Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tips to Successful Slimming

The following tips may be useful to help you succeed in losing weight.

1. Weigh yourself once a week only. Your weight fluctuates from day to day and this can be misleading.

2. Eat regularly – don’t skip meals and snacks.

3. Never shop when you are hungry – otherwise you may be tempted by quick-fry fatty sugary snacks.

4. Take a list of the ingredients you need with you to the supermarket and stick to it.

5. Avoid night-time snacking and TV dinners. Eat at the table and be conscious of what you’re eating.

6. Serve meals on a small plate to make them look bigger.

7. Distract yourself when you feel like over-indulging – go for a stroll, take a bath or read a magazine.

8. Set specific goals such as losing a couple of kilos a month. When you hit a target – reward yourself with a trip to the cinema or a new book.

9. Make sure you get lots of exercise. Try to incorporate simple activities into your routine and work up to 30 minutes of daily sustained exercise.

10. Take the stairs instead of the lift, or walk part of the way to work everyday.

11. Instead of using butter or margarine, choose an alternative spread based on unsaturated vegetables oils such as olive or sunflower.

12. To stir-fry foods, use spray oil on a non-stick pan, or use a small pastry brush to add a little oil.

13. Beans and lentils are a good source of protein and fibre, especially if you are vegetarian. Eaten with rice and pasta, they make satisfying nutritious meals.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Healthy Desktop

You can become dehydrated very quickly in a centrally air-conditioned office. Depleted fluids levels lead to fatigue, so you should reserve a space on your desk for a bottle of water. Take regular sips throughout the day aiming to drink about eight glasses.

Clear your drawers of junk foods such as sweets and chocolate bars as these are the foods you should avoid if you want to stay in good shape. Buy an air-tight box with a snap-on lid and stock your favourite healthy snacks in it. Try mixed nuts (such as walnuts and almonds), dried fruit, small sesame bars, sunflower and sesame seed or also some muesli to bridge the hunger gap if you forget to have breakfast before leaving for work.

You may also keep supplies of your favourite alternative remedies in your desk. A small bottle of essential oil of lavender helps to reduce tension headaches. Sachets of herbal teas such as chamomile, fennel and mint help with digestive problems and rosehip boosts your vitamin C levels. Herbal teas are low in caffeine and make good alternatives to endless cups of coffee.

Get into the habit of taking fruit to work with you everyday. An orange, apple and banana and a few grapes make great desk snacks.

Make your own sandwiches to bring to work if you have the time. They are a healthy and delicious breakfast meal. Try out various breads such as ciabatta, foccacia or wholemeal roll.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yoga Playtime With Lila

I have always enjoyed my classes with Lila as she uses gentle stretches, flowing moves and massages in her class to calm, strengthen, tone and release tension in our bodies.

If you would like to try out her class, you can join us as follows:

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 at 6.30 pm
Venue: Duta Tropika Clubhouse, Sri Hartamas

Sunday, 30 November 2008 at 10.00 am
Venue: Level 5 Poolside, Menara Bukit Ceylon
Visit Yogababy's site for further details.

You can also email me at if you need further info.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eat Colours For Good Health

Look out for foods that are deep blue, purple, red, green, orange and yellow – they contain carotenoids and anthocyanins, which have health-enhancing nutrients to protect against heart disease and cancer. These foods are rich in antioxidants and help prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.

Deep Green

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale are good sources of calcium for healthy bones and teeth.


Tomatoes, cranberries and pomegranates are beneficial sources of anthocyanins and lycopene which are possible deterrents to heart disease and cancers of the prostate, cervix and gastrointestinal tract.


Squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of antioxidants that can promote healthy lungs and fight off squamous cell carcinoma.

Deep Blue/Purple

Eggplant, blueberries, strawberries and cherries help lower your risk of heart disease by boosting the liver to absorb extra cholesterol as well as improve memory.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Get a FREE dress online

Too good to be true? So, I check out the website IrenelimFashion to see what it is all about.

Well it seems, I need to write a short review of the online fashion store in my blog. But what has a fashion store got to do with my blog which is about yoga and wellness.

Well, I went thru the dresses in the website and noted that there are T-shirts which you can wear for your yoga class unless you are one of those fashionable yogis who only wear branded yoga clothing for your practice. The T-shirts look comfortable enough for you to do your asanas and they can also be worn for outings.

Malaysia Online Fashion has lots of other clothing for office, dinner and casual wear. The pricing is very reasonable as the dresses are sourced from various suppliers including those from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. The owner has also assured on the quality of the dresses as they are hand picked and viewed by her before they are put on the website.

Irenelim Fashion
Well, I hope I get a free dress as Chinese New Year is just around the corner.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How To Jog Properly

Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.

When you start jogging, you should make sure you have proper running shoes and the right kind of clothing. If it is warm you will want a T-shirt or top that doesn't stick to you and shorts that make it easy to move.

Set your route and how long you want to jog for. Make sure you warm up properly before you start jogging, this includes stretching all muscles like quadriceps, hamstrings and calves to prevent injury.

As you jog, breathe deeply and keep your head up.

• Begin jogging at a slow pace.
• Raise your knees with each step.
• Land on your heel and push off for the next step with the ball of your foot.
• Keep your arms relaxed and bent at no less than a 90-degree angle, and swing them gently by your sides with each step.
• Swing each arm in tandem with the opposing leg.
• Keep your hands cupped but loose.

Try jogging with a friend or a club, it might make it more enjoyable and help you to stick at it better. Also, make sure you cool down after running by doing some more light stretching - this is as important as warming up.

Some tips to make you a better jogger.
• Set a time limit or a distance for your jog.
• Intersperse jogging with walking if you get tired.
• Jog facing traffic.
• Wear light-colored clothing so you're more visible on the road.
• Stretch and warm up with a short walk before and after jogging to minimize the chances of injury.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heel Trouble

High heels may be sexy, but they can pose serious health risks, according to research.

The effect on the various parts of the body –

Knee – putting extra weight on the knees can lead to pain and in some cases osteoarthritis

Pelvis – tilting the pelvis can weaken pelvic floor muscles

Ankles – wobbling on thin heels can lead to sprained ankles

Lower back – increasing the curvature of the spine can cause lower back problems

Calf – walking on tiptoes can shorten the calf muscle

Foot – putting the balance forward can overload the bones in the ball of the foot

If you can’t give up high heels, these tips help you to make a better purchase.

Make sure the toe box is the shape of your foot (and not any narrower) and is 1 cm longer then your big toe.

The more padding the better – consider inserts

A strong strap over the arch of the foot can help stop the foot slipping forward and provide better support

How low can you go? Don’t choose heels higher than an inch.

Stilettos do not provide enough support, do go for a wide or thick heel.

"Prevention is better than cure." - Desiderius Erasmus

Monday, November 17, 2008

How To Walk Tall

These exercises, from deportment coach Jean Broke-Smith could improve your posture and save you from back pain.

Slouch eliminator

Lift your head up, stretching your neck until your shoulders drop back. Imagine you’re a puppet on a string being pulled up from the top of your head.


Tense shoulders are the enemy of deportment. Warm up the muscles by gently raising each shoulder towards the ear. Then bring forwards and backwards in circular motions.

Bellybutton crunch

Deep breathing is great for spinal alignment. Take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling as much as air as possible. Keep the tummy pulled in.

Bottom line

Good posture means keeping the bottom “tucked under” not stuck out. Practise clenching and unclenching the buttocks 25 times.

Leg straightener

When you walk, try to bend only the leg that’s stepping forward; keep the weight on the back leg. To build up the muscles, practice sitting on the floor, legs straight out in front, and walk forward on your buttocks.

Carry your body, but please, don't let your body carry you! -Vanda Scaravelli

Friday, November 14, 2008

Accidental Fitness

Too lazy to work out in a gym or go for yoga classes? Do you know that you don’t have to “work out” to get exercise? The following small activities do count to help in keeping you in shape and may also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Dusting works your shoulders, chest, triceps

Tidying cupboards works your arms, legs

Vacuuming works your back, biceps

Gardening works your forearms, wrists, triceps

Ironing works your chest, shoulders, triceps

Window-washing works your chest, shoulders, back, legs

So, what are you waiting for? Go and find some housework to do.

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live - Jim Rohn

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yoga In Mid-Air

These are some yoga moves you can do without leaving your seat when you need to stretch to relieve stress and mid-air kinks in the air-plane. Remember to breathe deeply through your nose.

Hands in the Air

While seated, interlock your fingers and on an inhale raise your hands above your head, stretching your upper body and arms skywards. When you exhale, drop your shoulders down while keeping your hand upstretched. Stay here for five to ten breathes. Release on an exhale.

Arms Origami

This posture will release tension through the shoulders and neck – perfect after falling asleep upright.

Stretch your right arm in front of you at shoulder height. Then take the left arm under the right arm so that the left elbow is nestled under the right. Bend elbows and grasp hands together. Extend your hands and elbows upwards on an inhale and release shoulders down on the exhale while keeping both arms up. Hold for five to ten breathes. Repeat, starting with the left arm.

For more yoga asanas while travelling, click the link to read the article on Airplane Yoga and Ease travel fatigue with yoga: these poses will energize you once you reach your destination - Yoga notebook: better health through movement
Natural Health, Dec, 2002, by Rachel Schaeffer

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Yoga Classes with Azmi

For the past two days, I attended Azmi’s private classes which were held at the poolside in Menara Bukit Ceylon (Yogababy’s place). It was the first time that I had done yoga in an outdoor environment and it was really different especially when I look up and saw one of the residents of the condo looking down at us. I guess he quickly went back in when he saw five pairs of eyes looking back up at him. We also had to deal with the windy weather on Saturday while doing our poses but the weather was very nice as it was quite cooling on both days.

The class on Saturday was Hatha Vinyasa, a faster-paced vinyasa class newly introduced by Azmi. We started off with doing a few rounds of sun salutations followed by the warrior, standing and sitting poses, with vinyasas in between the poses. The vinyasas can be quite challenging for newcomers to Azmi’s class as doing the chaturangas can be quite tiring for the arms if you are not use to doing it after every few poses. But these vinyasas really helped to build up arm strength for the arm-balancing poses. Anyway, Azmi always gave us the option to go straight to the downward dog pose if the vinyasas were getting too intense for us. The shorter count for holding each of the poses (three breaths instead of five) means that we had to adjust ourselves quickly to go into the poses. I needed some time to adjust to Azmi’s slight variation for the sun salutation sequence but overall, it was a good workout as it is always with Azmi's classes.

Sunday’s Hatha Flow class was only attended by three practitioners with Yogababy as an observer cum photographer. (The photos shown here are courtesy of Yogababy. You can see more photos at Yogababy's website). I hope that we will see more practitioners coming to the class next week. The Flow class has some arm-balancing poses and with some pointers from Azmi, I was able to lift my legs off the floor for Baksana and Tittibhasana. The arm-balancing poses are always a challenge for me as I not strong in my core and I tend to look down instead of looking forward in these poses.

All in, I really enjoyed the classes especially with the attention paid by Azmi in adjusting and helping us to go deeper in our poses.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Private Yoga Classes

For this month, I have decided to join Lila’s private classes on Wednesday evening and Azmi’s Thursday evening and the weekend morning private classes.

I attended Lila’s 90 minutes Yogalates class yesterday and we had a really good workout as she did poses to open up our shoulders as well as some hip-opener poses. Lila is a very good teacher as she will ask us how hard we want to workout and what we need before the start of the class every time we attend her class. She will use the equipment inside the room as props to help us in our poses. As the class was held in a club house, there were two sofas in the room, she asked us to lie down on the sofa with our heads hanging from the side. (Sorry, no picture to show as all of us were doing the pose, maybe next time, we can get Lila to take the picture) The pose helps to open up the shoulders and she told us that we can do it at home on our sofa or bed.

The advantage of going for private classes is that the class is very small (there were only five of us yesterday) and the teacher can give us individual attention as she knows the problem each of us are having, e.g. tight hips, tight hamstrings, lower back pain. Lila would go round to each student for some of the poses and pressed our hip or back to help us go deeper in the pose. All in all, it was a very good class and all of us are looking forward to next Wednesday class.

"You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state" - Sharon Gannon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Keep Walking.....

Found this very decided to post it here and share it with you all.

The organs of your body have their sensory touches at the bottom of your foot, if you massage these points you will find relief from aches and pains as you can see the heart is on the left foot.

Typically they are shown as points and arrows to show which organ it connects to.

It is indeed correct since the nerves connected to these organs terminate here.

This is covered in great details in Acupressure studies or textbooks.

God created our body so well that he even thought of this. He made us walk so that we will always be pressing these pressure points and thus keeping these organs activated at all times.

So, keep walking...

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Computer Wrists" Ginger Compress

For many of us who are office workers, the computer is an important tool for our daily work but it is also a health hazard. Improper usage of the keyboard and mouse could result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is an injury associated with repetitive grasping and manipulating activities. If you have been having wrist pain and suspect that you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to get a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.

Meanwhile, you can try this warming compress to help relieve pain.

1 piece fresh gingerroot
2 quarts boiling water
St. John’s wort oil

To make:
1. Grate fresh gingerroot and tie it in cheesecloth.
2. Put the ginger into the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Cool to a warm but comfortable temperature.
To use:
1. If the skin on your hands and wrists is very sensitive, apply a think layer of St. John’s wort oil to the area around the wrist before you apply the compress.
2. Remove the cheesecloth with the gingerroot. Dip a clean hand towel into the ginger water. Wring out the excess liquid and apply the comfortably warm cloth to the tender wrist area.
3. Cover with a dry towel to insulate the heat.
4. Rewarm every 5 minutes, as desired.

Ginger is a natural circulatory stimulant and anti-inflammatory herb that has been used for centuries, both internally and externally, in folk medicine.

Adapted from Natural Hand Care, by Norma Pasekoff Weinberg