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World No Tobacco Day 2019: Say no to smoking with these ayurvedic tips & yoga asanas

Yoga can help quit the habit by strengthening the mind to fight back the urge to smoke. It also helps in managing stress, anxiety and anger.

Seven million people die every year due to health problems caused by smoking. Regular smokers are prone to risks of cancers of the mouth, larynx, throat and pancreas. Passive smokers are equally at risk of respiratory problems, or even lungs cancer. A study found that one in three smokers will eventually suffer from a serious health problem. The latest fad of vaping with electronic devices or going to a hookah bar also exposes people to the risk of carcinogens.

On World No Tobacco Day, which is observed every year on May 31 to create awareness about the harmful effects of consuming tobacco, Dr Partap Chauhan, director, Jiva Ayurveda shares a few ayurvedic tips which can help you quit smoking.

*If you feel like smoking, take some ajwain with lemon drops and gulp it.

*Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar during the initial phase of quitting as it increases nicotine craving.

Also Read | World No Tobacco Day 2019: Seven ways to avoid the urge to smoke in the morning

*Since smoking increases the metabolic rate, quitting will cause it to dip a little. At such times, you should avoid fatty foods and instead snack on low-fat foods like apples, carrots, and cucumbers.

*Eat a diet centered on milk, ghee, fresh foods and veggies.

*Eat a sattvic diet of fresh and lightly cooked foods, avoiding all processed and preserved foods.

*It is important to surround yourself with the right people when you decide to quit smoking.

*Pick up a hobby to keep your mind away from the urge to smoke.

Also Read | World No Tobacco Day 2019: Why smoking is dangerous for pregnant women

Resisting the urge to smoke with Yoga

People smoke to satisfy a craving that arises from psychological triggers such as stress, depression, anger or just to enhance euphoria. Yoga can help quit the habit by strengthening the mind to fight back the urge to smoke, and it definitely helps in managing stress, anxiety and anger. Start with these simple asanas.

Kapalbhati

This asana is hugely beneficial for the healthy functioning of the respiratory system. It is best done after the Bharastika Pranayama, and should be continued in the same pose. Start by taking a deep breath, and as you exhale pull your navel in towards your spine with moderate effort. Repeat this pranayama 22 times.

Formation of the posture

*Sit cross legged, or in siddhasana, with a straight back.
*Relax the shoulders and stomach.
*Straighten your arms and adopt jana mudra (fold index finger and touch the base of thumb)
*Ensure that the upper portion of your body, above the diaphragm, does not move at all.
*Inhale deeply with both your nostrils, filling your lungs with air.
*Exhale forcefully, but not so harsh. Your belly will be pushed in.

Breathing Methodology
*Inhale slowly as you sit up straight
*Exhale Rapidly

Balasana

Balasana (child pose) relaxes the body, regulates breathing, strengthens the muscles in the lower body and reduces stress and tension, thereby helping reduce the urge to smoke.

Formation of the posture

*Bend your knees, kneel down and sit on your legs, with the buttocks resting on your heels.
*Make sure to spread your ankles underneath you, pointing the soles of your feet upwards.
*Take a deep breath and sit up straight, your hands resting on your thighs, palms down.
*As you exhale, bend forward, sliding your hands onto the ground, until your chest is flat on your thighs.
*Now bring your arms to the side of your body.
*Line them up with your legs. The palms should face upwards.
*Hold your breath in that position for as long as it is comfortable and come back up as you exhale.
*Let your shoulders and hands go limp, and concentrate on breathing instead.

Breathing Methodology

*Inhale slowly as you sit up straight
*Exhale slowly while bending forward

Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) symbolizes the awakening of the serpent kundalini – the potential energy that lies coiled at the base of the spine. Bhujangasana helps in strengthening your respiratory system and helps in relieving stress and fatigue.

Formation of the posture

*To start the pose, lie down on your stomach on the floor. Rest your forehead on the floor. Make sure all your muscles are relaxed.
*Now, put your legs together and maintain this position throughout the asana.
*Position your arms close to the body, below the sides of your shoulder. The hands should be beside your chest.
*Start inhaling slowly and raise your upper body (trunk), including your chest and head, to the maximum extent possible. Try and do this step slowly, so that there is no jerking.
*While doing this, your head and chest should be positioned upwards.
*Stretch your arms so that they stand perpendicular on the floor. Relax your lower back and bear your weight with your arms.
*Maintain this position for several deep breaths and exhale slowly while lowering your body and bringing your arms against the body and relax.

Breathing Methodology

*Inhale slowly as you raise your upper body
*Exhale slowly while lowering your body

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