5 Yoga Poses to Help you Fall Asleep

Yoga has a solution for every problem. If you are one of those people who find it hard to fall asleep then turn to yoga. Save yourself from having to toss around in your bed sheets and under your pillows to try and fall asleep.

Here are some poses that will help you drift off to sleep easily:

Cow Posture :Bring your body to a table top position, with your palms and knees on the ground.
Inhale and lift your heart and chest till it expands upwards.
Exhale and let your spine curl inwards to a round, also relaxing your head in the process.
Repeat a few times, not forgetting to move your spine according to the breath inhalation and exhalation.

Spinal Twist :Lie on your back on the floor.
Bring your knees to your chest.
Move the knees to right side till it touches the floor, keeping your back straight. Look over to the left side and take a few deep breaths.
Bring the knees back to the center and then shift the knees to the left side till you touch the floor. Look over to the right side and take a few breadths.
Repeat a couple of times on each side.
You should feel the twist of the spine when you move your folded knees to each side.

Legs up the Wall :Lie on the floor close to a wall.
Stick your spine to the edge and bring your legs all the way up.
Keep your spine straight and legs straight on the wall. Basically a ‘V’ shape.
Keep your hands on your chest and take relax.
Take deep breadths.
This is a healing position for the entire body.

Seated Forward Bend :Come to a seated position with your legs extended straight in front of you.
Inhale and straighten your spine.
Exhale and gently bend forwards towards your feet as much as you can.
Take a few breadths in this position and come back to the seated position.
Repeat a few times till you feel relaxed.

Cross Legged Forward Bend :Sit in a crossed legged position.
Inhale and straighten your spine.
Exhale and bend forward bringing your chest to the floor.
Repeat till you feel relaxed.

7 Ways to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

Cellulite is almost like a curse for us women. Cellulite is fat that gets deposited under the skin and get trapped in the cells of the skin. One fact you have to accept is that you cannot completely get rid of cellulite. You can only reduce its appearance and make its appearance less obvious.

Here are 7 ways we can reduce the appearance of cellulite:

Hydrate :Water is very essential for the body. Water flushes out toxins and other impurities in the body. So it becomes essential to drink lots of water daily. Water helps in reducing the appearance of cellulite as it doesn’t let the skin shrivel up and make the cellulite more obvious. It also prevents the further occurrence of cellulite.

Exercise :Nothing melts cellulite better than a cardio workout. Running, cycling, walking uphill etc… are all rigorous forms of exercise that help melt the type of fat called cellulite then forms in the lower part of our body, mainly the butt and thighs. Do not expect results overnight. It takes time to see a visible difference.

Sleep :Your body needs it rest to recover from the cell and tissue damage of its daily activities and it does that while you are asleep. A normal person needs on an average of 7-8 hours of sleep a day to function normally. Lack of sleep makes a person over eat and snack a lot of unhealthy food, thereby increasing the fat in the body and leading to weigh issues.

Eat healthy :It not be said, but cutting the fat out from ones diet will help in reducing the cellulite in the body, which is caused by fat deposits under the skin. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains the right amount of protein, lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Detox :Flush your body of all the toxins present in it. Water is the medium to flush it all out. You can even do it by switching over to an all fruit and vegetable diet for a week. Consume foods with alkalinity so that it can draw out all the impurities and cleanse you completely, including unwanted fluids and fats.

Tone up :When you reduce the fat content in your body, it also becomes important to tone up. Toning the body is essential to target the stubborn areas of cellulite and also give a smooth appearance to your skin.

Skin massage and brushing : Brushing the skin with a bristled brush helps in increasing the circulation in the cellulite area and also helps break down the fatty deposits that give it the dimpled appearance.

7 Things to consider when Buying a Yoga Mat

Yoga is the new ‘in’ physical activity. It doesn’t require much, just comfortable clothing, a yoga guru and a yoga mat. So it then becomes to get these three elements right if you want to reap the benefits of performing yoga. A yoga mat is the most important aspect after of course the yoga guru. Beginners often make mistakes when picking up yoga mats. You might wonder how hard can it be to buy something as simple as a mat. But trust me you don’t want to learn it the hard way by buying a mat that is not right for you.

Here are 7 things you need to consider before buying a yoga mat:

Texture :You don’t want to be slipping off the mat in the middle of a yoga pose. Buy a mat that is textured and one that has a good grip. Try out the mat in the shop. If it has a good grip and you’re not slipping off, it is a good one. You can consider buying a PVC mat that is usually super sticky or a textured one that will give you enough grip to stay put on the mat while you’re at it.

Cost :It is always best to invest in a good quality durable mat. The cheap ones don’t last long. If you really are strapped for cash then do buy a skid less towel or cotton rug to cover up the yoga mat, so that you land up spending less on the mat. But if you ask my honest advice, pick up a good quality branded one that will save you bucks in the long run, so that you don’t have to replace it often.

Material is eco-friendly or not :You have a million options to choose from these days. Mats are made from PVC, eco-friendly materials that do not contain PVC or other materials that damage the environment. It becomes your choice whether you want to save yourself and planet earth or just do your own thing. You even get mats that are biodegradable and made from natural fibers, rubber, bamboo and even jute.

Length :This again might seem silly as you think that all yoga mats come in standard sizes. A standard yoga mat is 68 inches long. Remember to lie down on the mat and see if it covers your entire body. If you are unusually tall, the standard sizes might not be enough for you. Several sizes are available in the market, so it’s better to check than be sorry later on.

Thickness or padding :Beginners will need a little extra padding till they get used to yoga. The padding helps in preventing injuries when they start out yoga. Once slightly experienced they can move on to a lesser foamed yoga mat. Yoga mats are simply mats and not meant to be a thick wad of foam. Thick foams are for the gym. They should be thick enough to cushion your bones and prevent injury but not too thick that you sink in and feel unstable. To be more specific, a yoga mat can be anywhere between half and inch and one-fourth inch. The more experienced ones

Whether it needs to be carried:If you are going to be lugging your yoga mats to a yoga class or even travel with it, then you should invest in a light mat that combines both just the right amount of padding and one that can be carried or transported.

10 Mistakes Made While Doing Yoga

Just because you are part of yoga class doesn’t mean you’re doing the right moves. Even people with tons of experience can make mistakes. Practicing yoga the wrong way will only lead to form and posture related injuries. You should constantly try to improve and be alert so as not to make any postural mistakes.

Here are some common mistakes people make while doing yoga:

Not breathing :Sometimes without realizing it, we hold our breath, especially when we do complicated yoga poses. Oxygen is essential for our blood and muscles to do the act the act. While doing yoga one must practice full belly breaths. That is to breathe in as much as one can and exhale till you feel that your lungs are empty.

Over doing it or pushing too hard :Our body gives us signals when it can’t do anymore. There are exercises that require you to cry out in pain to achieve the benefit of the act. But in yoga you should never overdo it. If you feel any sort of pain or exhaustion, please stop immediately.

Comparing yourself to others : Everyone’s body is made differently. Some are more flexible than others. So if the lady next to you is able to bring her feet to her face, doesn’t mean that you can too. Listen to what your body is saying to you. Yoga is all about individual wellbeing. Don’t be hard on yourself by comparing yourself with others.

Doing yoga on a full stomach : Yoga is like all other exercises. You should never do it on a full stomach. You should of course not starve yourself, but make sure you eat a protein and carb rich meal at least one hour before the yoga session. You will need this to fuel up your yoga session and feel energized.

Skipping the basics and moving on to advanced poses :As the proverb goes, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’, you should also not rush into the advanced yoga poses immediately. Start with the basics. Let your body understand the basic moves. Once you are comfortable with them, you can ask your instructor if he or she feels you can move on to the more advanced poses. Moving on to advanced poses without trying out the basic ones can cause injury as you are not aware of which muscles help you in the particular postures.

Not raising doubts or questions :Keeping things bottled up inside you is no help to you. If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to ask the instructor. Asking questions helps in getting the postures right and even prevents injuries. If you plan to keep silent, might as well just get a CD and skip the class.

Skip cooling down :You might think that yoga does not require cooling down. But you are wrong. Just lay back and relax. Practice breathing and relax those muscles so that they don’t get sore. The cool down process also helps in slowly lowering your fast heart beat so that you don’t get dizzy by the sudden halt of the exercise.

Not taking the right class :There are different classes available for yoga. Not all are the same. There are some only for meditation, pregnant women, power yoga etc… So if a woman who is pregnant takes up power yoga that is for people to energize themselves and get fit, she will land up injuring herself. Choose the level of the class also correctly. It doesn’t make sense for beginner to take an intermediary class. Even your body will not be able to cope with higher levels

Picking the wrong position in class : It is not necessary to pick the first row in the class to get the best out of the class. As a matter of fact, somewhere in between is ideal, as depending on the direction, you are always surrounded by people who you can watch or follow and do your yoga poses.

Not relaxing your mind : Yoga is done to relax the body and soul. If you can’t stop thinking and keep filling your mind with thoughts about dinner or the guy in front of you, you lose out on the positives of yoga. You mind doesn’t have the ability to multitask.

6 Must-do’s After a Workout

After a workout there are certain things that should be done. If not, then you could land up injuring your body. A workout takes up a lot of energy and effort from your body. So it becomes almost a necessity to replenish or repair the body.

Here are 6 things that should be included in our after workout list of activities:

Stretch :When we workout at the gym, we stretch out muscles at various angles. So it is a good thing to stretch and unknot or untangle it. To reduce the pain after a workout, stretches are very important; else you will suffer from soreness all day. Not stretching leaves your muscles sore, stiff, and causes stress on the joints that leaves you prone to injury of the muscles.

Cool down :Intense exercises causes your heart beat to soar and even the blood vessels in your legs to expand. If you suddenly stop the activity you will be prone to dizziness as you apply sudden intense pressure to the heart that also results in blood vessel collection in the legs causing your blood pressure suddenly to plummet.

Hydrate : While working out we lose a lot of fluids from out body, as we sweat it out. So after the workout it is essential we replace all the lost fluids and salts by drinking plenty of water.

Refuel with protein and carb rich foods :When you eat protein and carbs immediately after a workout it helps your muscles recover and also change the ratio of fat and muscles. It shifts the muscle loss and instead feeds the muscles.

Wear compression clothing :Wearing compression clothing after a workout will help drain the metabolic waste from your body and even lead more oxygenated blood to your muscles that help in its healing or recovery.

5 Simple Ways to Get a Round Butt

After watching J Lo and Rihanna, the craze of possessing round butts has been elevated to an all new high level. The glutes or the butt muscles are usually found under a layer of fat in the butt. So get the butt muscles in shape the best way is to tone it by exercising.

So here are 5 exercises that will tone that butt of yours:

Heel Raises :Stand on your toes and lift your body using the strength of your heels and butt. Stretch for a few minutes till you feel the butt tighten. Repeat a couple of times.

Lunges (Front and reverse):Stand with your feet apart. Move one leg back or to the front and squat your body to the level of your hips. Hold for 10 counts. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.

Squats :There are lots of variations to the squat. You can do a basic squat that involves sitting down as if on a chair made of air. Keep your feet wide apart till shoulders and sit down till knee level. Stand up and repeat for a rep of 15 counts. The varied squats include sumo squats, side squats, etc….

Leg Raises :Use the support of a chair or a railing and stand straight. Raise your leg to the highest possible level and move up and down for at least 30-40 counts. Don’t forget to tuck your tummy in and keep you back straight while you do this.

Kick Back : Stand straight and kick your leg back as high as you can and hold for 10 counts, till you fell your butt tighten. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.

Additional ways to tighten your glutes:

Take the stairs.
Wear high heeled shoes.
Wear cushioned pants at the butt area.
Eat meals that are high in protein that promote muscles building.
An intense massage will help in reshaping your butt and kill cellulite and water retention.

Gym Etiquette 101

Unless you have a gym at home all to yourself, where you can conduct yourself in the manner you please, there are certain etiquette’s to be followed in gyms which are frequented by others too.

Do not strew the area: Keep the gym equipment that you use back in the designed places after you use them. You should even keep your water bottle, cellphones and towels in one place at the gym. It is not your bedroom after all where you can dump stuff all over the place.

Respect people with headphones :When you meet people you know donning a pair of headphones restrict your communication to a simple hand wave. As a matter of fact drawing the attention of someone with a pair of headphones can be dangerous as it can startle them while they are working out on the treadmill or with weights and hurt them.

Do not peep into others screens :It is considered highly ill-mannered to peep over the shoulder of a person and into their TV or elliptical screens. Respect their privacy and personal information.

Share :Do not hog all the gym equipment for yourself. A gym is for all to use. If there are people waiting to use the same equipment, try to let go of the device sooner than you must.

Socialize loudly :It might be fun to have a friend to workout with. But it might be a better idea to keep the talks to a minimum while working out. Shouting at each other across the gym to be heard will disturb the others.

Don’t stare:It is not a good idea to stare at others in the gym. A lot of people feel conscious as it is about working out. Try not to stare at others in the locker rooms too, as most gyms don’t offer you the luxury to change in separate rooms

Wipe machine :No doubt you will get all sweaty when you work out. You will get sweat onto the gym equipment. After you use it, kindly wipe the sweat off so that it can be used by the next person.

Do not use perfume :You must liberally spray yourself with deodorant but do not at any cost spray on perfume. Perfume when mixed with the scent of sweat gives a revolting smell. So please skip the perfume.

5 Myths About Cellulite

One thing that most women hate about themselves is the cellulite that they have on their body. For those of you who don’t know what cellulite is, cellulite is the fat cells that get trapped in between the skin when the collagen fibers that hold the fat together tear.

Let’s discuss the common myths about cellulite:

Only women suffer from cellulite :Men also suffer from collagen like women. The only difference is that the pattern of the collagen in men is different from women due to which the fat cells do not bulge as much and look too visible. The collagen of women is arranged in parallel a line that naturally gets compartmentalized, causing huge pockets of fat when the collagen breaks down.

OTC and other creams help in melting cellulite :There are tons of cellulite creams available in the market that promise to melt the cellulite over regular usage. But the fact is that these creams only help in the temporary reduction of fat in appearance. Creams that contain caffeine and retinol have been shown to increase the blood circulation and temporary shrink the fat. Remember if you’re looking for a permanent solution then applying creams is not the way to go about it.

Cellulite affects only fat people :Cellulite attacks people irrespective of weight and age. Some people who are super skinny also suffer from cellulite issues. I guess cellulite is all about the genetic structure and general body structure.

Exercise can prevent cellulite : Of course cellulite is caused by increased fatty tissues that get trapped in pockets underneath the skin. When we exercise no doubt we lose weight and fat. Exercise tightens the connecting tissues of the collagen that further tighten the pockets and make the dimpled area of fat, which is the cellulite look worse.

Tanning will get rid of cellulite :Tanning will only damage your skin, which in turn damages the collagen in the skin, breaking it down to form pockets where the fat deposits forming bumps called cellulite. So keep away from tanning parlors or getting tans in the sunlight, especially if you’ve not taken the precautionary measures against the UV rays. There is no permanent solution to help you get rid of cellulite. Accept the fact and live with it. There is nothing Photoshop cannot do in the world of pictures. So save those extra dollars and not spend it on creams and other products that promise to make your cellulite vanish into thin air.

Another benefit of drinking ice water before meals is that water makes stomach full and one tends to eat less. Also, during summer season, instead of having ice cream or cold drinks, you can have cold water. This helps preventing build up of fats in the body. Drinking more water helps prevent water retention too, thus reducing any puffiness. It is also believed that having ice water after exercise is good because cold water can regulate body’s temperature. Cold water is also quickly absorbed by the body. Even cold showers can help body raise its temperature which burns calories.

Though drinking ice water does burn calories, some doctors point out that the loss in calories is very less. Yet, there is no harm in drinking ice water because it does help the body. At the same time, one should maintain a good diet and healthy lifestyle, which includes drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. The number of glasses might differ as per the climate, though.