May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last month I did a makeover story with Kelsie and had many requests for a maiden braid tutorial. Yesterday she came in and we photographed these simple step by steps. Kelsie has extremely long and thick hair, but anyone with shoulder length or longer can do these braids (see my photo below for an example).
Steps 1-2: Braid two strands on each side of a center part.
Steps 3-5: Wrap braids around the crown of your head and pin in place with one pin each.
Step 6: Arrange braids so that they cover the front of your head like a headband. Pin into place more securely until you feel comfortable.
Steps 7-8: Pull the rest of the hair into a ponytail and pin it into a cute messy bun. Note: This step is optional. You can also wear your hair down like my photo below.
Step 9: Add final pins and spray. Enjoy!
August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
Exercise is one of the keys to happiness. Research shows that people who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. They get relief from anxiety and mild depression, comparable to medication and therapy. They perform better at work.
Also, although it’s tempting to flop down on the couch when you’re feeling exhausted, exercise is actually a great way to boost energy levels. Feeling tired is a reason to exercise, not a reason to skip exercise.
But even when you admit that you’d feel better if you exercised, it can be very hard to adopt the habit. My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed and read, preferably while also eating a snack, but I’ve managed to keep myself exercising by using all these tricks on myself:
1. Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week. Along the same lines …
2. If at all possible, exercise first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing.
3. Never skip exercising two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient.
4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Many times, by promising myself I could quit ten minutes after I’d started, I got myself to start—and then found that I didn’t want to quit, after all.
5. Think about context. I thought I disliked weight training, but in fact, I dislike the guys who hang out in the weight-training area. Are you distressed about the grubby showers in your gym? Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising.
6. Exercise several times a week. If your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.
7. If you don’t have time to both exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn’t require you to shower afterward. Twice a week, I have a very challenging weight-training session, but the format I follow doesn’t make me sweat. (Some of you are saying, “It can’t be challenging if you don’t sweat!” Oh yes, believe me, it is.)
8. Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer to keep track of your walking distances? Exercise is a high life priority, so this a worthwhile place to spend some money if that helps.
9. Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.
10. Remember one of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood, courtesy of Voltaire: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. I have a friend who scorns exercise unless she’s training for a marathon—so she never exercises. Even going for a ten-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.
11. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.
People often ask me, “So if I want to be happier, what should I be doing?” and I always say, “The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise.”
I know that answer doesn’t sound properly transcendent and high-minded on the subject of happiness, but research shows that you’d be wise to start there. And I’ve found that if I’m feeling energetic and well rested, it’s much easier to follow all my other happiness-inducing resolutions.
March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have been teaching yoga for 17 years, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from students and yogaphobes alike is that they don’t have enough time for practice, so they avoid it altogether.
Avoiding a regular practice of stretching will never get you the healing benefits that come with the work. Even if you only do one pose a day, you will make a huge difference in your body, brain and well-being.
So I am here to entice you to try ONE pose — just this one. You don’t need to memorize a sequence. You won’t even need a lot of space or props. This pose can be done every single day, and it will decompress your back and lengthen your hamstrings, IT band and calves. It also strengthens your abdominals and back while stretching the chest, and for an added bonus, massages your internal organs!
This too-good-to-be-true pose is my absolute favorite pose, and I have yet to meet a student in my Yoga Tune Up® classes, privates or workshops who doesn’t exclaim a deep primal “Ohhggmmmnnuugghaaah!” when they do this pose correctly.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the wondrous powers of Leg Stretch #3.
How to do this all-in-one yoga pose
To get the maximum benefit out of this pose, attempt to follow the directions precisely. The better your alignment, the better the results! Position yourself on your back, in a corner by two walls. You will need to have a yoga brick (which can be substituted with a book or even a water bottle).
- Lay on your right side facing wall No. 1 with your outstretched right arm plus the brick touching wall No. 1. Both feet are planted on wall No. 2.
- Cross the left leg to firmly anchor into wall No. 1, and press right arm and brick into wall No. 1 as well.
- The sole of the right foot still presses against wall No. 2.
- The left arm and torso rotate away from wall No. 1 to induce a deep spinal twist.
- Increase the stretch in the outer left buttocks, hamstrings and IT band by shifting the left sit bone and buttock toward wall No. 2.
- Increase the stretch through the upper back and chest by firmly pressing your right arm into the brick, and feel the stretch thread through the collar bones as you increase your twist.
- Occasionally emphasize the twist by compressing the abdominals.
- Be patient and breathe deeply into the abdomen and lower back.
- Do not tense the jaw or eyes. Do not be aggressive or put your leg into intolerable pain. Move progressively and with awareness.
- After 90 seconds to two minutes, switch sides
Historically, being “put in a corner” means “time out.” After practicing this pose once or twice, you will be running to a corner to make your own “time out.”
Empower yourself. Practice your new all-in-one-pose yoga practice and feel the instant transformation.
For another variation of this pose on video, click here.
March 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
just some secrets I found
1. Vaseline is your best friend Vaseline is a great, cheap eye makeup remover. It’s also great for fixing chapped, scaly lips. Slather on a bunch of Vaseline, then use a toothbrush to massage lips. Wipe the excess off on a tissue. Your lips will be smooth and soft.
2. Don’t line the inside of your eyes It will make your eyes appear smaller. Instead, line just at the lash line. Also, an obvious line doesn’t look natural. Smudge the line just a bit.
3. Shave legs at the end of the shower Cut down on nicks and cuts by making shaving the very last step in your shower or bathing ritual. Nine more shaving tips here
4. Know your best feature and play it up What feature do people comment on most? Play it up. If you’re told you have Angelina Jolie lips, make sure to wear gloss and play with bold lipstick colors. If it’s your eye color people love, find eyeshadow colors that complement them and make sure to wear mascara. Also, know what color shirts look best on you and go shopping.
5. Apple Cider Vinager has been used as a natual remedy for ailmenys, a skin care treatment and even to promote healthy weight loss. Essentially there are five main benefits that come hand in hand with the use of ACV on a daily basis, either in your food or applied topically.
6. Drink 8 glasses of water per day Lots of clean, filtered water will give you a beautiful and youthful complexion. Carry around one or more bottles and aim to finish them off, every day.
7. Don’t wear make-up Read the labels of your average make-up carefully. It is safer and kinder to your skin to wear none. Not only do many of them contain harmful toxins, but they also clog up your skin. Take good care of your skin – it’s the largest organ you have!
8. Moisturize your skin with food The best moisturizer comes from the food we eat. Treat your skin with regular raw certified organic salads. You’ll not only look better but you’ll also feel better!
9. Have early nights Going to sleep by 10pm and waking around 6am, provides will relax you so much, that you’ll wake up with clear skin and sparkling eyes.
10. Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar Dilute 1 tablespoon of ACV in 2 cups of water. Use as a final hair rinse and leave it in your hair. Your hair will be beautiful and shiny.
11. Bathe in the sun The early hours of the morning before 10am are the most beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing. When you feel good, you’ll look good.
12. Wear colors that suit your skin tone Wearing the right colors for your skin tone, will always bring out your natural beauty. If unsure, seek the advice of a professional color consultant.
13. Exercise Walking the dog or doing more strenuous exercise stimulates the body’s metabolism. This will in turn create a more youthful complexion and body shape.