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Yoga for women

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Yoga for women

India has historically and culturally celebrated women in yoga. In fact, the very first yoga disciple in the universe is mythologically also a woman.

Below is a yoga practice to celebrate the female aspect and enhance it in all of us so that we are emotionally aligned.

Yoni mudra (Womb hand gesture)

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This is a powerful spiritual practice and used as part of mind-control practices.

# Sit in a meditative fashion, eyes shut. Ideally cross-legged or in other meditative poses like vajrasana or thunderbolt.

# Interlock fingers, extending index fingers of both hands, ensuring their tips are touching.

# Touch tips of each thumbs too.

# This creates a yoni-like shape with your hands.

# Hold hands at navel level.

# Concentrate on the soft up-down movement of your breath at the abdomen.

# Hold this pose and hand gesture for a minimum of three minutes.

Benefits:

# Is used in meditative practices for higher evolution and personal growth.

# Is very de-stressing.

# This in turn helps control chronic ailments like blood pressure, respiratory problems, headaches etc, caused by stress

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Body image, self-worth and eating right

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It is crucial to be armour-plated against the pile-up of stress and demands. Eating fast and erratically, under-eating can be just as devastating and self-destructive as over-eating. Your armoury against the world must definitely include the right dose of vitamin Bs, since these impact your nerves and well-being.

Not having a good body -image is indicative of deeper mental malaise, being either the cause of bad eating habits or the result of it. Since vitamin Bs do not get stored in the body, it is absolutely essential they form an important part of your daily intake.

Their deficiency causes depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic tiredness, cramps, bloating, hair-fall, shortness of breath, premature aging, ulcers, hypersensitivity, over-reactivity, oiliness, weak nails, insomnia, digestive disorders(diarrhoea,constipation, nausea) , lethargy.

Not appreciating just how food affects us psychologically, we believe we actually have all these negative traits. Correcting your diet will go a long way in revamping your personality. Remember vegetarian diet, unless it is carefully planned to include all nutrients, can cause serious Vitamin B deficiency which is found abundantly in non-vegetarian sources.

Since cooking destroys these, avoid over-heating food. Avoid refined food and sugar. These are negative nutrients which use-up the scarce nutrients for their own metabolism. Even some medications and anti-biotics cause Vitamin B loss.

Include whole grains like millet, jowar, brown rice, wheat germ, oatmeal, barley, bajra, soya, all beans, legumes, green vegetables (lots of them), nuts, seeds, milk and dairy products. You will feel an inner glow.

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Yogini diet

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There are several flowers or foods favorite to the yoginis.

# Hibisicus flower

Hibiscus flower is said to be the favorite of Durga or Kali, the mother goddess who is a metaphor for destroying negativities in us. You can steep a few teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers (available at flower markets in bloom and then dry them yourself) in boiling water for a cupful of a delightful, slightly sour deep, red tea. It is an exotic tea, but these days most health shops and local tea brands are also marketing hisbiscus tea bags which is easier to use and store.

Benefits: Hibiscus tea lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

# Lotus

The lotus is a favorite seat of most yoga goddesses. Padma or lotus is also the prefix for various classical yoga poses. You can introduce lotus in your diet too since the various parts of lotus can be stirred up in scores of recipes. It is a popular ingredient in all south-east Asian countries. Lotus seeds are said to be rich in protein, and used to add body to soups. The roots can be prepared into curry, salad or sabzi, tea, pickles etc.

Benefits: While the seeds are rich in protein, the root seems to have near-magical medical value in controlling respiratory congestions, and internal bleeding (nose and digestive tract).

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Bikini diet

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To tone up so you fit into anything, including a bikini, follow the following tips.

# Herbal teas like those made from fennel, green tea, aniseed, cinnamon, ginger may be preferred because they are natural themogenics. This means they rev up the body's burn mechanism, hiking metabolism, helping with fat burn.

# Ant-cellulite menu: daily you need three portions (one portion equals a handful) of vegetables, three portions of fruit, three portions of salad, one portion low-fat dairy, one portion good fats (from nuts/fish), one portion brown rice.

# Foods to avoid while toning up (and also during summer because they can aggravate dehydration and weakness): fizzy drinks, all caffeine laced stuff, including coffee and soft drinks, white bread and processed foods. Processed foods will aggravate waste build-up, leading to dimpled cellulite.

# Have a glass of water with freshly squeezed lime first thing in the morning. Do not consume anything after this for at least an hour. This is a great de-toxifier. Detoxification has to be part of your tone-up because toxic waste causes bloating and water retention, especially around the tummy.

# Some detox refreshers: cranberry juice (to keep kidneys super-efficient), a green tonic (of either palak, coriander and mint) for great skin and eyes; a regular intake of lettuce (for clear skin and eyes).

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Special must-eat nutrient for women

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Make magnesium an important part of your diet.

Why?

If you don't get enough magnesium (500 mg daily) you are going to suffer from chocolate cravings (since cocoa and chocolate are rich magnesium sources). Low magnesium also means you are:

# Going to feel foul. It worsens PMS symptoms and cramps.

# Leads to osteoporosis

# Linked to kidney stones (it will allow thick deposits of calcium to deposit where we do not want it, like the kidney and take it away from where we want it, the bones).

# Causes heart problems, high BP, diabetes, strokes -- scourges of Indian women world over.

# Causes 'restless leg syndrome', muscle spasms.

# Attention deficit, depression and other nerve-related ailments.

# Irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting.

# May cause early menopause and worsens normal menopausal symptoms.

# Linked to infertility and other issues of the uro-genital system.

# Poor nail growth.

# Causes fast heart beats, leading to anxiety and panic attacks.

Foods rich in magnesium:

Tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pistachio, walnuts, peanuts, whole wheat flour, oat flour, beet greens, spinach, bran cereals, oatmeal, bananas, and baked potatoes (with skin) and most herbs and spices.

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