Do you want to lose 10, 30, 50 or more pounds? Have you recently reached your weight loss goal but want to maintain it? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle? Then this blog is for you!

I have lost 118 pounds and have maintained the weight loss for two years. One of the things I have learned during the weight loss process is that it is much easier to reach and maintain your goal weight if you surround yourself with like-minded individuals to support you in the process (whether they be in person or online).

I also have learned that learning as much as possible about healthy living gives you the knowledge and expertise needed to lose weight the “right” way. So this blog includes regular posts, a book list, website list, TV list, video list and book and website of the month. In addition, there is a recipe of the month and product review section. Visitors to Weight Loss Aficionado can just enjoy the site for informational purposes or can comment on posts, ask questions, share resources, their triumphs and pitfalls during the weight loss process.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Try Red Light Therapy!


I went out to dinner with a friend of mine a few weeks ago and the wait for a table was about 1 hour so we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. Amongst visiting a few stores we figured we would take a tour of the new low cost gym in the area, Planet Fitness. We soon realized why the cost was so low. There are no classes! A gym with no classes! I am a class fanatic going to 3 to 4 classes each evening ranging from yoga to Pilates to kicking boxing to sculpt and tone. This definitely was not the gym for me.

But I was intrigued by the additional perks at the gym. They have massage chairs, tanning booths and red light therapy booths. The woman claimed the red light therapy booths help firm the skin on the face and body. In my mind I was thinking, “yeah right one more gimmick.” Nevertheless when I got home I hopped right on the web to get information on red light therapy. I watched two videos and read a few articles. 

Apparently, red light therapy is available in some gyms and a multitude of tanning salons now. The machine that is most often used in salons and gyms is the Beauty Angel. As per the Beauty Angel website, “BEAUTY ANGEL uses light in special ranges of effectiveness to rejuvenate the skin naturally. The Beauty Light is absorbed by the skin cells (fibroblasts), where it stimulates the body's own production of collagen, elastic and hyaluronan. Small wrinkles are reduced and the skin becomes visibly tauter and smoother.” 

The site also states that, “A comprehensive in-vivo study conducted by a skin physiological institute has also confirmed the effectiveness of BEAUTY ANGEL.80% of the test persons had softer skin after only one month. Over 60 % noticed other visible effects. After the second month, all results had improved again significantly. All test persons had firmer skin, fewer wrinkles, refined pores and an improved skin texture. In addition to the overall improvement in skin texture, many users also noticed stronger growth of their hair and nails.”

·        See a video on Beauty Angel at: =youtube_gdata
·        Visit the website at:

After seeing the video and reading the articles I had to try it myself. The experience was interesting. The booth looks like a stand up tanning booth. Once you get in the booth you situate yourself as if you were in a tanning booth. A bright light comes on from all sides, music comes on and the floor vibrates. The light feels very rejuvenating. Ultraviolet light is not used so you do not tan and the light is actually good for your skin unlike tanning beds. The machine stays on for 12 minutes and the directions say you should use the red light therapy machine 3 to 4 times a week for two months initially. From my research the cheapest way to use red light therapy, if you plan on sticking with it, is by joining “Planet Fitness” and paying $20 a month. With this membership you get as many sessions as you want. See a video on Planet Fitness’s red light therapy at:
Below is an article on red light therapy from the website

Does Red Light Therapy Really Work?

There is a newly discovered method in anti-aging technology called red light therapy. This system is mostly offered in salons, although you also have the option of setting one up at home. The system uses infrared lights as the main feature of this machine and it has been known to provide therapeutic benefits to the body.
Anti-aging systems, techniques, and methods always get attention from health-conscious and beauty-conscious individuals. Beauty plays a major role in this modern age as celebrities and icons seem to be aging gracefully through the years. Surely, you would want to look as good too even if you are growing older every year. And with all the modern technology available today, staying young and looking young is not only possible, but achievable as well.

Infrared lights can easily penetrate the skin, and thus it can work effectively in repairing the damaged nerves and tissues under the skin. Because of this very effective method, your skin’s appearance will greatly improve and blemishes can be reduced too. In fact, if you are experiencing any body pain, the infrared light can also soothe this condition as well.

The Claim
Red light therapy systems claim that they can delay the signs of aging and treat acne. By using infrared light, a burst of energy is delivered to the body’s tissues triggering a response for the body to heal from inside. This system is different from laser technology as it doesn’t cut any of the body’s tissues. And it is different from the sun’s rays too as it has no harmful UV components. Red light therapy is a non-invasive method of anti-aging treatment and it promises to get rid of wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, and even acne on the skin.

The Hype

All types of anti-aging solutions are always met with enthusiasm and red light therapy is no exception. In fact, this new beauty system is even starting to replace the interest in tanning and tanning beds. The methods used are almost the same and the only difference is the source of light. While tanning beds make use of UV rays, red light therapy uses infrared light. The demand for this new system of anti-aging has become so intense that many salons are already converting their tanning beds into infrared therapy beds.

The Cost
You will be spending around $300 per month if you want to get a regular dose of infrared technology. The first few sessions are scheduled closely and succeeding sessions can be scheduled days apart. Your kind of treatment will generally depend on your skin condition and the amount of damage that has accumulated in your system throughout the years.

The Commitment
In order to make the red light therapy effective, you will need to commit to daily sessions during the first few weeks of treatment. After a while, 3 to 4 times a week may be recommended for you. And as maintenance, 1 to 2 days per week can usually suffice. For best results, you should make sure that your body and skin is totally clean. This will allow the infrared light to penetrate your skin more efficiently.

This infrared technology is realistic as it has been developed using the methods of science. Compared to other lighting methods and beauty treatments that make use of UV rays, this light therapy is definitely safer and more effective. Noticeable results are expected to be seen in 1 to 3 months as the efficacy of the system will depend on a person’s age and overall skin condition.

Does Red Light Therapy Really Work?

Yes, red light therapy appears to work in reducing the signs of aging. However, the length of time in achieving the desired results can vary from person to person. It is also advisable that maintenance treatments are utilized regularly, as not doing so will cause lines and age spots to appear again.

Our Recommendation
We recommend using a red light therapy system if you’re into beautification and have the spare cash. The method is not only good in reversing the signs of aging but it is also helpful in enhancing your general health as well. During the actual therapy, even your joint and muscle pains can be relieved. A return to normal blood pressure has also been linked to exposure to infrared light, adding one more benefit to the list.
If you want the ultimate red light therapy product, we recommend going with the Baby Quasar. However, they’re pretty expensive. If you want a cheaper alternative, you can pick up the Red LED Light Therapy Kit from Amazon.

So try red light therapy and see what you think!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Try West African Dance!

A friend of mine invited me to go to a West African dance class. Since I had no idea what this might entail I confirmed with her that it would be a beginners class. She affirmed yes. I figured how difficult could it be I’ve been taking Zumba classes twice a week for the last 8 months! 

A few hours before the class I went on the dance studios website to get the address to input into Hopstop. If you live in the city and haven’t used Hopstop you must try it. It works like MapQuest but for mass transit. So while getting the address I figured I would look at all the classes offered at the dance studio. To my dismay I saw the class I was about to go to was an intermediate class! I immediately sent a snarky text message to my friend upon which time she stated, “You’ll be fine.” Fine I thought! Hmmm.

When I arrived my friend gave me a wraparound skirt to wear over my exercise pants. Isn’t this going to be difficult to move in I thought to myself! Great, not only do I not know what I’m doing but my movement is going to be restricted by a wraparound skirt! By the way, West Africans call this wrap around skirt a Lappa.

 I was happily surprised when we entered the dance studio. There were three drummers who were to play music as we danced. Wow! All I’ve ever experienced in dance classes is an iPod attached to a sound system. I also noticed everyone was bare foot.  Just like yoga I thought.

The class was amazing. Some of the steps I had previously done in Zumba but the majority of the steps were new and intriguing. I definitely build up a sweat during the class. I definitely plan on attending an African dance class again. 

During my weight loss process I’ve learned that one way to sustain ones interest in physical activity is to continually introduce new activities. Hummmm…… What will be next, maybe belly dancing??

To learn more about African dance check out these two videos:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I love yoga!

When I first started my exercise regime I stuck to high calorie burners like kickboxing, boxing and Zumba.  All I was concerned with was burning calories and building muscle. As I continued to increase the time I spent in the gym each day I added Pilates and Yoga to my regimen.

 I can truly say I love yoga! It is the only class I take that is relaxing and strenuous at the same time. After an hour in the class my body feels heavenly. Each muscle feels fully stretched, my body feels stronger and I feel more relaxed. I now take yoga classes five times a week (two hatha classes, two vinyasa classes and a power yoga class).  

I was shocked to find out how many different types of yoga there are: hatha, vinyasa, power, svaroopa, ashtanga, the list goes on and on. There is even a yoga called bikram yoga (hot yoga) where they turn the temperature up to between 90 and 100 degrees. That is probably the last yoga I will be trying! I sweat enough working out when the AC is on, why would I want to subject myself to a heat stroke! But, I have a friend that takes hot yoga classes every week and she loves it. More power to her!

If you are interested in trying a new yoga class below is an article from the “Yoga Journal” that describes the most popular types of yoga.

Not All Yoga Is Created Equal
You say Ashtanga, I say Kundalini. What's the difference? Use this guide to find the right yoga for you. 

By Jennifer Cook 

As studies continue to reveal yoga's many health benefits, this centuries-old Eastern philosophy is fast becoming the new fitness soul mate for workout enthusiasts. Contemporary devotees range from high-powered execs trying to keep hearts beating on a healthy note to image-conscious Hollywood stars striving for sleek physiques. Even prominent athletes are adding yoga to their training regime to develop balanced, injury-free muscles and spines.

Yet to applaud yoga for its physical benefits alone would only diminish what this entire system has to offer as a whole. By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you may be surprised to find that you're building much more than a strong, flexible body.
"Americans are usually drawn to yoga as a way to keep fit at first, but the idea behind the physical practice of yoga is to encourage a deeper mind-body awareness," explains New York yoga teacher and author Beryl Bender Birch. "Healing and balancing the physical body helps bring clarity and focus to the mind as well."

Initially, the sole purpose of practicing yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment. In Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), yoga translates as "yoke" or "union," describing the integration of mind and body to create a greater connection with one's own pure, essential nature.

Classes that have gained popularity in the United States usually teach one of the many types of hatha yoga, a physical discipline which focuses mainly on asanas (postures) and breathwork in order to prepare the body for spiritual pursuits. 

To get started on your individual yoga quest, it's helpful to begin with a list that clearly prioritizes what needs you want to fulfill: Are you looking to sweat your way into a lean form, or does a gentler, more meditative approach sound more appealing?
"Not all practices fit into nice little cubby holes," warns Bender Birch. "There's a great deal of crossover among the various yoga schools, and there's even a diversity in teaching approaches within each discipline."

Try attending a few different types of classes, and you'll quickly discover the right match to suit your needs. Below you'll find brief descriptions of some of the hatha yoga disciplines that are being practiced in the United States.

Vigorous Vinyasas. Vinyasa-style yoga combines a series of flowing postures with rhythmic breathing for an intense body-mind workout. Here are a few different types:

Ashtanga. The practice of Ashtanga that's getting mainstream attention today is a fast-paced series of sequential postures practiced by yoga master K. Pattabhi Jois, who lives in Mysore, India. Today, yogis continue to spread Jois's teachings worldwide, making it one of the most popular schools of yoga around.
The system is based on six series of asanas which increase in difficulty, allowing students to work at their own pace. In class, you'll be led nonstop through one or more of the series. There's no time for adjustments? You'll be encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose. Be prepared to sweat. For more information, visit Ashtanga teacher Richard Freeman's Web site (

Power Yoga. In 1995, Bender Birch set out to challenge Americans' understanding of what it really means to be fit with her book Power Yoga (Fireside, 1995). Bender Birch's intention was to give a Western spin to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, a challenging and disciplined series of poses designed to create heat and energy flow.
"Most people wouldn't take a class called Ashtanga Yoga, because they had no idea what it meant. Power Yoga, on the other hand, was something Americans could relate to and know that they'd get a good workout," says Bender Birch.

Power Yoga's popularity has spread to health clubs across the country and has taken on a broad range of applications. The common thread is a rigorous workout that develops strength and flexibility while keeping students on the move. For specifics, consult individual instructors before signing up for a class. For more information visit Thom Birch and Beryl Bender Birch's Web site ( or Bryan Kest's Web site (

Jivamukti. Looking for a highly meditative but physically challenging form of yoga? Try Jivamukti. You won't be alone.Each week, more than 2,000 people visit the Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York City. Its popularity lies in the teaching approach of cofounders David Life and Sharon Gannon, who opened their first studio in 1986, combining an Ashtanga background with a variety of ancient and modern spiritual teachings. In addition to vinyasa-style asanas, classes include chanting, meditation, readings, music, and affirmations. This spiritual resource center also offers specialized courses in Sanskrit and the sacred yoga texts. 

"Over the course of time, students will get a broad yoga education," Life promises. "One week, a class may focus on a particular asana, while the next week's theme may discuss more metaphysical issues." 

Beginner classes start by emphasizing standing poses, followed by instruction on forward bends, backbends, and inversions. These classes also introduce chants. For more information on class schedules or to find a certified instructor in your area, visit

Kali Ray TriYoga. A series of flowing, dancelike movements intuitively came to Kali Ray (Kaliji) while leading a group meditation in 1980. In 1986, after developing these movements into seven distinct levels, Kaliji established the TriYoga Center in Santa Cruz, California, offering a system of yoga that is taught in a meditative environment.
The first level is a slow, relaxing, and rejuvenating practice. The class, often accompanied by music, focuses on natural alignment and breath within the flow, and ends with meditation. A union of asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork), and mudra (seals), this practice is deeply meditative, promoting relaxation and inner peace. For more information visit

White Lotus. White Lotus Yoga is the collaborative effort of Ganga White and Tracey Rich, who meld two eclectic backgrounds and years of experience into a nondogmatic teaching approach dedicated to helping students develop a well-balanced personal practice. At their 40-acre retreat in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara, California, this husband and wife team offers a complete yoga-immersion experience with programs ranging from weekend and weeklong getaways to 16-day teacher training programs. 

White Lotus Yoga is a flowing vinyasa practice which ranges from gentle to vigorous depending on your ability or comfort level. In addition, class formats incorporate alignment, breath, and the theoretical understanding of yoga. For more information, visit

Attention to Detail
Iyengar. From his home in Pune, India, B.K.S. Iyengar reigns as one of the most influential yogis of his time. At 80 years old, he continues to teach thousands of students from all over the world, encouraging them to penetrate deeper into the experience of each pose. This is the trademark of Iyengar Yoga?an intense focus on the subtleties of each posture. 

In an Iyengar class, poses (especially standing postures) are typically held much longer than in other schools of yoga, so that practitioners can pay close attention to the precise muscular and skeletal alignment this system demands. Also specific to Iyengar, which is probably the most popular type of yoga practiced in the United States, is the use of props, including belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets, to help accommodate any special needs such as injuries or structural imbalances. 

"In forward bends, for example, if someone's hamstrings aren't flexible, he or she can use a prop to help extend the spine. The wall is often used for support in a variety of poses," explains Janet MacLeod, who teaches at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco. "Using props gives the student support, allowing them more freedom to breathe deeply into the pose." For more information, visit

Integrative Yoga Therapy. In 1993, Joseph Le Page, M.A., founded Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) in San Francisco. Le Page developed a yoga teacher-training program designed specifically for medical and mainstream wellness settings, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers. 

Two-week IYT intensives are offered worldwide, training health-care professionals, yoga teachers, and bodyworkers to adapt gentle postures, guided imagery, and breathing techniques for treating specific health issues such as heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and AIDS. 

"Healing happens through connection with the deepest part of who we are," says Le Page. "The program emphasizes the healing process in detail by addressing all levels of the patient?physical, emotional, and spiritual. An example of this therapeutic application is to teach patients with heart disease to become more aware of themselves and their condition at all levels, using yogic lifestyle changes, breathing techniques, asanas suitable for their condition, guided imagery for the circulatory system, and meditation with a focus on healing the heart." For more information, visit

Viniyoga. As we travel through life, it's no mystery that we are constantly evolving on all levels?physically, emotionally, and intellectually. So why not tailor a yoga routine that will help address and integrate these transitions? Viniyoga, in fact, is an empowering and transformative practice designed to do just that. 

In this gentle practice, created by T.K.V. Desikachar, poses are synchronized with the breath in sequences determined by the needs of the practitioner. According to Gary Kraftsow, owner and teacher at The American Viniyoga Institute on the Hawaiian island Maui, Viniyoga is a methodology for developing an integrated practice for each person's needs as they grow and change. 

"As children, our practice should support balanced growth and development of the body and mind. As adults, it should protect our health and promote our ability to be productive in the world. And as seniors, it should help us maintain health and inspire a deeper quest for self-realization," says Kraftsow. For more information, visit

Svaroopa. This style of yoga teaches different ways of doing familiar poses, emphasizing the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area. Every pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy, and yoga philosophy, and emphasizes the development of transcendent inner experience, which is called svaroopa by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. This is a consciousness-oriented yoga that also promotes healing and transformation.
Svaroopa Yoga was developed by Rama Berch, who founded and directs the Master Yoga Academy and created the yoga program for Dr. Deepak Chopra's Center for Well Being, both located in La Jolla, California. Berch says teaching asanas became increasingly frustrating, because the students seemed to be trying to "impose the pose upon their body rather than unfolding it from within." She began looking for ways to guide her students to the deeper effects of each asana, speaking of them as "angles that provide opening, rather than poses to be learned." New students find this a very approachable style, often beginning in chair poses that are comfortable and have a deep healing effect in the spine. For more information or to find out if there is a teacher in your area, visit

Bikram. When you take a Bikram yoga class, expect to sweat. Each studio is designed to replicate yoga's birthplace climate, with temperatures pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Why the sauna-like effect? "Because sweat helps move the toxins out of your body," explains Radha Garcia, owner of Bikram's Yoga College of India in Boulder, Colorado. "Your body is like a sponge. To cleanse it, you need to wring it out to allow fresh blood and oxygen to circulate and keep your immune system running smoothly."
This method of staying healthy from the inside out was designed by Bikram Choudhury, who sequenced a series of 26 traditional hatha postures to address the proper functioning of every bodily system. 

Choudhury first visited the United States from India in 1971 on a trip sponsored by the American Medical Association to demonstrate his work using yoga to treat chronically ill patients. Today Choudhury continues teaching students of all ages and abilities from his studio in Los Angeles where he also conducts a certified teacher's training program. For more information, visit

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a combination of classical yoga and elements of contemporary client-centered and body-mind psychology. It can facilitate a powerful release of physical tensions and emotional blocks. Through assisted yoga postures, guided breathing, and nondirective dialogue, you can experience the connection of your physical and emotional selves, encouraging release, personal growth, and the healing of body, mind, and spirit. For more information, visit

Ease into Enlightenment
Sivananda. At its core, Sivananda Yoga is geared toward helping students answer the age-old question "Who am I?" This yoga practice is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India, who taught disciples to "serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize." In order to achieve this goal, Sivananda advocated a path that would recognize and synthesize each level of the human experience including the intellect, heart, body, and mind. 

In 1957, his disciple Swami Vishnu-devananda introduced these teachings to an American audience. A few years later, Vishnu-devananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, summarizing Sivananda's system into five main principles: proper exercise (asanas); proper breathing (pranayama); proper relaxation (Savasana); proper diet (vegetarian); and positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (dhyana).

There are more than 80 centers worldwide, as well as ashrams and teacher-training programs, all of which follow a hatha yoga practice emphasizing 12 basic postures to increase strength and flexibility of the spine. Chanting, pranayama, and meditation are also included, helping students to release stress and blocked energy. For more information, visit

Integral. In 1966, the Reverend Sri Swami Satchidananda introduced an entire generation of young people to his yogic philosophy: "an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life." His goal was to help people integrate yoga's teachings into their everyday work and relationships, which he hoped would promote greater peace and tolerance worldwide. 

"Integral Yoga uses classical hatha postures, which are meant to be performed as a meditation, balancing physical effort and relaxation," says Swami Ramananda, president of the New York Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan. In addition to a gentle asana practice, classes also incorporate guided relaxation, breathing practices, sound vibration (repetition of mantra or chant), and silent meditation. For more information, visit

Ananda. For those who aspire to loftier goals than simply building a hard body, Ananda Yoga provides a tool for spiritual growth while releasing unwanted tensions. During the 1960s, Swami Kriyananda developed Ananda as a particular style of yoga after returning to California following a period of intense yoga training under Guru Paramhansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi). "The most unique part of this system is the use of silent affirmations while holding a pose," says Rich McCord, director of Ananda Yoga's teacher-training program at The Expanding Light retreat center in Nevada City, California. McCord explains that the affirmations are intended to help deepen and enhance the subtle benefits of each asana, providing a technique for aligning body, energy, and mind. 

In a typical class, instructors guide their students through a series of gentle hatha postures designed to move energy upward to the brain, preparing the body for meditation. Classes also focus on proper alignment, easeful posture transitions, and controlled breathing exercises (pranayama) to facilitate an exploration into the inner dimensions of yoga and self-awareness. For more information, visit

Kundalini. Kundalini Yoga, stemming from the tantra yoga path, at one time remained a closely guarded secret practiced only by a select few. In 1969, however, Yogi Bhajan decided to change this tradition by bringing Kundalini to the West. Yogi Bhajan's reasoning was based on the philosophy that it's everybody's birthright to be "healthy, happy and holy," and he believed Kundalini would help spiritual seekers from all religious paths tap into their greater potential. 

The practice of Kundalini Yoga incorporates postures, dynamic breathing techniques, and chanting and meditating on mantras such as "Sat Nam" (meaning "I am truth"). Practitioners concentrate on awakening the energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upward through each of the seven chakras. For more information, visit

ISHTA. ISHTA, an acronym for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, is the yoga brainchild of South African native Alan Finger, who currently runs workshops at his yoga studio in Irvington, New York. Finger blends 37 years of teaching experience with his eclectic studies under Sivananda and the tantric hermit Barati, helping students of all ages and abilities to get in touch with life's boundless energy. 

"The sequence of postures is designed to help students integrate their individual sensations with a life energy force that's beyond sensing and perceiving," says Los Angeles-based ISHTA instructor Rod Stryker. "It's a tool for visualization and a way to become more fully oneself."

A typical ISHTA class mixes flowing Ashtanga-style asanas with the precise method of Iyengar, while including pranayama and meditation exercises as well. Instructors begin classes with warm-up poses, then gradually build to a more challenging practice. For more information, visit

Kripalu. Located in the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health has helped guide thousands of people along their path of self-discovery by teaching a system of yoga developed over a 20-year period by yogi Amrit Desai and the Kripalu staff. 

During the 1970s, while studying under Indian guru Kripaluvananda, Amrit felt his body begin to move in a spontaneous flow of postures without the direction of his mind. This deep release of prana (life's energy force) brought about a profound transformation in Amrit, so he developed these movements into three stages of practice which he could then teach to others.

The three stages of Kripalu yoga include: willful practice (a focus on alignment, breath, and the presence of consciousness); willful surrender (a conscious holding of the postures to the level of tolerance and beyond, deepening concentration and focus of internal thoughts and emotions); and meditation in motion (the body's complete release of internal tensions and a complete trust in the body's wisdom to perform the postures and movements needed to release physical and mental tensions and enter deep meditation). For more information, visit

Anusara. Anusara means "to step into the current of divine will." Anusara Yoga is an integrated approach to hatha yoga in which the human spirit blends with the precise science of biomechanics. It is a new system of hatha yoga that can be both spiritually inspiring and yet grounded in a deep knowledge of outer and inner body alignment. It can be therapeutically effective and physically transformative. The central philosophy of this yoga is that each person is equally divine in every part?body, mind, and spirit. Each student's various abilities and limitations are respected and honored. Anusara Yoga differentiates itself from other hatha yoga systems with three key areas of practice: Attitude. The practitioner balances an opening to grace with an aspiration for awakening to his or her true nature. Alignment. Each pose is performed with an integrated awareness of all the different parts of the body. Action. Each pose is performed as an artistic expression of the heart in which muscular stability is balanced with an expansive inner freedom. For more information, visit

Tibetan. Tibetan Yoga is a term used among Buddhists to describe a range of tantric meditation and pranayama practices. Though little is known in the West about the physical practices of Tibetan Yoga, in 1939, Peter Kelder published Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth (Doubleday, 1998), describing a sequence of postures of Tibetan origin called "The Five Rites of Rejuvenation." In 1994, yoga teacher Christopher Kilham published a modern version of these exercises called The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power (Inner Traditions). Composed of five flowing movements, this active workout keeps students on the move. Beginners start with 10 or 12 repetitions and progressively work their way up to the 21 repetitions of the full routine. Classes may be difficult to find.
Tibetan Buddhist monk Tarthang Tulku adapted another ancient movement practice for the modern West called Kum Nye. More contemplative in nature than the vigorous Five Tibetans, Kum Nye strives to integrate body and mind and means "interaction with the subtle body." For more information, see Tulku's Kum Nye Relaxation (Dharma Publishing, 1978) or visit

Hatha: If you are browsing through a yoga studio's brochure of classes and the yoga offered is simply described as "hatha," chances are the teacher is offering an eclectic blend of two or more of the styles described above. It's a good idea to ask the teacher or director of the studio where he or she was trained and if the poses are held for a length of time or if you will be expected to move quickly from one pose to the next, and if meditation or chanting is included. This will give you a better idea if the class is vigorous or more meditative. 

Sneaky Weight Loss Trick

I found this article on the healthhabits website (

Sneaky Weight Loss Trick
February 8, 2011 By healthhabits

Let me introduce you to the simplest weight loss trick of all time: Preloading.

The next time you are on  diet (calorie restriction), I want you to preload your tummy (20 minutes before a meal) with either:
  1. 1/2 a normal sized grapefruit (GF), or
  2. 127 grams / 4.5 oz of unsweetened grapefruit juice (GFJ), or
  3. 127 grams / 4.5 oz of water
If you do this, you should expect to see these kind of results over the next 2 weeks.
  • average calorie intake decreased by 21% in GF group, 29% in GFJ group, and 28% in water group
  • an increase in “good cholesterol” HDL-C from baseline by 6.2% in the GF group and 8.2% in the GFJ group
  • an average weight loss across all  groups of 7.1% of initial body weight – minimal diff between groups
  • 5.8 ± 3.9 kg weight loss for the GF group,
  • 5.9 ± 3.6 kg weight loss for the GFJ group and
  • 6.7 ± 3.1 kg weight loss for the water group
All thanks to drinking or eating 127 grams of unsweetened grapefruit juice or water 20 minutes before each meal.
Pretty cool.

For more information the link to the study is: