Monday January 22, 2018

US: Hindus urges LaSalle Rd renamed “Om Street” in Connecticut’s West Hartford

The Om Street event allows various yoga studios from and around West Hartford to participate as instructors

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Connecticut Avenue. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Indians in the United States are pushing LaSalle Road in West Hartford (Connecticut) to be renamed as Om Street as it is about to organise its sixth annual community event ‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle Road’ to be held on July 23, 2016. It is reported that in 2015, more than 1500 yogis showed up to celebrate yoga in the States. Around 2000 people are expected to take part in this yoga event, this year in 2016.

The President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, has initiated this urge for renaming the famous street to Mayor of West Hartford Shari Cantor, Town Council and Deputy Mayor Leon Davidoff as an homage to Yoga as an art and the yogis who make the event successful, reported worldhindunews.com

Source: wikimedia commons
Practicing yoga relieves back and spine pain. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Also, renaming West Hartford would also promote Yoga and help residents adopt it as a part of their lifestyle. Yogasana helps one relieve stress and anxiety, increases flexibility and calms the soul.

According to the worldhindunews.com report, the Om Street event allows various yoga studios from and around West Hartford to participate as instructors. They demonstrate Yogasanas and provide assistance. With drums and live music mixed with the discipline of Yoga, the event is a huge step taken towards inculcating a healthy change in the American nation. Rajan Zed refers to Yoga as a “living fossil” and it can be dated back to the Indus Valley civilisation.

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While the American government and citizens have begun to introduce yoga as an essential discipline, read on to find some benefits of practicing yoga:

• Yoga strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility. Practicing yoga not only prevents diseases like back pain and arthritis but also helps maintain posture and saves from old age problems. With gymming, one may gain muscle power but not flexibility.

• Yoga also strengthens the spine and bones. Padangusthasana, Baddha Konasana, Paripurna Navasana and many such yoga asana strengthen the spine.

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• Yoga and Pilates also regulate blood flow. While twisting the body into asanas, the body flows oxygenated blood to all organs. Positions like the headstand pump freshly oxygenated blood which also serves as an instant relief from stress. It is also widely believed that yoga reduces one’s risk of cardiac diseases and pulls out of depression.

Chakrasana. Source: Wikimediacommons
Chakrasana. Source: Wikimedia commons

• Yogasanas also boost immunity. Lymph is an immune cell rich fluid that fights cancerous cells, infection and disposes toxic materials from the body. So when the body functions in yoga postures and contracts/stretch muscles, this lymph’s drainage increases.

• Yoga not only cleanses the wasted or harmful cells in the body but also saves an individual from digestive problems like constipation, ulcers or syndromes related to the stomach. While any physical activity can ease a disturbed stomach, yoga eases it out way faster and also lowers down any risk of cancer-related to the bowel.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani of Newsgram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Yoga Face-toning May Compete With Fillers, Face-lifts

"The jury is still out on whether or not facial yoga is effective in reversing the signs of aging," he said in an email.

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Yoga face toning is an effective way of reducing the signs of ageing. VOA
  • Yoga face toning may take over botox and face lifting procedures.
  • 27 participants noted changes in their faces after weeks of this experiment.
  • It is still a matter of discussion if this method can reverse ageing or not.

In his toolbox of Botox, fillers and plastic surgery, cosmetic dermatologist Dr Murad Alam has added a new, low-cost, noninvasive anti-ageing treatment: facial yoga.

Dermatologists measured improvements in the appearance of the faces of a small group of middle-aged women after they did half an hour of daily face-toning exercises for eight weeks, followed by alternate-day exercises for another 12 weeks.

Facial exercises are healthier than surgeries. Pixabay
Facial exercises are healthier than surgeries. Pixabay

The results surprised lead author Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“In fact, the results were stronger than I expected,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s really a win-win for patients.”

Participants included 27 women between 40 and 65, though only 16 completed the full course. It began with two 90-minute muscle-resistant facial exercise-training sessions led by co-author Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga in Providence, Rhode Island.

Participants learned to perform cheek pushups and eye-bag removers, among other exercises. Then they practised at home.

Improvements noted

Dermatologists looking at unmarked before-and-after photos saw improvements in upper cheek and lower cheek fullness, and they estimated the average age of women who stuck with the program as significantly younger at the end than at the start.

Face yoga is a healthier substitute to surgical procedures. Pixabay
Face yoga is a healthier substitute for surgical procedures. Pixabay

The average estimated age dropped almost three years, from nearly 51 years to 48 years.

Participants also rated themselves as more satisfied with the appearance of their faces at the study’s end, Alam and colleagues reported in JAMA Dermatology.

“Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of ageing,” Alam said. “Assuming the findings are confirmed in a larger study, individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way of looking younger or augmenting other cosmetic or anti-ageing treatments they may be seeking.”

The exercises enlarge and strengthen facial muscles to firm and tone the face, giving it a younger appearance, he said.

Happy Face sells instructional worksheets — promising smoother skin, firmed cheeks and raised eyelids — for $19.95. DVDs cost $24.95.

Some skepticism

But not all dermatologists are rushing to promote the videos or the exercises.

Dr John Chi, a plastic surgeon and professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, said the study raises more questions than it answers.

“The jury is still out on whether or not facial yoga is effective in reversing the signs of ageing,” he said in an email.

Chi, who was not involved with the study, said he would recommend facial yoga to patients who found it relaxing and enjoyable but not for the purpose of facial rejuvenation.

“While the premise of facial exercises to improve the facial appearance or reverse signs of ageing is an appealing one, there is little evidence to suggest that there is any benefit in this regard,” he said.

Chi said facial yoga had not been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed scientific studies. Asked whether procedures such as face-lifts, Botox and fillers had been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed studies, he replied: “Great question. Attempts to do so have been made in the scientific literature with variable levels of scientific rigour.”

Alam agrees that his study raises additional research questions, such as whether the exercises would work for men and how much time people need to commit to doing the exercises for them to be optimally effective. He would like to see a larger study. VOA