How to do ANULOM VILOM (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Anulom Vilom Pranayama is a breathing technique, you inhale through one nostril and release the breath through the the other nostril.
Procedure :
  • close your eyes n relax
  • Sit in this position for a couple of minutes till you settle down.
  • Hold your right nasal with thumb,
  • breathe in from left. Breath in to the lungs.
  • Now open right nasal and close left nasal with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nasal.
  • Now breathe in from right nasal. Now close right nasal and open left and breathe out and in from left nasal. and so on.
  • breathe into lungs not to stomach. no organ in stomach absorbs oxygen. Do it slowly. Rest when you feel tired and begin again.
Duration :
  • atleast 10 mins.
  • Repeat the above 5 steps for about 5-6-15 minutes per day. Slowly increase the time.
  • Take breaks in between. Do not strain.
Benefits :
  • This is beneficial to almost all
  •  hypertensive, cardio illhealth, arthritis, cartilage, parkinson, paralysis, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy – calms and clears the mind. Enhances weight loss
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The “How” on eating… – An Ayurveda View

Most Important thing about food is that– the state of our mind when we eat is much more important than what we eat.

Food will affect you differently if you eat joyously, happily, or if you eat when you are filled with sadness and worry.

If you are eating in a worried state, then even the best food will have a poisonous effect. And if you are eating with joy then it is possible that sometimes even poison may not be able to have its total effect on you. It is very possible. So what state of mind you eat in is important.

We live in worry for twenty-four hours a day. It is a miracle how the food we eat gets digested, how existence manages it in spite of us! We have no wish to digest it. It is absolutely a miracle how it gets digested. And how we remain alive! This is also a miracle! Our state of mind should be graceful and blissful.

But in our houses the dining table is in the most gloomy state. The wife waits the whole day for her husband to come home to eat and all the emotional sickness she has gathered in twenty-four hours comes out just when the husband is eating. She does not know that she is doing the work of an enemy. She does not know that she is serving poison on her husband’s plate.

The husband is also afraid and worried after the whole day’s work — he somehow dumps the food into his stomach and leaves. He has no idea that the act which he has finished so quickly and has run away from should have been a prayerful one. It was not an act which should have been done in a hurry. It should have been done in the same way as someone entering a temple, or as someone kneeling to pray, or as someone sitting to play his veena, or as somebody singing a song for the beloved.

This act is even more important: he is giving food to his body. It should be done in a state of tremendous blissfulness. It should be a loving and prayerful act.

The more happily and joyously and the more relaxed and without worry a person can take his meal, the more his food starts becoming the right food. 

A violent diet does not only mean that a man eats non-vegetarian food. It is also a violent diet when a man eats with anger. Both of these things are violent. While eating in anger, in suffering, in worry, man is also eating violently. He does not realize at all that just as he is violent when eating the flesh of something else, so when his own flesh burns up inside due to anger and worry, violence is present there too. Then the food which he is eating cannot be non-violent.

The other part of right food is that you should eat in a very peaceful, a very joyful state. If you are not in such a state, then it is better to wait until you are and not to eat for a while. When the mind is absolutely ready, only then should one take his meals. For how long will the mind not be ready? If you are aware enough to wait then at the most it can remain hungry for only one day — but we have never bothered to listen to it.

We have made eating food a completely mechanical process. One has to put food into the body and then leave the dining table. It is no longer a psychological process; that is dangerous.

Ayurveda says, On the body level, the right food should be healthy, non-stimulating and non-violent; on the psychological level the mind should be in a blissful state, graceful and joyous; and on the level of the soul there should be a feeling of gratefulness, of thankfulness. These three things make food the right food.

We are eating food, we are drinking water, we are breathing — we should have a sense of gratefulness about all this. Towards the whole life, towards the whole world, towards the whole universe, towards the whole nature, towards the divine, there should be a feeling of gratefulness — “I have received one more day to live. Once more I have received food to eat. For one more day I am seeing the sun, seeing the flowers blossoming. I am again alive today.” 

This feeling, this feeling of gratitude, should be there in all aspects of life — and very particularly with diet. Only then can one’s diet become the right diet.

HOLI – HISTORY, HEALTH AND RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE

Holi falls on the full moon of the vedic month of Falgun (mostly in March).
The word Holi is derived from Sanskrit word “Holika” which initially meant “cereals (wheat, millet) roasted over fire “. This derivation gives much emphasis to the fact that the festival is Vedic in origin.
A reference to “Baishwadeva Yagya” is found close to Vedic period which was performed for four months starting from the full moon day of Phalgun month.

In this ritual cereals consisting of wheat and millet were put in the holy fire as an offering to God/Goddess and the remains after the ritual was distributed as “Prasadam” to the community.

This is very similar to the way Holi is celebrated in northern parts of India where cereals are tied to stick and roasted in the Holi fire and the resultant ash is applied on the body very similar to distribution of Prasadam, As with the magnamous history and diversity of India many legends got attached with Holi which transformed the festival to its present form.

 

Lets have a look at important  HISTORY – holi

Narad Puran described Holi as celebration of the vanquishing of demoness “Holika” who was blessed with immunity from fire.
Holika’s brother (Hiranyakashapu) was an aethist who was highly opposed to his pious son’s “Prahlad’s” devotion to Lord Vishnu. He tried all means to destroy his devotion and also him but failed .
Ultimately he instructed his sister “Holika” to carry “Prahlad” in her arms and sit in fire. On doing so conversely Holika died of severe burns but no harm came to Prahlad.
Holi as per Narad Puran is celebrated to commemorate this legend which on deeper levels describe the burning of material desires and social misconduct which occurs due to their pursuit in form of “Holika” in the holy fire and tread on the path of spiritual upliftment in form of “Prahlad”

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HEALTH AND RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE

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HEALTH BENEFITS ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA-

Holi is celebrated after season of cold,in Vasant rutu.
In this season previously accumulated Kapha start melting in body and creates so many Kapha problems and diseases in body.
On this holy day of Festival ppl used to eat corn and dates.If we see its qualities, Both this can very much helpful to eradicate accumulated kapha from body.
Along with dat in Gujarat people r used to consume sugar candy, as it can produce godd Kapha in body.
In d evening time on d d ay of Holi, People get together and light the fire. They do “PRADAKSHINA” or dey move around d fire, as this heat can b benificial to eradicate Kapha also.
So celebration of Holi is very much benificial by Health means.

Phalgun Shulka Purnima (full moon) is the last day of the Vedic calendar and a new year starts from the next day , the advent of Chaitra.

Hence the bonfire reflects burning the deeds of past year and accepting the new with happiness. Holi also marks a change in climatic conditions as the Indian region from extreme cold moves towards heat and hence there is rise in “KAPHA” (phlegm) disorders due to its liquification from its accumulation in the cold season. This gives rose to epidemics and infections. Celebrating around the “Holi” fire exposes the body to extreme heat which helps liquefy and destroy the phlegm making the body resistant to infection. Even the acts of shouting, running and absorbing the flames are an indication to indulge in heavy activity to get rid of phlegm and expose to medicate fumes to destroy phlegm in the sinus of the head and prevent disease

Holi is known as “Madan Mahotsava” in south India. Since the fruiting season starts from this day it is considered as an period of “Kamadeva” the god of “progeny” and “carnal pleasures”. Hence Kamdeva is worshipped on Holi. This period is considered highly favorable for fertility. The period is considered pious with a very good reference to Lord Krishna who associated himself with “Kama (physical cohabitation)” and describes it to be pious and must be initiated without violating religious protocols as an act of duty and not lust. Lust deprecates a soul and makes it wander for ages and hence Kama must be used to beget offsprings. Hence “Kama puja” (now deprecated due to unavailable literature and reduced to uncouth meanings) was once considered sacred and important and was performed around this time.

LIFE AND HOLI –

Life becomes a celebration. Burning the past, you gear up for a new beginning. Your emotions, like fire, burn you. But when they are a fountain of colours, they add charm to your life. In ignorance, emotions are a bother; in knowledge, the same emotions add colour.

Each emotion is associated with a colour — anger with red, jealousy with green, vibrancy and happiness with yellow, love with pink, vastness with blue, peace with white, sacrifice with saffron and knowledge with violet.

Like Holi life should be colourful, not boring. When each colour is seen clearly, it is colourful. When all the colours get mixed, you end up with black. So also in life, we play different roles. Each role and emotion needs to be clearly defined.

 

INTERNATIONAL EQUIVALENTS TO HOLI –

ITALY – The festival of “Radeca” celebrated in month of February is very similar to “Holi” (Effigy of Chammpionnate is burned).

FRANCE – Normandy is a place where equivalent of Holi is seen. Here statues from dry grass are made and burnt from all sides with loud shouts of scolds and curses

GERMANY- During Easter, twigs and sticks are collected near a wooden pillar at set ablaze. Children have a fun day by smearing color on each other.

SWEDEN/NORWAY -During birth anniversary of St. John, people gather at a common place and have bonfire around which they merrily dance, sing wishing each other health and prosperity

SIBERIA -Siberians sings and dance over a bonfire holding each others hands celebrating the advent of summer

USA – The festival of Halloween on 31st October can be co-related to rites of Holi.

Holi is also called the Spring Festival – as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.

It is said the spirit of  Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friend on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.

HAPPY HOLI….!

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Pomegranate Fruit : Health Tips

Lets see some useful health tips abt Pomegranate fruit.

Family: Lythraceae Genus: Punica Species: P. granatum
Binomial name: Punica granatum Local: Dadim, Marathi : Dalimb.
L. Synonyms : Punica malus

Nutritional value per 100 g :

  • Energy 346 kJ (83 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 18.7 g –
  • Sugars 13.7 g –
  • Dietary fiber 4.0 g
  • Fat 1.2 g
  • Protein 1.7 g
  • Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.07 mg (6%)
  • Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.05 mg (4%)
  • Niacin (vit. B3) 0.29 mg (2%)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.38 mg (8%)
  • Vitamin B6 0.08 mg (6%)
  • Folate (vit. B9) 38 μg (10%)
  • Vitamin C 10 mg (12%)
  • Calcium 10 mg (1%)
  • Iron 0.30 mg (2%)
  • Magnesium 12 mg (3%)
  • Phosphorus 36 mg (5%)
  • Potassium 236 mg (5%)
  • Zinc 0.35 mg (4%)

1. Rich in Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Pomegranate juice may contain close to three times the antioxidants as green tea or red wine. Antioxidants fight against free radicals — unstable molecules that can damage DNA and cell membranes. This cellular damage has been linked to all kinds of diseases including cancer.

2. Protect Your Heart:
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that pomegranate juice combats hardening of the arteries and related diseases like heart attacks and strokes. It seems to limit the genetic tendency toward hardening of the arteries.
“The protective effects of pomegranate juice were higher than previously assumed,” said Claudio Napoli, the study’s author and a professor of medicine and clinical pathology at the University of Naples, Italy.
Another study in the September 16 issue of the Journal of Cardiology found that after patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) drank pomegranate juice every day for three months:
• Blood flow to the heart improved by about 17 percent in the pomegranate group.
• Blood flow declined by 18 percent in the placebo group.
“In conclusion, daily consumption of pomegranate juice may improve stress-induced myocardial ischemia in patients who have CHD,” researchers said.

3. Fight Osteoarthritis:
Pomegranate extract may be useful in fighting osteoarthritis, according to a study at Case Western Reserve University, published in The Journal of Nutrition. In lab tests, the extract:
• Cut levels of an inflammatory chemical called interleukin-1b (IL-1b).
• Stopped enzymes that erode cartilage.
Researchers said their findings “indicate the pomegranate fruit extract or compounds derived from it may inhibit cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis and may also be a useful nutritive supplement for maintaining joint integrity and function.”

4. Keep Prostate Cancer From Returning
A study found that pomegranate juice may help fight the return of prostate cancer among men who have had surgery or radiation for the disease. In fact, among 48 such men who drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice each day until their prostate cancer progressed:
• The juice significantly lengthened the time it took for the men’s average PSA levels (a gauge of prostate cancer progression) to double.
• None of the men developed cancer that spread beyond the prostate during the study.”Pomegranate juice contains antioxidant chemicals that may have cancer-preventing benefits,” the researchers said.

5. Help Lower Bad Cholesterol
Antioxidants in pomegranates have been found to reduce the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in mice, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

6. Lower Blood Pressure
A study also found that pomegranates help lower blood pressure among people with hypertension.

7. Get Your Nutrients
One pomegranate has about 40 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C requirement for adults, along with folic acid, fiber, potassium, niacin and vitamins A and E.

8. Protection for Newborns
A study published in Pediatric Research found that drinking pomegranate juice during pregnancy helped protect newborns’ brains during traumatic births.

9. Fight Breast Cancer
Israeli researchers found that pomegranate seed oil causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
In addition , pomegranate juice also inhibits the formation of new tumors by inhibiting the function of cellular proteins.