Meditation – Deep Thought

Are you cooking with your heart and soul in it? Are you listening to music becoming one with the lyrics and the melody? Are you running on the treadmill with every thought of yours given to your limbs, heart rate and speed? If you’re doing any of these, you’re meditating. Yes, you surely meditate sitting still on a cushion with your eyes closed and listening to the voice commands of a master. But you do meditate when you do anything that you LOVE to, when you give something a deep thought with openness of mind or try to throw yourself away and befriend who you are.

The Sanskrit word “yoga” means “union with the divine”. The stretching exercises that we in the west associate with yoga were originally designed, thousands of years ago, to help the practitioner gain control of their own life force, a spiritual energy known as Kundalini. The stretches, however, are not the only aspect of yoga. Meditation is also a key facet of yoga. Ensure you choose the right location and prepare yourself adequately, your yoga meditation will be a very beneficial experience.

Why to meditate?
For general well-being and health, meditate. For quality sleep and reduced stress levels, meditate. For improved strength, will-power and healthy relationships, meditate. Yes, for better concentration, change in outlook and no frustration, do meditate. Want to cure your diseases, reduce/gain weight, fulfil your dreams, have a better life; give it all that it takes but do make it a point to meditate. Give yourself commands, visualize your changed self, imagine you have already become what you wish to. And, after you’re benefitted, do advocate the wonderful habit to others.


How to meditate?
Do every single thing that you do with awareness. Be in the moment. Know why you’re doing that thing, how are you doing it and whether you’re doing it well. You need not sit at a quiet place and urging inner peace to come. Mind is a monkey. It keeps jumping. Let it! Bring in total awareness in the act; you could be working out, listening to a dear one, singing a song or driving on a busy road. Be mindful. Do every action with thorough concentration. Soon you will realize that all that you do, you do it correctly, you do it well and you do it much faster!

Inhale the light Healing with spirituality of Yoga


The dictionary meaning of Yoga, says it’s ‘a set of physical and mental exercises that controls the mind and body. It is a combination of breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. The ancient practice from India has crossed the shores and the world today, is in the awe of it. We are often oblivious to the fact how good our body can feel; how wonderfully our mind can lure our body and rule it too! Regular yoga practice ensures that we learn to observe ourselves objectively like an outsider does.

We are the creators of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and behaviour. It goes without saying that we have the sole control over ourselves. It is important to include Yoga in the routine for the self-esteem, peace, confidence, stress, body flexibility, it renews the self with mind, body and spirit in total synchorinisation.

Starting with this issue, we will see the transformation that yoga can bring in you.

Kapaalbhaati Pranayama
The forehead shining breathing technique doubles up as a warm up. Sit comfortably. Inhale well and exhale deeply, both through the nose alone. It flushes away the toxins of mind and body and this pranayama is supposed to bring innumerable benefits for your heart, lungs, stomach and brain.

Surya Namaskaar
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a sequence of 12 powerful yoga poses. Besides being a great cardiovascular workout, Surya Namaskar is also known to have an immensely positive impact on the body and mind. Each round of Sun Salutation consists of two sets, and each set is composed of 12 yoga poses. You might find several versions on how to practice Sun Salutation. However, it is advisable to stick to one version and practice it regularly for best results.

Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provides an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet.

Matsyasana or Fish Pose is an asana. This asana aims at being focused and resilient when you feel out of balance, just as the Matsya struck that balance between the earth and the sea.
It is essential to make sure that your bowels and stomach are empty before you perform this asana. This pose works best in the morning.

This magical backbend takes care of your digestive system, menstrual uneasiness and lower back. Do up to 3 rounds of 30 seconds.

This asana invigorates all the internal organs and improves blood circulation in the entire body. Do up to 3 rounds of 30 seconds each.

End your yoga practice by this relaxing, calming and meditative pose.
Please refer to your physician before you start any yoga practice.


Set specific goals
It is important to be specific about your goals. One should not just haphazardly rush into “getting better”. Be precise and set measurable goals that you can check on and achieve. One should set big, extra-ordinary goals, then move ahead to intermediate goals and then move along with week-by-week short-term behavioural goals, so that you can action and marks off as your progress.
We understand that goals are essential but setting superficial and unrealistic body goals delays the process of achieving them. Set your goals and take it seriously, and work towards achieving it and expand on them with a full, vivid and inspiring vision of what you want your life to be. Include where your fitness and health goals fit in, then read it daily. Thus, you ensure you start acting consistently in ways that get you closer to that vision and all of your goals.”
It’s about purpose, not motivational clichés
It is impossible to feel motivated each time you go the gym. Nobody is motivated all the time— it is something that naturally fluctuates from day to day. If you are only going to go to the gym when you are motivated to go then you will not succeed for the long haul. Rather, find your purpose. Really spend some time thinking about the changes that you want to make for your health and fitness, and why this is important to you. This will provide you with a purpose to keep going to the gym, even on the days when your motivation is lower.”

Challenge yourself
With that being said, it is important to set some challenges and pursue to finish to on daily basis. Set daily, weekly and quarterly challenges and brick by brick, finish it.
Example of challenges could be: ‘complete 3 x 4km run’, or ‘attend 2 spins classes’, or even ‘swim 1km 4 times. This will keep your training interesting as you have a new challenge each week. You can even do the same with nutrition challenges.”

Get others to push you.
The best way to go about this is actively seeking external accountability. Find a friend, colleague or someone also on a fitness journey and share your goals with them — all of them. You must be vulnerable and share the big ones, then each weekly short-term goal, and ask for them to hold you accountable, while you return the favour. Also, put the big ones on social media. “

Ensure Variety
This is a great way to really see what the gym has to offer and to find out what type of exercise works best for you. It’s far too easy to fall into the same old routine, so trying new classes will keep things fresh and interesting.

Don’t go home first
It’s common to get home after a long day at work with the good intention of going back out again to the gym, but in my experience, most people go home, sit on the sofa and don’t get up again.


“My advice is to try and go to the gym straight after work and avoid that tempting sofa altogether”.

Be active anyway
“Find a scenic walk that you enjoy, or organise to do something active when you catch up with friends such as rock climbing or tennis. Also, remember that the gym offers many options — if you feel like a quiet day then look up when the next yoga class is scheduled.”

Do compound exercises for most effectiveness


If you spot someone holding a piece of equipment but taking longer rest periods between sets, I find that the request that sits best with members is: ‘may I please jump in while you rest?”

“Realize what your weakness is and work on it,” says Gospel. “Avoiding what you need to work on will only result in an injury or an imbalance later on.

One of my clients, Gordana Drakulic is doing everything right. She is eating well, she’s training hard on her own and she has actually achieved her desired look, strength, health and energy. However she has scoliosis, a curvature through her spine, so she sees me once a week for Pilates to help correct her posture and stay lengthened and flexible. This means Gordana can keep progressing through her training and stay safe from injury.”

COMPOUND exercises burn more calories and maximize return from your time spent in the gym. “Doing a full body workout using as many muscles as you can at once will burn the most calories. If you are not sure what to do then join a class, especially small group training classes, as they use a lot of full body dynamic movements and are fun and motivating at the same time. Always tell the instructor if you are new or returning to the gym so they can keep an extra eye out for your form and posture”.

Start with resistance training (weights) as soon as you’re comfortable. “This is vital to a healthy body and strong muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue. Plus it helps to regulate or lose body fat. Just be conservative with your weights to start with and slowly increase them as your strength and confidence increases. You must, however, progressively overload your body in order to ensure progress continues.”

“A lot of people are frightened of asking to share equipment in peak times, says Susy Natal. “In a public gym people do not actually have the right to hold equipment unless they are using it at the time. That being said, sometimes people will be super-setting with very short rest periods, and if this

is the case then it’s generally polite to allow them to go first, but the good news here is that because of the intense nature of such exercises, they tend to be done fairly quickly.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contacted at or (+91) 8511333884


Rule for beginners

As a rule, all beginners who wish to start gymming regularly need to have a goal and commitment to turn up everyday for their sessions. Regularity and purpose ensures that the mind has a path to follow and can push the body to achieve better results



Initial Preparations
There are three steps for initial preparation;
• Set aside enough time
• Try and have a plan
• Be realistic

Set aside enough time
From the very start, schedule enough time for training. Trust us, people getting this wrong is one of the main reasons they do not progress in the gym.
Top personal trainers say that not giving enough time to the training commitment (or eventually letting other developments in their lives cut into it) is showstopper.
“First and foremost, prioritise the habit of exercising regularly,” says personal trainer, life coach and author Mike Campbell. “Initially it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym – just establish and strengthen that habit. The rest can and will flow from there.”

Try and have a plan
Susy Natal, a Sydney-based personal trainer, says that “success in your fitness journey will come if you have a specific goal, backed by a plan and structure”.
Natal says that at many gyms, we can see many people who are there and doing nothing, wasting their valuable time. For beginners, they must have a clear plan and structure for their workout. Trainers have to be more careful for beginners and they have to make them understand that when you are in the gym, do not

waste time and just concentrate on your workout.
“Invest in a training programme so that you always know what you have to do when you get to the gym, and to ensure that what you are doing is tailored to suit your body, level of experience and specific fitness goals,” she adds.

Be realistic
Not always, of course, but to make big changes in your life to drop body fat, gain muscle, improve fitness dramatically and so on, requires a lot of patient and consistent hard work.
This isn’t going to be easy, yet most people want a quick fix and the work done for them. The sooner you can embrace the struggle and the fact that it’s going to be hard, the sooner you can consistently apply yourself to getting it done.Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach. He can be contacted at or (+91) 8511333884


The condition of being physically fit and healthy

Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier and to be the best version of you” – Anon



What is fitness?
Fitness is the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
The US Department of Health and Human Services defines physical fitness as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity”.


This description goes beyond being able to run fast or lift heavy weights. Despite being important, these attributes only address single areas of fitness. This article provides details of the five main components of physical fitness.

When it comes to fitness, these components include:
Cardiorespiratory fitness – Typically measured by how long or fast a person can perform an activity and how this impacts measurements such as heart rate and oxygen consumption.

You can include these activities in your daily exercise:
 Swimming
 Brisk Walking
 Jogging
 Cycling

Muscular strength – Typically measured by how much weight can be moved in relation to repetitions.


Exercises involving multiple joints and muscle groups such as squats or bench press are often used.
Muscular endurance – Measured by how many repetitions of an exercise a person can perform. Common tests involve push-ups and sit ups.
Body composition – This is the amount of fat on the body versus other tissues such as muscle, bones and skin. It is measured using a variety of tests and devices. Simple tests using mathematical equations or calipers are common and inexpensive. More advanced tests such as underwater weighing are far less common and much more expensive.
Flexibility – Measured by how far a muscle group can be stretched or a joint can be moved. The most common tests involve the hamstrings and shoulders.
So, you can tell if someone is physically fit by determining how well they perform in each component.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach. He can be contacted at or (+91) 8511333884