Yoga Nidra Meditation

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra literally means ‘sleep of the yogis’. It’s a technique by which one reaches deeper levels of awareness as one sleeps. This explanation seems incredible because we can’t associate awareness with sleep. However, according to ancient Hindu beliefs, to which this technique traces its roots, there are three levels of consciousness. They are waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. Though we lose awareness while we sleep, our consciousness reaches a different level than it achieves while we are awake.

The Steps
Here are the steps that would guide you to do the nidra meditation. It needs to be done in a place that does not have too many distractions. This technique requires a relaxed mind, and a calm and peaceful place. One should also ensure that one feels comfortable lying down, for this meditation technique. The steps to be followed are:

Step 1: Lie down on the floor in a relaxed state. Keep your legs apart at a distance of 1 to 1.5 feet. Lay your hands by your side, a little away from the body and let the palms face upwards. Relax your entire body.

Step 2: Take a few deep breaths to first relax yourself completely. Now, instead of concentrating on your breath, start with concentrating on the toes of one leg. Start with the big toe and then, shift on to the smaller ones, one by one. The key to this meditation technique is to feel the sensations in one’s body as one shifts his consciousness from one part to the other. Feel the vibrations, the warmth, or the tingling sensation, whatever you feel in your toes.

Step 3: Now, slowly move up your left leg. Concentrate on your sole. Let your mind linger on that part for a few moments. Then

Is it Harder for Women to Lose Weight Than Men?

Men lose weight faster than women

If only losing weight was as easy as losing my cell phone, my keys, my temper, or even my mind, I’d be SO skinny! – Unknown
For long I have envied men for one good reason, and that is they can eat whatever they want and still not pile on a bulk of fat cuddling their waistline. They eat, they burn, and its gone. How do they do that? It is simply not fair. Most women reading this article know the pain of weight loss, and how stubborn body fat can be.
In the case of women, the slightest craving of a delicious dessert would give them a guilt trip, while men could gorge on the same dessert without the slightest frown. And you know the bonus – they could burn these calories like a piece of paper on a stove.

Why are men and women engineered differently for body fat and weight loss? And is it harder for women to lose weight than men? Or is this just a myth? Actually No. It is harder for women to lose weight than men. Research has found that women have to put in more effort to lose weight as compared to men, both in terms of exercise and diet.

Women, are we disappointed? Yeah, a little. It is unfair, but that is how we are designed. Let’s take a look at some facts below, that explain this extra credit that men get when it comes to losing weight faster.

Why is it More Difficult for Women to Lose Weight Than Men?
The Science
➛ Researchers and scientists at the University of Missouri conducted a study on obese men and women. They were all put on the same diet and exercise routine. In the end,

Tips to Prevent Common Yoga Injuries

Tips to prevent common yoga injuries

Did You Know?
Several years of yoga practice may lead to consistent over-stretching and misalignment of muscles, which can be the leading cause of most yoga injuries.
The main objective of yoga is to provide exercise as well as relaxation to the body and mind. It is also believed that practicing yoga on a regular basis can keep diseases and illnesses at bay, while keeping you healthy and happy. The bodily health is maintained because the exercises incorporated in yoga practice challenge several body parts, and make them stronger.

However, if the poses are done incorrectly or with excessive force and stretching, it may affect your body adversely. Although serious injuries are rare in yoga, there are certain common injuries that cause pain, and also, at times, need medical help. The most common injury-prone areas are the wrists, knees, shoulders, and the lower back. Twists, sprains, and strains commonly occur in these areas, which may cause mild to severe pain.

How to Prevent Yoga Injuries
Look For a Competent Teacher
Basically, yoga is not something that can be learn on your own by just watching someone. There has to be a well-qualified, professional ‘guru’ to take up your yoga sessions efficiently. While looking for a yoga teacher, make it a point to inquire about their qualifications, and if they have a government certification.
Avoid Being an Advanced Yogi
This is the most important factor to be considered while protecting yourself from yoga injuries. If your mindset is correct then half the battle is won. For instance, if you think that you can do a yoga posture very easily, by just looking at it, then probably you are a bit too overconfident. The fact is, all the advanced learners you get to see are extremely

Best Ways to Help your Spouse Lose Weight

Ways to help your spouse lose weight

Weight gain is a delicate issue and needs to be handled with a lot of tact and sensitivity. If your spouse’s weight is becoming a cause of concern for you, then talk to him about your concern. Put your views in front of your partner, and let him know that you are getting worried about his health. Tell him that you want to find the cause behind his sudden weight gain, so that you can work on a solution together. Offer help and encouragement, instead of criticism and judgment. Tell your partner that you are with him, all the way, when he makes the decision to lose weight. Here are a few ways in which you can support your partner in his endeavor.
Be Considerate and Supportive
Instead of confronting your partner or telling him that he has let himself go, tell him that his health is starting to get you really worried. Do not accuse him of being lazy. Tell him that being overweight can cause him problems in the future, and that if he is willing to work on the issue, he will have your full support. Keep assuring him that you love him, and want to see him as healthy and happy as possible, and keep giving him motivation to lose weight.
Avoid Constant Nagging
After your partner has decided to lose weight, don’t continuously keep nagging him. Everybody gets bored of following routines, and can do with a break once in a while. If he has been sincerely working on his weight reduction, then once in a while, let him have his favorite dish without you breathing down his neck, about the calories he is accumulating.
Make Working Out a Fun Activity
Working out doesn’t necessarily mean

8 Things Your Yoga Instructor Won’t Tell You

What your yoga instructor won't tell you

Avoid trying variations in yoga postures without your instructor’s permission, because it’s distracting as well as disrespectful.
Yoga is all about the peace of mind and body through classic exercises and divine postures. One has to feel calm and relaxed after a yoga session, which is enough to determine the effectiveness of a good session. Hence, the instructor also wants to keep a calm and stress-free atmosphere for the students, and does not say or express certain things. However, there are a few really important things your yoga teacher won’t tell you but, definitely wants you to know while joining the class.
The term tap in Sanskrit means ‘to burn’. Practicing tapas is one of the five niyamas (moral codes of Patanjali Yoga Sutras), which requires fiery passion and self-discipline within a yoga learner. Self-discipline should not be enforced by the instructor, but should exist in the learner, and he must be willing to follow the disciplinary norms while taking yoga lessons from his teacher.
Yoga Instructor
Things a Yoga Instructor Won’t Tell You
Be Careful About Your Outfit
Being a teacher, your yoga instructor will be above all distractions, however, also being human, he is bound to get distracted at times. It is important to realize that other students and your yoga teacher have not come there to see what you’re showing them unintentionally. Be careful about what you wear, and after wearing an outfit, ask yourself a few questions like, “Am I feeling comfortable in these clothes?”, “Can I stretch my arms and legs to the fullest?”, etc. Furthermore, to avoid any wardrobe malfunction, always take a look at yourself in the mirror before leaving for the class.
Bring Your Own Mat and Clean it Regularly
Borrowing a studio

Difference Between Active and Passive Range of Motion Exercises

Difference between active and passive range of motion exercises

A person who is affected by an injury or some health condition may become inactive. Total inactivity may lead to decrease in a person’s muscle strength and flexibility, which may over time result in dysfunction or even locking of the joints. Thus, range of motion exercises have been designed to avoid such problems. However, we first need to know what is meant by range of motion.

Range of motion (or ROM) is a measure of the movement at each joint. It is also referred to as a joint’s capacity of moving from full flexion to full extension. The primary purpose of range of motion exercises is to maintain the strength, flexibility, and mobility of specific joints. Furthermore, they help reduce stiffness, swelling, pain, and help improve one’s range of motion. These exercises mainly involve stretching the muscles and moving the joints.

ROM exercises are of two types. When a person is able to do the exercises without any assistance, they may be referred to as active range of motion exercises (AROM). In this case, the person has the muscle strength for the movement of joints or to perform the exercise by himself/herself. Whereas, there are some exercises wherein a person needs assistance as he/she has less muscle strength, and these can be referred to as passive range of motion (PROM) exercises. In this case, the person need not put any effort as someone like a caregiver will help him do the joint exercises. The other type of range of motion exercises is active assistive (or AAROM). Here, the individual uses the muscles surrounding the joint, but also requires the help of a therapist or a device to do the same. Here, we give you the differences between AROM

Workout Routines for Men at Home

Workout routines for men at home

There are many workout routines for men which can be performed at home. It is not at all necessary to join a gym in order to keep oneself fit. The home workouts are in fact better than those performed at a gym; this is because only the body weight is used while performing them. A person without prior knowledge about how to workout with machines (gym equipment) may damage the body joints. Undue stress that falls on body joints can have grave consequences. Home workouts in comparison are safer. Stretching and bodybuilding exercises performed at home would prove to be highly effective if proper care is taken and necessary guidelines followed.

Effective Workouts for Men
The workouts for men are commonly categorized as chest, shoulder, back and leg workouts. The exercises described below would help in keeping your body fit.

Workout Routines at Home
Home workout routines for men should be simple and effective. The different home workout routines help in muscle-building, stretching and eventually developing a strong body.

The push-up exercise is one of the common types of workouts to do at home. It helps strengthen chest muscles. To perform this exercise, one should place palms on the floor at a shoulder-width distance from each other. Toes must be kept together and arms maintained in an extended position. The chest should be lowered until it touches the floor and then lifted to its original position. In this exercise, muscles of chest get stretched while the body is lowered; muscles need to be flexed while the body is raised to its original position.

The inverted Push-Up is one form of push-up exercise and which helps strengthen shoulder muscles. Difference between an inverted push-up and above mentioned exercise is that in the former,

Inguinal Ligament Exercises

Inguinal ligament exercise - the pillow squeeze

The groin area is a very sensitive area and any injury to the same can cause not only severe and chronic pain and discomfort, but it can also interfere with the smooth functioning of the muscles in that area―thereby thwarting the mobility and action. The inguinal ligament (white band of fibrous, elastic tissue) is the main ligament that is responsible for supporting the area around the groin and keeping it safe. Its main function is that of preventing the onset of an inguinal hernia or the protrusion of certain portions of the intestine into the muscles of the groin.

An inguinal hernia comes about when a portion of the intestines spills out of its normal place and falls into the groin area. This can happen if there has been an injury to the inguinal ligament. While a surgery is often recommended for correcting the hernia, certain inguinal ligament exercises have to be brought into order as a part of the treatment as well. These help in strengthening the ligaments so that a relapse of this form can be prevented.

In the following section, we will look through some of the exercises for inguinal ligament injury that can be carried out and comfort brought in thus.

Range of Specific Exercises

1. Knee Stretch

Lie on your back, place your hands on either side and let your head rest comfortably on the floor.
Bend your knees at a 90º angle so that the soles of your feet are firmly placed on the ground.
While the knee caps are touching each other, start taking the right knee to the ground and stop about 30 inches from the ground. Make sure that the left knee is upright.
Hold for a count of 5 and bring back to

What Should You Eat after a Workout?

Food items to eat after workout

A popular exercising myth is to starve oneself after working out. It is believed that if you eat after exercising, you gain all the weight you lost and pile on even more pounds. But the exact opposite is true. To aid your weight loss or workout, you must eat something after a workout. Eating after a workout is like filling petrol in your car, after a long drive. It re-energizes you and strengthens you for the day or night ahead. But what should you eat after a workout? Eating chocolate or drinking coke sounds very tempting, but your body takes that sort of food and immediately turns it into fat.

What Food to Eat, Post Exercise?

Post workout nutrition involves the following food groups:

Water: You workout and sweat, so you should make up for the loss of water from your body. Keep yourself hydrated, during and after your workout. Try to drink 16-20 ounces of water, immediately after your workout.

Calories: Okay, this sounds confusing, working out means losing calories right? The idea here, is to eat enough calories, to equal 50% of what you lost during your exercise. For e.g. If you lose 300 calories, make up by eating 150 calories later. This does not affect your weight burning efforts.

Carbohydrates: When you workout, your muscles lose whatever energy they have stored up. So yes, you do lose weight, but you need some energy for the next exercise session as well. If you don’t fill up on energy, then the muscles remain tired and you have less vigor and zest for your next workout. So stock up on carbohydrates, to restore your energy levels.

Proteins: These are necessary to start the muscle rebuilding and repairing process.

So to sum up, foods high in carbohydrates,

Is it Better to Sleep In or Exercise in the Morning?

Why it is better to exercise in the morning

The biggest decision of our life is whether to snooze some more or get up! Sleep is dear, but so is fitness, right? When we have to choose one, most of us will go for sleep. Early morning is the best time to exercise, say experts, but it always feels like the best time to sleep as well! Nothing can beat those extra 5 minutes of sleep (which turn into an hour before we even realize!). Skipping exercise everyday just to laze around isn’t good for the body. But, what about those days when you sleep late and really need that extra hour of shut-eye? Then what is more important, sleep or exercise? The answer is not that simple fellas.
Making the Right Choice
If you are getting enough sleep and only want to laze around for some time instead of exercising, just get up and move your ass! Exercising in the morning has numerous of benefits. In fact, it helps sleep better at night. Even stretching can make a difference. Your mood and energy levels increase drastically. You feel good about yourself. After all, getting up early and working out is no mean feat.
A good workout releases all toxins and makes the skin glow. Endorphins make us beam all day. People who aren’t really fond of working out should finish it off in the morning itself. That way they have the entire evening to do fun things. There is also a possibility of work or personal commitments popping up in the latter part of the day.

A morning exercise routine will keep you active through the entire day, only if you are getting enough shut-eye at night. If you are chronically sleep deprived, exercise can make you fatigued