Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wear and care

Easy tips to take care of your prized possessions this monsoon.
The element of fun, nostalgia, romance and colour adds to the playfulness of the monsoon.Ensure you avoid the irritation of dirty shoes and raindrops all over yourfavourite bag and accessories.Keep up the monsoon mood.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Creative offerings: Alankaars and flowers

Head priest- B Sambasivam

If you happen to visit Sri Subramania Samaj temple at Cheddanagar, Chembur during Dusshera you will be in great awe of the spectacular display . As you draw yourself closer to the bejeweled idols you will see a wide array of vibrant and colourful outfits and accessories of the temple idols. Unique rangoli designs, created out of flowers and rice powder on the ground, add to the beauty.  Till a few years ago, head priest B. Sambasivam purchased all the decorations for the festival from Chennai. He would decorate the various idols at the temple as well as in his house with great devotion.One day, he dismantled all the decorations  in an effort to understand its nuances. He invested in different materials like velvette, pearls, beads, sequins and zari from Masjid Bunder at Mumbai to create beautiful and extravagant clothes and accessories for the idols himself. Here's how you too can create a vibrant display:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Start to Finish

One.Two.Three.The race against time is different for different people. Each second counts as office-goers make a dashfor the 8 am local , students sneak into class seconds before the bell rings and Oshiwara-resident Karan Kanchan runs for love of winning.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Rites Of Rejuvenation

Lorraine More with Leander Paes and Raageshwari
When 57-year-old Lorraine More is complimented for her exuberance and youthfulness, sheis elated. More is one amongst the few practitioners of Tibetan rites or yoga – an ancient discipline that is now being fast discovered in today’s quest for the eternal fountain of youth.

The practice is simple. It involves practicing the five simple Tibetan rites, in chronological order, 21 times each. The routine takes 15 minutes and should be done daily. Said to be over 2,500 years old, the wisdom that has come down from the monasteries, is rejuvenating and revitalizing people across the world each day.
Over the last 16 years, More has been sharing her secret of youth with scores of people at her Talegaon-based Japalouppe Equestrian Centre. “I received these rites as a gift from my reiki master,” smiles the lady who shares her knowledge in the hope of passing on the gift of youth and energy to others as well.
“Therites fit perfectly into the requirements of a fast-paced life. They awaken you and resonate a great vibration in your body which is so positive that you are buzzing with energy and hope,” says actor, singer and motivational speaker,Raageshwari Loomba, one of More’s famous pupils.

Mumbai-resident Razia Patel, a corporate trainer for stress management,is one of the few in Mumbai to be a Tibetan yoga trainer trained from Syracuse, USA.The lady who has been teaching since the last 12 years, says, “It helps me to be healthy and happy. I help others feel happy and healthy too. The rites combined with pranayamas are a holistic workout for the mind, body and soul.”
Like Loomba whose word spreads through CDs and the internet, Patel and More’sdisciples come from all walks –professionals, students in educational institutions and recently, even the airline industry.

Raageswari Loomba practising Rite 1 of tibetan yoga

Rite 2
 Theseare a set of five energy-boosting exercises which rejuvenate the body and mind.
Rite 1:This is a spinning or whirling movement, in a clockwise direction, with your arms outstretched. This childlike movement attracts the universal energy into our body, thus stimulating the vortexes (seven energy centres or chakras) into action. It relieves headaches and varicose veins and is excellent for osteoporosis. Adds More, “The spinning technique is unique. I have not experienced this in other yoga forms.”
Rite 3

Rite 2: This lying down rite is a great abdominal workout, which also strengthens and tones the leg and neck muscles.
Rite3: This kneeling down rite strengthens and tones the lower back and neck and is great for spondylosis.

Rite4: This is a table-top posture which has an invigorating effect on the thyroid glands. It balances the hormones and aids blood circulation.This has been spot-on for Lakshmi Iyer of Omra Designs, “I had severe arthritis, a huge setback for me. It depressed me to watch older people walking faster than me at the Mumbai sea-face. Tibetan yoga helped me to sleep well, my posture and joint-flexibility improved and in due course of time, I felt better.”
Rite 5: This is like the popular suryanamaskar, simplified. A super cardio-vascular workout, it aids flexibility and reduces digestive and bowel issues. Meghna Nayyar, a call centre executive is proof of its effectiveness, “After doing Tibetan yoga, coupled with a few meditation techniques, my digestion is much better.”


“Tibetan Yoga is an easy to learn, holistic workout which can be practiced from age eight to 80,” says Patel.
For the young ones:
A few years ago, Patel taught the rites to students between 12 to 14 years of Avabai Petit Girls’ High School at Bandra, Mumbai, and saw the benefits. “We practiced the rites for six months and I could see a marked improvement in period pains and cramps which these girls went through,” says Yasmin Charna, Boarding Head at the school.
“Children are natural yogis. Their bodies are very flexible till age five. If they are initiated into yoga early, it helps in centering them. They are more in tune with themselves,” adds Loomba.

For mental peace:
Nayyaris one among the many who has found serenity through these rites. She admits that the technique has helped her along with her obsessive compulsive disorder syndrome. “I used to get irrational thoughts which created a state of panic, anxiety and restlessness. Now, I have mental clarity. I feel calmer and am able to focus better.”
Actress Namrata Dixit

For the time-pressed:
Tibetan yoga takes up 15-20  minutes of your day: a quick option as compared to the longer, more classical yoga or gym rituals. That’s the draw for others such as actor Namrata Dixit of I am Kalam Fame. “I am an avid follower of hot yoga which has 26 postures. But, amidst my hectic travelling schedules, Tibetan yoga becomes a great substitute. It has just five postures which can be done in fifteen minutes.”

For those on the weight-loss trail:
Just like traditional yoga, Tibetan yoga claims that weight loss can only be a by-product of practice and time. But, for Preeti Poddar just three months of Tibetan yoga has brought about a change. “The technique has aided my weight-loss in a big way,” smiles a happy armed forces official, adding, “Plus, my stamina and patience has also increased.”

• Beginners are recommended to start slowly by doing three to five repetitions of each rite, once a day. You can increase it by one or two each week, till your reach a total of 21 repetitions of each rite.
• The rites are to be practiced in sequence, from rite number one to rite number five.
• Loose comfortable clothing is a must since it allows the free flow of movements.
• A thick carpet or a yoga mat is ideal to begin the routine.
• The practice of the five rites can be done immediately before or after any exercise routine such as walking or aerobics.

Reported to be 2,500 years old, the ancient rites were first published in a book, The Eye of Revelation,by Peter Kelder in 1939. The revised publications of The Eye of Revelation entitledAncient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, came out in the mid-80s.
The book is a fantastic accountabout an aging British officer (Kelder called him Colonel Bradford),who in the late 1920s embarked on an adventurous journey to find the monastery in Tibet wherein a group of lamas knew the secret of thefountain of youth. There, he was initiated into the ancient rites which restored his health and energized him.
Colonel Bradford returned to the Westat age 73, looking almost half his age, and Kelder stared at him in disbelief. In due course of time, Kelder’s book caught the attention of the West and the five rites became increasingly popular.

Yoga and its various forms have been traditional to India over decades. We are a country reputed and sought-after for yoga gyan. What does traditional yoga say of the Tibetan technique? The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, established in 1918, is one of the oldest yoga institutes in the world, and offers you traditional wisdom.
Hansaji Jaydev Yogendra, director, The Yoga Institute, gives you the classical take, “Unfortunately, yoga is misunderstood.
Whatever is taught in the name of yoga today, be it power yoga or Tibetan yoga, it’s only a technique. Yogais not only about postures, itis a way of life. Yoga means control or total stoppage of the thought process as well as concentration and a balanced state of mind. Asanas and pranayams are a technical aspectthat help you reach this state of balance. The other yoga techniques today may not bring about these effects.”

• Log on:
• 5 Ancient Tibetan Rites- a film by Saregama on Tibetan yoga with Raageshwari Loomba and Lorraine More.
• Classes by Razia Patel at Mumbai and  Lorraine More at Japalouppe Equestrian Centre, Talegoan
2 hours in a group setting
The time taken to learn the rites
15-20 minutes
The time required to practice the rites each day.

Paayal Talwaar :) This story appeared in the Cloud 9 supplement of Times Of India on 14th August, 2012 as well as in My Times Neighbourhood- Lokhandwala.