Strong as a Diamond! Vajrasana

Ever wondered why zen masters sit on their knees? Karate and other martial arts masters also to sit in that “uncomfortable” position- the ‘vajrasana’. Vajrasana is a kneeling pose; vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning diamond or thunderbolt. Asana means pose. This diamond pose is also called Adamintine Pose.
Usually, breathing exercises like Pranayama, Kapalabhati, and Anulon Vilom are done sitting in this position. Many masters also prefer this position for meditation.

This is how you do it..

  1. Kneel down, stretching your lower legs backward and keeping them together. Your big toes should touch each other.
  2. Gently lower your body such that your buttocks are resting on your heels and your thighs on your calf muscles.
  3. Place your hands on your knees, and set your gaze forward with your head absolutely straight.
  4. Turn your attention to your breathing. Be fully aware of how you breathe and carefully observe as you inhale and exhale.
  5. You could close your eyes to concentrate on your breathing and to calm your mind.

As a beginner, when you assume this position, it is likely that your legs will pain. If this happens, all you need to do is undo the asana, and stretch your legs forward. You can try to stay in vajrasana for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes and extend the time as per your comfort.
Work slowly and gradually on bettering the strength of the lower back muscles before you go deeper into the pose or increasing the duration. Once the lower back is strengthened, the strain on the breath is decreased. Also, do not push yourself more than your body can take, the benefits of the pose are minimized.
This asana is one of the few asana which can and should be be practised post a meal since it promotes proper digestion.
While this is one of the easiest and safest asanas to practise, however, keep the following in mind:

  1. Do not practise this asana if you have a knee problem or have undergone surgery in your knees recently; Or if you have intestinal ulcers, hernia, or any other problems related to the large or small intestine. If you are very keen, seek advice from your doctor/ yoga practitioner.
  2. If you are pregnant, keep your knees slightly apart to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen.
  3. If you are suffering from any spinal column ailments on the lower vertebrae, it is best to avoid this pose.

Practice this asana because

  1. It improves digestion. It regulates blood circulation in the lower pelvic region. Sitting on your legs reduces the blood flow in the legs and increases it in the digestive area, therefore increasing the efficiency of the digestive system. Better digestion prevents GERD- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease and acidity.
  2. With the regular practice of vajrasan one can get relief from constipation and flatulence.
  3. It strengthens the back and relieves patients suffering from lower back problems and sciatica.
  4. It strengthens the pelvic muscles too. It positively impacts the urinary and reproductive systems.

According to Ayurveda, one of the major nerve in human body is also named Vajra Nadi (Nadi means nerve). Vajra nadi is connected with genito urinary system which is responsible for regulating sexual energy in human body. Hence practicing this yoga pose for extended duration of time may make a person control his/her sexual energy for spiritual aims.

  1. It strengthens muscles and nerves almost curing varicose pains.
  2. It helps to ease out labor pains and also reduces menstrual cramps. It is a safe asana to perform during pregnancy.
  3. This asana is one of the best ones to assume when you wish to go into a meditative state since it is an upright pose.
  4. According to Ayurvedic Sciences there are marm points in our body. These points impact different parts of the body when we assume different positions. While sitting in vajrasana, katikatarun marm is stimulated. This impacts the spine and stomach releasing the pain in spine and improves digestion.

Make a habit to practise this asana atleast post your meals and become ‘diamond’ strong!


Make love: It is fun and beneficial

It cannot be denied, sex if consensual can be a lot of fun and has numerous benefits. In this blog, I will refer to ‘sex’ as ‘making love’, since that is exactly what I mean. The article will take you through the benefits of “making love” and not “sex”! So if you have a partner who is not that much “into it”, get them to read this blog and be ready for some fun!

Psychological Effect:

Making love has numerous psychological benefits. I am not referring to people into extensive meditation and the ones who have been able to channelise this sexual energy. But for us ‘mortals’, sex is healthy. There is a deep energetic connection that bonds two people when they make love & it is not just the intermingling of juices.

Kamasutra describes the different ways to physical intimacy but also speaks about equally involving your partner and developing a synergy for greater fulfillment. The physical bond builds an emotional connect which eventually leads to a happy family life. If you want to feel more connected to your partner, consider that the simple act of saying “yes” to your partner, and see the shift in dynamics. If you’re both honoring each other correctly, sex will most likely help you feel closer to your love.

Suppression of this primal need can distract a person from his routine activities. So might well just do it and be happy!

Physical Effect:

Making love releases endorphins and oxytocin, and these feel-good hormones activate pleasure centers in the brain that create feelings of intimacy and relaxation, keeps anxiety and depression at bay. You don’t have to climax for the effects, but there is a surge of soothing hormones if you have an orgasm.

The same endorphins that help you de-stress can also relax your mind and body, & makes you sleep well. But if you’re wild in the sack, highly active session can make you feel more energized than sleepy. Let it not be a snooze, but if you are sleeping thereafter, opt for a subdued session.

The endorphins that are released during an orgasm closely resemble morphine, and they effectively relieve pain. Have a migraine but your partner isn’t around? Medicate by treating yourself with some solo sex!

Use your healthy days as sex days! People who have sex were found to have higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA), according to researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. These antibodies help combat diseases, enhances immunity & keeps the body safe from colds and flu.

Making love decreases the risk of prostate cancer as well. What better reason than this to slip into sheets with your partner!

Apart from making you feel good, making love makes you young and vital due to the release of testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen also promotes soft skin and shiny hair.

The uterus contracts during orgasms and in the process rids the body of cramp-causing compounds. The increased number of uterine contractions can also help expel blood and tissue more quickly, helping to end your period faster.

Sexual activity = modest workout on a treadmill. A romp can burn anywhere from 85 to 250 calories, depending on the length of the session. Your abs, back muscles, butt & thighs get a good workout.

It is also a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.

Slipping into sheets with the one you love lowers your blood pressure & is good for your heart because you are naturally in a relaxed state. It lowers your cholesterol by tipping the high-density lipoprotein (HDL)/ Lower density lipoprotein (LDL). It keeps your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance; unbalance increases risk of osteoporosis and even heart disease.

Remember, the benefits listed above is for “making love” which implies consensual physical intimacy. Ensure when you indulge, it is consensual and preferably with one partner. Multiple partners create a havoc with the body apart from creating the risk of STDs (Many Indian scriptures stress on having one sexual partner because the cells in our body remember every physical touch on a subconscious level. Too many physical interactions lead to psychological & physical issues.).  

So be safe and have a good time!


“Haldi” for Health

A number of basic foods available in the Indian kitchen have superb benefits. One such product is the turmeric

Bablu disliked ‘Haldi Dhoodh’ (Turmeric Milk) to no extent. He could endure anything but turmeric powder in his milk. But alas, his mother insisted and as a child he could not do much about it. Bablu’s mother believed that turmeric is a wonder ‘drug’ for numerous ailments. As he got a bit older he also got aware and realised during winters he never succumbed to common ailments like cough and cold. His immune system was stronger than many of his friends. He enjoyed his health! But, always wondered how!

Turmeric is derived from the rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa, which is a member of the ginger family. It has the compounds with medicinal properties which is Curcumin. Even though Curcumin is 3% of turmeric, the use of turmeric is not lessened. Curcumin is the most active component of turmeric and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is precisely the reason that Haldi’(turmeric) finds a special place in India (Ayurveda) for many ailments.

Turmeric is Anti- inflammatory

  • Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation).
  • External application of turmeric is beneficial for sprains and swellings because of the Curcumin compound.
  • Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and pain relieving properties, Curcumin and turmeric is used for arthritic pain.
  • Because inflammation is closely linked to tumor promotion, Curcumin with its potent anti-inflammatory property is anticipated to exert chemopreventive effects on carcinogenesis. Hence, the past few decades have witnessed intense research devoted to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin.

Turmeric Prevents

The antibacterial and anti-viral action of curcumin makes it the best remedy to treat cough and cold naturally. The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin aids in relieving the chest congestion that develops in people suffering from chronic cough. It is advised to include turmeric in a daily diet during winters to prevent viral and bacterial infection. The dosage could be –one tsp turmeric with a glass of warm milk.One can also have a 1-2 tsp of turmeric powder without mixing it for the same effect.

Turmeric Prevents

Turmeric Heals

  • Curcuma has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can be used as an effective disinfectant in-case of cuts and minor burns. Turmeric also helps repair damaged skin and may be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Turmeric with other constituents has a great effect- Having haldi (Turmeric) mixed with mustard oil and onion juice every hour stops rectal bleeding in piles in most of the cases.
  • As a rich source of iron, turmeric is valuable for anaemia.
  • Curcuma has a protective action on intestinal flora. Curcuma is beneficial in Crohn’s disease (an ailment that affects the digestive tract) and ulcerative colitis.

Turmeric Boosts General Health

  • Curcumin Detoxifies the liver- It helps in stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats.
  • It balances cholesterol levels, fights allergies, stimulates digestion, boosts immunity and enhances the complexion.
  • Studies suggest that curcumin has several properties that could make it effective at preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric is Anti- cancer

  • Curcumin powder mixed with pure cow’s ghee(Clarified Butter) might wade away cancer cells in most cases and also regenerates new cells in the body.
  • Curcuma has been demonstrated to inhibit tumour growth and stimulate apoptosis, an intracellular mechanism for cells of all types to “kill” themselves. It neutralises those substances and conditions which can cause cancer.
  • It directly helps a cell retain its integrity if threatened by carcinogens.

Turmeric is an Effective Cosmetic

  • Turmeric paste mixed with aloe vera, water and milk will clear your skin as well. Turmeric mixed with liitle gram flour (besan) is an effective & a cheap scrub, and is known to clear tan. 

So if you say yes to your health, haldi  (Turmeric) has to find some space in your scheme of affairs! 

Migraine: An explosion in your head

A migraine is many time ignored till it becomes severe. One can undertake a number of non-pharma steps to reduce to get over a migraine.

“I don’t want that explosion in my head as my father used to have,” says RameshN, 18-year-old BE student when he came to my OPD after a severe headache of 5-6 hours. He was upset since he had his exams in a few days and he was not able to concentrate due to the throbbing pain. We all have visited physicians many times with the complaint of a headache. Out of all the primary and secondary causes, migraine is the 2nd common cause of a headache.

A migraine is common in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. It is ignored many times by parents citing it as a reason to avoid studies. A migraine is benign episodic, syndrome of a headache associated with other symptoms of neurological dysfunction. Most of the people have a positive family history of a migraine.

Classic triad seen in a migraine are

  1. Premonitory visual scotoma or scintillations, sensory or motor symptoms or
  2. Unilateral throbbing headache
  3. Nausea/vomiting

A migraine attack lasts for around 4-7 hours & is relieved after a good sleep. It is difficult to predict as to when a migraine attack will occur. However one can predict the pattern of each attack as there are well-defined stages. Once you the know the stages of a migraine, and if a proper history is given to the doctor, a proper diagnosis can be reached and medication can be taken to reduce this effect.

Pre-motory Stage/ Aura: It includes certain physical or mental changes like mood changes, feeling thirsty, tiredness etc. It may last a few minutes or hours.

Aura: It includes a wide range of neurological symptoms like changes in the sight like dark spots, coloured spots, zigzag lines, Numbness, weakness, dizziness, vertigo, speech changes, confusion might also occur before a headache.

A headache: a headache is severe sometimes unbearable. Typically it is throbbing. It is unilateral but can be bilateral as well. One may feel nauseated or might vomit in this stage. Some people also become sensitive to light or sound.

Resolution: most of the attacks slowly fade away but some stop suddenly after crying or sleeping for some time. It can take hours for many people to restore or days for that feeling to disappear. It is like a hangover.

Simplified diagnostic criterion: Photphobia Repeated attacks of headaches lasting for 4-7 hours without physical examination & neurological investigation and no other cause found

  1. Unilateral pain
  2. Throbbing
  3. Aggravated by movement
  4. Nausea/Photophobia

One can never be sure as to when the next episode would occur. However non- pharma many things can be done-

  1. Identify triggering factors and avoid those
  2. Some researches show avoidinghot, spicy food, fermented, sour foods helps
  3. One should avoid sun light as much as possible. If this cannot be stopped, one can wear glasses and hat to protect one’s self
  4. Certain yoga postures are extremely beneficial for migraine. Some of these are moon salutation, boat pose, bow pose (dhanurasan), spiral twist (matsyendrassana), tree pose and standing on toes
  5. Meditation reduces stress levels and brings a balance in one’s being.
  6. Pranayam (breathing exercises) has a long term impact in maintain good health
  7. 5 drops of brahmi ghee in each nostrils sometimes help relieve the pain