Friday December 14, 2018

Modi asks IT professionals to give out more online information about Yoga

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(IANS)
(IANS)

New Delhi: Asserting that the world was keen to know about Indian heritage, including yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked IT professionals to undertake “online activity” giving more information on the ancient practice.”The world is keen to know more about India and our traditions and culture, our values. We should distribute our knowledge across the world. But we can do this only when we are proud of our heritage,” Modi said in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” radio address.

He said there were many things which had been were bequeathed to Indians by their ancestors like yoga and family values.

“Why don’t we make the world aware of our family values?” he said, adding that in a similar manner, it was “our responsibility to give the world the knowledge of yoga”.

“I request all young people, especially IT professionals, to undertake some online yoga activity which would provide information about yoga and its related benefits,” he said.

Speaking about the success of the first International Yoga Day on June 21, Modi appreciated the armed forces for joining the event and their efforts to make the day a success.

“On June 21, when I saw glimpses of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon doing yoga at the UN headquarters, I felt very happy,” he said.

The prime minister said people suggested that he speak on monsoons, which has arrived in many parts of the country.

Pitching for rainwater harvesting, Modi said efforts should be made to conserve water. “This should be a mass movement.”

He gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi’s house in Porbandar in Gujarat, where there was a 200-year-old underground reservoir to store rainwater.

In the run-up to the Raksha Bandhan festival, he asked people to ensure that women get benefits of social security schemes launched by the government.

“In August, we have Raksha Bandhan, we can begin a mass movement to ensure that all women and sisters of our country get all security scheme benefits before Raksha Bandhan,” the prime minister said.

“Whether it is a woman working as a maid in our house, or in our fields or whether it is our own sisters, we can ensure that they avail the social security schemes.”

Rakshan Bandhan is an Indian festival which celebrates the brother-sister bond.

Modi gave the example of the ‘selfie with daughter’ contest undertaken by a village head in Haryana and asked others to take up similar initiatives which would help the government’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.

He asked people to post on social media images with their daughters along with the hashtag “#selfiewithdaughter”.

The prime minster also asked people to coin slogans in any language on this topic, the best out of which he would retweet. (IANS)

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New Study Shows Link Between Meditation And Greater Focus

Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size.

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Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health.

Pranayamic breathing – an important part of yoga and meditation – has a unique ability to strengthen our focus and a new study by Trinity College Dublin has unlocked its secret. The researchers note that pranayamic breathing affects the levels of a natural chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. The latter is released when we are challenged, curious, focused, or emotionally excited. When present at the right levels, noradrenaline helps the brain grow new connections and helps us concentrate better on important tasks.

The old masters were on the right track

The researchers noted: “Practitioners of yoga have claimed for some 2,500 years, that respiration influences the mind. We looked for a neurophysiological link that could help explain these claims.” The researchers did so by measuring breathing, reaction time, and brain activity in a small area in the brainstem called the locus coeruleus, where noradrenaline is made. Noradrenaline is affected by stress; when we are worried or anxious we produce too much, and cannot concentrate. When we feel lazy, on the other hand, we produce too little and once again, focus is lost. One way to boost levels is through yoga; another method which can complement the latter is the consumption of medical grade focus supplements, which contain compounds such as octopamine (which has a similar effect to noradrenaline).

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Conversely, those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain. Pixabay

Pranayamic breathing aces the right balance

In the above study, researchers noted that brain activity in the part of the brain where noradrenaline is produced raises slightly when we inhale and drops slightly as we exhale. Thus, balance is achieved and we can focus on what we have set out to do. Pranayama not only boosts concentration but also produces “changes in arousal, attention, and emotional control that can be of great benefit to the meditator.”

What is Pranayamic breathing?

Pranayamic breathing involves controlling and extending breath, with a view to manipulating your vital energy, battling stress, and improving your mood. It is often used in meditation and yoga and interestingly, many yoga experts rank pranayama as even more important than asanas (the postures performed in a yoga session). In yogic tradition, breath is said to carry a person’s life force. Interestingly, scientific studies back this assertion to the extent that pranayamic breathing is able to boost brain function and change the actual structure of the brain. In recent studies, pranayamic breathing has been found to lower or stabilize blood pressure, lower stress, and reduce anxiety and depression.

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In order to comprehend better the Indian seers constructed the special “BOAT” – named Yoga/Meditation.

Implications of the study for aging

The researchers are excited that their findings could signal a way to prevent brain aging. They stated that if brains typically lose mass as we age, practices such as pranayamic breathing greatly reduce the rate of brain shrinkage, thus potentially helping keep dementia and related diseases at bay. Because keeping noradrenaline levels at an optimal level can help the brain grow new connections, meditation is an ideal activity to pursue.

Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health. Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size. To make the most of the effect of breathing on focus, consider joining a yoga class or learning the essence of pranayamic breathing online or through an app like Prana Breath or Universal Breathing.