Saturday November 18, 2017

Cellular basis of Yogic Asanas: How stretching of cells through Yoga helps your body

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BY ANIL K. RAJVANSHI

Yogic exercises are normally done to tone the body and the nervous system. Yogic exercises come under Hath Yoga system, one of the eight limbs of “Ashtang Yoga” as enunciated by the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. Hath Yogis believe that the body toning is a result of nerve stretching. This belief may have scientific basis.

Recently scientists have discovered that cells in human body change depending on how they are stretched. They have shown that if you pull a stem cell in one way it starts developing into a brain cell. Moreover, changing the mechanical stress makes the cancer cells behave like normal cells, by far the most far reaching consequence of stretching of cells.

The Yogic exercises of stretching the nerves and toning the nervous system affect the cells mechanically and, therefore, affect the body in a very positive way at the cellular level.

Till now the biological and medical community believed that, in order to know the behavior of a cell, one needed to identify the genes, proteins and other chemical processes and pathways. The biological community considers chemical processes to be of paramount importance.

However in nature, all the forces are taken into account for a system’s evolution and mechanical stress at cellular level is as important and prevalent as the chemical process.

Scientists have also discovered that though the cells in human body are subjected to mechanical stress and strain in every part of body, their native environment exerts the maximum effect on their growth and development.

For example, a cell stressed in a certain way will not convert into a nerve cell if it’s near a bone. The chances of it becoming a bone cell are higher because of the physical and chemical environment of the existing bone structure.

This could be the basis of Yogic asanas which in their innumerable forms, affect and tone the nervous system. Some like Pranayama, Nauli (gut wrenching), Sheersh Asana (head stand) and focusing the eyes on the center of forehead in meditation, affect the nervous system and can help in rejuvenating the body. Production of healthy cells is the most important aspect of rejuvenation of body.

For example, in the dhyana asana of focusing the eyes on the center of forehead, the optic nerve gets stretched by about 1-1.5 mm. This stretching may help stimulate the pituitary gland since the optic nerve passes very close to it before reaching the visual cortex at the back of the brain. The pituitary gland is the master gland of the body and its secretions help in maintaining the harmony of other endocrine glands. Moreover, it secretes the oxytocin hormone (also called happiness hormone) and almost all the sexual chemicals.

Besides the Yogic exercises, general exercise regime of running, walking or aerobic exercises may also help in the cell rejuvenation. The “high” that people experience with regular exercise, is not only because of the secretion of chemicals by the brain but also because of the cell stretching.

Similarly, deep muscle massage may also help in the stretching of cells. But it should be done properly otherwise cells may convert into other harmful cells. For example scientists have also found that prior to formation of invasive tumors, the cellular matrix surrounding the regular cells becomes stiffer. This stiffening could be the result of physical or emotional stress.

Thus the change in “microenvironment” of cells with stress may be conducive to cancer formation. Scientists believe that one of the ways of curing cancer could be physical manipulation of this “microenvironment”.

Yogic asanas may help in this process. This could also be the reason why the Yoga practitioners have always suggested that some of the difficult Yogic asanas affecting the deep nervous system should be done under the supervision of experienced Yoga teachers, so that the cells are stretched in proper manner.

The author is the Director and Hon. Secretary Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). He could be reached at  (anilrajvanshi@gmail.com)

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Forbes Rich List 2017: Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Named as 19th Richest Indian

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Acharya Balkrishna
Acharya Balkrishna. Wikimedia

Oct 05, 2017: Patanjali Ayurveda’s Acharya Balkrishna, the partner of yoga acharya Ramdev, has bagged the nineteenth position this year in the Forbes magazine’s Annual India Rich List 2017 with total assets of $6.55 billion (Rs. 43,000 crores).

Reliance Industries Ltd. foreman Mukesh Ambani managed India’s wealthiest position for the tenth straight year as his total assets swelled to $38 billion (Rs. 2.5 trillion), while Anil Ambani was positioned much lower at the 45th place with $3.15 billion.

Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi moved down from his previous second place to the ninth.

Also Read: British-Indian Actor Kunal Nayyar Ranks Fourth on Forbes Magazines List of World’s Highest-Paid TV Actors 

Wipro’s Azim Premji held the second position with total assets of $19 billion, climbing two spots from a year ago.

The Hinduja brothers are at the third position with $18.4 billion, while Lakshmi Mittal is presently positioned fourth ($16.5 billion) and Pallonji Mistry fifth ($16 billion).

Forbes said the rundown was arranged utilizing shareholding and budgetary data secured from the families and people, stock trades, investigators and administrative offices.

 

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Melatonin May Help Treat Blood Cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma, Claims a New Research

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research

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Melatonin produced by a gland in the brain can help treat blood cancers
Melatonin may help treat blood cancers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have discovered that Melatonin may help treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma 
  • Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in coordination and synchronization of internal body functions 
  • Anti-cancer actions of melatonin are expected to be helpful in facilitating basic research 

Washington D.C. [USA], September 3, 2017: Researchers have discovered that blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma may be treated with a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain.

Melatonin, a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain may be able to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, according to the researchers.

The findings suggest that melatonin performs a number of tasks such as boosting the immune response against cancer cells, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and even protecting the healthy cells from chemotherapy’s toxic effects.

Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in the coordination and synchronization of internal body functions. The timings of he melatonin treatment may be grave in regard to their anti-cancer effects.

Senior author Yang Yang hopes that this information would prove helpful in the design of studies concerned with the therapeutic efficiency of melatonin in blood cancers.

Also read: Arthritis drug could cure blood cancer: Researchers

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research.

The study has appeared in British Journal of Pharmacology.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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These 7 Yoga Practices Can Help You to Ease Your Wandering Mind and Enhance Concentration

Yoga is regarded as the ultimate healer for the soul and body

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Yoga
Yoga is known to be the ultimate healer for the soul and body. Pixabay
  • Practising yoga daily could develop greater agility, have a positive effect on your concentration, and altogether help you live a more fulfilling life
  • Yoga is a lot more than just an activity which molds your body; it has the intense impact on the human mind
  • It could steer the mind away from all distractions and calm it down completely

New Delhi, August 18, 2017: Yoga is known to heal the soul and body. It has an intense impact on your mind. It declutters one’s emotional health, fixes our mind, and helps one to overcome ailments, stress, etc.

The emotional clusters do not let one reach their full potential and negatively affect our mental being. Healthy bodies grant greater success in fields of our interests and pursuits at passions, work, hobbies, and with family. Practising yoga daily could develop greater abilities, have a positive effect on your concentration, and help you live a fulfilling and better life.

ALSO READ: Rishikesh: The World Capital of Yoga is in India

Referring to Patanjali, Yoga Chitta vritti nirodha, which conveys “yoga is the reduction of fluctuations of the mind.” Yoga has the ability to steer away all distractions and calm the mind down completely.

Listed below are some yoga asanas to boost one’s concentration and steer away distractions:

  • Prayer pose:

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It is a simple breathing exercise which provides a great way to begin your practice. Pixabay

* This pose inlcudes doing breathing exercise and provides a way to begin your yoga pratice.

* Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and make a prayer pose by folding your hands. Keep your spine straight and try to calm your mind down by concentrating on your breaths.

* Salutation seal aids in centering your focus and concentration and eases out your breathing.

  • Tadasana:

Yoga
Tadasana is also known as the mountain pose. Wikimedia

* Tadasana is also known as the Mountain Pose. It is regarded as the mother of all the yoga postures as they come from this base asana.

*  To begin with, stand barefoot on the floor with both your feet and legs together. Slightly bend the knees and then loosen the joints by straightening them.

* Breathe in. Now gently lift your toes and make an endeavor to balance the whole body using your heels. While balancing your whole body weight, Stretch your chest, shoulders, and arms upwards. Feel the stretch. Hold this posture for around five to ten seconds. Now gently exhale.

  • Pranayama:

Yoga
This formal practice includes controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana. Wikimedia

*This formal practice includes controlling your breath

* There are different pranayama types named in Hatha yoga, to improve concentration and build up the prana like nadishidhana pranayama, kumbhaka pranayama, among others.

  • Vrikshasana:

Yoga
This asana is basically a balancing pose. Pixabay

* This posture is similar to a strong and steady tree which requires balance.

* Its main advantages lie in improving the nervous system and balance.

* Stand upright with your knees absolutely straight and feet together and the arms resting at their respective sides. Now the first step is to raise the right foot. Hold its ankle using your right hand without letting your left knee bend. The joint at the knee is where your right leg will be folded. Inhale and lift your hands, in a joined position, gradually above your head. Stand straight and stretch yourself, maintaining your balance. While trying to balance this pose, look straight. Exhale and gradually bring your hands in the middle of your chest. Go back to the original position by slowly keeping the right leg down.

  • Natarajasana:

Yoga
It is named after the dancing avatar of Lord Shiva. Pixabay

* Natarajasana has been given its name after Nataraja, Lord Shiva’s dancing avatar and is also known as the dancing pose.

* It is one posture that will need time if one wants to master it.

* One must practice this posture for a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds.

  • Garudasana:

Yoga
The pose acquires its name from Garuda, the Hindu god, known for his focus, power, and strength. Wikimedia

* This asana acquires the name from Garuda, the Hindu god.

* Your hip and spine should be straight and shoulder should be pointing forward. Looking at a distance and breathing evenly will enable you to maintain your balancing.

* It helps you obtain strength and balance. It can take time to maintain balance or fully wrap your legs or hands. But never force yourself and your body into this posture.

  • Utrasana:

Yoga
It is also known as the camel pose. Wikimedia 

* Utrasana or the Camel Pose comprised of a bend in the backward direction that looks similar to a camel’s pose when one takes a sitting position.

* Ustrasana stretches and strengthens your shoulders and back and makes your posture better. It improves respiration, excretion, and digestion and relieves one from a backache. It balances and heals your chakras as well as stimulates your endocrine glands.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025