie tea, suggests Perdomo.

Best Diet Tip No. 5: Enjoy your favorite foods.

"I think putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers 'rebound' overeating," says Sass.
Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag.
"You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation," says Sass.

Best Diet Tip No. 6: Enjoy your treats away from home.

When you need a treat, Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Food Network's Healthy Appetite, suggests taking a walk to your local ice cream parlor or planning a family outing.
"By making it into an adventure, you don't have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight," says Krieger.
And for those times you just can't get out? Krieger stocks her kitchen with fresh fruit, which she thinks can be every bit as delicious as any other dessert.

Best Diet Tip No. 7: Eat several mini-meals during the day.

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you're hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging.
"Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight," says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD.
She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as you can early in the day -- dinner should be the last time you eat.

Best Diet Tip No. 8: Eat protein at every meal.

Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control.
"Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss," says University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman, PhD.
Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

Best Diet Tip No. 9: Spice it up.

Add spices or chiles to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied.
"Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won't eat as much," says Perdomo.
When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Best Diet Tip No. 10: Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.

Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes.
Sass stocks her kitchen with:
  • 94% fat-free microwave popcorn (20-25 calories per cup, and you can make it in two minutes or less)
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Bags of pre-washed greens
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Whole-grain wraps or pitas
  • Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts
  • A few containers of pre-cooked brown rice
Within minutes, she can toss together a healthy medley.

Best Diet Tip No. 11: Order children̢۪s portions at restaurants.

"When you are eating out, order a child's pizza or a small sandwich as an easy way to trim calories and get your portions under control," suggest Perdomo.
Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

Best Diet Tip No. 12: Eat foods in season.

"If you don't love certain fruits or vegetables, it could be because you ate them out of season when they have little taste or flavor," says Pensiero. "When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables are more flavorful, at their best, and I promise you won't be disappointed."
At GiGi's Trattoria, her restaurant in Rhinebeck, N.Y., she serves simple fruit desserts, like naturally sweet strawberries topped with aged balsamic vinegar, or low-fat yogurt or fresh berries in a compote.

Best Diet Tip No. 13: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.

Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year.
"You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables," says Sass.

Best Diet Tip No. 14: Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress.

Sooner or later, you're going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you.
Sass suggests reading a few chapters in a novel, listening to music, writing in a journal, practicing meditative deep breathing, or looking at a photo album of loved ones.

Best Diet Tip No. 15: Be physically active.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, don't use exercise either to punish yourself for eating or to "earn" the right to eat more.
"When you do, it sets up a negative thought pattern, which is why so many people say they hate to exercise," says May.
Instead, focus on how great you feel, how much better you sleep and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, so keep it positive and build a lifelong habit.
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Organic Vitamins For Healthy Living

Posted by Rahat al imran Tuesday, December 28, 2010 0 comments

People need vitamins for healthy living and for proper functioning of their body parts. The need for vitamins differs from each other depending on certain things such as type of work, age, environmental stress load, genetics, and lifestyle. The vitamins can be obtained from the natural foods as well as from the supplements. The organic vitamins are the best for long-lasting effect and healthy living.
Most of the vitamin supplements are produced from chemicals. The chemicals used are made to mimic the natural properties of vitamins in the natural foods, but as they are synthetic, they do not yield perfect result for the body. The vitamin that is got from the natural food is the perfect one for everyone and they are exactly what everyone needs. Also, natural foods contain other required nutrient for the body.  Organic vitamins are primarily made to enhance the vitamin level in the blood and they also support good health.      
Therefore, it is highly recommended to get vitamins from the organically grown foods than the chemically grown foods. If a person does not enough vitamins from the natural foods, then vitamin supplements are highly recommended. Organic vitamin supplements are considered better over synthetic as they do not contain any kind of fillers, additives, and dyes. Some of the inorganic supplements contain animal byproducts, which are very harmful for many people. For example, some people are very allergic to food dyes.
Because organic vitamins are made from natural substances, they contain pure form and highest quality of essential and beneficial nutrients for the body. Organic vitamins prevent the body from being exposed to various kinds of diseases and also cure the body from the existing diseases. Studies show that organic vitamins preserve the nature energy in the body and make people more active and keep people more energized throughout the day.
Non-organic also provide essential nutrients, but the method used for making this vitamin is not natural and hence the body will not be able to get the full vitamins and nutrients from these synthetic supplements.  The unused parts of the synthetic vitamin go wasted and because of this organic whole food vitamins are highly recommended.
The organic vitamins can be easily chosen by carefully looking at the label pasted on it. The ingredients listed on the organic materials should not contain any kind of filler substances. In addition to the organic vitamin, it is better to take natural food items to have a balanced diet. Today, there are special organic vitamins that aim at particular parts of the body such as joints or particular muscles and these types are useful for many sport activities.
Organic vitamins help in faster recovery and provide higher energy required for the body. Organic vitamin is suitable for weight control and organic multivitamin provides several types of benefits for the body. With many choices available in the market, it makes easier for anyone to get more healthy and fresh by just consuming the organic vitamins regularly.
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Thoughts of the cranberry probably bring forth memories of Ocean Spray commercials or circular slices of the jellied variety adorning a Thanksgiving platter, yet cranberries are one of the most healthful and multifarious fruit available.  Found and grown in bogs throughout the northern hemisphere, cranberries are actually a type of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines.  With skinny, wire-like stems, and dark pink flowers, they are popular with the honeybee and anyone who likes a sweet fruit with an acidic kick.
In the US and Canada, cranberries are a major commercial crop.  They can be made into cranberry juice (hence the images of the Ocean Spray commercials), cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly, or dried into candy-like treats, although many people enjoy them fresh.  Cranberries have been increasingly recognized as a super fruit, along with the Acai berry and blueberry, among others, because of their antioxidant and nutrient content.      
Vaccinium oxycoccos (Northern Cranberry) is a species of cranberry found in Europe, northern Asia, and North America.  These cranberries are small, pale pink, and have a tangy flavor.  The Vaccinium microcarpum (Small Cranberry) is a species of cranberry found in Northern Europe and Northern Asia.  Vaccinium macrocarpon (Large Cranberry) is a species of cranberry found in northeastern North America, and is one of the most popular varieties due to its closeness to an apple taste.  Cranberries are close cousins to huckleberries, bilberries, and blueberries.
Cranberries got their name by early European settlers.  These pioneers believed that the flower, stem, calyx, and petals of the cranberry plant looked very much like the neck, head, and bill of a crane, so naming the fruit the “cranberry.”  In Northeastern Canada, cranberries are often called “moss berries,“ yet the traditional English name for the tangy fruit is “fen berry,” due to the berries growth in the “fen,” or marshes.  Native Americans first consumed cranberries, or as they dubbed them, Sassamanash, as food, medicine, and colorant.  They may have given them to starving European settlers, who then incorporated them into their Thanksgiving feasts.  It wasn’t until the 1820s that cranberries were exported to Europe, where they became popular in the Nordic countries, Russia, and Scotland.
How are cranberries grown?  Well, Ocean Spray commercials pretty much have it right.  The men in those goofy rubber overalls, surrounded by a veritable sea of berries are quite representative of what one might see in a cranberry bog.  In the US, cranberries are cultivated in Maine, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington, Michigan, Oregon, Minnesota, and New Jersey; Wisconsin leads production with over 50% of the market share, followed by Wisconsin with 28%.  Traditionally, cranberries were grown in wetlands, yet today they are constructed in beds in uplands with a shallow water table.
There is no topsoil, which is scraped off and replaced with clean sand, brought in at four to eight inches, and then leveled off.  The beds can be drained by socked tile or the perimeter ditch, dug around the bed.  Cranberries are grown by moving established vines from one bed to a new one.  The vines are pushed into the sand and then watered until roots form.  They are showered with nitrogen fertilizer until they are a year old.  They are harvested in the fall, when the berries are finally deep red.
Cranberries have numerous health benefits.  They are full of vitamin C, fiber and manganese.  Cranberries are rich sources of antioxidants, with benefits to the immune system, cardiovascular system, and aid in fighting off carcinogens.  They can fight tooth decay and prevent kidney infections, including kidney stones, and consumption has been shown to reduce stress.
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Rosemary Is Good For Your Health

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Rosemary is a herb that is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean area, but it is found in other regions such as France and even as far south as South Africa. The plant itself is an evergreen and has leaves which resemble the needles of an evergreen tree. The rosemary plant is has leaves that are considered to be thick and leather-like in appearance, and they are accented with blooms which can be blue, white, pink or purple in color.
Another feature of the rosemary plant is its very aromatic smell and the wooly white substance that can be found on the underside of the leaves. The rosemary plant can reach heights of over five feet. The name rosemary is Latin for “dew of the sea” because the plant is often found growing near water.      
Rosemary is grown naturally in climates that have hot summers and mild winters. The plant is best grown in dry environments. Those that wish to cultivate rosemary personally can do so using personal pots as this plant can be easily cultivated by cutting a piece off an existing plant and planting it into soil. There are more than fifteen rosemary cultivars which have different colored blooms.
The herb rosemary can be utilized for a number of purposes. It is commonly used to flavor foods. It can be purchased fresh or dried and used to season foods. It is used in Mediterranean cuisine and for barbeque. It is also used for a number of medicinal purposes. Many people use the leaves and the flowers from the rosemary to make both topical and oral solutions that can be used to treat a number of conditions. Rosemary is a natural antifungal and creams or tinctures can be made to treat infections caused by bacterial infections.
This herb also has antioxidant properties making it very useful for combating cancer causing carcinogens, and it is said to protect the DNA from chemicals that can cause cancer. Rosemary is also an antispasmodic which means this herb can be used in different tonics or rubs and rubbed on the body to promote blood flow and ease muscular spasms. Rosemary can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as eczema. This herb has also been used to ease digestive problems. People can chew the leaves of the rosemary plant or make a tea from the leaves in order to soothe the stomach or relieve symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome.
The rosemary plant is often utilized to make rosemary essential oil. This oil often used to encourage hair growth and can be inhaled to relieve tension and open the sinuses. Rosemary is often used in many cosmetic products because it contains ketone which is known to rejuvenate cells and tissue. These properties make it perfect for many facial and body creams. There are so many uses for the rosemary plant. Because it is an herb, individuals that are pregnant or have allergic reactions to herbs should consult with a physician before using them particularly for health reasons.
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Eyesight degeneration is something that naturally happens to everyone during the process of aging. Prescription or over-the-counter treatments can help slow or remedy this process and laser eye surgery has been increasing in popularity recently but there are less expensive ways to prevent or even reverse sight loss. One way of doing this is by ensuring that you consume specific vitamins through certain foods and by supplementing your diet with vitamins if necessary.
Refocusing your eyes at regular intervals, wearing sunglasses when in the glare, and refraining from unnecessarily straining your eyes are ways to keep them healthy— but proper nutrition is also key. The different parts of the eye and specifically the retina, the macula, and the lens all require a range of different nutrients to function properly and here are a few of the essential ones.    
The three main vitamins necessary for maintaining good eyesight are vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A improves vision during the nighttime and in low-light. A concentrated amount of vitamin A can be found in carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, eggs, cheese, and butter. Next, vitamin C, an antioxidant that aids the prevention of cataracts, can be found in most fruits.
High quantities of vitamin C can be found in oranges and other citrus fruits. Vitamin C supplements have grown increasingly available because vitamin C increases immune system functionality. Then there is vitamin E, another antioxidant that prevents cell damage and aging in the eyes. Asparagus, avocado, milk, eggs, spinach, nuts, vegetable oils, and whole grain foods are all high in vitamin E.
Another substance, known as lutein, is found in many green vegetables and eggs and is important to preventing macular degeneration. Lutein is one of many types of cartenoids that can be found in vegetables, all of which help preserve eye health. Aside from fighting cataract development, lutein also slows macular degeneration in the eye that happens normally through aging. 10% of the population aged 66-74 experience macular degeneration and 30% of people 75-85 years old experience it. Some foods with high levels of lutein are kale, spinach, peas, broccoli, zucchini, and eggs. Zinc is also known to slow and prevent macular degeneration. The seeds of pumpkin, squash, and watermelon all contain zinc. Liver and roast beef are also foods that contain high quantities of zinc.
For retinal health, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil play an important role. One particular omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA has been found to improve color and depth perception. These oils can be integrated into any diet either by eating fish or by taking fish oil supplements.
Even if you are at the point where your eyesight may be getting worse due to age, you don’t have to worry too much or opt for expensive laser eye surgery. Glasses or contacts may become necessary, but to slow down the process of eye detriment— in addition to refocusing your eyes often and avoiding straining the eyes— having a diet that supplies you with the proper vitamins and nutrients can make seeing things clearly a little bit less of a hassle.
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Common Causes Of Allergies

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,Are you often bothered by a runny nose, watery eyes, headaches, fatigue, itchy throat, and similar symptoms? Then you are probably suffering the effects of an allergy.  There are several causes of allergies, ranging from food to insect bites.  Oftentimes allergies can be misdiagnosed as the common cold.  However, when these symptoms persist, it is important to try to identify the allergen, or the cause of the allergic reaction.
No one knows for sure why one person has an allergic reaction to a particular substance, while another person does not.  However, it has been found that children, whose parents have allergic reactions, tend to be predisposed to allergies.  Of interest, is the fact that a child will not necessarily be affected by the same allergen that has an effect on their parent.       
Allergens can enter the body by various methods, they can be breathed in, touched, eaten, or injected.  However they enter, they are viewed by the body as being harmful, and as a result, the immune system produces histamines and other chemicals, to combat the invasion.  These are the early stages of an allergy.  The response will be the same, each time you are exposed to the allergen in the future.
Allergies can be triggered by breathing in certain irritants.  Some of the more common ones are pollen, animal dander, mold, and dust mites.  These airborne allergens are very difficult to battle because they are all around in the atmosphere.  In the case of pollen, these are constantly released into the air by trees, flowers, and grasses, and are especially prevalent during the summer, spring, and fall seasons.
In terms of touch, substances like latex can cause allergic reactions.  Latex is made of rubber, which contains high levels of protein. Latex products include rubber bands, gloves, and balloons.  The allergic reaction is due to the response of the immune system, when an individual comes in contact with the natural rubber latex.  Symptoms of this type of allergy can include runny nose, sneezing, hives, and an itchy throat.
Certain foods can trigger allergies.  Some of the more popular ones are: eggs and milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and tree nuts.  It is the proteins in food that is usually the cause of allergies. These are generally not broken down during cooking, or by digestive enzymes, and as a result, they precipitate allergic reactions in the body.  Common symptoms of food allergy include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
An allergic reaction to medication can also occur.  One of the drugs that persons tend to be especially allergic to is penicillin, or antibiotics which are penicillin based. Painkillers such as codeine and morphine are also known to cause allergic reactions.  Reactions can range from mild symptoms like rashes, to life threatening symptoms that can affect vital organ systems.
Insect stings can also cause an allergic reaction when the body overreacts to the insect venom.  The insects that commonly cause this response are honeybees, ants, and wasps.  These all have a venom sac on their tail, which they use to inject the venom into a victim.
In rare cases, a serious allergic reaction known as Anaphylactic shock can occur, this can lead to dizziness, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing and sometimes death, and therefore requires immediate treatment. As we have noted, the causes of allergies are various.  However, once identified, every effort should be made to either avoid the allergen, or treat the symptoms of the condition.
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Workplace sometimes becomes a place of stress and fatigue. People spend hours on the computer with high levels of concentration. This leads to fatigue and tiredness. To keep yourself fresh and energetic during work hours, a few methods can be followed which will give you complete relaxation to the entire body and you can work more efficiently.
Healthy and easy methods to reduce tiredness while at work
  • Keep a good posture by holding your back straight. This might not be possible always, but keep trying and you can do it.
  • Keep moving your body frequently.
  • During the breaks, stretch your body and relax
Here are a few simple excercises that can be followed during work hours
Have a deep seating and Straight up your back. Also Straighten your arms and push down your chair and lift yourself. Now, take deep breaths and Straighten your upper half of the body. Breath for about 5 times. Do this every 40 minutes.
Put your right hand on the back of chair and put your left hand on the right thy, and twist your upper half of the body by applying a little pressure. Move your lower part of the body the other way by breathing out. Do this on both the sides. Breath in while in normal position and breath out while your stretch.
Move to the edge of your seat. Straighten your legs and keep your heels down and toes straight. Bend and move your upper half of the body down as like your navel touch your thigh. You can stop moving down your body as and when you feel. Keep natural breathing while you are bending. Move up slowly. Repeat this 3 times slowly.
Stand up next to a table which is as high as your waist. Stand 1 and half feet away from the table. Put both your hands on the table and open your legs to the breadth of your shoulder. Now slowly straighten your body and legs
Now slowly bend without folding your hands or legs by moving your hip backwards and bringing down your head. You might have to hold your grip properly on the table and rest on your heals. While doing this take deep breaths.
Now after bending, put one of your legs a step forward and stretch further. Do the same for the other leg also.
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Overview of Yoga

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YOGA - A System of Physical excercise and Natural Healing
Yoga as a system of physical exercise has been in existence in India since very ancient times. According ot our ancient sages, there are eight stages of Yoga, namely Yama (Social Discipline), Niyama (Individual Discipline), Asana (Postures), Pranayama (Breath Control), Pratyahara (Mental Discipline), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation) and Samadhi (Self-realization). If an aspirant, after observing the disciplines of Yama and Niyama, practises Yogic exercises, his tubular channels are cleansed, he achieves excellent health and his mind becomes alert. This enables him to experience mental ecstasy. 

Man has made tremendous progress in almost every walk of life. We have now achieved objects once considered impossible to be achieved. What we have achieved and accomplished today could not have been imagined in their dreams by our past generations. Modern scientists and researchers have absolutely changed our life-style. Science has beenincessantly pouring on us new materials and devices to make our physical life more happy and comfortable.
However, pollution of air, water, body and mind is also the result of science. We witness despair and disappointment on the faces of our young generation. Signs of restlessness are apparently visible in the dry and dull eyes of our young men and women. Sloping shoulders, flat chests and bulging stomachs have become their characteristics. Why?
Today, we can claim that we are modern and civilized but cannot claim that we are genuinely happy. We, today, use tranquillizers for sleep, pills for purgative and tonics for vigour. Tranquillizers and sedatives are in vogue in our modern society. Charmed by and then, addicted to intoxicative drugs, our youth is led to the path of disgrace and self-destruction.
Longing for material wealth has hardened our heart. Human values are declining. Work to time, competition and commotion have made us suffer from stress and strain. Mental tension or strain produces undesirable consequences. Stress and strain are the causes of physical as well as psychological diseases such as diabetes, cancer, acidity, ulcer, migraine and hypertension.
How can we prevent ourselves from being strained and degenerated? Should we return to the cave-life and live as the aborigines lived?
As a matter of fact, to do this is neither practical nor necessary. Yoga has the surest remedies for man's physical as well as psychological ailments. Yoga makes the organs of the body active in their functioning and has good effect on internal functioning of the human body. Yoga changes for good man's views on, and attitude to, life.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to bind the yoke. It is the true union of our will with the will of God.
Our ancient sages have suggested eight stages of Yoga to secure purity of body, mind and soul and final communion with God. These eight stages are known as Ashtangayoga.
The eight stages of Yoga are as follows :
  1. Yama (Social Discipline): Yama means restraint or abstention. It contains five moral practices. They are: Non-violence (Ahimsa), Truthfulness (Satya), Non-stealing (Asteya), Celibacy (Brahmacharya) and Non-acquisitiveness (Aparigraha).
  2. Niyama (Individual Discipline): Rules of conduct towards oneself consist of certain disciplines which are both physical and mental. These are five in number:
    Cleanliness (Shaucha), Contentment (Santosha), Austerity (Tapas), Self-Study (Svadhyaya) and Surrender to God (Ishvara Pranidhana)
  3. Asana (Postures): Asana means holding the body in a particular posture to bring stability to the body and poise to the mind. The practice of asana brings purity in tubular channels, firmness to the body and vitality to the body and the mind. There are many asanas, but keeping in view a comman's health, 65 asanas have been in practice and will be soon available at this website.
  4. Pranayama (Breath Control): The literal meaning of Pranayama is Breath Control. The aim of practising Pranayama is to stimulate, regulate and harmonize vital energy of the body. Just as a bath is required for purifying the body, so also Pranayama is required for purifying the body. Just as a bath is required to purifying the body, so also Pranayama is required for purifying the mind.
  5. Pratyahara (Discipline of the Senses): The extroversion of the sense organs due to their hankering after worldly objects has to be restrained and directed inwards towards the source of all existence. This process of drawing the sense inwards is Pratyahara or putting the sense under restraint.
  6. Dharana (Concentration): Dharana means focusing the pure mind on one's personal deity or on the individual self. The practice of Dharana helps the mind to concentrate on a particular object.
  7. Dhyana (Meditation): When one sustains and maintains the focus of attention through Dharana unbound by time and space, it becomes Dhyana (Meditation). Deep concentration destroys the Rajas and Tamas Gunas of mind and develops the Satvika Gunas (qualities).
  8. Samadhi (Self-Realisation): The eight and final stage of Yoga is Samadhi. At this stage, one's identity becomes both externally and internally immersed in meditation. The meditator, the act of meditation and the object meditated upon, all the three shed their individual characteristics and merge with one single vision of the entire cosmos. Supreme happiness, fee from pleasure, pain or misery, is experienced. Samadhi is the climax of Dhyana.
The group of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi is called "Samyama" (the internal Yoga) in the Science of Yoga. The first five stages - yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara - Constitute the External Yoga. If all these five stages are practised and followed in life, virtues like morality, morally sound conduct and good character are develope3d in man. Besides, there is all-round progress in human life, physically, intellectually and spiritually and man attains physical fitness and mental equanimity.
Thus, asanas are only one of the stages of Yoga. Most of the aspirants practising Yoga practise, in fact, these asanas. However, all the eight stages of Yoga are of importance. the practice of all the stages together and Pranayama bring a good deal of permanent benefits.

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Benefits of Pranayama

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Breathing is the only way by which we get oxygen in the body. Oxygen is the vital nutrient that keeps alive and healthy. We can survive without food or water for several weeks, but without oxygen, we can survive only for a few minutes. Sedentary lifestyle reduces oxygen supply to the body and the brain. As a result, there is sluggishness, pain negative thoughts and illness. Many people take breathing for granted; they don’t realize that breathing influences and controls the functions of the systems in our body and also clams the mind.

Normal breathing is shallow breathing. We have made shallow breathing a habit. We use only a fraction of our lungs, and so the cells are deprived of oxygen, and the impurities build up. Over time, it depletes the functions of all systems, and leads to premature ageing and illness.

The ancient yogis realized this truth and developed many types of pranayama that enhance health and longevity. Prana means energy, life force or breath. Ayama means restraint, control, regulation or expansion. Prana is subtler than air. It is the cosmic energy that pervades within everything in the universe.Pranayama is much more than normal breathing it is the heart of yoga. It is a scientific technique of prolonging the breath, increasing the vital energy, allowing it to percolate efficiently into all the cells and eliminating maximum toxins from the body. It refreshes and strengthens the brain, mind body and immune system and cures and prevents many diseases. Pranayama consists of three process. Puraka or inhalation, Rechaka or exhalation and Kumbhaka or retention. With deep and steady inhalations, there is more oxygen drawn in than normal breathing. And, the impurities are removed without leaving any residue in the lungs.Exhalations in normal breathing are so quick that only part of the lungs are emptied. When impurities build up, it leads to illness. With retention there is perfect absorption and distribution of the prana or oxygen. Retention is not recommended for beginners. The yogis believed that the breath is the bridge between the mind and the body. When the breath is extended there are positive changes within and it illumines our lives.
Pranayama is a kind of meditation that creates awareness, controls the unsteady mind, refreshes the brain, nourishes the cells, boosts oxygen to all organs, efficiently removes impurities and provides total freedom from pain and disease. Many types of pranayama have been designed each one contributes substantially to physical mental and emotional wellbeing. Pranayamas recommended for everyday practice are Ujjayi, Kapalabhati, Nadishodana and Brahmari. They can be practiced anytime when travelling in the car stuck in the traffic, working on the computer or in the kitchen and when the mind is disturbed.
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They’re asanas, not aerobics

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Wrong breathing technique while doing yoga can cause blackouts and hernias
Walking and yoga are probably the safest exercises for a beginner. The practice of yoga is thousands of years old, with innumerable techniques, breathing manoeurves and asanas. Walking comes with few safety caveats, but yoga, long considered a method of relaxation requires caution. A major determinant of injury in the beginner is the skill and experience of the instructor. Experienced practitioners achieve high levels of flexibility and breathe control. Many universities and organizations in India train yoga instructors, but many unqualified find work as instructors anyway. Unqualified find work as instructors anyway. Unqualified instructors tend to offer misleading advice to beginners with special needs and health problems. The result is often injury sometimes worse.
Do warm-up exercises before doing yoga especially in winter. Cold tissues are prone to injury. Wear the right kind of clothes – loose fitting cottons are best.  Learn to breathe correctly. Get this right before you worry about asanas and movements. Maintaining a position with the wrong breathing technique can cause blackouts and hernias. On the other hand, if you are breathing correctly you will find exercises easier to do, you can maintain a position for longer and you can stretch further. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Do not try to match your instructor or out – do your fellow students. Doing a full movement with bad form or incorrect breathing is dangerous because repetition will increase your risk of injury. If you suffer from back or spine problems, have a detailed conversation with your doctor about what exercise and postures you should avoid. Let your doctor and not your instructor is the final judge of what is safe or unsafe exercise for you.
Stop exercise when you develop pain. Avoid that particular posture or movement in future sessions. Discuss the matter with your doctor yoga may simply have unmasked an underlying health problem. Drink lots of water during and after a session. Remember that yoga may make you sweat but it is not a substitute for walking and other aerobic exercise. It is not a good aerobic exercise and is poor at burning calories. The good news is practicing yoga will make you feel better than any form of exercise.
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Bharadwaj asana

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The Bharadwaj asana will help you remain unfazed by problems
This asana is named after one of the saptha rishis or seven primary and accomplished spiritual researchers (who had tuned into their higher mind and had control over their senses) of ancient India. The word asana comes from the root word “asi, which means one’s state of being. By assuming the posture of Bharadwaja we are emulating his qualities.
Bharadwaja was not just a master of the Vedas but also well versed in the art of war. He was found as a baby on the banks of a river and was taken care of by the demi gods and celestial beings, who noticed his radiance. He had a steely resolve to gain knowledge. He was later adopted by a king. His main interest was to spread knowledge and motivate people to lead a righteous life. So he prayed that the king beget a son. A son was born but soon after, the king died. So, he waited till the son grew up and trained him in the art of war and justice, before he went his way. This shows his dedication to his path and his resolve to proceed through life’s twists and turns yet remain unfazed. The bharadwaj asana, though a simple twisting position, is excellent to build awareness of the back muscle and the vertebral column. When done correctly, the asana gives a good twist to the lower, mid and upper back as well as opens the chest out which facilitates deep breathing. The muscles of the back bear the brunt of physical and emotional imbalances which can be released using this asana.
Sit in vajrasana (sitting on the heels). Now slip to the right side. Bring left hand to right knee. Breathe in and straighten your back stretching up. Breathe out and twist to the right side. Bring the right hand on the ground as close to the body as you can. Use the arm to straighten the back and do not lean on the hand. Keep a straight back. Let the chest be open. Breathe in deeply as you twist, all the while focusing the mind on the body. Find ease in this position. Then you will find that through focus and deep breathing, the body will automatically open up and you will be able to twist more. Do not strain too much in the beginning. Then release and turn back to the centre. Now repeat on the left side. From the vajrasana, slip to the left side, the right hand to the left knee and the left hand to the ground. Follow the principles mentioned earlier. Relax.
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Vriksha means tree. Practice of this asana helps build concentration.  The tree symbolizes rootedness and, at the same time, grows to reach for the sky. The blossoms and fruits are an offering to the divine. The tree is a symbol of the cycle of life. It progresses from seed, to sapling, to flowering and fruition. The vriksha asana builds leg strength as well as balance. The weight that was borne by two legs is now borne by one. The balance that is cultivated is not just physical but also emotional. Despite life’s situations that can shake us up and destabilize us, we can cultivate a balanced outlook. This inner focus and stability can be cultivated by this asana.
The tree of knowledge will give us its fruit if we imbibe its qualities. This asana helps us to take the stance of the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Steadfast focus on the goal will draw the goal to us. We become receptacles for the gifts of life. The vriksha asana brings a straightness and focus to the body and to the mind. This awareness and mind management system is one of the principles of yoga. That is why one has to understand the beautiful science holistically. Its beauty lies in the fact that an asana when done with awareness can create so many shifts in consciousness. The body language becomes a lot more balanced and one can see the results of this in a focused mind. The kalpa vriksha was a wish fulfilling tree that existed more than 10,000 years ago. This tree is supposed to come into existence whenever someone asks for something with devotion and unswerving focus. This focus can be developed by standing in the vriksha asana. The kalpa vrishka is inherent is each one of us and can be accessed by pulling out the weeds of distraction that grow around us. This does not mean one becomes dogmatic or fanatic but achieves a relaxed focus and balance that ensures we realize our wants.
The technique
Stand in samasthithi asana, which is in a balanced way on both feet. Now bring your left leg up and place it across your right thigh. Bring your hands into an anjali mudra above your head. Straighten and stretch up. Focus on a point in front of you. Stay in this position for as long as you can manage. Now release the foot and shake out your feet. Now bring the right foot across the left thigh and stay in the position. Release and then shake out your feet.
There is another leg position you can adopt. Bring the left leg on the inside of the right thigh and vice versa.  If you’re unable to balance use a wall for support and you will find that with practice and time you will become better.

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This section provides you with benefits of samasthithi asana.
The samasthithi asana is the standing position and much more. The Sanskrit word ”samasthithi” tells us how to stand. By observing our standing position, we can see our stance towards the world. This stance is an indicator of our sub-conscious leanings. By consciously being aware of it, we have the choice to change our stance. The samasthithi asana helps you cultivate a balanced stance towards the world. From this samasthithi all other standing postures or asana are practiced.
In chapter 12,ver 13 & 14 of the Gita, the sthithapragnya is  described as one who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is without attachment and ego, who maintains equipoise in adverse and favourable circumstances, who is always content and steadfast in meditation, has firm conviction, with his mind and intellect dwelling on the universal consciousness. Such a person is dear to the highest principle.
It requires lifelong endeavor to cultivate this sense of equanimity. Staying balanced will change even the worst circumstances into a blessing. This is a way of working out or dissolving old thought patterns or habits.
We simply become a dispassionate observer yet do what needs to be done. Also when you stand, be aware of standing with poise. Keep the back straight, shoulders pushed back. Check to see that the neck is not leaning forward. There should be a nice straightness in the spine and ease in holding oneself upright. This upright, balanced stance is what the samasthithi asana signifies.
Stand in the samasthithi asana. Keep your eyes closed and be aware of how the weight is distributed on the feet. See if there is more weight on the left foot or on the right. See if you are putting more weight to the front or the back. This will give you an idea of your habitual patterns of how you distribute weight. This ideal way to stand is to have weight equally distributed and slightly towards the front. Those who stand for long hours can practice a few jath is that shift the weight from one foot to another to release stress.
If you look at the soles of your footwear, you will be able to see which areas are worn out and thereby which areas you put more weight on. If the back portion is worn out then you are an unlikely candidate for a marketing job as you are holding back! Consciously distribute your weight forward and you will see your life move ahead. Given below is a technique to rebalance weight distribution.
Now keeping the eyes closed, gently shift your weight to the front. Come back to the centre. Then shift the weight to the back. Come back to the centre. Then move the weight to the right. Come back to the centre.
Then move the weight to the left. Come back to the centre. Kick your feet loosely to give some relief. Repeat thrice. Now from the standing position, move in clockwise direction thrice and then in anticlockwise direction, distributing the weight on different parts  as you go along with eyes closed. Once you are done, you will see a difference in the way weight is distributed on your feet.
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Sarpa Kriya - releases energy blocks stored in the upper back region
Sarpa means 'snake'. The snake symbolises wisdom and beauty in the Chinese system. The skin and other parts of the snake are used in Chinese medicine to treat skin dieseases, arthritis and paralysis. In ancient Egypt, The snake was considered as a symbol of royalty and wisdom. The ancient Ouroboros symbol or the snake biting its own tail represents the continuum of life and time anda merging of one into other. It symbolises unity and infinity at the same time.
Two snakes interwined on a staff, with a pair of wings on top, is a symbol used by some pharmaceutical companies. A modified version is used by the Indian Medical Association. This symbol is called the caduceus. It was the staff of hermes, the Greek god of Commerce, invention, theft and verbal artistry. Later it also came to be associated with alchemy. The staff of Ascelpius, a medicine man in Greece, Later revered as a god, is the original symbol of healing and comprises a single snake wound around a long staff and used by the 'WHO' and various medical associations around the world.
In Christianity the snake has both good and bad associations. The bad associations are there as Eve is believed to have been misled by sepent. However, Moses makes a rod similar to that of Asclepius, a rod with a snake that would make the Israelites look up to heaven and protect them from snake bites.
In India too the snake is respected as it is associated both with Shiva and Vishnu. It symbolises time and space, the capacity to release the past and start afresh. The same symbology applies to Buddhism and Jainism. In Fact, the chapter on snake is the first chapter in the Sutta Nippata or collection of discourses. It speaks of a monk who transforms or sheds his passions like a snake sheds its skin.
In esoteric yogic teachings, the kundalini shakti is represented as a snake. This shakthi which is dormant is represented as a coil of three-and-a half times at the base. With practice, this energy uncoils and rises up the pranic channels upwards. All yogic practices are ultimately aimed at kundalini arousal. However, nowadays due to branding, people mistake it to be a form or akind of yoga.
In the higher or shakti practices one has to be careful to do it after lot of purification and preparation. This is not something one does after picking up the basics from a book or a weekend workshop.
By practising the sarpa kriya one can release the energy blocks stored in the upper back region as well as relieve muscular tension. It is preliminary to any of the more complicated kundalini practice as safe when done gently with awareness. It is excellent to ease shoulder pain and stiffness caused by prolonged computer/desk work.
The Technique: Lie in makarasan. In this asana, one lies on one's belly. Now interlock your fingers behind your back. Breathe in and come up gently bringing your torso up; thenbreathe out and come down. Do this thrice. This is sarpa kriya. WHen the position is held, it is called sarpa asana
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