2 Yoga Breathing Techniques that Improve Focus at Work

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Breathing exercises or pranayama is a vital part of any yoga practice. Use these techniques at work when you can’t seem to get focused or when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

breathing

Nadi Shodhana pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

This breathing exercise is used to cleanse and rejuvenate your Nadi or subtle life force channel. It relieves pent-up stress in the body and soothes the nervous system, so you feel calm and can concentrate with laser focus.

Sit up straight and relax your shoulders. Connect the tips of your index and middle fingers of your right hand in between your eyebrows and place your touching ring and little finger on your left nostril and your thumb on your right nostril.

Inhale deeply and then gently press your thumb down on your right nostril so that no air can escape. Now, inhale in through your left nostril and then press the left nostril closed with your ring and little fingers. Remove your thumb from your right nostril and breathe out from the right nostril. Next, breathe in through your right nostril and exhale from the left.

Now you have completed one complete round of Nadi Shodhana pranayama. Complete nine rounds by breathing alternately between the nostrils as you did above. You may wish to keep your eyes closed during this pranayama to further relax your nervous system by closing down stimulation through the eyes. Practice breathing this way deeply and smoothly.

Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath)

This pranayama helps you bring your mind back to the present moment when your mind is scattered or overwhelmed. Bee breath wards off unnecessary thoughts and drives you to the present moment. Being in the present allows you focus on the job at hand instead of thinking about past or future.

You will hum the sound “hmmm” which is part of the “Om” sound—the healing sound of the universe. Practicing this breathing exercise allows you to reset your mind so you can focus on the now. It will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next project.

Sit up nice and tall and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, observe the sensations in your body. Go within and find your stillness. After a few minutes, gently place your index fingers on the cartilage on your ears to close them.

Now, take a deep breath in and as you exhale, close up your ears by gently pressing on the cartilage and begin humming with the sound a bee makes in a high pitched tone. Continue breathing in and then on the exhalation, humming. Do this three to five times.

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Easy-to-Grow Edible Flowers

Edible flowers have been used for centuries, both raw and cooked. Edible flowers may seem like a strange idea at first, but they are packed with plant nutrients known as phytochemicals, plus a range of vitamins and minerals.

Best of all, you don’t always need a large garden to grow your own edible flowers. Some can be grown in container gardens, window ledges and window boxes. It’s a case of starting out with good seeds and soil, following instructions about watering, and using natural pest control methods as needed.

flowers

Here are some flowers which are perfect for beginners wanting to grow them and add them to recipes. When buying the seeds, always check for the Latin name to make sure you are getting an edible variety and not a potentially dangerous cousin.

Borage (Borago officinalis)

These star-shaped flowers come in pink, violet and blue, and taste slightly of cucumbers. Borage is popular in savory dishes like soups and stews. You can also freeze the flowers in water to make ice cubes to add to summertime drinks for some extra refreshment. It is an excellent dried herb to always keep on hand. It can be grown in any degree of sunlight, and pretty much any soil.

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium, or Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum)

Mums taste the way they smell, slightly spicy and pungent. Use sparingly in salads, stir fries and rice dishes; a little usually goes a long way. Mums need lots of sunlight and do well in most soils as long as they are well-drained.

Daylilies

These flowers taste sweet and floral. They are best harvested when the buds are just about to open. They are used in Asian cuisine, salads and desserts. They thrive in the sun in moist soil which is well-drained.

Geraniums (Pelargonium)

These can vary considerably in taste, from spicy nutmeg or ginger to citrus or peppermint. The lemon and peppermint-tasting varieties work well in ice cream, sorbet, and ice cubes. Freeze the flowers and then use the cubes to liven up your pitchers or punch bowls. Geraniums like light and well-drained soil.

Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender has many uses around the home, including as parts of recipes. English lavender varieties (Lavender angustifolia) have the best flavor for recipes, which range from sweet to savory. Lavender water, candy, sauces and dressings all have a light citrus taste with an underlying tang of rosemary and sage. Remove all the flowers from the stalk when cooking. These plants love sunlight and need well-drained soil.

Nasturtium

Nasturium is the most popular of all edible flowers, and has been used for centuries as a component of salads and as an ingredient similar in taste to watercress. You can eat both the leaves and flowers. They come in a wide range of colors, so work well as a contrasting color in salads and as a garnish. This plant thrives well in both sun and light shade.

Pansies

Pansies come in a range of colors and generally taste similar to grapes. The flowers are used for garnish, salads and cake decoration. Pansies will grow well in anything except direct sunlight. The moisture levels will vary by the type of pansy, so read the seed packet carefully.

Pinks

Pinks have a delicate flavor with touch of cloves. They are popular as an addition to hot tea and cider. The flowers are also used as an attractive garnish for creamy soups, fruit salad, and cookie platters. Pinks need a lot of sunlight and a very rich soil in order to thrive. There are different species of pinks, so be sure to read the seed packet carefully.

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Back Pain – How it Starts

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From the moment that back pain starts, we must pay close attention to the different variables associated with it. Back pain can originate from various musculoskeletal and nerve problems. The most common cause of back pain begins with a slipped disk, also known as a “herniated nucleus pulposa” (HNP). Physicians typically refer to a rupture in the “intervertebral disk” as a slipped disk. An intervertebral is located between the spinal column and the posterior spine.

The “interruption” has its own variables, including the L4 vertebra and L5 vertebra, and the C5 through C7 vertebra. Even though the C5 through C7 are part of the neck, they also belong to or associated with other sections of the back as well. When medical professionals begin looking for slipped disks, they typically look through the possible etiology, including the possibility of strains, trauma, malformation, degeneration, weakness, and heavy lifting that can damage the back and the neck ligaments, causing strains and sprains.

back pain

After giving consideration the etiology of the problem, they take into consideration the pathphysiology, including the possibility of “nucleus pulposus.” The middle does connect to the spinal column, and there is a good possibility that it can press on spinal nerves, roots, or even the spinal cord, causing pain. If the spinal cord does become compressed, it can restrain the nerves and roots generating a variety of symptoms, including reduction in motor function, numbness, and even pain.

The assessment is typically centered around the lumbroscral area, which can cause short-term, or long-term pain in the lower portion of the back. Pain in this area does not stay where it started, it tends to radiation through the buttocks and even down the back of the legs. It is not uncommon for people with this condition to experience numbness and weakness in their legs and possibly into the feet, so ambulation may be tested.
Another location in the lower back where physicians typically search for slipped disks is through the lumbar curves. These are located at the lower portion of the back, which is a common problem for patients with an abnormal spine curvature.

When the cervical vertebrae are considered, the symptoms are very different. Doctors look for rigidity in the neck, numbness in the arms, weakness, and possible tingling in the fingers and hands. If the pain radiates down the arms and into the hands, there is an evaluative focus on a possible slipped disk in the neck. Because the cervical vertebrae are so close to the origin of the spinal cord, there are other symptoms that may accompany the one’s previously mentioned. Weakness can develop in unlikely locations, such as higher portions of the neck and even at the base of the skull.

Testing

When physicians are considering a back-pain problem, they will perform a physical examination, and possibly a series of physical tests. These tests may consist of basic tendon reflex ability, EMG x-ray, cerebral spinal fluid tests, MRI, or CT scans. The results of these tests may be compared to results from previous tests to determine if there are any structural or inflammatory changes. Through the use of EMG scans your doctor may be able to determine whether there are spinal nerves involved in the irritating factor. X-rays can be used to determine if there is any narrowing or expansion in the disk space. A Myelogram may be used to determine whether there is any compression of the spinal cord. This is typically performed in the case where a patient reports numbness of the extremities.

How Slipped Disks are Managed

At the first sign of back injury, doctors typically provide pain relief management. This allows the patient some comfort while the doctor isolates the reason for the pain. The pain management regimen will depend on the patient’s history and metabolic variations. A physician may increase the patient’s fiber intake to ensure that pain management medications do not cause constipation.

Additional treatment methods will focus on symptomatic relief. Using hot pads, hot wet compresses, and at times, cold therapy may be recommended. NSAID medications may be used to reduce inflammation in an attempt to gain control of any compression on nerves and muscle systems. Muscle relaxers may be prescribed in situations where muscle spasms are involved, or degenerative muscle disorders are involved.

Orthopedic options may be recommended for short term use. They are not recommended for long-term use because they can further aggravate the injury by weakening the muscle structures the back depends on for stability.

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