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Heartfulness meditation was associated with significant reduction in perceived stress and improvement in the quality of sleep

Heartfulness meditation, a simple heart-based meditation practice aimed at attaining a balanced state of mind, helps in reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep, revealed a study. The mixed-method study was conducted by US researchers during the Covid-19 pandemic and was published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said Heartfulness Institute, which has its global headquarters in Hyderabad.

Heartfulness meditation was associated with significant reduction in perceived stress and improvement in the quality of sleep of participants who completed the online-based meditation programme. Kamlesh Patel, also known as Daaji, the guide of Heartfulness meditation, underlines the need to immediately address stress in one's life. "The simple focus of life is to become better and better each day. To achieve this we need to be in a state of complete awareness about our self and raise our consciousness in tune with our true nature. Stress is the modern day ill created by our inability to focus on things that matter. Stress and its negative impact on our overall wellbeing has slowly but steadily taken control of every individual," he said.

"While we know Covid-19 as the pandemic, the build-up of stress and its ill impacts is the bigger pandemic and equally a bigger health crisis. Stress needs our urgent attention as well and in consistent practice of meditation we have the most effective vaccination to ward off stress and is the visa for living your life in joy," he added. The study was conducted by Dr Kunal Desai, Dr Priti Parikh and Dr Alpa Desai of the Department of Internal Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright University, Ohio, and Prof Dr Pratibha Gupta, Food Nutrition and Health Agricultural Research Development Programme, Central State University, Ohio.

woman sitting near pond Heartfulness meditation, a simple heart-based meditation practice aimed at attaining a balanced state of mind, helps in reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep. | Photo by Nikolay Dimitrov on Unsplash

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When it comes to exercising, motivating yourself during cold days to get out of your cosy and comfortable bed will be a task in itself.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

Different seasons of the year bring with them unique benefits for the mind, body and for our moods. It may be easier to wake up in the mornings during summer versus waking up in the winter which is much harder to do. When it comes to exercising, motivating yourself during cold days to get out of your cosy and comfortable bed will be a task in itself. However, for those who are aspiring to lose weight and get fitter here is some motivation for you to keep going with your exercise during the winter season.

Exercising during the winter can actually burn more calories than when you exercise in summer. Your endurance can also be increased during winter because the heart needs to work less you also sweat less making your workout more efficient. Himalayan Siddha Grand Master Akshar shares 6 ways that you can exercise and keep up with your fitness game even during cold winter days.

Walking/ Running/ Jogging: Start your exercise routine with a brisk walk or maybe you could take a jog or run around your neighbourhood block. These are cardiovascular activities that pump up your heart rate and get you ready both mentally and physically for your upcoming workout session.

pair of white-and-black Adidas NMD Start your exercise routine with a brisk walk or maybe you could take a jog or run around your neighbourhood block. | Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

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Gayatri mantra is a collection of sounds used for meditation to realize a higher state of consciousness.

A mantra is defined as a sacred utterance, a syllable, word or a group of words in Sanskrit, Pali and other languages that are believed to possess religious, magical or spiritual powers. The Gayatri Mantra which is also known as Savitri Mantra is one of the most highly revered mantras. It was first recorded in Rig Veda which was written around 2500 to 3500 years ago. Chanting of Vedic mantras makes people feel relieved from the material anxieties and they become more spiritually inclined.

The Gayatri Mantra:

"Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ

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Mandala, the term simply means a circle in Sanskrit.

Art is not considered a necessity in schools nowadays. It is as important as academics because it will teach students not just creativity but about culture and community as well. For instance, Mandala as an art form may help in learning Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Mandala can be understood in two ways, the external one which is symbolism and internal which is used as a guide for practices like meditation.

Mandala, the term simply means a circle in Sanskrit. The first time it was ever produced was in the first century before the Christ era as a Buddhist art form. In Buddhism, the mandala represents the ideal universe and the path to enlightenment.

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