One of the most worrying problems of people living in the Middle East is – hair loss. While one of the most obvious culprits seem to be the desalinated water (the hard tap water contains high levels of chlorine which weakens the hair and causes hair fall), the extreme heat and constant exposure to air conditioning does not help either. And a fast paced lifestyle and increasing stress levels tend to fuel the fire. But to our rescue, (apart from our favourite hair dressers), is yoga! Coupled with good nutrition and sufficient sleep, you can work your hair to a healthier mob.
Start with a quick warm up, and 3 long deep breaths to center your energies.
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Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukho Svanasana):
Lie down on your stomach, and place your palms on the mat, near your ears. Keep your toes pointed downwards so your heels face the sky. Now, exhale and pushing your palms firmly on the mat, lift your body so that your hips point to the sky, like an inverted ‘V’. Keeping your hands exactly where they are, now gently put your heels on the mat (if you can) so that you can feel a nice stretch on your hamstrings. This pose strengthens the arms, increases blood circulation to the head thereby stimulating the nerves of the scalp.
Forward Bend (Uttanasana):
Stand straight on your mat. Inhale and raise your hands above your head. Bend forward completely pushing your buttocks back till your palms touch the floor (or wherever they reach). If you are uncomfortable, you can slightly bend your knees. Stay in this pose for 5-8 breaths. Then gently inhale bringing your arms above your head, raising your upper body erect. Remember to rise up from the hips, without straining your muscles. And use a gentle flow at all times. Apart from getting the blood circulation rushing to your head, this pose stretches your hamstrings, and muscles of the abdomen.
Kneel down on the mat. The top surface of your feet must touch the mat and your heels face upwards. Now gently place your buttocks on your heels. Now place both your palms on your knees, facing downwards. Close your eyes and relax in this pose for 5-10 breaths. This pose relaxes the mind and improves digestion, which is an integral part of your overall wellbeing. That is why this pose is a part of this routine.
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Lie on your back, and place your palms on your knees. Exhale and pull your legs to your chest, using the strength of your thighs rather than your arms. When you inhale loosen your grip, and allow your legs to move completely away from your tummy. Do this for a few breaths at your own pace. Let your breath guide your movement. Hold this position for some time. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths in and out. This pose also aids better digestion, by relieving any gas built up in the stomach and abdomen. It is also a great pose for relaxing the back and the tense muscles of the neck and thighs.
(Shoulder Stand) Sarvangasana:
Lie down on your back with your legs extending outwards. Place your palms along your back and hips for support and slowly raise your legs either by first folding them at the knees or by lifting them straight, and then raise your body while pointing your toes to the ceiling. Your elbows should be touching the floor and your back should be supported by your hands. All your weight should be on your shoulders. Make sure you breathe slowly and lock your chin into your chest. Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable. To return to the lying position, slowly lower your body. Do not fall back to the lying position.
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Note: Do not do this pose if you suffer from any neck or spinal injuries. If you do have high blood pressure, perform this exercise only under supervision. This pose is known for activating the thyroid glands and helps the head to get its supply of blood, which in turn helps hair growth. Since the proper function of the thyroid glands is required for the smooth functioning of the entire body (including the digestive, nervous and reproductive system, regulating metabolism and the working of the respiratory system and mitigating hair fall), this pose is a must for those suffering from hair fall due to hormonal imbalance. Apart from these asanas, incorporate a diet of hair-friendly foods like prunes (great source of iron!), eggs, (loaded with essential nutrients such as proteins, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and Omega 6 fatty acids), carrots (rich in vitamin A), walnuts (provide Omega 6 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins and iron), and always stay hydrated!