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Seven Mindful Habits - That Will Benefit For Life

‘Being mindful’ is being looked at as the next big shift in psychology. The truth is that mindfulness has been around for hundreds of year. The main idea involves focusing your attention to the present moment with an open minded and compassionate attitude. These techniques could help in coping with many difficult situations in life. Here are 7 techniques to practice mindfulness. They might seem difficult at first, but if you keep at it, they’ll benefit you for life.

1. Practice Gratitude

Being grateful for the blessings in our lives is one of the most important habits you could develop. It reminds us to enjoy what we have, rather than desiring what others have. To practice gratitude, write down 3 things you are grateful for as soon as you wake up. Be as specific as you can be—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. It’ll only take 15 minutes. The goal of the exercise is to remember a good time, person or experience in your life and enjoy the good emotions that flow.

 2. Feel your feet and palms

This will anchor you to the present moment. Draw your attention to the pads of your feet and palms. Notice the pressure of your feet against the floor, the heat and or cold, the comfort or discomfort, feel it all slowly. Once you’ve become aware of your feet and palms, then clench your hands into tight fists and release. Clench. Release. Clench. Release. This focuses the mind on your body, which will put you in the present moment. You can expect your mind to wander, and when it does, return your attention to your feet.

3. Notice the environment

When practicing mindfulness, you don’t have to manipulate your emotions to stay in the present moment; just take in your surroundings. Allow your mind to let go and relax. Then you can notice the wonderful sites, and sounds around you. Even as you’re reading this article, perhaps your hand is touching a mouse, or a phone, feel this sensation. Notice any objects near you, such as the items on your coffee table. Expand your awareness to encompass your entire environment. Notice the colors of your surroundings. Become aware of any sounds happening around you. Without mentally or verbally commenting on what you notice, just take a moment to become aware of these things.

4. Breathe Deeply

Most meditation techniques focus on breathing and for good reason: It’s a great way to relax and center your energy. To begin, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds. As you get more practice, you can increase the amount of seconds, which will enhance the centering and relaxation process.

5. Listen, don’t just hear

Next time you’re talking to someone, try to notice the time in which you judge the person you’re speaking with. Once you’ve noticed, you can attempt to avoid judging and focus on the content of The conversation. Judgments cause us to be bias and not really listen to what others have to say.

6. Watch what you eat

Mindful eating means paying full attention to the experience of eating or drinking everything. Both on the inside and outside of the body. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, colors, smells, temperatures, and even the sounds of your food. Pay close attention to the experience of your body. Literally try to feel your body and use all of your senses as you eat. You’ll begin to realize what food your body thrives on, and what foods to avoid.

7. The Mindful Shower

The shower is the perfect time to practice mindfulness. Simply watch the beautiful water hit your skin and embrace the wonder of life. Next you have a shower, become aware of how good the hot water feels as it washes your skin. 
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Yoga Asanas to beat Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual pain known as dysmenorrhea, includes sharp, throbbing, burning, or nauseating cramps in the lower abdomen and back. Yoga can help solve the suffering that women with severe menstrual pain go through. Yogis have suggested few yoga asanas or poses that could be your best friend during the hour of need.
  • Half Bound Squat:  If the hips are stretched out properly, it helps the cramp a great deal.
    • Bring your right hand up toward your lower back, hugging your armpit around that right knee. 
    • Lower your left arm around the lower back, trying to touch the fingers together. 
    • If they are close enough, hold your left wrist with your right hand, with the left palm facing behind you. Stay here for five deep breaths.
  • Arching Pigeon: Pigeon pose also opens your hips, but sometimes it feels better to work one side at a time. This variation will also stretch out the lower belly.
    • Sit on the floor with your right knee bent and your left leg extended behind you. 
    • Place your hands on your hips, and gently arch your back. 
    • You should feel a nice stretch in the front of your left hip, but if this variation is painful, then lean forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
    • If you want more of a stretch, raise your arms in the air. 
    • Hold for five or more breaths, and then repeat this pose on the other side.
  • One Armed Camel: Stretching out your abs and the front of the hips can also relieve cramps.
    • Stand on your shins so your knees are underneath your hips. 
    • Reach your right hand back, placing it on your right heel or on the mat behind your right toes. 
    • Extend your left arm in the air. 
    • Shift weight forward onto your knees to increase the stretch in your quads, belly, and chest. 
    • Lower your head behind you, and stay here for five breaths. 
    • Switch sides, holding for another five breaths, and then lift the torso up to release.
  • Wide Child's Pose: If you feel cramps in your lower back, then this pose is sure to offer relaxation and relief.
    • Place your knees on the floor, widen them to a comfortable distance, and then fold forward, extending your arms in front of you. 
    • Rest your forehead on the mat or turn your head to one side, holding for five breaths. 
    • Turn your head to the other side for another five relaxing breaths.
  • Reclining Twist: This helps in relaxing way to increase side-to-side spinal flexibility, which can also help relieve pain in the lower belly and lower back.
    • Lie on your back, and cross your left knee over to the right side. 
    • Extend your arms out wide, gazing to the left. 
    • Hold here for at least five breaths, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. 
    • You may even hear some cracks.
    •  Use your abs to lift your knees back to center and repeat on the other side.

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Yoga And The Modern Lifestyle

The modern lifestyle lures us with comfort and convenience, in the form of gadgets and gizmos that have become vital to our daily lives. But it comes with a big price tag and we pay for it with lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension and cardiac problems, among others.
Excessive use of cell phones, laptops, dishwashers and the like pose a serious threat to our health. They make us physically inactive and put us at an increased risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiac troubles. Also, many gadgets, including like hair dryers, electric shavers and digital clocks, give out waves of electromagnetic radiation that pass through our bodies and disturb our biological processes. Social networking websites have replaced face to face contact, making people secluded.
Common risks of the modern lifestyle
  • Radiation from cell phones is known to affect the brain cells and also reduce sperm count in men.
  • Use of earphones can lead to hearing loss and headaches.
  • Increased screen time leads to blurred vision, red eyes, difficulty in focusing and weak eyesight.
  • Frequent use of keyboards and cell phone keys leads to orthopedic problems.
  • Staying immobile for more than four hours increases the risk of heart disease.
  • Lack of physical activity decreases bone mineral density and lowers immunity.
  • Sedentary lifestyle amplifies loneliness, depression, anxiety and panic disorders.
It is therefore important to consider how much time you spend sitting every day. Nowadays, so many simple things in life are now just a click away, whether it's paying bills online, shopping online, studying online, etc. In the past, doing these same things would have required you to get up and move.
Yoga to deal with the modern lifestyle
You can practice Hatha yoga to avoid the disastrous consequences of the sedentary urban lifestyle. A set of yogic postures combined with pranayama, if practiced daily, can protect you from modern lifestyle diseases. Some of the practices that are easy to do include:
  • Surya Namaskar is not only a great warm up exercise but it also helps to shed those extra pounds.
  • Cobra Pose strengthens the upper back and helps correct the bad posture caused by long desk jobs.
  • Eye, neck, shoulder, wrist and ankle rotations help counter stiffness whilst sitting at a desk.
  • Shalabhasana relieves lower back pain that is caused by hours of perching on a chair.
  • Downward Dog Pose and Sarvangasana help to reverse the blood flow in your body, thereby preventing baldness and premature graying.
  • Gomukhasana prevents cervical pain, which is becoming increasingly common. This asana can be practiced while seated on a chair.
Other solutions:
  • Walk or cycle to work.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take short walks at home and at work.
  •  Use noise canceling headphones, so that you don't have to keep the volume as high.
  • Play outdoor games for entertainment, instead of sitting in front of a screen.
  • Increase your blink rate to 6-8 blinks per minute to avoid eye strain.
  • Conduct your meetings standing up.
  •  Regularly practice relaxation techniques like breathing and meditation.
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Diseases and Yoga Practice

Yoga has been an ancient and effective cure for numerous health related problems. Recent scientific research and experiments have proved  the efficacy of yoga in controlling and curing  diseases. Workout at the gym may focus on physical activity, weight control, or strengthening of the body, it definitely ignores the mind. It is yoga’s ability to connect the mind and the body together that helps it to positively enhance human well-being.
There are several types of yoga that can be practised by individuals to deal with specific health problems :Following is the list Yoga Asana/ Pranayama which are helpful in the given diseases.  These exercises may not be sufficient alone cure completely but if practiced regularly then these illnesses will never harm the practitioner.  Physician's advice should be taken before doing yoga practice

Abdominal Disorders:

Bhujangasana,  Paschimottanasana, Pavanmuktasana, Salabhasana,

Arthritis:

Salabhasana, Sarvangasana, Shashankasana,

Asthma:

Ardha-Matsyendrasana, Bhujangasana, Kapalbhati, Siddhasana, Shirshasana, Sarvangasana, Supta-Vajrasana,

Back-ache:

Akaran-Dhanurasana, Ardha-Matsyendrasana, Bhujangasana, Chakrasana, Dhanurasana,  Gomukhasana, Majrasana, Matsyendrasana, Sarvangasana,  Shirshasana,

Bronchitis:

Bhujangasana, Kapalbhati,  Padmasana,Salabhasana, Sarvangasana

Cold:

Simhasana

Constipation:

 Akaran-Dhanurasana, Halasana, Hastapadasana, Matsyendrasana, Pavanmuktasana, Shirshasana,  Vajrasana

Depression:

 Hastapadasana, Parvatasana, Shavasana, Shirshasana, Trikonasana, Yoga-Mudra,

Diabetes:

Bhujangasana,  Halasana, Mandukasana, Matsyendrasana, Mayurasana, Sarvangasana, Shavasana, Yoga-Mudra,

Eystrain:

Neck and Eye exercises

Gall Bladder disorders:

Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Mayurasana, Trikonasana

Headache:

Neck and eye exercises, Sitali, Shavasana,

Indigestion:

Bhujangasana, Chakrasana,  Halasana, Mandukasana, Matsyendrasana, Mayurasana,  Shavasana, Tadasana,  Vajrasana, Yoga-Mudra

Insomnia:

Bhujangasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Shalabhasana, Shavasana,  Tadasana.

Kidney Disorders:

Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Matsyendrasana, Sarvangasana, Shalabhasana, Vakrasana

Liver Disorders:

Paripurna-Navasana

Menopause Disorders:

Bhujangasana, Halasana,  Majrasana,  Sarvangasana, Shavasana, Uddiyan-bandha

Menstrual disorders:

Bhujangasana, Halasana, Hastapadasana, Majrasana,  Shavasana, Shirshasana, Uddiyan-bandha,

Neurasthenia:

Shavasana, Shirshasana,  Siddhasana, Tadasana, Virasana

Obesity:

Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Halasana, Hastapadasana, Mandukasana, Matsyendrasana, Paschimottanasana, Supta-Vajrasana, , Uddiyan-bandha,

Piles:

 Halasana, Matsyasana, Shirshasana,

Poor Posture:

 Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Gomukhasana, Tadasana,  Trikonasana, Ushtrasana,

Prolapse:

Sarvangasana, Shirshasana, Uddiyan-bandha,

Prostate troubles:

Vajrasana, Shirshasana, Sarvangasana-1, Matsyendrasana

Reproductive:

Bhujangasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Shavasana, Shirshasana,  vajrasana

Rheumatism:

Dhanurasana, Gomukhasana, Matsyendrasana, Trikonasana

Sciatica:

Gomukhasana, Sarvangasana

Sexual disability:

Adho-Mukha-Svanasana, Balasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Kapalbhati,  Majrasana, Matsyendrasana, Sarvangasana,  Shirshasana,  Uddiyan-bandha,  Yoga-Mudra,

Sinus:

Bhastrika, Neck and Eye Exercises, Shavasana,

Skin diseases:

Sun-Salutation

Throat Disorders:

Simhasana, Ujjai

Thyroid Disorders:

Sarvangasana,

Varicose Veins:

All Inverted Postures, Sarvangasana, Shirshasana,

Wind Pains:

Pavanmuktasana, Uddiyan-bandha

Wrinkles:

Yoga-Mudra
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Yoga Style to Suit Your Needs

People are usually drawn to yoga to maintain good health by reducing stress, losing weight, increasing endurance level and working deep muscles.
However to applaud yoga for its physical benefits alone would only diminish what this entire system has to offer as a whole. By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you may be surprised to find that you’re building much more than a strong, flexible body. 
Initially, the sole purpose of practicing yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment as  the name Yoga means to“yoke” or “union,” describing the integration of mind and body to create a greater connection with one’s own pure, essential nature.
Physical practice of yoga encourage a deeper mind-body awareness. Healing and balancing the physical body helps bring clarity and focus to the mind as well.
To get started on your individual yoga quest, it’s helpful to begin with a list that clearly prioritizes what needs you want to fulfill: Are you looking to sweat your way into a lean form, or does a gentler, more meditative approach?
Not all practices fit into nice little holes. There’s a great deal of crossover among the various yoga schools, and there’s even a diversity in teaching approaches within each discipline.

Find Right Match to Suit Your Needs.

Many different types of yoga exist and it can be difficult to figure out which particular one is right for you. Most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (called asanas), however the experience of one style can be radically different than another. In this quick guide, we have outlined the most popular forms of yoga, along with their essential characteristics, to make it easier for you to know where to begin.
The list below begins with classical hatha yoga, then moves down the list from vigorous, flow-style classes to the more relaxing passive classes, finishing with restorative yoga.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is a general category that includes most yoga styles. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (yoga breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.

Vinyasa

Like hatha, vinyasa is a general term that describes many different styles of yoga. It essentially means movement synchronized with breath and is a vigorous style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. You may also see a vinyasa yoga class referred to as a flow class, which refers to the continuous flow from one posture to the next.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is a system of yoga that was brought to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. If you attend an ashtanga class at a studio you will be led nonstop through one or more of the ashtanga series, while being encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose. Each series is a set sequence of asanas, always in the same order. It is typically fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging..

Power Yoga

Power yoga is used to describe a vigorous, vinyasa-style yoga. It originally closely resembled ashtanga and was an attempt to make ashtanga yoga more accessible to Western students. It differs, however, in that it is not a set series of poses, but rather allows the instructor freedom to teach what they want.

Bikram Yoga

One thing you can be sure of when you attend a Bikram class is consistency. Outside of the instructor, a Bikram class is the same no matter where you go, consisting of the same, copyrighted twenty-six postures and two breathing techniques, in the same order for ninety minutes, in a room heated to 105°F (40.6°C), with a humidity of 40%.

Jivamukti Yoga

David Life and Sharon Gannon created jivamukti yoga in 1984, and since then have studied with a number of teachers, including Swami Nirmalananda and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Their classes resemble ashtanga yoga in the vinyasa-style flow through asanas. Each class begins with a standardized warm-up sequence unique to jivamukti and often teachers will incorporate weekly themes, chanting, meditation, readings and affirmations.

Iyengar Yoga

The trademark of iyengar yoga is the intense focus on the subtleties of each posture. B.K.S. Iyengar teaches his classes from his home in Pune, India and has become one of the most influential yoga gurus of our time. In a typical iyengar class, poses are held much longer than in other schools of yoga, in an effort to pay closer attention to the precise musculoskeletal alignment within each asana. Another trademark of iyengar yoga is the use of props, such as blocks, belts, bolsters, chairs and blankets, which are used to accommodate injuries, tightness or structural imbalances, as well as teach the student how to move into a posture properly.

Anusara Yoga

The anusara style is a new system of hatha yoga that teaches a set of Universal Principles of Alignment that underlie all yoga postures, while encouraging flowing with grace and following your heart. Founded by John Friend, the practice of anusara is broadly categorized into three parts, known as the Three A's. They include attitude, alignment and action.

Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda yoga is a form of hatha yoga founded by Swami Sivananda and brought to the west by Swami Vishnu-devananda. A class typically begins with Savasana (relaxation pose), kapalabhati and anuloma viloma, followed by a few rounds of surya namaskara. The class then moves through Sivananda's twelve asanas, which together are designed to increase strength and flexibility of the spine. Chanting and meditation can also be a part of a full-length class.

Viniyoga

Viniyoga refers to an approach to yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of the individual. Created by T.K.V. Desikachar, the goal is to give the practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga incorporates repeated movements or exercises, dynamic breathing techniques, chanting, meditation and mantras. Each specific kundalini exercise, referred to as a kriya, is a movement that is often repeated and is synchronized with the breath. The practice is designed to awaken the energy at the base of the spine in order to draw it upward through each of the seven chakras.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga in which poses are held for five minutes or longer. Even though it is passive, yin yoga can be quite challenging due to the long holds, particularly if your body is not used to it. The purpose is to apply moderate stress to the connective tissue - the tendons, fascia and ligaments - with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility.

Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT)

Integrative yoga therapy brings together asanas, pranayama, mudra, yoga nidra, mantra and meditation into a complete package where they can be utilized for therapy. Founded by Joseph Le Page in 1993, IYT was an attempt to create a training program with the focus on yoga as a healing art, and has designed programs specifically for medical and mainstream wellness settings, including hospital and rehabilitation centres.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a gentle, relaxing, passive form of yoga that allows students to relax and release the body into a gentle stretch that is held for as long as 10 minutes. This style makes use of a wide range of props, including bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets. The intention is to provide support within each pose, making it easier to completely let go.
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