The great gift of Yoga in summer

27 Apr

“Empower yourself this summer with yoga”

Summer has already knocked on our door a little too early this year! And temperatures are just not wanting to dip. Soaring temperatures bring
in constant lethargy, tiredness,weakness,dehydration and irritability, it is but surprising to see how our body reacts when outside temperatures start soaring.

During summer, air lacks moisture on one hand and on the other there are places where air is humid. We are so dependent on air conditioners , which not only strips us of our body moisture but more often than not stiffens up our joints, majorly dehydrates our body, and for many, affects mobility and flexibility. Our body gets very stiff with continuous exposure to air conditioners and our skin feels like parchment paper!

Our sweat glands become more active during summer due to rise in our core body temperature, it is therefore necessary that our body does not over heat and hence we sweat. Sweat releases water, minerals,toxins and salts thereby cooling our body. This process also dehydrates our body. Now the question arises as to what’s the best possible way to cool our body and take maximum benefit of the summers?

Any exercise or physical activity increases our core body temperature. So generally people avoid exercising in summers. They try methods of temporary cooling. For a prolonged cooling of the body one needs to exercise, which people do not realise. There is no better exercise than ‘YOGA’ or ‘RUNNING’ to cool your body.

The benefits you experience by doing yoga are unimaginable! Yoga and meditation are best suited to cool the body if done in the right way. Asanas done slowly in a rhythm along with right breathing helps reduce body temperatures. Listed are some of the benefits:
yoga helps in releasing the stiffness and improves flexibility of limbs and joints.
Helps in calming your nerves and relaxes your body , mind and soul at the same time reenergise and refreshes.
It helps you with your sluggishness and tiredness during summer.
Lowers Blood pressure, migraines and headaches.

Some preferred asanas and their benefits during summer:

Suryanamaskar- Sun salutations are the best cooling exercise for the whole body. If done in a prolonged and relaxed manner with high importance given to concentration on breathing technique, can do wonders for your body!
Matsyaasana- the fish pose, this asana gives a good stretch to your neck, back and muscles in your upper torso. It cools your body down and is an energiser when you are feeling sluggish.
Baddha Konasana- the butterfly pose, one of the easiest and can be done by everyone from kids to adults even pregnant ladies. This pose offers stress relief and provides energy. Gives a good stretch to your thighs, hips and groin area.
Uttanasana-standing forward bend pose, this asana gives a good deep stretch to your hamstrings, calves and hips , since it requires a lot of balance and concentration it calms your mind and reduces fatigue.
Shavasan-the corpse pose, the king of asanas that cools your body, do it the right way and experience the benefits, calms the mind, relaxes each and every part of your body, thereby energising your mind and body.
Single nostril breathing : This technique isolates one nostril. For summer months the left nostril is targeted since it is the cooling channel of our body. So closing right nostril n breathing with left nostril helps you cool your core temperature.
Shitali pranayama: helps in cooling of your body. This technique is done by curling sides of your tongue towards one another and sticking your tongue out of your lips. Breathing in through your rolled tongue and breathing out through your nostrils.

Some of these exercises can be done at your home, office or even in your car whilst you are stuck in traffic.

Summer brings in sunshine and high vibrations, help yourself channelising these vibrations for the good of your health , mind and soul!

Let the sunshine fill up your soul and health!

THERE IS NO FORCE POWERFUL THAN A WOMAN DETERMINED TO RISE…

08 Mar

 

Every time I read this“saying”, I find it so very relevant to our species. What better day than today, to emphasize this, for I truly feel that across all generations, women have always put themselves last! Be it our great- grandmothers, aunts, mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, friends, maids. You name them(it), each and every woman at some point in her life has neglected herself and her health and prioritize their loved ones ahead of them in some form or other. I see most of you seconding this. So, I do believe that “Now is the time to Rise!”

Today’s ever-changing environment is grueling, demanding and not to forget extremely fast paced. Work family and social commitments leavewomen with absolutely no “personal” or “me” time at disposal. Lifestyle changes, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or even adapting to new lifestyles, are all taking a toll on women’s health. Multi tasking is ‘in’, though it does leave women with a lot of mental and physical scars, one of the most common seen mental scar is “chronic stress” which manifests itself into a worrying physical scar.

Stress is the root cause of most ailments seen in today’s modern society. Be it migraine, depression, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, mental imbalance, anxiety disorders, cardiovascular diseases, fertility issues, menopause, memory loss, diabetes, cholesterol, all point to nothing but“stress” in some form or the other. Stress affects our health, without us even realizing it.

 

What better way to fight it, than by having a regular fitness regime? Exercising is one of the most effective ways to not only improve physical health, but also mental health. Regular exercise can have a profound effect on a woman’s lifestyle and well being. Exercise regulates blood flow, rectifies hormonal imbalance, promotes release of good chemicals(endorphins) from  our brain, which reduces anxiety and depression and the benefits that a body would derive from it. Aerobics is very popular with young girls, since its fast paced and pumps you with a lot of energy, lowers cholesterol, improves immune function, burns up calories, which in turn helps in shedding excess weight; these are just a few benefits to name.

Strength training is one of the most important and essential form of fitnessfor women. Women in the pre-menopausal and menopausal age,lose a lot of muscle strength, there is decrease in bone density with high incidence of osteoporosis, there is also a decrease in metabolic rate, not to mention the umpteen mood swings and hot flashes that a woman has to go through on a daily basis. This is where  physical training intervenes and regular weight training helps in :

  • regaining lost muscle strength,
  • increases bone density
  • increasesmetabolic rate
  • burns more calories
  • enhances mood
  • reduces stress levels.
  • Physically stronger
  • Reduce risk of injury, back pain &arthrities

Yoga is another very important form of fitness fortoday’s superwoman. Recommended by doctors& fitness proffessionalsaround the world for women of all ages. The benefits of yoga for women are substantial and astounding. Yoga is a blessing for women for it believes in holistic healing i.e.healing of the mind and the body. That is precisely why today’s women should make it a part of their day to day busy and chaotic lives. I can go on and on about benefits of Yoga, here are just a few to start with:

  • Improves spine health
  • builds muscle strength
  • improves posture
  • boosts immunity
  • clears your skin
  • tones your body
  • increases blood flow
  • drops your blood pressure
  • improves balance
  • it heals aches and pains and keeps sickness at bay

The latest entrant in the field of fitness is “AntiGravity” or “Aerial yoga”. Apart from being a major stress buster, it has been showing some impressive physical and mental benefits for women such as:

  • Total body workout
  • Decompresses tight joints
  • Strengthens your core
  • Clears your skin
  • Regulates your hormones
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Increase flexibility

 

If you have the determination and the drive, nothing can stop you from rising and succeeding, so do yourself a favor today and take an hour from your daily schedule and devote it to fitness. Fitness of any form at any time of the day or night. Be it Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, strength training or a very basic, walk in the garden will also do the magic!

 

 

 

“It’s never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest you”

So Rise and Shine in good Health!

The Golden Milk

21 Dec

GOLDEN MILK 

Turmeric milk is living its best life at the moment. When Starbucks recently introduced the golden twist to their coffee,Turmeric Latte, it instantly rose to fame and took over social media with beautiful images of the healing brew.

From weight loss to better digestion to glowing skin, golden milk is truly a magical brew. The combination of milk and turmeric is a powerful one and should be your ultimate health & beauty potion.

Here is our favourite way to mix the elixir up:

Ingredients: 

  • Half cup Water
  • Half cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of Cinnamon
  • Grated Ginger

Recipe:

– Take a vessel, pour half cup of water and bring to boil

– Add Turmeric and simmer in it

– Add a pinch of black pepper

– Add Cinnamon (Cinnamon is the secret to a thin waist line, it helps in reducing belly fat)

– Add the grated ginger

– Boil the concoction for 5 minutes

– Add half cup of milk and stir the milk while it is simmering. This will ensure heat is evenly distributed.

– Strain the milk with the help of a strainer and pour it into a cup

– Garnish with honey if you like

– Add a spoonful of coconut oil (if you like) for that extra nourishment

The pepper is the key because it allows the body to absorb the turmeric nutrients since our body struggles to absorb the ‘curcumin’ that is the magic substance in turmeric. Adding pepper makes sure that the body absorbs the nutrient and you can get the full benefit of your golden milk.

As you sip your cup of goodness, we’d like you to think of the various ways in which it nourishes your body and soothes your soul:

Apart from giving instant relief to a sore throat and flu, it has a host of other benefits including:

1. Digestion

It keeps your digestive system healthy and treats conditions such as heartburn or gastric refluxes. Ginger, another common ingredient in golden milk, is great at fighting nausea and soothing stomachaches.

2. Skin & Weight Loss:

It’s a superfood for your skin – It makes the skin smooth, removes fine lines and other signs of premature ageing, reduces acne, and lightens scars.

It also promotes your metabolism thereby supporting weight loss.

3. Joints & Muscles

It soothes a sore body and provides relief from daily stress related aches. It keeps your muscles happy! The coconut oil acts as lubricant for your joints and strengthen them.

4. Immunity

It strengthens the immunity system. So if you are someone who naturally catches infections or cold or the flu, this could be a boon for you. Milk is good for your bones and teeth, and  the golden milk is a great way to pack up on that much needed calcium.

5.  Liver Tonic

It is an excellent blood purifier and detoxes your liver.

6. Cancer

It has anti-cancer properties and regular turmeric intake is proven to prevent the growth of malignant cells.

6. Insomnia

Turmeric milk grants you a peaceful sleep

Relish in one warm glass of turmeric goodness before you sleep and experience the miracles of the golden milk.

An appropriate combination to suit your life

09 Oct

Over the years during my career I have observed that often people choose a wrong combination of exercises to develop their daily workout regime and end up blaming the activity, the instructors or the organisations where they visit regularly for these exercises. 99% of the times this is not the case; it is purely of choosing the wrong combination of exercises. For example: Mrs. X wants to choose exercises in order to loose weight and come back in shape. She decides that she will have a combination of cycling and weight training. After a few months Mrs. X seems to have lost enough weight but she has developed a general stiffness in her body that she doesn’t realise at the moment, after a few more months she tends to develop joint pain. Now I ask you a question that although her weight problems were solved but why did this combination create a new problem for her?

None of the exercises are to blame here, but the combination of these two exercises causes too much muscle strengthening leading to eventually overall body stiffness and joint pain as one of its extreme cases. Mrs. X ideally should have looked at a combination of 2 different exercises in order to try and balance her body’s needs, the body needs the best of both worlds and in her case along with one of these strengthening exercises she should have chosen an exercise which would help her improve her flexibility. Along with her aim of reducing her weight and getting back in shape, this would help her keep up to the needs of her body. Similarly there are several combinations one can choose in order to maintain ones body as well as achieve the overall aim of improving the fitness levels of the body, such as:- Yoga along with weight training, Antigravity with cycling, Yoga with cycling, Antigravity with weight training, Gymnastics with Running/cycling etc.

The list for all combinations is endless but the main motive here is to try and balance out the needs, if we look at all exercises as of today we can divide them into 3 categories: Cardio, Strengthening and Stretching. Each exercise although doesn’t just have one of these elements but it focuses on one of them. Upon further dissection it is clear that each of these elements have a purpose: Cardio aims to help you burn the fat and improves heart function, Strengthening exercises aim to make your muscles stronger in order to make your body stronger as a whole and finally stretching exercises work on improving muscular flexibility, joint mobility, physical and mental stress relief and prevents muscular injuries. In the end in order to make the most out of the wonderful exercise techniques available one should choose wisely and think carefully of the type of benefits it offers in order to create balanced exercise regime.

A boon in disguise

09 Oct

Its summer time and also the season of the very famous king of fruits “The Mango”. Often I have found that people hesitate to consume this fruit with the common misconception that eating a mango isn’t beneficial for health. Well this is not that true, nature has its reasons for sprouting various fruits in the respective seasons. Each fruit grows in the particular season with a particular reason. Similarly the mango also comes with its benefits. Although as we all know too much of anything is always harmful for health, but when we look at the mango its all about eating the right amounts at the  right time of the day.

Ideally it is suggested to consume mango 30 minutes before workout as it is filled with energy and hence will make you feel fresh and more energetic, leading to better results. It can be consumed in the morning in various ways such as mixed with oatmeal or muesli, topping over toast or mixed in the form of a milkshake or even made into a nice soothing frozen yogurt.  Many of us prefer eating this delicious fruit while having lunch, well this is also a good time and it can be consumed through dishes such as mixed in homemade salad or salsa along with lunch. Infact eating this fruit whole is also preferred but we don’t realise how many we consume at one go. Hence it is advised to consume one whole mango in a day. This helps you gain the most of  the fruit as well as helps you avoid the question of overconsumption.

Mango as a fruit has many health benefits, it has high dietary fibre content which helps in improving bowel movement as well as reducing indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues. It is also loaded with vitamins A,C,D,B-6 and B-12, which help in maintaining various systems of your body. It has a lot of carbohydrates which helps you feel energetic as it is broken down by your body into glucose. So this summer don’t prevent your taste buds from stopping you to consume the king of all fruits!

3 cycles of life

09 Oct

 

The Human Body undergoes three different Biorhythmic cycles throughout its lifetime; Physical, emotional and Intellectual  Biorhythmic cycles which vary on a daily basis. Each cycle has a different span and deals which different aspects of your life: the physical cycle has a span of 23 days and deals with physical strength, durability, resistance, stamina and courage, the emotional cycle spans 28 days and deals with emotional stability, intuition, emotions, moods, susceptibility and creativity, the Intellectual cycle is 33 days long and deals with thinking, analytical ability, judgement, concentration and composition.

These cycles follow a particular pattern such that when one cycle is down the other two are up. This is highly subjective to date, but the effect of these cycles can be balanced out by doing yoga.

Yoga is a powerful tool which helps balance the effect of each of the ups and downs in life,  for example: if your emotional cycle is not at its peak you will still have the strength to handle emotional situations properly.

Hence, Surya namaskars or yoga asanas can help balance the ups and downs of biorhythmic cycles on a daily basis.

“EXERCISE IS THE ONE THING YOU HAVE TO DO YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE CAN DO IT FOR YOU ”

Antigravity For Women

09 Oct

Today’s multi-tasking woman needs to be perfect at everything. She works hard, parties hard, and wants the best that life can bring. But nutritionists say health and fitness is fast deteriorating due to high consumption of sugar, junk food and alcohol, all of which are full of calories, combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
Looking good and feeling good is turning tougher with each new decade, so let’s take a look at how this is affecting today’s woman from youth through old age.

Age                                                      Disorders
18-25 Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Thyroid imbalance, Menstrual disorders, acne, depression, low immunity, PMS
25-35 Fertility issues, endometriosis, back pain, migraine, mood swings, poor sleep
35-45 Weight gain, digestive disorders, weak back, blood pressure, headaches, hair fall
45-60 Weight gain, high blood sugar, cholesterol, back issues, blood pressure, menopause
60 plus Diabetes, heart problems, knee disorders, hair loss, failing eyesight, memory loss, joint pains, bone density

During the first decade, friends mean everything and everyone out there is looking to have a good time, be seen at the right places, and be featured on social media daily. This can result in preoccupation with the wrong things that results in skipping meals, late nights and fad diets.

Then the second decade comes on, and women begin to feel the power of their independence. Careers are just starting out and the focus is on climbing up the ladder and multi-tasking between home and work.

The third decade finds women juggling home and work, kids and ageing parents. The pressures are mounting –emotionally, financially, physically and mentally. Stress levels are usually very high at this stage and this results in poor metabolism.

By the fourth decade, the past catches up. The excess fat has piled up over the years and this is also the time when kids leave home to study and women are faced with an empty home.

In the fifth decade, women tend to slow it down. Since they already know the health problems that they are up against, many tend to fall into depression and become lethargic, losing interest in the way they live.

This by far is the most challenging part of every woman’s life.

That’s why it’s best to start an AntiGravity fitness regime early. Give yourself one hour a day to exercise on a hammock. It will help you through the various problems that crop up in life like:

  • Stress
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Lower back disorders
  • Fertility problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Hair fall
  • Wrinkles
  • Cholesterol
  • Joint mobility
  • Bone density
  • Weight gain
  • Failing eyesight

Physically, AntiGravity decompresses tight joints, strengthens your core, increases overall agility, helps you to hold challenging poses longer, and most of all introduces you to the joy of doing inversions.

Mentally, you get more confidence as your overall posture improves and you think faster on your feet as the brain gets a proper workout.

So don’t wait for the decades to pass you by. Start your practise at whatever stage of life you’re at –the younger the better– and see the difference!

One hour a day

09 Oct

 

You are not born a woman, you become one! International Women’s Day (March 8) is celebrated the world over to mark the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also a day to remember that men and women are equals in all walks of life.

International Women’s Day has been around since the early 1900s. And it assumes greater importance today because women are scaling new heights in every aspect of life be it sports, films, music or education. And as women, we must continue to support each other’s rise to the top. This can only happen if we’re physically and mentally fit. Which is why this Women’s day, we must start focusing on a healthier life. This is only natural considering that today, we expect to be perfect both from outside and within.

We need to look good and feel good at the same time, so expectations are high both at home and outside.  This all-round perfection can be made possible only if we set aside one hour a day, everyday, for ourselves, in the pursuit of health and fitness.

So this Women’s day make a promise to yourself that you will get that perfect Mind, Body and  Spirit that you’ve been dreaming of!

Fly High… Happy Women’s Day! Wishing you all a healthier life!

Group Therapy

09 Oct

Many people say that yoga is “too easy, in fact, you don’t need a teacher, one can just sit at home and do all the asanas.”

True! There are so many TV programmes, books, websites, photo sharing sites that can introduce you to the different aspects of yoga. But that’s where it all ends.

Aspiring yogis start off on a daily yoga schedule and three weeks later, it’s back to sleeping late. After all, doing 60 Surya Namaskars even to the best of music is boring day in and day out!

And that’s where the yoga class comes in. When a few like minded people get together to further their yoga practice, it ceases to be an exercise regime and turns into a challenge.

If the person next to you is touching their toes and going even further by doing it standing on one leg, you are pushed into doing the same. Perhaps even more!

In the end, the group motivates you to reach out for the sky. Each class turns into a challenge. Soon you start to get better and better and finally you’re hooked! Simply because if you skip classes you lose your edge and your buddy has gone far ahead of you.

In the end, yoga is all about practice. Every pose is possible provided you go after it without giving up. For that to happen, you need a good guide, and people around to challenge and motivate you. It may just be the difference between standing on your head and doing a split while standing on your head!!

So go ahead and find yourself a good yoga class. There’s nothing like group therapy to help you reach for the sky!

Beetroot for better performance

09 Oct

 

The humble beetroot is known to be a powerful athletic performance enhancer, great for cyclists, runners, and regular gym goers. It increases endurance levels if you have half a glass of juice or a half a beetroot 45m -1 hour before any workout. It is a rich source of vitamin c, niacin, manganese, and calcium.
*Beetroot increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
*It contains nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide that help increase the blood flow and maintain healthy pressure.
*Beetroot creates a by product called glutathione (GSH) which detoxifies the body, is a natural blood cleanser, and great for the liver and gastrointestinal system.
*Beetroot fights diabetes, since it contains alpha lipoic acid which lowers blood sugar levels, protects from oxidative stress, and increases insulin sensitivity.
* It protects the body DNA, is a rich source of folate which helps the body make new cells by copying and synthesizing the existing DNA.
(Avoid if you are suffering from kidney stones as it contains oxalates.)