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STRESS MANAGEMENT,ROOT CAUSE FOR STRESS

By | November 29th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

There are so many theories on stress management and how stress is caused. There are various techniques which are shown. There are books, stress busters and even corporate programs which run for two or three days. People talk about stress busting foods, techniques and even fragrances. Going to a spa or exercising have all been propagated as stress management techniques.

However, the major root cause for stress needs to be identified first. It is only then we can address the issue. There are so many causes for stress and these keep changing as life progresses. Something which was stressful before, no longer bothers you and vice-versa. However, there is one strong underlying factor which is common to almost all of us in today’s world. This factor is causing stress more than any other cause.

This one factor is, ‘expectations mismatch.’ Stress today is caused by expectations and when there is a mismatch between your self – projection (ego) and the perceived adverse conditions or situations. Simply stated, when we do not get what we think we should get or are entitled to, we get stress.

To give an example, you may be expecting to earn well this year and get a new sedan. However, the income falls short of your expectation (even though you have earned well). You are able to buy a hatchback and not a sedan. So even though the situation is fine, you perceive it as adverse. This is especially true if you are working for an organisation. You do not get the expected appraisal, ratings or increment causing great stress.

Similarly, if you are a parent and your child does not perform or succeed as per your expectations, you get stressed. In interpersonal relationships also, expectation is the culprit which drives you to great stress. The problem is that we expect others to act, respond or behave in the way we want them to. This includes spouse, colleagues and children.

It has been found that this ‘expectation mismatch syndrome’, is not just some thought related issue. It causes actual mental and physiological stress, eventually leading to various diseases. We brood so much over what we could not get or what we want (and unable to get) that we harm ourselves.

This slowly builds up in our system leading to a negative thought process and is the main reason for even depression and other psychosomatic illnesses. Practically all the diseases are caused mainly by mental stress. Research is now showing that ninety percent of all diseases including various forms of cancer are an outcome of stress. Diseases are no longer determined by hereditary factors at all. Our state of mind and thought process, followed by lifestyle are the main causes of stress and diseases.

Someone had said, we are what we eat. That is only partly true. It is actually, ‘we become what we think’. There are numerous instances of people who are joyful and healthy till the end but they may not be eating even a balanced diet. It is their mind which drives health and happiness. So stress and diseases come to us when we are unable to manage our ego, expectations and emotions.

There are various psychological techniques available in Yoga to start managing stress. We need not worry too much or get philosophical. We should not even try and do any advanced practices. There are some wonderful practices which tackle this problem even without any conscious effort. We just need to practice them with discipline, on a regular basis and for at least three to four months in a row.

Yoga deals with the organism at two levels; mind and body. The physical practices cleanse you and make the body very fit. These practices combined with relaxation techniques, pranayama and meditation calm and improve the mind. In addition, a combination of the correct routine done with sincerity will help a lot in expectations management and making you mentally balanced.

It will improve your capacity to handle situations without getting agitated and becoming much more accepting. This kind of a routine has been specially devised by us in our online stress management program. This is very effective and all you need to do is practice daily for a few months to see great results.

 

FLAT STOMACH AND ABDOMINAL EXERCISE

By | November 25th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

All of us want to trim down and remain there. Ladies want to have the perfect waist and midriff and men want to have six packs. An entire industry has mushroomed towards this end. There are machines, lotions, clothes, tablets, supplements and neutraceuticals. In addition there are therapies and clinics which do various kinds of therapies and surgeries.

Most of these land up having side effects or have no effects even after paying large sums of money. Some of these products and therapies cause imbalances in the body. Many others cause instant water loss so that we feel there has been some reduction. Nothing really happens to the body. In fact many such supplements are very harmful.

Myth 1 – Crunches, Sit-ups, leg raises and similar exercises help reduce tummy fat.

The fitness and gym industry has also got into this act in a big way. Their solution is sit-ups, crunches, leg raises and similar other abdominal exercises. Gym trainers propagate myths like ‘core strength’ through abdominal exercises and doing multiple crunches or leg raises with cardiovascular exercises. As a result we see men and women in all age groups struggling with these on the floor, machines or bars. Surprisingly for them, there is no impact in their waist fat, belly fat or gut. They remain the way they are in most cases.

Myth 2- Side bends, with rods, dumbbells or cable bends, helps reduce love handles.

This is another set of useless exercises we see people doing. Taking a rod or dumbbells and twisting or doing side bends. Some also use cables and pulleys and keep adding weights thinking the more you do the better it is. These exercises do nothing for you except strengthen the tiny oblique muscles on the sides. In fact, more than ninety percent of all trainers teach this wrong. There is definitely no impact on waist fat. On the contrary, you start damaging your back. These are also recommended in conjunction with sit-ups and crunches thinking they will reduce waist fat. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Myth 3 – We feel good when we do these exercises and seem to lose fat.

When we do these exercises for a month or so, we may feel a slight reduction in the waist because the muscles tighten and tone up. This happens because we have not used them properly before. So they will firm up and ‘pull in’ giving a tightening effect and also maybe reducing your waist by a maximum of half or one inch. Beyond that nothing else happens. Nor is this process continuous. The toned or flat abs are due to absence of fat and have hardly anything to do with these exercises. An overall increase in muscles and lean mass helps reduce fat across the body. This reflects on the waist area as well.

Myth 4 – Abdominal exercises are generally food for core strength and fat removal.

It is a mistaken belief that crunches and other abdominal exercises are good for either removing abdominal fat or for building core strength. These do not help either goal. In fact, the reverse is true. All these exercises can actually harm you. Doing too many crunches or abdominal exercises are not good for you. Body fat does not reduce by doing abdominal exercises but it reduces by an appropriate diet and exercise plan. Even persons who do no crunches at all can have a flat stomach.

Doing crunches, leg raises and other exercises will gradually impact your lower back leading to lower back problems and injuries. Many times, these manifest even after your fifties.

So the next logical question to ask is, ‘what do we do for fat reduction and improving core strength’? The answer is very simple. All physical exercises done correctly will keep your core healthy. Even moderate leg exercises work out the abdominal muscles. A regular and disciplined walking program will keep your core strong and healthy. You need not do complicated exercises which will harm your back and can cause digestion related problems.

The Best Routine for Abdominal Fat and Core Strength

The best way to greatly develop and maintain powerful core muscles is to practice asanas. If you focus for the initial few months on standing asanas, these will help take off unwanted fat and make your core very strong. There are zero side effects and only long term strength and longevity. Of course, you have to make sure that you eat correctly and lead a disciplined lifestyle.

Take our online yoga fitness programs in two levels. You will develop core strength and good health which you will not get by working out or even playing sports for two hours at a gym.

MORE EXERCISE IS HARMFUL

By | November 19th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

We are all aware that some form of physical exercise is required. The body needs to keep moving through the day. Some of us get scared that we need to exercise a lot. There are yet others, who believe that more is better. So there is this whole ‘push’ culture which has come in. Where we are constantly told to push and exercise harder or longer. So one end of the spectrum, we have individuals who do not want to do any physical activity and on the other end, are the ‘do more’ individuals.

There is no balancing. There is also a misconception that the more you exert yourself, the better it is for you. Tiring yourself out, especially if you exercise in the evening may make you physically tired, but it does not necessarily result in quality sleep or even the adequate number of hours of sleep.

There is enough research which is showing that intense exercise or even daily intense exercise is not good for health. There are many things which happen when we get into this kind of exercising:

  1. The body’s immunity reduces. Over the long term this causes minor and major diseases. The idea to exercise is to stay healthy, not fall ill. When the body is tired daily, it becomes more susceptible to diseases. Even if something major does not happen, one may keep getting colds, flu, cough or fever.
  2. Over-exercising causes not just physical stress but also mental stress. We do not know when we are tired. The body just gets used to it. Internally, however, the body is grappling daily with stress response mechanisms. Higher unwanted hormones and impairment of glands is the result.
  3. Combined with mental or work stress this becomes a killer, literally. The body gets so tired due to stress, that it may collapse; resulting in major diseases or even sudden death.
  4. The metabolism changes. Do you wonder that so many times we exercise so hard, but still remain the same or have only marginal improvement. This is because your metabolism and digestive processes have changed. You may put on waist fat which does not go or also have issues like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and other digestion related problems.

So what is the correct way to exercise? We have to make sure that not only do we exercise, but also get all its benefits. It is quite simple. We need to exercise in moderation at all times. There are a few guidelines which can be followed to improve your exercise regime or even start one:

  • Moderation means lesser time in each session and each session should be moderate. It has been seen that persons who exercised for six days a week for ninety minutes and more in a day, suffered from insomnia and reduced immunity. They were also more prone to injuries and falling ill.
  • The second aspect emerging is that doing some intense or regular exercise once a day is not enough. It may actually start harming the body. The body requires to have physical movement throughtout the day. Which means, one should be stretching and walking three to four times a day, for at least ten to fifteen minutes each time. This is much more beneficial than a one hour sports, cardio or weight training session. The latter can be done safely, provided your body is in physical movement through the day.
  • Walk through the day as much as you can. This is also good enough exercise. Keep getting off your desk and walk around while talking on the phone or have corridor meetings. Walk before lunch and before the afternoon snack.
  • But walking alone is not enough. You need to stretch the body in certain ways. Two to three times a day, when the body is stretched in certain ways, it gives a lot of physiological benefits. The best way to do this is to opt for a short and effective office based online yoga program. Walk two to three times in a day and also practice our online yoga in office program for two to three times in a day. This will keep you fit and healthy

IS COW’S MILK ESSENTIAL FOR KIDS?

By | November 12th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

Milk is a much maligned food. This is mainly due to ignorance and misunderstanding. Milk is the only complete food which can be had. This generic branding of milk under dairy (hence not good) is incorrect especially in relation to cow’s milk, which is one of the best things one can have for great health. Just because a very tiny percentage of the population may have an lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk or dairy products, we have tainted the entire food category.

Self appointed experts without any knowledge push vegan diets and other funny food habits just because something does not suit them. As a result they are doing a great disservice to the cause of health and nutrition, especially for children. Further, some of the digestion related issues attributed to milk are not caused by milk at all. They are caused due to the following reasons:

  • Presence of unwanted chemicals and hormones in milk. Most of the milk we get today is highly processed. Just because some brand of milk is available in a fancy bottle or tetrapak at a very high cost, does not mean it is healthy. Even these high end milk brands give milk which causes problems.
  • Having impure milk. This is milk which is obtained from cows who are fed on hormones, checmical laced produce or non-vegetarian leftovers mixed in fodder to increase production.
  • Artificial milking of cows is another cause for milk which is not good. Treating cows as milk machines, overfeeding them and artificially stimulating to give more milk through hormones and machines causes stress to the cows. The quality of such milk is not great. Natural grazing on organic fodder is the right way to feed cows. Milking which is not artificially induced does not have stress hormones and chemicals.
  • Adulterated milk. A lot of milk in large parts of the World, especially in India is adulterated. It has been found that almost eighty percent of milk in India is adulterated. Even good brands are not immune and at some stage in the supply chain, milk is contaminated.
  • Milk which is pasteurised and homogeniezed. Both these processes combined (especially pasteurizaton), kill the nutrients in the milk. In addition, they also kill the good bacteria which actually prevent digestion related issues. So we kill all the good things in the milk through processing, including its nutrients and digestive and absorption qualities.
  • Milk which is boiled at very high temperatures or boiled multiple times. This destroys the good digestive bacteria and other nutrients to be found in milk. This is a problem in India where even packaged, pasteurized and homogeniezed milk is boiled for long and multiple times during the day. Imagine boiling any food product for three to four times before you consume it. No wonder we do not get nutrients from them.

If we take care to have milk which does not have the above factors then you may realize that the ones who thought had lactose intolerance or some other problems will also not have a problem by drinking clean, healthy organic milk in small quantities.

Drinking cow’s milk in all ages, especially childhood, is very beneficial to build bone strength as well as remain healthy. The benefits of drinking milk regularly in childhood carry on in adulthood as well.

People who regularly have milk, curds (yogurt) and buttermilk, walk faster and have a better sense of balance. This reduces the risk of falls and injuries in later years. Bone density remains at optimal levels. Even if there is deterioration due to ageing, it is at a slower pace.

In addition, milk provides various vitamins, probiotics, protein and calcium. There are essential fatty acids required by the body which come from milk. If you are a vegetarian, then having some milk, yogurt and buttermilk everyday will ensure you do not require supplements, non-vegetarian food or other diet plans. Milk and milk products except processed cheese are essential for balanced nutrition especially if you are having a vegetarian diet plan.

Get your kids to have milk, curds (home made yogurt) and buttermilk to make them healthy. Supplement this with an appropriate balanced diet plan from wellzee for your children and watch them grow with joy. 

CAUSE FOR FAT CHILDREN

By | November 7th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

The World’s biggest challenge today on the health side is obesity. On one hand there is a large population which suffers from malnutrition or undernutrition. On the other hand, the world is increasingly turning fat. Till now we thought that being overweight or obese was associated only with adults. However, this global epidemic is not just restricted to adults alone. Surprisingly, children are as overweight as their parents or other adults.

There have been so many surveys and studies which are being done across various countries. This includes the World Health Organization as well as government agencies of different countries. The story is the same across nations. It has been seen that almost one in every three persons below the age of sixteen has been found to be overweight across the globe. This rate is actually increasing. Imagine a young population which is already overweight. All the diseases we get after fifty or sixty, they will probably get after thirty or even before. This trend has already started.

If this is such a big problem, then why are parents not concerned? We may think that parents would be bothered about their children and take steps to rectify the problem. However, the reverse is true. Parents seem to feel scared to talk about weight to their children or point it out to them. Studies have shown that parents are as inhibited with children to talk about diet and obesity as they are about sex education.

There are so many misconceptions about parenting, nutrition, diet habits and lifestyle management, that more often than not, parents themselves are totally clueless. This is only one of the reasons why parents feel scared to talk about this aspect to children.

The problem starts with parents themselves. Today’s parents also do not eat correctly. Having junk food or food which is good for taste takes priority over a balanced diet plan. Convenience, taste and lack of control are the guiding factors for adults and parents when it comes to personal food choices. Children grow up imitating parents. That is one of the reasons parents feel scared to talk about it. They fear that their children may turn around and ask them why they eat in the same way or why they are also overweight. You do not want to preach what you do not practice.

Parents have this misconception that one should not talk about diet control as children may eat less. They feel children will be offended or may have self esteem issues if we talk about eating less. This is totally incorrect. It is actually the parent’s ego which is preventing them. Children are very receptive if you explain correctly. If you are not able to incorporate healthy eating habits, then who will guide these children?

Another important concern area is that in most cultures, parents actually feel that being fat is a sign of being well fed or healthy. In many cases, mothers force their children to eat beyond capacity from an early age. Later on when they see their kids, they just rationalise, stating it is their normal structure. If children are thin and someone comments, parents feel guilty. So rather than raising healthy children, parents are focused on raising fat children so their ego does not suffer. It is the selfishness of parents which is making their kids fat.

Further, we need to understand that thin does not mean unhealthy. In fact, it is better to be thin with no health problems, than being fat. With current lifestyles it is very important for parents to talk about nutrition and health and having balanced diet plans to avoid future problems. Of course, this would work only if the parents themselves are healthy. If you are fat, your children would probably not listen to you. To overcome this problem, parents should first start practicing online yoga programs for weight loss.

Childhood fat and obesity causes a lot of problems in later life even though after growing up, an individual becomes thin or starts exercising. A fat child (who later becomes thin) will still be more prone to stress, obesity and lifestyle diseases at an early stage in life.

If you really care about your children, start a nutrition dialogue and prepare and serve healthy food. Our online diet programs for children in all age groups are ideal for weight loss

EYE STRESS CAUSES, IMPACT & CURE

By | November 5th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

 

Eyes are the window to the World. It is one of the most important sense organs in the body. All our experiences are very visual. Food tastes better when the eyes see the food. Similarly, the fragrance of a flower is enhanced when we see the flower. Apart from the sensory input aspect, there is also another lesser known fact about the eyes.

Most of our energy is lost through the eyes. The more we strain the eyes, the more energy we lose. This is one of the main reasons that we feel very tired when we work for long hours at a computer. It is not so much the body or the mind which is tired. It is the eyes which are tired and the loss of energy from the body.

This occurs because the eyes are subject to a lot of stress these days. Eye stress is caused due to constant staring at electronic screens or reading without blinking for a long time. This happens even though we do not realize it. Another reason is undue exposure to electronic screens and bright light based screens. They damage the eyes gradually.

Reading small print, working and chatting on a mobile phone or tablet and gaming are very serious eye damaging options. Television is another culprit. When we are not doing anything, we sit in front of the television and intensely watch movies or serials. Imagine if we exercise continuously for twelve hours a day or eat without a break while we are awake. What is going to happen to the body? The same thing happens to the eyes.

What we get is various kinds of eye related problems. Deterioration of eye muscles, early onset of retinal problems and Glaucoma are some of the problems we expose ourselves to. However, one of the most common conditions is ‘dry eyes’. Dry eyes is nothing but drying up of the fluid in the eyes which is constantly released to lubricate them. If this lubrication reduces, the eyes become dry and cause a lot of eye problems, tired and lazy eyes, severe headaches and uncontrollable drowsiness. In addition, it also makes us physically lazy.

We work on computers all day and after work, we are either glued on to our smart phones, tablets or laptops or watching television. This results in the following problems:

  • No depth of vision. We are either at an arm’s length in front of a computer screen or mobile phone or tablet. Else, we are a few feet in front of a large screen television set. Most of the times, we are doing all of this together. What this means is that there is a single constant range of vision. We do not get any depth and ranges to explore. This is not good for the eyes at all.
  • Electronic screens emit light directly into the eyes at close range. This exposure is constant and impairs the functioning of the pupil. Imagine staring in the sun all the time and the pupils remaining dilated. The only logical conclusion is nearsightedness. Long range vision is also compromised because we are rarely looking at things in the distance. This is bad for the eyes. Even the protective covers do not really help much.
  • When we are concentrating on something especially which is a screen, we tend to stop blinking for long duration. Every time we are focused on creating a presentation, writing a long email or preparing some document, we are thinking with our eyes open and staring in the screen without blinking. The same thing happens when we are gaming. Not blinking is the starting point for all eye problems. Lubrication reduces and diseases of the eyes creep inside.
  • Prolonged screen exposure of greater than fifteen or twenty minutes impacts the eyes negatively. What this means is that we should not be looking at any kind of screen for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch.
  • There are few long distance vision opportunities especially in cities and urban centers. This is bad for the eyes as we need a combination of distance, range and periphery to keep the eyes in shape.

If these factors are not tackled, dry eyes can fast lead to other complications like gradual weakening of vision or other retina related problems. Even if the eyes do not worsen, the propensity to get headaches increases due to over stimulation of the eyes.

However, the situation is not all that bleak and there are quite a few things which can be done to help keep the eyes in shape in spite of such strain:

  • One of the good things to do is to look at greenery (real plants and trees) which are a distance of twenty feet or more. So every time you are working hard, try and take a break, walk out and look at some trees.
  • Take a break every fifteen or twenty minutes and get off your computer and phones.
  • Take a fifteen minute break after lunch where you are not on the computer and also not checking your phone.
  • Blinking fast consciously every few minutes will also help. Splash water on your eyes a few times a day.
  • If you are lucky to have an office space with a window, just stare out for a few minutes after every twenty minutes of work.
  • In addition opt for our eye care program to keep your eyes healthy.

Make a beginning with eye care right away with this video and take our yoga for eye care program for healthy eyes. You could also watch this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umsEuAqjLTs&list=UUwn8qx0wmjN3yYCkCKAa-oQ

MAGIC KITCHEN INGREDIENT

By | November 3rd, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

There are many foods being promoted as super foods and becoming part of a lot of online diet plans as well. However, there is one ingredient which is rarely talked about but is very beneficial to have even on a daily basis. This is one magical ingredient which is in common daily use in India. In addition it is used regularly in many other parts of of Asia and is to be found in every kitchen. It is something loved by Indian homemakers and cooks. It is not only full of flavor but also very beneficial. This condiment is ginger and also known as galangal.

Ginger gives a lovely flavour to food. There is a certain distinctive flavor which you get out of the food by adding ginger. It is also a great taste substitute for chillies, onion and garlic. If you do not want to use onion and garlic in your food, try adding some ginger. The food will become more delicious. In addition, it gives a certain amount of punch and spiciness when cooked with food. The spiciness of ginger does not irritate the stomach and is actually beneficial.

Chillies are not too great for health. So it is is a good idea to spice up your food with ginger. Ginger gives a slightly different taste based on how you cook it. Ginger paste, finely chopper and sauted ginger and ginger pieces, all give a slightly different taste. Another worthwhile factor to note is that you do not require additives like monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto) or ketchup and sauces once you add galangal to food.

Apart from the flavour, the beneficial and medicinal properties of ginger are numerous and worth keeping in mind. The key benefits of ginger are:

  • It is useful for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone in any age group with these problems should use ginger in different forms. Regular usage will help ease pain.
  • It is anti – inflammatory and helps speed up internal recovery in case you fall ill. Therefore ginger, in combination with turmeric works very well for internal healing. In case of any minor internal injuries or inflammation, you can have boiled ginger water. In combination with rest, it will hep give a boost to the recovery process.
  • Ginger is very beneficial for colds, coughs and flu. Have ginger milk or ginger water 2 to 3 times a day to get rid of flu, colds, fevers. You will not require any other medicines. In cold climates or weather, you can safely have ginger two to three times daily. Chew on ginger pieces coated with honey to soothe the throat. Have hot ginger milk to strengthen the immune system and when you have fever. Ginger water with a dash of lime will help in colds and cough.
  • It helps strengthen the immune system. Having ginger regularly helps build up immunity. Smash and boil a small piece of ginger in milk or water and sip it slowly. Have once a day before going to bed. This concoction of ginger with milk or water is also good for asthma and breathing disorders.
  • It is an excellent ingredient for gastric disorders. Indians use ginger or ginger powder in dishes which are heavy to digest or acidic in nature. It helps prevent acidity.
  • It gives relief in symptoms like dizziness, nausea, cold sweat and vomiting. Add dried and powdered ginger or a few drops of fresh ginger juice to lime juice and water. You may add some salt and water to this and drink it to replenish yourself.
  • It is one of the safest ‘drugs’ for reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnant women with no side effects to the child. Make sure you add ginger to the diet of pregnant ladies.
  • Ginger has a substance called gingerols which prohibit the growth of cancer cells and have shown to kill ovarian cancer cells. Therefore it is also anti-carcinogenic.

With so many benefits, it makes sense to incorporate ginger in your daily meals or as part of a balanced diet plan. Alternatively, just boil it with your milk or tea to make a lovely herbal drink.