THE MEANING OF FAMILY

Definition of Family

The dictionary defines family in several ways. One definition is “a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.” While this definition is a good starting point, there are several modern family structures that are excluded by this definition, such as childless couples or other variations on the family unit. Another definition is “Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling.” This definition encompasses the vast majority of modern family units; for the purposes of this article, the second definition will be used.

Who Makes a Family?

The traditional family consists of a father, mother and children. This is the family shown on television as the standard family. However, the 21st century showcases a variety of family units, some very different from the standard of the 1950s. Today, children are also often raised in single parent homes, by grandparents or by homosexual parents. Some families opt to have no children, or cannot have children due to some medical or emotional barrier. The idea that parents and children make a family is a basic definition; however, in order to accurately acknowledge other family structures, a broader definition is necessary. In addition to a more universal family definition, there are also plenty of people who consider a group of friends to be family, and adults who consider pets as defining members of the family unit.

Friends as Family

Many people consider friends to be as close or even closer than extended (or immediate) family. People who have lost close family members may create a family unit of friends with similar interests and goals to become replacements or enhancements to a lacking family structure. This type of family unit, while untraditional, can be just as close, if not closer, than a traditional structure. Friends are chosen by an individual; at times, these people may be more special or important than the family a person was born with. In addition, some people who have supportive families also have an extensive network of friends who they consider to be a second family or as additions to their blood or legal relatives.

Pets as Family

Pets can also become members of a family unit. Pets add an element of responsibility to a family, particularly for children. For couples who cannot, or choose not to, have children, pets can be a replacement and be loved as dearly as children. Pets, such as dogs and cats, are cared for as additional family members by many people and are mourned as such as well when they pass away.

Redefining Family

Rather than simply defining family by a dictionary definition, each individual should look to define a family by his own standards, enriching the dictionary’s definition. You can have several families in your lifetime, even several families at once if you choose. Regardless of how you choose to define your family unit, whether it is traditional or unique, your definition is of the family unit that works for you. As the saying goes, “Family is what you make it.” Whether made of blood relatives, friends, or pets, or a combination of these, your family can offer you the support you need to thrive.

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THE MEANING OF FRIENDSHIP

A heavy burden is placed on friendship. We turn to friends for our happiness. Some say they trust friends more than family. And there are those who want to marry their best friend – a very novel idea. Then, in the networked age, we believe, or hope, that friendship is elastic enough to connect us across the web of complex lives, and strong enough not to snap. But is it? For whilst friendship offers much, few ask about its perils and limitations, as well as its promise.
Mark Vernon examines the love shared by friends, linking the rich insights of the great philosophers of friendship with numerous illustrations from modern life to ask about friendship and sex, friends at work, the politics of friendship, and its spirituality. In this new version of his book, previously published as The Philosophy of Friendship, he explores how notions of friendship may be changing because of the internet. He also has a new chapter on self-help and friendship, challenging notions of friendship that arise from evolution and psychology.

PRAISE

‘In secular, consuming society nothing is more urgently needed than a cogent, passionate justification of those values we hold most dear in spite of everything. Mark Vernon passionately justifies friendship as a value lying at the very heart of what we are. This is a book that will make you feel better about being human.’
BRYAN APPLEYARD

‘Mark Vernon’s book will change the way you think about the people you see every day – at work, in your street, in the pub, at home. He helps us to appreciate and to nourish many different kinds of friendship.’
SOPHIE HOWARTH, THE SCHOOL OF LIFE

‘A history of the idea of friendship through the works of various thinkers from Plato to Nietzsche. It’s genuinely useful, lucid, informative and wise.’
MARK SIMPSON, THE INDEPENDENT, BOOKS OF THE YEAR

‘A wonderfully thoughtful and timely reflection on the importance of friendship in helping us become honest, courageous and wise.’
STUART JEFFRIES, THE GUARDIAN

‘A very readable mix of self-help and technical philosophy, this inquiry explores the potentially detrimental effects of dissimulation, sexuality and the workplace on friendship, as well as looking more generally at the political and ethical issues. Ultimately, Vernon argues that in its purest form friendship is a way of life. Indeed, like Socrates, he believes philosophy and friendship have much in common: they are both founded upon the love that seeks to know.’
PD SMITH, THE GUARDIAN

 

INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCE

BHARATNATYAM

Bharata Natyam is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms of India. This dance form originated in the temples and courts of southern India. Later it was documented as a performing art in the 19th century by four brothers known as the Tanjore Quartet (musicians). Their musical compositions are use for Bharata Natyam dance repertoire even today. The art form used to performs by generation to generation under the Devadasi system. Devadasi women were dedicated to temples to serve the GOD as dancers and musicians performing part of the elaborate rituals. These male gurus (Nattuvanars) were the most important part of Bhartnatyam, because these male gurus used to teach the Devadasis in the temple. This dance form only used to perfume in the temple not on stage or outside of the temple.

Because of the social change and change of king in the kingdom the Devadasis (temple dancers) face so much of money problem and came down to prostitution. E Krishna Iyer and Rukmini Devi Arundale bought this temple dance form (Bharatnatyam) to the society and started performing on stage. The items of the performance were only Devotional character such like Rama, Krishna etc.

Today Bharata Natyam is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over India and abroad. Its verity of movements and postures and the balanced of the rhythmic aspects take this art form in a higher level and other aspects lend itself well to experimental and fusion choreography. Bharatnaym follows Abhinaya Darpanam , Natya Sastra and other Sanskrit text for the theory part.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN BHARATNATYAM

Mridangam, Violin, Veena, Flute and Talam (Nattuvangam/ cymbals)

bharatnatyam_02

KATHAK

This dance form origin from the groups of poets of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or story tellers. These poets, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures. They use to perform those stories with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was a high class theatre, using instrumental and vocal music along with stylized gestures, to telling the stories. In the time of Mughal culture, Kathak became a sophisticated chamber art and taking care by art loving rulers, the practitioners of Kathak worked at refining its dramatic and rhythmic footworks, delighting elite audiences with their mastery over rhythm and the stylized mime.

The technique of Kathak is easy to understand by fast rhythmic footwork set to complex time cycles. The footwork is matched by the accompanying percussion instruments such as tabla and pakhawaj, and the dancer and percussionists often play with speed and ending in statuesque poses. The story portion, based on tales of Radha and Krishna and other mythological lore, contains subtle gestures and facial expressions. Lucknow, Banaras and Jaipur are recognized as the three schools, or gharanas, where this art was born and where the aspects were refined to a high standard.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN KATHAK

Pakwaj, Tabla, Harmonium, Sarengi and Talam(cymbals)

KATHAK-BIRJU MAHARAJ

KATHAKALI

Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the area of southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code. Each Character has different make up according to their nature. This determines the colours used in the make-up. The faces of noble male characters, example great kings, the divine hero Rama, etc., are green makeup. Characters who are high evil streak, such as the demon king Ravana, are allotted a similar green make-up,but with red marks on the cheeks. Extremely angry or excessively evil characters wear red make-up and a flowing red beard. Forest dwellers such as hunters are represented with a black make-up base. Women and ascetics have yellowish faces.

The technique of Kathakali is a highly developed language of hand gestures; through hand gestures the artist can tell the whole sentences and stories. The body movements and footwork are very rigorous. a Kathakali dancer undergoes a very hard course of training, and special periods of body massage.

The dancers wear large head dresses, and the different colours of the face are extended with moulded lime. The extraordinary costumes and make-up transform the audience to a world of wonders.

The orchestra of a Kathakali performance includes two drums known as the chenda and the maddalam, along with cymbals and another percussion instrument, the ela taalam. Normally, two singers provide the vocal accompaniment. The style of singing particular to Kathakali is called Sopaanam.

A traditional Kathakali performance begins in the evening and continues throughout the night, when Good finally conquers Evil. Today, however, it has been modified for the proscenium stage, and the audiences can participate in this theatre experience in the span of a couple of hours.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN KATHAKALI

Chenda, Maddalam, Cymbals and Ela taalam

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KUCHIPUDI

Kuchipudi is one of the well-known Classical Indian Dance form from Andhra Pradesh, India. The name Kuchipudi has origin from the name of a village “KUCHELAPURAM” with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form at Andhra pradesh. Kuchipudi born from “BHAGAVATMELA” (a dance drama format) tradition which used to perform by the telegu Brahmins who lives in kuchelapuram. “Siddhendra yogi” (a great scholar and poet) who revolute kuchipudi from Bhagavatmela tradition. During 1960 kuchipudi started performing as a solo dance form on stage.

The movements in Kuchipudi are comparatively faster than other Indian classical dance form and scintillating, rounded and fleet-footed. Performed to not only classical Carnatic music also Hindustani classical music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam. solo Kuchipudi numbers include “Puja”, ‘jatiswaram’, “Shabdam”, “Tarangam” ,”Keertanam” and ’tillana’. Abhinaya in kuchipudi is very unique and its Lokadharmi.

Taranagam is the main unique piece of kuchpudi repertoire, also known as plate (made by brass) dance. In that the dancer must dance upon a brass plate, placing the feet upon the raised edges. Tarangam is set to mostly lord Krishna’s glory with plate movements which is set to complicated tala pattern. Tala can be set in different gatis and jatis, most interesting part of a tarangam is, dancer reaply to mridangist chollu what he is playing in mridangam through plate movements. Tarangam carries a major uniqueness for this art form.
The song accompanying this number is from the well known “Krishna Leela Tarangini”, a text which recounts the life and events of Lord Krishna which is written by great telegu poet “Narayana Theertha”.

Most of the Karanas are often used in Kuchipudi dance. Apart from six padabhedas, Kuchipudi dancers also use some adugulu or adavus traditional to this school: Chaukam, Katteranatu, Kuppi Adugu, Ontaduvu,Jaraduvu, Pakkanatu. Kuchipudi based on totally Natya sastra (Sanskrit text).

INSTRUMENTS USE IN KUCHIPUDI

Mridangam, Violin, Veena, Flute and Talam (Nattuvangam/ cymbals)

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MANIPURI

Manipuri is one of the most beautiful dance styles of India. Nurtured in the mountainous region of the northeast, it takes its name from the name of the place Manipur, which is now a state. Manipur literally means a jewel of a land, and the state is set like a gem in the verdant hills. The legend goes that the gods drained a lake in the beautiful countryside in order to find a place to dance. No wonder then, that dance is the part of the rituals of daily life, such as weddings and homage to ancestors.

The Lai Haroba, a ritualistic dance depicting the Creation, is considered the precursor of Manipuri as seen today. The Lai Haroba is still an important living tradition, while Manipuri has expanded and gained popularity as a performing art in group and solo presentations.

Among the important feature of the Manipuri repertoire are the Sankirtana and the Raas Leela, based on the devotional theme of Krishna and Radha. The Raas Leela depicts the cosmic dance of Krishna and the cowherd maidens. The beautiful embroidered skirts of the dancers, long and flared from the waist, and the veils, along with Krishna’s costume with the tall peacock feather crown, add to the radiant appearance of this dance, as the performers sway and twirl to an ascending tempo.

Another vibrant feature of Manipuri is the Pung Cholam or Drum dance, in which dancers play on the drum known as Pung while dancing with thrilling leaps and turns to a fast rhythm. The dance form also known for beautiful elegant female costume.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN MANIPURI

Pung and cymbals

Manipuri

MOHINIATTYAM

The dance form of Mohiniattyam was nurtured in the region of Kerala in southwestern India. The name Mohiniattyam literally means ‘Dance of the Enchantress,’ and it does have a mesmerizing quality. The white and gold costume, the hairstyle and the highly graceful movements in medium tempo bring out the aesthetic effect.

Mohiniattyam is characterized by swaying movements of the upper body with legs placed in a stance similar to the plie position. The eyes play an important role in the direction of the movement.

Mohiniattyam is found in some eighteenth century texts, but the practical style was revived in the time of Maharaja Swati Tirunal, a 19th century ruler who was a great patron of the arts. Under Swati Tirunal, Mohiniattam established as a solo dance tradition with musical compositions set to the Carnatic style of music and a distinct repertoire. Later, in the twentieth century, the great poet Vallathol established the Kerala Kalamandalam to promote the arts of Mohiniattam and Kathakali.

Over the past few decades, the repertoire of Mohiniattam has been developed and expanded by dedicated performers who have ensured that this beautiful dance style retains a distinct identity among the classical dance styles of India. Apart from mythology, Mohiniattam perform on the themes from nature. Mohiniattyam was female orientated art form only female were suppose to perform but at present male also practicing and performing too.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN MOHINIATTYAM

Chenda, Maddalam, Cymbals and Ela taalam.

MOHINIATTYAM-sunanda NAIR

ODDISI

Odissi has origininated from ancient northern India. The name Odissi refers to the dance style of the state of Orissa in eastern India. Like other classical arts of India Oddisi also face difficulties to survive and by the 1930s and 40s, there were very few surviving practitioners of the art.

The current form of Odissi is the product of a 20th century revival. Over the years Odissi has become one of the most popular classical dance styles.

Like other Indian classical dance forms, Odissi has two major facets: Nritta or non-representational dance, in which ornamental patterns are created using body movements in space and time; and Abhinaya, or facial expressions are used to interpret a story or theme.

The divine love tales of Radha and the cowherd God Krishna are favourite themes for interpretation, and a typical recital of Odissi will contain at least one or two ashtapadis (poem of eight couplets) from Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam, which shows the complex relationship between Radha and her Lord.

The technique of Odissi includes repeated use of the tribhangi, (thrice deflected posture) in which the body is bent in three places, the shape of a helix. This posture and the characteristic shifting of the torso from side to side, make Odissi a difficult style to execute. The language of the music is Oriya.

INSTRUMENTS USE IN ODDISI

Pakwaj, table, harmonium, flute and cymbals.

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SATTRIYA

Sattras are the Vaishnava monasteries in Assam. The saint poet Shankar Deva of the 15th century AD started this institution to bring harmony to the region of Assam through religion, creating forms of dance-dramas, music, painting and collective prayer. The dance forms which have come to stay are called Sattriya dances, sharing all the characteristics of a classical dance form.

As a living tradition these dances are performed in the namghar, the prayer hall of the sattra by the celibate monks. Dressed in white costumes and turbans, head gears, they include kho lplaying, performing dance, creating soundscapes, floor patterns and choreographic designs. The numbers like “Sutradhari,” “Chali,” “Jhumura” partake of nritta, pure dance, nritya, expressional dance and dance-drama elements. The music is provided by khol-drum, patital, boratal-cymbals along with songs. The repertoire of Sattriya is vast. Now young female dancers also study these dances and they have come out of the sattra. They are presented on the metropolitan stages, with typical music of Assam, costumes and literary compositions viz borgeet. Both solo and group numbers enrich its presentation.

The dresses are usually made of pat, a type of silk produced in Assam, woven with intricate local motifs. The ornaments, too, are based on traditional Assamese designs.

38 Ways Yoga Improves Health

Supta Padangusthasana Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose improves flexibility

1. Improves your flexibility

Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a back bend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That’s no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shin-bones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.

2. Builds muscle strength

Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

3. Perfects your posture

Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it’s no wonder you’re tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

Wide legged standing forward bend III

4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown

Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.

5. Protects your spine

Spinal disks—the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves—crave movement. That’s the only way they get their nutrients. If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists , you’ll help keep your disks supple.

6. Betters your bone health

It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward-and Upward-Facing Dog , help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol (see Number 11) may help keep calcium in the bones.

increase blood flow in handstand pose

7. Increases your blood flow

Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart , where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.

8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity

When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

See also Lymphedema Relief Through Yoga

9. Ups your heart rate

When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning. One study found that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more exercise with less oxygen.

lower blood pressure in savasana

10. Drops your blood pressure

If you’ve got high blood pressure, you might benefit from yoga. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop.

11. Regulates your adrenal glands

Yoga lowers cortisol levels. If that doesn’t sound like much, consider this. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system. Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain. Additionally, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. In rats, high cortisol levels lead to what researchers call “food-seeking behavior” (the kind that drives you to eat when you’re upset, angry, or stressed). The body takes those extra calories and distributes them as fat in the abdomen, contributing to weight gain and the risk of diabetes and heart attack.

12. Makes you happier

Feeling sad? Sit in Lotus. Better yet, rise up into a backbend or soar royally into King Dancer Pose. While it’s not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.

Could You Eat Only Plant-Based Whole Foods for 30 Days?

13. Founds a healthy lifestyle

Move more, eat less—that’s the adage of many a dieter. Yoga can help on both fronts. A regular practice gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.

14. Lowers blood sugar

Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.

15. Helps you focus

An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and recall information better—probably because they’re less distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like an endless tape loop.

health benefits of yoga

16. Relaxes your system

Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs—comprising what Herbert Benson, M.D., calls the relaxation response.

17. Improves your balance

Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance. People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain. Better balance could mean fewer falls. For the elderly, this translates into more independence and delayed admission to a nursing home or never entering one at all. For the rest of us, postures like Tree Pose can make us feel less wobbly on and off the mat.

18. Maintains your nervous system

Some advanced yogis can control their bodies in extraordinary ways, many of which are mediated by the nervous system. Scientists have monitored yogis who could induce unusual heart rhythms, generate specific brain-wave patterns, and, using a meditation technique, raise the temperature of their hands by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If they can use yoga to do that, perhaps you could learn to improve blood flow to your pelvis if you’re trying to get pregnant or induce relaxation when you’re having trouble falling asleep.

Social Networking for Yoga teachers

19. Releases tension in your limbs

Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.

20. Helps you sleep deeper

Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleep—which means you’ll be less tired and stressed and less likely to have accidents.

21. Boosts your immune system functionality

Asana and pranayama probably improve immune function, but, so far, meditation has the strongest scientific support in this area. It appears to have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, boosting it when needed (for example, raising antibody levels in response to a vaccine) and lowering it when needed (for instance, mitigating an inappropriately aggressive immune function in an autoimmune disease like psoriasis).

female runner breathing

22. Gives your lungs room to breathe

Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume, which is both calming and more efficient. A 1998 study published in The Lancet taught a yogic technique known as “complete breathing” to people with lung problems due to congestive heart failure. After one month, their average respiratory rate decreased from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6. Meanwhile, their exercise capacity increased significantly, as did the oxygen saturation of their blood. In addition, yoga has been shown to improve various measures of lung function, including the maximum volume of the breath and the efficiency of the exhalation.

Yoga also promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold, dry air is more likely to trigger an asthma attack in people who are sensitive), and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs.

23. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems

Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of these can be exacerbated by stress. So if you stress less, you’ll suffer less. Yoga, like any physical exercise, can ease constipation—and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer—because moving the body facilitates more rapid transport of food and waste products through the bowels. And, although it has not been studied scientifically, yogis suspect that twisting poses may be beneficial in getting waste to move through the system.

24. Gives you peace of mind

Yoga quells the fluctuations of the mind, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. In other words, it slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems—from migraines and insomnia to lupus, MS, eczema, high blood pressure, and heart attacks—if you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier.

health benefits of yoga and meditation

25. Increases your self-esteem

Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively—take drugs, overeat, work too hard, sleep around—you may pay the price in poorer health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you’ll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine. If you practice regularly with an intention of self-examination and betterment—not just as a substitute for an aerobics class—you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you’re part of something bigger. While better health is not the goal of spirituality, it’s often a by-product, as documented by repeated scientific studies.

26. Eases your pain

Yoga can ease your pain. According to several studies, asana, meditation, or a combination of the two, reduced pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions. When you relieve your pain, your mood improves, you’re more inclined to be active, and you don’t need as much medication.

27. Gives you inner strength

Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts.

hands-on assist from yoga teacher

28. Connects you with guidance

Good yoga teachers can do wonders for your health. Exceptional ones do more than guide you through the postures. They can adjust your posture, gauge when you should go deeper in poses or back off, deliver hard truths with compassion, help you relax, and enhance and personalize your practice. A respectful relationship with a teacher goes a long way toward promoting your health.

29. Helps keep you drug free

If your medicine cabinet looks like a pharmacy, maybe it’s time to try yoga. Studies of people with asthma, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes), and obsessive-compulsive disorder have shown that yoga helped them lower their dosage of medications and sometimes get off them entirely. The benefits of taking fewer drugs? You’ll spend less money, and you’re less likely to suffer side effects and risk dangerous drug interactions.

30. Builds awareness for transformation

Yoga and meditation build awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks as are smoking, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind. It also increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain steady in the face of bad news or unsettling events. You can still react quickly when you need to—and there’s evidence that yoga speeds reaction time—but you can take that split second to choose a more thoughtful approach, reducing suffering for yourself and others.

yoga connects couples

31. Benefits your relationships

Love may not conquer all, but it certainly can aid in healing. Cultivating the emotional support of friends, family, and community has been demonstrated repeatedly to improve health and healing. A regular yoga practice helps develop friendliness, compassion, and greater equanimity. Along with yogic philosophy’s emphasis on avoiding harm to others, telling the truth, and taking only what you need, this may improve many of your relationships.

32. Uses sounds to soothe your sinuses

The basics of yoga—asana, pranayama, and meditation—all work to improve your health, but there’s more in the yoga toolbox. Consider chanting. It tends to prolong exhalation, which shifts the balance toward the parasympathetic nervous system. When done in a group, chanting can be a particularly powerful physical and emotional experience. A recent study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute suggests that humming sounds—like those made while chanting Om—open the sinuses and facilitate drainage.

33. Guides your body’s healing in your mind’s eye

If you contemplate an image in your mind’s eye, as you do in yoga nidra and other practices, you can effect change in your body. Several studies have found that guided imagery reduced postoperative pain, decreased the frequency of headaches, and improved the quality of life for people with cancer and HIV.

woman doing chandra bhedana moon breath meditation pranayama

34. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay

Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga. They include everything from rapid breathing exercises to elaborate internal cleansings of the intestines. Jala neti, which entails a gentle lavage of the nasal passages with salt water, removes pollen and viruses from the nose, keeps mucus from building up, and helps drains the sinuses.

35. Helps you serve others

Karma yoga (service to others) is integral to yogic philosophy. And while you may not be inclined to serve others, your health might improve if you do. A study at the University of Michigan found that older people who volunteered a little less than an hour per week were three times as likely to be alive seven years later. Serving others can give meaning to your life, and your problems may not seem so daunting when you see what other people are dealing with.

36. Encourages self care

In much of conventional medicine, most patients are passive recipients of care. In yoga, it’s what you do for yourself that matters. Yoga gives you the tools to help you change, and you might start to feel better the first time you try practicing. You may also notice that the more you commit to practice, the more you benefit. This results in three things: You get involved in your own care, you discover that your involvement gives you the power to effect change, and seeing that you can effect change gives you hope. And hope itself can be healing.

anatomy chest

37. Supports your connective tissue

As you read all the ways yoga improves your health, you probably noticed a lot of overlap. That’s because they’re intensely interwoven. Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system. This is one of the great lessons of yoga: Everything is connected—your hipbone to your anklebone, you to your community, your community to the world. This interconnection is vital to understanding yoga. This holistic system simultaneously taps into many mechanisms that have additive and even multiplicative effects. This synergy may be the most important way of all that yoga heals.

38. Uses the placebo effect, to affect change

Just believing you will get better can make you better. Unfortunately, many conventional scientists believe that if something works by eliciting the placebo effect, it doesn’t count. But most patients just want to get better, so if chanting a mantra—like you might do at the beginning or end of yoga class or throughout a meditation or in the course of your day—facilitates healing, even if it’s just a placebo effect, why not do it?

The Importance of Technology

The importance of technology in our daily lives is undeniable. This is due to the fact that in today’s dynamic world, life without technology is meaningless. Technology, which basically refers to bringing together tools that ease creation, use and exchange of information, has a major goal of making tasks easier to execute as well as solving many mankind’s problems. As technology continues to advance and direct even more easiness in our lives, there is a need to stress how advantageous it has been to our lives.

One of the areas that technology has been of great use is the health industry. Modern electronic equipments have been discovered which have improved the quality of treatment people receive at the health institutions as well as increasing their survival chances from various ailments. Another notable benefit of technology is that it have enabled doctors to discover most health problems while they are still in the developing stages, and have treated them before they can develop into severe stages.

Communication across the globe is now easy. This is due to the invention and use of internet which have reduced the world into a global village. People hailing from different geographical regions can virtually communicate through video calls, e-mails as well as many social media platforms available. Business owners have realized the power of using internet to achieve more customers for their products easily by creating business websites where customers click on the items to buy them at the comfort of their homes.

Another importance of technology in our daily lives is that it has eliminated the bulkiness associated with paperwork. With technology, information can now be stored virtually in various storage devices such as compact disks and microchips. More so, the information stored in these technological devices is secured with passwords and codes which are only known by the proprietors of the information, making it a better way of storing confidential information.

Telephone has evolved over the decades in terms of technology as the scientists have realized the need for people to communicate at anytime, anywhere. This necessity has led to invention of highly portable cellular phones which have taken communication a notch higher as people can network easily. The device is also fun to use as they are coupled with extraordinary entertainment features such as games. We cannot fail to mention that technology have been of great benefit to agricultural industry. Contrary to the agrarian revolution period which happened decades ago, it’s now possible to determine the climatic changes as well as climatic conditions that favor various plants.

Domesticated animals can as well be taken care of as technology has seen inventions of vaccines and other medications to treat them for various diseases. The importance of technology, as seen from the above information, cannot be underestimated. It has led to great things especially when it comes to use of internet to communicate across the globe: a great technological invention of all times that will enhance communication worldwide and thus more discoveries. The scientists are working on more advanced projects that will make almost all our daily tasks easier to accomplish, making the world a better place to be.

WHAT IS KANGEN WATER AND DOES IT HAVE BENEFITS FOR ANIMALS?

Kangen Water™ is the name that Enagic, a Japanese company, has for its reduced ionized water after municipal or other potable water is run through their proprietary ionizer units. There are other such units out in the marketplace, but most medical users tend toward the Enagic machines as they are the only ones consistently to have earned a “medical device” rating from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labour. So this current inquiry will focus only on Kangen Water™ results.

The water is named Kangen and that actually has a meaning; Kangen is the Japanese word for “return to origin”. Like many Japanese words (symbols), it has a dual meaning: one is that water is returned to the way it was originally available when the planet was young and secondly that the body returns to the healthy way it used to be before suffering the toxic and debilitating stresses of aging.

Kangen Water™ is created by a special process that was developed originally by the Russians in the 1800’s to create alkaline and acid water for industry. But in the recent past, highly innovative Japanese technologists figured out a way of using medical grade ionizing machinery that make it safe for long term human drinking and other uses. That’s been going on for more than 40 years, but it’s application to animals is a recent adjunct of its uses for humans. So far, although much more research is yet to be done, it is showing great promise by many users for pets and larger animals.

Enagic technology has designed a series of small units that can be easily attached to your tap water outlet whether from municipal water or well water.

The main reported health benefit is derived by drinking the alkaline water that is produced through ionization, typically in the 8.5pH to 9.5pH range. Both humans and pets can use it safely, subject to certain commonsense usage (e.g., if a cat is showing elevated levels of alkalinity in the kidneys, high alkaline water is undoubtedly not a good direction in that specific instance unless and until that situation is straightened out). Potential users should keep in mind that the alkalinity increases are caused by virtue of electrical action, as explained below, as opposed to chemical and mineral additives that “store-bought” bottled high alkaline waters typically contain.

So how does Kangen Water™ get produced from an Enagic machine? In a word: electrolysis.

The filtered tap water comes in contact with medical grade titanium plates that have been dipped in medical grade platinum that is electrified by a powerful little transformer, charging the high alkaline drinking water (just push a button to select levels of 8.5pH, 9.0pH or 9.5pH) and creating three significant attributes: higher alkalinity, negative ionic charge (antioxidant) while breaking up globules of water molecules to create smaller clusters of water molecules which allow them to better penetrate the cell wall. The latter increases the level of hydration at a cellular level that simply cannot be attained with large clusters of tap water molecules.

In doing so, the now “healthy water” helps maintain the homeostasis of all of the living systems in the body.

This process allows for neutralization of many toxins, petrochemicals and induced chemicals like chlorine, while changing the pH, to create natural, healthy alkaline water taking the quality of the water back to its primordial origin, hence the name Kangen.

Water filters and filtration systems no matter how complex cannot do this. They are simply better removal devices. Ionizers at this level are actually “powering up” the effectiveness of water to alkalinize, detox and hydrate. That can be as helpful to your pet or farm animal as it is to humans. There is increasing evidence to argue for veracity of that statement.

Although a great deal has been written about the topic,or your further edification as to what your innocent looking tap water might really contain, it is suggested that you read Contaminated Water, p.141, in the book 50 Years of Healing, published by Amazon.com.

This will give you further insight as to what you, your family and your family pet may innocently being exposed to merely by drinking your municipal or your well water. Filtering any of that, even for plant watering, is going to be helpful. However, in order to get the best advantages by simply reducing the dangerous

By knowing more about what you DON’T want in your water, this will help you realize why healthy, pre-filtered alkaline water is so effective in keeping ourselves and our pets, disease, allergy and other affliction free.

Further, each of the Enagic ionizers simultaneously produces an acid water from a second outgoing hose under the unit. Strong acid water (of 2.6pH or lesser) has shown itself a powerful antiseptic effective against bacteria, virus and fungus. Much as our bodies enjoy better health internally in an alkaline state, the outer body favors an acid state to help protect us externally. The ionizer mechanism produces a countervailing acid water side at the same time that alkaline water is being taken off the top of the machine. The availability of a non-chemical disinfectant that is simply powered up by electricity instead of chemicals, makes for a very safe, green alternative for some of the tougher pet problems (skin infections, gum deterioration, healing of bite marks, scrapes, saddle sores, insect wounds and the like. There are references and links to sites that show such external improvement in before and after pictures and videos.

How else can Kangen Water™ be helpful? The alkaline aspect may be a good place to start with a body that is showing evidence of a degenerative disease like cancer. Why? Those bodies have typically shown themselves to be more acidic than is thought to be healthy, often ranging from 5.8pH to 6.8pH. It should be noted that cancer thrives in an acid environment that is low in oxygen (anaerobic).

It has been proven that the growth and spread of tumors will occur when the body is in a state of acidosis and low oxygenation, that is, both acidic and anaerobic. The seminal work done by Dr. Otto Warburg in the early part of the last century earned him a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1931. He was unequivocal that an acid environment was an invitation for disease, especially cancer, as research on that malady was his specialty.

As a more direct and immediate example, there is a sodium bicarbonate study from Arizona that demonstrates this principal of tumor reduction by direct injection in mice. The use of strong chemical alkalinizers is promising, but by using Kangen Water™, you might achieve the same effects without fear of “over-alkalining” the way you might if you introduced strong chemical alkaliners into the body without giving the body a chance to buffer. The point, however, is that more practitioners are recognizing the power of ionized water to achieve some of these effects.

This sodium bicarbonate study appears on my website as NaHCO3 Study in Arizona in Mice as well as in my new book that Amazon.com will make available to the general public momentarily.The title of the book is Against the Odds, Given Up For Dead.

My studies have indicated that the use of a premium calcium montmorillinite with a strong negative ion will reverse both of these conditions.

However now, with the availability of having an Enagic unit that produces Kangen Water™, you can get the same beneficial effects with some measure of safety, as this technology has been used by hundreds of thousands of people for many years with no significant reported negative side effects.

Even the best filtration units cannot do this no matter how complex they are. Remember, filters are good at taking contaminants out of water. An ionizer unit starts from filtered water and then powers it up for the three stated effects: alkalinity, detoxification and hydration.

Besides the importance of this to the world of human health, I think you can begin to see the importance this kind of water can bring to our animals also.

Often dogs, cats and horses can develop kidney and bladder stones based upon the pH of the urine.Depending on the type of stone or stones found in the urinary system, the pH of the urine will determine whether the stony material remains in solution or precipitates out in the form of a stone.

It is thought that in order to change the pH of the urine, a dietary change will be necessary and is the only way to do this without taking synthetic chemicals to try to alter the PH.

Now there may be an easier way to do this with Kangen Water™, by altering the pH of the water source that the patient is drinking.

Obviously a number of clinical studies are in order to prove this, but there has been some intriguing anecdotal evidence of the efficacy of this theory, as noted in the links below.

One last feature that I find of great importance for those of us that want to disinfect various surfaces in our home, apartment, business or medical facility without exposing ourselves, our family members and our family pets to harmful chemical disinfectants, is the fact that this unit has a setting by simply pushing a button to produce a highly acidic water with a pH low enough to kill almost all bacteria, fungi and mold merely by changing the pH of the environment they seem to live and thrive in. Ironically, the anaerobic environment created by this strong acid water is precisely what kills the above microbial life. Anything below 2.6pH will act within just seconds. Enagic’s machines tend to produce the best and most consistent form of this water for home machines and it is for that reason that most of the early veterinary work in the USA will inevitably be based upon Kangen machines.

Disinfecting this way, we are also not contaminating our environment for future generations of people, plants and animals. Use of this kind of medical grade Japanese water technology may be the ultimate green alternative in our drive for more natural effective health practices in the USA.

THANK YOU!!!

THE BENEFITS OF KANGEN AND ACIDIC WATER

Kangen water – Benefits

Hydration and Drink-ability
Ionized alkaline water is an excellent source of healthful hydration because not only does it taste better with a superior mouth-feel, it is more readily absorbed by the body. This increases the “drink-ability” of water by reducing the usual feeling of being “bloated” from drinking the recommended daily allowance of 8 glasses per day. In side-by-side tests, most people can taste the difference!

Micro Clustering
Preliminary studies have evidenced a phenomenon identified as “micro clustering” which refers to the exceptionally small “structured” molecules of alkaline water. Numerous benefits have been associated with this phenomenon.

Free Radical Scavenging
Ionized alkaline water supports the wellness of bodily organs while promoting the health of those same organs. Part of the reason for these benefits is that ionized alkaline water has been demonstrated to be an anti-oxidant free radical scavenger.

Encouraging Longevity
Scientifically recognized benefits of water include the support of wellness and longevity. The natural benefits of water are encouraged and enhanced by alkalinity. Alkalinity is the state in which water is most harmonious with its physiological wellness benefits.

Detoxification
Water is the universal solvent that our bodies rely on for flushing toxins and waste products from the body. With its negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and great taste, you can count on ionized alkaline water such as Kangen Water® to aid in the neutralization of free radicals and address all of your body’s hydration needs.

Acidic Water – Benefits

Toxic-free Cleaning
A number of manufacturers build industrial multi=purpose cleaning machines (floor cleaners, etc.) that use only strong acidic water as the cleaning agent. Similarly, swimming pool systems are migrating from harsh chlorine systems to ionizing acidic water systems to keep pools clean.

Personal Hygiene
Acidic water—referred to in Asia as “Beauty Water”— is an effective external cleaning agent for use in personal hygiene (external cleansing and bathing, etc.)

Environmentally Green
One of the reasons acidic water is being adopted by institutions as diverse as hospitals and custodial services is that acidic water is non-polluting. Introduced into the environment, acidic water rapidly returns to its resting pH state. Acidic water is naturally free of phosphates and other pollutants that risk our environment and the future of our world.