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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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