As far as mankind has progressed with science and medicine, ironically there also seems to be an increased number of individuals/couples struggling with fertility.
The natural function of bearing a child is getting harder and harder due to a large number of factors, namely poor diet, stress, hyper/hectic lifestyles and unreasonable demands we put on ourselves, our bodies and our partners. We have unknowingly created this vicious cycle that is now inhibiting a natural function of our body.
Today, the words ‘holistic’ and ‘mindfulness’ are so common and used in every context possible. There is a reason for this. We have lost touch with ourselves and with basic human needs such as love, affection, respect, time, and long deep breaths. We make check lists, bucket lists, expectation lists, to do lists, etc, and just keep ploughing through them until we hit a major road block. This causes anxiety, stress, depression, self-doubt and a vicious cycle that then makes us keep hitting more road blocks.
When it comes to fertility and family planning, we need to move away from the check-list and approach it ‘holistically’ from the get go.
Here are some thoughts to consider before embarking on this beautiful and sometimes trying journey:
Are you mentally and emotionally ready for this ride?
Is your partner mentally and emotionally ready for this journey?
Are you taking a step back from your hectic lifestyle and the pressures you put on yourself?
Have you taken a moment to breathe and exhale?
Are you physically fit? By this I mean, healthy and active with a good diet.
You and your partner need to be in a good (healthy – physically, emotionally and mentally) place to conceive. It is natural to have at least one unsuccessful attempts, sometimes 2. Let this not send you into a tail spin as once again you will get on that vicious cycle.
What I would like to suggest before you reach out for medical assistance/intervention, is to get your mind and body ‘baby ready‘.
Here are some basic and common ideas but they are very powerful in their effect:
Evaluate your diet – ensure it is nutritious and wholesome.
Start or maintain a physical fitness routine – this doesn’t have to be a heavy session at the gym, but even a long walk 2-3 times a week out in nature.
Spend more ‘quality’ time with your partner – romantic, light, happy, positive, fun. Spend less time discussing ‘baby’, to-do’s etc.
Surround yourself with positive people, energy, books, activities, music.
Cleanse, re-balance and revitalise your body – this is where natural therapies come in. Use a complementary therapy that resonates with you and a therapist you connect with to remove negative energies in your aura and in your body, unblock your internal blocks be it mental or emotional and re-align and re-connect with yourself.
Engage in a hobby or activity that you really enjoy and love – dance, musical instruments, performing arts, reading, cycling…
All of the above give your cells what they need to make your body function the way it is intended to. Treat your body with love and respect. Once you have made it so ‘baby-friendly’ you will experience a much higher success rate with either naturally conceiving or having IVF or hormone therapy. You have a responsibility to yourself to make it happen.
Are you a primary care giver to an elderly parent or a relative? Are you a parent? Are you smack-in-the-middle of both generations where you find yourself as a primary care giver to a parent/s and your children? Are you a workaholic? Is your partner a workaholic? Do you hold a demanding professional position where you are devoting so much of yourself and your time to nurture the role, or the organisation?
Whichever role you play, it’s challenging to say the least, especially if you have not struck a balance between looking after them and looking after yourself.
You can get so caught up in the ‘importance’ of the role as a care giver and forget that you are yourprimary care giver as well.
Society and our respective cultures have conditioned us to believe that looking after oneself is being selfish. As individuals we all need looking after and by this I don’t mean financially or even physically. Our inner-self needs love, nurturing, development, spirituality, space, peace. However we tend to put ourselves in the back seat in this area as we feel that our sole responsibility is to give love, to nurture, to care, to assist another in their growth.
To be in a position to give unselfishly, unconditionally and with pure joy as opposed to performing a ‘duty’, you need to ensure that ‘YOU’ are being well looked after, that your cup is full and over-flowing. As a care-giver you never want to feel resentful of your role or stagnant no matter how pure it is, e.g. as a parent or as a child. But… it’s only natural to feel that way and by recognising that you are a person, an individual in a very, very important role, you also need to care for yourself. No-one but you can do this for you.
So what are the ways in which you can take care of yourself other than the obvious grooming (hair, nails, clothes, etc)? All these are great and the first things we go-to to feel better and up-lifted, but they have a temporary affect. My personal recommendations for long-term fulfillment and constant feeling of being abundant are:
Self-development: Is there something you desire to learn or be other than what you already know and do? e.g. a particular dance, an instrument, and book you’ve been wanting to read, a subject you are curious about but have no time to research and learn, an exhibition that will enhance you, visiting a new place to experience a new culture, a course. Making new friends, a new hobby, or a one-time experience of sorts. I love to listen to podcasts. There are many that are educational and/or uplifting. My current favourites are ‘So Money‘ by Farnoush, ‘Magic Lessons‘ by Elizabeth Gilbert and ‘Make it Happen’ by Swamini Supriyananda.
Keeping physically fit: not necessarily with a goal of loosing weight or gaining weight. Just staying active, healthy & fit. Challenge yourself and try a new activity, have a routine/regime that works for you. A 30 minute walk 2-3 times a week, a yoga session, zumba, weights, pilates, bootcamp…
Meditation: start with 5 minutes in a day, either in the morning or at night; at lunch time if you’re lucky. Try different meditation techniques to see what jives with you, that makes you want to spend that time in the day to do it. At the moment for me it’s just watching my breathing to see how deep I can breathe in to my core and let out then to breathe in to my 3rd eye. Meditation can sound very daunting, and I am still working on it myself. When you do sit still so many thoughts cross your mind and all the things you need to accomplish. Smile at these thoughts, people, tasks, etc and say – ‘I’ll come back to you’ and let them pass.
Spirituality: follow your heart and your instincts and let it lead you to a path that resonates with you.
Community Service: Okay – so now you think I’ve lost the plot. I’m asking you to ‘give’ again! Yes I am. I’m asking you to be a part of a community at large and be part of a bigger picture. Connect with other people around you and share in something beautiful together. Being a care-give can be quite lonely. Community service is a group effort.
So how do you find the time for any of this? How do you deal with the sense of ‘guilt’ that may arise?
Juggle your schedule and routine. Wake up a little earlier; assess your schedule to see if there is something you can let go off, or something that can be delegated.
Explain to your ‘dependents’ that you need some ‘you’ time and you will be back with more to give and with more positive energy to share. Children need to learn from example. They need to also learn that self-care is important so that they don’t grow up forgetting themselves as well.
Wishing you loads of guilt-less fun on this journey… 🙂
I burst with so much pride and joy while I introduce my dear friend Sarina Jain.
I have known Sarina since we were teenagers growing up in Los Angeles. Sarina then and now is the epitome of spunk, energy, zest and Bhangra! (Balle Balle!)
I watched her perform her arengetrum (solo debut in Bharat Natyam), participate in fashion shows, dance in competitions (and win then beating my group!) and then watched her through her journey creating ‘Masala Bhangra‘.
This was back in the day of Tai Bo videos. If you were cool and fit you owned two work out videos at home: Tai Bo and Masala Bhangra.
Here you go folks… The journey of Sarina’s amazing dream becoming larger than reality!
Welcome Sarina – ‘India’s Jane Fonda’- to Colour Me Woman. Thank you for being one of my Colourful Women who I am so proud and happy to share with my readers.
What was ‘the dream’ back then?
SJ: THE DREAM BACK THEN WAS TO GET ALL MY AUNTIES AND UNCLES TO EXERCISE. EXERCISING WAS A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE, ESP AFTER MY FATHER PASSED AWAY. IT WAS LIKE I FOUND MY CALLING AND MY MISSION IN LIFE AND THAT WAS TO GET YOU UP AND EXERCISING TO LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE!
How old were you then?
SJ: VERY YOUNG! 🙂 I STARTED MY CAREER IN FITNESS AT A VERY YOUNG AGE AND I AM STILL YOUNG 🙂
Ha Ha! True. You’ve created your own fountain of youth with Masala Bhangra!
2. What is your educational background? and Professional?
SJ: I GRADUATED FROM CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY – FULLERTON WITH A DEGREE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS. I DID PR FOR SOMETIME BEFORE I STARTED MY OWN BUSINESS IN 1998.
3. I remember you came to me one day announcing your first video with Sheila and Simi and how you needed a ‘funky’, cool outfit for it. Please share how that dream led you to Masala Bhangra’s 1st video.
SJ: I HAD BEEN TEACHING FITNESS FOR SOMETIME. AND THEN THIS IDEA OF MASALA BHANGRA CAME TO ME. I KNEW I WAS GOOD AT TEACHING FITNESS CLASSES AS I TAUGHT STEP, WEIGHT TRAINING, AEROBICS AND MUCH MORE. WHEN I CAME TO YOU, IT WAS FO
R MY 1ST WORKOUT VIDEO AS I WANTED TO BE THE FIRST TO BRING AN INDIAN DANCE WORKOUT VIDEO TO THE SCENE. NO ONE HAD EVER DONE THAT BEFORE! YOU CREATED A LOOK AND FEEL FOR ME THAT I USED THOSE FAMOUS MASALA BHANGRA PANTS FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT AND IT BECAME THE COVER OF THE FIRST MASALA BHANGRA WORKOUT VIDEO!
4. Then you moved to the Big Apple. Why?
SJ: I MOVED TO NYC IN 2001 BECAUSE I JUST KNEW THAT I COULD GO A LOT FURTHER WITH MASALA BHANGRA IN A CITY LIKE THE BIG APPLE. IT TOOK ME 2 WEEKS FOR PEOPLE TO GET HOOKED TO MB, WHICH TOOK ME 2 YEARS IN CA. WHILE IT WAS A HARD CHOICE TO LEAVE MY MOM AND SISTER, IT WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME AT THAT TIME.
5. How did you get started in New York?
SJ: IN 1999, I WAS INTERVIEWED BY A FEW MAGAZINES THAT BROUGHT ATTENTION TO MASALA BHANGRA. FROM THERE GYMS CONTACTED ME AND ASKED ME TO TEACH FULL TIME WITH 15 CLASSES READY TO GO IF I MOVED TO NYC. SO THAT WAS A NO-BRAINER. I TAUGHT ALL KINDS OF CLASSES, BUT THE ONE THAT I CREATED – MASALA BHANGRA. THIS WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. IF YOU MAKE IT IN NYC AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, I BELIEVE YOU WILL THEN HAVE A CHANCE TO GO GLOBAL, WHICH I HAVE DONE NOW.
6. What was/is your biggest motivation to spread Masala Bhangra?
SJ: MY FATHER ALWAYS TOLD ME TO BE PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN BEING BORN AND RAISED IN THE UNITED STATES. I WAS VERY CLOSE TO MY FATHER. HE IS THE REASON I PURSUED A FITNESS CAREER! WHEN HE PASSED AWAY, MY MOM WAS 40 YEARS OLD. THIS DEVASTATED ME. I JUST KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE WAS GONE ONE DAY AT 47 TO A MASSIVE CARDIAC ARREST. VERY UNFAIR. THIS HAS BEEN MY GROUNDING FACTOR EVEN TODAY. I OFTEN ASK MYSELF…WHY DO I DO WHAT I DO AND WHY DO I CONTINUE. BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE IF YOU GIVE ME A CHANCE.
BUT I NEED YOU TO HELP ME OUT AS I CAN’T DO IT FOR YOU.
7. Was it ever a challenge to go mainstream with an ethnic dance and title?
SJ: OF COURSE. AT FIRST WHEN I STARTED, I THOUGHT INDIANS WOULD DEFINITELY COME. THE SOUTH ASIAN MARKET WOULD DEF. TAKE TO MASALA BHANGRA, BUT THEY DIDN’T AND INSTEAD THEY LAUGHED SAYING ‘NO AMERICAN IS GOING TO TAKE TO THIS’. AT THAT TIME, IT WAS ONLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED ME. 16 YEARS LATER, I CAN FINALLY SAY THAT IN 2010, WE BROKE THE MOLD OF SOUTH ASIANS COMING TO MASALA BHANGRA AS NOW MANY DO. BUT LOOK HOW LONG IT TOOK ME!!!?
8. Tell us about your first TV talk show performance ?
SJ: I WAS ON THE AINSLEY HARRIOT SHOW IN 2000 AND IT WAS JUST AMAZING! IT WAS MY FIRST TIME TO BE LIVE AND SHOWCASE MASALA BHANGRA AND AINSLEY HARRIOT ROCKED IT OUT WITH ME!
9. After the US which country did you first expand to?
SJ: I EXPANDED TO JAPAN! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!! JAPAN! THEY LOVE MASALA BHANGRA AND THEY LOVE SHOUTING “BALLE BALLE”!!!
10. Please share your international journey with us....
SJ: WOW…WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEEN! I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO BUILD MASALA BHANGRA IN 22 COUNTRIES NOW. THE MOST POPULAR COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN MALAYSIA, JAPAN, UK, USA AND SINGAPORE! WE ARE STILL GROWING SLOWLY BUT SURELY, BUT IT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY HUMBLING TO SEE PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WANTING TO TEACH MB.
11. What were your biggest challenges on this journey?
SJ: SOME OF MY BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN LIFE IS PROBABLY STILL – HAVING PEOPLE SEE THAT EXERCISING DOES MATTER! TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH DOES MATTER! AND THE LONGER YOU TAKE CARE OF IT, THE LONGER THE BENEFITS ARE! ALSO, HAVING SOUTH ASIANS SEE THAT WHAT I DO MATTERS AND IT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLES’ LIVES EVERY DAY. I GET MOCKED ALL THE TIME, BUT I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING IS SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO BE A LIFE LONG JOURNEY FOR ME. EVEN YOUNG KIDS TODAY, YOUNG ADULTS, WHO ARE NOT IN THE BEST SHAPE WANT TO ‘SLASH MY THROAT’ SO I DON’T SAY “BALLE BALLE” ANYMORE. I FIND THIS SAD. AND CLEARLY UNHEALTHY! AND I TELL THEM TO EXERCISE AND TRY DOING WHAT I DO BEFORE THEY JUST EXERCISE THEIR MOUTH!
Oh yes! I forgot about that.
12. Did you ever feel like giving up at any time?
SJ: SURE. GIVING UP IS EASY TO DO! BUT THAT IS JUST IT. IT IS TOO EASY JUST TO GIVE UP, SO THE MINUTE I FIND MYSELF IN A STRESSED MOMENT, I JUST TAKE A DEEP BREATH IN AND SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE SO FAR AND I THINK OF MY DAD AND ALL THOSE PEOPLE THAT DIDN’T QUIT!
13. How did you come up with the name ‘Masala Bhangra’?
SJ: IN 1998, I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF DOING AN INDIAN DANCE WORKOUT AS I KNEW IT WAS MY CALLING! I HAD EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT EXCEPT THE NAME. AT THAT TIME, I WAS TOLD TO QUICKLY COME UP WITH ONE SO THAT I CAN START TO SHOOT MY FIRST WORKOUT. AND SO “QUICKLY” I SAID MASALA BHANGRA! AND IT STUCK. SO NOW I AM NOT CHANGING IT. I CAME UP WITH A NEW PROGRAM ENTITLED ‘BAR BHANGRA’.
14. How does it feel to be known as the ‘Jane Fonda of India’?
SJ: IT FEELS GREAT. I AM HONORED. SHE REVOLUTIONIZED THE FITNESS INDUSTRY. SHE MADE LEGGINGS AND LEOTARDS POPULAR! AND HER WORKOUT VIDEOS WERE FANTASTIC AS SHE WAS THE FIRST. SO TO BE THE PIONEER TO BRING INDIAN DANCE TO THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IS AN HONOR.
15. Hind sight being 20/20, would you do anything differently?
SJ: AS CRAZY AS IT SOUNDS, BUT NO….I AM SURE THERE ARE THINGS TO BE DONE DIFFERENTLY, BUT THAT IS JUST IT. HOW DO YOU KNOW UNTIL YOU DO IT. ONLY NOW COULD I SAY AND CONSULT SOMEONE TO DO THIS AND NOT TO DO THIS. BUT I LOVE WHAT I DO AND LOVE WHAT I HAVE CREATED AND I LOVE THE FACT IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IS SO MANY LIVES. MASALA BHANGRA IS ALL ABOUT JOY, CELEBRATION AND COMMUNITY! IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER IN MORE THAN ONE WAY!
16. What is the one thing you consider being your biggest achievement?
SJ: THERE ARE A FEW THINGS -BEING ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE THAT IS INDUSTRY RELATED! BEING ON THE COVER OF A CEREAL BOX THAT WAS DISTRIBUTED TO 2.6 MILLION BOXES
JUST HAVING A VISION AND GOING FOR IT NOT KNOWING WHAT THE OUTCOME WOULD BE.
17. Where to next Sarina?
SJ: I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS BUT CAN’T TELL THAT TO YOU TILL IT COMES OUT! 🙂
Hmmm….. now you’ve got my curiosity. I will have to probe off line! 🙂
18. On a personal level you must have faced a lot of challenges as well – would you like to share any or a specific one?
SJ: I FACED MANY CHALLENGES. PEOPLE SAID THIS WOULD NOT GO ANYWHERE. AND NOW I AM IN 22 COUNTRIES. PEOPLE SAID THAT NO ONE WILL TAKE TO MASALA BHANGRA. BUT TODAY IT HAS CHANGED SO MANY PEOPLES’ LIVES. HATERS CAME MY WAY AND SAID THIS IS NOT REAL BHANGRA AND WANTED TO ‘SLASH MY THROAT’. I NEVER SAID I WAS DOING HARD CORE BHANGRA (WHATEVER THAT IS TODAY) AS WHAT WE DO IS WHAT WE DO AT WEDDINGS. AND THIS IS MY OWN PEOPLE BORN AND RAISED IN NORTH AMERICA. I GUESS THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN ONCE YOU GET POPULAR AND HATERS WILL BE HATERS, BUT THAT IS JUST IT….THEY ARE JUST HATERS. THEY DON’T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO DO BUT HATE SO YOU GOT TAKE THAT AND USE IT TO MY ADVANTAGE~
19. You recently tied the knot – congratulations to Rajat and you. I have still to meet this Prince Charming who swept you off your feet!
SJ: IT TOOK ME SOMETIME TO MEET THE ONE, BUT I DID. AND IT IS THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD TO WAIT FOR THE ONE. THERE WERE TIMES WHERE I DID GIVE UP BUT THEN THERE WERE TIMES WHERE I JUST HAD TO BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN. AND EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. OUR TIMINGS ARE SET BY THE ABOVE POWERS! BUT IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL MEET THE ONE..THEN YOU WILL. YOU JUST GOT TO KEEP BELIEVING. I AM HAPPY AND BLOWN AWAY AS TO HOW 99% OF WHAT HE HAS, IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR IN A MAN.
20. Being an Indian girl in America following such an unconventional dream AND being so successful – what effect did this have in your dating life?
SJ: IT MADE IT HARD TO MEET THE RIGHT MAN. MOST GUYS DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THE UNCONVENTIONAL WOMAN! BUT I WAS NOT QUITTING JUST TO GET MARRIED.
21. What made it all come together with Rajat?
SJ: ANUPA, I THINK WE MAY NEED TO ASK HIM THAT 😉
Ha ha! Touche! Sure.. as I said.. I can’t wait to meet him!
22. What is your own fitness regime?
SJ: I WORKOUT 4 TIMES A WEEK. NOT TO HAVE THIS KILLER, SICK, TIGHT BODY, BUT TO HAVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. IT IS IN MY BLOOD TO WORKOUT. I ALWAYS BRING MY GEAR NO MATTER WHERE I AM TRAVELING TO SO I CAN GET IN A GOOD WEIGHT TRAINING SESSION AND A GOOD RUN ON THE TREADMILL.
I LOVE WEIGHT TRAINING AS IT MAKES MY BONES STRONGER! I LOVE TO DO CARDIO AS I FEEL 10 TIMES BETTER POST. I ALSO TEACH MY CLASSES BUT MOSTLY WORKOUT ON MY OWN AS WELL.
23. You’re no doubt a role model to many girls everywhere in the world that you have energised with your spunk and with Masala Bhangra. Please give our readers some advice on following your passion? (I would specify – Unconventional :))
SJ: IN TODAY’S WORLD, EVERYTHING CAN BE UNCONVENTIONAL ESP. WITH OUR THINKING. I WOULD SAY THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO SHARE WITH YOU MY TWO CENTS. AND I WOULD SAY THAT YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE. I KNOW THAT YOU MAY HEAR THIS ALL THE TIME, BUT IT IS TRUE. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW, SO IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA THAT YOU WANT TO PURSUE, DO IT AND IF YOU DON’T, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. AND THE ONLY WAY IT IS GOING TO EVEN GET OFF THE GROUND IS IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT, PUT THE HARD WORK IN AND SEE WHERE IT GOES. SET A GOAL FOR YOURSELF TO HAVE RESULTS DONE. IF BY THEN, THE RESULTS ARE TO WHAT YOU WANTED, THEN YOU ARE GOOD TO GO AND CAN GO FOR MORE. IF THEY ARE NOT TO WHAT YOU ANTICIPATED, EITHER THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE, OR RE-EVALUATE WHERE YOU ARE AT. BUT YOU GOTTA TRY IT. THIS GOES WITH ANYTHING! FROM WORKING OUT TO COOKING TO YOUR JOB TO ANYTHING!
24. A few fitness tips please before you move on?
SJ: I BELIEVE AND WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT STAYING ACTIVE IS THE KEY TO LIFE. IT ADDS POSITIVITY TO YOUR LIFE. AND IN A WEIRD WAY, IT SUBCONSCIOUSLY ALLOWS YOU TO GO FURTHER!
BUT YOU GOTTA STAY ACTIVE NOT FOR ANYONE ELSE BUT YOURSELF. LIFT THEM WEIGHTS. I SEE TOO MANY WOMEN TODAY IN THEIR EARLY 40’S WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO LIFT EVEN 7 LBS. THAT IS SCARY! SO START TO BUILD A STRONG BODY AND START TO LIFT WEIGHTS. EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO A SQUAT, A LUNGE, A PUSH UP – THESE ARE JUST BASICS.
Phew! I’m glad I can at least do those 7lbs.
25. When do we see you and where can we experience a Masala Bhangra work out in London? (I would love to be your ambassador! Ouch!)
SJ: ANUPA, I THINK YOU WERE AN AMBASSADOR THE MINUTE I ASKED YOU TO HELP ME OUT! YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN ME SINCE THEN! AND I AM CELEBRATING 16 YEARS OF MY FIRST WORKOUT VIDEO COMING OUT. I HAVE 12 NOW AND 3 MORE ON IT’S WAY! 🙂
WE HAVE AN AMAZING MASALA BHANGRA AMBASSADOR NAMED RA’SHAWN LIVING IN HOUNSLOW. SHE IS ROCKING WITH HER CLASSES AND PASSIONATELY TEACHES AND EMBRACES THE CULTURE! ITS A JOY TO SEE HER SPREAD THE MASALA BHANGRA LOVE! FOR THOSE THAT CAN’T COME AND EXPERIENCE A LIVE CLASS, WE HAVE DVDS AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM AS WELL!
Thank you Sarina! As I said… so energetic and so inspirational. I wish you luck with your ‘new’ venture and all you do. See you in London or NYC soon! Balle Balle!
For those of you who think I’ve lost the plot… perhaps I have.
I am just loving my weekly ‘Body Combat’ class… which is a version of the ‘Kick boxing’ from the 90’s! Ooops… just gave up my age!
Many of you have heard me go on about Yoga for so many years and on how I just love every minute of my Yoga classes for various reasons – toning, stretching, escaping, meditational, remedial, therapeutic…etc… While I was in recovery from a broken hip, then a surgery to remove the rods, then a twin pregnancy that immediately followed which lead me to an episiotomy and a C-section (now that’s a story for another long afternoon), Yoga was my ‘go-to’ to keep healing and to keep stretching AND to keep my sanity! It was also my go-to because I did not have long enough gaps post surgery recoveries to be able to do anything high-impact. I then just fell in to a comfort zone.
While slooowlllyyy trying to break out of this comfort zone I had a personal trainer chart out a work out for me to increase my cardio (well… start some cardio) and do some strength training I would watch these high impact classes – Body Pump, Body Combat and watch the Grid classes on the gym floor and actually get intimidated. I made all sorts of excuses – hmmm… not ready yet… hmmm… I’ll be flat on my face before I even begin… hmmm… let me do a bit of TRX and rowing instead…
Finally this year I had enough! (of my own dialogue) and decided to try these classes out …. and after the first week of doing a Pump and Combat class…. I’ve got my mojo back baby!
I’ve been religiously going every week for these two classes for the last 4 weeks and boy I can’t even begin to tell you how I feel after that ‘combat’ class. (It’s a shame we aren’t wearing boxing gloves, not hitting a bag, or a pad!). The repetition and speed of each blow – jabs, hooks, under cuts, cross jab, kicks, combined with all the jumping jacks, lunges and squats makes me feel so damn good after each session. It just gives me the mental, emotional and physical power to face the world and it’s challenges… oh! AND the mirror!
Yoga who?? what???
I can’t explain the ‘high’ I feel after throwing those blows in the air, keeping the heart beat up and walking out of that class full of energy and strength. This is definitely my ‘new’ meditational, remedial and therapeutic ‘fix’ next to long hikes at the heath (woods) when the weather is great.
The cherry on top – you can clock up to at least 5000+ steps in that 1 hour!
So I was working out at the gym with a friend last week. I was working on the ‘wood chopper’ and got a little lax while ‘chatting’ with my friend.
There was a sweet-faced, Indian lady, perhaps in her late 50’s or early 60’s (oooh… I hate guessing ages) working out just behind me.
I got tapped on the back, and this lovely lady just said, ‘would you mind if I said something?’, and I just knew…. my elbows were bent and they were meant to be straight through the entire action of pulling the resistance handle across. I looked at her sheepishly and said, ‘it’s my elbows right?’. She smiled and nodded and carried on to watch how I did it again and then corrected my posture and asked me, ‘did you feel the difference?’
I have to admit at being very impressed with this lady. I have observed her regularly at the gym, sometimes with a personal trainer, sometimes on her own fitness regime.
Happy New Year! Back to school runs and work. As you skip back into the gym, remember to check out new January rates that might be displayed in the smallest font humanly possible to read – they may be cheaper than what you currently pay. I only realised when I received a letter from my gym about a rate increase – which was sent in error!
I emailed polite queries that evolved into frustrated complaints, always to at least 2 managers, escalated these to managers’ managers and finally got a nice chap on the phone who agreed that I had been overcharged for 2 years! The same nice chap gently explained that since our gym had been taken over, new rates had been made available; the information had been “on display” in the gym and therefore nothing could be done to reimburse me for the excess paid. Not happy, I insisted that I should be compensated and after more emails and calls, the same but now not-so-nice-chap then decided to give me a month’s membership free but still took payment for that month anyway.
Deciding that I wasn’t going to stop chasing this until the excess that I had paid was refunded, I expressed extreme dissatisfaction about the way my case had been dealt with, which drew out another few months’ membership off. Eventually, the really-not-so-nice-never-wanting-to-speak-to-me-again chap offered a few more months’ free membership and threw in guest passes too!
Funny how the human brain works, I went to the gym way more often once money wasn’t leaving my account for it…
You always have the right to request a review on your membership, just ask.
Gyms use their websites now to communicate offers, letters are only sent bearing bad news about price increases; for the good news, look online. And I guess I will be going to the gym with my glasses on, take the 3 minutes extra to look for the fine print!
Remember, if you are stuck, you can always read about your rights:
After having missed 2 weeks of my regular weekly Iyengar class I have to admit to feeling sluggish and moody.
The first week the boys were unwell and I wanted to be around them all day. The second week was just pure bad time management in trying to juggle work, the boys on Christmas break and organising a Christmas party at home. To top it off – it was a desserts party – and it really did not help my situation – especially when you need to ‘taste test’ during preparation !
I love Yoga and I’m thoroughly enjoying Iyengar’s approach. Prior to practicing Iyengar Yoga, I had done a few years of Ashtanga & Hatha Yoga. I was skeptical about the use of props in yoga (the Iyengar approach) but after having had a hip surgery, then a surgery to remove the rods, followed by a twin pregnancy soon after, I found that the use of props actually helps in the rehabilitation process. You get the entire benefit and stretch of the asanas using the props aiding your weak and troubled areas. The blocks, band, and the wall, and sometimes even a partner, facilititate in getting you in to the asana with the correct posture thereby ensuring that you get the intended benefit.
(Elaine, my yoga instructor is approximately 65 years ol and you would not put her past 45. She grew up with her mother being an Iyengar Yoga Instructor. The lady who taught Elaine’s mother and her is 90 years old and is still practicing.)
It looks like in the New Year I have to commit to at least 2 sessions a week with some home practice. I am hoping the boys get in on the fun and we can make it a mummy & me activity that they (and definitely me) look forward to.
These are 14 of my favourite asanas…
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
2. Adhomukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
3. Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
4. Ardha Chanrasana (Half Moon Pose)
5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes)
6. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
8. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon)
9. Marichyasana III (Seated Twist)
10. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly or Cobbler’s Pose)
11. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
12. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
13. Sirasana (Head Stand)
14. Savsana (Corpse Pose)
I would like to share the actual benefits of each Asana with you but I am not qualified to do so. The benefits personally for me are that my spine gets a good twist, my hips open up and become more supple, I strengthen both my upper and lower body, get some blood flowing to my head, and I get a sense of balance.