How to save time at home!

Save time at home – get organized 

As busy professionals, it is always a struggle to find time to accomplish all that we need to do. Work obviously occupies a lot of our waking hours and once we get home there are so many things to get done that we hardly find time to spare for the things that really matter – our relationships with family and friends and time for ourselves too.

What can make a big difference is forming some good organizing habits that will help make your life much simpler, so you will have more time and energy to do the things you really want to do. Here are some to get you started:

1. Don’t put it down, put it away
When you use an item, don’t put it down with the intention of dealing with it later. Put it where it belongs the minute you've finished with it. After using the scissors or a pen, take those few extra seconds to put it away instead of putting it down on the table. When cooking put away ingredients or utensils as you go. When you sort out your letters, put the junk mail in the bin straightaway. After drinking a glass of water don’t leave it on the table but put it in the sink or the dishwasher.

2. 'A place for everything and everything in its place'

We tend to waste a lot of time hunting for things we need like scissors, tape, gum and so on, not to mention keys, umbrellas, even mobile phones! Just imagine how much time you would save if you could immediately lay your hands on what you need. Make sure that you store items close to where they are likely to be used – keys or umbrellas near the door, scissors and stapler in the family room or study and so on. If necessary, have multiples of frequently used items stored in different rooms.  And of course make sure all your important documents are filed safely away.

3. Night and morning cleanup
After working a full day, coming home to a messy house just isn't exciting. There is a simple way to avoid this. Get in the habit of spending 15 minutes before bed each night cleaning up. It will make a huge difference in the morning when you don't have a mess staring you in the face. And in the morning, make sure you do a quick tidying up – make your bed, put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket, clear the dining table. When you enter the house in the evening it will seem a lot more welcoming. An extra bonus is that you won’t have a huge amount of housework to deal with on the weekend.

4. Involve the family
To maintain an organized home, every member of the family has to play a part. Divide up the tasks as appropriate for each person and make them responsible. The work gets done much faster and it is actually good for kids too. (see our article on Kids and household chores)

5. One in one out
Most of us have too much stuff in our homes, and so spend too much time trying to maintain it. The easiest way to keep down the amount of things you have is to make sure that for every one thing you bring into your home, one thing goes out - either donate it to charity, give it to your household help, recycle or just throw it away. By getting into this habit, and faithfully following through on it, you are much less likely to be overwhelmed by the level of stuff in the future.

6. Prepare the night before
For most people, getting out of the house on time is an issue. Take a few minutes at night to plan what to wear, what to eat for breakfast or pack for lunch for yourself or the family. You could even get a head start by keeping out your clothes or getting the breakfast ready. If you have children, get them in the habit of packing school bags, checking if uniforms are ironed, homework diaries signed and so on.

7. Use a shopping list
Lots of time can go on running to the corner shop for bread and coffee powder only to remember when you get home that you forgot to buy the shampoo you needed. Get into the habit of making a shopping list of all that you require and then following it strictly. This will save you time at the shop and also cut down on multiple trips to the shops. Get the family into the habit of writing down what they need. You could keep the list in a handy place, perhaps on the fridge and keep adding to it as you remember.

8. Have an emergency plan

Does your family have a plan that everyone knows in case of an emergency? What should they do in case there is a fire, a sudden illness or injury, someone is locked out of the house or any other eventuality? Discuss what should be done and keep phone numbers handy. Have back up plans as well and make sure household help is aware of these too.

Experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit. So if you make an effort to keep this up for a few weeks before long it will be part of your regular routine and you will find things at home running much more smoothly and efficiently. Now enjoy the extra free time – you’ve earned it!

Facts of Valentine's Day !

The lovey-dovey time of the year is on us, so here's what you need to know about Valentine's Day:

1. This day started as a Christian festival way back in 500 AD when the Pope Gelasius I named the day to be celebrated in the memory of early martyrs.

2. Legend has it that the original St Valentine was from Rome, but it also refers to Valentine of Terni-both of whom were martyred in the turn of first century AD.

3. The modern tradition of celebrating Valentine's Day as a day for romance can be traced back to the 14th century when all manners of romantic legends sprang up about a mythical Saint Valentine.

4. The romantic roots of this day lie even further back in pre-Christian times when the festival of Lupercalia would celebrate fertility and love in ancient Greece and Rome focusing on the mystical marriage between Zeus and Hera. This nature of the festival remained the same afterwards.

5. In 1797, a British publisher came up with a tract of romantic sayings and poems for the inept lover. This lead to the tradition of memorial cards and later, gifts.

The right cut

Till a little while ago, the marriage of complementary opposites was just ancient philosophy. Today it has more extravagant interpretations. As a proof of this, the Steinmetz Diamond Group recently crafted their Yin-Yang diamond earrings which weigh 35.61 and 35.77 carats respectively. Holding the record of the world's largest pair of round-cut diamonds which are Type IIa (reserved for less than 2 per cent of diamonds in the world), these are valued in excess of $25 million and will be available for sale through the Sotheby Auction House.

Foot light

by the visual effects of Disney's latest 3D flick Tron Legacy, Puerto Rican designer Edmundo Castillo has crafted sandals that boast of blue LED lighting. Made from the electro-luminescent lamp materials used in the costumes worn in the film, the neon lights on the sandals light up once the attached thread cable is plugged in. It's available in silver metallic calfskin, black calfskin or in multi colored tangerine with blue calfskin. Step up! Price: $1,650(Rs 74,330).

Jesus Uses The Usable!

John 2:24, "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men]."
JOHN 2:18-25

This was the first time Jesus had ministered in Jerusalem. Multitudes believed on Him when they saw the miracles He performed (v. 23). This looked like a perfect opportunity for Jesus to take these people and use them to spread the news far and wide that He was the Christ. Instead Jesus did just the opposite. He didn't want people proclaiming His gospel in their own ability.

This reveals an attitude of Jesus which is lacking among many Christians today. Jesus is more concerned with the quality of ministry than the quantity of ministry. In contrast, today's Christians often feel that "the end justifies the means."

We take new converts and place them in leadership--which is directly opposed to the Bible's instructions (1 Tim. 3:6). Many times movie stars or other famous people who have come to the Lord are made spokesmen for the Christian faith. This works to the harm of these people and the Body of Christ as a whole.

Some of you can't understand why the Lord hasn't used you, but rest assured the Lord is using everyone who is usable. Instead of looking at the need and begging God to use you, take a hard look at yourself and ask the Lord to make you usable.

How to get Total Detox?

The body is a wonderful machine. The concerted, harmonious effort of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive and excretory sub systems inside is necessary on a daily basis for health to be a constant reality. Should any one of the links break down, a chain reaction sets in and rather sooner than later, a collapse is very much on the cards.

Of the lot, the digestive - eliminatory links are by far the most vulnerable, especially given today’s world of fast-paced lifestyles, where many if not most people have perforce to travel a great deal, involving different time zones. Now, it is quite obvious that time zones impact the bio- rhythm adversely, throwing it out of kilter. Add to that the shift system of work which followed, the picture of misery as regards the inner world is complete.

The Yoga Impact
Physical Detox
The Yoga repertoire has a direct bearing, not only on the muscles, but on the inner organs as well. By directing copious blood supply to different parts of the body depending on the asana done, yoga has a ‘stretch and squeeze’ effect, notably on the liver, spleen, pancreas and the kidneys. Unique poses like the inversions facilitate easy, effective elimination, due to the change in bodily gravity, which in turn, influences the abdominal organs. What is more, in Viparita Karanai, one of the variations of the shoulder stand, cholesterol plaques are flushed out from arterial walls. This effectively counters any tendency towards blocks! And among forward bends, Janu Sirshasana has a direct impact on the kidneys. Finally, SuptaVirasana removes any bloated feeling in the abdomen after a heavy meal. This pose, if done every night just before sleep, causes easy evacuation first thing in the morning.
Mind Detox
What makes yoga so appealing is its holistic approach to health. To their everlasting credit, the ancient masters made an amazing discovery - that there is a direct connection between the breath and the mind. In general, the slower, deeper and gentler the flow of breath, then the quieter, steadier, and sharper, the state of mind. Pranayama or the ‘science of breath’ paves the path for nobler pursuits like meditation, no doubt, but en route, it cleanses the mind. Accumulated tension simply vanishes like ‘dew drops in the face of the sun’s rays’ and the result is a detoxed mind, full of quiet energy. Thirty minutes of pranayama in the morning makes for a great day in the office!
Benefits Of Yoga
  • Mind Body Detox
  • Better Energy Levels
  • Improved Output at Work
  • Better Sleep
  • Better Elimination

Yoga postures for Children

Completely disenchanted with the dues ex machina of authoritarian socialism, a Yugoslav writer termed his country’s politico-economic set up an “Unperfect Society”. And the reasoning behind the choice of adjectives is interesting, said Djilas (the author), if the grammatically correct “imperfect” had been employed, it would have implied that the opposite, “perfect” could, at some point of time, become a fact! But “unperfect” as a term, does not have a rational opposite.

So socialism being inherently incorrigible, would remain so forever!

            It is tempting to use a similar expression to describe the situation in many a homestead today, especially in the upper MIG category: in the Puraanic story where the Devas and the Asuras churned the ocean to obtain the elixir of amrut, it was the noxious stuff which came out at first.

And so it seems to be with the IT revolution, the negatives are looming large, threatening to undermine one of the pillars of society, the family itself. A single family possesses multiple mobile phones, a fact that is fraught with danger of incalculable magnitude. The financial burden of mounting mobile bills is the least of it. Unspeakably sad is the alienating influence of this mini monster—teenagers are getting to be more and more “spaced out”, they know not night from day (nor care about it) and the cellular phone helps create its own version of an autistic world. Youngsters feel a generation gap even with someone just a couple of years their senior. Brazen… Crass.. Crude..Rude.. Downright Vulgar..these are the words that are the unfortunate but automatic choice to describe teenage behavior today. And in the May (’09) issue of Reader’s Digest, there is an alarming article on sexting among teenagers.. A classic case of a situation crying out for redressal.

Fortunately in yoga, we can offer a workable remedy.

The Ideal Age
In yoga workshops and elsewhere, parents often ask me, as to when a child can start serious yogabhyaas. A normal, healthy child enjoys natural suppleness up until ten years of age. Eleven or twelve appears the right age, because it is around this stage of growth that the muscles and bones acquire the necessary maturity and strength. Also, peculiarly enough, this is the time when a little bit of rigidity begins to creep in and some negative aspects of genetic predispositions start to assert themselves. And, given the introductory remarks, it is also the time when, due to peer pressure, children begin to push for that coveted toy, the cell phone!

Structuring Yoga Sessions For Children

In age, and therefore, in body tone and temperament, children (age group 11-15) are quite different from adults and the teacher needs to keep this in mind, in designing enjoyable, meaningful sessions. In yoga, several aasanas can be strung together, like flowers used in making garlands. Such garlands (the universally known Surya Namaskaar being just one of the many possible), with their emphasis on quick movements, appeal greatly to the young, agile minds of children. Yoga is also unique in that final forms depict earthly existence in all its rainbow variety – from seemingly inanimate objects like mountains through other forms of life like vegetation, insects, birds, animals, to exalted human beings like sages, seers, even forms of gods – the spectrum is so rich! And if some stories (which our culture abounds in) surrounding some incidents concerning sages and other noble persons are skillfully woven into Yoga time, children will flock to the sessions like bees to a flower!

How Yoga Works In Children

A typical yoga workout has such variety that, over time, it makes for an  excellent all round development of the person pursuing it: strength of legs, elasticity of muscle groups, suppleness of spine, skin tone and health of the inner organs – all these follow as a matter of course. And in children, it is yoga that guarantees the smoothest possible transition from childhood into adolescence. Sirshaasana has a favourable effect on the pineal and pituitary glands and Sarvaangaasana works wonders on the thyroid. Therefore, normal growth occurs in children, who start yoga around the age of ten. Such aberrations as premature puberty, pre-menstrual tension, irregular periods and the like, are unheard of in girls doing regular yoga.

To cap it all, Praanaayaama promotes all the functions of the mind – to receive, record and recall – so much that yoga kids face exams with easy, tension free confidence.

An Appeal To Parents

Adults and parents should give yoga a try, be convinced of its benefits through firsthand experience and then, smilingly invite their children, to also ‘take a dip, try a sip’. In some of my sessions, the entire nuclear household participates – the father, usually unwinding after a gruelling day at work; the mother adding feminine grace; and the children contributing with their infectious enthusiasm. Total Family Yoga – ah! But what a charming concept, and in the context of the grim reality described earlier – what an effective solution!

Fruits from Yoga and Naturopathy for Hypertension !!

            "Hypertension or increased blood pressure is a staggering health problem today. It has become very common and about 20 percent of adults all over the world suffer with hypertension without even knowing, as it remains asymptomatic until late in its course. Hence it is called a silent killer. Its effects when unattended are devastating, affecting every system of the body, and could be fatal. 50 years ago, hypertension or high blood pressure was a relatively uncommon condition.Today, it has become more than just a chronic complaint. It has become a disease of the affluent and middle class population. It still poses a challenge for the medical world for its dependency on continuous medication, and is the most common risk factor for heart attacks."

Blood Pressure and Hypertension

The force with which the heart pumps blood through arteries to reach various parts of body is called blood pressure. The pressure is greatest when the heart contracts and pumps blood into the arteries. This is called systolic pressure. The pressure is lower during the relaxation phase of heart and is known as diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure in an adult male (20 – 50 years) during systole when a left ventricle contracts is around 100 - 140 mm of Hg, and during diastole when left ventricle relaxes is around 60 - 90 mm of Hg. Without this pressure, blood will not be able to supply the body oxygen, food and essential nutrients. The pressure varies with physical and mental activity and from person to person with an average of 120 / 80mm of Hg. When the blood pressure is constantly recorded above 140/90 mm of Hg in successive intervals, then it is called hypertension.

Causes of Hypertension
Several risk factors are known to cause Hypertension.
·         Genetic, hereditary, environmental, sex and age - which are not modifiable.
·         Modifiable factors like high cholesterol in diet or blood, obesity or being overweight, smoking, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, irregular daily routine, stress, mental worries, excessive or inappropriate medication etc.
·         Secondary hypertension may result from renal vascular disease, thyroid, parathyroid or pituitary dysfunction, pregnancy, cushing syndrome, use of hormonal contraceptives etc.
Modern living with its high stress and strain leave little cushion for an individual's problems.

Primary hypertension or the common high blood pressure is not a disease but a symptom of circulatory problems which may cause heart attacks, strokes or other disabling conditions. When the causes of high blood pressure are removed, both hypertension and resulting complications will disappear.

Role of Yoga and Naturopathic Lifestyle Intervention

Yoga and naturopathic lifestyle intervention aims at eliminating the root cause of the disease rather than its symptoms. It advocates a healthy way of living by having
                   ·         Regulated daily routine
                   ·         Good dietary habits consisting of high fiber, low calorie, and low fat, low salt diet with plenty of seasonal           fruits, leafy and green vegetables.
                   ·         Consumption of minimum three to four liters of water per day
                   ·         Positive mental attitude
                   ·         An ideal exercise regimen in the form of yogasanas

·         Stress management and relaxation by pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and savasana (deep relaxation technique)

Scientific Aspects
           1.     Blood pressure increases by sustained activation of the 'flight and fight' response of the body. Yoga effectively switches off the response and brings adrenaline levels down, thus reducing blood pressure.

           2.     Chronic stress induced sustained muscular contraction reduces lumen /diameter of blood vessels in the muscles. It in turn increases blood pressure (just as compressing a water pipe increases force of water flow). Stretching of muscles and relaxing the same as done in yogic exercise reverts this effect.

           3.     Sustained muscular contraction sends hostile signals to the brain, alerting it to impending danger. This secretes stress hormones and neurotransmitters associated with stress and high B.P. This is reverted by constant practice of yoga.

           4.     During stress, platelet agreeability and stickiness of blood increases inappropriately, producing a 'hypercoagulable' state of blood, and increase of B.P. Yoga is proved to reduce platelet aggregation.

           5.     Certain postures in yoga offer controlled pressure on the kidneys and the adrenals, thereby regulating blood supply to these vital organs which mainly regulate B.P. through secretions of hormones like rennin, angiotensin, adrenalin etc.

           6.     Regular yoga reduces the stress hormone aldosterone which is a potent vasoconstrictor (which contracts blood vessels thus increasing B.P.).

            7.     Regular yoga practice reduces vasopressin, another stress hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. Vasopressin increases B.P. by vascular contraction.

            8.     The medulla oblongata in the brain has the respiratory center and the vasomotor centre (which regulates the B.P.) side by side. Fast breathing in stressful situations tends to overspill the electric signals over vasomotor centre, thus increasing B.P. Yoga (pranayama) regulates breathing and reduces the signal overspill from respiratory center, thus reducing B.P.

           9.     Thus it is proven beyond doubt that regular practice of yogic lifestyle can prevent and control hypertension.

A best Yoga for Arthritis!!

            Stepping out of his car, the man enters his house. At the foot of the seventeen steps leading up to the landing en route to his bedroom, he hesitates, grimacing. Finally, gritting his teeth, he essays the climb, taking the steps one at a time, pausing after every two. The left knee threatens to buckle any time, the pain excruciating, only an ingrained sense of self control keeping him from moaning out loudly. Somehow he makes it all the way up, totters to his bed and… whew! What a relief to just lie down.

Arthritis of the knee, he's told by the "ortho" after a series of tests. Pain killers are prescribed to reduce inflammation of the 'angry' joints; and the man of medicine, wise beyond his profession, prescribes yoga as an effective 'extra mural' supplement to medication - with diligent practice under the guidance of an expert. Our sufferer is told, he can realistically contemplate a return to his 'passion of the evenings' – club tennis - before long.

Yoga as a Preventive Method

In most of us there is a resigned, almost apathetic attitude to middle age health issues, taking them to be matter

Cure process Osteoarthritis in Yoga

            The number of osteoarthritis cases are rising, possibly a result of our sedentary life habits. The symptoms set in gradually. Pain, which at the start is only as intermittent, increases as you use the joint (and reduces on resting). This is followed by excruciating pain and muscular spasm which grossly restricts the movement of that joint. Yogic postures when repeated regularly, may strengthen the muscles around the cartilage, providing the much needed
support to the damaged joints. 

It also relieves the pain and inflammation of the joint without straining it. The following simple yoga practices are recommended for people suffering with osteoarthritis – but only under expert advice and supervision.

            Apollo Knee Clinics
Apollo Hospitals has opened their nationwide comprehensive Knee Clinics. They will be one-stop centres for those suffering from knee pains, particularly as the winter season which escalates joint pain is at hand.


Knee Rotation
Sit with the feet a bit apart. Lift the right thigh to a 90 degree angle. Supporting the thigh from down, rotate the leg around the knee joint clockwise 10 times and anti clockwise, another 10 times. Repeat with left leg.

Knee bending (lying on the abdomen)
Lie on the abdomen with the head resting on the back of the palms. Fold both legs together at the knees. Try and make the heels touch the buttocks as you exhale. Stretch out as you inhale. Repeat 30-40 times.

Good Article: Yoga for Aching Knees

            Are you worried about the long hours you need to sit down with your bad knee for those elaborate Diwali pujas? Here are ways to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis affected knees and strengthen them…

The word 'arth' means joint, and 'itis' means inflamed. It is a very common affliction all over the world, a common cause of misery and disability, affecting the
quality of life to a great extent. Of the different types to a great extent. Of the different types of arthritis, the most common types are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints, accompanied by pain which appears with activity and subsides with rest. It is common in the middle aged and elderly and is related to the ageing of the joints. The most common joints affected are the weight bearing joints, like knees, hips and spine.

Primary osteoarthritis occurs due to degeneration of bones and cartilage due to ageing. Secondary osteoarthritis can occur in any joint that might have sustained injury, due to trauma or gout or an old inflammation which goes on to produce wear and tear changes.

Osteoarthritis is becoming a common problem of sedentary life habits - a testimony of our times. Obesity is another factor that hastens the rate of joint damage. Excessive mental stress, strain and erratic lifestyle further hasten joint damage.

The symptoms are gradual in onset. Pain at first is intermittent. It increases as you use the joint, and reduces on resting. As the disease progresses, movement of joint becomes grossly restricted due to excruciating pain and muscular spasm.

The Painful Process
As age advances, the rate of repair of cartilage is not in proportion to the daily wear and tear. Gradually, the water content in the cartilage increases and becomes vulnerable to rapid wear and tear changes, leading to formation of pits on the smooth surface. As this process continues over the years, the bone becomes exposed at the margins. To cover up this exposed area, extra bone gets deposited in place of healthy smooth cartilage. This thinning of cartilage and extra deposits of bone causes gradual reduction in the joint space.

The joint starts creaking due to roughened surface and extra bone deposition at the margins. When the bones rub against each other, the pain sensitive nerve endings get stimulated and send messages to brain - leading to pain. This pain reflex is a natural preventive mechanism, to inhibit movement of the affected joint. This can gradually lead to acute pain with swelling and inflammation of the joint requiring rest and medical intervention.

Physical therapies
All treatments are aimed at proper rest, pain relief, and rehabilitation. Various treatments like local heat by fomentation, wax bath, infra red radiation, TENS, IFT, ultrasound, wraps, packs, oil massages, vibratory massages, acupuncture, magnetotherapy, hydrotherapy and exercise therapy are used for pain relief. Various aids from knee braces and knee caps, to advanced gadgets are available to stabilise the joint and give it support. Surgical replacement of the joint is done when all other measures become ineffective.

Half Butterfly
Sitting straight with the legs stretched out, bend the right leg and place the right foot as far up on the left thigh as possible, with the right heel touching the groin. Place the right hand on the right knee and hold the right foot with the left hand. Gently move the right knee up towards the chest and then push it down to touch the ground. Repeat 10 times. Inhale while bringing the knee up and exhale while bringing the knee down. Repeat with the left leg.

Full Butterfly
Bend both knees, draw the legs closer, bringing the soles of the feet together. Relax the inner thigh muscles. Clasp the feet with both hands. Gently bounce the knees up and down with normal breathing. Try to touch the knees to the ground on the downward stroke. Practice 30-40 times.

Yoga Therapy
Yoga can be very effectively used, for both prevention and treatment of degenerative and ageing arthritis. Yogasanas, when practised regularly from a young age, offer smooth, healthy movement of the joints, preventing their wear and tear process at an early age. It also helps in maintaining hormonal balance and ideal weight of the body.

The various non-weight bearing exercises strengthen the joints, increase the mobility of stiff joints, increase the blood supply and prevent further ageing process. The conscious breathing during asana and pranayama increase the oxygen supply and decrease the damage due to free radicals.

In chronically damaged joints with pain, inflammation and deformities, the surrounding muscles would become weak due to in activity. Yogic practices when repeated regularly may strengthen the muscles around the cartilage, providing the much needed support to the damaged joints. It also relieves the pain and inflammation of the joint without straining it.

Yoga to prevent Backache!!!

Ardha Kati Chakrasana

Stand straight with feet little apart, hands by the side. While inhaling, lift the right arm up, all the way till it touches the ear with palm facing the h ead.

While exhaling, bend on to side as much as you can. Then stretch your neck, look up at your fingers. Hold for a count of five. Inhaling, come back up. Exhaling bring the hand down. Repeat on each side six times alternately.

Spinal Twisting

Stand straight with feet little apart. Lift arms to shoulder level with palms facing each other. Then inhaling fold left arm onto chest, twist on to right as much as you can and look at right fingers twisting the neck. Hold for a count of five. Then exhaling, come back. Again inhaling twist on to left, folding right arm on to chest look at left fingers. Hold for a count of five. Exhale, come back. Repeat six times each side.

Ardha chakrasana

Stand straight with feet together, hands on your waist, with thumbs on either side of your spine. Slowly bend back as you inhale. Hold for a count of 5. Slowly come back as you exhale. Repeat 6 times.

Waist Rotation

Stand straight with feet shoulder distance apart and hands on your waist. Rotate your waist clockwise six times and then anticlockwise six times with normal breathing.


Lying on the back, fold both legs and bring heels as close as possible with feet little apart and knees apart. Hold heels with both hands. Or else place palms by the side. Then as you inhale lift your waist as high as possible. Hold for a count of five. Bring your waist down as you exhale. Repeat six times.

Spinal twisting with alternate leg raising
Lie down on the back, with feet together and arms perpendicular to shoulders with palms on the ground. As you inhale, lift the right leg up, as high as possible keeping the leg straight. Twist on to left as you exhale and turn your head to right. Hold for a count of 5. Inhale, lift the leg up and then exhale, bring the leg down.

Repeat six times on each side alternately.

How to keep healthy Heart Valves

            Our heart valves are rightly called the doors of life. There are four of them, each at the entrance and exit of the upper and lower chambers of the heart. Their main function is to control the unidirectional flow of blood through the heart. It is the opening and closing of these valves that cause the normal heart to sound ‘lub dup’.
Like all the other organs of the body, the heart valves too are susceptible to diseases, both congenital (present from birth) and acquired. Earlier valve diseases had hardly any treatment and patients were compelled to lead a very poor quality of life and succumb to death early. But now, we have moved miles ahead, and even those with very complex valve disorders can enjoy a near-normal life.

(having three cusps)
Controls the flow of blood from right atrium to the right ventricle
(having two cusps)
Controls the flow of blood in between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery
Controls the flow of blood between the left atrium and the left ventricle
Controls the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta

Rheumatic fever
In our country, rheumatic fever is one of the principal causative factors for valve disorders. Initially, it manifests as throat infection, pain in the joints that keeps on shifting, and fever. If improperly treated, rheumatic fever affects the delicate heart valves, causing them to be narrowed or to leak. Since it is most commonly seen among people from weaker socio-economic groups, the awareness level about early treatment of rheumatic fever is low, and often, young adults in their teens come down with valve disorders. Rheumatic fever can be effectively treated by long-term use of penicillin injection. But if valves are already affected, then appropriate treatment is necessary.

Congenital defects
Sometimes, children may be born with improperly formed valves that are very tight or leaky. The valves may even be completely absent, sometimes.

You Must Love Your Heart !!!

Heartbreak is a powerful metaphor. It is found in the Bible, in Shakespeare’s plays, in poetry, in songs of Elvis Presley, and is descriptive of an overwhelming sadness or loss. More importantly, the word links emotions of love to the heart. Through the ages, the heart has been seen as the seat of intuition, creativity, wisdom, gratitude, faith and the most powerful emotion of all – love.
Textbooks of science define the heart as a blood pumping station for the body. The same sources tell us that it is actually the brain that controls the heart. In fact, the subject of what happens to the brain when a person falls in love has been a subject of intriguing study.

Interestingly, these studies reveal that the neural mechanisms of romantic attraction are distinct from those of sexual attraction and arousal. Brain scans of young men and women in love reveal that the experience of romantic attraction activates those pockets of the brain with a high concentration of receptors for dopamine, the chemical messenger closely tied to states of euphoria, craving and addiction.

Biologists have linked high levels of dopamine and a related agent, norepinephrine, to heightened attention and short-term memory, hyperactivity, sleeplessness and goal-oriented behaviour. What this means is that when we experience the first flush of love, we often show the signs of surging dopamine: increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in the smallest details of this novel relationship.

While the emotional high people experience when in love is comparable to other ‘highs’ that see a surge in dopamine, there is another study that indicates that love is indeed a singularly unique feeling.

Bartels and Zeki, while studying the neural basis of romantic love, compared MRI scans of people in different emotional states, including sexual arousal, feelings of happiness and cocaine-induced euphoria. Though there was some overlap to other positive emotional states, the pattern for romantic love was unique.

Self Check for Factors to a Heart Attack (Must Do!!)

1 Have you or any of your close family had a heart attack before the age of 60?

2 Is your blood pressure above 130 systolic – 85 diastolic?

3 Is your pulse rate above 72 while sitting?

4 Is your blood cholesterol above 200?

5 Is your blood sugar above 115 fasting?

6 Are your overweight?

7 Do you avoid daily exercise?

8 Are you highly stressed or a tense person?

9 Do you smoke?

(The more the YES answers, the greater the risk. You must attempt to minimize the risks)

Best Tips for a Healthy Heart

            Have a compulsory annual medical check up - this is the most fundamental rule of good health. When a man is over 45 years, and the woman is over 55 years of age, their risk of having a heart attack starts to rise significantly.

Get out of that sedentary lifestyle. Even every day activities such as climbing stairs, carrying the groceries, gardening etc cuts your risk of heart attack by half.

Anger can be fatal for cardiac patients. Anger counseling has helped reduce recurring hostility and stress by over 70 percent.

Stressful jobs are responsible for heart attacks. 90 percent of all situations that cause us stress are trivial and inconsequential.

Laughter therapy has been scientifically proven as good for health. Laughter reduces blood pressure, stress, cancer and heart problems.

Exercisers survive heart attacks. Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscles and reduces heart activity by a million heart beats each month.

Genetics do play a part too - you can inherit a higher risk of heart attack from your parents, and/or their parents.