Wednesday, March 5, 2008
What is Obesity or Overweight?
It may be defined as excess weight or deposition of excess fats on body, which leads to various diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, lowered pulmonary functions, lowers life expectancy.
Medical words, it may be defined as an abnormal growth of the adipose tissue due to enlargement of fat cell size (Hypertrophic) or an increase in fat cell number (Hyperplastic).
It can be of 2 types, first is Abdominal obesity and second is Gluteal obesity. Generally 20 % excess weight is considered as health risk.
• Physical inactivity (lack of proper exercise)
• Eating Habits –
o Eating in between meals
o Preference to sweets, refined food, fats, preserved food
o Composition & periodicity of meals
• Psychological Factors
o Emotional disturbances
o Depression and anxiety
o Frustration and loneliness
• Endocrine glands problems
• Familial tendency
• Males are at high risk during age 29 to 35 and females are at risk during the age 45 to 49
• The risk increases with age.
Assessment of Obesity –
1. Body Mass Index = Weight in kg./ (Height in meter)* (Height in meter)
If the BMI is in between 19 to 23, it is considered as normal, but if it is more then 23 then it can be called as obesity.
2. Waist to Hip ratio = if it is more than 1 in male is Obesity and 0.85 in females.
There are other methods to assess the obesity.
The obesity results in various diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart diseases, reduced pulmonary functions and resulting in lower life expectancy.
Yoga has an important role to play in the treatment of Obesity. Yoga techniques affect body, internal organs, endocrine glands, brain, mind and other factors concerning Body – Mind complex. Various Yoga techniques can be practiced effectively to reduce the weight and achieve normal healthy condition of Body and Mind.
Asanas – Yoga positions or postures are especially useful to reduce the fats in various parts, especially forward bending, twisting and backward bending asanas help reduce the fats near abdomen, hips and other areas. Also the practice of asanas improves functioning of internal organs, strengthening heart, lungs, kidneys, excretory & reproductive organs. Regular practice builds strength in muscles.
Asanas can be practiced with fast speed like exercise with good effects, the practitioner may increase repetitions instead of maintaining the asana for long.
Sun salutations are very beneficial in Obesity management, every day 24 sun salutations with a speed of 4 rounds in 1 minute gives great benefits of Yoga Asanas and exercise as well. The practice of Sun salutation is a sequence of 7 asanas practiced in order which tones almost all of the muscles and also internal organs are stretched increasing blood & oxygen supply to these parts. Regular practice of sun salutation with breathing gives good exercise to the lungs. Mantras have relaxing effect on mind.
Pranayama is very important technique in yoga which is control and extension of Prana or Vital energy or Life force. Pranayama helps in management of this energy. Various techniques are available in yoga, which give interesting but good results.
The Pranayama can be classified in 2 types in terms of physiology, Hypo ventilation or vitalizing Pranayama and Hyper ventilation or relaxing pranayama. Kapalbhati, Bhasrika and Fast breathing can be classified under Hyper ventilation (increases Oxygen and reduces carbon dioxide) and Deep breathing, Bhramari, Shitali, Sitkari can be classified as Hypo ventilation (oxygen level remains mostly same but the speed of respiration is lower, heart rate lower).
Kapalbhati, Bhasrika & fast breathing can be practiced by people suffering from obesity with good effects; these Pranayama techniques increase the lung capacity and help burning fats. Regular practice of Pranayama brings balance in the system in terms of Physical and Mental functions.
Cleansing Techniques -
Shankha Prakshalana or Master cleansing technique – Drinking 2 glasses of water, performing special asanas, again drinking the water, followed by asanas to evacuate the bowels is the process of cleansing of entire GI tract. The process is completed when one has completely cleansed the intestinal tract.
Agnisar – Fast movement of abdominal muscles in and out, is very good exercise to get rid of the accumulated fats in the abdominal region also it helps in streamlining Digestive system.
Diet – More raw vegetables, fruits help in balancing the intake of the food. Reducing refined & processed food, fast food, non vegetarian diet helps in weight control. A special fasting program has shown promising results. Please refer for more details.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
If you are suffering from, or have had in the past, some rather unpleasant experiences of not being able to sleep, take heart. You are not alone, and you definitely have lots of wide-eyed company sharing this dilemma with you.
Roughly, about 35 million Americans, currently, have some precarious night owl tendencies. They find themselves up all hours of the night reading, watching late night movies, or listening to soothing music or sounds, in an attempt to go to sleep.
Many of you who have, or have had, sleep problems can attest to the fact, that the repercussions of losing a good night's sleep, or more, has far more serious consequences than just extreme tiredness, sluggish thinking, or impaired memory functioning the next day.
Frequent bouts with insomnia can lead to an increased sensitivity to aches and pains, bad moods, and an eventual over all feeling of negative mental and physical health.
Many of the symptoms of chronic insomnia can mimic the symptoms of other health conditions such as pain disorders like fibromyalgia, and mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and dementia. Unless your insomnia is not caused by an underlying medical condition, like sleep apnea, there is definitely more than one good road leading back to a better night's sleep.
Most, who have had repeated rounds of unproductive attempts to reduce sleepless nights, on their own, end up visiting their physicians hoping for a quick-fix pill solution. Antidepressants, tranquilizers, or other special sleep medications, oftentimes, offers no real long-term relief you can reliably trust.
Inherent drug side effects comes with the territory, here, as well as drug tolerance to the initial effective dose that may bring about a remission of your symptoms. Eventually, if one decides to remain on chemical substances, a raising of the dose, or a substitution of a different drug often becomes necessary. Frustration begins to set in as you discover that, without the medications, your sleep problems are, predominately, still with you.
According to 'The National Institute of Health', primary insomnia is a common condition, on its own, and is not caused by an underlying medical problem. To be considered true insomnia, though, the difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep must be present for at least one month.
And, according to the ASDA (American Sleep Disorders Association) insomnia is considered 'chronic' when you have experienced the inability to go to sleep or stay asleep three nights a week for at least 3 months.
Primary insomnia, the type more commonly experienced by most, is often triggered by specific circumstances, like a traumatic event or situation in one's life. The main theme that is most likely to cause insomnia is some type of precipitating event-like a divorce or other personal relationship problems, job or career changes, or a death of a friend or loved one. When the initial trauma of the precipitating event, eventually, goes away, sometimes the insomnia part does not.
Sometimes, too, the insomnia continues on because bad sleeping habits were adopted to cope with a stress-filled inability to go to sleep during the course of the triggering event. Over indulging in alcohol, chemical pills, over eating, and lack of regular physical exercise are considered to be bad sleep hygiene habits. It is a good idea to try to break these habits and avoid stimulants, both chemical and technological-like coffee, tea, television, and computers.
We can all become susceptible, to developing certain conditioned pattern responses, in trying to cope with long-term sleep deprivation problems. Certain individuals even develop what is known as 'sleep dread', in developing a persistent anxiety about not being able to fall asleep, or stay asleep, before bedtime.
As you already know, worrying about anything before you go to bed at night, or while you are trying to go to sleep, is not a great time to try and resolve problems with bills, jobs, or personal relationship issues. Try really hard not to worry about things you have no control over, even if you think you do have some control over some of these things, take a break for the night, for the sake of getting a better night's sleep.
If you have faith in a higher power, pass most of your worries on to God or another source of spiritual comfort. Never underestimate the power of developing a spiritual practice to help you sleep better, and to help you in many other areas of your life.
At one time, I considered myself to be a chronic insomniac. Sleep would evade me several nights a week, and this amounted to many nights over the course of a month. I had developed a distinct pattern that would wax and wane, due to a troubled personal relationship, over a 15 year season of my life.
By and large, in all those years I tried just about everything, from prescription drugs to over the counter sleep aides, that I could find to help ease me into a restful night's sleep. Out of desperation, I read about and tried quite a few natural herbal remedies as well. For a while, most of these substances would actually work for me.
During a long and drawn out process of 15 years I , eventually, discovered that all of these substances were just merely short-term band aides fixes. They were fine for the occasional relief of a rare sleepless night. If there is a precipitating event or situation in your life that is contributing to a lack of sleep, however, the issue will have to be uncovered and resolved. Whether it is a conscious issue or a subconscious one, meditating can help spot some light on the issue and bring it to your visual awareness.
Luckily, after approaching my sleep problems in only one way for many years, I happened to find a meditation audio created by the 'Immrama Institute', that used harmonically layered binaural beats gently interwoven inside the sounds of soft rainfall very sensitive, soothing, and relaxing.
Meditation can take years of dedicated practice, and can be quite difficult to learn and master in the traditional way. A well crafted sound audio, however, can make it almost effortless to achieve deep relaxation. I began using it regularly. It helped me to get completely quiet for about 20 minutes, or longer, a day. I managed, in a rather short amount of time, of about a month, to improve my over all sleep quality dramatically.
Regular meditation has, also, helped me gain more control over several other troubling issues in my life such as:
1.reduced overall daily anxiety levels
2.achieved prolonged states of deep relaxation
3. improved outlook on life, in general
4.found the motivation to pursue personal life goals
5.heightened sense of self-awareness, and intuition
I have been using this relaxation audio for two years, and simply love it!
The long term benefits of regularly using a sound based relaxation technique in combination with a basic rudimentary understanding of biology, physics, and in faithfully applying ancient, spiritual wisdom teachings to improve one's life are not to be underestimated, either, in their over all effectiveness. Becoming a more spiritually centered individual has its perks and long-term advantages in overcoming any physical health issue. I recently found a wealth of written information and a creative sound treatment program called, "Sound Health Sound Wealth" I found it not only to be truly helpful, but very effective too in calming and soothing any psychological fears one may have.
Strategies such as those mentioned above, can help you to want to embrace improvement. Desire can bring about some much needed, wanted, and longed for self-loving, changes within yourself. Consciously choosing to get more consistent nutritional elements in your daily diet, engaging in more physical exertion, and, yes, even improving one's spiritual awareness of sounds, colors, and light can take you as far as your intuition and intelligence will not be an inhibiting factor.
Upon embarking in such an incredible journey, I'll make a wish for all of you, who have trouble sleeping. I hope you are, soon, sleeping better, more soundly, and challenging your thinking mind, more often. Open yourself up to more exciting possibilities in the near future.
Monday, March 3, 2008
- You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
- You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
- Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.
- Truth, purity, and unselfishness - whenever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.
- We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
- The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
- Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
- Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
- All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
- All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.
- As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.
- If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished.