The get-togethers which Navratri-Golu festival offers overwhelms your mind. You meet relatives, know they’re well being and old friends. Thicken the bond, reminisce memories together and fill yourself with the warmth. You make new friends! And call them over! Relationships are the real treasure. Friendship, caring and sharing make life more beautiful. The giggles, the chuckles, the laughter, the fun-filled moments, some complaints about life, some resolutions and many such other things. Many times meeting a friend/relative is also about meeting their pets. Just back from one such meet and had many people come over at my place.
About Saraswati Puja:
In South India, we celebrated Saraswati Puja, today. Goddess Saraswati epitomises knowledge. Knowledge of arts and music, knowledge of maths, accounting and sciences wisdom and the eternal truth. God is formless. Worshipping Saraswati means constant learning and development!
या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना। या ब्रह्माच्युत शंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा॥१॥(Hymn in Sanskrit)
Goddess Saraswathi is always clad in white saree(Indian Attire) representing that one should be free from Worldly materialistic pleasures to attain any merit at learning. You should have a pure heart while acquiring knowledge.
She holds Veena the musical instrument. Well, Veena is a very difficult instrument to play. It takes a lifetime to learn this art. This points to the fact that life is also most difficult to live. But with hard work, perseverance and penance, the knack to live life satisfactorily can be mastered.
She holds the Rosary in one hand(out of the four hands). Rosary denotes the ‘Sankhya Shastra’ or the different sciences and the maths behind counting/accountancy.
She is the one holding a book. Undoubtedly the book she holds is the four Vedas of Hindus.
A pot of water:
She is also seen to hold a pot of water/kalasham. It is to make us realize that the water in the pot and that in the ocean/bigger water bodies is only one. This philosophy is called ‘ Advait’. The deity and the devotee are all one. One should constantly strive to realize this phenomenon. We aren’t two. The universe is one.
Her vehicle/vahanam is the bird, Swan. It is believed that Hamsapakshi or the bird Swan has the ability to separate water and milk. Thus, consuming the milk and leaving behind the residual water.
We as human beings need to attain that highest self-realization by separating the material objectives and the spiritual subject.
The ritual is to pray the Goddess for blessing us with hard work, perseverance and the power of meditation. The last three days of Golu/Navratri various rituals are performed to pray Goddess Saraswati in her idol form. The custom is to install her idol with hymns, shlokas and part with her on the last day. The idol is put to sleep on the last day of Golu, thus, calling off the festival.
I wonder do we ever part with our Deity! Happy Dussehra everyone!
Exercise should ideally be a daily routine incorporated in everyone’s life. It is non-negotiable. An hour of walk, 45 minutes of a bike ride, that dip in the deep waters, may it be Yogasanas, or my favourite HIIT(high-intensity interval training). I always feel I have to earn my calories.
By the way,
Happy Ashtami, the eighth day of Navratri, everyone. Thanks for being with us for the entire Navratri. We have been happy to share our blog posts every day for #UltimateBlogChallenge. With every post on fitness, I also wish you join us for the remaining 85 days of this year on our fitness journey.
Today, I bring to you a very exciting and very interesting form of exercise. As you know, I am a great fan of #JillianMichael. She is my trainer, My BAE and my guide. I started my 2019 with her training programs(No they don’t cost as much as the local gym) and these workouts can be carried out in the comfort of our home. (With my kiddo and Caramel as my first priority, I have turned into a JMite than a running mom) .
So what should I tell you about her? She is fiery, feisty, an angel who inspires me when I need it the most. For all of you, who don’t know who she is! Well, I had to google her personal details too. Maybe I was so busy with her workouts and my appointments with her that it made me no difference who she is personally.
A beautiful strong lady at 45-46 who makes me love my workouts with her. She is challenging. Her words, ‘Hang on-you are right there!’ makes me fall for her. Her way of motivating me for ‘ one more time-you want it you have to earn it’ is something very special. One session with her and you would be in love with her yoga meltdown, her strength training, her plyometrics, her kettlebell workout or even Pilates.
Workouts I have done with Jillian are
1. 30-day shred (Level1- Level 2- level 3)
2. Body shred (Workout 1)
3. Beginners shred(level 1)
4. Killer arms and back
5. JM app exercises.
You may try her other workouts which are
1. Yoga meltdown
2. Killer buns and thighs
3. Slim 60
4. Banish fat boost metabolism
5. No more trouble zones
6. 6 weeks 6 packs
and many more.
The unusual and unique combination of strength training, cardio exercises and the abdominal sets make it work faster and you are stronger than before.
The tone in which she conducts the entire session is simply unparallel. You may cuss her, use swear words for the entire workout as it isn’t easy at all but you will definitely thank her for the wonder she is!
‘ Give me all you have in these 30 minutes and we will give you those fantastic results’!
A 5 feet 2 inches small yet strong lady makes it forever to my exercise routine.
Book your DVD now! or download the Jillian app!
This is not paid blog. I love her and so wanted to share my happy workouts.
Hope you had a great Maha Saptami! Seventh day of the Navratri. And I also believe that you have had your appointment with barbells before your breakfast. Well! If you didn’t , then grab that opportunity even now. There is still time to dinner. I am glad that I many people were motivated, re-motivated,inspired and energized with the thought of beginning a workout.That rush of endorphins,I tell you!
Today, I bring to you some simple strength training exercises which are easy to do in a home set-up. As you know with given responsibilities, I am unable to go out a lot. But I found out my ways to health from the comfort of my abode. Apart from running errands and the regular evening walks with my furry friend we also walk stairs to our apartment. That is because we don’t have a lift. So my regime on a general day includes 12-14 floors, and some 6000-7000 steps.
After the strength exercises, I would also tell you how to walk a mile at home! Yes, you heard it right! Here, I don’t tell you how to do the exercises. Because there is enough material available on the internet. I give you a plan. A simple doable plan to start with and explain why you should be doing it.
An ideal workout for a beginner would be
Neck Rotation,Fist rotation,Arms rotation, Hip rotation, Bent knee rotation and foot rotation
Toe touches(Old school is always very cool).
Skipping rope(Remember you did this in school)
Wall push ups
Why warm up?
These exercises are meant to warm up, awaken your muscles of the entire body and thus prevent you from any injuries. This is to ensure that you don’t give the body any jerks/shocks and prepare your body to train further. Remember everything needs preparation.
Upper body exercises
Lower body exercises’
Full body exercises
HIIT(High intensity interval training)
Yes! These are the various muscle groups. Divide and rule is the strategy here. This is to ensure that you focus on those muscles and bring out the best out of it. Then your body also knows what it is expected to do. I illustrate today simple upper body exercises. The muscles can be primarily divided into
Upper body workout could be
Floor Push ups
Standing back extension with a dumbell
Overhead shoulder press with a dumbell
Chest fly with dumb belll
Chest press with weights
Bent rowing with a dumble
Bent Arm lateral raises for shoulders with dumbbell
Bicep curls with dumbbell
Bent Tricep kickbacks with dumb bell
Plank for the core
Always remember to exercise the bigger muscle groups first and then descend to the smaller group of muscles. You can go for the one set of 10-12 repetitions with the size of the dumbbell which feels easy and comfortable. You may feel like overdoing but remember our goal is to hit our home gym daily. Get some 2-3 sets of dumbbells like 2.5 kgs, 5 kgs to start with. For the first 5 days don’t hurry into increasing the sets or increasing the weights. It is consistency we are looking for, know well. Once you are through one set and 10-12 repetitions of each of the above mentioned exercises, you will feel ecstasy. You may also feel nirvana. Yes! You did it! But wait for the celebration. You haven’t stretched it out well.Muscles may become sore and pain on day 1 and day 2. But don’t give up. Don’t quit. You will do fine in no time.
Stretches:- Important part of our exercise . Here it is
Cross body Shoulder stretch
Overhead tricep stretch
Balasana/A child’s pose
Shavasana(Sleeping pose by relaxing every body part until your heart rate becomes normal)
Get your set of basic dumbbells and just get going. Remember time waits for none. No excuses and no complain. It is not “reinventing the wheel”!
Check out my way to good health by walking at home in my blog
How are you all doing! Thanks for reading all the Navratri-Golu posts. The cross cultural exchange and your appreciation for the “Know your Golu” series is overwhelming. We are glad to have daily a whopping number of visitors on the blog. The response gives us the feed to bring you more and more interesting topics- now on exercise!
Today my husband( blogger & fitness freak) posted something really funny and at the same time brain-storming message on whatspp. Navratri -Golu is supposed to be an all ladies game. The message is thus:-
Weights aligned in the form of pyramid
Well, with 87 days remaining for this year to end, it really brought me to retrospect about my fitness resolution & food resolution made this year on my blog. And I was gauging myself on the efforts put consistently throughout the year. Well, I don’t consider skinny as fit. And by now, all kids and dogs also understand that “Fit” doesn’t necessarily mean “thin”.I am a marathon runner mother of a two & half year old and a three year old furry tail. I run a busy schedule with my baby ,dog-walks,daily cooking, office-work,household work and many other mommy stuff. But one thing I never compromise is on my health/fitness and my health regime.Because those endorphins are a fuel to my daily well-being.
I thought I would share some important doable daily exercises for all. You must be wondering how to begin! Well! Start with 15 minutes of daily exercise and add 5 minutes on consecutive days when you feel comfortable with those 15 minutes. This way you make it more sustainable and consistent. Remember consistency is the key in life. So if you plan for 2 days of exercise a week then stick to it. Remember it is not about setting high goals and failing. BUT winning over small small goals and rewarding yourself for every achievement which builds your self esteem and you know “You can do it”!
Walking: It is a general form of cardiovascular exercise. We all walk. Walking comes natural to humans as sitting. Make sure you walk for at least 15 minutes to start with. And add 5 minutes to it as I mentioned earlier. Start with warming yourself up for 2-3 minutes and then add to the pace. Maintain a calendar and if you are doing it consistently according to your plan, bravo! You can add some strength training to your routine. Today you have so many fitness gears to count your steps. 10000 steps per day are recommended for a healthy human being. Today, mostly everyone (every second person) has a fitness watch. Why not make every second count!
Strength Training: Well, there is no exercise as simple and effective as strength training. No! that isn’t as hard as “ inventing the wheel”.I am a die-hard fan of strength training. Try the exercises with body weight and as you feel comfortable add weights to your exercise. “Oh! I don’t want to look like a man”! You may exclaim. But believe me girl, a woman needs “IT” more than a man.
Advantage of strength training is the most effective and long lasting “After-burn”. Start with warm up moves, working out specific group muscles and always stretch it out for maximum benefits. Examples are lunges, squats(deep and one more variation), bicep curls, triceps dips, wall push ups, floor push ups(most effective ones),shoulder press, rowing, planks and many others I shall bring to you in fitness posts.
Test yourself initially on these following parameters and then begin your fitness journey :-
Cardiovascular endurance/stamina:- How much can you walk/run/swim/cycle?
Muscular Strength:-– How much can you lift while doing the exercise?
Muscular Endurance:-How many times can you perform the exercise? Repetitions!
Flexibility:- How good is your range of motion?
Body composition:- How much water content, fat mass, fat free mass and muscles are there in your body!
We are not talking about weight loss here. We WORKOUT on weight loss and overall good health!
This fitness series I will share my daily regime and the statistics.Join me on this for the next #87dayoffitnesschallenge. Are you ready?
Please visit our posts on calorie calculation here:-
We hope your days are filled with gratitude and abundance. Abundance of love, blessings and affection. Prayers help to cleanse the mind and the soul. The best part of prayers is that they can be in any language. The Universe, God, the Almighty or anything you have undeterred faith on doesn’t ask for specific rituals, strict rules to be followed while praying. Prayers can be customized by oneself.
So when my two little old daughter chants a Sanskrit( Indian Language)hymn she does make pronunciation mistakes. Sometimes what she recites doesn’t make any sense. As she is learning the words. But I am very sure, her prayers reach God. Her sincerity to learn and to reproduce the hymn is understood by God. Her honesty in sanding erect and in front of the Lord for those few moments of the day for prayers also improves her concentration. Well, that is the biggest advantage of worshiping “Forms of God”. You have some physical matter which holds your attention.
Meditation made easy:
The swadhyay/ or the self-study in the spiritual practice should be to wean off the attention from the form to the formless. The intention of meditation should be to increase the time span of concentration. The Yogis/ the saints had longer attention span. They could meditate for hours without food and water. This is the biggest achievement if one can! The best thing about meditation is that you need not sit and close eyes and meditate. You can meditate while cooking, while on laptop with your blog, at play with your pet or while you are making your baby sleep. When you are totally involved in your subject without any other thoughts, that is my way of meditation. It brings solace to me and peace of mind. Try it! It is easy!
Golu/Navratri is a merriment. And why not? You get to hop various places where golus are kept. You get to revise your old mythological stories in the “form”. Meet many people. Know about each other’s well-being . Share your happiness with them and thus, connect to them.
Avaiyyar transcended to Mt. Kailas
Once upon a time, during Chola dynasty(Southern India), an old court poetess was performing daily worship and prayers for her beloved God Ganesha. While doing so, she had a realization that her contemporaries and Great Devotees of Lord Shiva Saint Sundarar & King Seraman Perumal were headed towards the Mt. Kailas, abode of Lord Shiva. She became disturbed and wanted to join them on their spiritual journey. “Mt. Kailas is considered as Moksha by Hindus.” She started rushing to finish her prayers.
Lord Ganesha probably didn’t like the rush and appeared in front of her. He told her not to rush with the prayers and asked her the reason to do so. When she narrated the reason, Lord Ganesha promised her that HE will put her ahead of the two saints on the journey towards Mt. Kailas after her daily prayers.
She believed HIM and now with a deeper trance sang what is revered as the most beautiful prayers in praise of Lord Vinayagar(Ganesha) called as #Vinayaka Ahaval. As she finished her offerings to Lord Ganesha, she was lifted by Lord Ganesha and was transcended to Mt. Kailasa before the others could join.
The message is clear. Never rush the daily prayers. These and only these prayers can make you realize the truth in your life. When the power ends the prayers begin! #Avaiyyar is also known for her poetry called #Athisoodi which is a collection of several one liner Do’s and Don’ts intended for small children to make them understand Morales and values.