11 Best Reasons to Practice Yoga in the Morning

Many of us take oath for New year resolution to bring a new habit into our kit. A habit which can change our lives and make us healthier and happier. I need to wake up early in the morning and will do some workout. Ahh! But, few of us could really make this happen, isn’t it? Those late-night parties, watching movies and sleeping late really never allow us to be an early morning person. Trust me, if you can make a habit of sleeping early and getting out of bed early in the morning, then you will never regret in your lifetime. Practicing Yoga in the early morning adds more sweetness to your health and happiness. The benefits of doing yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach double the benefits. Let us find out 11 best reasons to practice yoga in the morning and I guarantee that if you care for your health and happiness, then you will start the yoga practice from tomorrow early morning and will never look back.

  1. Better Sleep

When you wake up early in the morning, practice yoga and looking forward to a better health, early bedtime will also become a priority for you. You will go to bed early in the night and find a good amount of sleep to relax. The sufficient amount of sleep helps you to energize your body and mind.

  1. Boost in Metabolism

Practicing yoga in the early morning helps to boost your metabolism and digest your food efficiently. It ensures to provide nutrients throughout your body and keeps you healthy.

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  1. Good mood throughout the day

Yoga helps to release stress, anxiety, depression and alleviates your mood by cooling your brain and relaxing your mind. You will feel energized and happier throughout the day.

  1. Your own time

When we wake up late in the morning, it’s become difficult to find your own time. But when you wake up early in the morning and sit for meditation, you will feel calm and relaxed. It will provide you with a platform to invest in yourself, can help you to connect spiritually.

  1. Crave for healthier foods

When you practice yoga in the early morning and feel hungry due to the workout, a healthier food would be your choice to fuel your body.

  1. Look Younger IMG_4472.JPG

Regular practice of yoga helps to slow down the ageing of livers, kidneys and hearts. Yoga releases good chemicals which help to glow your skin and look younger.

  1. Improved Posture

When you practice yoga, you twist, bend forward and backward, stretch your body. It helps to build your spine and back stronger, opens up your chest, hips and strengthens the core muscles and abs. When these things happen to your body, you look more energetic, stronger, radiant and confident to take on the rest of the day.

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  1. You don’t miss the Yoga practice

Practicing Yoga in the evening depends on many factors starting from the traffic chaos on your way back to home, mental stress throughout the day and tiredness.  Sometimes, you feel like quitting the yoga class for the day. But, nothing can keep you away from the yoga practice, if you do it in the early morning. Your mind and body are fresh after a relaxed sleep and morning calmness adds another reason to go deeper into the practice.

  1. Happy time with your family

Practicing yoga in the early morning allows you to dedicate some quality time to your family and friends in the evening time which is also necessary in the life. You can also utilize the free evening time just by reading, cooking, watering your garden or doing something innovative.

  1. A most needed stretch before a long day sit in office

When you sit for hours in the office, you invite back pain, stress and diseases. But, that early morning yoga practice stretches your body efficiently and allow you to work more productively at the office without any stress.

  1. Sun salutation

Practicing Surya Namaskar in your garden or in terrace not only helps you to enjoy that early morning sunrise, but it also ensures that you get the morning sunlight and greet the sun. Morning sunlight comes with a lot of vitamins which helps to build your body and keep you disease free.

So, it’s the time for you to wake up early in the morning and enjoy endless benefits.

Early to bed & early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!

Jal Neti – A Nasal Cleansing Yoga Practice

A natural technique used by our ancient yogis to use the breath well for yogic practices and stay free from diseases. The main objective of Jal neti is to purify and clean the whole nasal path from your nasal to throat using water. Nasal cleansing or neti kriya is one among the other shat karmas or the hatha yoga cleansing activities. Sometimes this process is also called as nasal irrigation.

What you need?

  • A Neti potnetipot.jpg
  • A pinch of rock salt
  • Lukewarm water

Neti pot is a small pot with a long spout on one side, which is small enough to be inserted gently into one of the nostrils during the kriya(process).

Benefits of Jal Neti

  • One of the best practice to alleviate headaches, dry cough, sore throats, tonsils and cold.
  • Helps to maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils.
  • Effective in dealing with asthma and reduces ear infections.
  • It helps to keep you away from sinusitis or migraine attack.
  • Helps to clear the eye ducts and improves vision(scientifically proven).
  • Jal Neti is excellent for those trying to give up smoking.
  • Calms the nervous system, mental stress, and the mind by removing excess heat from your brain.
  • Regular practice can help to control your anger and quality of meditation can be improved.
  • A free practice which helps to save your hard-earned money from buying expensive medicines to cure diseases.

Process

It is a simple practice and can be included in your daily routine. This process only takes few minutes. Before practicing Jal Neti, it is necessary for you to prepare correct saline water. The water should be lukewarm as per your body temperature, neither cold nor hot. It is recommended to put rock salt one teaspoon per 1/2 liter of water.

  • First, stand with one foot between your feet.
  • Bend your spine in 60-degree angle and neck tilted towards the right.
  • Now, put the spout of the Jal neti pot into your right nostril and keep your mouth open so that the water passes easily through your right to left nostril.
  • Please remember that if you tilt your head too much or try to breathe through your nose, then the water enters your throat instead of going to the left nostril.
  • Now, just clean your nose once and then repeat the same process with the other side.

Precautions

  • Ensure and take care that you do not leave any water in the nasal passages, as it might cause an infection.
  • Dry your nose properly after the process.
  • People suffering from high blood pressure should be careful during the process and if you feel dizzy while drying the nose then it should be done standing upright.
  • Learn the practice from an expert practitioner.
  • Jal Neti should be practiced daily and must not be waiting for the nasal blockage for practice.
  • It should not be practiced if you are suffering from a hurt or cut inside the nose, or suffering from chronic bleeding in your nose.

It has been observed that when people watch this process, they feel it’s too difficult to practice. But, it’s that simple and easy that you can include this practice after your daily brush. It has unlimited benefits with zero cost.

Enjoy this beautiful nasal cleansing technique and stay free from a cough, cold and tonsils forever.

If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

Benefits & Guidelines of Prenatal Yoga

Pregnancy is an incredibly special time in a woman’s life. Creating the life and carrying a soul inside your body for nine months gives a new meaning to motherhood. In fact, to bear a child is the ultimate dream of most women. But, the moment pregnancy is confirmed fear, confusion, and apprehensions often come to your mind. There are a lot of questions which come to your mind starting from will I be able to take this responsibility? Will the baby look like me or his/her father? Will be it be a male or female? and it continues. This almost makes you forget how uncomfortable it can be during pregnancy. For most women labor is a time of apprehension of fear and pain. But with the regular practice of yoga, you can get relief from your back pain, muscle soreness, headaches and many others.

So, let us know some benefits and guidelines of practicing Prenatal yoga for pregnancy.

Benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy

  • Yoga is just a perfect preparation for your labor
  • Strengthens your hips, back, arms, shoulders and develop stamina and strength
  • You will able to fine tune your balance physically and emotionally
  • Relieves tension of lower back, hips, chest, upper back, neck and shoulders
  • Deep breathing helps to calm your nervous system. You will get relaxation through improved sleep quality
  • It helps to focus your attention on whats going on within your body and you can connect with your baby
  • It improves your blood circulation and the immune system gets better
  • Regular practice of asana can tone muscles of spine, abdomen, and pelvis which helps to support the added weight of uterus
  • Prevents common ailments like a backache, leg cramps, breathlessness and gives relief from a headache

Guidelines for prenatal yoga

  • Patient must consult her obstetrician/doctor before starting yoga practices
  • If you can’t speak normally while you’re doing prenatal yoga, then you are probably pushing yourself too hard. Remember Yoga is not about forcing your body, it’s about enjoying the journey within.
  • Avoid inverted poses, which involve extending your legs above your head. This may alter the position of your baby.
  • Practice regularly, but listen to your body. Practice poses which are only comfortable with your body.
  • Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating and exhaustion. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid lying on your belly or back, doing deep forward or backward bends, or doing twisting poses that put pressure on your abdomen.
  • Pay attention to your body and how you feel. Start slow and avoid positions that are beyond your level of comfort. Sthiram Sukham Asanam.

You can repeat the below suggestions at the time of your labor to keep yourself happy and energetic. Know more about the Prenatal yoga poses

  • I am going to experience a happy and beautiful motherhood
  • My mind, body, and soul are helping my baby to come into this beautiful world
  • I am fully aware of my body and relaxed, How wonderful!

Happy Motherhood!

10 ways Yoga changed my life & it can change yours too!

pexels-photo-415380.jpegWhen I started doing yoga and meditation, I felt like my body is inflexible and I am not made for yoga. Forget about practising headstand, when I was thinking about it, I felt like falling again and again. But, over the years I realized that yoga is made for people who are inflexible. It’s not about whether you have a flexible or inflexible body, it’s all about the start we need to do. I always believe that yoga and meditation are not about moving your body parts but it’s all about knowing yourself and your body. It is the alignment of body, mind, and soul. Yoga helps to unite these three aspects of our life. It gives me the strength to rejuvenate and concentrate on my goals. Here are the 10 ways yoga changed my life and it could change yours also.

  1. Stress Relief

Nowadays many of us are going through stress. There may be many reasons starting from work-related pressure to relationship issues. But, regular practice of yoga helped me to lower the stress hormone levels in my body. When stress decreases, it lowers blood pressure and heart rates. It helped me to ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression and much other stress-related problems I was suffering due to job-related issues.

  1. Boost the immune system

Before practising yoga and pranayama, I was getting sick once in every month with cold, cough and fever. Injuries took time to heal. These problems were happening due to my lower level of the immune system. But, when I started practising yoga, slowly and steadily I boosted my immune system and now I rarely get sick due to cold or a cough. Moreover, my digestion capacity also improved significantly.

  1. Improved Breathing

Regular practice of yoga taught me to be aware of my breathing. Slower and deeper breaths helped me to improve my lung function and increase the amount of oxygen intake into my body. While exhaling, it helped me to flush out the toxins from my body.

  1. Flexibility

As I mentioned above, I was carrying the most inflexible body with me. Today, I can practice advanced yoga poses without any difficulty. But, it didn’t happen overnight. Regular practice and focused mind helped me to achieve this milestone over time by lengthening my ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It gives me a better posture by improving my body alignment.

  1. Increased strength and stamina

We all like to be strong and rich in stamina. Yes, yoga practice built my muscles stronger and increased my strength from head to toe. It helped me to improve my core stamina and arm strength to enter into practising the advanced poses.

  1. Weight Management

Well, in this case, I am the happiest and satisfied person. Yoga not only helps you to reduce your body fat and weight but also help you to be fit and not allowing you to deposit extra fat with zero cost.

  1. Improved blood circulation

Yoga helped me to improve circulation of blood in my body. When I started practising different inversion poses like headstand, shoulder stand, and handstand, oxygenated blood flow to my body’s cell got improved.

  1. Comparison with others

When I was in my childhood, I used to compare myself with others. There were many reasons starting from the study, the way people look at to the way they behave. But, when I started practising yoga and pranayama, I realized that I am unique in myself and there is no reason to compare my life with others. My body and my life are totally different from the rest of the world. When you stop comparing yourself with others, you get maximum time to build yourself to be a better human being.

  1. Patient & Self-control

I was always in a hurry to achieve anything and everything. But with the yoga practice of yoga, I realized that just like each asana takes time and effort to master, everything else in life also come to you at right time with your dedication and hard work. When I took an oath to bring yoga into my daily life, I brought discipline into my life. It taught me how to control my mind, body, and soul.

  1. Peace of mind

Regular practice of yoga helped me to be mindful and increased the awareness of being present at the moment. Yoga means union, union of your body, mind, and soul. It helped me improve my memory, concentration power and most importantly I learned to be at peace with myself. Meditation provided me with a platform to go deeper into the spirituality and to understand who really am I? I started listening to this gadget (body). This is the most efficient gadget in this world.

Yoga is not about performing or practising most difficult postures, it’s all about enjoying the journey while recognizing and nourishing the light within. Regular practice of yoga helped me to change my life for a better cause, it can change yours too!

Enjoy this beautiful gift from God and bring balance, physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium in your life.

If you feel this article is helpful to you, then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

Yoga Pose for Runners

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Running is a good exercise and you should start running. This is a common advice you might often get from your friends and well-wishers. But, regular running is not everyone’s cup of tea.  Runners felt sore and tight despite stretching and pre-running workout. I also started running after a long time, but after few days of running, I faced with muscle and knee pain. From my running experience and thorough research, I found out some good Yoga practices which help to stretch out and loosen up after runs, keeping my muscles and joints healthy and preventing tightness or injuries.

Apart from yoga, breathing also plays an important role while you run. So, with your yoga practice include breathing practice (pranayama) which can help you in steady breathing and calm during the intense part of the run. You just need a yoga mat and pair of comfortable clothes to practice yoga and pranayama. FO728-x-90

But, before we move to practice yoga please keep some important points in your mind.

  1. The below yoga poses are not suitable for pregnant women.
  2. Each pose should be done in a slow and steady manner. Never force your body.
  3. Before practicing any yoga postures consult with your doctor if you have recent medical conditions.
  4. Before practicing the below yoga poses warm-up your body for easier muscle stretch.

Let’s start practicing the top 11 yoga postures for keeping yourself healthy and fit for running.

  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The most common issues for runners are shin splits, knee and foot problems and this pose helps to overcome that by stretching your hamstrings, chest, and lengthening the spine. It also gives relaxation to your foot and provides blood flow to the head.DSC_0063.JPG

  • Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
  • Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
  • Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
  • It will look like an inverted V-shape.
  1. Upward facing dog Pose (Urdha Mukha Svanasana)

This pose increases flexibility, elongates the cervical spine and strengthens the core, hamstrings and lower back which is always important for a runner.IMG_4328.JPG

  • Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, while inhaling, lift your waist and raise your head.
  • Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. By putting equal pressure on both palms, keep your elbows straight.
  • Move your head back and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground. Relax and then repeat the procedure 3-4 times.
  • The main difference between cobra pose and this asana is that the thighs are lifted off from your mat. This is one of best series to tone up your arms and you can repeat it for 5-7 times.
  1. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

It promotes deep breathing, stretches legs and muscles around the knee. Stimulates function of abdominal organs. revolved-triangle-pose.jpg

  • Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart.
  • Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height.
  • Move your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees.
  • Keep your feet pressed against the ground and inhale. While exhaling, bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up.
  • Keep your waist straight and your body is bent sideways. Take deep breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands

It relieves stress in the shoulder, back and neck muscles. It improves blood circulation and metabolism. It stretches the muscles of the back and the spine. Two-Fit-Moms-in-Prasarita.jpg

  • From a standing position, fold your body over at the crease of the hip with the spine long.
  • Relax neck and keep your crown of the head towards the mat. The feet are rooted into the mat.
  • The toes are actively lifted. The spine is straight. The ribcage is lifted. The chest and the thighs are connected.
  • The sacrum lifts up toward the sky in dog tilt. The fingers are interlaced behind the body and the palms are together.
  • The arms and elbows are straight. The shoulder blades rotate towards each other as the hands move forward (away from the lower back).
  • The gaze is down and inward.
  1. Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)

This pose is an active pose that strengthens the ankles and legs, tones the muscles of the abdomen, and offers a stretch through the chest, shoulders, and hamstrings. This pose also helps to improve balance and coordination.

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Photo Credit: Sammy Veall
  • From Mountain pose, step the right foot a foot length forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg.
  • While Inhaling raise the arms over your head and interlace the fingers, pointing the index finger up.
  • As you exhale, lift the left leg up and out, hinging at the hips to lower the arms and torso down towards the floor.
  • Look down at the floor and stare at a point for maintaining balance. Reach out through the left toes and the crown and fingers making one straight line.
  • Breathe and hold for few breaths.
  • Come back to the mountain pose, relax and repeat on the other side.
  1. Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)

This pose reduces fat on your inner thighs and strengthens your spine, muscles of the groin, knees and lower back. DSC_0126.JPG

  • Sit on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Keep your spine erect and bend your legs at the knees, such that the soles of your feet are facing each other.
  • Now with your hands pull your legs in so that your heels touch each other and they are as close to your pelvis as possible.
  • While holding your legs at the ankles, move your thighs up and down, just like the wings of a butterfly. Do this as many times as you can.
  1. Sitting half spinal Twist (Ardhamatsyendrasana)

This pose stretches shoulders, hips, and back. It also helps to calm the nervous system and tones abdomen. HalfSpinalTwist.jpg

  • Sit up with the legs stretched out, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
  • Bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip.
  • Take the right leg over the left knee and place the left hand on the right knee. Keep the right hand behind you.
  • Twist your waist, shoulders, and neck towards right look over the right shoulder.
  • While keeping your spine straight, continue long breath in and out.
  • While exhaling, release the right hand first, then release the chest and waist. Release your neck and sit relaxed. Repeat on the other side.
  1. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

This pose stretches the back of the legs, calms the mind and nervous system and provides better relaxation. It also regulated blood flow and improves digestion. Screen_Shot_2015-05-05_at_11.34.37_AM.png

  • Lie down flat on your back in supine position.
  • Position your buttocks closer to the wall as much as possible and then Inhale slowly and deeply.
  • Rest both your legs on the wall while keeping them straight.
  • Tilt your toes towards your body until you feel the pressure on your hamstrings.
  • Stretch both your hands on either side of your body.
  • Hold the position with regular breathing for at least 2-3 minutes.
  1. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This pose relaxes the mind, body, and spirit while decreases muscle tension, gives relief from anxiety and increases overall energy. reclining-bound-angle-pose.jpg

  • Lie down flat on your back in supine position with your legs and arms extended.
  • Bend your knees and bring your heels towards your pelvis area. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides.
  • Keep your arms open on both sides with palms up.
  • Lengthen your spine along the floor and maintain the natural curve of the lower back.
  • Relax your buttocks and lengthen your tailbone toward your heels.
  • Close your eyes and turn your awareness completely inward.
  • Hold this position as long as you feel comfortable. Don’t force your body unnecessarily.
  1. Childs Pose (Balasana)

This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety. DSC_0075.JPG

  • Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
  • Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and stretch your hands forward.
  • Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground. 1500x300-v2._CB519728005_

Always keep one thing in your mind that your body needs sufficient rest. So, between the practice give your body some rest by doing Savasana or Corpse pose.

Yoga and breathing practice is just a perfect compliment for running. The benefits include greater flexibility, improved fitness, mental focus and a medicine to cure aches and pains.

Enjoy your running and if you feel this article is for you then share your experience with us by commenting below.

How to deal with Smoking???

A burnt cigarette ash said – Today it’s me, because of you!

                                                      But tomorrow it’s you, because of me!!!

Nowadays, Smoking is a part of everyday life. Be it demonetization, unemployment or price hike, it doesn’t matter. I don’t say this randomly, the research done by World Health Organization suggests this. About 2.0 billion people smoke all around the world daily, of which 48% are adult males and 12% are adult females. I understand that earlier, there was less awareness about the ill effects of smoking and they were printed in small print on the packets like “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health”, but today there is sufficient awareness about the health effects of smoking. Nowadays they are printing in big images like “Smoking kills” and “Smoking causes cancer”. Even after so many awareness, people continue to smoke. Each day nearly 1,000 kids under the age of 18 start smoking on a daily basis. Eighteen hundred adults, 18 and over, will also start smoking on a daily basis. (Source:cigarettesreporter.com) 1500x300-v2._CB519728005_

So, the question arises in our mind that whether Smoking is a habit or an addiction? The answer is simple, it’s both a habit and an addiction. A habit is generally considered to be a part of an addictive behaviour, but the creation, manifestation, and cure of an addiction are much different than that of a habit. If you are addicted to smoking, you may feel an immense sense of stress or uneasiness if you are not able to smoke.

This proves that the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive. There are many scenarios which demonstrate the statement.

Do you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning time? Do you smoke 10 cigarettes (a pack) or more in one day?

At times when you can’t smoke or don’t have any cigarettes with you, do you feel any pressure to smoke?

Is it tough for you to keep yourself away from smoking for more than a few hours?

When you are sick enough to rest in bed, do you still smoke?

If one of the above sound familiar to you, you may be addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes.

My advice to smokers is that if you enjoy while smoking, then do it and continue till you die. Everyone has the right to do whatever they want in their life. But, for every action, there are certain consequences. If you are confident enough to face the consequences and can enjoy in that moment when you have cancer or brain haemorrhage, then you can continue smoking. If you are not confident enough, then be conscious of your action. Life is as simple as that, a person who acts without knowing the consequences is bound to suffer.

Sometimes ago I read an article written by Sadhguru, where he rightly said that nowadays experts are doing research on making vehicles smoke less, but we as a human system which wasn’t built to smoke, do stupidity and created a smoking habit.

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Some quit smoking statistics say that nearly 70 percent of smokers want to quit smoking altogether. Approximately 40 percent of smokers will try to quit this year. About 7 percent will succeed at quitting smoking in their first try. That may sound like a small number but it is over 3 million people in the world.

Though it’s an addiction, there are different ways one can quit smoking considering he/she is determined.

Join a quit smoking community in order to get support from them.

Do healthy activities like simple practices of meditation and breathing. Meditation and breathing practices not only reduces your daily stress, but also helps to improve your health.

Mantras like “I am a non-smoker” helps people to quit.

One of the most important advice is to keep away from smokers. Because second hand smoke and watching someone light up are most popular triggers.

Deep breathing practice really helps to quit smoking and it requires to concentrate and notice your breath. While sitting in a silent place, breathe in deeply, allowing your belly to expand as your lungs fill with air. Pay sufficient attention to your diaphragm as it moves up and down with your breathing. Please notice how you must push the air from your lungs as you exhale. Make it as a part of your daily routine and practice it whenever you will feel like smoking. Moreover, meditation also helps to concentrate your monkey mind to take effective action.

Every time you light up a cigarette. You are saying that your life isn’t worth living!

Think thrice, before lighting up a cigarette! “Quit smoking before smoking quits you”