Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Embrace yoga to age gracefully, say experts
Yoga won't give you immortality but this ancient discipline of bringing union between the body, mind and spirit can definitely help you fight age - both physical and mental, say health and wellness experts.
 
"In my practice in India and abroad I have seen several cases where my clients have gotten better by regular yoga, pranayam and meditation," Preeti Rao, Health, Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant at Max Healthcare here, told IANS.
 
Regular yoga practice can help fight chronic lifestyle diseases like hypertension, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, reproductory disorders, and respiratory and cardiovascular related health concerns. Besides people with obesity, anxiety, constipation and digestive disorders can benefit significantly from practising yoga, according to the experts.
 
"From diabetes to high blood pressure, high cholesterol to heart problems, yoga can help you combat many such health issues that usually develop over the years. Also, arthritis is one of the most common problems among elderly people and yoga is a great way to tone it down and help the body become more active and flexible," said Nidhi Arora, physiotherapist at AktivOrtho, an orthopaedic, neurological and gynaecological rehabilitation centre here.
 
Founded by German orthopaedic specialist Gerd Mueller, AktivOrtho now has several centres in New Delhi and Gurgaon.
 
"Individuals prone to osteoporosis or are already suffering from the problem can gain a lot from yoga as a daily life discipline which increases bone density and growth. To keep a watch over increase in weight as well, yoga proves to be very helpful," Arora noted.
 
Yoga can improve blood flow in the body and increase oxygen supply to body cells. It helps improve balance which tends to become weak as one ages, acclaimed fitness expert and nutritionist Sonia Bajaj said.
 
What's more, the benefits of yoga transcends physical fitness alone.
 
"Yoga is not limited to yog or physical exercise," Rao said.
 
Scholarly studies and research in this area have strongly documented how yoga helps in improving cognitive abilities.
 
"Pranayama helps one to attain a better balance between the right and left-brain bringing more balance between emotional and rational thinking. Meditation facilitates a process of introspection, and brings more clarity and focus in one's life. Regular yoga also improves memory," Rao noted.
 
"A regular yoga practice even for just 20-30 minutes daily that is simple and involves varied breathing exercises and mediation is what I would recommend to remain sharp, alert and for a balanced life," she added.
 
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that a three-month course of Kundalini yoga and Kirtan Kriya meditation practice helped minimise the cognitive and emotional problems that often precede Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, brain disorders that impair the memory.
 
Kirtan Kriya, which involves chanting, hand movements and visualisation of light, has been practised for hundreds of years in India as a way to prevent cognitive decline in older adults.
 
Yoga and meditation was even more effective than the memory enhancement exercises that have been considered the gold standard for managing mild cognitive impairment, the findings showed.
 
"Historically and anecdotally, yoga has been thought to be beneficial in ageing well, but this is the scientific demonstration of that benefit," lead author of the study Harris Eyre, doctoral candidate at the University of Adelaide in Australia, said.
 
"If you or your relatives are trying to improve your memory or offset the risk for developing memory loss or dementia, a regular practice of yoga and meditation could be a simple, safe and low-cost solution to improving your brain fitness," Helen Lavretsky, the study's senior author and professor in residence in the department of psychiatry, University of California-Los Angeles, suggested.
 
"Yoga forms like asana, pranayama and a regular devotion towards meditation are such strong tools that they are bound to invigorate the brain, help enhance the power of the mind and stimulate the nervous system as well. Yoga should be taken seriously as results from it are long-lasting and life-changing for sure," Arora of AktivOrtho noted.
 
However, with many different types of yoga being practised today, it is important for you to find out with the help of experts which type of yoga meets your needs, she said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Algeria temporarily blocked Facebook, Twitter to tackle exam cheating
In a bid to stop cheating in secondary school examinations, Algeria on Sunday temporarily blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms across the north African country.
 
According to a report in africanews.com, following the earlier exams leaks, police arrested several people, including officials working in national education offices and printers after high school exam papers were leaked onto social media.
 
The students accessed questions on Facebook and other social media ahead of the exam in early June.
 
Owing to the leaks, 300,000 of the 800,000 students who sat for the "baccalaureate" exam earlier had to sit for re-exam on Sunday.
 
“This (move) is to protect students from the publication of false papers for these exams,” the report said, quoting an official.
 
While Algeria blocked social media to fight exam leaks, similar blockages have been reported in Uganda and Congo Brazzaville regarding unsettling political situations in those countries.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Essar group allegedly tapped phones of ministers, industrialists, bureaucrats: Report
During 2001 and 2006, the Essar Group has allegedly tapped telephones of several ministers, industrialists like the Ambanis and bureaucrats, says a report from the Outlook magazine. 
 
According to the report, the conversations, recorded by a former Essar employee over an 11-year period from 2000, reveal how rampant illegal phone tapping has become, not even sparing the Prime Minister’s Officer (PMO) when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the PM. 
 
Here is what Outlook says about the taped conversations…
 
  • On tape are said to be Vajpayee’s NSA Brajesh Mishra and his foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya; cabinet colleagues Jaswant Singh, the late Pramod Mahajan and current UP governor Ram Naik, power minister Piyush Goyal, railway minister Suresh Prabhu, Mumbai MP Kirit Somaiya and Mahajan aide Sudhanshu Mittal.
     
  • On the business side, the entire undivided Ambani clan and their A-team: Mukesh Ambani, brother Anil and his wife Tina; RIL directors Hetal Meswani, Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Manoj Modi, Anand Jain and Satish Seth; and their men Friday, Tony Jesudasan and A Sethuraman.
     
  • On the bureaucratic end, there is former PMO official NK Singh and current home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, then in the dep­artment of corporate affairs. Bringing up the rear are Subrato Roy of Sahara, Amitabh Bachchan, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh.

On 1 June 2016, Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer Suren Uppal, who claims to represent Albasit Khan, an employee of Essar, who allegedly tapped the phones, sent a 29-page complaint to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Here are verbatim excerpts from Uppal’s letter to the PM, as quoted by Outlook…
 
  • “Conversations dated 01.12.2002, between Mukesh Ambani and Satish Seth (an RIL director) wherein they have been heard of managing the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through Pramod Mahajan, with the visit and meeting of Ajay Singh with the CJI of India.”
     
  • “Conversations between Anil Ambani and Satish Seth 29.01.2003, wherein there is a clear disclosure regarding how Reliance was trying to manage the Shivani Bhatnagar Murder case to favour Pramod Mahajan and how the same was diluted as against the minister and the company was able to control the uproar in the Parliament by using Amar Singh.”
     
  • “Conversation between Amar Singh and Kunwar Akhilesh Singh, MP from Samata Party, dated 28 November 2002, whereby it has been revealed that the whole JPC [joint parliamentary committee] was managed by Amar Singh on beh­alf of Reliance so that Company’s inv­olvement in the Ketan Parikh Scam and Global Trust Bank fiasco is managed favourably to protect Reliance Petroleum. It is further categorically mentioned in the conversation that money on behalf of Reliance has been paid to Prakash Mani Tripathi, Chairman of the JPC, whose son was already working for Reliance, along-with others including, S.S. Ahluwalia, Praful Patel, Prem Chand Gupta, Kirit Somaiya to get favourable outcomes in fav­our of Reliance India Limited.”
     
  • “Numerous conversations between N.K. Singh [then OSD in the PMO] and Mukesh Ambani, wherein they discussed the pre-budget policies of the governments and Ambani is heard influencing the making of the annual budget.”
     
  • “Conversations between V.K. Dhall, secretary DCA, Anil Ambani, Satish Seth and Rajeev Maharishi (sic), IAS, wherein the irregularities in 65-odd number of companies has been highlighted specifically from the point of view of the violations committed therein and the undue benefits been conferred on RIL thereby.”

According to the magazine, the tapping was allegedly done through the BPL (now Loop) Mobile and Hutch servers by cell-to-cell interception. Essar’s own network and the group’s conversations were being rec­orded on land and cell lines. The intercepting SIMs were pre-paid cards bearing the numbers and were rec­harged regularly by Shishir Agarwal. 

Uppal told the magazine that the telephonic conversations leave no doubt as to whose voice it is and what is being discussed. “While the conversations, on the cellular and landline network, recorded for over a decade, run into hundreds of hours, 12 CDs containing some crucial conversations were key. These, Uppal says, have been handed over to Modi and some of the dramatis personae concerned. No one from the government has responded so far. 
“I applied abundant caution in getting to the bottom of this scandal and waited for a response from the PM on what they are doing about this. Considering the innumerable violations of the law, I feel this is a fit case for a CBI probe or a court-monitored probe. However, like the corporates, the government too has chosen to be silent,” Uppal told Outlook.
 
Uppal told the magazine that after a few months, Khan went incommunicado. He said, “I feel he was ­being bought over by these corporates. They tried to manage him and he stopped taking my calls and SMSes as well. Subsequently, I have been unable to even connect with him. He could, perhaps, be out of the country by now.”
 
Top Essar officials told Outlook there was no basis for the allegations. “Is there any evidence to suggest that these are even Essar phone taps? These are the latest in the attempts to drag our company down.” 

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