aniruddha pathak

5 Benefits of ballroom dancing

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2014 at 15:35

An article that got featured here http://healthmeup.com/opinion-diet-fitness/benefits-of-ballroom-dancing/31038

 

It was back in 2009 that I started with this dance form. Having been fascinated by watching latin dancing in movies, and Spanish culture in general I always wanted to learn this dance form. I was sick of the routine life of working, coming back home spending time on the internet and sleeping, and it was time to change that. Health was taking a toll too due to sedentary life style. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol. It was time to take charge and do things that I loved. I decided to start with Salsa but soon was fascinated to see Latin ballroom dancing, and decided this is it, this is what I want to learn. 5 years and still learning this dance form has given me a lot and I would love to share with you all the benefits that this dance form has given me.

  1. Posture: One of the first tangible benefits that you will start seeing once you start focusing on the technique in this dance form is your posture will improve like anything. You have to maintain a frame, hold your own frame and not put weight on your partner. Try this, roll your shoulders back and press it down. Extend your neck as if you are trying to touch the ceiling. There does your neck feel longer now? Do you feel taller? I was complimented by my mother who told me how I don’t slouch anymore while I walk.

 

  1. Balance:  With the amount of spins that a ballroom dancer learns to do, your balance will improve tremendously. You will be learning how to transfer your body weight from one leg to the other. How to do multiple spins, how to spot at a point while spinning. How to make your partner spin. It will all go on to improve your body balance.

 

  1. Core strength: A lot of core strength is involved in doing the steps of latin ballroom dancing. A dancer trains to build his strength through various yoga/pilates exercises. Planks, leg raises, side bridge, wall sits all form a part of the warm up regime to help the dancer. All this will help to make your core stronger.

 

  1. Cardio: Dancing latin ballroom is seriously good cardio, if you follow the right technique. Just a minute of jive is as good as running for ten minutes. This will help strengthen your heart and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

  1. Social benefits: Apart from all the physical benefits it also helps you pick up social skills. The more you attend social dancing events, you will learn how to ask your partners out to dance, and more importantly an opportunity to meet new people and learn from them.

Relax, Rethink and Rejuvenate at COORG

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2014 at 17:40

Life is fast. In Mumbai, its faster than one can imagine. My friends from other cities have experienced it and thats why that bold statement there. We are all busy, running, sometimes we dont even know why? We keep running still. While we are at it, and get exhausted, its always a good idea to pause. Relax, Rethink and Rejuvinate.

It was on one such trip that I took with my wife that I realised what we tend to miss in city life. No, this post is not about criticizing the city life and propagating to go live in a village. Its about loving yourself, giving some time to yourself, to relax, think and get back to life. My wife always wanted to visit this resort called Orange county in Coorg. I always resisted the idea because EXPENSIVE. So when she found a good deal on the internet, I gave it some thought and agreed. My wife was expecting, and this was going to be her Baby-moon!

I will state this upfront, I was glad I made the decision to go and stay at Orange County!! It was one of the best holidays I have taken till date. The reason I say this is it made me realise what I missed in the city.

Fresh Air.

The smell of flowers.

Smell of rain kissed earth.

The sound of birds (and they have thousands of them at Orange county it seems)

 

We reached Orange county in the afternoon of December. Next day early morning we were supposed to go for Bird watching. We were tired from our long trip from Bangalore to Coorg, but I insisted and convinced my wife to wake up early. And this is what we woke up to, foggy morning, it was just brilliant.

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There is something really soothing about waking up on a foggy morning, to walk out of the room facing the lake. Walking bare foot on the grass that has been adorned by dew overnight. That smell of leaves washed out by the mist. Every step that I took on the grass outside our cottage sent a chill down my spine, how much I missed this since childhood, this smell and touch of nature. It was all right there.

We had our coffee sitting outside and soaking in the smell of coffee and nature together. Every sip so perfect, dont know if it was the coffee or the whole arrangement, done perfectly by nature, could it be more perfect? Well we decided to take a walk before we could go bird spotting.

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Like I said it only got better. It was as if I was walking through clouds. Heavenly. It seemed like a mythical place, no traffic, just pure nature out there to allow me to soak in every bit of it. The aroma of flowers on the way, the soaked trail that invited me. It was all cleaned up, just for me, so it seemed.

From me is this gift, receive

question not the almighty

For I know what’s good for you

Have Faith and believe

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So I did not question the miracle for this was the scene I saw. Sunrays paying its respect to this praying area that they had at Orange County. I just wished time could stop and I could stand there forever admiring this beautiful sight. With me, the birds and animals at the resort were praying too. I prayed that this resort stayed like this, and that us humans who visit could keep it this way and not spoil this magic.

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I reached the place where we were supposed to start with our bird-watching. There was still time. When I reached there, what I witnessed was a scene straight out from a movie. A swing, in between two really tall trees. I could think of all Hollywood movies like Lord of the rings, Avatar and what not. I never thought such a thing ever existed, they did that in movies using VFX, but it was right here in front of me. I was stunned. Now, I take you on to that swing, so you could feel that moist grass under your bare feet, as your father gives you that gentle push, and off you go. Having a conversation with the clouds, the birds who come and sit right next to you on the swing. As you touch and feel the vines that run all along the ropes of the swing. You smell that fruit eaten by parakeets right next to you, you can even smell the lake next to the swing, its all filled with lotuses. Do you need anything else to refresh you early in the morning?

Perhaps you do, a nice breakfast would not harm isnt it? A restaurant on top of the hill, overlooking the lake from the top. The traditional south-indian decor did indicate the food that we were about to devour. Don’t worry no food pics here. Having breakfast amidst the birds who were out searching for their own food, and chirping, perhaps made me feel better than the shrill noise of my morning alarm. Just as I settled in to my seat to start breakfast, I could see a flower being dropped by a parakeet right into this huge vessel. It was her way of wishing us good morning perhaps!

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Every once in a while one could just come here and uncomplicate life. One should press that pause button, Relax, Rethink and Rejuvenate oneself every once in a while.

Before I finish here’s one of the birds I spotted, Beautiful isnt it?

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Note: This post is a part of a contest by http://www.godrejaer.com/

“Oh! Man” must visit for sure

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2014 at 19:48

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What are we if not explorers of the highest order? Every day we seek, to learn something new, consciously or unconsciously. I have always maintained that life lessons are the best lessons, and learning by travelling across the world is the best way to do it. Yes, its possible even on a low budget, but thats for another post. Lets talk about a small country far far away (ok not too far but you get the drift ;) ). Let me present to you:

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Well thats what will happen hopefully by the time you finish reading this post. I havent been to this country, though I would love to, but I read up a lot about it on the internet. As a child, like most of you I too read about Aladdin his magical lamp, the magical carpet and Jasmine <3.

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Thats where it all started, this quest of knowledge, to go see how the people are in the middle east? To visit vast deserts, ride a 4X4 jeep on those sand dunes, stop over some place at night, light a camp fire, dine with friends, dance a little and then set off again to explore a new mosque, try a local sport.

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Fun factDid you know that Omani capital city, Muscat, is just a 45 minute plane ride from Dubai? Yep.

Think of this, you arrive at a place, where there’s just the two of you, you and your princess Jasmine looking over something breathtakingly beautiful like this. Being a peninsula with hills lining up its shores such views will keep you asking for more, enchanting isnt it?

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Look at the long winding road next to this beautiful ocean. the hill is rocky but theres something beautiful about this rough terrain only adrenaline junkies will appreciate.

Wahiba Sands: Next fun thing to do would be to go drive on these never ending sand dunes, it must be good fun to do this I am sure of that.  Located some 2 and half hours away from Muscat.  I want to camp out on massive sand dunes that run along the Arabian Sea ,drive up and down them in an SUV.  The dunes here are 100-150 meters high in shades of color that range from orange to hues of amber and gold.  Wahiba Sands will definitely give me my fix of Arabian adventure!

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There there you see that white car thats SUV thats mine :D , or lets say will be :D.

Salalah: Oman is home to some really fantastic secluded beaches.  Towards down south is Salalah, frequently visited by expats. Going there during monsoon will ensure you can soak in some lush green scenery that happens by the way because of the Indian Monsoon. During summers its a good place to do some scuba diving, swimming, jet skiing and sailing.

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The grand mosque in Muscat: His Majesty’s Sultanate Qaboos’ Grand Mosque is a must see I figured.  Its the second largest mosque in the world, following the Mosque in Abu Dhabi.  The largest chandelier in the world weighing over 7 tons can be found here.  The interior walls of the mosque’s main hall are completely covered with white and dark grey marble. Timber panels stretch such that it reflects the architectural development of high Omani ceilings. The mosque’s prayer hall floor is topped with a single Persian carpet made of 1,700 million knots which took about 27 months to make. Thats some amazing amount of work that has gone in there.

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Sur: Located close to 4 hours away from Muscat by car or bus.On your way from Muscat to Sur you’ll pass huge wadis (river beds) and sparkling white beaches covered with multi colored shells and deep sculpted rock formations. I would love to go visit the Turtle Reserve to see the small green turtles lay their eggs on the beach.

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A “Wadi” is a valley or ravine that is dry except during the monsoons, when it fills up with water forming oasis of cool and vegetation you can find several of these across Oman.

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Nizwa fort: An hour drive outside of Muscat is the historic city of Nizwa, the original capital of Oman. Must make a trek to this gorgeous, quaint city to marvel at the architectural glamour of the Nizwa Fort dating back to the 1650s. The stunning detail of the décor, high ceilings; narrow hallways along with a great story of how the Omanis protected the land upon this massive castle and fort awaits me here.

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Oman also is home to some really awesome caves, I would love to see that, heck the adventure freak in me wants to hang in there on a rope like this

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Oman also has some dramatic, rocks, cliffs and mountains, the views will just take your breath away, over and over again.

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A country is known for its people and residents of Oman are known to be happy hospitable people, cant wait to meet our friends from OH! MAN

 

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For more information about tourism in Oman visit http://www.omantourism.gov.om

 

 

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