Yoga for ADHD | Alternative treatment for ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder, which manifests itself in early childhood.

The behaviors associated with ADHD are low self-esteem, forgetfulness, impatience, restlessness, poor organizational skills, hyperactivity and poor social skills. It has been seen that children who have ADHD have difficulty in slowing down even if they want to, they act or speak before they have time to think, and they seem uncoordinated and clumsy because their movements are too hurried.

Although there is no documented or real proof, it is believed that a chemical imbalance in the brain is the cause of ADHD.

Other social factors too are responsible for this behavioral disorder. Pre-natal use of drugs by parents, poor nutrition, breakdown of the family, TV violence, crowding, pollution and sensory overload are also cited as causes for triggering ADHD.

While tests have found that some children afflicted with ADHD have above average or average intelligence, they are unable to perform well in school because of this brain dysfunction or hyperactivity.

Cure for ADHD

ADHD is best treated in childhood in order to get better results. Exercises for ADHD affected persons are recommended since by burning up excess energy, it helps cope with their hyperactivity.

Since it is unadvisable to resort to medication, alternative treatment for ADHD is preferred and amongst these, yoga is considered the best.

Yoga and ADHD

Teachers have found that yoga and pranayama are beneficial for those with ADHD. These make use of relaxation techniques which not only calm down the central nervous system, but also strengthen it. Yoga is non-competitive and allows such children and even teenagers to get in touch and realize the feelings of their innermost bodies and thoughts. Yoga also has a spiritual side, and the deep silences while practicing it, increases inner awareness, providing a refuge from the frenetic pace of life all around them.

Most teachers prefer to start with Pranayama (breathing exercises). Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma-Viloma) has a two-fold benefit. It teaches them concentration by focusing on their breath, and it slows and calms down the mind by being engrossed in the act of breathing. It also encourages them to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Following this, teachers introduce a few yoga asanas (poses). Since the poses are performed slowly, it teaches them to slow down and have control over their actions. They learn to synchronize their movements, and this adds to their self-esteem. Following the routine of the asanas is also beneficial for their memory. Motor skills and control over physical actions is also helped by these yoga poses.

The combination of self-awareness brought about by pranayama and the physical activity provided by the poses brings about a balance between mind and body. Yoga and ADHD have a close and positive relationship, with many benefits for such children and teenagers.

Yoga for Anxiety | Meditation for Anxiety

Stress is a common word these days, and is caused by chronic anxiety. It is natural for everyone to experience mild anxiety occasionally. But constant anxiety which leads to stress can be hazardous for our health, since it drains our body of energy. The harmony and balance of our mental and psychological state is lost, leading to an imbalance in the body’s functioning. On a long term basis, it can even lead to serious problems like a stroke, migraines, eczema, heart attack and other diseases.

Anxiety and stress can also play havoc on the endocrine system leading to a string of other physical, emotional and mental problems.

Symptoms of Extreme Anxiety

The symptoms of stress or chronic anxiety would be:
  • Worrying constantly about the past, present or future.
  • Always working, eating or walking in a rushed way.
  • Frequent tension or a ‘knotted feeling’ in the neck, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest.
  • Chronic fatigue throughout the day.
  • Constant need for outside stimulation, such as coffee, alcohol, sweeteners, sex, TV, accomplishments, money, etc.
  • Becoming angry easily – ‘Feeling on edge’ all the time.

Exercises for Anxiety

It is therefore essential that constant anxiety be tackled right as soon as possible. Physical exercise for anxiety has a beneficial effect, and among them, yoga for anxiety is the best. Meditation for anxiety is also beneficial as it helps to calm the mind.

Yoga for Anxiety and Memory Problems

Yoga is a blend of physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama).

The postures help to relax and stretch the muscles, thus releasing negative toxins in the blood. Yoga’s added benefit is that it brings about deep muscle relaxation. The gentle movements of yoga are soothing and bring about a sense of well-being and calmness, thus reducing anxiety levels.

Pranayama’s deep-breathing techniques are also helpful in expelling deep-rooted anxieties. Prana is the vital energy of the universe. The deep breathing of pranayama aids intake of more oxygen into the blood and thus restores the balance of prana in the body. Most of us do not realize the importance of proper deep breathing in our everyday lives. Caught up in our hectic schedules we generally tend to take short, shallow breaths, which not only lead to various ailments from heart attacks to fatigue, but also causes rise in anxiety levels.

Deep breathing is a wonderful stress-buster and works like magic for general good health. Pranayama encourages you to inhale deeply through your nose. As you inhale, you also simultaneously push down the diaphragm. Once the lung is full of air, you exhale slowly. You can practice this anywhere, anytime – while waiting for a bus or during a boring lecture or just while waiting for your computer to boot.

The following yoga postures are also effective for reducing anxiety and stress:
  • Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskara
  • Shoulder Stand - Sarvanga Asana
  • Fish Pose - Matsya Asana
  • Plough Pose - Hala Asana
  • Thunder Pose - Vajra Asana
  • Camel Pose - Ushtra Asana
  • Cool Breath - Shitali Pranayama
  • Corpse Pose - Shava Asana
  • Deep Yogic Sleep – Yoganidra

Some References: Meditation Info Guide - A complete guide on meditation with information on meditation techniques, meditation methods, meditation music and meditation furniture.

Yoga for Flexibility | Exercises for Flexibility

Yoga and Flexibility

Yoga and flexibility have always been linked together. The exercises (asanas) of yoga encourage you to stretch your joints and limbs. Many of you may shy away from flexibility exercises, thinking you are too old or too inflexible to do them. But it would surprise you to know that yoga poses for flexibility can be performed at any age. The poses (asanas) of yoga will teach you in a gentle and systemic manner how to increase your flexibility.

How to Increase Flexibility?

Unknown to most of us, flexibility of muscles, joints and limbs offers us many benefits.

The pain that we feel when exercising, is caused by blocked or misplaced energy. Stretching exercises for flexibility opens up the channels of energy blockages. By allowing free flow of energy, it releases the pain, tension and stiffness which build up in muscles. This in turn drains out the lactic acid which accumulates in our body, which again causes release of fatigue. That is why you will feel not only less weary and more relaxed, but also more energetic and enthusiastic after you have performed yoga flexibility exercises.

The flexibility exercises encourage greater production of the lubricating fluid present in our joints. The result is greater fluidity of movements and a sense of ease. Mentally and emotionally too, it helps to create a sense of balance and harmony, and erases tensions and conflicts.

Yoga for flexibility

There are various yoga poses to increase flexibility in the different parts of your body, such as the spine, hamstrings, hips, shoulders, arms and neck. These poses will help to stretch and open up these areas. If you are a beginner, with sedentary habits, you might find it a little tough in the few initial days. But you can start slowly and gradually, use a few props like blocks, straps or blankets to aid in the performance of the poses.
  • Standing poses will stretch and straighten your spine. They will help you to maintain a good posture, and increase the strength and elasticity in your legs.
  • The seated poses will enhance the flexibility in your hips and lower back. They will make your spine stronger. The seated poses also include regulated breathing, which will release tension and calm your mind.
  • Forward bends will stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your lower back. It will reduce tension and thereby increase flexibility in your spine, shoulder and neck.
  • Back Bends will make your arms and shoulders stronger and increase their flexibility. They help to open up the hips and chest, thereby releasing tension.
Some of the basic yoga poses for flexibility are:
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Lotus (Sukhasana)
  • Cobra(Bhujangasana)
  • Balance Posture(Natarajasana)
  • Simple chest Expansion(Ardha Chakrasana)
  • Back Stretch (Paschimottanasana)
  • Simple Triangle (Trikonasana)
  • Simple Locust (Salabhasana)
  • Bow (Dhanurasana)
  • Leg Clasp (Padahastasana)
  • Simple Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  • Backward Bend (Supta Vajrasana)
  • Plough(Halasana)
  • Knee and Thigh Stretch (Bhadasana)
  • Simple Fish (Matsyasana)
  • Shoulder Stand(Sarvangasana)
  • Deep Relaxation (Savasana)

Yoga for Joint Pain Relief | Exercises for Joint Pain

Joint Pain Relief

Most of us have been affected with joint problems or joint pains at some point of time in our lives. The joints of our wrists or elbows, knee joints, back, the hip, ankle, neck or shoulder are most at risk.

Causes - Joint pain occurs because of a few causes:
  • It could be due to constant wear or tear or repetitive action. Assembly line workers, working at the computer for long hours, surgeons who have to perform long operations, policemen who stand for long hours on duty, gardeners or cooks who perform repetitive actions are mostly at risk.
  • A sedentary lifestyle which makes our muscles weak and flaccid, puts extra burden on the joints, thus causing pain.
  • Bad posture has a similar effect.
  • Inflammation, such as in arthritis also puts us at risk for joint pain.
  • Oily and spicy foods also trigger joint problems, by causing build-up of toxins in the blood.
While we may take recourse to pain relievers they are not a cure for joint pain. Exercises for joint pain go a long way in opening the blockages and helping free flow of energy.

Yoga for Joint Pain

For hundreds of years yoga has proved its efficacy in bringing about joint pain relief. The postures (asanas) of yoga are gentle and smooth and thus do not aggravate any existing pain. They stretch the joints and the muscles connected to it, thereby opening up the blockages and allowing free flow of energy, blood and nutrients to all parts of the body. Yoga not only strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints, it also makes the bones stronger by improving bone density.

You must first take the advice of a doctor or yoga expert to find the root of your problem before embarking on an exercise program. If you are a beginner, you may not be able to perform each pose to its fullest extent. So start slowly and gradually, and add on the various poses.

Some of the asanas recommended in yoga to treat joint pains are:
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanmuktasana)
  • Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
  • Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
  • Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Auspicious Pose (Swastikasana)
  • Hero Pose (Veerasana)
  • Hip-to Hand Pose (Januhastasana)
  • Simple Snake Pose with two legs (Dwipad Sahajhasta bhujangasana)
  • Supporting Head on Elbows Pose (Hastashirasana)
Pranayama is also helpful as the deep breathing techniques increase the supply of blood and also relax the tension in the joints.

Heat and massage

Yoga also recommends massage and heat treatment for joint pain relief. Massaging with oil reduces inflammation and helps smoother movement of the joint. One can also apply heat with a heating bag. This helps in better circulation of blood, which carries nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body.

Diet: Yoga experts advice certain diet patterns which must be followed to reduce joint pains. Since joint pan is also related to excess toxins in the body, they advice you to keep away from spicy and oily foods, non-vegetarian foods, bakery products, alcoholic beverages and fast foods.

They recommend food which is fresh and light, such as vegetables and fruits, rice and grains.

Fasting once a week, is also recommended.

Some References: Flex-Protex-Supply an ALL Natural joint support treatment. Vitamin-D-Max Maintain strong bones, prevent cancer and multiple sclerosis.

How to Improve Stamina? Try Yoga for Stamina

What is Stamina?

Stamina is the power of endurance of our body. Stamina dictates how strong, tough or resilient we are. It measures our body’s capacity to carry on with prolonged physical, mental or emotional effort. Stamina helps us to endure not only physical activities like sports or work, it also helps us to endure illness, fatigue, disease, and the stress of every day life.

Lack of stamina leads to a feeling of lethargy, boredom and fatigue. This not only makes us less efficient at work, it also makes us more prone to disease and depression.

The level of stamina depends on many factors – our age, gender, and our physical constitution. It decreases with illness and age. But stamina exercises can bring about a lot of improvement. Yoga for stamina has been found to be very helpful.

Exercise for Stamina

While there are various exercises for stamina, yoga has been found to be most beneficial. Many people perform yoga for strength, but it goes beyond that and helps builds up not just physical stamina, but also emotional and mental resilience.

Yoga poses are slow and gentle. When you hold a yoga pose (asana) steadily and without wavering, it is termed as asana jaya, which means victory over the asana (pose). While it is strong respiratory and muscular support which enables you to attain this steadiness, your strong yogic mental ability also plays an important part. This mental ability is also an essential tool in pain management.

Exercise for stamina in yoga involves those in standing, sitting, supine, inverted and balancing poses.

In the Standing Position the relevant postures are:
  • Warrior Pose (Veerasana)
  • Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
  • Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
In Sitting Position the relevant postures are:
  • Meditation Gesture (Dhyan Mudra)
  • Auspicious Pose (Swastikasana)
  • Balance Pose (Samasana)
  • Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
  • Tied Lotus Pose (Baddha Padmasana)
  • Lifted Lotus (Utthit Padmasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)
  • Bow Pose in Sitting (Akarna Dhanurasana – Type 1)
  • Bow Pose in Sitting (Akarna Dhanurasana – Type 2)
  • Twisted Pose (Vakrasana)
  • Half Spinal Twist (Ardhamatsyendrasana)
  • Forward Bending (Sharanagata Mudra)
  • Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
  • Half Forward Bend (Paschimottasana – Half)
  • Forward Bend (Paschimottasana – Full)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
In Supine Position, you have to lie on your back, keeping your legs together and extended straight, while your palms rest on the floor. The relevant yoga postures are:
  • Leg Raise Pose – with one leg and both legs (Uttanpadasana)
  • Inverted Pose (Vipritakarani)
  • Horse Gesture in shoulder stand (Ashwini Mudra)
  • Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
  • Plough Pose (Halasana)
  • Boat Pose (Noukasana)
  • Pond Pose (Tadagasana)
  • Gas Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)
  • Half Wheel Pose (Ardhachakrasana)
A few yoga postures in the Prone Position are also useful for building stamina. In this you must lie with your chest, abdomen and chin touching the floor. Keep your hands next to your thighs and your palms on the floor.
  • Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
These poses are very gentle. They need not be held for very long. But it is advisable to go through the entire repertoire. Besides building up your endurance and stamina, they will make you more vigorous and will also benefit you respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.

Some References: Add Muscle Mass Fast - How to gain 5 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks.

How to Lower Bad Cholesterol with Yoga?

Cholesterol has become a much-feared word these days, and most people are trying to lower high cholesterol. Diets and exercises to reduce cholesterol are galore. But before you start on an exercise and diet program, it is essential to understand the function of cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a substance which is made naturally by our body, and is processed from the food that we eat. It has a waxy texture and is feared because it gets deposited on the walls of the arteries. This makes the passage of the arteries thinner, reducing the free flow of blood. In extreme cases, the arteries, which supply blood to the heart, become totally blocked, and this leads to a heart attack. In some cases, the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the brain get blocked, leading to a stroke.

But two essential things must be remembered. Firstly, the body needs some amount of cholesterol to function properly. The problems arise only when you consume too much of it in your food.

Secondly, all cholesterol is not harmful. While one is definitely the ‘bad’ kind, which affects us in a negative way, there is also ‘good cholesterol’, which actually plays an important role by clearing out the bad kind from the walls of the arteries. The ‘bad cholesterol’ is known as Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), while the ‘good’ one is known as High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL).

How to lower high cholesterol?

Proper diet and exercise can easily lower cholesterol. When you are looking for a good cholesterol lowering exercise, keep yoga in mind. Yoga postures have been found to be extremely effective as an exercise to lower cholesterol.

Yoga for Cholesterol

Yoga is very helpful in helping you lower your bad cholesterol, and control it thereafter. Its action is two-fold. Firstly, yoga provides exercise, which helps to reduce the level of cholesterol. Bad cholesterol builds up if you have excess fat in your body, and this in turn happens due to a faulty lifestyle and when you do not get sufficient physical activity. So by providing exercise and a good lifestyle, yoga teaches you how to lower bad cholesterol.

Lack of bad cholesterol is also associated with a rise in stress levels in the body. High stress levels trigger certain glands and hormones, which lead to the production of greater levels of cholesterol. Yoga and pranayama reduce stress levels. They calm the mind and encourage production of good hormones, which in turn leads to reduction of cholesterol.

The following poses are helpful in controlling in this regard:
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)
  • Plough Pose (Halasana)
  • Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
  • Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
  • Hero Pose (Virasana)
  • Boat Pose (Navasana)
Along with this, you must also do the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) and Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma), Bellows (Bhastrika) and Shining Skull (Kapalbhati).

Diet control is also necessary. Reduce your intake of fatty products and increase your intake of fiber-rich foods.

Some References: Cholesterol-Metabolizer - Lower Cholesterol without Drugs.

Yoga for Diabetes | Exercise for Diabetes

Diabetes has been classified as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Both kinds are on the rise today and this rise has been blamed on changing lifestyle. Sedentary jobs, lack of exercise and oily food has caused a rise in the incidence of diabetes, in adults as well as children. Diabetes in its most extreme form can also be a cause of death or other serious ailments, and so it is essential to treat it at the earliest.

Yoga and Diabetes

Treatment: While treatment with insulin is a part of most treatments, yoga for diabetes has been found to be extremely effective. Exercise for diabetes has always been recommended by doctors and these yoga poses offer a wonderful two-way benefit. Yoga calms the mind, reduces stress and exercises all parts of the body, leading to better circulation and increased energy level.

The following yoga poses are recommended:
  • Sitting Crane Pose (Paschimottasana)
  • Standing Crane Pose (Padangusthasana)
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Plough Pose (Halasana)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Grasshopper Pose (Shalabhasana)
  • Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanmuktasana)
  • Spinal Twist (Ardha-matsyendra)
  • Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
  • Sitting Pose of Firmness (Supta Vajrasana)
  • Bee Pose (Bhramari
  • Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)
  • Yogic Symbol Pose (Yoga Mudrasana)
  • Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)
  • The Abdominal Squeeze or Udiyana Bandam is also effective.
  • Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

Exercise for Diabetics

Yoga and diabetes have a long and positive relationship but certain guidelines must be observed during the performance of these poses. Yoga is a discipline and it is necessary to learn the poses from a qualified expert. Since yoga is a total union of the body and mind, the patient must approach the practice of yoga in a holistic manner. The patient must realize that diabetes is a manifestation of physical as well as emotional, spiritual and intellectual imbalance. It is necessary to realize the need for need a lifestyle change.
  • Begin your yoga program with simple exercises to test your tolerance and physical fitness and slowly move on to the more complicated poses.
  • Monitor your glucose levels throughout the program, and alter your medical dosage as you progress. You may have to reduce the dosage as the postures prove effective.
  • Practice the exercises in the morning and evening. Each session should be between 40 to 60 minutes.
  • Do not exert yourself. Take care to perform all the poses smoothly and slowly. Gently stretch your joints and limbs. When you are compressing the abdomen, make sure that you do not strain yourself.
  • Maintain each posture initially for only 5 seconds, and graduate to longer durations of one minute, only after repeated practice.
  • Keep your eyes closed and focus completely on holding the pose and also on your breath. This will ensure the proper release of tension and stress from the body.
  • Thin and lean patients can start with Pranayama and relaxation poses, while obese patients should start with Pranayama, bhastrika and other cleansing poses.
  • If you feel fatigued at any point, lie down and perform the Shavasana to relax the body.

Diet Changes: It is essential to incorporate diet changes for yoga to be effective in diabetes. Follow the diet plan as per your doctor or nutritionists instructions.

Some References: Diabetes Daily Care - Highly Effective, Safe, Natural Treatment for Diabetes.

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