Yoga being the ultimatum for a good respiratory system
Smog, the choking threat which has landed the national capital in a pollution emergency, has been the cause of many respiratory problems in children and adults. When your daily commute feels like living on the edge, what are your other outdoor activities supposed to feel like?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is dangerous to breathe when there is too much smog. Smog contains ozone particles, and elevated ozone levels can have a variety of negative effects on your lungs.
While it is advised to stay indoors when the air is toxic outside, a more practical solution would be to establish a habit of cleansing your respiratory organs through Yoga.
If Yoga has been shown to improve the quality of life of lung cancer patients, it could definitely do wonders against other respiratory issues. Here are a few asanas you could try to give you relief from chest congestion, respiratory flues and discomfort in breathing.
* Pranayama: This has proved beneficial for those suffering with bronchitis or lung congestion.
How to do it:
1. While performing pranayama one should make sure that his or her back is straight and should concentrate on the breathing.
2. Sahaj Pranayama, which is also called easy breathing, involves breathing a few times deeply.
3. Inhale through the nostrils for five counts and hold the breath for 10 counts.
4. Exhale through the mouth for 10 counts; this has to be repeated 10-12 times.
* Adho Mukha Svanasana: This posture strengthens the chest muscles and expands the lung region, increasing its capacity.
How to do it:
1. From table top position, tuck your toes, straighten your legs and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
2. Adjust your hands forward a bit, if necessary, and spread your fingers.
3. Keep your spine long, and your head and neck in line with your spine. Hold for one minute.
* Bhujangasana: This asana opens up the heart and lungs and gives them a good stretch.
How to do it:
1. Lie on your stomach; engage your back muscles in lifting your head and upper torso.
2. Align your elbows underneath your shoulders for support.
3. Open your chest and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
4. Look straight ahead and hold for one minute.
* Sukhasana: This heavy breathing seated position relieves yourself from stress, anxiety and exhaustion.
How to do it:
1. Sit erect, with the feet stretched out towards the front.
2. Now cross the legs in such a way that the knees are wide, shins are crossed, and each foot is placed under the knee. Knees must be bent, and legs should be tucked into the torso.
3. Feet must be relaxed, and the outer edges must rest on the floor while the inner edges must arch on the shins. Look down on your legs, must see a triangle formed by shins that are crossed and both the thighs.
4. Back must be balanced in such a way that the tailbone and the pubic bone are at equal distance from the floor.
5. Place the palms stacked up in your lap. Or you can also lay them on the knees palms up or palms down.
6. Elongate the tailbone, and firm up the shoulders. But make sure the lower back is not arched in such a way that it pokes the lower ribs forward.
* Marjari Asana: This involves deep breathing, which in turn expands the lungs and boosts blood circulation.
How to do it:
1. Begin with Adhomukhi Swanasana
2. Lean forward and place your knees down on your mat
3. Inhale, look up and relax
4. Inhale as you drop your knees
5. While navigating back, shift the body weight from the knees to palms and feet.
(Akshar is founder and course director of Bengaluru’s Akshar Yog. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org) (IANS)
At one time, he was the poster boy of Indian politics. Not only did he slay the villain of Bihar’s “jungle raj” in 2005 by rounding up lawless elements after winning an election and launching social and economic development projects, he also scored another resounding electoral victory in the company of a new set of friends, including the “villain”, in 2015.
It appeared at the time that he could do no wrong. So much so that he was seen as a possible prime ministerial candidate of the “secular” front.
But, then, the rise and rise of Nitish Kumar came to an abrupt halt. He remains Bihar’s Chief Minister, but the halo round his head has frayed.
The reason is not only his switching of friends in what is seen as an exercise in crass opportunism, but also his pursuit of policies which are out of sync with the modern world and threatens to reinforce Bihar’s reputation for backwardness by turning the entire state into a virtual dehat or village.
The first step in this bucolic direction was the imposition of prohibition which has robbed Bihar’s clubs, hotels and intellectual watering holes of cosmopolitanism. Now, Nitish Kumar has taken yet another step backwards by demanding 50 per cent reservations for the backward castes in the private sector.
To begin with the second step, it is obvious that by threatening to take the quota system to such an absurd level, the Chief Minister has scotched any hope of industrial growth in a state which is crying out for investment.
In 2012, Bihar received investment proposals worth Rs 24,000 crore. In the post-liquor ban period, they have dropped to Rs 6,500 crore.
If his new ally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had any hope, therefore, of making Bihar the beneficiary of his Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas goals, he can bid it goodbye.
Nitish Kumar’s latest pitch in favour of the backward castes is all the more strange because he cannot seriously expect that his proposal will pass muster at the judicial level.
Like most Indian politicians, he is more interested in posing as a champion of whichever group he is courting at a given moment than in adopting measures which have a reasonable chance of success.
He merely wants to impress his targeted audience by showing that he did make an honest effort, but was stymied by the “system”.
Whether it is prohibition or reservations, Nitish Kumar’s ploys tend to underline crafty political manoeuvres rather than any genuine intention of acting in the state’s interest.
Unfortunately for the Janata Dal (United) leader, his gambits are too palpable to deceive anyone. In the case of the reservations, it is clear that Nitish Kumar is still battling his old adversary-cum-ally-cum-adversary, Lalu Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Since Nitish Kumar belongs to a numerically small and politically less influential caste — the Kurmis — than the RJD’s powerful Yadavs, he has never been at ease in Lalu Prasad’s company whether at the time of their camaraderie during Jayaprakash Narayan’s anti-Congress movement or when they were a part of the state government after the 2015 election victory.
The focal point of Nitish Kumar’s political career has been to establish himself as the foremost leader in the state. Lalu Prasad’s conviction in the fodder scam case enabled Nitish Kumar to be the No. 1 in the Janata Dal (United)-RJD-Congress government.
But he appeared to be forever looking over his shoulder to check whether he was being undermined by the RJD which has more MLAs than the Janata Dal (United).
Prohibition was the policy which he embraced to win over the lower middle class and rural women to his side. But, predictably, the liquor ban has led to an increase in drug abuse with 25 per cent of the cases in de-addiction centres now dealing with the users of cannabis, inhalants and sedatives.
Unlike prohibition which is not aimed at any caste, the demand for the 50 per cent reservations is intended by Nitish Kumar to bolster his position vis-a-vis Lalu Prasad since both are intent on playing the backward caste card.
It is also a message to his partner in the government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), about the importance of the quota system for the Chief Minister, especially when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, is in favour of doing away with reservations altogether.
When Bhagwat expressed his views during the 2015 election campaign, the BJP quickly distanced itself from them for fear of losing the backward caste and Dalit votes. Even then, the BJP’s reputation as a brahmin-bania party remains intact. Besides, it is now more focused on playing the nationalist card than on wooing the backward castes.
Nitish Kumar must have thought, therefore, that the time was ripe for him to up the ante on the caste issue if only to let the BJP know that he cannot be marginalised as the BJP has been tending to do since tying the knot with the Janata Dal (United).
But, whatever his intention, Nitish Kumar cannot but be aware that his position is much weaker now than when he was in the “secular” camp. Nor is there any chance that he will regain his earlier status any time in the near future.(IANS)
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India
These 4 yoga asanas will help you to be in shape
“Yoga is the journey of self, through the self, to the self.” – Bhagvat Gita
Weight loss, a strong and flexible body, glowing beautiful skin, peaceful mind, good health – whatever you may be looking for, yoga has it on offer. Yoga is all about stretching our body in different forms and meditation.
Here are 4 best yoga asanas to keep your body toned-
Tadasana strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles.It helps to develop good posture and calms down the nervous system.
Parvatasana strengthens the muscles of the arms and legs.It tones the spinal nerves and sends the good flow of blood to the spinal region.
It is intensely twisted posture which helps in reducing back problems and fat reduction on the belly. It also increases spine blood flow to abdominal.
It strengthens the spine, chest, shoulders, abdomen and buttocks. It helps in reducing indigestion and acidity problems.
-prepared by Pragya Mittal of NewsGram| Twitter @PragyaMittal05