Stretching!


Author: Armaan Nijjar Sodhi

Amongst many athletes, amateur and professional alike, the concept of stretching has always been a nuisance. Stretching has in the past, been an afterthought for most people, believing the effectiveness of stretching was dubious. Today, the importance of stretching is well known, most professional sporting teams requiring their players to go through a variety of different stretches before and after the game. In all forms of exercise, stretching is the key to not only preventing injury, but also for increasing efficiency, be it being able to lift more, jump higher or run faster.

Stretching is so important, even dogs stretch! This includes my own dog, Versace, who is very cognizant of her health.

Here is a short video of her and other dogs stretching:

Movie Stretching With Vercase

Rituals of Tea

Rituals of Tea

Tea has always been a large part of my life. My love of tea was instilled by my Mom and Dad, who created an amalgamation of Indian and English tea time rituals to America.  Tea time was always looked forward too at the house as it allowed me to forget about the stress of living in a new country and remember my roots as an Indian and Englishwoman. To this day I will always make time in the morning and in the evening for a nice warm cup of tea.

Chai – the drink India can’t live without

In India, chai is more than just a cup of tea to start the day – the thick sweet drink is an integral part of the rhythm of life. Zach Marks and Resham Gellatly have been documenting the culture of Indian chai and the people who sell it – known as chai wallahs.

One hand taking tea from another handImage copyrightRESHAM GELLATLY

Tea is India’s most popular drink – the country consumes 837,000 tonnes of it every year. The ritual of drinking chai transcends all boundaries, and roadsides are dotted with chai wallahs who serve it boiled up with spices, sugar and milk.

Straining teaImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Santosh strains a vat of boiling chai at his shop in Mumbai. Since he began selling tea 15 years ago, the area has changed dramatically. Many of the small businesses where Santosh once delivered chai have been replaced by large office buildings which he can’t enter. But many people working in the new developments have become regular customers, preferring Santosh’s chai made with thick milk and fresh ginger to the tea bags available in their offices.

GingerImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

A popular ingredient in north Indian chai, ginger is believed to have numerous health benefits and is thought to keep your body warm in winter. The spicy root has been used in hot, milk-based beverages in India for hundreds of years, so when the British popularised tea in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, adding ginger to the mix was a natural thing to do.

Shobhan BarwaImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Shobhan Barwa’s stand is in the heart of Alipore, a posh neighbourhood in Calcutta. During the annual Hindu festival of Durga Puja, crowds flock here to see the elaborate pandals – temporary structures housing Hindu deities. He usually closes shop by 22:00, but for the week of Durga Puja, he stays open until 05:00 serving chai, eggs and French toast to visitors who need a caffeine kick to keep them going through the night.

BaghbazarImage copyrightRESHAM GELLATLY

On the final day of the festival, thousands join a procession to the Hooghly River where giant statues of Hindu gods and goddesses are immersed in the water. Last year, though, celebration turned to tragedy – a young man drowned when a statue fell on him at Baghbazaar. People gathered at a nearby chai stand to mourn his death.

Kulhars and potsImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Several decades ago, chai was served in small clay pots, known as kulhar in Hindi or bhar in Bengali. While the bowls are still popular in Calcutta, plastic cups, tiny glasses and steel tumblers have become the vessels of choice across most of India.

RukmaniImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Born on a tea estate in Kotagiri in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Rukmani has been plucking tea leaves all her life. As the eldest member of her group of female workers, she is called Amma, or mother. At lunchtime Amma prepares black chai over a fire of twigs with tea dust provided by a nearby factory.

GaneshImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Ganesh, a chai wallah at the railway station in Patna in Bihar state, brews one of his last pots of the night. Many Indians associate rail travel with the cries of “chai, chai,” from tea sellers carrying kettles along trains and platforms. Ganesh has memorised the local timetable and often gives travellers directions as well as a cup of chai.

Chai stall in VaranasiImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Chai stands are often family businesses spanning many generations. The owner of this tea stall in Varanasi, one of India’s oldest and holiest cities, took over the business when his father passed away and keeps his memory alive by hanging a fresh garland of marigolds every morning.

Varanasi burning ghatImage copyrightZACH MARKS AND RESHAM GELLATLY

Lalu Yadav has seen hundreds of thousands of cremations – his chai stand is next to Manikarnika Ghat, a cremation ground by the sacred Ganges river in Varanasi. Many Hindus believe it is an auspicious place to die and the people who come here to wait out their last days ensure the fires of Manikarnika burn bright day and night. Lalu’s father started the tea stand 40 years ago, offering mourning families a place to sit and sip chai during cremations. For him, constant proximity to death has become part of life. “There is no sadness here. We are used to seeing this 24 hours a day. These are only bodies.”

Photographs by Resham Gellatly and Zach Marks – you can see more pictures and read their blog at chaiwallahsofindia.com.

High Tea, Afternoon Tea & Elevenses!

High Tea, Afternoon Tea & Elevenses

High Tea, Afternoon Tea, Elevenses: English Tea Times For Dummies

Afternoon Tea, 1886. Chromolithograph after Kate Greenaway. If you’re looking for finger sandwiches, dainty desserts and formality, afternoon tea is your cup.

Print Collector/Getty Images

You’re an American in London. You’ve visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London, but there’s one more thing you want to check off your to-do list: tea.

No, not just any tea. We’re talking a good, old-fashioned English tea time, with finger sandwiches, dainty china cups and all the formality a Downton Abbey lover could wish for.

But wait, you know nothing about taking tea in Britain. Should you raise your pinky while sipping? And, more importantly, what time do the Brits take tea, anyway? Not to worry. The Salt is here to explain British social tea times.

First up is elevenses, which you might have heard of as a hobbit’s third meal of the day. Outside of Middle Earth, this late-morning work break involves a light snack — think muffins, scones or biscuits — and a hot tea or coffee. It occurs, as the name implies, at 11 in the morning.

What about Elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper?

The tradition of elevenses actually isn’t that old, says Bruce Richardson, a historian who specializes in British tea. He speculates that the custom popped up in the 20th century, because there’s no reference to the term in 1800s literature. Even so, elevenses is strongly engrained in today’s British culture — a 2009 article in The Telegraph called it a “vital element of our traditional way of life.”

“People always want to know about that genesis moment: when God said, ‘Let there be tea,’ ” Richardson says. “But the truth is that things came about slowly over time in Britain.”

As we’ve reported, Portugal’s Catherine of Braganza is credited with introducing tea to England after marrying King Charles II in 1662. That got people curious about this new brew, but it wasn’t until the 1800s, when tea prices dropped dramatically and it became affordable for everyone, that the culture of tea really took root.

Afternoon tea — the kind of fancy-schmancy affair where we might spot Lady Mary of Downton Abbey — emerged as a social event sometime around the 1830s or 1840s, Richardson writes in A Social History of Tea. And Anna Maria Russell, duchess of Bedford, led the pack.

Anna Russell, duchess of Bedford. According to the accepted legend, the duchess — and her hunger pangs — created the afternoon tea tradition.

via Wikimedia

Back then, lunch for the upper crust was generally a light repast served at noon, and dinner occurred no earlier than 7:30 p.m. As legend has it, during one long, food-less afternoon, the duchess felt hunger pangs and ordered tea and snacks to her bedroom chamber. The refreshments did the trick, and Russell soon made this tea break a habit.

The duchess’ well-heeled friends began joining her in this post-lunch tea ritual, the story goes, and the practice spread in aristocratic circles. Though some historical references call this ritual “low tea” — because the ladies would sit in low armchairs while sipping — afternoon tea was hardly a humble affair then. Nor is it today.

Here’s where you’ll find those crustless finger sandwiches and an array of dainty scones, cakes, macaroons and other tempting nibbles. Afternoon tea is generally served around 3 or 4 p.m. these days. Richardson says it’s a time to mind your manners. Place your napkin on your lap and stir gently. Splashing tea, clinking cups and spoons and finger licking will make you appear beastly.

And definitely don’t devour everything in front of you. Richardson recalls advice that international etiquette expert (and Liv Tyler’s grandmother) Dorothea Johnson once gave him: You don’t actually want to appear hungry at this meal — propriety calls for restraint.

If you think that’s rough, tea etiquette was stricter back in the day.

“Women could tell a lot about a man by how he handled a tea cup back then,” Richardson says. In the 1800s, he says, “a suitable mate could be easily dropped if you saw him mishandling how he put his spoon on his saucer after he stirred his cup.”

Fortunately, the pressure is off when it comes to high tea.

Despite its name, high tea actually originated with the lower classes. Dinner was served midday in the 1800s, but in practice, working stiffs didn’t have the luxury of an afternoon lunch break, so they took tea right after work with heartier fare — like pies, meats and cheeses — to sate their hunger.

Richardson says the name high tea probably evolved from the fact that this evening meal was served at proper dinner tables, rather than on couches or settees. Using the term “high tea” when you really mean “afternoon tea” is a dead giveaway you’re American.

“The Ritz-Carlton staff in London always can tell it’s an American when they call for high tea at 2 in the afternoon,” Richardson says.

Five O’Clock Tea, by the American painter Mary Cassatt: Pinkies down, ladies!

Mary Cassatt/via Wikimedia

But no matter what you request, Richardson stresses, “Keep those pinkies down!”

“Americans in the Ritz’s tea room stand out because they work so hard to keep their pinkies extended while holding their teacup,” he says while laughing. “It makes you look pretentious.”

Despite all these rules, don’t get too hung up on proper behavior and not making a fool of yourself. British tea time is meant to be relaxing.

Richardson explains, “If you pay attention to your manners, put the napkin in your lap and keep your feet off the table, you’ll probably be OK.”

Tea Add Milk

Tea Tuesdays is an occasional series exploring the science, history, culture and economics of this ancient brewed beverage.

Jennifer Lopez Looking Good At 46

Jennifer Lopez Looking Good At 46

Jennifer Lopez’s 90-Calorie Breakfast & Veggie Diet That Keeps Her Slim At 46

 by Dory Larrabee
Jennifer Lopez Diet

Getty

J-Lo is revealing her exact diet secrets that keep her thin, as well as her workout routine (she has two trainers!), what she avoids (caffeine and alcohol) and how much sleep she gets below!

Jennifer Lopez, 46, looks absolutely flawless. Regardless of her age, the American Idol judge is leading a lean and healthy life thanks to a few important factors. Copy her exact lifestyle, diet and workout tips below.

Workout With J-Lo’s Trainer

Buy J-Lo's Trainer's DVD

Buy J-Lo’s Trainer’s DVD

Jennifer spilled her exact diet to Us Weekly‘s January 18 issue. Her breakfast is a 90-calorie chocolate Body Lab Shake. “I do it with quinoa milk or water.” She also drinks coffee — but it’s decaf. “I haven’t had caffeine in years.”

“By lunchtime, I’m starving,” J-Lo says. She mixes it up but a typical day is salmon and a veggie-packed salad. She loves broccoli, peppers and zucchini with a drizzle of vinaigrette on top. She usually has a protein with quinoa for dinner. “If feels like rice and beans, which I grew up with. And I like pork and chicken — especially Puerto Rican style!” Jennifer tries to have dinner with her family as often as possible. “I try to eat with the kids around 6:30.”

Jennifer Lopez’s Diet & Workout Routine

Of course, diet is not the only thing keeping J-Lo looking young. “I’m rarely in the sun, but if I am, I wear a lot of sunscreen. I’ve never been one to take a lot of sun, which is why my skin has maintained itself. And I don’t drink or smoke or have caffeine. That really wrecks your skin as you get older.”

Beauty sleep is important for Jennifer. “I love a good nine or 10 hours, but I can never get that. So seven or eight is mandatory. [If I don’t get it] I just don’t feel right. I start feeling crazy, I get emotional and I feel tired all the time.”

As far as exercise, she says she prefers to get it over with in the morning. “I don’t like doing it later; it’s harder to get there when I have my day going already. I work out three or four times a week. When I’m in New York, I work out with David Kirsch — he’s an amazing trainer. When I’m in L.A., I work with Tracy Anderson. I like the balance that they both give me. They have two totally different approaches. I like switching it up with my body.”

David says they do “planks, pushups, boxing. A bit of everything.” Get more top tips from David on how to get a body like J-Lo here.

Tracy says: “We just freestyle.” They do 3-pound arm weights with “butt and thigh moves that incorporate the core. We want to keep those famous curves.”

Madonna’s Trainer Keep’s Her In Shape2!

Madonna’s Trainer Keep’s Her In Shape2!

 

Madonna’s Workout Routine Is Not Nearly As Insane As You’d Think

The rock goddess’ trainer opened up about how how he keeps her in shape. Here’s how to work out like Madonna—yes, you can actually do this.
madonna-work-out-feat
2014 WireImage

Madonna’s personal trainer is opening up about how she looks that fit at age 57. And, according to Craig Smith, who has worked with the Material Girl for two years, she doesn’t work out as much as you’d think.

Madonna currently works out for at least 30 minutes, six days a week, Smith tells Daily Mail Australia. “I vary the workouts every single day,” he says. “She does a combination of circuit training, interval training, and resistance training. Dance is obviously a huge part of that.” Those workouts include barre training, yoga, martial arts, and boxing, and Smith says they cover everything from core strength to flexibility.

Madonna also uses light weights of 2.5 to 5 pounds for her barre training, with 20 to 30 reps each.

According to Smith, a “typical” daily workout for his client includes a dance-based warm-up to get her heart rate up. Then, she shifts to upper body work, like 20 reps of push-ups, planking for up to 80 seconds, and core work. She’ll finish by focusing on her thighs and legs with some isolated core training, stretching, and meditation.

Madonna’s workouts seem surprisingly doable, and they are, says Jim Pivarnik, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University. Pivarnik tells SELF that Madonna’s tactic of mixing it up is “outstanding,” adding “the more you can mix it up, the more you can prevent overuse injuries.” However, Pivarnik points out that Madonna is still using most of her muscles on any given workout, she’s just emphasizing different muscle groups on one day over another.

Mixing is up is also great for keeping yourself from getting bored of your workout. But you want to still target some of the same muscle groups, he says, because that’s how you work them enough to really make an impact. “Your body doesn’t know the difference, whether you’re punching a bag or using a weight machine.” Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of New York City-based fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT, tells SELF, “Some variety is important, but repetition is essential to allow your body to adapt to the training and then make progress.”

In order to strike a balance—mentally and physically—Pivarnik recommends aiming for five days of cardio with two days of resistance training (on cardio days or “off” days).

Want to mix it up, but can’t reach Madonna-like levels of variety? Sklar suggests doing a different workout at least once a week to strike a good balance between condition-building repetition and mental fatigue. And, if you need more variety than that, he suggests doing small daily variations, like running a different route, doing your workout in a different order, or trying out a new dance class.

As for the light weights Madonna uses (which are typical in barre workouts), Pivarnik says they’re good for creating lean muscles without bulking you up. However, feel free to grab a heavier set, too. Lifting heavy (and moving between sets quickly) can count as cardio, too. A good rule of thumb, per Sklar: If you can’t perform eight reps, the weight is too heavy. If you can perform more than 12 reps, the weight is too light.

While Madonna can get her workout done in just 30 minutes, Pivarnik points out that she also gets an additional cardio workout from her onstage performances. “You’ve got to consider the whole day,” he says. Plus, Madge’s trainer himself admits that “80 percent” of her fitness is attributable to her regimented diet. (And that’s not even mentioning what must be rockstar genes.) So, it’s good to keep in mind that while adopting Madonna’s workout routine might make you more toned, it probably won’t make you actually look like Madonna.

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss