My way of Pashimottanasana and Counter-pose

 

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Antibiotics

Sadhguru on Antibiotic

After watching “Global antibiotics ‘revolution’ needed” on BBC just an hour ago made me realise “How much ever antimicrobial resistance revolution will be there,  the bacteria will try to come back with more strength. Isn’t it thought provoking news “Superbugs, resistant to antimicrobials, are estimated to account for 700,000 deaths each year. But modelling up to the year 2050, by Rand Europe and auditors KPMG, suggests 10 million people could die each year – equivalent to one every three seconds.” And,  you know who is saying that, “the second largest industry on earth Medicine

It’s a scary movie cliché – the good guy does everything he can to kill the bad guy, and no matter what he tries, the bad guy just keeps getting back up, bloody and mangled, but still alive somehow. Eventually, the hero deals one final blow, and the evildoer dies.

Health care is a lot like these scary movies. Doctors fight the villains – let’s say bacteria – with all the tools they have – in our case, a slew of antibiotics. The bacteria fight to live, but eventually the antibiotics prove too powerful. The bacteria and the resulting infection die, and we live. Yay for modern medicine!

But you know how where there’s a bad guy, there’s always a sequel in the making where he’s not really dead? In the health care world, we’re moving rapidly toward that same scenario. The bugs that are infecting us are transforming into superbugs, impervious to all known antibiotics. Health care leaders across the globe are warning that many of the bacteria that harm us are growing resistant to the drugs we’ve been using to combat them.

Humor Therapy for Cancer

Many of us feel awkward in joking in front of terminally ill patients. Many may even consider it inappropriate or insensitive. However, it has been known scientifically that the best thing you can do to your friends is to provide a humorous environment and let them “forget” about their condition. Sitting and feeling sorry for their condition will not help them much.

Dr. Michael B. Van Scoy-Morsher, an oncologist in California says that “one characteristic of the cancer patient who does well is the ability to often put cancer in the background for periods of time.

In his book “Intoxicated by My Illness,” Anatole Broyard wrote aboutthe final months of his life after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He stated that “Illness is primarily a drama, and it should be possible to enjoy it as well as to suffer it. . . . . Illness,” after all, “is not all tragedy. Much of it is funny.”

Humor Therapy

A Healthy Dose of Laughter

I read that a child laughs 400 times a day on the average, while an adult laughs only 15 times each day. Which is puzzling since laughter feels so good and is so good for us!

You may know the benefits of laughter on the mind and spirit, but are you aware of how much a good laugh can help you physically? Norman Cousins used to say that laughter is so bene­ficial for your body that it is like “inner jog­ging.”

Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, March 1993) reports that laughter aids breathing by disrupting your normal respiration pattern and in­creasing your breathing rate. It can even help clear mucus from your lungs.

Laughter is also good for your heart. It in­creases circulation and improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout your body.

A good laugh helps your immune system fight off colds, flu and sinus problems by increas­ing the concentration of immunoglobulin A in your sa­liva. And it may help control pain by rais­ing the levels of certain brain chemicals (endorphins).

Furthermore, it is a natural stress reliever. Have you ever laughed so hard that you doubled over, fell off your chair, spit out your food or wet your pants? You cannot maintain muscle tension when you are laughing!

The good news is that you are allowed more than 15 laughs a day! Go ahead and double the dose and make it 30 times today. (You may begin to no­tice immediate improvement in your relationships!) Then double it again! You are bound to feel better, you will cope with problems more effectively and people will enjoy being around you.

Laughter: it’s just good medicine :))))

 

Shoyeido from Japan

Some people have trouble with allergies and asthma when burning incense. If that is the case, try switching to a high-quality, Japanese incense like Shoyeido, which leaves almost no ash behind and has a very clean smoke. You might also try diffusing essential oils. Experiment with different formulations to achieve the right influence in your life.

Deeper meaning of Gomukhasana (Cow-face Pose)

cowfacepose
Goumukhasan or Cow pose by Katrine Naled 

Gomukhasanaगोमुखासन (Cow-face Pose)

Why would we want to twist our body into the shape of a cow’s face? Sometimes the Sanskrit name of a pose can reveal a hidden intention or unexpected aspect of the posture. Gomukhasana translates literally as “cow’s face pose.” Go is a root word that refers to the senses, because they nourish the conscious mind, just as cow’s milk nourishes our body. Mukha means passageway or an aspect of something. Combining the two words we see that gomukha refers to the art of working with the senses as a gateway to a deeper aspect of the mind.

 

Translation:  The name comes from the Sanskrit words Gow (गो, Go) meaning “cow”, Mukha(मुख, mukha) meaning “face” or “mouth”, and Asana (आसन, Āsana) meaning “posture” or “seat”.

Step-by-Step:

    1. Start in a cross-legged sitting posture
    2. Bring the right foot on the outside of the left thing and slide the foot close to the left hip
    3. Bring the left ankle by the side of the right hip. Try to make sure that both the knees are one over the other.
    4. Make the effort to slide both the feet as far back as comfortable
    5. Try to keep the spine straight and vertical and the head facing forward
    6. Raise the right arm and bring the hand over the shoulder
    7. Wrap the left arm behind the back. Try to grasp the left hand with the right hand behind the back, joining the fingers of the two hands together.
    8. In the beginning you may find it difficult to hold the two hands together; however, with practice, you should gradually be able to do so. In case you are unable to hold the hands, you may like to use a strap holding it with the two hands and trying to close the gap between the two hands.

 

  1. Stay in the final pose for about 10-12 breaths.
  2. Release the hands and stretch the legs straight, bounce the knees a few times.
  3. Repeat the asana in the other direction, this time folding the left leg and placing the left foot on the outside of the right thigh.
  4. Bring the right ankle by the side of the left hip. Make sure that the knees are above each other. Try to slide the feet as far back as comfortable.
  5. Raise the left arm and place the hand over the left shoulder
  6. Wrap the right arm behind the back. Try to grasp the left hand with the right hand behind the back, joining the fingers of the two hands together.
  7. Straighten the back and hold the head upright and facing the front
  8. Remain in the final pose for about 10-12 breaths
  9. Finally release the post and relax in a comfortable cross-legged sitting posture

Variations:

  1. In the final pose, you may bend forward and try to bring the chest close to the knees
  2. In a slightly different variation, you may keep the position of the knees the same, stretch the arms overhead and then bend forward bringing the forearms on the floor and chest close to the knees
  3. Stay in the forward bend for about 4-5 breaths

Benefits:

  • Gomukhasana helps induce relaxation.When you feel tired, tense or worried, practicing this asana can help release the tension.
  • Stimulates the kidneys
  • Helpful in relieving ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sexual malfunction
  • Helps remove stiffness in the spine, neck and shoulders.
  • Develops the chest and improves breathing
  • Stretches the muscles of the lower back, buttocks and the knees and helps with backache, sciatica and rheumatism

**Cautions and Contra-indications:
If you have sciatica, be cautious and use a bolster as it could make it worse.

If sciatica or lower back problems exist, do not fold forward;

Don’t do the pose if you have any serious neck or shoulder problems

Pregnant women should not fold forward after the first trimester as it may put pressure on the belly and the baby.

If there are knee issues or pain, try keeping the lower leg straight. If that is still too difficult, sit cross-legged and fold forward.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Bhastrikā (pronounced bha-STRI-kaah),is an important breath exercise in yoga and pranayama. It is sometimes treated as a kriya or ‘cleansing action’ along with kapalabhatito clear the airways in preparation for other pranayama techniques. Bhastrika involves a rapid and forceful inhalation and exhalation powered by the movement of the diaphragm. The movement of air is accompanied by an audible sound. One inhale and exhale equals one round of bhastrika and it may be repeated for many consecutive rounds. B. K. S. Iyengar explains that the similar “process or kriyā of kapālabhāti is a milder form of Bhastrikā Prāṇāyāma. Swami Sivananda describes the process: “inhale and exhale quickly ten times like the bellows of the blacksmith. Constantly dilate and contract. When you practise this Pranayama a hissing sound is produced. The practitioner should start with rapid expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. When the required number of expulsions, say ten for a round, is finished, the final expulsion is followed by a deepest possible inhalation. The breath is suspended as long as it could be done with comfort. Then deepest possible exhalation is done very slowly. The end of this deep exhalation completes one round of Bhastrika”.

bhastrika_pranayama1
Inhale while raising up your both hands
bhastrika_pranayama2
Exhale with force by making

Importance of name

Bhastrika Pranayama is one of the main forms of Pranayama. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means the ‘bellows’. It is said to purify the mind and clear pranic blocks. Rapid succession of forcible expulsion is a characteristic feature of Bhastrika.

Technique

Sit in any steady asana – Padmasana, Siddhasana and Vajrasana are ideal for the practice. Keep the body erect and close the mouth. Inhale and exhale in rapid succession. During this process a hissing sound is produced. Start with say 10 inhalations and exhalations per round. It can be increased over a period of time. Some practitioners even do it till they get perspiration. Some practice Bhastrika along with Kumbhaka (holding of the breath) at the end of the last exhalation. To do this, take a deep breath after the last exhalation and hold the breath inside for as long as comfortable. Then exhale and start breathing normally. This will constitute one round.

Benefits

  • Bhastrika pranayama increases the oxygen content in the blood. Extra oxygen replenishes the entire body
  • It removes blockages in the nose and chest
  • It is good for asthma patients and removes inflammation of the throat
  • It increases the gastric fire and improves appetite
  • Bhastrika when practiced with Kumbhaka can generate heat in the body and keep it warm in cold weather
  • It improves general health and activates all the organs
  • Bhastrika purifies the nadis or the energy (pranic) channels in the body, ensuring free flow of prana to all the organs in the body