YOGA – Why It Should Be A WAY OF LIFE


      

 

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June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”—Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

What Is YOGA :

“ Yoga” means ‘Union’ . Etymologically it is derived from Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’ meaning to bind , join , attach or join . It signifies communion with the Supreme Universal Spirit to obtain relief from pain and suffering .  According to Panini grammer it has three meanings : Union (Yujir yoge),  Samadhi (Yuj samadhau) and Constraint , Restraint (Yuj samyamana) .

Yoga has it’s roots in the “Yoga Sutras” authored by sage Patanjali , popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga. They are :

YAMA (Restraints) : Non –violence , truthfulness , non-stealing  , sexual restraint and self surrender .

NIYAMA (Observances) : Purity , contentment , intense dedication or austerity , study of self and scriptures and self surrender .

ASANA (Psycho-physical Postures ) : It is the ‘sitting posture’ or position of the body which contributes to the steadiness of the body and mind as well as sense of well being .

PRANAYAMA : It is controlled and regulated breathing , which regulates the flow of Prana and mental processes in the body .

PRATYAHARA (Withdrawal of Senses) : The rush of senses into the outer world are held back through an innate awareness of the subtle mental processes happening during the interaction of the senses with outside objects . 

DHARANA : Developing concentration through focusing the mind on any chosen thought or object .

DHYANA (Meditation) : Featured by expanded awareness .

SAMADHI : A state of shifting to a higher level of consciousness.

These practices bring about a calm and balanced state of mind & body .

Of all the practices ASANA & PRANAYAMA form the base for other higher Yogic practices.

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ASANA :

The word ‘Asana’ is etymologically derived from the Sanskrit root ‘as’ , which means to ‘sit’ .

Asana has been defined as a position or  bodily posture which not only conforms to steadiness (sthairya) but which is also equally pleasant and comfortable (sukham) i.e ‘Sthirasukham aasanam’ .

Other two characteristics of Asana are ‘Prayatna shaithilya’ i.e relaxation of effort and ‘Ananta samaapatti’ i.e merger of mind with something ananta i.e infinite .

Asana are classified into three divisions :

  • Meditative

  • Cultural

  • Relaxative

MEDITATIVE ASANA : For peace and calmness of mind and mental health.

Asana in this group are aimed to provide a comfortable and a stable position of the body to make the mind steady for the process of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi . Asana included in this group are :

Siddhasana , Padmasana , Vajrasana , Sukhasana , Swastikasana .

CULTURAL / CORRECTIVE ASANA : For preventive and promotive aspects of health.

Asana in this group are useful for reconditioning of the body and mind as they bring stability , peace and sense of wellbeing . The postural defects , disturbed functions of various systems , improper muscle tone must be corrected in order to cultivate correct mental attitude . Asana included in this group are :

Urdhvahastottanasana , Katichakrasana , Padahastasana ,Trikonasana , Yogasana , Konasana , Ushtrasana , Gomukhasana , Paschimottanasana, Suptavajrasana , Uttanamandukasana , Aakarnadhanurasana , Baddhapadmasana , Garbhasana , Bhujangasana , Shalabhasana , Dhanurasana , Pavanmuktasana , Sarvangasana , Matsyasana , Halasana, Chakrasana , Shirshasana ,and Mayurasana .

RELAXATIVE ASANA : For lightness , calmness and re energizing energy channels.

Relaxative Asana eliminate the physical as well as mental fatigue/tensions and work at the level of chitta ( subtle aspect of consciousness ) . Asana in this group are helpful for advance  yogic practices such as Pranayama and Dhyana . Asana included in this group are :

Vishramasana , Makarasana , Shavasana ,Yoganidra .

As per the physical practice Asana are categorized in following groups:

Standing Asana, Sitting Asana, Prone lying Asana, Supine lying Asana, Balancing Asana, Topsy turvy Asana

Standing Asana : Asana included in this group are :

 Tadasana, Urdhvahastottanasana, Katichakrasana, Trikonasana, Virasana, Chakrasana, Utkatasana, Sankatasana, Konasana, Vrikshasana, Garudasana.

Sitting Asana : Asana included in this group are :

Padmasana, Bhadrasana, Siddhasana, Swastikasana, Muktasana, Vajrasana, Simhasana, Gomukhasana, Vakrasana, Matsyendrasana, Pashchimottanasana, Guptasana, Gorakshasana, Kurmasana, UIttanamandukasana, Ushtrasana, Yogasana, Suptavajrasana.

Prone Lying Asana : Asana included in this group are :

Makarasana, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana.

Supine Lying Asana : Asana included in this group are:

Suptapawanamuktasana, Uttanapadasana, Halasana, Chakrasana, Matsyasana, Shavasana, Sarvangasana.

Balancing Asana : Asana included in this group are:

Mayurasana, Bakasana, Kukuttasana, Shirshasana.

Topsy turvy Asana : Asana included in this group are :

Vaparitakarani, Sarvangasana, Shirshasana.      

yoga sun salutations   

PRANAYAMA

Etymologically the word Pranayama has been derived from the combination of two Sanskrit words  ‘Prana’ – which means subtle life force which provides energy to different organs and also controls many vital life processes . ‘Ayama’ means expansion , control and extension .

There are three types of Pranayama – PURAKA (regulated inhalation), KUMBHAKA (regulated retention) and RECHAKA (regulated exhalation). During Puraka and Rechaka there is a movement of Prana and thought, while in Kumbhaka the cessation of movement is held to facilitate the stillness and ultimate dissolution of chittavritti or mental modifications.

It is necessary to practice Pranayama correctly and systematically , otherwise more physical disturbances will develop .

Some common Pranayama practices are :

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama , Surya Bhedana ,Ujjayi , Shitakari ,Shitali , Bhastrika , Bhramari.

BANDHA :

Bandha is generally considered ‘lock’ as it literally means ‘to bind’, ‘to hold captive’ or ‘to contact’. In Yoga terminology Bandha is an action that binds or tightly holds the Prana. In other words Bandha are psychic locks used to raise the level of Prana and reverse the downward flow of Apana vayu. This reversal causes Apana and Prana to meet at Samana and brings about an awakening of the Prana in that area.

The opposite poles of energy are bound together in this technique. Through contraction of muscles and organs in physical body, the Shakti is accumulated into a particular center.

The  Bandhas are three in number:

  • Abdominal Lock or UDDIYANA BANDHA

  • Anal Lock or MULA BANDHA

  • Chin Lock or JALANDHARA BANDHA

Yogic viewpoint of Disease:

It can be seen that psychosomatic, stress related disorders appear to progress through four distinct phases. These can be understood as follows:

1) Psychic Phase: This phase is marked by mild but persistent psychological and              behavioural symptoms of stress like irritability, disturbed sleep and other minor       symptoms. This phase can be correlated with vijnanamaya and manomaya koshas.       Yoga as a mind body therapy is very effective in this phase.

2) Psychosomatic Phase: If the stress continues there is an increase in symptoms,         along with the appearance of generalized physiological symptoms such as occasional hypertension and tremors. This phase can be correlated with manomaya and pranamaya koshas. Yoga as a mind body therapy is very effective in this phase.

3) Somatic Phase: This phase is marked by disturbed function of organs, particularly the  target, or involved organ. At this stage one begins to identify the diseased state. This phase can be correlated with pranamaya and annamaya koshas. Yoga as a therapy is less effective in this phase and may need to be used in conjunction with other methods of treatment.

4) Organic Phase: This phase is marked by full manifestation of the diseased state with pathological changes such as an ulcerated stomach or chronic hypertension, becoming  manifest in their totality with their resultant complications. This phase can be  correlated with the annamaya kosha as the disease has become fixed in the physical body. Yoga as a therapy has a palliative and ‘quality of life improving’ effect in this phase. It also has positive emotional and psychological effects even in terminal and end of life situations.

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Benefits of YOGA :

  • Yoga aids in a physiological process of rebalancing the endocrine system where by the individual relaxes and inner balance gets restored.

  • It improves intra organ space and hence the physiological functions in the body . Each organ gets proper blood supply . It cleanses the accumulated toxins through various shuddi kriyas and generates a sense of relaxed lightness through vyayama type activities. Free flow in all bodily passages prevents the many infections that may occur when pathogens stagnate therein. After removal of toxins, nutrients are absorbed properly and metabolism of body improves.  

  • Abdominal muscles become strong and accumulation of fat on belly is reduced.

  • Regular practice of Pranayama reduces the workload on heart in two ways. First –deep breathing leads to more efficient working of lungs . More oxygen is brought into contact with blood sent to lungs by heart . So , heart doesn’t have to work hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues . Deep breathing leads to a greater pressure differential in the lungs which leads to an increase in the circulation , thus resting the heart a little .

         Pranayama helps to increase the vital capacity and strength of the respiratory            muscles , resulting in efficient breathing .

  • Co ordination among various functions is brought about by nervous system . The nervous tissue is highly sensitive to lack of oxygen and excess of carbon di oxide. Moderate practice of Pranayama and yogic exercises help to supply enough oxygen and remove carbon di oxide .

         Nasal passages have many nerve endings and breathing techniques can                        stimulate calming centers of brain .

         Yoga integrates body movements with the breath thus creating psychosomatic            harmony. In Yoga the physical body is related to annamaya kosha (our anatomical existence) and the mind to manomaya kosha (our psychological existence). As the pranamaya kosha (our physiological existence sustained by the energy of the breath) lies in between them, the breath is the key to psychosomatic harmony.

  • The Thyroid and parathyroid are pressed in Jalandhar Bandha . The Thymus and Adrenals are influenced by the pressure changes in the thoracic and abdominal cavities while the Gonads are influenced by Uddiyana Bandha and Mula Bandha . All these glands are kept healthy by Pranayama .

  • Rejuvenates the skin . The skin becomes smoother and reduces the facial wrinkles .

  • Improves joint function and mobility:

         The Asanas promote better muscle co ordination and strength. Scientific  studies  on  yoga  demonstrate  that  yoga improves dexterity, strength and musculo-skeletal coordination of the practitioners. Postures assumed during yoga practice are mainly isometric exercises which provide optimally maintained stretch (https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/what-s-in-a-stretch) to the muscles. Series of asanas involve assumption of the pose followed by counter pose i.e. it involves co-ordinated action of synergistic and antagonistic muscles which brings increased steadiness, strength, stamina,  flexibility,  endurance,  anaerobic  power, better neuro-muscular coordination and improved orthostatic tolerance. Body weight is itself used to provide load to the muscles and bones. This load bearing strengthens the bones and prevents age-related weakening, thus helping in prevention of osteo-porosis. A properly selected set of exercises stretches nearly all joints and joint capsules without much danger of injuries and exhaustion.

Bera & Rajapurkar have reported  significant  improvement in ideal body weight, body density, cardiovascular endurance and anaerobic power as a result of 1 year yoga training in children aged 12-15 years. Clearly, yoga practices should be started at an early life.

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  • Yoga improves cognitive functions (Improves mental and emotional health) :

           It reduces Anxiety levels. Cognitive functions are intellectual processes by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. These functions help us to focus on the problem, process the required information, arrive at the logical conclusion, make decision and then execute the task. Studies show that practice of yogic techniques cause improvement in aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering the task. Yogic techniques especially dhyan and shavasan improve attentiveness. Increased attentiveness decreases response time or reaction time. Reaction time is an index of the processing ability of central nervous system and a simple means of determining sensory-motor performance.

  • Effect on  pregnancy

         Narendran et al found that yoga practices including physical postures, breathing, and meditation practiced by pregnant women for one hour daily resulted in an increase in birth weight, decrease in preterm labor, and decrease in IUGR either in isolation or associated with PIH, with no increased complications.

Beddoe et al found that women practicing yoga in their second trimester reported significant reductions in physical pain from baseline to post intervention. Women in their third trimester showed greater reductions in perceived stress and trait anxiety. From this it is clear that yoga can be used to prevent or reduce obstetric complications.

Conclusion:

Yoga  affects  every  cell  of  the  body.  It  brings  about better  neuro-effector  communication,  improves strength of the body, increases the optimum functioning of all organ-systems, increases resistance against stress and diseases and brings tranquilty, balance, positive attitude and equanimity in the practitioner which makes him lead a purposeful and healthier life.

Scientific research in recent times has showed that the physiological, psychological and biochemical effects of Yoga are of an anti-stress nature.

Yoga has preventive, promotive as well as curative potential and that a yogic lifestyle confers many advantages to the practitioner. Since lifestyle related diseases are alarmingly on the rise in our modern society, yogic lifestyle that is cost effective and relatively safe, should be given a special place in preventing and managing these diseases.

            “A little practice of Hatha Yoga (Asana & Pranayama) will give you good Health. Raja Yoga will steady your Mind. Upasana & Karma Yoga will purify your Heart and prepare you for the practice of Vedanta. Sankirtan will relax your Mind and Inspire you. Meditation will take you to Liberation.” – Swami Sivananda

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Further Reading:

Physiological Benefits Of Yogic Practices: A Brief Review (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306106606_Physiological_Benefits_Of_Yogic_Practices_A_Brief_Review [accessed Jun 20, 2017].
Role of yoga in health and disease. (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269689017_Role_of_yoga_in_health_and_disease [accessed Jun 20, 2017].
Psychosomatic Mechanisms Of Yoga (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262185737_Psychosomatic_Mechanisms_Of_Yoga [accessed Jun 20, 2017].

common-yoga-protocol

Happy New Year 2017


What Do You Wish For 2017?

It is that time of the year again where we stop and reflect upon the days we are leaving behind, so we may move into a New Year – ready for new beginnings.

Whether you celebrate New Years or not, most of us do feel motivated to make new changes and to try and live our lives in a better and more purposeful manner.

 

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So what have you envisioned for the 2017?

My spiritual teachers often taught us about the importance of having a strong single-pointed focus:

The ability to focus on a goal, without being distracted by other things.

Just like when you meditate, the thoughts may flow around, but you shouldn’t let them distract you, but just allowing them to flow past you. When we fully focus on something or whole-heartedly and consciously send out thoughts – it can make a huge difference in our lives.  

 Always remember, no one can open the door of Opportunities for you. Don’t wait around for life to happen, but make it happen.

Know that you have got all it takes to transform your life – as long as you stay focused and manage your thoughts and energy. So take charge of yourself, and of your life. Don’t let it happen accidentally.

Focus on mindfulness, manage your thoughts and move forward with strength.

Moreover, remind yourself that New Year is every day. Every single moment of our life – is an opportunity to end a cycle and make a new beginning.

Source : Reshma Shaidi -https://www.instagram.com/rshaidighazi/

 

 

 

 

Banana Plant Uses- Nature’s Gift For Your Health


Banana or Plantain is one of the most savored fruits, and though they come in various shapes, sizes and varieties, two of these varieties are widely used:

Musa sapientum – These fruits are small and raw ones are used as vegetable.

Musa paradisica – These fruits are large and eaten when ripe.

 

In Ayurveda banana is referred by various synonyms like Kadali, Vaarnaa, Mocha, Ambusara, Anshumatiphala. Various varieties are also described – Manikya kadali, Martyak kadali, Amrita kadali, Champak kadali, etc.

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Mythological Significance

It is considered as one of the sacred trees and symbolizes Lord Vishnu. The fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi for happiness in family and married life. The Banana leaves symbolize growth and regeneration and in auspicious ceremonies leaves are tied to the pillars and food is served on them.

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http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.in/2013/11/griha-pravesh-house-warming-ceremony.html

 

Banana Plant Uses

According to Ayurveda, all the parts of the Banana tree have healing properties. The banana tree uses are listed as follows:

 

Flower Of Banana Plant

It is sweet and astringent in taste. The properties are unctousness, heavy and cold. It alleviates Vata, Pitta, blood disorders and emaciation.

  • Juice of flowers with curd helps in meno metrorrhagia (heavy bleeding during menstruation).

  • Flowers are taken as infusion for painful menses.

  • Flowers of Banana and Albizia lebbek (Shirish) mixed with Pippali (long pepper) are pounded with rice water is helpful in Asthma.

 

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Stem Of Banana Plant

  • Juice of stem alleviates Vata disorders and thirst.

  • Juice of stem helps in flushing out kidney stones.

  • Sherbet (syrup) is given in cough.

  • Inner tender stem is eaten as a vegetable.

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Leaves Of Banana Plant

  • Kshara (Alkali) prepared from ash of Banana leaves is mixed with flour and made into paste. Intake of this alleviates stomach disorders.

  • Alkali mixed with turmeric is helpful in skin disorders.

  • Leaves are wrapped on wounds for proper healing.

 

Corm Of Banana Plant

  • It is sweet in taste and cold in property.

  • It increases digestive fire, taste and strength.

  • It alleviates acidity and burning sensation.

 

For complete article click : http://www.curejoy.com/content/banana-tree-natures-gift-for-your-health/

Further reading : http://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/Issue_sept_2012/9.1.pdf

Happy New Year 2016


                  Celebrate ENDINGS – for

              They Precede New BEGINNINGS

                                       ( Jonathan Lockwood Huie )

 

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Just as 2016 rings…
This message comes to you with a Lil abridged version of original…
It’s a brand new year..wishing you the best…
“One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.
Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house?Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? Have your friends given you a royal ignore ??
U can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.
You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.
But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your spouse, your friends, your children, your siblings..
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. Give yourself benefit of doubt…closing cycles, shutting doors is the call of the hour….
Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.
That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.
Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.
Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.
Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.
Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”
Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.
Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.
Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.
Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
-Paulo Coelho

 

70 AYURVEDA RULES FOR “WHOLESOME LIFE”


DO’S

1. Reverence for the God , elders , teachers , adepts .

2. Keeping cheerful , pleasant and peaceful disposition .

3. Initiating the conversation and make the person comfortable who has come to meet you .

4. Speech should be wholesome , measured , palatable and timely .

5. Fellowship with all creatures .

6. Winning over angry .

7. Consoling the frightened .

8. Befriending the destitute .

9. Be devoted to charity , kindness , joy , impartiality , peace and gaining knowledge .

10. Overcoming impatience .

11. Bearing with harsh words from others .

12. Remove the causes of passion & aversion .wholesome living2

DON’TS

13. Waste the time of work / action .

14. Undertake anything without deliberation .

15. Be a slave to your senses .

16. Pander to the fickle mind .

17. Overburden your senses & understanding .

18. Over procrastinate .

19. Give way to joy & anger .

20. Nurse your sorrows .

21. Be arrogant in Success and dejected in Defeat .

22. Remind yourself constantly the vanity of things .

23. Grow complacent with your achievements .

24. Lose heart .

25. Recall calumny .

26. Think that time will always be favourable .

27. Take other’s goods .

SOCIAL CONDUCT

DON’TS

28. Delight in vengeance .

29. Commit sin , not even against a sinner .

30. Speak untruth .

31. Covet other’s wealth .

32. Pry into other’s secrets .

33. Keep the company of those who are disloyal , arrogant , depraved .

34. Expose anyone’s shortcomings .

35. Speak ill of good people and your elders .

36. Breakup with the relations , companions , helpers in Adversity and those who know your secrets.

37. Be timid or overbold .

38. Be distrustful of your kinsmen .

39. Regard the maintaining of character , scriptural enjoinments and social observances as a tax on you .

40. Trust or distrust everyone .

41. Hold back the salary of your subordinates / servants .

42. Enjoy your pleasures alone .

WHOLESOME DIETETIC REGULATIONS

DO’S

43. One should eat rightly considering one’s individual constitution (Prakriti).

44. While eating a meal , the capacity of stomach is considered into thre parts :

       *  1/3rd of gastric capacity for SOLID food

       *  1/3rd for LIQUIDS

       *   Remaining 1/3rd for the three Doshas – Vata , Pitta , Kapha

45. Signs of FOOD eaten in MEASURE : Freedom from distress in stomach as the result of the quantity taken , gratification of senses , subsidence of hunger & thirst , Doshas are in balanced state , sense of ease in standing , sitting , walking , inhaling , exhaling , repartee and conversation , easy digestion and assimilation of food in morning and evening , imparting of wholesome health and promotes life .

46. Eat Hot Food – Hot food is relished and on consuming excites gastric fire , is soon digested and stimulates the peristaltic movement and breaks up the Kapha in the gastric secretion .

47. Eat Unctuous Food – It also has the same benefits as Hot food .

48. Eat after Digestion of Previous Meal – The food taken when previous meal has been fully digested, the Doshas are normal , the gastric fire is kindled , hunger appears , the channels of body are clear and open , the eructation from mouth is healthy , the stomach is clear , the peristaltic movement is normal , when the urges for evacuation of flatus , urine and faeces are well attended to – THAT Food , not vitiating any of the body elements , serves the purpose of PROMOTING LIFE .

49. Eat what is not Antagonistic in potency .

50. Eat in a Congenial place & Circumstances , provided with all the necessary appurtenances .

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DON’T

51. Take meal without saying your Prayers .

52. Eat without feeding the elders , guests , dependants .

53. Eat without cleaning the hands , feet and mouth .

54. Be served by an illwisher , undevoted , unmannerly , unclean or hungry attendant .

55. Eat in improper vessels and at improper time .

56. Eat while reviling food .

57. Indulge in untimely intake of foods & drinks that are heavy , dry , cold , dehydrated , disagreeable , irritant , unclean or incompatible .

58. Eat while the mind is afflicted with desire , anger , greed , envy , shame , grief , anxiety , fear .

59. Eat Hurriedly .

60. Eat too Leisurely .

61. Talk or Laugh while Eating .

OTHER REGIMEN

For complete article click :70 Ayurveda Rules For Wholesome Life

Contraceptives In Ayurveda


                                              

international womens day

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress   made , to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities .

Ayurveda considers Woman as the backbone of the society , she is the progenitor .

But , access to safe voluntary family planning is human right . Family planning in central to gender equality and women’s empowerment and is a key in reducing poverty .

Rigveda states ‘ A man with many children succumbs to miseries .’ To have one enlightened child is better than to have many illiterate children .

Various contraceptive measures are described in Ayurveda classics .

Period of cohabitation was limited . The cohabitation was done for procreation and not for carnal pleasures . Active conjugal life was for 25 years ie from 26th year ( after completion of education ) to 50th year . There were restrictions also ie avoidance of coitus on certain specific dates , eclipses , festivals , fasts , ceremonies .

LOCAL CONTRACEPTIVES :

Genital tract is fumigated by burning of Neem ( Azadirachta indica ) bark when the menstruation stops .

A tampon made with rock salt and Til ( Sesamum ) oil is kept after coitus .

A fine paste of seeds of Palash ( Butea monosperma ) , honey and ghee should be kept in vagina during ovulatory period .

 

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES :

Old jaggery taken with rice wash in the form of linctus acts as a contraceptive .

Root of Chitraka ( Plumbago zeylenica ) is boiled with rice wash . After filtering it , decoction is taken for three days after cessation of menstrual flow .

Seeds of Palash taken for three days during ovulatory period .

Flowers of Japakusum ( Hibiscus rosa Sinensis ) plucked in early morning are taken for three days ie 4th , 5th and 6th day of  menses .

Administration of paste of Tanduliyaka ( Amaranthus spinosa ) made with rice wash is taken for three days after menstruation   stops .

Leaves of Champaka ( Michelia campaka Linn ) are soaked in water overnight . Paste is made and taken during menses .

White variety of Gunja ( Arbrus precatorius ) is also used . One Gunja on fourth day of menstruation , Two Gunja on the fifth day and Three Gunja on sixth day acts as a contraceptive .

Pippalyadi Churna : Powder of Pippali ( Piper longum ) , Vidang        ( Embelia ribes ) and Tankana ( Borax ) are taken in equal quantity with milk during ovulatory period .

Banjauri plant ( Vicoa indica ) is used as an oral contraceptive by tribals of Bihar ( Sukhodeora ).

In Ranchi , an oral contraceptive made with  2 – 4 gm Paan root ( Piper betel ) and 2 – 4 gm Bamboo seeds are taken orally , empty stomach , in the form of tablet  .

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Various medicinal plants have been tested for their Anti fertility activity both in male & female animal models . Numerous herbs have been used historically to reduce fertility and modern scientific research has confirmed Anti fertility effects of some of the herbs .

RESEARCHES :

Anti implantation and pregnancy interruption activity was noted in animal  models in Japakusum – indicating the contraceptive activity which has similar results with the standard Ovral –L .

Seeds of Queen Anne’s Lace : Studies on rats show that seeds inhibit both fetal and ovrian growth .

A post coital contraceptive could be developed from seeds of Butea monosperma , leaves of Mentha arvensis and root of Plumbago rosea which are currently used by tribal population of Odisha .

Embelia ribes : It was administered in a dose of 2 gm for 5 days followed by 1 gm daily for another 10 days . After observing  the effect on 2051 cycles over four years , it was reported that the plant protected 95% of women from pregnancy .

Vaginal creams and suppositories made with Neem oil are quickly becoming the birth control method of choice in India . They are non-irritating and easy to use while almost 100 percent effective. It’s important to note, however, that even toxic spermicides are not 100 percent effective. When tested against human sperm neem extract (sodium nimbidinate) at 1000 mg was able to kill all sperm in just 5 minutes and required only 30 minutes at a 250 mg level. They have the added benefit of preventing vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases .

There are 11 plants tested with animals that show 100% Anti implantation activity . They are Aristolochia indica , Curcuma longa , Cuminum cymimium ,Daucus carota , Embelia ribes , Ensete superbium , Hyptis sauveolens , Mentha arvensis , Podocarpus brevifolia , Polgonium hydro piper , Sapindus trifoliatus .

Most modern form of birth control are 70% to 99% effective depending on the method chosen .

Each herb has varied effect on the body and no two herbs are alike in their abilities to prevent conception .Some herbal contraceptives have a cumulative effect in the body , they need to be taken regularly to maintain the contraceptive effect .

millenium development goals

Contraceptive measures also serve as a proxy measure to access the Reproductive Health services that are essential for meeting many of the Millenium Development Goals , especially for those concerned with Child Mortality , Maternal Health , HIV/AIDS and Gender Equality .

Herbs can offer alternatives and Reducing Fertility would be better than NO birth control .

 international womens day 1