Sunday, September 16, 2012

Paragliding festival in Sikkim from Oct 31 to Nov 3
Gangtok: The first Paragliding Festival in Sikkim will be held here from October 31 to November 3, state Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Bhim Dhungel announced here on Sunday.
The Paragliding Festival is being organised by the Tourism and Civil Aviation department of Sikkim government in association with Paragliding Association of India (PAI) and Sikkim Paragliding Adventure Sports Co-operative Society Limited, he said.
Around 60 Indian and international paragliding pilots are expected to participate in the festival, which includes events like Free Flying event, Spot Landing contest, Acro Show, Tandem Flights and Seminar on Paragliding for students, youth and cultural programmes, the minister said.
The festival will have more than 35 paragliding pilots from Sikkim, of which 4 have already participated at the international level. The festival is being organized by the state mainly to encourage these local pilots and for their bright future.
Tourism and Civil Aviation secretary of Sikkim, Nalini G Pradhan said that the festival will also help to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state.
PAI general secretary Manoj Roy mentioned that the main idea of the festival is to promote paragliding along with local culture and art of the state.
Roy informed that the first PAI annual paragliding festival was held at Kamshet, Maharastra last year and this time Gangtok has been chosen for the second edition of the festival due to encouraging responses and cooperation received from the state government and local pilots. 


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yoga Postures for Weight Loss

Yoga is a popular form of exercise and stress buster around the world.
Apart from its meditative properties, this form of exercise can help you get rid of your extra kilos. Let’s have a look at some postures that are perfect for weight loss.

Yoga Marches

The Yoga march can be an effective warm-up exercise to kick-start your workout regime. You can begin by placing your arms in a jogging position post which, you can slowly begin the march in the same place you’re standing. Eventually, you must try and bring your legs to a higher level. This exercise increases your heart rate and is also effective on your legs.


Hal, which stands for a plough in Sanskrit, is the shape that the body takes when the Halasana is done. You may begin by lying down on a yoga mat followed by taking your legs in the upward direction till they hit the 90-degree angle. Now slowly push your legs in the backward direction towards your head or take someone’s assistance to do so. Exhale and you can return back to the normal position.Why everyone should learn yoga: The life-changing benfits of yogaPrev


As the name suggests, while performing this asana, your body will take the shape of a triangle. In order to begin, take your leg and place it at a maximum distance in the left direction. You may now move the toe of your left foot facing the left hand side and inhale. Bend the left leg from the knee and now exhale. The position of your left palm should be next to the toe of the left foot. The final step would be to take your right hand straight up, touching the ear. You can breathe normally now. This asana is beneficial for the waist area of your body.


The stomach will be the area that primarily takes the weight while performing this asana. To begin with it, lie down on a yoga mat on your stomach with your chin touching the ground. Bend both your legs and keep them away at a considerable distance holding them firmly from the ankle. Now inhale and exhale pulling the legs in the upward direction. The body must be stretched and the neck pushed backwards. Make sure you do not jerk any part of the neck or back.
Practicing these asanas on a regular basis can aid weight loss. In case you are unsure of the accurate way of doing these postures, you must consult an expert so as not to cause any physical injury to your body.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

5 Secrets to a Happy Marriage: Revealed by Divorce

In 25 years of studying marriage, Dr. Terri Orbuch, research professor at the University of Michigan and author of the new book "Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship," has found that some of the best relationship advice comes from people who are actually divorced.
WATCH: Is this the Most EpicMarriage Proposal?
 In 1986, Orbuch embarked on a long-term study, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which followed the relationships of 373 newlyweds. By 2012, 46% had divorced, about the same as the national average.
In interviews with Orbuch, people who had divorced or ended a serious relationship over and over again brought up the same five issues that they would improve if they had the chance to do it all again.

1. Money. Over the course of her research, one the biggest surprises for Orbuch was the role money played in marital strife. “Many divorced singles say that money was the number one source of conflict in the early years of marriage,” she tells Yahoo! Shine. She also found that, “6 out of 10 said they would not share living expenses in their next relationship.” She recommends that each partner evaluate their own approach to spending and saving money and discuss with their spouse early on. She says there is no one-size-fits-all-financial plan, but couples need to determine their own rules and adhere to them.

2. Affection. Another surprise was that men crave affection—but not necessarily sex—more than women. “It’s counterintuitive,” says Orbuch, “but men crave feeling special and being noticed by their wives.” She adds that men who report not getting enough nonsexual affection were twice as likely to ask for a divorce, but the reverse was not true for women. “Women are fortunate. We get this kind of affirmation from more people in our lives, our mothers, children, our best friends”—so women tend to need less from husbands.  She recommends carving out time for regular cuddling, kissing, hand holding, and saying “I love you.”

3. Blame. “When divorced couples found fault with their relationship using ‘we’ statements, they were significantly more likely to find love than those who used ‘I’ or ‘you’ statements.” Those who found blame in factors such as being incompatible or too young experienced less anxiety, insomnia, and depression than  those who blamed their former partner or themselves for a break-up. Examine what went wrong in the relationship instead of assigning individual blame, suggests Orbuch, and think about how you can resolve conflict better next time.

4. Communication.
Orbuch says a trap many couples fall into is “maintenance” rather than true communication. She suggests having a “10 minute rule” every day when you, “Talk to your partner about something other than work, the relationship, the house, or the children.” The key is revealing something about yourself and learning something about your spouse. “Forty-one percent of divorced people say they would change their communication style,” says Orbuch,“and, 91% of happily married couples say they know their partner intimately.”
5. Move on.

Letting go of the past is a key to being in a happy relationship. This is true for people who are currently married as well as those seeking love. If you are irked by thoughts of your partner’s old boyfriend or girlfriend or of a fight that happened weeks ago, you might not be interacting in a healthy, positive way. “That animosity prevents you from being fully present,” says Orbuch. She also points out that people who  felt neutral toward their ex were significantly more likely to find love after a divorce. If you can’t let go of  your anger, her book outlines a number of exercises including writing a detailed letter to the person you are angry at—and burning it. For more information on Dr. Orbuch or to ask her a question check out her website, The Love Doctor.

Does marriage mean the end to friendship?

Let's face facts! Once you take your vows, it's quite obvious that your friendships will change! I'm not saying, it will end, but yes, it sure will take a new turn. Men, married life, kids, job, personal issues—these are just a few of the strange and confusing reasons which may cause friendships to end, especially among women. No matter the cause, the lack of a good friend is sure going to leave any woman devastated and depressed.
I have in my personal life, experienced a massive change in my relationship with my friends after my wedding. The boys started getting more protective, while the girls (those single) felt they must give the 'newly wed' their privacy. Whatever the case maybe, friendships are viewed in a different light post wedding. You're not the same friend who can step out for a cup of coffee without prior notice or one who can answer calls at any hour of the day.
But wait! It's not the just the newly married who try and battle out the change. The friends join the battle as well. Samyuktha and I were the thickest of friends' right from our school days. I still remember the days we bunked classes, shared lunch under the huge, old Neem tree and of course played the worst of pranks. Few months after my wedding, she insisted we have a chat, and mind you that's just her way of hinting that she needs to confess or confront something! While I agreed for the date, I was confused as well.
She started off "Ever since my best friend (referring to me) got married, I've started distancing myself from her because I wanted her to have her space. But, now I'm feeling insecure! There hasn't been one phone conversation without your hubby's topic. While I enjoy listening to you, I feel I have, in the process lost the bubbly, stupid girl I knew. The good old girlie talk we shared, the endless gossip sessions over piping hot chai and what not!"
Rings a bell somewhere? Sad, but this is what happens to most of us, just that only a few of us realise or admit. We feel we are doing justice in sharing our family woes with our best friend, but ladies we are WRONG! That's not the only thing friends expect out of us.

I've read and heard women juggle work and home effortlessly, but how about friendship? Do they find the time to nurture it post wedding as well? Quite a dicey situation for any woman!
It gets worse if you have guy friends. I 'm not saying men doubt their wives, but sure they are egoistic (or maybe ignorant) in getting along with the wife's male friends. Here's an example: My friend Reena, had a huge circle of guy friends before her wedding. When I asked her how she handled her friendship with the opposite sex, this is what she had to say -"Post my wedding, I felt the difference, or wait I'd rather call it indifference, with my friends. They began to complain I had no time for them and even worse, my husband was quiet cold & didn't make an attempt to get to know my friends. It made our friendship really awkward and gradually they began ignoring me. I always wondered if it was morally wrong to have men as friends post wedding. I could not question my hubby & had no choice but to move on!"
Well, so if your 'male' friend gets along with your hubby dear, thank your lucky stars, for you're not going to lose your friend. But if the situation is the other way round, then there's the whole drama of convincing and making your beloved understand.
They say the most important thing in handling man-woman friendship after wedding, is that his/her friendship with the opposite sex should not hamper one's married life. Anyways who decides what hampers a married life and what does not? Who is the final authority?
So it all boils down to one question - Does the 'husband' have to get along with your friends for your friendship to last long?

Are You Making Your Kids Fat?

"I credit my mom with modeling the right behaviors," Angela Lemond, Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Shine. "She cooked a healthy meal every night and that was our only option." Lemond, who specializes in pediatric and family nutrition, says the research is clear that parental behavior and modeling has a significant impact on childhood obesity.
"Parents have the responsibility for providing food, meal planning, and eliminating distractions at the table," says Lemond. "The responsibility of the child is to eat or not to eat." She is concerned that today's parents are "letting kids dictate what food is being served." She sympathizes with parents' desire to nourish their children, but points out that this often means that they are exclusively serving meals of "chicken nuggets or mac and cheese" to picky eaters which are high in fat and calories and low on nutrition. She points out that a generation ago, "You ate what you were served or waited until the next meal."
On the other hand, Lemond says her mom "didn't force feed. Nutritionists don't advocate the clean plate club" --a rule that can thwart children from developing a natural sense of when they are still hungry and when they are actually full.
Another important factor in helping kids to learn to enjoy nutritious choices, is exposing them to a variety of foods-and not giving up if they say they don't like something new. "Even though parents want their kids to eat healthy," explains Lemond, "They have a misconception that if kids reject it once, it should be taken off the meal plan."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years. Overweight children are at a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. They are also prone to low self-esteem and stigmatization by their peers.
Current research shows that there are many habits that parents can adopt--starting at pregnancy--that will help prevent kids from becoming overweight.
Maternal Body Mass Index (BMI) has impact on baby's birth weight which may, in turn, predict adult overweight. Maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss what an appropriate weight gain is for your body size and frame with your doctor.
Breast-feeding women should eat variety of fruits and vegetables. Babies who are exposed to certain flavors through nursing are less picky when they are weaned.
Let your baby wean itself with age-appropriate finger foods. Some research shows that babies who are spoon fed purees tend to be more overweight and prefer sugary tastes than babies who help feed them selves.
Is your toddler picky? Don't give up. It may take as many as 15 exposures to get a toddler to try a new food.
Turn off the TV. A recent study by the University of Montreal showed that for every extra hour per week watched by 2-4 year-olds, waist sized increased and athletic ability (as indicated by explosive muscle power) decreased.
Eat together. From toddlers to teens, the research shows that children are healthier when they regularly sit down and eat meals with their families.
Lose weight yourself. A 2012 study by the University of California shows reports that the number one factor in the success of an obese or overweight child's ability to attain a healthy weight is parental weight loss.
Engage in some sort of physical activity. Kids who say their parents are sedentary are 50% more likely to be medically unfit themselves.
To learn more strategies, visit the Academy's website for families, Kids Eat Right. They provide a wealth of information on children's nutrition from birth to the teen years.