Sensex Consolidates For Second Day, Nifty Settles Below 9,650

Indian shares ended flat on Wednesday as consolidation continued after the benchmark Sensex gained over 2 per cent in last one month and 7.25 per cent in last three months. Sensex shed 13.89 points to end at 31,283.64 while the benchmark Nifty closed below the crucial 9,650 level at 9,633.60, down 19.90 points or 0.20 per cent.

The BSE Sensex opened marginally lower on Wednesday tracking weakness across other Asian shares and fell as much as 104 points during the day. However, late buying in banking heavyweights like HDFC Bank, SBI and FMCG shares like Hindustan Unilever helped it recover most of the lost ground.

Sensex Consolidates For Second Day, Nifty Settles Below 9,650

FMCG shares were the biggest gainers today with the Nifty FMCG sub-index rising 0.77 per cent. Hindustan Unilever was the top gainer in Nifty, up 2.78 per cent followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank, which gained between 0.7-0.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, metal stocks witnessed maximum selling pressure today with the Nifty Metal sub-index falling 1.17 per cent.

Among Nifty stocks, Hindalco Industries was the top loser, down 2.69 per cent. ONGC, Tata Motors, Bosch, Gail India and Lupin were the other prominent losers in the index, which fell between 1.5-2.55 per cent.


Why you should practice Pranayama every day

Pranayama is a practice that dwells into giving energy to every cell of our body. It is a Sanskrit word which means ‘mastery of life force’ or quite literally, to draw out life force or the breath that sustains our body.

The practice of Pranayama may seem simple, but includes regular training. According to yogic science, the aim of Pranayama is to participate all that guides life force. Pranayama typically includes the practice of correct breathing. Since Pranayama requires you to breathe right, it involves all body parts. This means that fresh oxygen reaches every organ of your body.

Regular practice of Pranayam has the following benefits:

1. Pranyama is known to purify as many as 80,000 nerves in the body. Since it balances out the energy flow of the body, Pranayama is known to affect our overall well-being. There are many health as well medical practitioners that recommend the practice of Pranayama daily. It is said that this consistent practice brings with it a steady mind and a disease-free body.

2.Many have dismissed yoga for ‘just another meditation practice’; however, Pranayama is a practice that can help you achieve physical fitness. Since, oxygen is reaching all your organs, Pranayama balances digestive system and gives a natural glow to your skin. Pranayama is known to increase vitality of a person.

3. Pranayama also builds mental health when it comes to concentration, memory and stress reduction. Our mind is a powerful tool that can guide what our entire day will look like. Pranayama helps bring serenity to our mental nerves as it increases oxygen supply in the body. This means that blood circulation increases and helps the mind to relieve stress.

4. Those suffering with high blood pressure problems, Pranayama is an ideal practice for them. Since blood pressure spikes at an increased speed in this condition, Pranayama helps bringing this sudden rush in control. Since Pranayama is a meditative state, it calms body and in turn releases hormones that relaxes the body completely. Along with blood pressure, severe issues like diabetes and depression can also be helped with the regular practice of Pranayama.

5. Many studies have proven that Pranayama can increase life span of a person. This is because Pranayama helps a person to breathe systematically. The main problem with many of us is how we breathe. According to yogic philosophy, “our longevity depends on our breathing rate.”

6. Pranayama is great for those who want to lose weight. This is because Pranayama helps you in taking control of your body. When we start practicing Pranayama regularly, our craving for many foods decreases as it starts eliminating the imbalances in our body. When our body is in a tired, fatigued state, we tend to eat unhealthy foods. However, practicising Pranayama balances and increase our awareness towards the food that we consume.

How to do Pranayama:

1.Sit in a cross-legged position on your yoga matt/ folded sheet.

2.Close your right nostril with your thumb.

3.Inhale from your left nostril. Remember to keep your back straight, body relaxed and the left hand on your left knee.

4.Next, close your left nostril with your ring finger of your right hand, and then release breath from the right nostril.

5.Repeat the same for 15 minutes. Take a break every 5 minutes, if needed.

Know the history behind International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day, or commonly referred to as Yoga Day, is observed every year on June 21 since its inception in the year 2015. Yoga itself is a very old practice that is followed in India since time immemorial. Its origin can be traced back to Lord Shiva, who is also called the Adi Yogi (first guru) and is known as the teacher to all the yogis in the world. However, today, the need for a nation that practises yoga on a day-to-day basis was felt by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, himself.
The idea to observe June 21 as Yoga Day was first proposed by the Prime Minister during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014. June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. He has stated:

“For us in India, respect for nature is an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature’s bounties as sacred. Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change and in bettering our well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

Historic Moment

The draft of the proposal was presented by India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji in UNGA in December 2014. It was a historic moment for UNGA as the draft received a very healthy support from its member states, the maximum that had ever been witnessed in its history. Of the total 193 members of the UNGA, the proposal was approved by a consensus of 177 co-sponsoring countries. “Little did I know the kind of unprecedented response our proposal would receive,” Modi said during his speech at the very first International Yoga Day celebrations at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.

Modi stated the reason for proposing 21 June for the date as the day being the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere (while being shortest in the southern hemisphere). The day is known as summer solstice and has special significance from the perspective of yoga. Summer solstice is known to mark a transition to Dakshinaya. This transition is considered supportive to yoga practitioners as Dakshinayana is considered as a period of natural support to spiritual practices. Post the summer solstice, the first full moon is known as Guru Poornima.

Besides this, it is also believed that Shiva started imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of humanity on this very day. It was the day when he became the Adi Guru (first guru) of yoga.

The adoption of this resolution by UN was supported by many yoga practitioners and several spiritual leaders in India. They included the founder of Isha foundation, Sadhguru, and the founder of Art of Living, Ravi Shankar, who appreciated and fully supported the move. Ravi Shankar said that yoga was almost an orphan before that and an official recognition by the United Nations of a dedicated day for Yoga can substantially help spread the benefits of yoga to the entire world.

The first International Yoga Day was celebrated all over the world on 21 June, 2015. The day was celebrated at Rajpath and the arrangements were made by Ministry of AYUSH. Narendra Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations participated in the celebrations and performed 21 yoga asanas.

India holds 2 world records on Yoga Day already

The celebration that happened at Rajpath has established two Guinness world records. The first one was for being the world’s largest yoga class as it featured 35,985 people and the second one was for having maximum number of participating nationalities, that is, 84.

During his speech at the celebrations of International Yoga Day in 2015, Modi stated, “From the Upanishads, comes the idea of Yoga to transform human consciousness through control of body and senses through constant practice. The body is the vehicle for the realization of the Supreme Being.”

Yoga’s aim is not only to heal body but to purify all three: Mind, body and soul. It facilitates a connection between ourselves and Mother Nature, taking us closer to our real selves. Emphasising on the problems that we suffer from in the modern era and how yoga can be a cure-all for them, he said, “The problems of modern lifestyles are well known. People suffer from stress related ailments, lifestyle related diseases like diabetes and hypertension. We have found ways to control communicable diseases, but the burden of disease is shifting to non-communicable diseases. Young people who are not at peace with themselves seek refuge in drugs and alcohol. There is ample evidence that practicing yoga helps combat stress and chronic conditions. If the body is a temple of the mind, yoga creates a beautiful temple.”

Happy Yoga Day: Facial Yoga, the Yogic Way of Toning Your Face Muscles

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared 21st June as International Yoga Day to celebrate the importance of Yoga in our day to day living. This date was chosen because it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world. Yoga, as many already know embodies the unity between mind and body, thought and action and symbolises harmony between man and nature. It is a holistic approach to health and well-being and being accepted around the world for its many health benefits.


On the occasion of International Yoga Day, we look at a lesser known set of exercises that help rejuvenate muscles of your face. Facial yoga is practiced and advocated by many experts as a means to strengthen your facial muscles.


What is Facial Yoga?


‘Ageing gracefully’ can be a dreaded statement in this world of innumerable ageing creams and serums loaded with chemicals. But how about making it easier with adding yoga to it and keeping it naturally beautiful? According to Dr. Deepali Bharadwaj from the Skin & Hair Clinic, “Facial yoga is a form of yoga which is practiced using the facial muscles. It plays a role in keeping muscles of the face tighter, rejuvenated, fresher, looking younger, lesser lags, just as yoga does to the muscles all over the body, by giving oxygen to the facial muscles. For me facial yoga is a way of life and I make sure to practice it every day for about 10 minutes. I ensure at least a 10-15 minute facial yoga session while I am driving.”

yogaFacial yoga is a form of yoga which is practiced using the facial muscles​

Benefits of Facial Yoga

Face yoga or facial yoga is a set of exercises to help relax and tone your face muscles. Let us give you a lowdown on some benefits of facial yoga:


1. Helps slow down the aging process


As you grow older, you may witness fine lines and wrinkles forming with time and makes you look aged. With face stretching and other exercises, you will be able to get rid of these fine lines and eventually get a tighter and toned skin.


2. It helps release tension


Yoga helps make us calm. Our sedentary lifestyles have led us to sit at one place for more than 8 hours, leading excessive tension on the spinal cord, neck and core muscles. Facial yoga helps release the tension in these areas and helps you relax.


3. Can help eliminate double chin


If you hate looking at yourself in the mirror with a dreaded double chin, facial yoga might be just the perfect deal. Neck exercises in face yoga can help deal with the stubborn fat on the chin.


4. It is all natural


You can easily get a naturally glowing skin and toned face muscles just by facial yoga. Hence, you wouldn’t really need to use any anti-aging surgeries and other chemical interventions.

facial yogaFace yoga or facial yoga is a set of exercises to help relax and tone your face muscles​

Some facial yoga exercises

Here are some yoga exercises suggested by Dr. Bharadwaj:


1. The Fish Face


The fish face helps in tightening the cheek muscles, give rigidity and tone them, avoiding sagging. All you need to do is to smile as you purse your lips, then create a fish face by sucking the inside of your cheeks.

2. Kiss the Ceiling


Look up and pucker your mouth like you are kissing the ceiling. Hold for five seconds and repeat the exercise. This exercise is to get a prominent jawline and high cheekbones and strengthen the muscles in your neck.

3. Puffer Cheeks


To firm your cheeks, take a deep breath through your mouth and puff the breath from cheek to cheek. This pose will strengthen the cheek muscles and eventually prevent them from becoming thinner.

4. Say Bye to Crow’s Feet


Crow’s Feet also known as laugh lines are the fine lines formed around the corner of the eyes with age. Open your eyes wide like you are surprised. Pull skin back while doing this exercise with the help of your hand.

5. Baby Bird


If you want to prevent your chin and neck from sagging, press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, pose a smile and while pointing your chin at the ceiling.

So on this International Yoga Day, pledge to take out some time to rejuvenate the, often ignored, tired muscles of your face.

Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once?

A shocker for most, a study suggested that what may suit our bodies better than sleeping once a day is sleeping twice a day. Two shorter slumbers may suit our body clocks better than one long eight-hour sleep. Many doctors and sleepresearchers are suggesting that sleeping twice a day could only be a modern concept, which came along the advent of electricity.
Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once? (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Are we sleeping the wrong way?

There are many countries and cultures that follow the concept of biphasic sleep, that is, sleeping in two slots during a day. Some follow sleeping six hours at night and 120 minutes during the day; some ancient civilizations have been known to split their sleep in two slots of four hours each. Studies now are suggesting that sleeping in two segments can increase one’s alertness, can better his time management and provide him with greater flexibility to carry out his work.

Today, it is reported that about a third of the world’s population has trouble falling or staying asleep. Waking up in the middle of the sleep could signify what used to be followed by our ancestors. For them, it could be the norm to wake up at that time and have a segmented sleep. In fact, there have been mentions of ‘first’ and ‘second’ sleep in African and American tribes and in many texts of medieval literature.

Is it why we feel the post-lunch dip in energy?

Meanwhile, many sleep scientists are also saying that the monophasic way of sleep that we follow is simply a result of the advent of electricity. Our ancestors, without an artificial source of light, had to depend on sun to light their homes. They are known to go to bed at 8:30 pm and woke up at 2:30 am to read or pray. Segmented sleep was only ubiquitously followed.

Now, that we have routines that require us to work 8 to 12 hours a day and commute for the same, we have all the resources that do not handicap us to natural light for our day to day activity.

Should we sleep twice a day?

Though studies are claiming that biphasic sleep may be better for our body clocks and give us certain advantages, can we really adopt to it in a modern set-up? What will happen if we do? As doctors advise an ‘uninterrupted’ 8-hour sleep, how does the biphasic sleep bode with that?

Changing your sleep pattern can negatively affect your body and can keep your energy drained out throughout the day. If one tries to push a certain sleep cycle on his body, it may even destroy his circadian rhythm and biological clock. In fact, one of the prominent causes of postpartum depression in women is known to be irregular sleep routine that they get after the delivery of a child. So, one can only wonder if the biphasic sleep model would really be something worth the energy and time of research being put into it.

Want glowing skin on your wedding day? Add papaya to your diet

As the next season of weddings is drawing near, all the would-be brides are gearing up to look and feel their absolute best on that special day of their life. Add papaya to your diet to achieve the glowing skin and fit body like never before.

Well, it might sound incredible but this one fruit, papaya, can really do wonders for all your beauty and health needs, says Mehar Rajput, dietitian and nutritionist from Fitpass.

tips for wedding day, how to look good on wedding day, tips for brides, papaya and it's benefits, Indian express, Indian express news

* Cuts the fat to give you that dream figure: Make it a habit of eating two bowls of papaya every day for a month prior to your D-day. The fruit has a super enzyme, papain, that helps in faster digestion, increasing metabolism and creating healthy waterworks, all of which aid in an efficient weight loss strategy. So by having this approximately 55-calorie portion, not only you are ready for your D-day but also for that beach body, you are craving for your honeymoon.

* Aids digestion: Irregular and unhealthy eating due to wedding jitters can have the bride constantly complaining about acidity or upset stomach. A bowl of papaya everyday can keep stomach problems at bay through its papain enzyme that can help in improving digestion. Moreover, the fibre content in papaya clears the stomach and aids digestive performance so that the bride stays happy from within.

Mohit Narang, skincare expert of brand Avon too shares the benefits of papaya on the skin.

* Exfoliation: Pep up your skin with Papaya since it has an enzymatic effect and it is very good for the clearance of dead skin.

* De-tanning: Papaya is as refreshing for your skin as it is for your body when you eat it. It has a very good anti-tanning effect and is an excellent beauty choice for de-tanning.

* Skin polishing: Papaya helps give your skin a radiant glow and a smooth finish and it brings a lot of shine to your face.





Today is World Sauntering Day

So much has been said about walking and its health benefits and if you haven’t got enough of that activity into your schedule, here’s another reason to do so. World Sauntering Day is celebrated on June 19every year to remind people about the importance of putting the brakes on our high-speed life and purposefully slowing down.

World Sauntering Day is celebrated to remind people to purposefully slow down (Thinkstock)

It is also sometimes referred to as International Sauntering Day. To celebrate it, leave the phone and other distractions at home and just walk out into the park or around your block in a slow, relaxed manner, minus any effort. As you take in the sights and sounds around you, you will soon feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Now this is a habit, one can get used to for sure!

Parents, An Egg a Day May Help Boost Your Child’s Growth: Study

Who doesn’t love eggs? Not only are eggs versatile when it comes to whipping exciting dishes, these also come packed with essential micronutrients vital for the growth and development of the body. Including eggs in your daily diet promises a bevy of health benefits. Experts have now found that kids who eat eggs regularly experience better growth and development when compared to other kids who don’t consume them at all. Eggs are easily available, extremely easy to cook and inexpensive. Many International health organisations therefore consider eggs as a food item that can combat hunger and malnutrition in severely affected areas in the world. Parents, now you have a bigger and better reason to love eggs and how A team of American experts suggest that eating an egg a day can significantly increase growth and reduce stunting by 47% in young children. Kids who eat eggs regularly are also 74% less likely to become underweight. Experts concluded the study after conducted an experiment on a group of children aged six to nine months. The participants were given one egg per day for six months, versus a control group which did not consume eggs at all.

eggs 620x350

“Eggs can be affordable and easily accessible. They are a good source of nutrients for growth and development in young children and have the potential to contribute to reduced growth stunting around the world. Eggs seem to be a viable and recommended source of nutrition for children in developing countries,” lead author Lora Iannotti from the Washington University in St. Louis was quoted by IANS.

Eggs are loaded with protein, vitamin A and D that are crucial for the development and maintenance of the bones. They also come packed with other essential minerals and nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorous and zinc.

Agri-tech startups have a field day as farmers, investors sow seeds of growth

In Indian agriculture, the scope—and application—of technology has long been limited to genetically-modified crops, high-yield seeds and, of late, a handful of sophisticated tools like aerial images and GPS technology. Needless to say, a lot of challenges that farmers faced remained unresolved, partly because there were no problem-solvers around.

But that’s fast changing. Leveraging rising mobile and internet penetration, an army of agri-tech startups is offering farmers services such as on-demand delivery of farm inputs, online financial assistance, weather updates, drone-driven crop health identification, soil health assessment and equipment on rent, among others. Then, for purposes of edification and infotainment, there are startups offering both financial literacy videos and online games, such as Wonder village and Farmer Book!

The array of offerings clearly suggests these startups are finding takers in farmers.

Ayush Nigam, co-founder of Distinct Horizon, a fertiliser application startup, says the biggest change the industry is seeing is that farmers are now willing to adopt new practices that can improve yields or reduce cost. They are open to trying new technologies as long as they are sustainable and don’t require too much additional labour.

Distinct Horizon, which has developed an innovative machine for deep placement of urea fertiliser to increase crop productivity, counts Tata Chemicals and San Francisco-based as partners. Nigam, who feels the space has been underserved for decades, claims his deep placement technology not only doubles farmers’ profits but also helps maintain better soil health.

Then there are startups like Ravgo, a farm equipment rental marketplace that holds out hope for small farmers who cannot afford expensive machinery. Ravgo follows a commission-based model, wherein it charges a certain percentage from vendors for the business it generates for them. The fact that analysts peg India’s tractor-hiring market alone at Rs 15,000 crore per annum indicates the potential of the segment.

The supply-chain space, too, has seen several startups, with logistics between farmers and end-customers continuing to be a tricky area. Others have gotten into primary processing, packaging and selling of produce, spanning the entire chain.

Rising investor interest
Several of these ventures have been able to raise funds from prominent investors like Indian Angel Network, International Finance Corporation, US-based venture capital fund Unitus Impact, and even Denmark-based Bestseller Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation.

“The sector is evoking investor interest because of the enormous market size and the new-found thrust on the end-customer. If entrepreneurs can prove that their concept works and farmers are willing to pay for it, investors will grab the opportunity,” says Nigam. In case of Distinct Horizon, he claims, the precise fertiliser application technology helps the company recoup four times the investment in the first year itself.

Gajjender Yadav, founder at cow milk delivery startup 4SFoods, feels the rise of socially-responsible consumerism is giving the industry a fillip. Besides, the fact that these startup entrepreneurs are not just sitting in AC cabins, but are willing to get their hands dirty, is also driving the change.

Also, investors are placing their bets on startups like 4SFoods, and other farm-to-fork and organic food ventures given the rising propensity of the Indian consumer to loosen their purse strings for healthy, pesticide-free food.

“The disposable income with the middle class is growing, so they want to spend money on quality of food. As long as the consumer is willing to pay, there is no risk in investing in these companies. Look at the organic sector. No one was talking about it 5-6 years ago, but now people are buying organic, they are willing to pay 10-20% extra for packaged, pesticide-free food,” says Kushal Agrawal, partner and CFO at Aspada Investments, an early-stage venture capital firm that has backed fresh-produce distribution startup WayCool and on-demand farm mechanisation services company EM3, among others.

Using Bangalore-based Farmily, farmers can set up micro-sites to display their produce and reach out to potential customers. Whenever a customer shows interest, the farmer receives an SMS with the customer’s details, which eliminates middlemen from the process.

Another app-based startup, Mandi Trades, also connects farmers and buyers.

“Farmers face significant challenges at every point from buying agri-inputs, to improving yields and finally getting a good price for their produce. We are working on solving some of these challenges through technology,” Shardul Sheth, founder and CEO of AgroStar, had told VCCircle earlier this year.

A direct-to-farmer m-commerce platform, AgroStar is operational in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and claims to have over a million farmers on its platform.

Big Data isn’t behind either, with startups in the space winning insurance companies and banks as clients.

Mostly operating on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, these startups capture data on crop growth, likely yield, soil moisture, temperature and humidity, among other things, sell it to relevant stakeholders. Buyers include players selling agricultural inputs to farmers, apart from insurers and banks.

And the value-proposition is undeniable given data is the ultimate commodity.

“For most insurance companies, the challenge is to estimate the risk profile of the farmer and his farm. You have to have a lot of information, in terms of what crops are being grown, the track record, data on soil, nutrition, weather and pest attacks, the likely output, and the farmer’s income,” says Hemender Mathur, agribusiness investment lead and venture partner at Bharat Innovations Fund.

Not a cakewalk
Agrawal says the creation of a strong farmer network is tough but paramount. “Because some farmers have been cheated by large corporates, they don’t trust you easily. They are cautious and on-boarding them is a challenge,” he observes.

He adds that if startups can figure out how to take “basic technology” to small farmers, productivity will rise.

On the tech side, the primary challenge is domain expertise.

For tech-driven startups, says Mathur, seamlessly integrating the technology platform with domain knowledge of agriculture is critical. “I think the challenge is to build multiple layers of analytics. How to analyse these data points in a form that it becomes more valuable and can be sold to multiple users. It needs a lot of domain expertise. People are not asking for data per se, they are asking for insights,” he adds.

Resilient food demand is, however, a good sign, and it will ensure there is always scope for innovation in all areas of agriculture.

“Challenges are on the supply side…there are so many intermediaries and inefficient handling. Aggregation is clearly the missing link. Primary processing, as simple as trading, sorting and packing, are also areas of big opportunity,” Mathur says.

As for the government’s role in the ecosystem, startups feel it needs to bump up the spend on farm inputs to unlock the sector’s long-term potential.

“The government spends almost 10 times of farm inputs on farm subsidies, but it needs to reverse the trend gradually. Farm subsidy makes a farmer dependent while inputs will make him much stronger and independent,” Yadav says.