29 November, 2010

Kingdom of Dreams

This weekend, I went with family to Kingdom of Dreams, India's answer to Sydney's Opera House, Paris's Moulin Rouge, Thailand's Phuket FantaSea, Singapore's Esplanade and London's Broadway. 

Set up by `Great Indian Nautanki Company' in the Millennium City. It is built at a cost of more than Rs 200 crore and will emerge as a major tourist destination.

Within the centre, Culture Gully, Patli Gully, Nautanki Mahal and ShowShaa Theatre each offer a unique entertainment proposition. Culture Gully, an air-conditioned boulevard spread across 100,000 sq. feet, showcases India's cultural and artistic diversity, heritage crafts and culinary delights  under India’s first ever sky dome.There are theme restaurants and over 350 exotic food preparations by certified chefs from across 14 states. There are performing arts, which are beautifully synchronized with spectacular technological wizardry.

But the centre of attraction and jewel in the crown at Kingdom of Dreams is Nautanki Mahal. Built like a palace, it is India's first state-of-the-art, futuristic 848-seat auditorium.  

In Nautanki Mahal we say a musical theatrical named Zangoora. And I have to say that it was SPECTACULAR. It surpasses every live performance that I have ever seen. The sets, performances, aerial acts, costumes, dances, it is to be seen to be believed. Photography was strictly not allowed there. So I do not have anything to share. But I highly recommend every one to experience this.


Zangoora is a fantasy tale set in the fictional Kingdom of Shaktishila. It is a classic story of good vs evil, as a gypsy boy Zangoora makes his journey towards his true destiny of being a prince. A love triangle emerges between Zangoora, princess Sonali and a feisty gypsy girl Laachi. Strung together with Bollywood music, the story explores a larger-than-life world full of magic, music, dance, color and all things Bollywood. Romance, drama, action, magic, scintillating performances and foot tapping music that promises to enthrall audiences like never before. 

Cast: Hussain Kuwajerwala, Kashmira Irani, Gauahar Khan, Sadanand Patil 
Music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Story, screenplay and dialogues written by Javed Akhtar
Dance direction and choreography by Shiamak Davar
Costumes for actors and performers are by Neeta Lulla. 
On-stage stunts directed by stunt director Alan Amin.

I wore
Woolen top: DKNY: Gift from sister
Tights: Forever21
Necklace: Gift from sister
Bag: Tom $ Eva, Paris: Gift from Husband
Shoes: Louis Vuitton

27 November, 2010

Eat right

Do I recommend energy drinks to my clients? No.
Do I recommend supplements to my clients? No
Do I recommend steroids to my clients? No
Are my clients able to achieve their target fitness goals? You bet they do. I can vouch on my life that they do.
Do I formulate a diet plan for my clients? Sure I do.

Energy drinks- Coconut water is the best Gatorade.
I recommend having coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water, etc instead of so called and marketed energy drinks.

Supplements- Human body is the best machine made by God. It is perfect. It has the power to cure itself, survive on natural foods given by nature without the fancy supplements marketed by big companies.
Yes, with changing fast paced lives and imbalanced nutrition, what you can have are few basic things like calcium, protein, multi vitamin. But what I do not recommend is those big jars with a body builder's body on top, showing a flexed bicep. Those expensive supplements are recommended by personal trainers who make more money selling them to you, than by making you do the right workouts. I never sell any supplements or recommend expensive jars to my clients. I ask them to buy simple calcium, multi vitamins and may be protein from any chemist. Rest, you eat good food- vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and your job is done.

Here is my typical salad. 

It has iceberg, zucchini (green and orange), and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Chop and toss dressing and it is ready to eat.

Steroids- Steroids have serious side effects. Hence, when I can help a person achieve the same results without steroids, then why should I adopt a short cut?

Kiran Sawhney
Personal Fitness trainer
New Delhi

26 November, 2010

Give me some sunshine

Winters are here and I do not like winters. I need lot of sunshine. 

What am I wearing
Top: DKNY: Gift from sister
Skirt: Ann Taylor, LOFT: Purchased with sister
Sandals: Charles and Keith
Ring and necklace: Forever 21
Watch: DKNY: All the watches are a gift from husband. 

My article in India Today

An Article about me got published here. in wonder woman of India Today

Following is the article.

Made a commitment to get some exercise into your routine? Before you head to the market to get the equipment, read through this buyer's guide.

It's ironic, but the more busy, stressed and tired you are, the more your body actually needs exercise to continue functioning normally. The endorphins kick in, your general fitness goes up and you can do much more. The good news is that getting started doesn't require fancy gym memberships or personal trainers; it requires a commitment to health and some basic equipment. The challenge? The market for health equipment has exploded, making it easy to get caught in a retail maze. So, do your homework before you set out to buy...
What's your goal?
Are you looking to lose weight? Do you want a more toned, fit body? Or are you keen to push up your energy? Often, your goals will be a combination of all three, but to choose specific equipment, you need to prioritise, unless you have the space and resources to buy a variety.
What are you willing to invest?
Time, money, space and effort are your investments. Time doesn't play a role in deciding equipment, but the others do. How many family members will use the equipment? How much space do you have? How much can you invest? 'People look at TV commercials for equipment, and assume that pricier is better,'
says Delhi-based personal trainer Kiran Sawhney who runs Fitnesolution. 'But you don't need elaborate gadgets to be fit. If you don't have joint or knee issues, for example, a simple skipping rope is a good start.' Tips you can use
Get (free!) pro advice
Most reputed gym chains offer free trials for a day or two. Check it out; also chat with the fitness trainer to understand what your workout should be to achieve your fitness goals - for free. Make sure you try out the kind of equipment that you can use at home. Here is what you need to keep in mind, going forward.
If you hate it, don't invest
'I hate to walk,' says Nandita Chawla, 39, a Delhi-based homemaker, 'but I bought a treadmill for exercising in my house, thinking that the machine would make me enjoy the activity - after all, the machine draws the most crowds at any gym! Turns out, I still hate to walk, and the treadmill blocks space we can't afford it in our guest room!'

While you will no doubt have to do some kind of exercise you dislike in the pursuit of your goals, remember that there is a difference between dislike and total aversion. The former is worth battling, the latter is a waste of your time.
Get fit for "nothing"

gym equipments
If you have stairs in your workplace, or live in a high-rise apartment, learn to take the stairs rather than buy a stepper to do the exact same thing. When Gauri Grover, 32, wanted to lose her post-baby weight in a hurry- but didn't have the space or budget for buying equipment - she adopted an age-old practice: sweeping and swabbing the floors of her home for a few months. 'It worked wonders. I lost 20kg in less than a year. Cost? Zero!'

The lesson here? 'Doing simple crunches or push ups on the floor is as effective as buying ab-exercisers or leg presses,'
says fitness expert Kiran. 'In fact, they are better, because you are simply working with your body's natural resistance, not external equipment,' adds Gauri. Use online search engines
You can access the best brand names and average pricing for the equipment you want. Read reviews - www.amazon.com is a treat place to start because there are customer reviews that accompany each product. Make a note of the model/manufacturer names that generate positive feedback.
Warns Sawhney: 'Don't go for local or Chinese made versions, but do not assume fancier brands are better either. A personal trainer can provide you brand names to choose from.'

What you can aim for...
A single piece of equipment from this list or a combination of these machines is what you need for most basic fitness goals.
Dumbbells and barbells

useful gym equipments
Dumbbells help build resistance, and are used for strength-training. They come in a range of weights; ideally, though, buy adjustable dumbbells, which change the weight/resistance levels at the push of a button.What to look for
In regular weights: a comfortable grip.
In adjustable weights: how high the weights go and what increment of weight you want.
Stability ball/balance ball
It is essentially a large ball (usually 18 to 28 inches in diameter) made of polyvinyl and can be used for a range of exercises - from abs to stretches, and in place of a conventional "bench" for weight training.
What to look for
Burst resistance; right size for yourheight; air pump.
Floor/yoga mat
For floor and stretch exercises, so you can exercise anywhere.
What to look for
The right size for you; anti-skid or anti-slip material.
Indoor bike
Great for a cardio workout and for toning your legs and thighs.
What to look for
A comfortable seat; smooth pedal movement; well-angled handlebars. If you have a lower-back issue, look for a "recumbent" bike whose angle will be more comfortable for you.
Stepper/step bench
It looks like a long low stool and is used for step aerobics. Can really get your body moving.
What to look for
A sturdy build; slip-proof material; adjustable height and adequate width of top surface.
Elliptical trainer
It is a top pick for cardio exercise and fat loss and the second most popular machine at most gymnasiums after the treadmill. It combines the effects of stair-climbing with a skiing motion, and gives you a full-body workout. A great calorie-burner.
What to look for
Good grip; stability, so the machine doesn't wobble; stride length that's suitable for your height. If many people of varying heights are going to use it, pick one with an adjustable stride.
Most treadmills are electric and have fancy extras; the more basic "manual" treadmills are inexpensive and are designed to move by your walking action. These are also effective but you lose variation in your walking routine.
What to look for
Basic readouts of heart-rate, speed, calories; good quality tread; good grip on the armrest.

The world of fitness equipment is almost limitless but you now know enough to hold your own with pushy salespeople. So go on, invest in your family's health with confidence!

Is the price right?

get wise about fitness
Reputed sporting goods stores are safe bets, but there are various other routes to get a bargain:
1. Ask the gym/trainer - They can guide you to wholesale dealers where you will get a good deal.
2. Go online - Ebay and craigslist (an online "classifieds" site) have India sites where you can find people who want to sell used equipment, including those based in your own city. Do check equipment personally before buying.
3. Visit gyms - They might be upgrading and disposing quality equipment, and you may get a good bargain.
What to ask the salesman?
  • Is it safe for you to use the equipment alone?
  • Does it have a warranty?
  • Is there a machine that combines the basic activity with something else?
  • What sort of maintenance does it require?
  • How long will it last?
  • What should you watch out for when using it?
Keep these "Don'ts" in mind…
  • Don't invest in expensive exercise videos. You can download them from www.youtube.com
  • Don't zero in on fancy accessories such as headbands, trackpants, shoes and the like. You need comfortable, basic clothing.
  • Don't buy equipment that does more than you need. Treadmills with TV screens, ipod docks and book stands may sound impressive, but may be unnecessary.
  • Don't buy from the biggest, best known store. Get your information from them, but shop around.

23 November, 2010

Why you should not hold on to treadmill while working out

At Fitnesolution (my fitness centre in Delhi), I never allow my clients to hold on to a treadmill and walk/run.
Personal fitness trainers do not lay much emphasis on such techniques and postural corrections.
The right way to walk/run on a treadmill is- elbows 90 degree bent, keep the chest up straight- not slouching forward or back, shoulders relaxed, land on your heel and roll through your toe or fore foot. Do not hold the treadmill while walking.
Walking/running, primarily uses the lower limbs. If while walking on a treadmill, you keep your elbows bent and move the arms also, it has following benefits:

1. The upper body also is simultaneously used.
2. The chances of getting the venous blood accumulated, if you dangle your hands, is minimized.
3. If you hold on to treadmill side handles while walking, chances are you compromise on your posture. The back is arched in. The lumbar curvature is abnormal. But if you walk without that support, your posture is not compromised.
4. Your work out is more effective and with more muscles being used, you burn more calories.

So next time, you are on a treadmill, be confident of your gait. Do not hold the handles.

Campeones Mundiales Tango Salón 2006

In 2006, the final of the Tango Salon category saw Fabián Peralta and Natacha Poberajas winners, from Rosario and Buenos Aires respectively.  Interesting note: Natacha is 7 months pregnant at the moment of the finals!!

Fabian Peralta and Natacha Poberaj (yellow suit and white dress) 

What to eat at the weddings

Wedding season is in full swing. Most of you would be going out and eating on everyday basis. So how to control what you eat. What foods to eat in a typical Indian wedding and what to avoid.
This is what I, as personal fitness trainer, do and recommend.

Leave all the snacks untouched. Most of them are fried. Eat only a piece or two of grilled snacks like paneer tikka or grilled mushroom etc.

Have only a clear soup. Not the one made thick with cream or starch.

Main Course
Have a little salad (If you find it neat), a fruit chaat, smallest possible helping of veges (maybe a spoon or two).

Skip all the breads, rotis, rice, Biryani, Desserts (Big no no).

And enjoy looking fabulous. Dance. Burn some calories.

Guruji's Knowledge Sheet: Knowledge & Faith

Hereon we delve into 12 of Guruji's Knowledge Sheets on "Faith"Sri Sri: In science you have knowledge first, and then faith follows. In spirituality, faith comes first, and then Knowledge follows.

For example, the knowledge that pesticides and chemical fertilizers are good for plants came through science, and people had faith in it, and all over the world they were used. And then another knowledge came that they were not good and the faith shifted to organic farming. The same with antibiotics.

The knowledge brought faith, the knowledge changed, and then faith changed. The knowledge and faith of science is of "happening." In spirituality, faith is first and Knowledge comes later. Like Kriya, Yoga, and meditation -- first you have faith and then Knowledge follows. For example, if you do pranayama faithfully then you get the Knowledge of the prana; if your do your meditation faithfully, the Knowledge of consciousness follows. Even an illiterate, through faith, attains deep Knowledge.

Vinod: Human is the best composite material. (Laughter -- this is the NASA scientist mind.)

Sri Sri: Science considers even human as matter, and spirituality considers even earth as mother, even rivers and mountains as living beings.

Science regards life as matter and spirituality regards even matter as life.

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

Daily Sutra} Subject: Love + Wisdom = Happiness

We need to wake up to the power that we are made up of, that is love. Like our body is made up of amino acids, carbohydrates and protein, our spirit is made up of love. It is love that gets distorted and becomes all other negative emotions. It is wisdom which can keep love pure. Love without knowledge or wisdom is misery. Love plus wisdom is happiness. It is as simple as that.

{Knowledge Sheet} Subject: Self is the ocean and mind is a wave

Q: I feel happy and peaceful here. My heart is really contented. All negativity comes when I go out. I encounter all problems like corruption and bribery. How to face these problems? How to maintain the same positivity when I go from here?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You forget a strength in you – Prayer and power of your Sankalpa (positive intention). 

SUTRA: "Every pain that you undergo in this process is for higher growth. A seed 'has pain' to sprout and a sprout 'has pain' to become bigger" - Sri Sri
"It is admirable with what a gentle resoluteness, with what a calm dynamic, with what full concentration, with what incorruptible kindness, Sri Sri makes people understand that they can only contribute to peace by overcoming their own inner fear and prejudices against others”
- Prof. Gesine Schwan, candidate for the 2009 German presidential elections & Dean of Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance, Berlin.

Giving Direction to Young Inmates

“I never felt my breath this light before in my whole life. Today, I am feeling so much peace and silence than I ever felt before.” A young inmate, Tihar Jail, Delhi, India
The Art of Living’s Youth Empowerment and Skills (YES!+) program, conducted for around 200 inmates in jail no. 5 of Tihar Jail Complex, made a remarkable impact on the youngsters. The adolescent group, aged between 16 and 25 years, was infamous for being adamant, rude and non-compliant. Rohit Ranjan, YES!+ faculty admitted, “Initially, it was quite challenging to hold their attention. But after the Sudarshan Kriya, it became easy to connect with them”.
The workshop was spread over five days and conducted by 12 teachers. While the youngsters were initially reluctant, they slowly began to enjoy the course. From the third day onwards, one could witness substantial changes - the adolescents offered to help and volunteer for the workshop. They became receptive and even opened up to share personal experiences by the end of the workshop. Sayeed (name changed), a 22-year-old, quit smoking and vowed to leave a criminal life.

Their experiences can make one cry

Karan Nijhawan, YES!+ faculty shared, “Initially, it was difficult to ask them to do anything, but with passage of time and after experiencing the Sudarshan Kriya, they exhibited a noticeable change. Their experiences shared can make one cry.”
The prison staff also believed the program had an incredibly positive impact on the group. S.C.Bharadwaj, Superintendent of Jail No 5, said that the course was well-organized and benefited the inmates immensely. He said, “The breathing techniques helped the inmates release all their negative emotions and think about life with a new perspective. They were encouraged to tap their hidden talents.”

Teaching in Tihar since 1999

The Art of Living’s Stress Management And Rehabilitation Training (SMART) program was introduced in Tihar jail, in 1999. Over 48,000 prison inmates in Tihar jail alone have benefited from the program. Special courses have been conducted for the prison staff to cope with the stress, owing to the nature of their job. The course is conducted twice a year for the staff, and around 130 members have completed the Art of Living Introductory Course.

Sri Sri enthralls European Parliament
Takes the global anti-corruption issue to world leaders

Brussels, Nov 19, 2010: 400 delegates, 25 ambassadors and MPs from various countries, corporate heads, and businessmen gathered at the European Parliament on November 19, 2010 and in a live telecast appealed to citizens across the globe to rise against increasing corruption in the world.

The event was conducted by The World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB), which is a sister organization of The Art of Living. Through its annual International Leadership Symposium on Ethics in Business, WFEB brings together global leaders to dialogue on the pressing need to strengthen human values and ethics in business.

“The basis of ethics is economy. You can’t have ethics in a society that is poor. The ethics is economy and the basis of economy is the state and the basis of state is civil society. We need to look at it as a circle. Now people are becoming more aware, thanks to the media. This is an opportunity for youngsters to wake up and see that you can be successful and follow ethics. You can make very good profits and be ethical,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the International Association for Human Values and The Art of Living and co-founder of WFEB.

The topic of 2010 Symposium was “Leadership in the 21st Century - Time for a Paradigm Shift!” The initiative was financed by the Government of Belgium and saw the adoption of a seven-point plan and charter, with delegates pledging to support the anti-corruption agenda, in a world that has seen an estimated $30 trillion loss due to corruption and rendered 25 million people jobless.

“We are here to leave this room having decided to act. We are here to have the paradigm shift. I am interested in the shift not in the time for the shift. The time to shift is now,” said Mr. Nirj Deva, the Vice-President of the Development Committee, European Parliament.

“We need to engage more governments and business and make better use of media,” declared Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the Managing Director of the World Bank and expressed the bank’s willingness to be a key partner for some of the actions discussed at the Forum.

The Forum collectively adopted and pledged to:
  • Act to promote shared values and ethical leadership at the individual, organizational, sectoral and global levels.
  • Serve as models of ethical and socially responsible behavior to inspire current and future generations of leaders across business, civil society and government. 
  • Mainstream corporate social responsibility into current business practices and education. 
  • Sustain dialogue to build greater awareness across stakeholders and shareholders of the importance of ethics in business. 
  • Share inspiring examples of the intersection of ethics and profitability to build wider public trust in business.
  • Engage and partner with key individuals, forums and initiatives to leverage our collective ability to deliver transformational impact.
  • Monitor and report on our progress at the 2011 World Forum for Ethics in Business.
The initiative also announced the winners of the Ethics in Business Award 2010. Andris Piebalgs, The European Commissioner for Development, was awarded in the category ‘Most Outstanding Public Figure for the Year 2010’. The award in the category ‘Outstanding Corporation’ was given to Mr. Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Vice-President, Global External Affairs at Unilever PLC and Outstanding individual; Mr. Dele Olojede, Managing Director, Timbuktu media and the 1st Pulitzer prize winner from Africa.

The participants in the World Youth Forum, traditionally held in the week before the Symposium, joined the top leaders at the European Parliament. This year the Forum gathered 25 young professionals, including acting leaders with impactful achievements and demonstrated social responsibility, from 10 countries.

The Symposium was first launched on the inspiration of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 2003 in Bangalore, India, and the venue moved to the European Parliament in Brussels in 2006. Over the past seven years, political leaders, Nobel Laureates and top executives from global companies such as Shell International B.V., Microsoft Corpora¬tion, Coca Cola, Infosys, ING Bank, GMR Group, Daimler AG and Tata Services have participated in this annual initiative.

In the Picture: Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the International Leadership Symposium on Ethics in Business in Brussels on Nov 19. Also seen with him are Rajita Bagga, Director, WFEB; Dr. Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President, World Bank Institute, World Bank. Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Managing Director, World Bank; Mr. Nirj Deva, Vice-President, Development Committee in the European Parliament; Amb.Jean Paul Carteron, Chairman Crans Montana Forum.