While the affluent can afford all the luxuries and comforts of life, the weaker sections of our society are subjected to a lot of stress and strain of the daily grind. In any large city, the life of a working woman is extremely hectic and she has to deaI with innumerable problems. And the problems are ever on the increase – water shortage, rising prices, overcrowded trains and serpentine bus queues. All these contribute to a feeling of insecurity and anxiety and lead to a sort of neurosis. They also result in ailments like hypertension, insomnia, backache, obesity, etc. which doctors term as psychosomatic diseases. Modern medicines – especially tranquillizers and pain-killers give temporary relief. But if continued for a long period, they produce many side effects which are sometimes worse than the original disease.
Given here are some simple asanas which can be practised by everyone.
Given here are some simple asanas which can be practised by everyone. Those suffering from hypertension should not practise any vigorous exercises.
It is also wrong to expect immediate relief from yogasanas. It may take some time, and even after one finds considerable relief, one has to continue practising it regularly with a bit of control on diet, and regular habits, It is a discipline, and, ideally, a way of life, not an immediate remedy.
Emotional ups and downs, stress and anxiety are among the chief causes of hypertension. Palpitation, giddiness, insomnia are generally attributed to it.
For those suffering from hypertension, shavasana is specially recommended – it is easy to perform. lie supine, legs straig1h and apart, hands at the sides of the body. Avoid all tension and let the body as well as the mind relax. It is important that your breathing should be regular and even, deep and slow. This induces relaxation. Shavasana can be done by anyone whenever one is tired or exhausted.
Shavasana should be done for about 15 to 20 minutes twice a day. Done regularly this asana makes the muscles function better. The nervous system is also toned up, which leads to considerable increase in mental energy. This asana can be done at the end of all asanas or in between asanas too. Along with the practice of shavasana those suffering from hypertension should refrain from foods containing excessive salt and fat.
Obesity is dangerous as it leads to hypertension. heart attacks, diabetes, etc. Weight can be reduced by cutting caloric intake and or by increasing physical exercise or a combination of both.
Excessive eating, especially starchy foods and sweets, overdose of alcoholic drinks, a sedentary life and lack of proper exercise are the main causes of obesity.
Given here are some effective asanas.
Ardha-halasana and rotating exercise
Lie supine on the floor on your back with hands stretched along the body. Slowly raise both legs simultaneously making an angle of 30 degrees, then 45 degrees and then 60 degrees. This is ardha-halasana. Rotate legs slowly clock-wise, then anticlock-wise, about 3 to 5 times. This reduces the fat at the abdomen and hips considerably.
Stand erect with legs about two feet apart, hands raised at shoulder level. Slowly turn to the left, with hands stretched sideways, and try to touch the left big toe with the middlefinger of the right hand, stretching, the left hand upwards, with fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Don’t bend legs. Maintain this position for a few seconds. Repeat the same with the left hand. Repeat three to five times. This loosens the muscles of the loin and improves the waistline.
Pains in the back and neck
Ninety per cent of working women complain of backache, pain in the neck, etc. This is due to commuting long distances in overcrowded trains and buses. To aggravate matters, much of the house work and/or office work is done by remaining in the same position for long hours. As if this is not enough, ultra-modern furniture and foam mattresses affect the spine adverseIy. The following asanas are helpful for relieving backache.
Lie on your abdomen with chin resting on the floor and arms placed alongside the body. Raise your head. Bend legs at the knee and hold the ankles. Raise the chest backwards and pull the ankles upwards resting the whole body on the abdomen.
This Asana, a fine combination of bhujangasana and shalabhasana, stretches the body and tones up the spine and the visceral system. It is also recommended for backache and flatulence.
Stand erect with feet together and hands stretched sideways alt shoulder level. Raise your left arm slowly till it touches the left side of your head, keeping left arm straight, and gradually move it and the head sideways to the right. Bend as far as possible without strain. As you do so, slide your right arm down your right leg as far as you can. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds. Then return to the original position and repeat with the right hand.
Do three to five times. This is an excellent exercise for the lateral part.
People of all ages can do these asanas. They can be done either in the morning or in the evening. There should be a half-hour gap after tea or coffee, and after a heavy meal about four to five hours. One can eat within 15 to 20 minutes after doing the asanas.
They should be practised slowly without any jerky movement, maintaining the normal breathing pattern.
All physical exercises should be suspended during the monthly period and any illness.
A daily routine of 20 to 25 minutes of yogasanas can relieve many of your minor chronic ailments and make you feel more energetic, fresh and light.