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5 yoga poses to relieve back pain that can be done at home:

Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle strain, and injury. While medication and physical therapy can help relieve back pain, yoga is also a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back, reduce stress and tension, and improve overall flexibility and mobility. Here are five yoga poses that can help relieve back pain and can be done at home.

  1. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose is a gentle yoga pose that stretches the lower back and hips, promotes relaxation, and can help relieve tension and stress. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply for several breaths.

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana)

The cat-cow stretch is a gentle and effective way to stretch the muscles in the spine and back. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling (cow pose). As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest (cat pose). Repeat this movement several times, flowing smoothly between cow and cat poses.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing dog is a classic yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles while also strengthening the arms and shoulders. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and pressing your heels towards the floor. Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling the stretch in your back and legs.

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra pose is a backbend that stretches the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and back while also strengthening the arms and spine. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your sides. As you inhale, press into your hands and lift your chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Bridge pose is a gentle backbend that strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and legs while also stretching the chest and shoulders. To perform this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. As you inhale, lift your hips up towards the ceiling, pressing into your feet and shoulders. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

In conclusion, practicing yoga can be a great way to relieve back pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and promote relaxation and stress relief. These five yoga poses can be done at home and are a great place to start for anyone looking to relieve back pain. Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body, never pushing yourself beyond your limits. With regular practice, you may find that your back pain improves and that you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your body.

Love 

Love songs are everywhere. But does anyone have a definition of love, which — people claim — makes the world go around? Sure, it’s easy to tell when you’re in love with someone. [The heart pounds and you act like an idiot.] But it’s much harder to say if you actually love someone.

Love songs are everywhere. But does anyone have a definition of love, which — people claim — makes the world go around? Sure, it’s easy to tell when you’re in love with someone. [The heart pounds and you act like an idiot.] But it’s much harder to say if you actually love someone.

Enter the mind of Harry Jenkins, as he is about to make love to Natasha,

And then he laughed at himself as he sank beneath the covers. No sane man would question such free and voluptuous pleasure, as if it could only be valued through thought. Only an idiot or a fool would try to analyze love and passion.

Nonetheless, like the fool, I seek a definition. Perhaps it is the lawyer in me. On the subject of love, Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, is a sobering read. All of us, supposedly, carry within us, an animus [if you’re female] and an anima [if you’re male], which is the idealized image of the person you love. And so, when you are in love you are projecting this idealized image on a real, live person who might be naturally quite entitled to be different.

After the honeymoon, those annoying little cracks in the image appear, which could certainly explain the high divorce rate. When you find the real person doesn’t exactly match your superimposed ideal, what do you do?

All of these thoughts led me to explore people’s ideas of all kinds of love, not just the romantic variety, in Final Paradox, the second in The Osgoode Trilogy.

Harry Jenkins is the lawyer protagonist throughout the trilogy, which contain storylines of murder and fraud. He is in the thrall of the beautiful Natasha. His aging father, who abandoned him as a child, has just asked his forgiveness. Harry can’t seem to find that in his heart. Natasha asks him—

What do you think love is?
He shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s about wanting someone as part of your life. Wanting them always with you.” He looked into her eyes. “Why? What do you think?”

“I think it’s about getting outside yourself and seeing another person’s life from their point of view. At least that’s a start,” Natasha replied.

Harry heard his father’s words. It’s all about you, is it? Would he always be the kid, he wondered?

Another character musing about love is Norma Dinnick — an elderly client of Harry’s who trips back and forth between lucidity and madness. She recollects her stew of feelings for various men.

Going back to her hotel, Norma tried to understand. She knew about affection and caring for Arthur, her husband, who kept her safe from the emptiness. But she did not understand this business of love, which David talked about. She did know that such emotions gave her a sense of power. The sheer lust she experienced in the presence of George made her feel weak and vulnerable.

Norma simply doesn’t understand about love and neither does Bronwyn — another character. An embittered soul, she has married a gay man and on her honeymoon – She wandered the narrow beach of sand and stone where the boats ferried back and forth to the grottos. No Peter. But then she saw him at a distance on the beach walking slowly with a younger man she did not know. Where had they come from? Right from the start, she had known. Of course, the bargain was unspoken but well understood. For money and security, Bronwyn had sacrificed any chance for love.

But in the end, Harry does begin to get it. In bed with the lovely Natasha, he was

…transported outside his own body, he was overcome with the desire to know the dreams, fantasies, and mysteries she held within. He would enter her world with love and understanding and never leave. The awe he felt in her closeness made his breathing slow and deepen in rhythm with hers. He watched his hand reach out of the shadows to smooth the sheet. She was at last in his bed and, fearing a mirage, he dared not wake her. In the past two weeks, his world had been shaken. His mind had become a jumble of colliding, conflicting events and consequences. Now he felt her power to draw his life together. A still peace gently settled over him like a silken web of meaning.

Effective Steps for Managing Anxiety

Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized by extreme reactions to fearful situations. When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life. This is the fight or flight syndrome.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways. Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life. In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. The unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional. This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate. Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind every day can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backward from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Don’t use alcohol. You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations, you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.