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Low-Fat or Non-Fat, Milk, Yogurt, Fresh Cheese and fortified Alternative Group 2-3 servings Eat Moderately

Vegetable Group 3-5 servings Eat Generously Whole Grain Bread, Cereal, Pasta and Rice Group 6-11 servings Eat Liberally Vegetable Fats and Oils Sweets and Salt Eat Sparingly Legume, Nut, Seed and Meat Alternative Group 2-3 servings Eat Moderately Fruit Group 2-4 servings Eat Generously. O.5-4.7 MICRO UNIT/ML

That's the scale where your thyroid level(TSH) needs to show up at. All above the age of 30 need to take a thyroid test, once a year. More so, if you are woman suffering from hormonal problems. An underactive or an over active thyroid are both dangerous conditions that can eventually affect the heart. Treatment usually involves oral medication.

5 That's the number of servings of fruits or vegetables a healthy adult needs each day. Studies show that those who stick to this number have reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, regular bowel movements and also improved blood sugar level. Fresh vegetables and fruits are a must in your diet. Your best bet are raw fruits. As for veggies stay away from deep-fried ones. Also since fruits contain natural sugars they satisfy the cravings of those with a sweet tooth. 25 KG/M²

This is the target Body Mass Index (BMI) recommended by the World Health Organisation. Those with a BMI of 25 also tend to feel healthier with higher energy levels. Since most of us in the cities fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle, weight control is not an easy problem to tackle. But with calorie control and exercise, you can definitely touch the 25 mark. 25-30

That's the ideal hand grip strength for a healthy young adult. If your grip strength, which is a measure of muscle and bone strength, is lower than this, you are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. To improve grip strength, increase your calcium intake.


Your total cholesterol levels, inclusive of both good and bad cholesterol need to be below 200 mg. Your blood cholesterol level refers to the amount of fat in your blood. If your levels are too high then you are at a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. According to research, lowering your total cholesterol level by 10% may reduce the incidence of heart disease by 30 percent.

Your daily fat intake should be less than 30 per cent of your total caloric intake, with less than 10 percent coming from saturated fats. The best way to monitor this is to check the labels of the foods you are eating. To lower your cholesterol levels, eat a diet that is low in fat. If you do eat fats, avoid saturated fats, which are found in products such as milk. Moderate exercise can also lower your cholesterol levels considerably. 10,000

Walk at least 10,000 steps a day. A brisk walk every day that adds up to this figure, takes about30 minutes a day and will leave your refreshed, energised and yet rather relaxed. In fact the U.S.Centres for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation recommend that all healthy adults should get 30 minutes of exercise most days(but not less than 5 days per week). Studies have also shown that people who include exercise in their daily routine live longer and face a lower risk of diabetes.


Vitamin C won't help cure your cold, and eating at night won't pile on the pounds, says a new book Chewing gum sticks in your gut for years, right? And lifting heavy weights gives you a hernia? Actually it's all complete nonsense. A new book,Don't swallow your Chewing Gum And Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll & Dr.Rachel Vreeman, debunks some commonly accepted health myths we've all grown up with- including some trotted out by misguided doctors. Here's a selection of the best...


We wish there was something we could recommend to prevent the sniffles. Unfortunately, science does not suggest that any of the above things are going to help you.


Different types of brain-imaging confirm that no area of the brain is ever completely silent or inactive. Much more than 10% of the brain is busy at work virtually all the time. PULL OUT A GREY HAIR AND TWO MORE GROW

The truth is your grey hairs will multiply as time goes on. Each hair grows out of a single follicle. This means that pulling one hair out is never going to make two hairs grow out of that one follicle. FLU VACCINES CAN GIVE YOU THE FLU The flue vaccine uses a dead virus to protect you from influenza. Dead viruses cannot make you ill.


Butter is one of the worst things you could smear over most burns because it holds in heat. It may also increase the chance of the burn getting infected as bacteria will thrive in it.


When you think about it, this myth is simply ludicrous. If we assume that the average male is awake for 16 hours a day, each man would have to think about sex more than 57,000 times in 24 hours. Someone with sex on the brain that often would be incapable of performing any other taks at all.


A study of 3,100 men found that there is no relationship between the size of a man's shoes and the size of his manhood.


Clinical trials show that shaving has no effect on hair growth . When you slice off the hair, it leaves a sharp end. Because these shaved hairs lack the tapered look of unshaven hair, it appears that the hair itself is thicker. The hair may also have a rougher feel because of that sharp edge.


No, it's just an optical illusion. After you die, skin dries out and shrinks- it's this retracting of the skin around the hair and nails that makes them look longer or more prominent.


People gain weight when they eat far more calories than they burn. A study of around 2,500 people of all sizes found the time of day that they ate their meals had nothing to do with whether or not they gained weight.


Nutritionist Sneha Jain lists some super foods that promise to help you sail through common womanly woes From your mother's list of must-dos to the how-to-be - healthy mail of the week, everyone is know to give out nuskaas for combating regular gynecological problems. Be it a certain a asana to fight that monthly moster, or a face pack to baish an ugly pimple. If nothing seems to help, head to your kitchen for a change. All you have to do is stock up and munch!


Flaxseeds are full of essential Omega 3 fatty acids, which help in balancing hormones in the body. They also protect women from heart problem that are one of the leading causes of premature death among women. The dietary fibres in flax, called lignans have antioxidant properties that detoxify the body and give you a glowing skin. It also boosts your fertility. Omega 3 releases prostaglandins (a hormone like substance) which provide comfort an drelief from pain associated with menstruation. The essential fatty acids are very fragile, unstable, and liable to oxidation if exposed to light and air. Within the whole seeds, the oil is protected. So buy it fresh.


Beans are almost cholesterol and fat free, so a must have for women on a diet programme. Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein and fibre. With more and more women getting affected with colon cancer than breast cancer each year, the fibre and phytoestrogens (a natural plant hormone) present in beans protects against cancer.


Bright fruits like orange and papaya are rich in Vitamin C that delays the ageing process. So chuck the botox and reach out for a glass of fresh lime water. Oranges are an excellent source of folate, an element that lowers the risk of birth defects and memory loss. These fruits also contain beta carotene that accumulates in the skin to act as a natural sun block.


Ginger's forteis to treatnausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It also helps in hastening the recovery post delivery. Add it to your regular diet to ward off stomach cramps and acidity. You could toss a few slices in your bowl of dal or mix it with fresh fruit juices.


Broccoli is a great source of calcium and Vitamin B, both of which play an important role in bone health. These green florets contain sulphurophanes that helps prevent cancer and clears any excess estrogen. Excess estrogen in the body can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalances and an increased risk of breast cysts and breast cancer.


These tiny berries have the power to fight severe urinary tract infections that trouble women more than men. Cranberry juice is loaded with Vitamin C that acidifies urine and reduces the chances of developing irritation. They also help in treating minor flue and stomach aches.


One of the best sources of folate, spinach prevents birth defects, heart disease, dementia, and colon cancer. Lutein (an antioxidant) in spinach prevents our skin from heat-damage, delays wrinkling, roughness and dehydration- the common symptoms of skin-fatigue.


The heart of the wheat kernel is a gold mine of nutrition. A half cup serving of tasted wheat germ supplies more than half of a woman's daily magnesium needs. It plays an important role in reducing stress, building bones, and regulating thyroid function (which affects 20 per cent of postmenopausal women). Magnesium also aids in the production, release, and activity of insulin.


In women over 45, osteoporosis is a concern since the rate of bone loss speeds up post menopause, as estrogen levels falls. Getting enough calcium is paramount in preventing osteoporosis and yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Rich in probiotics, yogurt encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, thereby boosting immunity.


Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These help reduce the risk for blood clot formation that can occur due to a prolonged use of contraceptive pills. In pregnant and lactating women these fats help in optimal brain and vision development of the baby. Omega 3 also boosts levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical and aids in fighting postpartum depression.

Live it up with Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is an alternative form of medicine containing plants and other forms of essential oils used for improving a person’s mood or health. Here are some physical as well as psychological effects that aromatherapy can have on you… Aromatherapy helps by quickly healing skin disorders due to the presence of anti-bacterial properties in the essential oils.

It also assists in getting rid of the residual toxins in the body due to enhancement of blood circulation Aromatherapy is an effective treatment for curing aches and pains in the muscle and joints.

It can relieve muscular fatigue and boost stamina and energy levels. It also helps in treating hormonal imbalances and metabolism conditions

Studies say that aromatherapy helps create a positive labour experience among pregnant women.

It is an excellent stress reliever as the different fragrances can clam down various effects leading to stress and anxiety.

Aromatherapy can help you get sound sleep a s the fragrances have a soothing effect on the mind of a person. An ideal relief formula for insomniacs.

It can ease illnesses as it essential oils possess certain sedatives that have positive effects on the body, mind and soul.

Yoga taking over botox business

New York: For a Friday evening , the small, intimate workout room at the New York Health & racquet club on East 57th Street was comfortably full. A dozen people sat, their chins pointed toward the ceiling, their lips puckered as if preparing for a kiss.

Later, they took their index and middle fingers and tapped their mouths five times, hopping to increasing lip fullness and colour. If done each day, they had been injected with collagen.

"The resistance is what firms the muscles, " Annelise Hagen, the teacher, said of Revita-Yoga, which combines yoga and facial exercises and is billed as a way to combat frown lines, wrinkles and sagging. Each pose, stretch or exercise is designed to relax the muscles and release the patterns people unconsciously etch into their skin.

Want to sculpture and narrow your nose? Alternate breathing out of each nostril, Revita-Yoga teaches . Have crows-feet? Open the eyes wide to smooth the lines. As pale as the winter sky? A dose of down ward dog can add colour to the complexion while oxygenating the skin.

In an era when aging is treated as a disease and yoga is often touted as a cure-all, it is hardly surprising to see people combining the two, classes are sprouting up all over the US and so are books, marketed to the portion of the population that wants the benefits of the knife and the needle without the costs or the risks.

That t works is unlikely, say doctors who specialize in skin or facial physiology. But it does relax practitioners while playing into their desire to do something about perceived flaws in their desire to do something about perceived flaws in their skin.

"People want a healthy alternative to looking good without artificial substance," said Hagen, a former actor whose book ,The Yoga Face, is to be published this August by Avery, the health and wellness division of Penguin. "And they want to be in control a of their appearance rather than relegating it to an authority. I'm teaching mu students to consciously release muscles rather than paralyzing them, which is what Botox does."

"Nothing is going to have a lasting benefit like Botox or filler or colagen injections," said Dr. Dennis Gross, a Midtown Manhattan dermatologist, the author of "your Future Face’ and the creator of a skincare line. But there are short-term improvements, he said.

"facial stretches and yoga reduce the neurological impulses associated with stress and the grimaces that lead to the lines in your forehead,” he said.” The plumping of your lips is more a massage and only adds colour for a few minutes." And once the foot hits the pavement during rush hour, or the BlacBerry is back in hand, the face automatically tenses up, and the benefits of deep breaths and relaxation wear off.


A regular exercise schedule is key to maintaining not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind.


1. Always walk where possible.

2. If you work in at the desk all day, make sure you get up every 20 to 30 min to get some movement and activity. This will help to get you active as well as prevent back pain and muscle imbalances.

3. Do household work whenever possible, try at a more vigorous pace.

4. Use stairs instead of the elevator. If you live or work on a higher floor, start by climbing a few floors first depending on your fitness level, and their increase the number of fights gradually.

5. Over weekends, indulge in some sort of sport.


About 20-30 min of the following activities, three times a week is recommended, increase duration to 45 min to an hour five days a week gradually,

1. Brisk walking – preferably on grass, mud tack or sand. Great for beginners but increase pace gradually.

2. Aerobic dancing – is low impact and preferred so as to avoid injury.

3. Jogging-Not appropriate for beginners and those with orthopedic concerns. If you are suffering from heart or lung disease or are a smoker, consult your doctor first. Preferably avoid this activity.

4. Recumbent cycling and swimming Low to moderate impact aerobic activity and sage for people with orthopedic concerns.

6. Spinning-Good aerobic activity with less weight bearing on joints and also prevents boredom due to music which is used in most spinning classes.

7. Weight training and resistance training-Also makes the heart stronger. Circuit training can give you a good aerobic workout.


1. Hastasana-Lie down on your back with legs together and hands by the side of the body and palms facing the floor. Raise hands six inches above ground and hold for five to eight breaths. To make the exercise tougher gradually increase the hand level to 30 degrees above shoulder level and further progress to hands close to the ears (above the head). This asana improves strength and elasticity in chest muscles, improves blood circulations and eases the stagnation and clotting of blood.

2. Sulabhaardhadronasana-Lie on your back with toes pointing to the ceiling, palms facing the ground and hands close to your body. Raise shoulders above the ground by six inches without rounding the back. Raise left hand up in line with the shoulder and parallel to the ground and right leg up at the same time. Hold the pose for three to five breaths. Alternate arm and leg and repeat each three to five times, Eases blood circulation and strengthens neck and chest muscles.

3. Bramahmaudra-Sit upright on a chair, keep hands on your waist keep your shoulder and torso steady. Now turn only your neck to the right and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same on the left. Now throw your neck back slowly and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same on the left. Now throw your neck back slowly and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same by bringing the chin as close to the chest as possible. This mudra helps to remove the blood stagnation, makes move the blood stagnation, makes move the blood stagnation, makes the cranial nerve more active and controls blood pressure.

Hastaparshwasana- Stand at ease with back upright, keep hands forward, elbows straight and hands forward, elbows straight and hands parallet to the floor, palms facing each other. Take hands towards the back at a moderate speed an try to join palms if possible. The asana can be performed with hands at a lower or higher angle to the shoulder also. Hold the position for three-five breath and repeat five ten times each angle. This asana strengthens the cardiac muscles, eases congestion of blood and maintains the blood pressure.


1. It is very essential to stretch the muscles after any aerobic activity to maintain flexibility in the working muscles and to avoid muscles imbalance and injury.

2. Always consult your doctor and exercise under the supervision of a qualified fitness consultant.


Decreases resting heart rate and increases heart volume

Increases oxygen consumption, capillary density and blood flow to active muscles

Maintains blood pressure

Lowers cholesterol and Triglycerides

Tones muscles

Increases energy and builds stamina

Reduces or prevents back pain and improves posture

Improves blood circulation

Increases metabolism and thus helps to loose weight

Reduces risk of heart and lung diseases.

Smokers will find it easier to quit smoking when they taken up an aerobic exercise program. However one must consult a doctor for intensity of exercise or it can cause harm.

Decreases symptoms of anxiety tension and depression.


The hair industry is booming as personal grooming has become the new age mantra. With a plethora of styling products available in the market, and a mushrooming of salons, a career as a hairstylist is a popular choice. Hairstylist Hakim Aalim says, "Hair styling is a happening career. Unlike a decade ago, people now look upon this profession with great respect and it’s also creative and fun. Hair cutting is like balancing one's whole personality—one has to consider the client's age, hair texture, skin color, face cut, and profession while designing his or her hair. "Aalim who has created the look of many Bollywood starts in movies like Ek Ajnabi, Chocolate, Omkara and salam Namaste believes, "Today hairstyles have acquired a whole new dimension for both men and women. Long hair, short hair with spikes, coloured hair the styling list is endless."


"To enter the field of hair dressing one must acquire professional systematic training from a reputed institute and train with an expert. Your success mantra should be practice, practice and more practice since hair cutting and styling is a complicated procedure. You must have a good judgment about face structure and hairstyle is a complicated procedure, You must have a good judgment about face structure and hairstyle," believes Aalim. Sunita Motwani, Director, Schnell Hans Beauty & Hairdressing Schools & Salons says , "The various components of hair-dressing have evolved. Hair coloring and chemical treatments such as Rebonding and Perming are en vogue. Bridal hairdressing and hairstyling for films and television is also very much in demand. Hair extensions are another upcoming trend. Hair Spa treatments with use of specialized products and massages are also very popular so one must do a professional course and tanning to acquire knowledge on the various hair treatments. "Noted fashion and advertising hair stylist Dorris Godambe adds, "There are institutes all over the world and so many in India where one can learn all the basics of hair dressing. Then it depends on the individuals’ creativity and how they improvise the skills learn from basics".


As a qualified hairdresser, one can work in a salon in order to gain some experience and build a client base. While rising in the hierarchy from being a junior stylist to a senior stylist, one can hone additional skills and qualifications, and then even freelance or go on to become a trainer or salon manager. Hairdressing offers a range of diverse opportunities from in-house hair styling to professional shoots for TV, films and fashion events.

"Working for a multinational hair products company or becoming a film and TV hairstyle is another area of specialization. This can also be a part-time profession for ladies who have domestic obligations or can be an add-on career for working women. College students and even professors have made a second career out of hairdressing," informs Sunita.


For a hairdresser who only takes care of hair cutting and blow-drying, all one needs is a pair of scissors, comb, brushes and a hair dryer. One can work from home or even in a restricted space. However, professional hair treatments may require some equipment. "To avail of the multitude of employment opportunities, one does not need much investment. Of course to start your own salon, one needs property and considerable investment ,"opines Sunita. In addition, a hairstylist must work hard at developing his or her skill and a professional attitude. "I use hairstyling as a tool of art to created new look each time. For this to work well you need to have communication skills in order to talk to clients, have a friendly Manner and be a good listener," states Dorris, who style hair for many a Miss India winner.

Dorris' son Suraj Godamabe who gave up an MBA to enter this field says," I am enjoying my work, hair dressing is immensely satisfying as a profession. "The young stylist who has trained with Tohi and Guy, Sunday and also at juice, already has many TV stars as his clients. He admits that it is "rigorous training to which I attribute my professional exploits today. A career in hair requires focus and a knee eye for international trends." "The satisfaction is tangible when you see a client who is happy with your work. Hairdressing as a career allows you to showcase your creativity, to earn name, fame and good money" believes Dorris Godambe."It provides a great opportunity for growth and you also have the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things. It's a wonderful career where no day dull!"

INSTITUTES (indicative) Bharat N Dorris, Mumbai Nalini & Yasmin, Mumbai


Research your city/town for institutes that offer training, and then choose the one that best fits your expectations and budget.

Don't restricts yourself to only one area – hairstyling is all about variety and experimentation. If you're fresher don't choose a crash course, instead go in for a 6 month training program. Keep yourself abreast with the latest in the hairstyling industry by attending work-shops and seminars. Practice on family and friends to perfect the art of cutting, colouring and styling hair. Watch and Learn: Observe your seniors with their clients and pick up handy tips. Invest in a good pair of scissors and a comb and brush set.

Remember that theory is as important as practical. You have to know about the types of hair in order to apply the right style for the right hair type.

Develop a rapport with your clients and understand their needs both in terms of cut and colour. Know your products because no styling can ever be complete without hairstyling products. Scan the market for the latest products recommended by experts in the field and try them out Mousse, gels and sprays are some useful must-haves.

Finally, hairstyling is serious business, so don't take up the training if you are unsure of yourself. Inclination is a must for the development of skill in every field, and hairstyling is no different.

Instant refreshers

A few healthy options that help you drink your way to good health. With weather conditions varying so much our bodies are constantly being tested. What makes it difficult for human bodies is the sudden drop in temperatures. This tends to cause problems like dehydration, high body temperature, energy loss, body pain and headaches. How can one remain fit without too many changes to one's lifestyle?

Regular exercise sand regulated diets is a crucial element. The latter includes a regular fluid intake as well. This is because the human body does not store water like it does calories (as glycogen or body fat), so we need a constant supply every day. The body loses on average the equivalent of 6-12 cups of water each day. Most healthy adults need about one and a half litres to three litres a day so aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. Apart from water, there are a few drinks that help you stay fighting fit.

Buttermilk (chaach/lassi): Butermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus. Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk.

One cup of buttermilk has 99 calories and 2.2 gm of fat, whereas whole milk has 157 calories and 8.9 gm of fat. It is also an excellent source of protein and calcium.

Fresh lime (nimbu panni): Low on calories and high on health count, nimbu paani is the healthiest way to quench your thirst and refresh your body. Lemon is high on vitamin C and 'nimbu paani' acts as a natural hydrant in these harsh weather conditions.

But make it fresh each time and avoid buying from street vendors since that can cause stomach infections. Aam Panna: A traditional preparation of roasted or boiled raw mangoes, aam panna' is a great digestive aid and an instant energy infuser. It also helps prevent heat strokes, dehydration and dryness of mouth and tongue in acute summer conditions. If your schedule prevents you from making aam panna at home, then try the packaged variety.

Fruit and vegetables juices: Rich in minerals and essential micro-elements, these juices contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates, which supply energy to human body. Fruits and vegetables contain generous amounts of vitamins that regulate metabolism and help in the conversion of the fats and carbohydrates into energy. Fruit and vegetables juices are also known for their therapeutic benefits.

So, don't let the weather bother you; get on with these instant' refreshers'. What your feet reveal

A random peek at your feet can tell lots about your overall wellness

It may sound ridiculous at first , but our feet which more often than not we love to overlook, can speak volumes about a person's health. Doctors suggest that you can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining the feet. So, don't ignore the signs!

1. Toenails with indentations

A common issue for women, anaemia or iron deficiency often can be indicated by unnatural, concave shaped toe nail beds. This is due to insufficient haemoglobin. Internal bleeding or heavy menstrual periods can be a trigger. Nails may also be brittle and the feet may feel cold. Fatigue is the number-one sign of anaemia as are dizziness and headache.

2. Constant cramping of feet

A sudden foot cramp can be due to improper exercise or even dehydration. But if it is recurring, it could mean that your diet lacks sufficient calcium, potassium or magnesium. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to this.


. A store that won’t heal on the foot

This could be an indication of diabetes. High blood glucose levels lead to nerve damage in the feet, which means that minor scrapes and cuts often go unnoticed. Study your feet carefully for foul-smelling cuts that have been there awhile. Other symptoms of diabetes include persistent thirst, consent need for urination, fatigue, extreme hunger and weight loss.

4. Cold feet

cold feet is an especially common complaint among women and may indicate a thyroid problem. Women generally have a slightly lower core body temperature than men, which makes them more vulnerable. Females over 40 who have cold feet often have an underfunctioning thyroid the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism. Poor circulation is another possible cause.

5. Thick m yellow toenails

Yes, the nails do tend to lose colour as you age but this is a vital sign of a fungal infection and unkempt nails. Onychomycosis can persist painlessly for years. Nails may also smell bad and turn dark. Those most vulnerable are diabetes patients and those with immune-deficiency disorders.

6. Enlarged big toe

This is mostly a sign gout and contrary to popular perception it doesn’t just affect the old. Gout is a form of arthritis that's caused by too such uric acid. The built-up uric acid forms nee dle-like crystals. Men in their 40s and 50s are especially prone to this condition.

7. Numbness in feet

If you are unable to 'feet' your feet or have a heavy pins-and-needles sensation, it could indicate damage to the peripheral nervous system. This could occur due to diabetes or excessive intake of alcohol.

8. Dry, flaky skin

If you are prone to dry skin, don't take this lightly. You could contract athlete’s foot , a fungal infection that starts as itchy skin that then progresses to inflammation and blisters.

9. Toes that change colours

In cooler weather, Reynaud's disease cause the toes to first go white, then blue, and finally appear red before returning to a natural hue. The blood vessels in these areas overreact, causing the change in colour. They also feel cool to touch and go numb. Street can be a trigger of Reynaud’s attacks.

10 Pain in feet while walking

Foot pain could be a result of undiagnosed stress fractures. Discomfort can be felt along the sides of the feet or in the doles. Fractures may be caused by a decrease in optimum bone density or some kind of malnutrition.

Yoga from Head to Toe

Yoga asanas are not to be viewed as mere physical exercises. There is a much deeper significance and process to them.

Asanas work on the physical body to activate and balance its energy flows. They are specific postures that purity, stimulate and align your energy for optimum health, vitality and expansion of consciousness. They also prep the body for the more subtle experiences and higher practices of the discipline.

There is a very subtle and effective group of asanas developed and taught by the Bihar yoga tradition, called the Pawanmuktasana Series. Pawan means "air", or prana("vital force".) The first part of Pawanmuktasana stimulates and enhances free flow of energy through the body. It activates our blood circulation and immune system, too. It , makes the whole body alive, refreshed and vibrant. It is a great starting point for beginners, as well as for advanced practitioners to become aware of a the finer, energy currents within.

But let us first start with two crucial aspects of asanas: awareness and breath.


Yoga is awareness; or the quality that separates this discipline from a merely physical stretching exercise. Be aware of every movement, just as a scientist observes each effect and reaction. High awareness makes the practice an exciting discovery and an engrossing journey.


Use breath as a tool deepen the experience. Coordinate your movements with it, allowing it to guide body movement. Move in a beautiful synchronicity of mind, body and prana.

Some of the benefits of an asana:

Brings about a state of equilibrium in the body. Strengthens postures, builds stamina, develops poise, flexibility, balance, concentration, tranquility and dynamism.

Keeps the spinal cord in a healthy condition.

Balances all body systems (circulatory, digestive, respiratory, nervous, etc.)

Increases blood circulation and energy flow through the body, consequently enhancing one's immune system.

This series works to release energy blocks in the joints. The stretching, rotating, tensing and relaxing of all the associated joints, tissues, ligaments and muscles, activates and promotes free flow of energy and blood circulation. These asanas are best performed in synchronization with breathing and with a deep meditative awareness on breath, movement and count. To begin the practices, you should preferably sit in the base position described. If not, you may even perform some of these asanas while sitting on a chair. The body should be symmetrical and relaxed and the mind should be ware and focused on the practice.

Base Position

All the Pawanmuktasana Series 1 asanas for feet and legs are done in this positions. Those for the arms, shoulders and neck may be done in this posture or in a comfortable cross-legged sitting meditative posture. Sit on the floor on your yoga mat, spine straight and legs stretched out in front of you. Place your hands by the sides of the hips, With the palms facing down, Your entire body should be relaxed and comfortable. After every two to three practices, sit quietly in this Position with those parts of the body that have been moved.

Toe Bending

Only bend the toes, not the feet inhale and spread toes drawing them towards you. Exhale and clench toes tightly, pointing them away from you, Practice 10 rounds.

Ankle Bending

Inhale and move both feet backwards, bend from the ankles. Exhale and move feet forward, stretching them towards the floor, Practise 10 rounds.

Ankle Rotation

Rotate both feet together clockwise; inhale on the upward circular movement, exhale on the downward movement. Precise 10 rounds in the clockwise direction and then reverse the direction, practicing 10 rounds in the anticlockwise direction.

Precaution! The knee is mainly constructed for front and back bending, not for side movements. People with rheumatic/arthritic stiffness should be careful, and avoid the next butterfly asanas.

Neck Movements

Forward and Backward Inhale as you bend head forward, exhale as you roll it back.

Rotation: Coordinate one breath, inhaling when you roll your head forward, exhaling when you roll it backwards. Practice five rounds in each direction.

Precaution! Those suffering from cervical spondylosis must not practice these neck movements, or do so with extreme care. if any giddiness is felt during rotation, move more slowly, lessen backward bend or stop completely.

Hand Clenching

Stretch arms out in front of body as shoulder level. Open hands, palms down, inhale and stretch out fingers as wide as possible. Exhale and clench hands with thumb in. Do 10 rounds.

Wrist Bending Stretch arms out at shoulder level. Keep plams open and fingers straight throughout. Inhale and be nd hands backwards from wrist, exhale and bend hands forward, fingers pointing downward.

Do 10 rounds

Wrist RotationFold fingers over thumb to make a fist and rotate hand at wrist level. Wrist remains steady, facing upwards throughout . Rotate five times clockwise and five times anticlockwise. First practice with each hands separately, then with both hands together.

Do 10 rounds.

Shoulder Rotation

Bend arms and place fingertips to touch the shoulders. Rotate arms five times clockwise, then five times clockwise, inhale during upward movement, exhale during downward movement.



Want to stay wrinkle-free from nine to 70? Of course, me can tell you how!

Why wrinkles happen

Wrinkles appear on parts of the body that have gone through maximum sun exposure; face, neck, back of hands, and top of the forearms.

This is called photoageing. But there are also other factors which contribute to wrinkles. Some you can control, some you can't.

They are:

Genetics: some families are simply more 'wrinkly' than others. Can't be helped.

Skin colour: light-skinned people wrinkle faster because they are more vulnerable to sun damage. Be thankful for your dusky complexion!

Skin type: oily skin can be annoying in youth, what with acne and other eruption, but because it is rich in essential oils, it stays youthful longer.

Smoking: That's because smoking restricts adequate blood flow to the skin. This in turn means fewer nutrients, and early ageing. Now this one you really can reverse. Quit now, no ifs and buts.

Your hairstyle: surprised? Well, it makes sense: some long and fulsome hairstyles do cover the sides of the face and the back, thus reducing sun exposure . A valid reason for you to resist going choppety-chop at those Rapunzel locks!

Your dressing habits: Same logic as haircuts; long dresses, full sleeves, wide brimmed hats+ more sun protection. Still want to strut about in those minis?

Your lifestyle: staying indoors playing Monopoly means less sun exposure. Para-sailing and rock-climbing? well, all that fun in the sun does add up to more lines on the face.

Nine wise ways to wave wrinkles away

1.Eat fruit, avoid sugar: Make 'fresh' your mantra when it comes to food. Fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants which fight free-radical damage and keep skin young. By the same logic, you should absolutely avoid greasy, fatty fries and cakes.

2.Keep your skin hydrated :as long as skin is' plump' and elastic with lipids and moisture, you won't face wrinkles and crinkles. Drink plenty of water, use a good moisturizer day and night, and treat yourself to healing aroma massage with essential oils from time to time.

3.Stretch every day: good circulation keeps nutrients flowing nicely throughout your body, helping skin maintain its elasticity and youthfulness.

4.Roll stress away: Keep a rolling pin (belan) under your bed. Every night, before going to sleep, gently rock your tired feet on the belan to and fro for five to 10 minutes,. Feel the stress ebb. You can also fill a small tub with marbles and roll your feet on those. Stress-free skin is cease-free, too!

5. Put on a mask: Every week, slather on a nice, rich, fruity mask on your face to keep skin glowing. For example, crush a few grapes and smear them on your face and neck. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse off and follow with a good moisturizing cram. If you cannot find the time for a weekly ritual, book yourself in for a fresh-and-natural facial once a month.

6.Roll over : sleeping on your tummy can literally press wrinkles onto your face. The best position is straight on your back, but if you simply cannot help curling up, turn sideways and tuck your knees under.

7. Turn that frown upside down: furrows on the forehead do not make a pretty face. A smile? Now that's lovely! so turn the corners of your mouth upward whenever you can.

8. Protect your peepers: If you don't shield your eyes, all that squinting will etch early wrinkles under the eyes, So go ahead and buy a really good, stylish pair of sunglasses. But, hey, don't keep them perched atop your head: it's not your hair that needs the wrinkle-relief!

9. Shun the sun: Some sun is essential for healthy bones, but do avoid exposure at Peak hours(between 11 am and 4 pm). Sunblock lotions do help, but cannot keep away all the harmful UV rays from hitting you.

Lab –tested


Cosmetic-store shelves brim with anti-wrinkle' and 'anti-ageing' creams. Most of them contain these power ingredients:

Tretinoin, derived from Vitamin A. A prescription ingredient , it helps improve skin's texture, tone, and colour.

Retinol is a similar but less potent medication available in over-the-counter creams such as Retino A.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (and beta-and poly-hydroxy acids), derived from fruit. They help remove the top layer of old, dead skin cells and stimulate the production of collagen.

Vitamin C. This vital antioxidant protects skin from sun damage. It may also stimulate collagen production.

Coenzyme Q10. A naturally occurring molecule found in skin cells, believed to help contain wrinkles.

Vitamin E. an antioxidant.

Nature's Medicine

Set to hit market within a year, Bangalore-born Gangagens natural bacterial killer could spell the end for antibiotics Escherichia Coli, which can cause fatal disease. Gangagen products stops it in its tracks.

Few businessmen would spend a lot of time talking about a harmless virus. But this virus, called a phage, kills bacteria that are dangerous to human beings. You could use it as a drug , if we knew how to tame it and get it to the right place. Some institutions and a few companies have tried to do it for decades, but with limited success. But now, an Indian-founded company seems to have achieved just that. Within a year, it will launch the first, phage -based antibacterial drug in the world.

Born in Bangalore, registered in Delaware, US and with an office in the Silicon Valley, Gangagen is still an oddity among technology companies. Few companies would be brave enough to bet an entire business on phages. It was born when J. Ramchandran, after retiring from Bangalore-based AstraZeneca R&D, decided to take up a challenge that everybody had left unfinished: conquer the mighty bacteria. It was a brainwave while watching a programme on the BBC He knew nothing about phages When he set up the company. He still got $2 million (Rs.8.8 crore) form Silicon valley-based ICF Ventures.

Ramchandran got scientists excited about his venture. In Ottawa, Canada, where he set up a subsidiary, he got some very experienced hands. Michel Chretien, well-known physician and brother of former Canadian prime minister jean, became the chairman. Rainer Engelhard scientist and entrepreneur, became the president of the Ottawa company. Kishore Murthy, biologist and experienced phage researcher, became the chief scientific officer. This team along with a few more scientists in Bangalore, took Ramachnadran’s initial ideas and developed them into veterinary applications. Its first drug, to treat Escherichia coli in cattle, is in advanced clinical trials. Between them and few other friends and board members, they also managed to raise substantial funds.

After ICF Ventures, most venture capitalists did not share the excitement of their scientists. Gangagen also refused to do services till it finished developing its products. Yet, its team managed to raise money after the initial rounds: $ 1.9 million in 2003 from board members and other initial investors ;$2.5 million (Rs. 11 crore) in early 2006 from a few more investors; and $4.5 million (Rs 19-8 crore)in September 2006 from several other individuals. what puzzled VCs was that Gangagen had no drug in the conventional sense.


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