Thursday, October 6, 2011

Power Yoga and Power Food

Wonders of Power Yoga and Power Food
By Dr. O.P.Verma
There has been tremendous change in our life style, education level, social status, financial status, food and health during last few decades. The reasons are industrialization, hectic schedules, stress and anxiety of professional targets, increased use of highly refined and processed factory made food, use of chemical fertilizer,  pesticides and preservatives, sedentary life, remote control culture etc. Multinationals have robed most of the omega-3 fats and other nutrients from our diet. We have become addict of nutrition less fast food and junk food which is full of trans fats. We have no time for exercise and yoga.  All this has sacrificed our health a lot and invited many diseases. Before a couple of decades heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, depression, arthritis and cancer were rare diseases of mature and old age. And today our young generation is suffering from these diseases at a very early age. India has become Diabetes capital of the world. How can we stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy in this modern era??? Yes, we can adapt Power Yoga and Power food and stay healthy and fit. 
Power Yoga
Power Yoga is the modified version of classical Indian Yoga which focuses on developing one's physical flexibility and emphasizes the desire for self-discipline.  Power Yoga is a shortened, fast paced and modified version of Ashtanga Yoga. It also borrows certain aspects from other Yoga practices like Bikram Yoga and Iyengar Yoga. Initially our celebrities like Katrina and Kareena adapted Power Yoga to maintain zero figure. It is latest fitness tool now very popular among youth. Girls are following Power Yoga to shape their figures and reduce weight while boys are adopting it for fitness, strength, self control and concentration. With Power Yoga a person can achieve total unity since it connects the body, mind, and spirit in the deepest level.
The name Power Yoga says it all. It is one of the several types of Yoga that has the same potential of emulating a rigorous full-body workout and promotes mental stability and concentration. Although Power Yoga practice may hurt at first.
The concept of Power Yoga was introduced to the West by devotees of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a renowned Sanskrit scholar who inspired Western Yogis with his Ashtanga Yoga style and philosophies. It's a small wonder why Power Yoga is considered as the Western version of the Indian Ashtanga Yoga. The term "Power Yoga," however, was given by Ashtanga Yoga teacher Beryl Bendere Birchand Bryan Kest. With degrees in philosophy and comparative religion, Beryl has traveled extensively in India, has been teaching the classical system of ashtanga yoga for 33 years, and training yoga teachers as “spiritual revolutionaries” since l980 and wrote the widely-read book "Power Yoga: the Practice"
Power Yoga requires the execution of basic Yoga Poses, like in Bikram Yoga, which guarantees an energetic workout and offers basic challenges that can be done even by beginners in Yoga.
It is bit different from normal Yoga. It athletic style of Yoga in which there is more focus on strength and flexibility.  There are no fixed postures and teachers and instructors can adopt different exercises and styles according to body types.  
Warm-ups are usually done before a session of Power Yoga to relax and stretch the muscles of the body. In addition to that, Power Yoga is usually done in a heated room for a Yogi to achieve optimum muscle flexibility. This is because the moves involved in it can be very painful to successfully pull off to those who are new to Power Yoga. Therefore, it is imperative to condition the body before going through this rough and rigorous type of Yoga. This feature of Power Yoga limits the Yogis to those who are physically fit and are not suffering from chronic ailments.
But despite its vigorous approach in Yoga, Power Yoga still focuses on the general aim of Classical Yoga, which is to unite the body, mind, and spirit. It uses traditional Yoga practices in order to tap in to the inner core of one's power and to help this individual to recognize the different levels of power which are:
  • The physical power which is developed through the poses in Power Yoga resulting in an improvement of the body's natural strength and health.
  • The mental power or the willpower, which is disciplined during the course of the practice as it clears the mind of unorganized thoughts and helps the self to concentrate on a single task.
  • The spiritual power, the driving force behind one's physical and mental power, is nurtured, allowing complete mastery of one's thought and actions.
Finally, it is through Power Yoga that a person can achieve total unity since it connects the body, mind, and spirit in the deepest level.
Instructions for Power Yoga
Power Yoga can be practiced by anyone who enjoys exercising. However, pregnant women must consult their doctors to take up any form of exercise. Apart from pregnant women, on a general basis, seek help from your doctor or a Power Yoga instructor to know whether it will suit your body or not. An early morning environment is very conducive for Power Yoga. Power Yoga has to be practiced on an empty stomach. You can enjoy it more by practicing with your family, children or friends. Here are some tips which you should keep in mind while practicing Power Yoga.
  • Select places like building terrace, open ground, garden which will encourage you to practice Power Yoga
  • Wear sweat absorbent clothes. Stay comfortable
  • Seek guidance of a professional as it involves difficult poses
  • Concentrate completely on each pose
  • Follow a proper series of exercise while performing it
  • Practice Power Yoga thrice a week for 45 minutes each day
  • Always do Power Yoga under strict guidance of a trained instructor.
  • Slow but steady must be your Power Yoga mantra
Benefits of Power Yoga. ne upe body and keep you slim, trim and fit.
·        Helps you to manage pain, heal common ailments, and promote your overall well being.
·        Keep the body and the mind relaxed, even as you stretch, extend, rotate, and flex your body.
·        It helps to keep the nervous system elastic and capable of bearing stress.
·        It is both therapeutic and preventative in nature.
·        Tone up the body and keep you slim, trim and fit.
·        Helps you to manage pain, heal common ailments, and promote your overall well being.
·        Keep the body and the mind relaxed, even as you stretch, extend, rotate, and flex your body.
·        It helps to keep the nervous system elastic and capable of bearing stress.
  • Weight reduction, spot reduction and body perfection.
  • Posture alignment.
  • Stress and anger management. 
  • Improves blood circulation and boosts immunity.
  • It serves as a great training for athletes.
  • It helps improve a person's performance in certain sports like Cycling, Golf, football, and swimming.
  • Burns calories.
  • It's a great way to release tension and anxiety.
  • It tones your body well.
  • Increases concentration, focus and self control.
  • It's a good way to remove bodily toxins through sweat.
  • Positively penetrates each layer of your body and ultimately the consciousness itself.
  • Fights asthma, arthritis, depression, diabetes, hypertension etc.
  • Increases stamina, endurance, strength and flexibility. 
  • It rejuvenates your body and generates energy.
  • It is both therapeutic and preventive in nature.
  • The benefits are cumulative over time.
Power Food
Power food is food which is full of Omega-3 Fats, high class proteins and bouquet of vitamins and minerals. Flaxseed is only affordable food in the modern era power which fits in the definition of power food.
1.    Botanical name of Flaxseed is Linum usitatissimum, means useful seed The World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute recognizes flaxseed as a "super food."
2.    Mahatma Gandhi wrote: “Wherever flaxseed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health.”
3.    Flaxseed is richest source of Omega-3 Fatty acid Alfa-Linolenic acid ALA on earth. Flaxseed contains 30-40% oil (including 36-50% alpha linolenic acid, 23-24% linoleic acid- Omega-6 fatty acids and oleic acids), mucilage (6%), protein (25%), Vitamin B group, lecithin, selenium, calcium, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, carotene, sulfur, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, chromium and cobalt. Flaxseed is beneficial from infancy to old age. 
4.    Flaxseed is also richest source of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-lupus, anti-HIV and anti-carcinogenic Lignans on earth, several hundred times more than any other source. Lignan is a plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) and helps stabilize a woman’s estrogen-progesterone ratio, so they can have beneficial effects on the menstrual cycle and relieve the hot flashes of menopause. Flax seed is known to reduce symptoms of PMS and osteoporosis.   These lignans promote normal ovulation and promote consistent ovulation.  Flax seed has been found to substantially increase milk production in women who are not producing enough milk to nurse their infants. Lignan prevents Prostate, Breast, Cervical, Colon and skin cancers.
5.    Flaxseed is richest, purest and safest source of essential and live omega-3 fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid ALA, which keeps us free from ailments. Essential means they can not be made in our body while fish omega-3 fats DHA and EPA can be formed in our body from ALA. Omega-3 fats are very important part of cell membranes and impart them desired softness, liquidity, elasticity and permeability.  Our bodies function best when our diets contain a well-balanced ratio of ratio of omega-6 and omega-3, meaning 1:1 0r 1:2. But we typically eat 10 to 40 times or more omega-6 than omega-3, which is a prescription for trouble. This imbalance inflames our body and puts us at greater risk for a number of serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and arthritis. 
6.    Because they are high in dietary fiber, ground flaxseeds can help ease the passage of stools and thus relieve constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. The researcher concluded that flaxseed relieved constipation more effectively than psyllium. Taken for inflammatory bowel disease, flaxseed can help to calm inflammation and repair any intestinal tract damage.
7.    Flaxseed is very low in actual sugars, so researchers call it a zero carb food. It creates a feeling of satiation (feeling of fullness and satisfaction following a meal) and increase BMR. So the cells generate more heat and burn calories, hence it is dieters dream and devil diabetes paradise.
8.    Flaxseed cleans blood vessels like a sweeper and keeps the blood thinner. It helps to lower high blood pressure, clears clogged coronaries, lowers high blood cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raises good HDL cholesterol. Flaxseeds prevent clot formation in arteries, means attacks on root cause of heart attack.
9.    The Flaxseed is a feel good food and keeps your mind cool and cheerful. Your mood is always elated and positive.  This is super anti depressant. Flaxseeds are essential for the function and structure of the brain and improve cognition, memory and concentration. It helps to treats Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. It improves vision and color perception.
10. Flaxseed is SIM CARD if minds circuitry. Here SIM means Serene, Imagination and Memory and CARD denotes Creativity Concentration, Alertness, Reading writing & thinking ability and divine.
11. Flaxseed is very popular among celebrities and athletes. Lara Dutta, Ashmit Patel, Hrithik Roshan etc.  are all mad for flax. An article entitled "Best of the Best", published in the bodybuilding and health enthusiast magazine Muscle Media 2000, claims flaxseed as "the hottest idea in bodybuilding" and "a surprising new category of bodybuilding supplement." Mr. Dan Duchene    in his column "Ask the Guru", also writing for Muscle Media 2000, and ranked flaxseed as the number one bodybuilding supplement compared to all other available products.
12. It is a one point answer to all ailments and problems of skin, hair and nails. It    nourishes strengths, soothes and rejuvenates them. It is an internal and edible cosmetic. Soft, silky, fair, moist, radiant and glowing skin is an interesting side effect of Flaxseed consumption. Dry skin, acne, eruptions,  rosacea, eczema, skin cancers, wrinkles, age spots,  dry or brittle nails, dandruff,  hair loss, premature graying of hair and psoriasis often respond well to the Flaxseed’s anti-inflammatory actions. It is a fountain of youth. You look years younger to your age.  
13. Flaxseed boosts body’s defense mechanisms and enhances immunity.
14. Flaxseed also plays a role in keeping sperm healthy, which may be of value in treating male infertility and they can improve erectile dysfunction. Many patients reported that it delayed their ejaculation times drastically.
15. Flaxseed is a solution for are joint problem. It cures arthritis, gout, sciatica, lupus and osteo arthritis. It is cheep and better alternative of joint replacement therapy.
Om Khund
Thoroughly blend two tablespoon good quality cold pressed Flaxseed oil with six tablespoon cottage cheese or curd with an electric hand blender. Decorate it with fruits like strawberry, cherry, grapes, apple, papaya, dry fruits and flavorings (sea salt, peeper, coconut powder, apple-cider vinegar, cinnamon etc.). It is highly nutritious delicious after power yoga in the morning. 
Neel Madhu
Just mix fresh ground flaxseed powder, honey, coconut powder, milk powder and dry fruits (almonds, raisins etc.) in equal amount and its ready. Even children can make delicious and divine Neel Madhu. It can be stored in freeze for a couple of weeks. It can be taken with breakfast or at any time. 
Ways to eat flax seed
Sprinkle ground flax seed on your   curd, cereals and salads. Ground flax seed can be added to the whole wheat flour for making bread, chapattis or parathas.
How much should be taken in a day?
The recommended daily dose for most people is approx. 30-60 gm.

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