Fitness alert: Start your yoga journey with these easy tips

Yoga is often considered to be all about tough, limb-twisting poses. But, yoga expert Abhishek Otwal says that it is not about “touching your toes, or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast”, rather an easy process of uniting with yourself – “using your breath, body, and mind“.

The expert adds that it does not matter if you’re not flexible or are starting your yoga journey at the age of 40. “This fitness journey will bring much joy and relaxation to you,” he says.

As such, he shares some easy tips for beginners

*Warm up – Gentle warm up exercises help the body to loosen up and prepare it for the asanas. Rotate your neck, both clockwise and anticlockwise, and pump your shoulders to relieve any stiffness and shrug off the lethargy.

*Although it’s best to practice yoga early in the morning, but any time of the day is fine as long as you are regular with it. “Don’t feel pressurised and over-exert your body right in the beginning. Your flexibility and efficiency will improve with everyday practice. Always finish with Yoga Nidra (sleep meditation) for a few minutes, as it helps to cool down the body,” he suggests.

*Whenever you start with yoga, try to start with easy asanas and postures such as downward-facing dog, tree pose, child’s pose, and savasana. “In each pose, try to focus on pressing your hands or feet into the floor, lengthening your spine, and relaxing your hips. If you keep this in mind as you practice, you will be working with every pose exactly as the most devoted practitioners do. There is no need to rush or try to jump into more complex poses,” he adds.

*Always practice yoga on an empty stomach or at least 2-3 hours after your last meal. When practicing yoga, you are much more in tune with your body’s subtle feelings than at any other point, and practicing with food in the stomach inevitably leads to discomfort and feeling unwell. “Eating just before practicing can lead to feeling of heaviness, and can disrupt the digestion process as well. It is also advised to drink at least three to four liters of water during the day in order to flush toxins that are released while practicing out of the body,” he says.

*Breathing plays an important role in yoga as the practice is all about finding a healthier, deeper harmony between our body and mind, and breathing is central to this.

*It’s always best to start doing yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can guide you through the correct way of doing each and every technique. This would help you learn yoga asanas properly and avoid injuries.

Why does coffee sometimes make me tired?

Caffeine, the main active ingredient in coffee, has a well-justified reputation for being an energy booster. But caffeine is also a drug, which means that it can impact each of us differently, depending on our consumption habits and our genes.

“The paradox of caffeine is that in the short term, it helps with attention and alertness. It helps with some cognitive tasks, and it helps with energy levels,” said Mark Stein, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, who has studied the impact of caffeine on people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. “But the cumulative effect — or the long-term impact — has the opposite effect.”

Part of the paradoxical effects of caffeine results from its effects on what researchers refer to as “sleep pressure,” which fuels how sleepy we become as the day wears on. From the moment we wake up, our bodies have a biological clock that drives us to go back to sleep later in the day.

Seth Blackshaw, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University who studies sleep, said that researchers are still learning about how sleep pressure builds up in the body, but that over the course of the day, our cells and tissues use and burn energy in the form of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. As that ATP gets expended — as we think, exercise, run errands or sit on conference calls — our cells generate a chemical called adenosine as a byproduct. That adenosine goes on to bind to receptors in the brain, making us more sleepy.

Kirsten Dunst reveals she welcomed second baby with Jesse Plemons four months ago

Actor Kirsten Dunst has said that she gave birth to her second child with fiance Jesse Plemons four months ago.

During an interview with The New York Times published on Friday, the 39-year-old actor revealed that they have named their newborn son James Robert.

“This is the newest guy, the Big Kahuna. He’s an angel, but he’s a hungry angel. And a heavy angel,” Dunst said about the baby.

“I’m so tired, I haven’t slept through the night in four months. I’ve developed an eye twitch, too. Yeah, I’m in a really special place,” she added.

Dunst had revealed her latest pregnancy in W Magazine’s Directors Issue back in March and showed her growing baby bump on the cover.

Dunst and Plemons, 33, are also parents to their three-year-old son Ennis.

The couple met while filming the second season of popular series Fargo in 2015 and got engaged in 2017.

On the work front, Dunst and Plemons currently feature together in filmmaker Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, also starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. It is scheduled to be released in US theatres on November 17 before hitting streaming platform Netflix on December 1.

Holistic yoga practices to regularise hormonal health

The combination of proper diet, regular exercise, and positive thoughts can make a lot of difference to one’s life, experts suggest. Taking it a step ahead, fitness influencer Juhi Kapoor shared certain yogic practices to regularise hormonal health.

“Regulation of hormonal balance is not just one tablet solution. Your approach needs to be holistic in terms of nutrition, workout, and positivity,” she shared on her Instagram page, Fitness Fables.

Anuloma Viloma can help to achieve balance throughout your body. It will detoxify your system and also keep you composed, improve functioning of organs, and aid better production of hormones

Cuba becomes first country to vaccinate toddlers against Covid

HAVANA: Cuba on Monday became the first country in the world to vaccinate children from the age of two against Covid-19, using home-grown jabs not recognized by the World Health Organization.

The communist island of 11.2 million people aims to inoculate all its children before reopening schools that have been closed for the most part since March 2020.

The new school year started on Monday, but from home via television programs, as most Cuban homes do not have internet access.

Having completed clinical trials on minors with its Abdala and Soberana vaccines, Cuba kicked off its inoculation campaign for children on Friday, starting with those 12 and older.

On Monday, it started distributing jabs in the 2-11 age group in the central province of Cienfuegos.

Several other countries in the world are vaccinating children from the age of 12, and some are conducting trials in younger kids.

Countries such as China, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela have announced they plan to vaccinate younger children, but Cuba is the first to do so.

Chile on Monday approved the Chinese Sinovac vaccines for children between six and 12.

The Cuban vaccines, the first developed in Latin America, have not undergone international, scientific peer review.

They are based on recombinant protein technology — the same used by the United States´ Novavax and France´s Sanofi jabs also awaiting WHO approval.

Unlike many other shots in use, recombinant vaccines do not require extreme refrigeration.

The majority of schools in Cuba have been closed since March 2020, reopening for a few weeks at the end of last year before closing again in January.

The government has announced schools will reopen gradually, in October and November, but only after all children have been vaccinated.

UN agency UNICEF has called for schools worldwide to reopen as soon as possible, as “the long-term costs of closures are too high and hard to justify.”

Cuba has seen an explosion in coronavirus infections in recent months, putting pressure on its health system.

Of the 5,700 coronavirus deaths recorded since the outbreak started, nearly half were in the last month alone, as were almost a third of all reported cases.

PISA 2021: Jannat Mirza

Pakistan International Screen Awards (PISA) has announced nominations for its second edition, taking place on the 5th of November 2021 in Dubai.

The PISA organizers have announced nominations in 24 categories.

The star-studded event will not only include awards for film and TV screen artists but also, for the first time ever, Pakistani social media personalities (TikTok and Instagram celebrities) will be present to receive their accolades on stage.

TikTokers Kanwal Aftab, Jannat Mirza and Instagram celebrities Dananeer Mobeen and Romaisa Khan have been nominated for this year’s PISA awards.

Following are TikTok and Instagram nominations for PISA 2021.

Teachers’ Day 2021: Importance, history and significance of Teachers’ Day celebration in India

Teachers’ Day 2021, Teachers Day History, Significance and Importance: Dedicated to teachers and the role they play in shaping their students’ lives, every year September 5 is celebrated as Teachers’ Day. The day also commemorates the birth anniversary of scholar and Bharat Ratna recipient Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on the same day in 1888.

A revered academic, Radhakrishnan — also the first vice president and second president of independent India — was born into a Telugu family. He authored the book, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, he had a master’s degree in philosophy and played a huge role in placing Indian philosophy on the global map. He had a long academic career and taught at Chennai’s Presidency College and Calcutta University, and even served as the Vice Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh University (from 1931-1936). He also taught Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford from 1936, a position he held for 16 years.

Since 1962 — the year he took oath as the President of India — Teacher’s Day is celebrated on his birthday to commemorate his work, something he is believed to have considered a “proud privilege”.

Remnants of Hurricane Ida hit US Open, create chaos

Even a retractable roof at the U.S. Open was no match for the heavy rain and wind as the remnants of Hurricane Ida carried to Flushing Meadows, knocking down tree limbs and causing flooding around the tournament grounds, while forcing a match to shift from one court to another after a delay of 2 1/2 hours.

“Crazy weather,” was the way 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman summed things up after he managed to beat 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4 in their interrupted contest to reach the third round as Wednesday became Thursday.

The National Weather Service office in New York declared its first-ever set of flash flood emergencies in the region, subway stations and tracks became so flooded that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended all service and New York City put in place a travel ban until 5 a.m. ET Thursday for all non-emergency vehicles.

Schwartzman and Anderson originally went out to start their match at Louis Armstrong Stadium before 7:30 p.m. but did not finish until just past 1 a.m. at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Those are the only two arenas at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center outfitted with covers that can be moved into place and allow competition to proceed when Mother Nature causes problems.Usually, anyway.

Armstrong, a 14,000-seat stadium that was updated ahead of the 2018 U.S. Open, was equipped with a naturally ventilated roof and the space purposely left between the concourse and the top allowed the rain to get blown onto the court by strong wind. So folks popped open umbrellas while sitting under the roof, and Anderson and Schwartzman were halted at 5-all in the first set while workers dried the court. Play resumed, then was stopped again early in the second set. The tournament then gave up on the idea of finishing at Armstrong and decided to move things to Ashe once the in-progress match there between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Adrian Mannarino ended.

Wednesday’s last scheduled match in Armstrong, between Angelique Kerber and Anhelina Kalinina, was postponed until Thursday. Schwartzman had no interest in that sort of scenario. “I was ready to play and I wanted to finish today, not finish tomorrow. You never know what can happen,” said Schwartzman, a 5-foot-7 Argentine who reached the semifinals at last year’s French Open and twice has been a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open. “I was trying to push … to play tonight.”
Then, since things were running so simply and smoothly as it is, Mannarino grabbed the third set in a tiebreaker that ended just past 11 p.m. to prolong that match and, in turn, delay the continuation of Anderson vs. Schwartzman.

On top of that, Tsitsipas headed off court for a toilet break, as is his wont. Eight minutes elapsed before the fourth set could start, and Mannarino got a bunch of tennis balls so he could hit some practice serves to keep his shoulder loose. Tsitsipas returned to boos from spectators.
At least things were expedited from there. Tsitsipas rolled through a 6-0 fourth set in a mere half-hour, and Anderson and Schwartzman wasted little time getting out on Ashe.