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Personal trainers are quite expensive here in Dubai and after a short yet desperate conversation with Tashika, we agreed to personal sessions via Skype. It's only been a month so far but i've lost 2 inches off my waist and of course feel the fat converting into muscle.
I love how she customizes the workout sessions according to the individual's requirements. I'm looking forward to continuing our sessions.
Thank you Tashika Shah
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Pose of the Week : Crescent Lunge Twist
Promotes stability in the front and back of the torso. Tones the lower body. Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, arms, neck, belly, groins (psoas) and the muscles of the back. Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves and ankles.
Pose of the week:
Upward Plank Pose - Purvottanasana
Step by step
Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you in Dandasana.
Place your hands a little behind your hips with the fingers pointing towards the toes, point your toes.
Roll your inner thighs in, draw your belly in and up, and as you inhale, lift your hips up as high as you can, keeping your chin to your chest.
Firm your shoulder blades on your back to help lift your chest up.
When your chest is lifted you may choose to bring your head back.
Keep your chin tucked when you bring your head back, to the point where you can’t keep it tucked anymore. Then gently release your head.
Alternatively, if this feels too much for your neck, keep your head up and your chin towards your chest.
Stay here for about 5 breaths, then as you exhale, lower your hips back down into Dandasana.
If you find this too challenging, bend your knees and lift up into a reverse tabletop.
Find a hand position that suits your shoulders: fingers point forward or away from you
Engage your gluteus muscles (buttocks) to support you in this pose.
Stretches the front of the shoulders, the chest and the front of the ankles.
Strengthens the arms, core, legs and back.
Excellent counterpose for Chaturanga Dandasana.
Studies have also shown that a 20 minute walk in nature 3x a week massively reduces stress levels.
This works to the point that even if a person can see trees from their office window they have increased serotonin levels and productivity.
A key aspect of human physiology is that every emotion/state of mind (anger, joy, anxiety) has a corresponding breathing pattern. By correcting the breathing pattern, mental issues like anxiety can be improved. Exercise improves lung health and hence improves breathing pattern.
Pose of the Week: BOAT POSE
Boat Pose builds abdominal and core strength. In addition to the abdominal muscles, it works the deep hip flexors. These muscles get weak when you sit too much. It will also help you build your balance.
Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Lift your feet off the floor. Keep your knees bent at first. Bring your shins parallel to the floor. This is half boat pose.
Your torso will naturally fall back, but do not let the spine round.
Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle if you can do so without losing the integrity of your upper body. You want to keep your torso as upright as possible so that it makes a V shape with the legs.
Roll your shoulders back and straighten your arms roughly parallel to the floor with your palms turned up.
Do your best to balance on the sit bones, but it's normal if you are resting slightly behind them. Focus on lifting your chest to support the balance.
Stay for at least five breaths.
Release your legs on an exhale. Then inhale and sit up.
Too often, students think the pose is all about straightening their legs, which they struggle to do at the expense of their straight spine and upright torso. Having straight legs when your spine is slumped and your upper body is inching toward the floor is not doing great things for you.
Focus instead on keeping a tight V between your thighs and torso. Half boat, with the legs bent at the knee, is really a good place to work on this pose. Straightening the legs can come later.
Pose of the Week : SALABHASANA (LOCUST POSE)
Step by step:
Lie on your stomach, arms by your side, your forehead or your chin on the mat.
Lengthen your lower back by gently pressing your p***c bone into the floor, and pull your navel in towards the spine as you exhale.
Engage your leg muscles.
As you inhale, lift your head, chest, arms and legs off the floor, firming your shoulder blades onto your back, and so broadening your chest. You can imagine someone holding your hands gently pulling you back, to come up higher.
Feet are drawn towards the mid-line but do not have to be touching, you can keep them hip-width apart.
Stay for 5 breaths making sure breathing remains calm and steady.
As you exhale, lower out of the pose then repeat another two times.
Rest in between each pose by making a pillow for your cheek with your arms and letting your heels drop away from each other.
Strengthens the back, glutes, and leg muscles.
Stretches the front of the body.
Opens the chest and shoulders
Stimulates the abdominal organs.
Watch out for:
Don’t do Locust pose if you are pregnant.
Avoid crunching the neck, keep the chin in slightly and the back of the neck long.
If it’s uncomfortable for your hips or p***c bone try putting a folded blanket under your hip bones.
In the yogic tradition, the breath is thought to carry a person's life force. Pranayama, or breathing exercises, are believed to clear the emotional and physical obstacles within us to free up life force (prana) and extend (ayama) our lives.
Here's a peek into the benefits of yogic breathing and how to get started with the technique.
The mind-body benefits of yogic breathing.
1. Reduced stress
Studies have repeatedly shown that conscious breathing is an effective way to combat stress. A 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that participants who completed eight weeks of breathwork training had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared with those who did not receive the training.
2. Improved focus
If you find your mind constantly wandering, breathwork might help. A 2018 study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition found that breath-focused yoga boosted attention span in participants. Furthermore, deep breathing can improve oxygen levels in the prefrontal cortex (the area of our brain responsible for reasoning, logic, and acuity).
3. Fired-up digestion
Breathwork can help improve digestion in two ways. Firstly, by calming the stress response and lowering cortisol, it naturally frees up energy that the body can then use for digesting food. Secondly, powerful abdominal breathing such as the pulsating method in Kapalabahti (see below) works by massaging the internal organs, which is thought to improve the digestive system.
4 breath techniques to try
Basic Breath Awareness
The breath is like a mirror; it reflects our personal state back to us. For example, if we’re stressed or anxious, we may find the breath is shallow or rapid. This is why in yoga we always start with simply noticing the breath, so that we can learn more about our inner worlds and use that knowledge to support ourselves.
How to do it:
Begin by bringing your awareness to your breath; breathing through your nose, observe the inhalation and exhalation. Be inquisitive but non-judgmental: what’s the depth like? The direction? The quality? No need to change or do anything. Stay here for a few minutes.
Deep Belly Breathing
A very important part of any yoga practice is sending the breath into the belly. This is our natural, resting state of breathing. (If you look at babies sleeping they breathe into their bellies.) Deep belly breathing calms the nervous system by targeting the largest cranial nerve in our body, the vagus nerve, which in turn soothes the stress response in the brain.
How to do it:
With the hands resting on the belly, breathe in deeply, sending the breath away from the chest and down toward the abdomen. Imagine there is a balloon in your belly: On the inhale that balloon expands into your hands, and on the exhale it deflates. Try this for a few minutes at the beginning and end of your yoga practice, or any time throughout the day.
Ujjayi (“victorious”) breath
Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai-y) has been used for thousands of years to enrichen hatha yoga, synchronizing breath with movement to make the practice more rhythmic. Ujjayi is practiced by gently constricting the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. Due to the sound this creates, it’s also referred to as “oceanic breath”.
How to do it:
The key here is to stay relaxed so that you don’t generate a “rasping” sound. Inhale through your nose, then open your mouth and exhale slowly, making a “HA” sound. Try this a few times, then close your mouth, keeping the back of your throat in the same shape you used to make the “HA,” as you exhale solely through the nose. Try introducing this into your yoga practice, feeling the oceanic-like waves of breath guiding your movement.
Kapalabhati, also known as Breath of Fire or “skull shining breath” is a brilliant way to enliven the body and mind, and to jumpstart your yoga practice when you’re feeling lethargic. Try a few rounds before you start moving.
How to do it:
To start, take a full, deep inhalation through the nose and exhale slowly through the nose. Keeping the mouth closed, inhale again, and begin exhaling by quickly pulling in the lower abs to force air out in short spurts. Your inhalation will be passive between each active, quick exhalation. The pumping sensation should feel a little as if someone is poking you in the stomach on the exhale. Try 10-20 breaths, take a break for a few deep, regular breaths, and then try another round.
The bottom line.
Breathwork is an excellent tool to supercharge your yoga practice. Breathing consciously during yoga helps us access the practice’s deeper spiritual levels of connection, as well as prevent injury by keeping the body and mind in a relaxed and aware state. The best way to learn how breathwork can help your yoga is to experience it for yourself. So go forth, and don’t forget to breathe.
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What yoga does to your body and brain
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What is Self-Love and Why Is It So Important
What is self-love?
Theres a lot of talk these days about self-love. It sounds great, but what does it actually mean? How do we love ourselves and why does it matter?
Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.
Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. So, when you conceptualize self-love, you can try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how youd talk to yourself, and how youd feel about yourself that reflects love and concern.
When you love yourself, you have an overall positive view of yourself. This doesnt mean you feel positive about yourself all the time. That would be unrealistic! For example, I can temporarily feel upset, angry, or disappointed with myself and still love myself. If this is confusing, think about how this works in other relationships. I can love my son even though I sometimes feel angry or disappointed with him. Even in the midst of my anger and disappointment, my love for him informs how I relate to him. It allows me to forgive him, consider his feelings, meet his needs, and make decisions that will support his wellbeing. Self-love is very much the same. Which means, if you know how to love others, you know how to love yourself!
What does self-love look like?
The following are examples of what self-love can look like in action.
Saying positive things to yourself
Forgiving yourself when you mess up
Meeting your own needs
Not letting others take advantage of or abuse you
Prioritizing your health and wellbeing
Spending time around people who support you and build you up (and avoiding people who dont)
Asking for help
Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
Recognizing your strengths
Valuing your feelings
Making healthy choices most of the time
Living in accordance with your values
Pursuing your interests and goals
Holding yourself accountable
Giving yourself healthy treats
Accepting your imperfections
Setting realistic expectations
Noticing your progress and effort
Why do we need to love ourselves?
If you grew up without any models for self-love or anyone who talked to you about the importance of being good to yourself, you might question its value.
Well, without self-love, youre likely to be highly self-critical and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionism. Youre more likely to tolerate abuse or mistreatment from others. You may neglect your own needs and feelings because you dont value yourself. And you may self-sabotage or make decisions that arent in your own best interest.
Self-love is the foundation that allows us to be assertive, set boundaries and create healthy relationships with others, practice self-care, pursue our interests and goals, and feel proud of who we are.
Self-love vs. narcissism
In addition to questioning whether self-love is really necessary, another big barrier to self-love is the belief that its narcissistic or selfish.
When psychologists and therapists encourage self-love, they arent talking about putting yourself on a pedestal above everyone else. Narcissists believe theyre better than others and wont acknowledge or take responsibility for their mistakes and flaws. They also seek extraneous amounts of external validation and recognition. Narcissists also lack empathy for others.
Self-love, on the other hand, isnt about showing off how great you are. People who love themselves in a healthy way know that they are flawed and make mistakes and they accept and care about themselves despite their imperfections. Self-love doesnt prevent you from caring about others; it simply means you can give yourself the same kindness that you give to others.
Putting self-love into practice
Often, when things are hard to do, we avoid them. You might notice that you have thoughts like these:
Ill take a break and focus on myself after Ive taken care of my family.
Noticing my feelings and journaling sounds like a lot of work.
Im afraid I wont be able to change.
I want to be less self-critical, but I dont know how.
Self-care seems self-indulgent.
I have too much to do.
I know this relationship isnt good for me, but I dont want to be alone.
Ive been surviving on five hours of sleep for years, so it cant be that bad.
Its normal to be ambivalent about self-love or making any change. However, loving yourself doesnt mean you have to change everything about your life. Just try to treat yourself a little better than you did yesterday.
To get started, I suggest that you identify one loving thing you can do for yourself today. It could be a supportive thought or action. Next, write down what youre going to do and when youll do it. Writing it down increases accountability and makes it more likely that youll follow through. As you add more and more loving thoughts and actions to your daily life, theyll begin to crowd out some of your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. With practice, self-love will become second nature.
Written by Sharon Martin
Contact us for meditation and Pranayama for stress relief.
Alleviating Autism Symptoms Through Homeopathy
An article I wrote for a US based online publication about a case study. For treatment of Autism in kids, pls. message for consultation ~ Dr. Tashika
Alleviating Autism Symptoms Through Homeopathy Learn how homeopathy helped a young girl with autism regulate some of her symptoms. More at Koshas, The Alternative Medicine Portal.
Can Yoga Promote Weight Loss?
The answer is yes, but your intake of calories will also play a significant role in your ability to lose weight. The main objective of shedding pounds is to burn more calories than you consume. Physical exercise is a critical component in burning those calories, and yoga can be a useful exercise option.
Personal training for those who prefer a 1 on 1 class or seek solutions for health issues (weight loss, diabetes,hypertension, pcos, arthiritis etc.) through Yoga Therapy with specific preventive and curative postures.
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We believe that both a healthy mind and body are essential to healthy living. That's why we approach health and wellness from a medically integrated perspective. Our comprehensive programs provide you with everything you need to reach your health and fitness goals. We offer individualized health, fitness and self development programs focused on improving the quality of life for those who are healthy as well as for those with chronic medical conditions. Tashika's Wellness Zone is unique in its commitment to meeting each member's personal needs. Come enjoy the extraordinary experience yourself!
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