Monday, June 29, 2009

Foot Heel Pain And Plantar Fasciitis – Causes And Treatment

Foot And Heel Pain Remedies

While heel pain may be caused by a stress fracture, arthritis, tendonitis or even nerve irritation, if the condition has been around for a considerable period of time, the problem is more likely to be a condition called plantar fasciitis. To identify and properly diagnose that the heel pain is, in fact, caused by plantar fasciitis, you may need to consult an orthopedic doctor or a foot and ankle surgeon. The condition is primarily caused by an inflammation of the tissue known as plantar fascia, which extends from the heel to the toes. The fascia tissue will initially get irritated and then inflamed which results in the heel pain. The tissue is initially like a rubber band, but when a person gets older, it loses some of its elasticity causing it to act like a loose rope. The fat pad on the heel will become thinner and will not be able to absorb most of the shock caused when walking and this extra force will damage the fascia by causing it to swell, tear or bruise. Other factors that could lead to its damage include obesity, putting the feet under a huge amount of strain while standing all day long, diabetes as well as structural problems of the foot like being flat footed or having a high arch. Most patients complain that the pain is more prominent in the morning when they wake up and eases down through the course of the day while the tissue warms up.

Most remedies are more concerned with rest and controlled exercise. Since the damage is more to do with wear and tear of a tissue, there is not much that can be done by way of natural herbs and concoctions. It is important t give your feet adequate rest and not doing so will continue to make the problem even worse. Refrain from any unnecessary activity that will aggravate the tissue in the foot. Use ice therapy to help reduce any pain and inflammation over the heel. The cold therapy should be continuously resumed until all symptoms have gone. However, this does not indicate that the condition has been resolved and you will not feel the pain again. Since the tissue has been worn out over the years, you will continue to feel the pain whenever you put your affected foot under considerable strain. Some people incorporate the use of a plantar fasciitis night splint that helps prevent the plantar fascia from tightening up during the night.

See Also

Home Remedies For Boils – Get Rid Of Heat Boils With Natural Treatments

Causes Of Heat Boils And Home Remedies

For something that is as common as heat boils, very few people take the time to understand why it is important to treat them as well as understand why they erupt so often. In today’s world, where almost everyone is very concerned about the way they look and spend a lot of money in a number of different brands and lotions that help with skin and hair care, there is a surprisingly small group of people that actually pay any heed to a heat boil on their body and understand that this could be a sign from the body, that it is not being taken care of well. As a result of the influx of quick fix cosmetic solutions, people tend to avoid listening to their body and choose to treat any future blemishes or boils with the readily available products without realizing that most of these are caused by underlying issues within the body that could get out of hand if no attention is paid to them. A number of factors can trigger the onset of heat boils and they are not only a sign of external heat but can also be a symptom that the heat inside the body may be too much.

Factors like consuming the same type of food in the summer that you did in the winter, or wearing clothes that do not allow your skin to breathe easily are most often responsible for the development of heat boils. Drinking large amounts of water will help dilute any excess perspiration you may have which will, in turn, lead to a reduction in the eruption of heat boils. The reason for this is that if your body is not adequately hydrated, the perspiration will have a higher salt content and will tend to stick to the skin more and will not evaporate easily causing heat boils to develop at a greater frequency. After having your bath, it is highly recommended that you coat your entire body with talcum powder or cooling prickly heat powder as they will help absorb any perspiration, as well as keep your body temperature down. The clothing you choose should always be loose and preferably cotton as they allow the body to breathe easily. Increase your intake of fruit juices considerably as keeping the fluid content of your body up is very essential in order to avoid the onset of heat boils. Drinking guava juice is highly recommended as it is a natural cooling agent.

Birthmark Removal – Home Remedies To Reduce Birthmarks Appearance

Home Remedies To Remove Birthmark

Very little is known about the real cause behind the occurrence of birthmarks on a child’s face. This gives rise to a number of medically unproved theories that the expecting mother had either eaten some kind of food which has caused this or committed some actions during the pregnancy that could have led to this condition. The facts though, are that nothing is known or proven, and so far the occurrence of birthmarks on a child seems to be quite random. While many children are born with birthmarks or peculiar blotches on their skin, the skin blemishes will gradually disappear while the child adapts to life outside the womb. However, sometimes these birthmarks are permanent and do not fade. While they pose no real medical danger to the individual, they can be quite disfiguring and can lead a number of people to have lower self morale as a result of the birthmark. Birthmarks have no common standards when it comes to appearance and can be raised or flat with either regular or irregular borders and can be colored anywhere from brown to black to pink or even red. Birthmarks are formed with the cells that make up the inner lining of our blood vessels and hence can look very peculiar.

While there are no guarantees in getting rid of any birthmarks you may have, you can try a few of the following home remedies that will help reduce the prominence of the birthmark:

  • Ice packs have been known to help in the tightening of skin pores which may help in reducing the birthmark. Try wrapping three or four small ice cubes into a small piece of cloth and rubbing this gently on the affected skin for about 5 minutes. Perform this regularly for best results.

  • Olive oil is known for its moisturizing qualities which might help soften the texture of skin and eventually help lighten the birthmark. Try massaging the affected skin for about 10 minutes daily with the help of olive oil.

  • Vitamin E contains antioxidant properties that can help with birthmarks as they help in treating any free radical damage to our body cells. Try mixing some Vitamin E with orange oil for it to have a better effect.

  • Since lemon is a natural bleaching agent, it is used in many skin lightening lotions as well as home remedies. Applying lemon juice to the birthmark and washing it off after some time might go a long way in reducing the prominence of the birthmark.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend

What is Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend?

The Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend is one of the basic and popular poses in yoga. It can be done by itself or also as a resting pose in between other standing poses. In Sanskrit ‘ut’ means intense or deliberate and ‘tan’ means stretch, lengthen or extend. So, it literally means a pose where you deliberately extend or lengthen yourself.

The Parsva Uttanasana, also called the Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Yoga Pose is a variation of the Uttansana, and requires a deeper stretch.

In the Hasta Uttanasana or Hand Raising Pose, you simply fold your hands and raise them above your head, simultaneously bending backwards

Step by Step procedure: The Yoga Forward Bend looks very simple, but it must be done slowly and with full concentration to gain maximum benefit.

  • First stand upright in Tadasana (Palm Tree Yoga Pose). Keep your hands on your hips and your feet slightly apart.

  • Inhale and raise your arms forward and upwards. Your palms should face each other and your upper arms should be touching your ears.

  • Now, exhale slowly and bend forward and downward. Take care to bend not from the waist, but from the hips.

  • Extend the spine and draw out the torso so that it is in a table top position. Your sitting bones should be thrust back, lifted and pointing to the ceiling.

  • If possible, keep your knees straight, but do not lock them. Turn the top part of your thigh slightly inward. Do not lock your head, but let it hang loosely.

  • Keeping your heels firmly pressed on the floor, try to touch your feet with your hands. Wrap the palms of your hands around your ankles, if possible – the fingertips are touching the front of the ankles, while the palms hold the back of the ankles.

  • Hold this position, for a few seconds, while you breathe in and out two or three times. You might feel a mild oscillation of your torso as you breathe. Exhale and slowly release the pose.

  • Rest a while and repeat a few times.

Benefits: Even though Uttanasan is a simple pose, it has numerous benefits.

  • It is a stretching pose, which strengthens the muscles of the legs, hips, hamstrings, thighs, knees, calves, as well as the spine, making them more flexible.

  • It tones and stimulates the organs in the abdominal area, such as the kidneys and liver, and also helps to improve digestion.

  • It is useful for relieving cramps and pains during menstruation.

  • By calming the brain, it provides relief for stress and anxiety, and is useful in treating depression.

  • It has been found helpful for reducing, fatigue, insomnia and headache.

  • It has also been effective for treating high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, osteoporosis and infertility.

Contraindications: If you have a back injury, use a few modifications while performing the pose. You can take the support of a wall and you can also bend your knees. You can also perform the Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend), where your palms need not touch your ankles – keep them stretched out parallel to the floor.

Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Yoga Pose

What is Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Yoga Pose?
Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Yoga Pose gets its name from ‘parsva’ which means flank or side, ‘ut’ meaning intense, and ‘tan’ which means to extend or stretch. So, it is in effect, an intense stretch pose for the entire body.

The Yoga Pyramid Pose is a standing pose, where you bend forward and downward, so that in its most flexible form, your head is almost touching your ankles. It thus provides a great stretch to your hamstrings and lengthens your spine. It also includes proper breathing techniques as your perform the posture.

Step by Step procedure:

  • First stand in Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose). Now stretch out both your feet so that they are a little apart. You can either slide them along the floor to achieve this, or you can do it with a light jump. Keep your hands on the hips.

  • Now take your arms behind your back and hold the forearm with either hand.

  • Breathe in and out a few times to get a proper balance. Make your thighs firm and press down on the floor with your heels.

  • Lift the chest and inhale deeply. Look upward, without straining your neck. Make your scapula firm against your back, and squeeze your thighs inward, as if you are squeezing a block between them.

  • Now exhale slowly and begin to bend forward from your chest, and then your pelvis.

  • Tucking your chin towards the chest, arch your torso and bring your head down toward your left leg, as much as possible. Do not worry if you are unable to bring them up to your ankles.

  • Bring your fingertips down so that they touch the floor, on both sides of your feet. If that is difficult, take the support of a chair or blocks and keep your hands on them.

  • Keep pressing the thighs back and lengthening your spine forward, breathing gently all the time.

  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds, and then slowly come upright, inhaling all the time.

  • Rest for a few seconds and repeat the pose on the other side. Repeat a few times.

Benefits: There are many ways in which this pose is beneficial.

  • It stretches and strengthens the entire back and leg and improves balance and posture.

  • The wrists, shoulders, hamstrings and hips are also strengthened and toned.

  • It tones, massages and stimulates the organs in the abdomen, thus improving digestion.

  • It is calming for the brain and improves hair, complexion and eyes.

Contraindications: Avoid the full Pyramid Yoga posture if you suffer from any back injury or illness of the abdomen.

Yoga Plank Pose

What is Yoga Plank Pose?

The Yoga Plank Pose is an arm balancing pose, which, by strengthening your arms and back, prepares you for more challenging and advanced balancing poses. It gets its name from the fact that the body is stretched out straight like a stiff plank.

The Yoga Plank Pose also forms one of the series of poses in the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

A variation of this is the Side Plank Yoga Pose.

Step by step procedure
: You can achieve the plank position in the following way.

  • The plank pose is started with the Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose.

  • Now, inhale and draw your upper torso forward, until your arms are in a perpendicular position to the floor, and shoulders are stacked directly above the wrists. (This position is similar to the one we take when we do push-ups).

  • Keep your forearms firm and slightly inward, while your fingers should be stretched out firmly on the floor, to take your weight. The shoulder blades and collar bones should be stretched outward and away from the spine and sternum, respectively.

  • Press back on the floor with your feet, which must be stretched out straight behind you.

  • Open up your chest.

  • Your neck should be straight and aligned with your spine. But do not lock your throat. Keep it soft, and look down toward the floor.

  • You can hold the pose for 30 seconds or more.

  • Release the pose, rest in Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog, and repeat a few times.

Benefits: The Plank benefits are many.

  • It is especially good for increasing strength in the upper body.

  • It strengthens and tones the muscles of the shoulders, wrists and arms, along with the spine and back. The triceps are especially benefited.

  • It also tones the muscles of the abdomen and makes them stronger.

  • Like many other yoga poses, the Plank Pose too aids in improving the function of the nervous system, because it needs discipline and concentration to perform it.

  • The Side Plank Pose has similar benefits.

Contraindications: You must however take the advice of a yoga and medical expert before starting any yoga pose. It is better for those with Carpal tunnel syndrome to avoid this pose, as it places weight on the wrists.

Tips for beginners
: If you find it difficult to do this pose, take the help of a yoga strap, by securing the loop around the arms. This will give added strength to your arm.

Krounchasana or Heron pose

What is Krounchasana or Heron Yoga Pose?

Yoga has many bird poses and this is one of them. The Sanskrit term for Heron is ‘Krouncha’. This is pose is called Krounchasana or Heron Yoga Pose because the completed pose resembles a standing heron.

This Yoga Bird Pose is a very challenging pose which blends sitting with a forward bending, while you balance on one foot. The other foot is extended back and up, and resembles a heron’s long neck.  Balance and stretch are incorporated into this pose.

Step by Step procedure: Follow these steps.

  • First start by sitting in the Dandasana (Staff Pose)

  • Slowly, bring the left leg into Virasana (Hero Pose). Point the left foot back, and let your knee hug the midline.

  • Bend your right leg at the knee, placing the foot on the floor, near the right sitting bone.

  • Bring both your hands to clasp the right foot.

  • Open up the chest, elongate the spine and lift the sternum.

  • Straighten your left leg fully, and bring the foot up, close to your body.

  • Lean your torso back a little as you stretch it. Keep the shoulder blades firm against your back.

  • Inhale and raise your leg, so that it is a little higher than the head, angling it at 45 degrees,

  • Hold for about 10 seconds and release the pose, while exhaling.

  • Rest for a few seconds and repeat the pose with the other leg.

Tips for Beginners: You can make use of a yoga strap to give support to the raised foot.

Benefits: The Heron Yoga Pose has many benefits

  • It is especially beneficial for people with flat feet because it stretches and strengthens the arches of the foot, ankles and the Achilles Heel.

  • It stretches the muscles of the calves, thighs, hamstrings and knees and makes them flexible and strong.

  • It opens up and tones the muscles and organs of the chest and abdomen, improving and stimulating their function.

  • It is helpful if you tend to suffer from flatulence.

Contraindications and precautions: This is a very challenging pose and you should do it only under guidance and after consulting an expert.

The Heron Yoga is best avoided during menstruation.

If you have any problems or injuries in your knees or ankles which prevent you from bending them, it would be better to avoid this pose. Or you may do it using props, so that you do not injure yourself further.

Koundinyasana or Arm Balance Pose

What is Koundinyasana or Arm Balance Pose?

Koundinyasana or Arm Balance Pose is a very challenging pose in yoga. To achieve this pose, you need a very strong and flexible spine, which can be rotated with ease when required. You also need strong and flexible hamstrings and hip abductors, to allow you to hold this pose. And most of all, you need plenty of arm strength, since it has to take the weight of your body. That is why it is referred to as Arm Balancing Yoga.

A slight variation is the Eka Pada Koundinyasana or One Legged Arm Balance yoga pose.

At first glance, you might think that the Koundinyasana is impossible and requires circus-like skills in balancing. But that is not so. Practice with more basic yoga asanas (poses) will help you to build up strength and flexibility, and subsequently you too will be able to achieve it.

Step by step procedures:  To achieve this pose, you must follow a proper sequence of poses. But an important part is to do it under expert guidance.

  • The first step is to get down in Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Forward Bending Dog Pose. Press your hands on the floor about a foot apart, and keep your weight centered on it.

  • Lean forward, so that the left foot is pushed forward as far as possible, past the left arm. Now place this foot on the floor, taking care to see that it is extending powerfully beyond the left hand. Stretch it as much as you can, straightening the knee.

  • Still supporting the weight of your torso, bend both elbows. Twist your body to the right.

  • Drop your left shoulder a little and as much of your left body as is possible on to the inner left thigh.

  • Press the thigh downward, and slide your shoulder and upper arm below it. (Your knees should come almost below your elbows.)

  • Shift the weight of your body forward, so that it is now between your hands, and it is possible to lift the back leg.

  • Now, with a strong lunge lift that leg so that is parallel to the floor. Keeping that position, and pressing back, lift your chest off the floor. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep pushing down on the floor with your hands to help you maintain the position.

  • Your head should now be lifted as you look forward.

  • Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. Release slowly and relax in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose) for a few seconds. Repeat with the other side.

Benefits: While this pose places greatest weight on the wrists and strengthens them, it has other benefits too.

  • Along with the wrists, it increases strength of the shoulders and entire arms.

  • It benefits the spine and muscles of the back, stretching and strengthening them, increasing the spine’s flexibility to rotate.

  • It also tones the muscles and organs of the belly.

Contraindications: If you have any injury of the lower back or wrist, it is better to avoid this pose or take the advice of a medical expert.

Beginner’s tip: You can use a chair or a bolster to help you balance and get support for your legs.

See Also : Tolasana Pose

Yoga for Double Chin | Reducing Double Chin

How to Lose a Double Chin?

These days, a double chin has become a complement of aging, and a sign of our mental and physical ill health. Because our lifestyles have become more sedentary and we abuse our bodies with junk food, alcohol and colas, obesity is one of the hallmarks of our times. A double chin is nothing more than fat accumulated around the neck, just like belly fat gathers around your belly. Everyone wants to know how to lose a double chin! If you want to get rid of this unattractive and unflattering feature you have little choice but to exercise, unless of course, you want to go in for expensive and dangerous surgical procedures. If you’re wondering how to lose chin fat, keep in mind that you can’t just lose fat on one place, you will have to lose it all over your body!

Exercises to Reduce Double Chin

One form of exercise that Indians, and now people the world over, have been using for thousands of years to be healthy is yoga. Yoga is the ancient for a union of body, mind and breath. This ancient system has many mental and physiological benefits. It increases strength and flexibility, not only for your muscles, but for your joints and internal organs as well. It works to normalise the body and mind, and to free any blockages that have appeared over time. It reverses the aging effects that our stress-filled lifestyles have.

Losing fat through yoga is not easy, and will require dedication and perseverance. Once you start practicing it for a while however, it will become a part of your existence, and you will not be able to go without yoga! Yoga is not about doing just a few poses every day. You will need to incorporate positive changes into your lifestyle. This needs to include endurance and strength training, eating healthy and staying away from unhealthy behavior like intoxicants. Having a strong mind is also part of yoga.

To learn yoga, you should sign-up at a good yoga class, or study with an experienced teacher or guru. Yoga, if done wrong, can have harmful effects, and should only be learnt under supervision. A good guru will help you get in touch with your spiritual centre, and learning how to reduce double chin is actually one of the small by products of this knowledge.

Yoga for double chin is little different from yoga for losing fat. Some poses, or asanas that your guru might teach you include:
  • Bhujangasan or Cobra pose: This asana has you lying on the mat, face down and your arms under your chest. You have to stretch your back upwards to the sky. This asana helps you to stretch your abdomen and strengthen your back.
  • Dhanurasana or Bow pose: Lying face-down, hold your ankles by bending your knees towards your buttocks. Raise your head and shoulder-blades up by pulling at your ankles. Keep this position for 10 seconds. This exercise strengthens your back, and helps your tighten your abdomen.
  • Pavan Muktasana or the Pose to release air: This pose helps you release air inside your stomach. It involves you lying on your back, and pulling your legs into your stomach. You will often pass wind when in this position, but don’t be embarrassed, it’s a good thing!
Remember, that it’s not just these poses. The practice of yoga has thousands of poses, along with breathing exercises and meditation.

Yoga for Menopause | Heal Depression in Menopause

Most women in the West dread the approach of menopause, and think of it as something that will end a happy life as they know it. Many women even take hormonal supplements to delay the onset of menopause. But in the East, menopause is thought of as a change that should be embraced, as it brings with it wisdom and insight. If you think about it, it’s a phase of life that cannot be avoided, and there are no real ‘cures for menopause’. And yet, women often enter it feeling afraid and unhappy.

Yoga for menopause can have positive effects on you, and can help you understand your body and mind better. Yoga asanas or poses, along with breathing exercises and meditation help to balance the endocrine system, along with strengthening the body and organs. This helps women to weather the hormonal changes better. Yoga aims to unify the mind, body and breath. As one becomes adept in the practice of yoga and meditation, she is able to accept herself and her body better, and this makes the transition easier.

Women who regularly practice yoga find that they are able to enjoy menopause, and experience the freedom, liberation and energy that it brings!

What are the Symptoms of Menopause?

Yogic asanas can help to relieve hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. Inverted postures such as the headstand, shoulder stand and bending poses like the downward dog have been accepted as providing calming effects. The regular practice of yoga, when combined with other exercises like walking, cycling or weight training can ease the symptoms of menopause, and make it easier on you. While the symptoms may not go away completely, their incidence can be reduced, and the intensity of night sweats and hot flashes will decrease.

Depression in menopause is also an important concern to women. The practice of yoga will help you to become more peaceful and accepting. Yoga also helps you to get in touch with your body, and know what is going on in an experiential way. When you meditate, you become aware of the changes in your body, and you will also realise that change is inevitable. This itself will help to keep away depression during menopause.

Yoga Practice During Menopause

Of course, if you start practicing yoga long before menopause, you will find the transition much easier. But even if you start during or after menopause, you will still feel the benefits of yoga. It is suggested that you join a yoga class, or study under a reputed teacher. You can choose between any of the branches of yoga, but a strong, grounded practice, like that of Hatha Yoga, will be most useful.
As a yoga student, no doubt, you will learn a variety of poses and techniques. During menopause, some of the techniques that will help include:
  • Tadasana or mountain pose
  • Virbhadrasana or warrior pose
  • Trikonasana or triangle pose
  • Padmasana or lotus pose
  • Leg raises
  • Kapalbhati cleansing techniques
  • Bhujangasana or cobra pose
  • Pavanmuktasana or pose to release air.
  • Anuloma viloma breathing techniques
  • Meditation

Yoga for Fibromyalgia | Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Cure for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is characterised by chronic, widespread pain all over the body, and extreme sensitivity in the form of a painful response to what would normally be perceived as a gentle touch. Other symptoms include a range of allied problems like debilitating fatigue, sleep problems and joint stiffness. People also tend to suffer from breathing difficulty, bowel abnormality, numbness and tingling and cognitive dysfunction, to name a few related problems.

This is a problem that doctors are still learning about, and new research is helping them understand. There are varied cures for fibromyalgia, which include Analgesics, antidepressants and anti-seizure medication. Unfortunately, patients often report that a medical remedy for fibromyalgia is not enough, and the symptoms do not disappear. Because of them, many sufferers look to an alternative treatment of fibromyalgia. One of these treatments is yoga, which has been shown to help a lot.

Yoga - Alternative Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago, and is a system of exercise designed to strengthen the body and mind, and unify the body, mind and breath. While the practice of yoga spans all your activities, the basis of yoga is a set of exercises that include stretching and breathing, in the form of poses known as asanas. Yoga provides spiritual relaxation, and helps you to know the true state of your body and mind. It may be that during this search, you will also realise why your body suffers the way it does, and gain the tools to be free from suffering.

To learn yoga, you will need to study under a trained guru or teacher. There are many qualified teachers across North America, and they all teach varied forms of yoga. These include Hatha Yoga, Kundalini yoga, and Ashtanga yoga. There are plenty of newer forms too, like Power yoga and Bikram yoga, but it is suggested that you stick to basic forms of yoga, which have a strong emphasis on the mind–body–breath connect.

How can yoga for fibromyalgia help?

When studied with dedication, yoga has many mental and spiritual benefits. But, even at the most basic level, it has physical benefits that can help with fibromyalgia. A good guru can help you with a tailor-made program for your own needs. He or she may even teach you exercises that do not need you to lie down, which you can do till the pain decreases. The benefits include:
  • Increased muscle strength and decreased pain.
  • More endurance and stamina.
  • Improved mood and relief from depression.
  • Better sleep.
  • Improved concentration.

How to practice yoga?

A good tutor will teach you everything you need to know about yoga, and keep you from injury. Remember to follow these few pointers to keep it safe and beautiful.
  • Always warm up. Before your session, start with a few minutes of warm up by moving your hands and feet.
  • Start slow. Don’t dive directly into it, but start with a few easy asana, for 10 to 15 minutes every day.
  • Be regular. You need to practice it every day to gain the maximum benefit.
  • Do only what you can. The rule in yoga, unlike in western exercise, is that there should be no pain. If you feel any pain, immediately stop what you are doing and inform your teacher.

Remedies For Insomnia – How To Cure Slip Disorder With Home Treatment

Causes And Remedies For Insomnia

Sleep disorder is a very general term that includes a number of disorders related to the abnormal sleep patterns of an individual. Since no specific type of sleep disorder has been identified, we shall take a closer look at some of the more common ones. Probably the most well known sleeping disorder is insomnia. If a person suffers from insomnia, the person has great difficulty in falling off to sleep as well as in maintaining sleeping habits. Bruxism is when a person involuntarily starts grinding or clenching the teeth while sleeping. Narcolepsy is a disorder where a person will fall asleep spontaneously and at inappropriate times, always happening rather unintentionally. Parasomnias is a very common sleep disorder as well, although widely known by the name of <p “sleep walking”, a person may also suffer from night terrors in this disorder.

A number of factors can trigger sleep disorders. Chief amongst them is primarily a major or drastic change in ones lifestyle. This may be something simple like a change in the work shift or relocation to another country which has a reasonably large time difference than a person’s previous location. Other factors include sciatica, neck pain, anxiety, back pain, environmental noises and withdrawal syndromes most notably from addictions pertaining to alcohol and drug abuse.

Most home remedies pertain to specific types of sleep disorders. Here are a few of them:

  • In case you suffer from insomnia, grind four nutmegs into a fine powder and have this before going to sleep every night. You could also try extracting about 30 grams of milk from poppy seeds and mix the milk with an adequate amount of sugar. Drink this concoction every day just before sleeping. Regular exercise will also help considerably and will enhance the quantity as well as quality of your sleep.

  • If you suffer from bruxism, try chewing on an apple, carrot or cauliflower every night, just before going to sleep. The chewing will act as exercise for your mouth and gums and will calm the muscles in the mouth during your sleep. Another helpful technique in reducing bruxism is to sleep on your back as this would help reduce the likelihood of your teeth starting to clench during the night.

  • If sleep walking is what you suffer from, there aren’t really any home remedies that will work as a magic fix for the condition. Studies have shown that factors like stress can play a major role in triggering the condition.

Yoga for Bursitis | Yoga Remedy for Bursitis

Bursae are small sacks of synovial fluid in the body. They rest at places where muscles and tendons slide across a bone, providing a smooth, frictionless movement. Bursitis is a condition in which one of more of these bursae gets inflamed. When this happens, the movement that the affected bursa enables becomes painful and difficult. To make matters worse, when you move the muscles in that area, they rub against the bursa, making the problem even more acute. This may happen due to many reasons, but the primary one is repetitive use or overuse, or where too much pressure is applied on the joint. When the bursa swell, it may also reduce the space left for the joint to move.

Cure for Bursitis

Bursitis most often affects the knees, hips, elbow or shoulder. If the bursitis is not affected, then all it needs is some ice compresses, a little medication and a lot of rest. If it is infected, though, you’ll need to get it investigated and treated by a doctor. The best thing for bursitis is of course to not move the affected area.

Think of any illness as your body trying to give you a message. If your elbow is inflamed, your body is telling you that you’ve been doing something wrong with your elbow, and you should stop it. It’s also saying that it needs a break. You should obey your body and rest.

If you haven’t been practicing yoga from before, then this is no time to get started. Wait for the affected area to heal, and you can then start yoga. If you have been practicing yoga, the first question to ask yourself is whether the yoga itself caused the bursitis. Yoga is a science, and when practiced incorrectly, can be injurious. So consider if you’ve been executing yoga asanas or yoga poses with proper form and technique, and if not, work on correcting it.

Yoga Exercise for Bursitis

If you know what caused the bursitis, though, and it isn’t the yoga, you can continue with your yoga practice. The only caveat is that you shouldn’t stress the joints that are affected. For instance, in the case of shoulder bursitis, you should avoid poses where the hands are raised above parallel to the floor. You should be able to do Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), or Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) without any pain. Try and avoid poses like Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog), Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand), Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance) or Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand) till the pain subsides. Yoga differs from western exercise, in that you should never feel any pain, so listen to your body. You can also carry on with meditative and breathing techniques.

Mosquito Bites Solution – How To Get Relief Of Mosquito Bite

Mosquito Bites Remedies – How To Get Relief Of Mosquito Bite

Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito at some time in their life or another. Mosquito bites can be quite an irritation, causing the bite area to itch and even cause some severe reactions in certain individuals. Only the female mosquito feeds on human as she needs a blood meal in order to produce eggs. When the mosquito bites through human skin, she injects some saliva which contains numerous proteins that prevent the clotting of the wound as well as another set of proteins that keep the blood flowing into the mosquitoes mouth. While most people will experience an annoying itch along with some delayed swelling at the location of the bite some other individuals may suffer allergic reactions. Since these reactions are quite normal, people that are said to have mosquito allergies tend to face more extreme symptoms when bitten. These individuals suffer from blisters, bruises or unusually large swelling on the bite sites. The risk of being bitten by a mosquito can depend on a number of factors such as a frequently being outdoors and people suffering from any immunodeficiency such as AIDS. While it cannot be guaranteed that you will not be bitten by a mosquito, you can take precautions to prevent it. Staying away from mosquito infested areas like swamps and grassy areas and wearing clothing that will cover the maximum body area. It should also be pointed out that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide production and body odor, limiting the amount of strenuous exercise and sweating in areas known to house many mosquitoes will help in avoiding mosquito bites considerably.

Some home remedies that will help reduce the effects that mosquito bites have are:

  • Applying ice over the bite as soon as you notice it. This will help numb the area, thereby reducing the swelling as well as the itch.

  • A number of people will also highly recommend the application of toothpaste over the bite. While not medically proven, studies have shown that peppermint paste seems to have the most significant effect.

  • Apple cider vinegar is known to have significant curing properties when it comes to skin blemishes and irritation. Applying this over the site of the bite should help minimize the itching.

  • More often than not, scratching the itchy skin may lead to an infection if the skin is broken. To avoid this, cut a lemon in half and scrub the bite with the pulpy side of the lemon as this will reduce the chances of any infection.

See Also

Yoga for Vertigo | Exercise for Vertigo Relief

Vertigo is a kind of dizziness, where a person feels a sensation of spinning. Sometimes, it can be mild and make the person slightly dizzy, but it is often debilitating, and can stop a person from carrying out day to day activities. It is also known as a ‘hallucination of motion’. A person may develop vertigo at any point in his or her life. If you or someone you know experiences the symptoms of vertigo it would be important to seek immediate medical advice.

The body’s spatial ability, or sense of balance, depends on a number of different organs. These give the brain information on where the body is pointing, and which side it is facing. The organs include the inner ear, which has a fluid responsible for balance. The ear monitors the direction of motion, such as turning forward or backward movement and side to side, and helps keep a person standing. Similarly, the eyes tell the brain where you are in space in relation to other things. Pressure points in the joints and spine tell the brain which part of the body is touching the ground. Putting all this information together is the central nervous system. When the brain receives conflicting information from these different organs, you will feel dizziness or vertigo.

Causes of Vertigo

There are many causes to vertigo, and it’s important to know what you are suffering from. Shortage of blood to the brain may cause you to feel lightheaded. This may happen if you have heart problems or anaemia. Diet problems may cause vertigo, especially excess salt. Circulation may also be affected by stress, anxiety and tension.

One of the more specific and persistent causes of vertigo is when the inner ear fails to receive enough blood flow. This may be caused by several factors, and episodes are often prompted by a specific behavior.

Injuries, especially in the skull bones or the ear can cause a very profound vertigo. This can last for a long time before the other ear takes over. Infections and allergies from viruses can often impair the inner ear and the nerves that are connected to it. This may result in severe vertigo.

Neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, tumors, and syphilis can also cause vertigo.

Natural Remedy for Vertigo

Yoga can be a natural remedy for vertigo. Yoga is an ancient Indian system of exercise which unites mind, body and breath. In the west, yoga has become very popular, and is often touted as a cure to many ills. But, keep in mind that there are no short cuts in yoga and just practicing a few asanas or poses every day will not help you. It will require you to bring a change into your complete lifestyle. This will mean eating healthy, staying away from intoxicants and even working on your mental state. You also start exercise for vertigo.

There are many different schools of yoga that you can choose from. All of them have the same underlying philosophy, but if you suffer from vertigo, it may be better for you to choose a more basic form of yoga like hatha yoga. Yoga postures will help to improve your balance, and strengthen your nervous system to keep the dizzy spells away. Yoga will also help you cultivate your focus and concentration. As you become adept at yoga, you will find that you are able to feel and understand your body better. This will help you understand what is causing your problems yourself.

How to Treat Vertigo?

When you become the student of an experienced guru or teacher, be sure to tell him or her that you suffer from vertigo, to enable him to tell you how to treat vertigo. While this will help your guru select a few poses or asanas for you specifically, you will still have to learn and practice other poses. This is because yoga is a holistic science, and just practicing a few poses will do you no good. You will also need to practice meditation and breathing exercises.

Some yoga poses that can give you relief from vertigo include:
  • Malasana or garland pose
  • Halasana or plough pose
  • Savasana or corpse pose
  • Sirsasana or head stand
  • Pranayama or breathing techniques.
  • Mudras or postures like Sanmukhi mudra.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

High Cholesterol Remedies – How To Reduce Cholesterol Level With Natural Remedies

High Cholesterol Symptoms And Remedies

The death rate caused due to a failure of the heart muscle is higher than it has ever been before. The lack of time in a person’s daily life and easy access to junk food is no help when it comes to most heart conditions. Cholesterol is an important waxy substance required for the normal functioning of the body and exists in practically every part of the human body including major organs like the nerves, intestines, liver, skin and muscles. Despite its many important roles, too much cholesterol will do more damage than good to your body; at times the end result could even be fatal. Excess levels of cholesterol lead to the cholesterol depositing themselves on the walls of the arteries, causing the amount of space available for the blood to flow through the artery to reduce. Eventually, with the constant build up of cholesterol along the sides of the artery walls, the arteries will get blocked and prevent any blood from flowing along this course. If the artery is a part of the pathway for the bloodstream to any major organs or muscles like the heart, it could cause the cells of the organs to die as a result of the lack of blood and oxygen supply which are critical for the life of the cell.

Cholesterol usually shows no symptoms and will most likely be detected during a routine medical check up. Here are a few tips on how to help lower the high cholesterol count in your blood:
  • A strict regular exercise regime can help reduce the cholesterol content of the blood.
  • A high intake of raw onions and onion juice has been known to significantly contribute to a reduction in the cholesterol levels of an individual. However, due to the foul breath that consumption of onions lead to, this remedy is not highly popular.
  • Sunflower seeds contain useful chemicals like linoleic acids which help in decreasing levels of cholesterol around blood capillaries and assists in normal blood circulation. When cooking, oils that consist of saturated fats or butter should be avoided and the use of sunflower oil should be incorporated.
  • Try boiling a piece of garlic in a glassful of milk and drink it. This will not only help reduce the cholesterol levels in your body but will also take care of the cardiac pains that develop, if your condition is serious. It may take a few days for the effects of this home remedy start to take effect.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lose Weight Without Exercise : Remedy To Reduce Weight With Diet

How To Lose Weight Without Exercise

Losing excessive weight is suddenly and reassuringly taking a center stage in a number of health forums. This is a good thing because, it is only after a number of years of stuffing ourselves with junk food and aerated drinks that we are realizing the very real possibility of obesity and excessive weight gain. Numerous problems can arise from being overweight. While a number of people look to incorporate ways of losing weight without the added burden of regular exercise, having a condition that prevents you from physically exerting yourself is a much better excuse. Some who choose to be lazy and get rid of the weight without doing any exercise fail to realize, that a lack of exercise is probably what got them into this situation in the first place. There are two main avenues when it comes to losing weight. First is a strict exercise regime and another is a reduction in calorie intake. The best possible way to achieve your goal is to combine both of the options as each of them is a very slow process when followed individually. The overall idea is to burn more calories than you eat.

If you are trying to achieve your goal without the help of exercise, you would first need to find out how many calories your body needs to perform its normal functioning and daily activities. This information can be found on a number of websites on the internet and you can use their calorie counters to estimate your current calorie intake and compare the two. This will give you a basic idea of where you stand and how much of effort you will need to put into reducing your weight. If you have identified that you consume a much larger amount of calories than what the charts suggest a person of your stature essentially requires, it will help you analyze and judge the room for improvement more accurately. Once this has been done, all you need to do is maintain the required level of intake of calories. One average, 1 lb. of food contains about 3,500 calories and if, over a week’s time, you end up lowering the amount of calories you eat by 3,500, you would lose approximately 1 lb. Again, as much as possible, try to include exercise into your weight loss program as it will help tremendously in turning excess fat into muscle tissue as well.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fever Blister Remedies – How To Cure Fever Blisters Around My Lips And Mouth

What Causes Fever Blisters

Fever blisters, also known as cold sores or Herpes labialis. They have the tendency to form blisters on the lips, chin, nostrils, and cheeks as well as, like in your case, the mouth. These blisters turn out to be quite painful and can last for up to a few days. These blisters are caused by the herpes virus and are able to pass from person to person through the medium of direct contact with infected skin or even secretions like saliva. A person is normally infected by the virus during their childhood or adolescence and when the virus invades the skin for the first time, it will manifest its primary infection. However, after the fever or sore throat has been subdued, the virus is still not defeated by the body’s immune system and the virus simply becomes inactive. However, the virus becomes active again, from time to time and starts to form other sets of lesions, cold sores and blisters around the mouth and lips. The healing process usually starts when a thin crust appears to form over the fever blister and the infected individual also experiences a little bleeding and cracking. However, once healed, there is no visible damage to the skin tissue.

Since you mention that the blister has developed inside the mouth, you might want to consult your licensed physician to make sure that the blisters are not Canker sores. Canker sores are mouth ulcers that develop inside the mouth and would require very different treatment as compared to fever blisters inside the mouth. Canker sores would be a little larger than the fever blisters.

Fever Blisters Treatment

Once you have identified that the issue is, in fact, pertaining to fever blisters, you could try and get rid of them by cleaning your hands and then pressing your moist fingers into common salt and then placing your fingers over the sore for about 30 seconds or so. If the blister in your mouth is inaccessible using your finger, gargle your mouth thoroughly using some lukewarm salt water. Another home remedy to treat cold sores incorporates the application of ice to the cold sore for about five to ten minutes every hour. This prevents the sore from getting any worse. The extract of lemon balm has been known to reduce the symptoms of a cold sore and speed up the healing process. A dietary change to incorporate the reduction in take of coffee, chocolate, peanuts and other nuts, peas and seeds must also be adhered to.

Late Menstrual Cycle – Causes For Late Period And Home Remedies

What Causes Late Menstrual Cycle

In order to fully identify if you’re menstrual cycle is late, it is important to understand how the cycle works. While you may read that an average period will occur after every 28 days and last between 3 to 5 days, having a cycle that lasts a little longer or a little shorter is no need for alarm and is perfectly natural. Most often, if your body is in great health and you follow a strict and well balanced diet, your menstrual cycles will be well on time according to your body clock. However, if there is a change, a missed period or a late period could be one of your body’s biggest and clearest messages that something may need to be looked at a bit closer. While most of the time we associate late periods with a possible pregnancy, this is not always the case. If you have been sexually active though, it would be a good idea to check. Sometimes a woman will experience a late period because of reasons like a recent loss of weight, being sick or even being under a significant amount of stress. Certain types of medication including the use of birth control pills may also alter the timeliness of your periods.

Remedies For Delayed Menstrual Cycle

Here are a few tips to help you to get rid of any possible menstruation problems using easily available ingredients:
  • Consume the filtered decoction of boiled fig roots for a few weeks to help normalize the menstrual cycle.
  • Dissolve a couple of aspirins. ½ a teaspoon of sugar and ½ a teaspoon of honey into ½ a cup of water and drink the resulting solution. This mixture has been known to have a significant effectiveness in dealing with menstruation problems.
  • Pieces of fresh ginger should be pounded and boiled in a cup full of water and taken after each meal during the day.
  • You can also have a small cup full of a decoction prepared from wither leaves or seeds of coriander three times a day to help regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Create a hot infusion of margosa bark and have one cup in the morning, noon and evening to help with the menstrual cycles.
  • Grapes help tremendously in regulating menstrual cycles and having a glass of grape juice a day should help tremendously in this regard.
  • The consumption of raw carrots also helps significantly with menstrual irregularity.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How To Remove A Mole - Skin Mole Removal Tips And Treatment

Natural Mole Removal

Moles are caused by an accumulation of melanocytes, which are cells that create the skins coloring agent – melanin, in a particular spot causing there to be a visible difference in color than the rest of the skin. Almost every person is born with two or three moles in various locations on their bodies and some choose to have them removed for mainly cosmetic reasons. Moles can appear to be raised bumps on the skin, or even a dark spot that does not appear to be raised. This would largely depend on which part of the skin the melanocytes accumulate. The moles can develop at the junction of the epidermis and the dermis or may even form solely on the dermis. Moles can also vary in color and, although the most common color is black, the moles can appear to be any shade between light brown to dark blue. Most often, just like the effects of the sun and its ultra violet rays on the skin, direct exposure to the sun can influence the color as well as shape of a mole. However, most moles are usually circular or oval and do not tend to be very large. While almost every person is born with a few moles, moles can develop over time, usually during the early years of childhood, but can also be brought on by the use of birth control pills as well as a pregnancy.

If you are conscious of the mole on your body or want to have it removed for any reason, you could try a few of the following remedies:

  • Applying the extract of sour apples over the mole about three times a day for a period of three weeks should see a noticeable reduction in the prominence of the mole. Continue to follow this routine until the mole has been reduced to a blemish that you are comfortable with.

  • Moistening a pinch of baking soda with a couple of drops of castor oil help considerably in the removal of moles. Apply the paste onto the mole and leave it on over the course of the night. Follow the routing for a few days and you will see the mole disappear quite rapidly.

  • You could also slice up some potato and place the slice over the mole overnight. Do this for a few nights and, depending on the level of obstinacy, you will see the mole rescind in a few days.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ashtanga Yoga or Eight Limbs Yoga

What is Ashtanga Yoga or Eight Limbs Yoga?

The foundation of the philosophy of yoga relates to the art of proper living, which includes exercise, diet and meditation, and forms the Yoga Sutras.

These philosophies are also called Ashtanga Yoga or Eight Limbs Yoga (Ashta = eight and anga = limbs). They are a series of disciplines which help to purify and unify the mind and body, and bring enlightenment to the Yogi (the person who practices Yoga).

Ashtanga Yoga Postures are not just a set of physical exercises. Yoga is a science as well as an art. Astanga Yoga or Yoga Eight Limbs helps the practitioner to become aware of the self, brining balance and calmness to the person. It makes them a complete person, while also connecting them to the divine.

In Ashtanga Yoga, one is required to master each step before moving on to the next one.

The eight-fold steps are:

Yama (Control, Restraints or Abstinence): Yamas are a set of moral and ethical values, aimed at making us better individuals by molding our behavior and attitudes. It includes controlling our desires and combines it with being generous, compassionate, peaceful and honest. The five characteristics of Yama are Satya (truthfulness), Ahimsa (non-violence), Aparigraha (non-covetousness), Asteya (non-stealing) and Brahmacharya (celibacy).

Niyama (Disciplines, Devotion, Rules of Conduct and Observances): Niyamas are ethical and moral values which are self-regulatory and hence more personal and intimate. They are prescribed for self-discipline and personal observance. They include Tapas (austerity), Santosha (contentment), Svadhyaya (repetition of Mantras and studying religious books), Ishwarapranidhana (worship or self-surrender to God) and Shaucha (external and internal purity).

Asanas (Yogic Poses): Ashtanga Yoga Asanas or Ashtanga Yoga Poses are the aspect of yoga which is most commonly known. They are physical postures which help to improve the strength, health, flexibility and balance of the body. The regular practice of these Ashtanga Yoga poses tones our circulation, digestion, and elimination, and helps our organs and joints to perform better.

Pranayama (Breath Control): Pranayama helps us to inhale, exhale and control, measure and direct our breath which is the source of energy. It helps to recharge the Chakras (energy channels) of our body and release toxins from the mind and body. It relaxes the body and mind and helps it to attain perfect health and balance.

Pratyahara (Withdrawal or Retraction of Sensory Perceptions): This is the fifth limb of Ashtanga Yoga and refers to the practice of withdrawing your senses from attachment to external and material objects. It lays stress on the fact that you should withdraw your attention from external distractions and focus on your inner self.

Dharana (Concentration or Fixation of Attention): This is the sixth limb. It encourages us to banish negative thoughts and focus our concentration, which help to make the mind calm and still.

Dhyana (Devotion or Uninterrupted Meditation): This seventh limb of Ashtanga Yoga relates to profound concentration and meditation, which helps us to focus on our inner self. This creates a deep self-awareness and helps create a balance between our mind and the divine universe.

Samadhi (Complete Equilibrium or Fully Integrated Consciousness): This is the final step of Ashtanga Yoga, and its ultimate goal, helping the self to merge with the universe. The senses and body are at rest, but the mind is alert.

Anjaneyasana or Crescent Moon Yoga Pose

What is Anjaneyasana or Crescent Moon Yoga Pose?

Anjaneyasana is referred to as the Crescent Moon Yoga Pose. The posture is sometimes referred to as the Crescent Lunge Pose or Yoga Lunge Pose because the movement requires a slight forward lunge to achieve it perfectly.

It is a powerful pose with many beneficial effects, and needs concentration to be performed.

Step by Step procedure: Take care that you are properly warmed up before you attempt this lunge pose. It is better to attempt it towards the middle of your yoga program.

  • You may start this pose from the Sraddha Tadasana (Faith Palm Pose).

  • Next, exhale and kneel down with your spine straight and tall. Keep your hands at the sides.

  • Now, lunge forward using the right leg. The foot should point forwards, and the knee should be stacked exactly above the ankles.

  • Exhale again and make your hips move forward a little so that the bend in the knee deepens.

  • The left knee should be pushed back as far as possible behind the left hip. A beginner may have problems, but do not push yourself too much; the muscles will gradually become stronger and more flexible.

  • Now inhale and raise your hands upwards as if trying to touch the ceiling. The palms should face each other. Raise your head up and slightly backward as you gaze at your hands and the ceiling.

  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, breathing deeply all the while.

  • Release the posture slowly, rest for a few seconds in Balasana (Child Pose) and repeat with the other leg.

Benefits: The Crescent Moon Pose has a number of benefits.

  • The muscles and joints of the upper and lower body get stretched, strengthened and toned with this exercise, and also become more flexible. The larger and smaller muscles are benefited, as well as the ligaments and tendons. The areas which show improvement are the hands, arms, shoulders, neck, chest, abdomen, groins, spine, hip flexors and thighs.

  • By strengthening the muscles of the chest, the pose opens the heart and aids better circulation.

  • The Crescent Moon Pose has a positive effect on mental power too. It increases confidence, will power, courage and determination.

Contraindications: You must however take the advice of a medical expert before starting an exercise program. Those with hernia, neck or heart conditions may be advised to avoid this posture.

Astavakrasana - Yoga Exercises for Abs

The importance of strengthening the abs: The muscles of the abdomen or ‘abs’ (as they are called) are a very important set of muscles. They are called ‘core muscles’ because they are needed for almost any activity that we perform. Sitting, standing up, walking, raising our hands, even the simple act of breathing activates these core muscles.

All muscles are inter-connected. For example, if your abdominal muscles are weak, you are at a higher risk of damaging your lower back.

The abdomen is also the place where we tend to store excess fat, which in the long run can cause high cholesterol and heart disease. It is therefore very important to perform exercises to strengthen these muscles and prevent fatty deposits.

Yoga poses for abs

There are many yoga exercises for abs. The Halasana (Plough Pose), Navasana (Boat Pose), Mayurasana (Peacock Pose) and Nauli (Stomach Churning) are a few of the simple and basic, but very effective yoga exercises for toning the abs. There are many poses which are also incorporated as part of the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

One of the most effective poses, however, is the Ashtavakrasana or the Eight Angle Pose.   It is a very difficult and advanced pose, requiring hand balancing and not usually attempted by beginners.

Any yoga program recommends at least 15 minutes of ab-related poses. But it must be remembered that the main aim of yoga poses is to work all parts of the body in a holistic way so that all parts of the body and eventually the mind also benefits. So, while you are exercising the abs, you are also setting in motion movements which help to detoxify the body, and at the same time you acquire control and grace of body.

Astavakrasana or Eight Angle Pose: In this yoga pose, you balance your body on your hands, while your feet are held up parallel to the floor.

  • Stand straight with your feet apart. Lower your head and intertwine your fingers behind you. Breathe in and out a few times.

  • Lift your head and stand straight again, with your hands on your hips.

  • Turn your feet slightly to the right, and extend the arms, holding them level with your shoulders. Repeat a few times with the opposite side.

  • Now bend your right knee and place the right hand on the floor. The left arm should be extended up with the palm facing the floor. Repeat with the other side.

  • Kneel down on the floor, with your hands also touching the floor, palms down. Move your feet backward and press the hands down firmly in preparation to taking the weight of the body. Your lower back should be lengthened as much as possible and your hips should be pushed back.

  • Lower your body to the floor and then slowly lift your belly and chest up from the floor.

  • Now lift your legs off the floor, holding them straight behind you.

  • At this point you cross one ankle over the other.

  • Hold this position for a while, then come to rest and again repeat with the other side.

Benefits: This pose stretches the muscles of the back, while at the same time strengthening them and making them more flexible. It also exercises the abs, making them strong and supple. The organs in that region are also benefited. The muscles of the arms, legs, neck and shoulders become more toned.

Dandasana or Yoga Staff Pose

What is Dandasana (Staff Pose)?

The Dandasana or Staff Pose is a basic sitting pose in yoga. Staff also refers to the spine which is central to the body’s strength. It is a basic pose, because many other advanced yoga poses use it as a preparatory or resting pose. It is a useful pose because it requires the spine to be completely vertical and thus strengthens the back muscles and improves the alignment of the body.

The Yoga Staff Pose is also a part of the sequences of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

The Chaturanga Dandasana is the Four-limbed Staff Pose. This is performed bending forward on the floor with the entire body weight resting on the four limbs – the two hands and the feet.

The Viparita Dandasana or Inverted Staff Pose is a sort of backward bend.

Step by step procedure: While it may look very simple, Dandasana or Staff Pose requires great concentration and muscle power to do it absolutely correctly.

  • Sit down on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front.
  • Keep your spine absolutely straight and vertical. If you find it difficult in the beginning, you may take support of a wall. When you sit against the wall, your shoulders and sacrum should touch the wall. But take care that the back of your head does not touch the wall. Placing a pillow under your tail bone may also help.
  • Relax the shoulders and keep your arms at your sides on the floor.
  • Tense the muscles of your thighs and flex your feet. Press them down firmly on the floor or you might find that they have a tendency to rise up off the floor.
  • Hold your thighs slightly inward, and draw your groin toward your tail bone.
  • Look forward.
  • Make your torso and spine as long and stretched as you can.
  • Keep your tailbone firmly pressed on the floor. Imagine that energy is streaming up from it right through the spine and the sternum, and then streaming back again from the shoulders, spine and sternum to the tail bone. This will help to draw in energy.
  • The shoulders should be held straight and firm.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds or longer.
  • Release and repeat a few times.

Benefits: The Dandasana has many benefits.

  • It helps to strengthen the muscles of the back and is especially helpful for those with sciatica.
  • It stretches and strengthens the muscles of the chest and shoulders.
  • By strengthening the spine, it is very helpful in improving body posture and correcting body alignment.
  • It also helps to relieve problems and improve the functions of the organs in the abdomina region such as the digestive organs, the kidneys and the reproductive organs.
  • It has a calming effect on the brain and helps to create inner awareness.

Contraindications: Avoid the Dandasana (Staff Pose) if you suffer from a slipped disc or any other chronic back problems.

Kapotasana or Yoga Pigeon Pose

The Kapotasana or the yoga pigeon pose gets its name from the Kapota, which means King Pigeon. The pigeon position has a lot of health benefits, which enhance physical health and mental awareness. It involves bending backward, a posture which helps to open up the chest and also strengthens the back and groin. It is quite simple to follow, and even beginners can attempt it. However, as with all other yoga postures, expert guidance is necessary.

Step by Step:

  • Kneel down on the floor. Keep your back straight.

  • Inhale and tuck the chin in toward the breast bone.

  • Slowly bend backwards. The hips remain in place and a little forward, while your head and shoulders are bent back.

  • Lift your chest by squeezing the shoulder blades inward against the back.

  • Keep bending backward until your head touches the floor, and your body forms an inverted U shape.

  • Raise your arms too, backward over your head and bring them to the floor.

  • Now slowly slide your hands forward along the floor and try and grip your ankles.

  • Inhale again and hold this pose for a few seconds before releasing and slowly coming back to your starting posture.

  • Rest in Balasana (Child Pose) for a few seconds and repeat this pigeon stretch a few times.

Benefits: Doing the Pigeon Poses can be beneficial to the entire body in many ways.

  • It opens, stretches and strengthens the groin, hips, and thighs, while making them more flexible.

  • At the same time it also stretches and tones the muscles of the throat and organs in the chest, ribcage and abdomen. The lungs become especially stronger after performing this pose.

  • It eases tension in the back muscles and strengthens the spine, and also helps to improve posture.

  • It stretches and strengthens the joints and muscles of the feet and ankles.

  • Since it requires great concentration and helps in increased intake of oxygen, it also stimulates the nervous system.

  • This pose is a wonderful way to improve the metabolism of the body.

Precautions: While the pose can be beneficial if done right, there are a few precautions which you must be aware of.

All movements should be slow and gradual. Do not force yourself, if your back muscles do not bend sufficiently in the beginning. Your body will gradually loosen up, and you will be able to perform it better.

Always consult an expert and be cautious if you have any problems with your neck, hips, back or knees.

Also avoid this pose if you suffer from migraines, insomnia, or blood pressure (low or high).

Beginner’s Tip: A beginner may find it easier to accomplish this pose by taking the support of a pillow or a wall against which you can rest your head, while it is on the floor.

Benefits of Hatha Yoga Asanas and Yoga Postures

What is Hatha Yoga?

Yogi Swatmarama founded hatha yoga in the fifteenth century. The primary aim of hatha yoga is to prepare the body and mind advanced meditation; its basis purpose is to strengthen and purify the body. The word hatha is made up of two words meaning “Sun” and “Moon.” Hatha yoga comprises asana and breathing exercises known as pranayama. While hatha yoga is extremely popular in the West for its asana, in India, it considered to be a way of life. Simply put, hatha yoga is a calm and slow paced form of yoga. It is suitable for those who just want to relieve stress and also for those who want to prepare themselves for higher levels of meditation.

Hatha Yoga Poses and Positions

Hatha yoga is more commonly known as simply yoga. Most hatha yoga poses or hatha yoga asanas can be performed by anyone, regardless of the level of flexibility and fitness. A standard session ranges from 90 to 120 minutes, but beginners can start with 30 to 45 minute sessions. It is important to focus on relaxation while practicing any of the hatha yoga postures.

Hatha yoga can be practiced anywhere; the essential requirements are a quiet room and comfortable clothing. On the other hand, the benefits of hatha yoga are multifold. Apart from improving flexibility and strength, hatha yoga also helps to develop muscle tone and acquire correct posture. In fact, it has been touted that regular practice of hatha yoga positions can help in alleviating aches and pains as well as PMS.

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Hatha yoga has several physical and mental benefits; after all, it was originally developed with the sole purpose of preparing the mind and body for higher levels of meditation. Listed below are just some of the physical as well as mental benefits of hatha yoga:
  • Increased flexibility and strength
  • Improved muscle joint mobility
  • Correction of posture and strengthening the spine
  • Alleviation back pain
  • Improvement of muscular-skeletal conditions, including weak knees, sore neck and shoulders, and scoliosis
  • Enhanced balance, stamina and grace
  • Improvement of the body’s endocrine, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and immune system
  • Weight loss
  • Increased awareness and relief from stress
  • Improvement in concentration and attention
  • Relaxation of the body and mind
  • More recently, western doctors and researchers have been attempting to determine the benefits of hatha yoga with respect to serious life-threatening illnesses such as arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue, arthritis, AIDS, asthma, diabetes and obesity.

Benefits of Power Yoga Poses and Postures

Power yoga is a relatively new branch of yoga. It was introduced to the western world by two American yoga teachers around eighty years ago. Since, it has been growing steadily. In the last decade or so, the popularity of power yoga has grown exponentially. It is now one of the most popular forms of yoga that is practiced in the West.

Power Yoga Poses and Postures

Power yoga is essentially a variation of Ashtanga yoga. The yogic techniques have been modified so as to make them more lively, energetic, and appealing to the modern generation, with an emphasis on fitness. Power yoga techniques readily lend themselves to gyms and are ideal for those looking for a vigorous, fitness based approach to yoga. However, power yoga poses are not as easy as other yoga styles and require a higher level of fitness and flexibility. Despite your level of fitness is important to learn the complete power yoga series from the beginning. The first step of this series is considered to be the most important one. It oscillates around the synchronization of your body and mind and the flushing of toxins from the body. The next step of the power yoga sequence concentrates on increasing the stamina and flexibility of the muscles as well as cleansing the nervous channels.

Power Yoga Benefits

Needless to say, the health benefits of power yoga are many. In fact, completing a series of power yoga postures will help in stretching and strengthening your body and relaxing and calming the mind. Some of its benefits have been listed below:
  • Improved joint flexibility and movement
  • Increased muscle tone and strength
  • Enhanced stamina and physical endurance
  • Correction and improvement of posture
  • Flushing out of toxins from the body
  • Improved mental awareness
  • Increased ability to concentrate and focus
  • Easing of stress and tension
  • Alleviation of aches and pains caused by tension and stress.
  • Relaxation of the body and mind.
Power yoga also helps in warming up the body. This helps not only in achieving a higher state of awareness but also in eliminating unwanted and harmful bacteria from the body. Since power yoga focuses on the synchronization of the body and mind it helps in allowing an individual to attain a higher levels of awareness and inner strength. Power yoga has also been used as a training option by many athletes and sports people.

Swara Yoga - A Yogic Breathing Exercise

Yoga is the art of manipulating and sculpting your body to perform better by clarifying your mind and spirit. One of the famous yogic ways that puts you in harmony with the whole solar system is Swara yoga.

Swara Yoga - Yoga Breathing Exercise

Swara yoga teaches you to believe that the human body is a unit of the solar system. So, it needs to keep performing according to other members of the solar system including the planets, moon, and sun. Swara yoga is based on the art of breathing and swara yoga teachers have developed different yogic breathing techniques to synchronize your body with its surrounding.

Another important principle used in this form of yoga is that the right and left nostrils are connected to specific activities. So, you breathe mainly through one nostril while performing special activities. For example, if you are playing music then you breathe through your left nostril while you breathe from the right one when you are writing.

Swar yoga can offer a wide variety of benefits. The main objective of these yogic breathing exercises is to maintain peacefulness of the spirit. The first yogic breathing technique is used for calming your mind and body; it is called equal breathing. Sit down and start inhaling while counting to four as a start, and try exhaling in the same time frame. Try changing the count for a longer period but maintain the same time for inhaling and exhaling.

Yoga Breathing Techniques

If you practice power yoga or any type of vigorous yoga then you may want to try the cooling breath technique. It is an easy technique that cools the body down after hard exercises. Sit down in a comfortable seated position with your back upright. Warm up by breathing three times before you start the exercise. Curl your tongue and start inhaling from your mouth then exhale through nostrils.

The ocean breath or the power breath is used when you need extra power while you are practicing hard yoga positions. The idea oscillates about forcing air in and out by constricting the air passage outlet. Try first to practice the ocean breath independently. When you master this technique, perform it in association with other yoga poses. Try to master the exhalation first, as it is the easier part. Exhale while you are constricting the back of your throat. When you master this, you can move to the inhaling part. Maintain the same position of your throat and inhale through your mouth. After a while you will feel the power of the ocean breath and you will learn how to use it perfectly.

Yoga for Immune System | Boosting Immune System

How to Improve Immune System?

Yoga is not only a 5,000-year-old form of exercise but also an integrated way of life. It is meant to affect the physical, mental, and spiritual status of a person. Practicing yoga on a constant basis will result in great benefits to your overall health. While yoga benefits all the systems of the body to a great extent, it is known to have the maximum impact of the immune system. Yoga is a good alternative for if you are interested in knowing how to improve your immune system in order to be able to combat daily ailments such as colds and coughs as well as aches and pains.

Boost Immune System

Simply put, our immune system is a defense mechanism that protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and toxins. While it does have a very simple role, it is in no way an easy one. In fact, most of us at some point or the other attempt to strengthen; after all, it is the key to good health. Before we delve into how yoga can affect your immune system, let’s consider the factors that weaken the system:
  • Being in a toxin-heavy environment
  • Consuming foods that have toxins in them
  • Bad diet habits and lack of exercise
  • Leading extremely stressful lives

Yoga for Immune System

Lets address each of the factors for a weak immune system and see how yoga helps to negate them. First, the most commonly practiced form of yoga, also known as hatha yoga, helps to improve the functioning of the immune system by flushing out unnecessary toxins from the body. Second, yoga is a form of exercise and it inculcates discipline. This helps in giving the body the required amount of physical exercise; the discipline taught by yoga helps us in improving our diet and lifestyle habits. Finally, practicing yoga on a regular basis decreases the amounts of stress hormones released in the body, thereby ensuring that the immune system is working effectively against viral and bacterial attacks.

Moreover, some yoga asanas, such as the Tortoise Posture (Kurmasana), if practiced regularly stimulates the thymus gland to produce antibodies. The thymus gland is important in that it is responsible for producing the required antibodies that combat viral and bacterial infections.

Listed below are some of the other ways in which yoga boosts the performance of the immune system:
  • Improves circulation and oxygen flow
  • Helps in clearing out mucus from the lungs and sinuses
  • Increases lung mobility
  • Stimulates all internal organs
  • Soothes the nervous system

Yoga to Tone Muscles | Muscle Toning Workouts

Muscle Toning Exercise

Yoga is a way of life rather than a sport. It can be used to boost your overall health, including your muscles. Even if you are a newcomer to the yoga community, you still can benefit from yoga for muscle toning. It all depends on where you start and what you do to get the most out of your yoga practice.

It is recommended that you should start practicing yoga in a class and not on your own. This will enable you to learn the basics from experienced teachers and instructors. It is also a good idea to start at a slow pace, because it is more important to master each yoga posture instead of just incorrectly performing many different postures.

Sculpting your body through yoga is a very wise decision as you can tone your muscles and improve your overall health at the same time. When following a balanced diet while practicing yoga, you can lose weight and sculpt your body. The optimum way to facilitate weight loss and tone the muscles is by following a traditional yogic diet that relies predominantly on non-spicy vegetarian food.

To get the most out of your muscle toning exercises you have to learn how to breathe while you are performing these exercises. Yoga is all about breath control and many of the postures have to be held for extended periods of time, so if you don’t get your breathing right, you could end up harming yourself.

Yoga Muscle Tone

You can combine yoga with your regular muscle toning workout to get marvelous results. Working on cardio and muscle strength, gives you the best results because you can gain muscle and burn fat at the same time. In fact, yoga can also be used an excellent warm up routine. The Surya Namaskara, or Sun Salutation, a series of 12 yogic postures, is one of the best warm up routines.

Yoga can also be used to help you cool down after a strenuous session of exercise at the gym. Poses such as the Shava Asana (Corpse Pose) allow you to relax each and every inch of your body from head to toe. Stretching poses such as the Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) also help to stretch the entire body and decrease the production of lactic acid.

Yoga turns your muscle toning exercises into a full body makeover. You will not only work out your muscles but you will synchronize your mental and spiritual self as well.

How To Stop Hiccups – Remedies And Tips To Cure Hiccups Instantly

What Causes Hiccups

Hiccups can be caused by a number of factors. Eating too quickly or too much; spicy food, extremely hot food as well as extremely cold food can all cause hiccups. The diaphragm plays a large part in the entire process that causes a person to experience hiccups. Normally, the diaphragm works perfectly. It works by moving downwards to help the lungs suck in the air that is important for the body; and moving upwards to push the air out of the lungs, once the oxygen has been absorbed by the body. However, at times the diaphragm gets irritated due to some of the actions that cause hiccups and this leads the diaphragm to work abnormally giving rise to hiccups. Since everybody has experienced hiccups a number of times through the course of their lives, almost everyone has heard of at least one way to cure them. That being said, despite the numerous methods that different people will swear by, you will also encounter a number of people that assure you that the method does not work. You need to know a few methods and try them out to see which one works on you.

Some Home Cures For Hiccups

Some ways of controlling and stopping hiccups are:
  • Pull on your tongue, hard.
  • Try smelling salts
  • Quickly drink a glass of water
  • Hold your breath for as long as you can before you have another hiccup
  • Try placing a half teaspoon of sugar towards the back of your tongue. Do this repeatedly after two minute intervals.
  • Some people react favorably to having a spoon of peanut butter.
  • A highly effective way of treating hiccups when at home is to gargle using lukewarm water.
  • Add ½ a teaspoon of cardamom powder to 2 cups of water. Boil and then filter it and then drink the filtrate to stop the hiccups.
  • One very popular method of stopping another person’s hiccups is to startle them.
  • Some doctors will recommend that you stick your finger in the ears. This tends to work at times as the branches of the vagus nerve in the auditory canal send a message to the brain that help stop the reflex action of a hiccup.
  • Another method that has its disciples is to tickle the upper palate of your mouth with a cotton swab. Some people get rid of their hiccups by using their tickle spots along their body.
  • Breathing into a paper bag has worked on quite a few people.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lichen Planus Treatment – What Is Lichen Planus And Its Symptoms

Lichen Planus Conditions And Treatment

Lichen planus is a relatively obscure skin disease affecting only about 2% of the population of the world. AS a result of its rarity, most people that have lichen planus are unsure about whom to approach form correct information on the affliction. Lichen planus is a recurrent rash that is characterized by small, flat topped bumps that grow together into rough and scaly patches on the skin. Lichen planus can occur on any location on the skin or nails and can have varying effects depending on their location. For example, lichen planus on the scalp can lead to a noticeable amount of hair loss while lichen planus on the nails can cause the nails to become brittle or split. The main causes of lichen planus are still relatively unknown. It is also believed that lichen planus may be induced by some drugs (such as those that contain arsenic) as well as bismuth and gold. Lichen planus does not seem to affect children. The bumps are most often noticed at the sites of previous minor injuries like a superficial scar. The first attack can last anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. Studies have shown that it is not a contagious condition and is not stress induced. However, stress can be an aggravator for the condition. The most inconvenience the condition will put you through is most likely to be a lot of itching. The bumps that erupt with the condition are likely to be scaly or flaky, but are not likely to be painful. When the bumps regress, they are likely to leave dark brown scars that will fade away in time, but it is a slow process.

Although easy to diagnose, it is more likely that your doctor will need to examine the kind of rash to confirm that it is lichen planus. No fool proof cure has been created or discovered in the fight against lichen planus and the main area of focus is prevention or containment of the condition. You could try soaking yourself in a tub of colloidal oatmeal, or create a cool compress and apply it over the affected areas for a reasonable period of time. You could also try to use some kind of hydrocortisone ointment or cream available at your local pharmacist and see if that works. Make sure that the hydrocortisone cream contains at least 1 percent of hydrocortisone. There are also a number of support groups that you could get in touch with for help with the condition.

Motion Sickness Relief – Remedy To Prevent Nausea And Vomiting In Travel

Motion Sickness Remedies

If a person experiences nausea and vomiting during travel, it is a case of motion sickness or kinetosis. Motion sickness is extremely common and is caused by repeated motion like the movement of a car, the turbulence when in a plane as well as the movement of a train. Is occurs primarily when there is a disagreement between visually perceived motion and the sense of movement of the vestibular system, which contributes to our sense of balance and spatial orientation. Motion sickness emits a number of symptoms like nausea, vomiting and dizziness. A lot of people believe that most of the condition is in a person’s head. If they think they are going to throw up, they probably will. Concentrating on something other than the feeling of vomiting is a good way to subdue the urgency of throwing up.

Trying a few of the following tips will help with motion sickness:
  • Suck on tiny pieces of ginger throughout the entire journey.
  • You could also choose to suck on lemon instead of ginger. You could make it tastier by cutting the slices really thin and rolling them in powder sugar.
  • When on a rip, if you feel a bit queasy, try to focus on the furthest point in the horizon when looking out of the window. You could also lie down and stare at the top of the car or train.
  • Sucking on olives has also shown to have a tremendous effect on lowering the intensity of the motion sickness.
  • Reading is an activity that has been known to greatly aggravate motion sickness, so do not carry a book along for the journey.
  • Sitting in seats that face backwards or sideways will also aggravate the condition, so always chose a seat facing the direction you will be travelling in.
  • If you start to feel nauseous, eat a few dry, plain crackers as it has a settling effect on the stomach.
  • Avoid travelling on an empty stomach, but also watch what you eat. Something light and dry is your best option. Do not eat too much either.
  • Make sure you are well rested before the journey. Sleep well as it can be another contributing factor if you happen to encounter motion sickness later.
  • Cover your nose from any kind of odor that may aggravate the feeling of nausea. Engine fumes, the smell of dead fish or even body odor are the most common types of odor that you will encounter.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dark Skin Patches Remedies For Inner Thighs, Armpits And Elbow

Causes Of Dark Skin Patches And Treatment

It is very common for areas like armpits and inner thighs to be of a generally darker coloration than the rest of a person’s complexion. In addition to these areas, you will also notice the same kind of coloration on your knees, elbows and sometimes even the neck. However, to be disturbed by it is as natural as the condition is common. Depending on how fair you are, the dark coloration will tend to be more prominent and therefore, more of a psychological barrier. The reason that most of these areas have the darker pigmentation can be attributed to a number of factors. The underarms can become darker with the excessive application of perfumes and deodorant sprays due to the metallic salts contained in these accessories. An improper washing or cleansing of these areas can also lead to a darker pigmentation as will shaving and use of hair removal creams. A constant build up of dead skin is also a primary contributor. If a person wears tight clothes, the chances of these constantly rubbing against areas of the skin will increase the likelihood of darker skin in these areas.

In order to stop the continued discoloration of the skin, it is advisable to stop using deodorants and perfumes that may have led to the condition, as well as to stop shaving in these areas. As a substitute for shaving, waxing is very highly recommended as it helps get rid of any dead skin cells that may be contributing to the dark pigmentation. You should also start to wear clothes that are loose and made of cotton as they have a much higher comfort level and do not cause any friction between the material and skin. To lighten the complexion of the skin in these areas, you could – create a paste using 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of cucumber juice and a little turmeric powder and apply this on the affected areas. Let it settle for about ½ an hour before washing it off with water. Lime is a natural bleaching agent and will be commonly noticed in a number of home remedies focused on lightening up the color of the epidermis.  Potato is another bleaching agent which could be applied to the affected areas by cutting it into slices and keeping them on the affected areas for a while. Create a paste by mixing some sandalwood powder and a few drops of rosewater and apply this mixture to the affected areas.