Why Yoga Is Right For Me

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I am convinced after my first week of Yoga that there is NO ONE as inflexible as me in this world! I always thought I was quasi-flexi because my boyfriend once told me that and I assumed it to be true. Well, boyfriends lie, just to get you to do things they want !! 😉 I have done some yoga before but nothing very intense, Yoga 101 if you will. I tried advanced Ashtanga Yoga yesterday, and boy my muscles hurt, every inch of it. In Ashtanga Yoga, you hold your yoga postures for really long. For me however, 5 seconds seemed like eternity and every cell in my brain wished for it to end. The postures were unbelievably crazy for a newbie like me, stuffing my head below my thighs, squeezing my ears with my thighs, balancing on my belly holding my ankles, twisting and torturing my neck and my spine and oh, the easiest of all – neck stand!!! At one point, I wanted to break into a chicken dance and be like ,”Hey, this is all I can do!”. But then, I realized I would goof up that as well, so I didn’t dare.

Well, by the end of it, I was more sure than ever that Yoga is the right form of exercise for me. It flexes all that crave flexing in my body and relaxes all that require some resting. I am a fairly skinny girl and I have always struggled to put on mass on my body. My entire family has a tiny bone structure, my mom, my aunts and cousins have always been skinny. Being a vegetarian, I don’t find many ways to please my palette and my health alike. But I refuse to accept my genes and want to be healthy more than anything. I don’t prefer gyms because I get really bored and I am not motivated enough. For most of my friends, losing weight is their main motivation to hit a gym, but I just want to find some form of exercise to stay fit. I feel like I finally found my yang in Yoga, the yin being me! I want to be able to move from one posture to another graciously, like flowing water and not clumsily trip over my own feet. I want to be able to find peace in it without the voices in my head yelling at me to stop it and go home.

Also, I get some comic relief in the class because it’s really funny to see a white person taking NAMASTE so seriously. Honestly, on a serious note, I wonder why we don’t. We are so accustomed to Hi’s, Hello’s and Hey’s that we are absolutely blind to the virtues of our own culture. Hey, who am I to speak right!? They also chant Gayatri Mantra and Hanuman Chalisa, which was really impressive. I can’t chant Hanuman Chalisa without a book to help me out and I have never known how to enunciate the words right in Gayatri Mantra. What really has me in splits is how people presume YOGA == HIPPIE CULTURE(I am a coder, hence the two equals). Well, Yoga is absolutely not synonymous with hippies. I am not a Hippie or a Yogi and I still like Yoga.

I have been reading up a lot about Yoga and its benefits, which are very many according to all the knowledge that I gathered on the internet. I have a condition known as PCOS and I am done stuffing and intoxicating myself with all the tablets prescribed! I found great videos and articles on Yoga being helpful for people with PCOS and hell yeah, I am trying it all 😉 Yoga has remedies for most conditions prevalent today and I implore you to avoid popping medicines recklessly and to try a new way of life.

I’ll probably write back after a few months about how wonderful and exhilarating my Yoga experiences have been! 😉

Until then,

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy!

Megha Kaiwar

Happy 25, Hubble !!!

It’s Hubble Space Telescope‘s 25th year, the world is celebrating and why not! Hubble has been exploring the Solar System and beyond since 25 years now, providing mankind with long exposure images like no one had ever imagined. It has transformed our perspective of the universe into a realistic one, enabling our dreams to grow richer and deeper. Have you had a chance to look at all the spectacular photos that NASA has been releasing to commemorate Hubble’s 25th anniversary? Those pictures give me goosebumps like no other. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a link to a few of the famous ones. You’ll know what I mean when you see them.

http://www.space.com/28546-hubble-space-telescope-25th-anniversary-photos.html

My favorite of the whole lot is Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image. This picture blows my mind every time and hurls me into a trance.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field, NASA

Hubble Ultra Deep Field, NASA

Every point in this picture is a galaxy by itself, some as big as our own, some much much bigger than what we can perceive. This photo alone has about 10,000 galaxies, I can’t even begin to imagine how many more are out there, how many with intelligent life forms and how many more without a trace of life. I have always read how people tend to find their lives and the world around them very meaningless and shallow when they begin to discern the vastness engulfing us, tiny beings. However, for me, everything became that much more meaningful, everything that we strive for became much more important and necessary. Yes, we as a collective bunch, can come across as stifling, always finding reasons to slit each other’s throats, egoistic and conceited to the point of destruction. But when you look at all the progress the other side of the coin has managed to achieve, you find that there is always a string of hope that we can hang on to. I believe it is this hope that has helped launch something as magnificent as the Hubble telescope which strove through inconceivable hardships, just like us, to get to where it is now. Its contributions to the scientific community cannot be overstated.

Coincidentally, I happened to celebrate my 25th birthday a week ago, yay! The world did not shower me with as much attention as it did with Hubble, but my friends sure did 😉 They gifted me a TELESCOPE !! My very own star gazing, time traveling machine!! For those of you wondering what I mean by time travel, you need to watch Neil deGrasse Tyson’s show “Cosmos”, like right now !!! He is a brilliant astrophysicist and a compelling host.

Orion SpaceProbe 3 Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Orion SpaceProbe 3 Equatorial Reflector Telescope

I moved to America about three years ago and my friends have been my family ever since. They have cared for me, looked out for me and helped me find a home away from India. We made the best of every situation, lived in the dingiest of places, cried together, spent many a nights sharing stories and climbing mountains to watch sunrise, helped each other grow out of our cocoons and make something beautiful out of our lives. We graduated, moved to different places in search of opportunities, some stayed on, settled in and yet, we think of each other every passing day. They figured how crazy I have been about astronomy, drove them crazy as well, but they seem to enjoy it so no complaints there 😉 They gifted me this beast for my birthday and I haven’t had a chance to use it yet since it’s been really cloudy, unfortunately.

For all you amateur astronomers out there(I mean really, really, amateur), this telescope seems like the best option. The Orion Spaceprobe 3 Equatorial Reflector Telescope came with a starter kit, a moon map, a book about stars and also a sky chart that I have always wanted. It is absolutely perfect in every sense to start off with. It has a 3″ aperture and 700mm focal length and you can most definitely view the Moon, planets, and even some bright nebulas and star clusters if you are lucky.

If you find that you are unable to invest in a telescope, no worries, there are various other ways you can look at the night sky. I am in love with a website called “Slooh” : http://www.slooh.com. They have two telescopes, really super cool and huge ones, installed in Canary Islands(for Northern Sky viewing) and Chile(for Southern Sky). You get to handle the telescope remotely through your desktop and reserve slots to view any object in the night sky. It is a great effort to help amateur astronomers and they also have a promotion going on, $1 for a month. I have had some of my “heart-racing” moments while looking through these telescopes. I recently joined one of the astronomy clubs in my city. They have many events to engage the public and also run an observatory a little away from the city. The members are generally very helpful and they offer to take me on their night-sky viewing parties(not parties in the literal sense). They are all very old, by old I mean “O-L-D” and set in their ways. I wish there were some youngsters or at the least another woman in the club, but I do have a lot to learn from them and it’s been really fun so far.  If you can find something similar in your city, that would be a great way to start off as well.

Well, I guess after all, 25 is not that horrific a stage to be at. I get to do things that I love and be with people who love me(I really hope they do). I am usually terrified and depressed about turning a year older around my birthday. My friend, trying to console a scared me, said “With years, responsibilities may add on, but so do life-defining and validating experiences. In that way age is reassuring” and that really did make sense. So here’s a 25 year old me, consoling a 25 year old Hubble with the very same words 😉 Happy Birthday, Hubble!!

Stay blessed!

Megha Kaiwar

Oh, how I love Target !!

Target is “the” place for you if you are stationery-crazy , beauty products-crazy , lingerie-crazy or if you are just looking to waste some time. Well, one of the days when I was “just wasting time”, I stumbled upon a face mask called “Que Bella“. I had never heard of it before and I immediately googled to see if anybody had ever used it at all. I did find some great reviews but I am always skeptical about any skin product as are you, am sure. However, at that price, I’d be willing to buy cement and use it. Well, it turned out great and here is my review of the product.

I bought the “Replenishing Dead Sea Mud Mask” because who doesn’t love mud masks. I purchased a tube although there were sachets available and the prices varied from $1.50 – $2.50. The tube however, seemed like a better option at $5.49. It is going to last 10-12 times for me as against a sachet which, I’m guessing, will last twice. The mask is pretty thick in texture and I generally refrain from such thick masks. Surprisingly, this mask feels extremely light once you put it on and is easy to wash off as well. The instructions read that you need to wet your face before applying and I did just that. I left it on for about 15-20 minutes and wham-bam, the results were great! To provide a little background, I have combination skin, as do most women, which tends to be much drier in this horrid desert. I have had problems with black-heads and pores for as long as I can remember. This mask not only works on my black-heads but also on my pores. It’s unbelievable what you can find while not looking for it. My only complaint is that it leaves my skin feeling very dry. I am not too unhappy about it since I also found a great something in Target that day, to help with my dry skin.

I found a bath and body oil from a company called “Shea Moisture”. I picked up “Argan Oil & Raw Shea”. I absolutely love anything with Shea and this oil works great for me. The consistency is really thick but I don’t mind it as much as I thought I would since it gets absorbed real quick and doesn’t leave your skin all oily. If you are looking for a great oil to wear before your moisturizer, I would definitely suggest you try this, it costs about $10. We all know the benefits of Shea by now and Argan oil is rich in Vitamin E which keeps the skin smooth. The ingredients also include Jojoba oil and Safflower oil, thus giving it a great organic composition. There is a slight fragrance in the oil which I wasn’t too happy about initially, but I hardly notice it now.

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Que Bella, Replenishing Dead Sea Mud Mask

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Shea Moisture, Argan Oil and Raw Shea

If you are looking for a miracle, I suggest you buy coconuts and head to your nearest temple. These products work just like others in the market and they work well for me. If you are looking for some great face/body oil and something to work on your black heads, I would definitely suggest trying these products. If you have extremely dry skin, don’t count on just the oil, use a moisturizer alongside. If nothing helps, do consult a dermatologist. I am always concerned about dry skin since I ended up in a desert and dryness is all there is!

Stay hydrated, stay smart.

Until next time,

Megha Kaiwar

Welcome Aboard!

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Hello everyone,

This blog is probably just another piece of crap you stumbled upon today or a life changing set of events led you here and here I am, waiting to alter your life forever. Just kidding, I don’t really have any such events or stories to blog about. Why I’m really here is because I was frustrated looking for desi things in Murica and not finding any helpful articles, like desi make-up reviews, desi dance floors( believe me, there are a few and am not talking about my apartment), desi food and just about everything desi because my heart will always want only desi *slow clap*. Hence, my very bright mind came up with the idea of blogging about them myself, for other Desi girls looking for similar things. Being an Indian girl in America is probably one of the hardest things. You are constantly reminded of the lazy gene pool you come from and can’t help but feel slightly bad about it. The girls here are very well-groomed all the time, thanks to the innumerable products available in the stores. It is absolutely unbelievable. I am not very big on products, I like a dedicated few and I am yet to explore what products suit my very brown, conspicuous skin. In my enthusiasm to dive head on into the crazy consumerist market,  I decided to write about my experiences, all the positives and the negatives(god-forbid). Of course, the blog is not going to be just that shallow, I do have a lot more to write about. I am headed towards a very scary existential crisis revolving around religion and god. You will most definitely hear about it if you happen to stick around.

To provide a little perspective, I am 25 years old and I moved to Tempe, Arizona in 2012 and have been here ever since. I love trying a lot of things and I make sure everybody around me is just as uncomfortable as I am with the things I do. Well, I can get very verbose and frenzy, so hang in there and don’t give up on me.

Hop on and stay enthused !

xoxo,

Megha Kaiwar