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Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II): - If while you are practicing and your thighs cannot handle any of the pressure or anytime life demands a great deal of you, maybe you should invoke the spirit of the great warrior for whom this pose is named.

Virabhadra

The Story….

Sati, Shiva’s first wife was the daughter of king Daksha. Sati’s family had not seen Shiva, and did not know much about him except from their trusted daughter’s words that he is the love of her life and the Lord of Universe “Jagadisha”. In Indian tradition, the groom goes to the brides house on horseback accompanied by his friends. Shiva however arrived in a very inappropriate form, with long hair, body covered with ashes, wreathed in snakes, and accompanied by a troop of ghosts and demons. Sati’s Family was appalled and wanted to cancel the wedding. Shiva, however decided to please Sati and re-represented himself in magnificent aspect, radiantly handsome, dressed in silk and gold, and accompanied with splendid courtiers. The marriage took place, but Dakhsa did not let go of the incident.

Short time later Daksha was planning for a magnificent Yagya “religious ceremony” at his court. However, Shiva and Sati did not receive an invitation. Shiva kept ensuring Sati that her father must have meant to send it but forgot, but she was not convinced, and found it very disrespectful, considering the fact that her husband is the Lord of the Universe and must be invited to such an important event. As the day of the ceremony had come, Shiva refused to attend, even though he felt bad for Sati, but could not push himself to do it. So Sati decided to go to understand the situation of her family. The Yagya was a mockery in itself; Daksha was offering nothing of value, only flaunting his wealth and power.

When Sati arrived to her Family’s house, it was quite obvious that she was not welcome anymore; she was insulted multiple times by her Father and his friends about her husband, her wedding and her taste in men. In addition, to the fact that the Lord of the Universe was not invited and mocked. The Veda tells us that in a true sacrifice, God is the offering, the one who offers, the recipient, the flames, the fuel, the ritual. This all became too much to bare for Sati, so with one swift movement she flung herself into the fire and was burned to ash, herself becoming the sacrifice.

Shiva heard what happened, and was overcome with grief and fury. His eyes stood out, his blood boiled, his hair stood on the end. In an ecstasy of rage, he tore a hair from his own head and flung it to the ground. The next moment, where the hair had been stood a warrior, the personification of Shiva’s emotions, red-faced and grunting with the lust of vengeance.

This was Virabhadra, the personification of righteous anger and the noble impulse to defend the innocent.

The warrior Virabhadra saluted Shiva, the flew to Kind Daksha’s Palace where he ripped and roared through the sacrifice, destroying everyone and everything in his path. He tore off Daksha’s head. As for Sati, she was reborn as Parvati, this time with a father who supported Shiva and her love for him. As for Daksha, Shiva forgave him and restored him to life, but he had to live with the head of a goat.

Virabhdadra is not simply a bloody warrior. Like Shiva, they destroy to save: Their real enemy is the ego. “By cutting off the head of the ego, Virabhadra help remind us to humble ourselves.”

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Yoga is one of the richest heritages of India. It is both a philosophy as well as a practical science of healthy living.

In the modern life style the amount of sedentary or semi sedentary work is increasing due to the increase in the technology and labour saving devices. This has led to lack of exercise and life style changes which has been causative factors for many psychosomatic diseases.

Obesity is a multi-factorial disorder which is associated with many other diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension and other Cardio Vascular diseases.

Yoga practices are known to play significant role in the treatment and prevention of obesity and associated disorders.

Obesity

Obesity is a condition of excess body weight and is usually the result of excess accumulation of fat in the body. It affects both mind and body of the individual.

Beligian mathematician, Adolphe Quetelet invented body mass index and defined as individual body weight in kgs divided by the square of their height in meters.

i.e. BMI = kg/m2

where kg is the subject weight in kgs and ‘m’ is the subject height in meters

Thus BMI equal to or more than 30 is defined as a condition of obesity.

WHO projects that by 2015 there will be more than 700 million adults will be obese globally and currently they are more than 400 millions

Causes of obesity

The main causes are related to life style:-

1. Diet : Diet is the chief cause of obesity most oftenly over eating that is the intake of calories beyond the body’s energy requirements.

2. Inactivity: Sedentary people are more likely to gain weight because they do not burn calories through physical activities

3. Certain Medications: Corticosteroids, tricyclic antidepressants and anti psychotic medicines can lead to weight gain.

4. Medical problems : Hypothyroidism and excess production of hormones by adrenal glands cause obesity. Arthritis can lead to decrease activity which may result in weight gain.

Clinical Complications of Obesity

The obese body provides a fertile soil for various diseases.

a) Cardio vascular disease and hypertension :The heavy deposition of lipids and cholesterol in the coronary arteries due to obesity causes hypertension and increased risk of cardio vascular disease such as myocardial infarction.

b) Diabetes: Obese body increase insulin resistance which leads to glucose in tolerance and creates the risk of diabetes.

c) Osteo arthritis: The burden on knees and other joints caused due to excess body weight leads to joints pain intern develops risk Osteo arthritis.

d) Psychological problems: Sleep disturbance, body shape dissatisfaction, eating disorders, depression and frustration are also causes due to obesity.

Mechanisms of Yoga practices in the treatment of obesity

Shat Kriyas These are hatha yogic practices and are quite helpful in obesity. They are mean to purify body. They help to balance our emotions and produce a feeling of lightness.

Yogasanas : Asanas gives steadiness and comfortness to the body and mind. In obesity asanas are helpful as they stimulate body metabolism.

Pranayama : The pranayama practices recommended for obesity are Bhastrika, Suryabhedhana along with Nadishodhana which induces calmness. These also helps to cleans the body. Thus helps in reducing weight.

Bandha-mudra : Bandhas and Mudras eliminate energy blockages in the navel area and release power of Manipura chakra.

Meditation techniques : Meditation techniques such as OM Chanting are powerful methods of rapidly relaxing the entire mind and body.

Diet and Nutrition in Yoga

Yoga stresses the importance of maintaining of best possible health of digestive system. In obesity the root cause is eating disorders. This disturbs the absorption and assimilation of the food.. Yoga recommends the food which nourishes the elementary substances (sapta dhatu) of the body.

Conclusion

In a nut shell regular practice Yoga helps to

  1. Maintain normal body weight and prevents obesity
  2. Promotes the positive physical and mental health
  3. Reduces risk of heart diseases and hypertension
  4. Helps to keep bones, muscles and joints healthy
  5. Reduce anxiety, depression