Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Why We Love pilates (And You Should, Too!)




Pilates is such a great exercise system both holistic and hands on. Its often underestimated as yet another class you can do at your local gym. But it can be so much more in terms of fitness, health, a great figure and not to mention great for dancers. Find out what Pilates can do for you and some great links to professionals near you. Find out the great things it can do for your health below.

The top 6 reasons you should include Pilates into your daily routine:


  1. Increase circulation and relieve tension - Great for when you have been behind a computer all day and your circulation is sluggish due to inactivity. 

  2. Improves posture - For those style conscious people who love to wear nice clothes. The better you look and feel about your body the more you can make out of the things you wear.

  3. Enhances body awareness - In this day and age of computers and technology, people are loosing the sense of moving in their own body. Sound strange? Building up greater body awareness can help to improve core body strength and movement. Not to mention make  dance and movement activities fun while technique is quick to integrate.

  4. Improves muscle tone - working with the core muscles of the torso as a central focus for powering the arms and legs. Giving a powerhouse for controlling the multiple movements we do in everyday life. With the right muscles toned and active it also decreases the likelihood of injuries. 

  5. Improves breathing practices and energizes - The Pilates system uses a thought out and deliberate way of breathing during exercises. Consciously used doing particular types of movement for different effects. Many people these days don't have good breathing practices. These would be to breath efficiently using the stomach and lungs each time you breath in and out. We get into habits like not breathing through the nose or short shallow breaths. Breathing slower and deeper energizes the body while being more efficient. 

  6. Great for people with mobility problems - many exercises are done on the floor, sitting in chairs and using other props for help and support. You don't need to be a dancer to try this, in fact quite the opposite applies.

     

     

     My personal experience and your, build up some knowledge about yourself


    I have mixed a number of pilates exercises into a daily routine which keeps my body toned and working effeciently. I have to admit to off times where i don't practice, but always feel the difference when i get back into the flow of regular practice. My body loves it.

    For me its important to find out what you need from a daily or even 2 times weekly workout. Manageable sessions that can be repeated are key here. Important factors can include:

    • Strength
    • Flexibility
    • Build
    • Proportions of the body.
    • Movement Activities hobbies or work.
    • Health issues or weaknesses in the body



     

    Taking the above list and using myself as an example:


    • Strength - I am very strong in my legs and strong in my core muscles. weak in my arms and neck.
    • Flexibility - I am super flexible in my lower back, less in my upper back, not naturally flexible in my legs while arms and shoulder blades are very flexible.
    • Build - I am tall, with long legs and arms, medium shoulder width and hourglass figure.
    • Proportions of the body - I have longer legs than my torso but have a balanced proportion, with a long back.
    • Movement Activities hobbies or work - I am a professional dancer for my work, i like to learn other dances and movement forms to a high level including pilates, yoga, kung fu amongst others, fashion and posture are important to me as they bring an extra quality to how i look and feel.
    • Health issues or weaknesses in the body - I am super flexible in my hips and have to watch for injuries when exercise. Health issues around digestion and dizzyness due to an operation I had on one of my ears affects me from time to time.


    Find the answers for yourself:


    How to find out where you are stronger and weaker? 


    Think back to times when you are lifting things, this should give you some good answers. Otherwise check with a health specialist like Pilates, dance, or health related teaching/practitioner. This information can help to tell you where you need to work on your strength and where you should maintain your current level.

    How to find out your areas of flexibility?


    Do some simple stretching exercises and be careful of your bodies limits. Again ask a dance teacher or other movement professional for some exercises if you are unsure which ones to use. This information can help to tell you where you need to work on your flexibility and where you should maintain your current level.


     What type of build and body proportions do i have?


    Body build is often a bit difficult to know offhand. Ask some people around you what they think and find people in the street who match how you see your self and then ask where you would but their build on the scale of things. There is a lot of great information on the web about build and proportions so maybe give google a try. Otherwise get in touch with our contact form, i am happy to help. For proportions get a long mirror and ask yourself 2 questions: 1. Is my body longer than my legs or vice versa, 2. what are the general lengths of my arms, legs, torso in relation to the size of my head.

    This information can help to tell you where you about your body, how to work with posture and also how the length of the body often shows the things you can work on. Longer limbs usually need core body exercises and movement control/awareness while being naturally graceful. Shorter limbs often get more tension and need to work with relaxation. These are gross generalisations. Its difficult to describe the complexities of proportions and body build here and its always best to get expert advice in person.

    If you find some funny things out, please don't worry. When we really look at ourselfs we reallize we are a bit strange looking and beautiful. Keep in mind everyone who does  this will probably feel the same. You are unique and beautiful, don't forget it.


    Why are my health weakness's, work and hobby activities important?


    These allow you to keep in mind important factors that you should keep in mind while exercising. Any health problems of weaknesses you might have should be taken into account when trying Pilates or any other activity alone. Notify your teacher if doing a class. In places where you body is weaker do less repetitions and lower level intensity exercises to build up the strength in that area. Too much can lead to injuries, take care of yourself.

    The movement things we do for work and hobbies are useful bits of information. It tells us how fit we are, whether our body is used to moving or not and the types of movement it knows in its body memory already. A more movement active person can often learn things faster and take more intensity while those less used to moving need a little more time to build up on knowledge and intensity.

    Couple your growing knowledge with a great exercise system like Pilates and you are made for life. If Pilates doesn't workout then try one of the other great ways to exercise and experiment until you find one that is right for you.

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    What is the relationship between nutrition, healthy eating and fitness
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    Tokyo street fashion (東京のストリートファッション), inspired Starwars and imitating Manga - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf
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    Womens health and body building
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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Fashion files... Haute Couture to street fashion

 
This is article uno covering many of the top influencers in fashion both Haute couture and street fashion. If you are anything like me when I started in this world, it was difficult to know who these people were and their significant influence on our everyday choices in fashion. Not to mention how to pronounce their names. Keep a look out for these articles which include a brief introduction, wrap sheet and personal take on the style and the influences it has had. I hope you enjoy.

 

Karl Lagerfeld


While Chanel has always been a favourite for me, the discovery a while back about the oler fashion houses having more than one designer and how often the younger one takes over as the original retires. In this case Karl Lagerfeld took over the title of head designer of Channel. 

Designer, artist and photographer are amongst some of the titles this man holds in the fashion world. As head designer for Chanel, Fendi and head of his own brand, Karl Lagerveld is a busy man. When asked about the message of his collections he is often referring to them as a proposition for whats possible rather than a fashion concept that must be followed. His thought process and usage of different style shoes for the models is also fascinating. While accepting of other designers use of stilettos as a style he appears to prefer a broad range of heel heights and platforms come into use a lot.

 

I love the accentuation of the waistline in many of his pieces and the play between old and new. Including influences from strong cultures like the new Cruise Dubai collection of 2015. Coupled with creative use of layering which adds depth to many pieces and strong clean lines with others that keeps the feeling of inventive design alive. The classic Coco Chanel look taking this timeless elegance and keeping it modern. 



 

Did you know...  Rap sheet



  • In 1983, he was named art director of Chanel and in 1984 he created his own fashion line Karl Lagerveld.
  • He designed 30 looks for H&M in 2004, bringing haute couture to the streets. 
  • He owns over 300,000 books.
  • He was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt but later changed it for a more commercially viable name.
  • Rumor has it that he creates all his designs using make up.
  • He shoots all his campaign from the back of his Paris bookstore 7l'.
  • Karl Lagerfeld got his passion for high collared shirts from his godfather.
  • He never attended fashion school and instead has a long history of working for different lines.
  • Between Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerveld he has 15 collections a year.

Come back soon for the next installment of Fashion.


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Tokyo street fashion (東京のストリートファッション), inspired Starwars and imitating Manga - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf
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http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf

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http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html

Little black dress, all its cracked up to be:
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html

Latest Photo shoot, images of a dancer...new black dress






New black dress design, trying it out with favourite dance shoes and some other colour accents in jewellery and makeup. Check out this dress and more at Cielita Loca store.


Other articles that may be of interest in the style genre are:

Tokyo street fashion, inspired by Manga?
Tokyo street fashion (東京のストリートファッション), inspired Starwars and imitating Manga - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf
Other articles of interest in the style genre:

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Little black dress, all its cracked up to be
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html - See more at: http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html#sthash.I5INGx4X.dpuf

Other articles of interest in the style genre:

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Little black dress, all its cracked up to be
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http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/tokyo-street-fashion-inspired-starwars.html

Little black dress, all its cracked up to be:
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/little-black-dress.html





Saturday, 2 January 2016

Cheap air tickets to an exotic destination, Singapore




Singapore has been dubbed the country where east meets west. Combining an amazing richness of cultures in the 'garden city' situated very close to the Malaysia. Everything from Asian to European culture mixing in a delight of modern beauty vs. strict conservation measures and reserves from where it gets one of its many nicknames. Bazaars, street markets and temples are nestled between highrise buildings. It feels like an adventure into the unknown when walking around, with many wonderful surprises.
 

Personal experience and travel


Looking for the cheapest air tickets, i flew to Singapore with Air Asia and returned with Thai airways. The trip with Air Asia was comfortable and went super smoothly, and i arrived to the wonderfully airconditioned airport in Singapore. This was a planned stop over on my way to visiting family in New zealand and Australia. Giving me 3 days to explore this city. 

The first time i came here i visited with my family and we visited the nature reserve and the zoo. It was great fun to see the animals and experience the high up walkways giving great access to the birds in the bird park.

During this visit i got to walk through the beautiful bazaars with richly coloured fabric and found a great place to eat wanton soup before continuing back to my hotel. The first day complete i slept soundly, still a little between time zones. 

The next day i woke up early eager to explore the city and some of the many temples and markets.  Checking the singapore weather review and map in hand i ventured fourth. The singapore map is a little strange to read or maybe it was me, but i got lost and found and lost again. In the end trusting to instinct i managed to walk back to the hotel after a day full of the unexpected delights, not knowing what was around the corner. After getting lost the first time and finding myself i came across a part of the city i had never been in before and marveled as i found the beginnings of a reserve. 



After walking around for a few hours i got a taxi to Little India. Hearing hte latest Singapore news in a cafe where the owner took pity on me and gave me a new improved singapore map. Thanking them as i paid for my drink and left, only to discover that it was exactly the same as the first. I couldn't help myself but i started to laugh and then giggle as people watched me in the new pouring rain. It was a wonderful respite from the aching heat of the day but i have to say i didn't expect this wonderful bit of Singapore weather. 

Walking in a storm of rain drops the size of  tennis balls I soon found a place i could hide and enjoy my first proper meal in Singapore. 



On the second and third day i mainly chilled out at the hotel and walking in the neighbourhood. Singapores China town and India town are really my favourite places of all. Enjoying the informality while finding wonderful presents for my family and loved one back home. 

Things i did in Singapore:

  • Walked around and saw the markets of  Little India and Chinatown
  • Singapore zoo
  • Jurong bird park and walkways in the sky
  • Singapore harbour with its incredible tree art, Sentosa and world famous Lion statue.
  • Visited gardens and reserves enjoying Singapores nature
  • The food in Little India and Chinatown is to die for. 
  • Singapore Botanic gardens
  • Sri Mariamman, Kong meng san phor temple and Kusu Island
  
Temple in India town, Singapore
 
Tree lights in the harbour. 

Useful to know:

  • There are strict laws about rubbish and litering.
  • For women you shouldn't sit in parks alone, or be aware of appropriate spaces to sit.
  • Hot means hot in the Chilli houses there and the condiments are even more powerful.
  • Huge killer ants in the reserves, only kidding. but they are huge.
  • Check the Singapore weather as the rain is formidable.  
  • Lastly, its worth to find a good map of Singapore before arriving. There is so much to see its great to have an idea of some of the things you would like to do beforehand.

 

I have visited Singapore 5 times now and each time has been short, fun and inspiring. The way the new mixes with the old and the richness of traditions and cultures makes this a special place on the map for me and well worth visiting again.

Liked this article then check out more articles on travel below.

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Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
http://www.chicloca.com/2015/12/lonely-planet-globetrotter-jasmine.html

Friday, 1 January 2016

Consulting your inner dream dictionary

 

Consulting your inner dream dictionary... no new years resolution list here!

Instead of setting new years resolutions which implies one will surely deliver on a list of things that might or might not be possible. Confining you to the many possible limitations while fulfilling, or simply the feeling of failure if not delivering said item on said list. Open for some suggestions?

 

Tips 1: turn resolutions into aspirations (this tip was given to me by an old friend)


Try out the power of aspirations, aspiring to reach a goal has a very different feel to resolutions and gives room for movement. After all the idea of new years resolutions are to improve oneself or to reach new possibilities. A pattern of setting a list of things we can't actually deliver sets up a self confirming failure pattern. Why do it to yourself? Step out of the cycle and live for the moment, consult your own personal dream dictionary for things that give you energy when aspiring to do them. Enjoy this new found motivation and see where it takes you. Often the journey is richer than the original goal and with any good journey the destination will change anyway suiting your new situation. 

Tip 2: Do away with the inner task list


We clutter our lives and our thoughts with so many must do's and have to's, the wishes of others and the expectations we perceive to be laid upon us. What happens if you step away from the inner task list and search for an activity that enables you to simply get in touch with yourself. As I write this one I know I am suspect of not doing this too. One of the hardest most beautiful things is to live with ourselves as we are and with who we are. When we harshly judge ourselves we step into a pattern of judging others too. When doing this we open up the space for others analysis in return, that becomes still more baggage we place on our internal task list. Stopping the cycle of judgements can help stop yet more incoming tasks but a great secondary result is others around us can feel more peacefulness too. In effect you are de-cluttering your inner space helping stress levels, stepping out of patterns that can hurt you and others and hopefully giving space enough to get in touch with yourself.

 

Tip 3:  Dream dictionary and holding onto dead wood


In this article I am referring to the term dream dictionary, using it as a reference to the innermost wishes, desires and aspirations we have. Sometimes we tell these to the world and sometimes they lay hidden. Some will be easily fulfilled and others may simply be left to one side or vanish when not needed anymore. Maybe you already found your dream girl or dream house. What is lying within the pages of your dream dictionary?

If i show you a few of mine will you show me yours? Any dreams or aspirations you might have and are willing to share can be added to the comment section of this article and would be appreciated.

So some of mine in simple list form (some have are here or already realized and they are in no particular order):
  • to experience a deep love and trust of another human being.
  • to remain in touch with myself and the nature that surrounds me.
  • to learn new things, seek new adventures, continually discovering and exploring.
  • to share love and intimacy with a loved one, a child, pets and caring community creating a feeling of family. It comes from being comfortable with loneliness but choosing to search for more.
The great thing about getting in touch with your aspirations is that clarity bout the dead wood you are carrying in your life also surfaces. This new found awareness and space gives you insight into the things you are holding onto, or pulling away energy. If they aren't in your dream dictionary or working towards something there, then its probably good to let go. Don't do this because this article says so, check it in yourself and make the decision if its the right one. You have to live with the choice. 

Admitting I am terrible at this process myself, moving from natural collector to hoarder. Then at some moment being fed up with stuff that clogs up my living space, physical and metaphysical. I move to organizer and more minimalist. I found it was a huge weight off my shoulders when getting rid of resolutions for new years or otherwise. Finding a do now or let go approach works better for me. Not judging myself is an ongoing learning process, with a perfectionist tendencies relating to work and creative projects its hard to not let this impede on my personal conversation with myself. Many more tips could have been included, in the hope to avoid overload and delve into the simple idea of of touching base with yourself I left these out. 

Enjoyed this article? It would be lovely to hear an aspiration, point out of your dream diary and anything else you would like to share.


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Lonely planet, globetrotter without the baggage
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