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Vajrasana: A Unique Yoga Pose (to be done after meals)

Vajrasana: A Unique Yoga Pose (to be done after meals)

We all know that we should not do any exercise or Yoga immediately after having food. But there is one asana (yoga pose) which you can do after having food, and it will actually help your digestion! Vajrasana.

vajrasana legs toes heels position

Vajrasana is a simple and very effective asana. It is the only asana which you can do after having your meal. This asana has a wide range of benefits from making your body internally strong to getting into the ultimate meditative state.

Meaning of Vajrasana:

Word Vajrasana is a combination of two words, Vajra and Asana. Vajra means thunderbolt or diamond. The word asana translates as ‘pose’. According to Hindu puranas / ancient scriptures, vajra was described as the weapon of Indra (the King of Gods) and it is considered as the strongest among all other weapons. Vajra had both, the indestructible nature of a diamond and the irresistible force of a thunderbolt.

Like vajra, the Vajrasana makes our body strong internally. Regular practice of this asana improves our immunity and we become less susceptible to various diseases.

Vajrasana yoga sitting position pose

Benefits of Vajrasana:

1. Improves Digestive Health:

Vajrasana alters the blood flow in the lower pelvic region. The blood flow to the legs is reduced and the blood flow to the digestive organs is increased. This increases the efficiency of the digestive system and helps those with weak digestion to digest a meal easily. Regular practice strengthens the digestive system and keeps acidity, indigestion, bloating, constipation at bay.

2. Better blood circulation:

Vajrasana helps better blood circulation in the body. It modifies the blood flow by reducing the blood flow in lower portion, especially in the legs and increasing blood flow to the upper parts of the body including digestive organs, heart, lungs and brain.

3. Makes lower body flexible:

It strengthens the sexual organs, tones lower body muscles (hips, thighs, calves), cures joint pains, urinary problems, etc.

4. Helps in weight loss:

Losing weight becomes possible with regular practice of Vajrasana. You will see reduction in your belly fat after a few weeks of regular practice of Vajrasana.

5. Helps meditation:

In Vajrasana the body becomes upright and straight with no effort. Slow and rhythmic breathing in this position can help you go into the meditative state very easily.

This is the only asana you can do immediately after meal, ideally you should do this asana everyday for 10 minutes after lunch or dinner. Doing so regularly will give you all the above benefits.

Initially, one may find it difficult to withstand the pose due to the intense stretch it gives to your legs and thighs but with time you may even go on till 20 minutes at a stretch.

Steps to do Vajrasana:

step 1: Come to sitting position

Step 2: Bend your left leg and bring the foot to the left buttock.

Do the same with your right leg, then balance on your toes as shown in the above picture.

This is called as Utkatasana.

Step 3: Shift the weight forward, straighten out the toes, and bring your knees to the ground.

vajrasana legs toes heels position

Step 4: Keeping toes together, part just your heels apart and sit between your heels. Place the palms of your hands on the knees or near your pelvis region on one another as shown in the figure. Maintain the asana, breathing normally.

How to release (get out of) the Vajrasana:

To release the asana, remove the hands from the knees and return them to your sides. Go back to balancing on your toes (as in step 2 mentioned above). Straighten the left leg first then Straighten the right leg and lower the buttocks to the ground returning to sitting position (as in step 1 mentioned above).

“Remember: releasing the pose is as important as going into the pose.”

Precautions to be taken:

  • Beginners can take support of a pillow or rolled cloth below the ankle and knee if you find it hard to stretch. It takes the pressure off the feet and ankles.

vajrasana pillow support

  • Do not do Vajrasana if you have a knee problem; or if had a recent knee surgery, as it may put additional strain on the knee. Also, pregnant women should try this asana only with their knees apart in order to avoid stress on the abdomen.
  • Always practice new asana in presence of the instructor.
Know your body type and personality – VATA, PITTA, KAPHA [PART2]

Know your body type and personality – VATA, PITTA, KAPHA [PART2]

In the first part of this blog – VĀTA, PITTA AND KAPHA – THE 3 DOSHAS THAT DETERMINE YOUR PERSONALITY AND HEALTH [PART 1] , I wrote about what Doshas are (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), what basic elements are combined (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth)  to form each Dosha and how Doshas are spread out into our body. Please read that blog if you have not read it already. I am sure now you want to know what is your own Prakruti (body type). How are the Doshas influencing your personality and nature? You might also want to know what exactly are the different characteristics of these 3 Doshas? Lets talk about them now.

The Doshas are dynamic energies that constantly change in response to our bodily actions, thoughts, emotions, the food we eat, the seasons and any other changes that influence our mind and body. If the proportion of Dosha in your body is similar as you were born with, then you will be healthy and vibrant. If there is difference between these two states, it indicates the state of imbalance, which leads to various diseases in our body. In Ayurveda it is called as a Vikruti which is opposite of Prakruti.

There are three primary doshic states

Balanced- Influenced equally by Vata, Pitta, Kapha – is considered as the optimum state.

Increased- Particular Dosha is present in excess than its normal proportion.

Decreased- Particular Dosha is present in a less than normal proportion.

Know your body type and personality - VĀTA, PITTA, KAPHA. Characteristics, Qualities of doshas. How doshas influence and affect your nature?

1. Characteristics of Vata Dosha (Wind Energy)

According to the ancient Ayurvedic scripture Ashtāngahridayasaṃhitā (अष्टाङ्गहृदयसंहिता), following are the characteristics of Vata dosha:

Vata dosha shlok - VĀTA, PITTA, KAPHA - Know your body type and personality

Vata is predominantly composed of space and air elements.

A person with Vata dosha has the following body characteristics:

  1. Thin body frame, does not gain weight easily.
  2. Skin is dry, rough, dark complexion, cracked
  3. Hair are dry and splitting
  4. Is usually quick in doing any activities
  5. Has variable and/or poor appetite.
  6. Physical working capacity less, resistance to disease usually poor.
  7. Prefers warm or hot food and climate.
  8. Sweats less,  and has variable thirst.
  9. Tendency of constipation.
  10. Has light sleep with many dreams.
  11. Prone to anxiety, depression and has unpredictable nature.

2. Characteristics of Pitta Dosha (Fire Energy)

According to the ancient Ayurvedic scripture Ashtāngahridayasaṃhitā (अष्टाङ्गहृदयसंहिता), following are the characteristics of Pitta dosha:

Pitta dosha shlok - VĀTA, PITTA, KAPHA - Know your body type and personality

Pitta is predominantly composed of fire and water elements.

A person with Pitta dosha has the following body characteristics:

  1. Medium body frame.
  2. Skin is delicate, reddish complexion and warm to touch.
  3. Good or big appetite.
  4. Sensitive to warm temperature. Intolerance to hot food and climate.
  5. They prefer cold food and climate.
  6. Tendency of loose motions.
  7. Excessive sweating and often feel thirsty.
  8. Bright eyes, reddish sclera (the white outer layer of eyeball), yellow iris, sharp penetrating vision.
  9. Hair are soft, prone to premature graying and baldness.
  10. They are intelligent and have sharp memory.
  11. Hot tempered, brave, jealous, aggressive, commanding nature.

3.Characteristics of Kapha Dosha (Water Energy)

Kapha dosha shlok - VĀTA, PITTA, KAPHA - Know your body type and personality

Kapha is predominantly composed of water and earth elements.

A person with Kapha dosha has the following body characteristics:

  1. Large, board body frame, tendency to gain weight.
  2. Skin is thick, soft, smooth, firm, glossy, fair complexion.
  3. Has good stamina but is slow in physical activities.
  4. Deep and pleasant voice.
  5. Moderate appetite.
  6. Moderate sweating, low thirst.
  7. Deep and sound sleep.
  8. Large eyes, calm, stable with whitish sclera (the white outer layer of eyeball).
  9. Hair are thick, oily, wavy and dark-colored.
  10. Calm, cool, joyful, polite nature.

These are some of the characteristics of each dosha. By now you must have got an idea about the type of dosha your body belong to. But having said that, we all have complex personalities and body types. So its difficult to come to a conclusion about your correct Dosha based on a broad set of general characteristics. It will take a detailed evaluation by a professional Ayurvedic practitioner to know your exact body type. But never the less, these above guidelines will still give you a fair idea.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are each essential to our physiology in some way or other, so no Dosha is better than or superior to any other dosha. Each one of them has a very specific set of functional roles to play in the body. When the doshas are out of balance, they can create various health problems in our body. Imbalance of doshas can be caused by stress, emotional trauma, as well as poor diet and lifestyle choices. All these disturbances cause an increase in one or more of the doshas, destroying the natural state of internal equilibrium of doshas represented by our body constitution.

In my next blog I am going to focus on reasons of imbalances of Doshas in our body and how to balance these Doshas with the help of change in lifestyle and diet.

Heres the link to the next part : Balance Your Imbalanced Doshas (Vata, Pitta And Kapha) With These Diet And Lifestyle Changes

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Is drinking refreshing Cold Water making you ill ?

Is drinking refreshing Cold Water making you ill ?

Refrigerators were originally invented to store food and keep it edible over a longer time. They were created to minimize the impact of the outside climate on food. When refrigerators were invented and were getting widely advertised, drinking water became a commercial product in the form of chilled bottled water, and the consumer perception changed. Cold water sure feels refreshing, but do you know that it may be harming your body chronically?

drinking cold water is harmful for you

 

Today it is common for the people to drink cold water at home and also in restaurants.  We need to take charge of our health and listen to our body and provide it with its natural needs.

What does Cold Water do to harm your Body?

1. Your blood vessels shrink:

When you drink cold water it shrinks your blood vessels because it is the nature of the cold temperature to shrink everything. Because of that blood circulation in your body slows down. It leads to improper blood supply to the various organs of the body. It is like making your body a stagnant water pond. Because of shrinked blood vessels chances of blockages in arteries increases, which is not good for people with high cholesterol level.

2. Interference with Digestion:

Drinking chilled water leads to severe constipation. Cold water shrinks your large intestine causing various other complications related to the constipation and indigestion. Just think about it – if cold water can make your large intestine (which plays very important function of removing toxins and waste from your body) shrink, how it could be affecting your overall health?

3. Danger of organ failure:

When you drink chilled water it suddenly drops down the normal temperature of your stomach. At that temperature it’s very difficult for your stomach to digest the food. As a result stomach starts to raise the temperature of the water and bring it to the normal body temperature. To do this, stomach requires an excess amount of energy which comes from your blood. This causes blood from the other parts of the body to move towards the stomach, which causes shortage of blood supply to other organs. If this process continues like this multiple times everyday,  it might cause failure of those organs at some point in future.

4. Makes you Fat!

If you drink cold water with your food or immediately after eating food, the water’s cold temperature solidifies fats from the foods you have just eaten. The body in turn finds it hard to digest the unwanted fats from your food. Ultimately body stores that undigested fat in the various parts of our body.

5. Reduces your immunity:

Cold water interferes with the natural absorption of the nutrients inside the body, which ultimately makes body nutrient deficient and reduces our immunity. Our chances of getting sore throat and other viral infections increases.

Some people say that when you drink cold water it requires more energy to digest it and so it burns more calories. But it is very unnatural to force our digestive system to work hard.

We should always make things as easy as we can for our body then only it will function properly for longer period of the time.

Once you get into the habit of drinking water at room temperature or warm, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion and the way your body feels while eating and after the meal.

So the next time someone offers you a glass of chilled water, just say NO!

P.S. If you can’t do without cold water, here’s something for you. Since childhood I have seen clay pots called Matka in my house to store drinking water. For generations, almost every household in India has clay pots or copper pots that have been used according to the weather/season. In hot weather, most people use clay pots and in cold weather copper pots. Clay pot keeps water naturally cooled at around 14 degrees Celsius depending on the weather, which is good for drinking – not too warm and not too cold and gives it refreshing flavor. These are the ancient methods based on the Vedic Science.

Read my other post similar to this for more information: Drinking Water Immediately After Eating Is Poisonous!

Sources:

http://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/columns/narural-healing-the-dangers-of-drinking-cold-water/

http://cssf.usc.edu/History/2008/Projects/J1101.pdf

Water and Saliva: A No Exercise Weight Loss Technique

Water and Saliva: A No Exercise Weight Loss Technique

Want to lose weight without exercise using water and saliva?

Want to feel light and vibrant everyday?

Make one simple change to your water drinking technique and prepare to see transformation in your body like never before…

Saliva – Ever wondered how precious it is? Like many of us, I was unaware of all the benefits of this magical watery fluid secreted twenty-four hours continuously inside our mouth, until I discovered its magical benefits from an ancient Āyurveda book called Ashtānga hridayasamhitā  (Heart of Medicine) written by one of the most influential writer of ĀyurvedaMaharishi VāgbhataĀyurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Āyurveda is one of the earliest branches of medical science, which is followed by a large number of people in India and all over the world, especially people who are into practicing Yoga.

After reading about how just changing the way we drink water can help us lose weight without exercise and address other common problems like bloating and acidity, I got very excited to experiment with it. My husband and I started following this method of drinking water and guess what only within few days of practicing both of us saw significant changes in our body. Bloating was gone, we lost few inches around our belly, felt very light as our stomach was happy!

lose weight drinking water and saliva

 

Drink Water one Sip at a time!

Our stomach is Acidic in nature because it has Hydrochloric acid in it which helps in the digestion of the food. Saliva in our mouth is Alkaline in nature and its job is to stabilize the acid in our stomach. When we gulp large amount of water at once very less saliva gets mixed with the water so the atmosphere inside the stomach remains acidic. This causes acidity, indigestion, bloating, gases, etc. and ultimately it causes weight gain and increase in the cholesterol levels, because stomach fails to absorb essential nutrients from the food that we eat and remove unwanted material out of the body. In short by drinking water in a wrong way, we are disturbing the natural process of the digestive system.

Change The Habit

When we drink water one sip at a time, more saliva gets mixed with the water which makes water alkaline and when it reaches the stomach – which is acidic in nature – it creates Neutral atmosphere inside the stomach which is an ideal state for our stomach which eases and aides the entire digestive process.

Nature is The Best Teacher

Have you ever noticed how birds and animals drink water? If not then observe the next time you get a chance and you will notice that they take one sip at a time and drink it. In this way every time their tongue gets wet their saliva mixes with the water. Nature is smarter than we think!

Scientific Research is also in Motion

In the late 19th century, researchers had already learnt that saliva had digestive powers. Studies in the early 20th century had also shown some evidence of the dietary effect of saliva, and now a recent study has confirmed on the medicinal properties of the saliva. Some researchers have found that a simple saliva test is capable of diagnosing diabetes and cancer at an early stage, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases too because saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in our blood!

So now, it’s a time to take our Saliva seriously because we often don’t realize how important something is, until its too late.

Let That Holy Liquid Flow Inside Your Body!

Now you must be wondering how exactly should I drink  water?

You probably already know that it is very important that you should drink enough water everyday, to keep your body hydrated and remove toxins out of your body. You should always drink water at room temperature or lukewarm water. Never drink cold water. (Why? I am going to write about that very soon. Maybe I already have, please check my other posts).

This is what you should do:

First, take one sip of water at a time in your mouth. Rinse and swish the water in your mouth (as if you are using mouthwash) and let the saliva in your mouth mix with the water, and then drink it. Repeat the process until you finish your glass of water and do this every time you drink water. Pretend like you are drinking hot tea or coffee and drink your water sip by sip. Remember that “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”. It will be difficult and even a bit frustrating (yes, it was for my husband) when you first start to do this. It took about a week for me to get used to this technique.

What transformation will you see within a month?

  1. Your waistline will be reduced by few inches.
  2. Bloating will be completely gone.
  3. Your digestion will be improved.
  4. No acidity.
  5. Your bowel movements will be smoother.
  6. You will feel lighter and more energetic.
  7. Overall fat deposition tendency of your body will reduce over time.

Please do read my other post talking about why we shoud never drink cold water: Is Drinking Refreshing Cold Water Making You ill / Sick ?  It also has a short video too, hope you like it.

Now that you know all the benefits of drinking water ‘One Sip at a Time’,  start following it and you will see your overall health improve drastically in a very short time.

Sources for research:

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/treasure-in-saliva-may-reveal-deadly-diseases-early-enough-to-treat-them-ucla-scientists-report/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2010/186728/cta/

http://www.ijprjournal.org/File_Folder/191-193(ijprjournal).pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saliva