The Most Secure Sports Hijab for Dry & Water Sports

  • Swimming in Hooda Sports Hijab
    Swimming in Hooda Sports Hijab

The BLACK hooda sports hijab is the ONLY hooda sports hijab range that is suitable for BOTH dry and water sports activities. This is because of the waterproof fabric used for the black hooda hijab. The other colors of Hooda Sports Hijab are made of moisture wicking, mesh, lightweight fabrics making them suitable for dry activities. We do not recommend it for water sports use at all due to safety reason. You can read more about Hooda Sports Hijab features here.

Here are some pictures of the black hooda sports hijab in the water. It serves as an additional layer of coverage for you when you swim. You can wear it over your swimwear. The black hooda sports hijab is useful for leisure swim, but not performance purposes.  Hooray! No water gets trapped in my ears when I swim in the black hooda sports hijab.

It was tested for swimming on the surface and under water.

Let’s take a closer look at the fabric :

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab : Front – combination of silky hand feel fabric and mesh

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab : Opening for the Face, mesh on lower neck area.

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab : The Back

Price : RM89 /  ~ SG30 / ~USD22
Sizes : M/L/XL/2XL
You can purchase it here.

Size chart

Size Chart : Hooda Sports Hijab

Size Chart : Hooda Sports Hijab

Make sure you get the right sports hijab when you swim. If you want to secure your baby hair, you can wear Nashata’s raazglove underneath. Now, you can enjoy your water sports activities even more – when you have a secure hijab that does not flip when you workout, jump, swim or even at waterparks.

Trying to hoover in the water but not deep enough

Yup, I am ok. Trying to hoover in the water. I can’t wait to take to take hooda hijab to my next dive!

Watch other functions of the Hooda Sports Hijab here :

Undeterred Competitive Spirit of Saudi Female Athletes

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia started sending female athlete to the Olympics in 2012. Sarah Attar and Wojdan Shaherkani were the first two Saudi citizens to compete at London 2012. Wojdan competed in Judo while Sarah, the 800 meters. Saudi doubled the number of female participants to four at Rio 2016. Wojdan does not compete in 2016, but Sarah and three new faces represent the ladies of the Saudi.

Sarah Attar, MARATHON athletics

Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar competes in the women's 800m heats at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 8, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)

Saudi Arabia’s Sarah Attar competes in the women’s 800m heats at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 8, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)

Sarah, 24 made her first appearance at the Olympic London 2012 where she competed for 800 meters without meeting Olympic time. At Rio 2016, she will compete for the marathon despite 26 minutes slower than qualifying Olympic time. Her personal best time was 3:11:27 at the Chicago Marathon in 2015. She holds dual citizenship, the United States of America and Saudi Arabia.

Kariman Abuljadayel, 100 m athletics

Kariman, 22 is ranked 23 at Rio 2016 for the 100 meters and is the first Saudi woman to compete in the 100 meters. She clocked 14.61s at Rio 2016.

KARIMAN ABULJADAYEL

KARIMAN ABULJADAYEL at the Qualifying Heats 100 meters Rio 2016

Lubna Al-Omair, Fencing

Being the first is not always easy. Lubna’s match lasted 1 minute and 44 seconds. May she has more matches in the future, so that she could sharpen competitive skills.

Lubna - the exquisite fencer

Lubna – the exquisite fencer

Joud Fahmy, Judo (withdraw due to injury)

Joud, 26, did not compete due to injuries. She was determined to represent her country at the Olympics and started to train for the Rio 2016 at Santa Monica when she was 22 in 2012.

Joud_Fahmy Judo

Joud Fahmy Judo

These amazing ladies find different ways to train for the Olympics. Their determination to compete and represent their country is evident despite challenges faced at many fronts.

 

Source & Picture credits:

  • Wikipedia
  • http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2549892/images/o-SARAH-ATTAR-facebook.jpg
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/olympics/2016/08/12/105580636-Kariman-Abuljadayel-SPORT-xlarge_trans++rbV8E1vvGHaBNJhAQrBCaeU-5NBdMS2kWAh6ufw2hAE.jpg
  • http://sports.yahoo.com/news/column-saudi-butterfly-crushed-olympic-debut-rio-062557043–spt.html
  • http://saudigazette.com.sa/sports/rio-olympics-2016/saudi-fencer-in-rio/
  • http://smdp.com/olympic-athletes-with-santa-monica-ties-convene-in-rio-for-2016-games/156552

Top 10 Inspirational Yoginis in Hijab

Do you need to be flexible to yoga? Do you need to be superfit or super lean to perform headstand and all those difficult-looking poses? The answer to all is NO. We are featuring yoginis in hijab across the globe and their lovely journey in yoga. With a common love in yoga, these 10 inspiring ladies from different ages and backgrounds share why they embark into yoga,  where they get their training from, their routines and their personal views on how yoga has benefited them.

For newbies and those who wanted to try yoga, you can learn from these strong and beautiful ladies. Just follow their instagram and nashatadotcom’s instagram for tips and updates.

YOGA IN HIJAB

Brunei ] [ Indonesia ] [ Malaysia ] [ Singapore ] [ United Arab Emirates ] [ USA ]

  • UAE : Nura Arabi
  • Brunei: YogaWithAmani
  • Indonesia : Lola Shariff
  • Indonesia : ErziYoga
  • Malaysia : Najwa
  • Malaysia : Nadia
  • Malaysia : Rita Rahayu
  • Singapore : Nura
  • Singapore : Farah
  • USA : Yasmin Essa

BRUNEI

Amani A. Muntassir, 30 @yogawithamani

~ Yoga is for everyone for all ages and different body types. You just have to start somewhere

Amani is a full time Biology teacher and part time yoga instructor in Brunei. She started yoga back in 2006 during her university days, where she set up a yoga club. Yoga is her way to release stress and she finds yoga to be different than other sports.  To her yoga eliminates all sense of competitiveness and comparing with others, while she focuses on herself, my own practice.

After completing 200 hour yoga training at Ubud Bali in December 2014, Amani teaches yoga. She is also a prenatal yoga teacher. Despite her busy schedule as a teacher, Amani teaches yoga three times a week at the studio. Other than teaching, she enjoys performing the yin style yoga and sometimes vinyasa or stronger yoga routines. Now, she joins her favourite international teachers online as ways to improve her routine.

AMANI IN FAVOURITE POSE : HEADSTAND

Amani in Favourite Pose : HeadStand

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INDONESIA

Lola Shariff, 39 @lolashariff

~ Yoga makes Lola happy and strong, and most of all to her, it is a never ending journey.

A self taught yogini initially, Lola started yoga when she had lower back pain in 2014. She joined yoga classes a year later and found improvements in her practice since, especially alignments. Lola works as a freelance subtitler, and she balances her time by attending classes twice a week at least, except weekends. She enjoys hatha, iyengar, power yoga, sometimes swing yoga and ashtanga. She practices backbends and handstands frequently at home.

LOLA IN FAVOURITE POSE : HANDSTAND

LolaShariff in Favourite Pose : HeadStand

Erzi, 31 @erziyoga

~ Yoga enfolded via Technology

A mother residing in Jakarta started yoga 3 and a half years ago when her sister took her to join a private yoga class. Since then, Erzi and friends have private yoga classes at sister’s house.

Yoga is a not a high impact activity and is an enjoyable journey. Despite gentle movement on a mat, yoga can make one sweat and build one’s energy, explains Erzi. To Erzi, yoga teaches her to breathe well and stay calm and relaxed in any conditions. Even though she has been learning yoga for more than 3 years, she still attends yoga classes at a studio and private yoga class once a week with her sister.

ERZI LOVES MEDITATION

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She starts her practice with meditation, minus chanting. To her, meditation connects her breathing with mind and that helps her improve her routines. She would then stretch her neck, arms, sides of my body, spine and continue to Sun Salutation A for 8-10 rounds before continuing to my peak pose of the day.

She advises other sisters to learn yoga online like Youtube, if there is no studio closeby. She shares that some of the well-known yoga teachers online has some beginner tips about how to get onto your mat while others have classes for beginners to intermediate level. She also finds instagram as a good channel to learn yoga.

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MALAYSIA

Najwa / Wawa, 31 @najwa.bulat

~ Learn from a qualified and professional instructors 

Najwa started yoga 17 years ago at a tender age of 14. She started yoga to improve asthmatic condition. Now, a Fitness & Yoga Instructor, Najwa finds yoga important to keep her improve body strength, maintain a lean body and to keep healthy & flexible. Most of all, the breathing techniques help cure her asthmatic problem.

Being a qualified Hatha Yoga Tutor from Slimhealth Aerobic & Dance Studio and a fitness instructor, Najwa’s routine is colorful. She urges beginners to learn from a qualified and professional instructor to reap the benefits of yoga so that you can get a lean, curvy and fit body.

NAJWA KEEPS A COLORFUL ROUTINE

Najwa

Here’s Najwa’s colorful routines that combines yoga with other types of workout:

1) Hatha Yoga
2) Body Weight Training
3) High Intensity Workout
4) Weight Training
5) Cardio Workout (Boxing+Aerobic+ Dance)

Nadiah Mohaizi, 36 @nadie_omgoing

~ You will be fascinated by what your body can do, and it comes a reminder to care for her body – a gift from Allah 

An engineer by profession, and certified yoga instructor, Nadiah started yoga to loose pregnancy weight. Yoga fits the need as she wanted something she could practice at home. She also finds yoga as a good weight training exercise as you’d need to do planks, lunges, inversion, and arm balances which are important for women to increase stamina and metabolism. To Nadia, yoga is not about the asanas (poses), but the journey into achieving them and to remain calm through proper breathing in maintaining poses. Keeping calm is important in her hectic daily life. Till today, she is fascinated by what her body can do and it serves as a reminder for her to care for her body – a gift from Allah.

NADIAH IN FAVOURITE POSE : forearm stand

nadiah 2

Like Erzi and Amani, Nadiah also uses technology to learn yoga at beginning stage. After which, she attended  Atilia freeyogafit class at KLCC. She took teacher training at MAYI to be a certified yoga instructor and now she practices Ashtanga at Mysoreroom KL in Binjai 8. She trains every other day for 10 minutes and suggests newbies to practice safe and find a good teacher to help with alignment and postures.

Rita Rahayu Omar, 41 @ritarahayuomar

~ Yoga is not a destination…it is a journey that enriches you every step of the way.

RITA feels happy when she is upside down

rita4

A mother of 4, a lactation consultant and an serial entrepreneur, Rita started yoga in 2011 when she was living abroad as an expat wife. At that time she had just lost her baby, and despite having support from husband and children she felt rather lost and depressed. She read a lot about yoga and was intrigued by it further after hearing friends talk about it. Soon, she hired a personal yoga instructor who came 5 days a week.

Rita emphasizes the importance of breathing techniques; the techniques that help achieve relaxation, mental clarity and eliminates stress , fatigues, depression and anxiety. She felt better and healthier after a few sessions and after 3 months into yoga, she was pregnant again and she continued to do yoga throughout her pregnancy. Her 4th baby is a peaceful, happy, yoga baby. He’s always wanting to practice yoga with Rita whenever he sees the mat!

Despite her busy schedule running her businesses Bebe Sachi and The KembaRA, Rita yoga at least once a day either in the morning or everning. She likes inversion poses because of its many health benefits. Among others it helps supply blood to brain, build your core strength and balance to our body.

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SINGAPORE

Nura Ahmad, 25 @yogawithnura

~ a fitness goal that became a self-growth and self-discovery journey

Nura started learning yoga at a young age of 17. She wanted to improve athletic performance and saw progressive results in stamina running long distance despite having asthma. She survived colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome in 2012.

NURA ACTIVE IN YOGA @ 6 MONTHS of PREGNANcy

Currently 6 months pregnant with her first baby, Nura finds pranayama (breathing techniques) and a quiet 15 minutes mindfulness shapes her to be better version of herself, discovering  weakness and grounding herself from pride.  She dedicates 3-4 times weekly of prenatal, hatha and restorative yoga while committing herself to do house chores. A committed fitness entrepreneur at @fitness4muslimah and a certified yoga trainer (Ashtanga & Hatha), Kids Yoga teacher and Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga teacher, she advises other sisters to just show up on the mat, no matter how you feel that day.

Nura loves all yoga poses and always balance her flows with standing poses for concentration and balance, twists poses for internal detoxification and help keep irritable bowel syndrome at bay, hip openers, backbends aka heart openers which helps her a lot in strengthening interpersonal relationship with students and loved ones. She loves arm balances such as crow, eight angle and headstands for core and grow her upper body strength after spending almost half of her years building endurance in lower torso for athletic performance in school.

Farah Lyna, 31 @farah.yuj

~ Yoga is non-competitive, so there is no need to feel pressured or exert yourself in a pose.

From running to yoga, Farah, now a yoga teacher, started attending yoga classes 9 years ago and only looked into yoga seriously in 2013. Yoga became a regular practice when her scoliosis started to cause numbness on left leg.She received training from Tirisula Yoga in Singapore.

Farah starts her morning training with some pranayama (yoga breathing exercises), followed by a few rounds Sun Salutations and simple stretches like forward folds, backbends, twists and a headstand. She tries to do  Ashtanga practice at least once a week.

To Farah, everyone has a unique body type and it’s important to work within own physical limits. Farah echos other yoginis reminders that with regular practice & patience, our body will get used to the routines. Yoga is a journey of self-discovery.

SELF DISCOVERY THROUGH YOGA

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Nura Arabi @_iChallenger

~ You won’t understand the gain that is waiting for you until you try it and judge from experience.

Nura Arabi, like other sisters in fitness found love in yoga. Nura is a physical education and health teacher and she teaches swimming and Zumba and she writes about  fitness. She started yoga in 2015 and practices twice a week since. She started learning yoga at a Yoga center, after which she learn via youtube videos at time of convenience.

To Nura, yoga is a good way to get deep into herself as it teaches patience, body awareness and improves muscular and mental strength.

Nura Arabi in Favourite Pose : Tripod Headstand

Nura Arabi in Favourite Pose : Tripod Headstand

USA

Yasmin Essa HC, AADP, 27 @ wellnesswithyasmin.com & @yasminessa

~ Yoga is an artistic form of expression
Yasmin started yoga when she was a senior in high school and has been into fitness since. She was the first female student trainer at Montclair State University, but it was after college her love for yoga grew. Yoga helps reduce pain she has on her back due to  idiopathic scoliosis.

After going to classes at studios over the years, Yasmin is now a self-taught yogini and a board certified Holistic Health Coach. She keeps her routine interesting combining different types of workout activities. She does a lot of strength training, some HIIT for cardio, and yoga for flexibility and lengthening all of which she shares on instagram

YASMIN GRADUATED FROM THE Institute for Integrative Nutrition

yasmin essa

Yasmin enjoys flowing from downward dog to plank to upward dog to child’s pose as it warms her body up for a more rigorous workout, or to stretch out.

She reminds newbies not to compare yourself with others and to focus on being most present in your own body, mind, and soul.

Chelsea, Wellness Blogger @ MuslimahHealthy.com

~ You can never  get bored with yoga

Chelsea started yoga in May, 2015 when she was traveling a lot and didn’t have access to a gym. She fell in love with it so much that decided to start a full-time practice. Chelsea finds there is always something to work towards whether it is more advanced poses, building strength/flexibility, or working on form and technique. A self taught and self-motivated person, Chelsea constantly progress and keeps pushing herself to get better and better in yoga.

She practices the Ashtanga yoga method, memorizes a sequence of poses and practices every day. Once she feels she has mastered a certain set of poses, she would move on add more into her routine until she eventually memorizes the entire Ashtanga sequence – around 40 poses. Like many of the other yoginis, Chelsea really love inversions and arm-balances because of the core and shoulder work she gets. Her favorites would have to be the forearm stand, handstand  and backbend.

She reminds other sisters not to be afraid about not being flexible enough or skinny enough and they are not important. Yoga is for absolutely everyone and it is a progression. Chelsea does many other types of workouts and finds yoga great workout. She actually needs to keep a sweat rag next to her mat during practice!

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What are you waiting for girls? Just get onto the mat and go through the beautiful journey of yoga. You can get a lot of help from these inspiring yogonis!

Ganjaran Kekal Cergas di Bulan Ramadan

Pada bulan Ramadan ini saya bernekad untuk meneruskan latihan larian dan yoga seperti hari-hari biasa. Ini adalah kerana saya ingin mengekalkan stamina, menurunkan tahap lemak badan dan tonkan badan. Apatah lagi, saya masih ingat seramai 3,000 para atlit yang beragama Islam berlatih dan bertanding seperti biasa semasa Sukan Olimpik 2012 yang berlangsung di London pada bulan Ramadan.

Kajian juga menunjukkan terdapat penurunan berat badan tanpa perubahan pada prestasi fizikal para atlit perempuan ketika berlatih di bulan puasa. Inilah masanya untuk terus berpikiran positif dan bina keyakinan diri kerana kadang-kadang akal banyak memberi alasan.

Kekal Cergas

Pada hari pertama Ramadan, selepas memasak untuk berbuka, pada jam 6 petang, saya bergegas keluar untuk berlari 5km. Alhamdulillah, walaupun tahap larian perlahan, saya dapat menghabiskan latihan selama 45 minit. Pada Ramadan kedua pula, saya berlari sejauh 3.3km sahaja kerana kesuntukan masa selepas menyediakan juadah berbuka. Oleh kerana berlari semasa berpuasa adalah baru bagi saya, adalah penting saya peka dengan reaksi atau perubahan badan ketika dan selepas larian. Alhamdulillah, selepas berbuka, saya dapat meneruskan ibadah tarawih di masjid bersama keluarga seperti biasa.

Yoga Ramadhan

Ramadan Pertama : Sambil Berlari, Berhenti Sejenak Untuk Crow Pose Yoga

HotFM Cergas Ramadan bersama AIA Vitality

Ramadan Kedua : Larian 3.3 km sahaja

Ganjaran

Teruja sungguh saya apabila mengetahui HotFM Cergas Ramadan bersama AIA Vitality menggalakkan gaya hidup aktif dan cergas pada bulan Ramadan. Terdapat pertandingan yang amat senang untuk disertai untuk mereka yang meneruskan gaya hidup yang aktif pada bulan Ramadan. Sambil bersenam, ambillah peluang untuk mendapatkan ganjaran berbentuk barangan sukan bernilai RM300. Cuma upload gambar atau video anda melakukan aktiviti senaman di Instagram atau Facebook. Berikan kepsyen kreatif kenapa anda pilih untuk kekal cergas di bulan Ramadan. Nak upload gambar senam bersama rakan pun boleh! Jangan lupa #SayaPilihCergasRamadan dan #AIAVitalityMY serta tag @hotfm976. Apa yang menarik lagi – AIA Public Takaful akan menderma RM10 ke badan amal untuk setiap penyertaan. Jangan lupa untuk menyertainya dan info lanjut boleh didapati di http://www.hotfm.com.my/hot-fm-cergas-ramadan-bersama-aia-vitality/

Teruskan gaya hidup yang aktif dan cergas di bulan Ramadan. Pastikan anda mengambil makanan yang seimbang dan berkhasiat, minum air sekurang-kurangnya 8 gelas sehari, dan mendapat cukup rehat dan tidur sebaik-baiknya 7 jam sehari supaya badan sihat tanpa sebarang tekanan.

Energy & Protein Bar

Mudah Disedia di Rumah :  Bar Tenaga & Protein Diperbuat dari Pisang, Oat, Kacang, & Kranberi untuk memberi khasiat semasa Ramadan

Hooda Sports Hijab : New Colors, Revamped

We heard you girls! Now Hooda Sports Hijab is all revamped with more colors, more sizes and facelifts.
Now, achieve your fitness full potential in Hooda Sports Hijab. Put no limits to your workout!

Watch this video to see key functions of Hooda Sports Hijab used for different types of sporting activities. #cycling #running #yoga #jumping

2 New Colors

  • Now there are Metallic Silver & Aqua Turquoise in the Hooda Sports Hijab collection. The Metallic Silver offers neutral  & easy to match option while the bright Aqua Turquoise offers more safety to your workout. Plus, you get to be spotted easily in a crowd with it on.

Basic RGB

Bigger Sizes

  • We introduced Hooda Sports Hijab in two initial sizes (M & L) last month and now we added two more sizes to suit tall ladies.

HoodaSizeChart

Hooda Sports Hijab

 

Facelifts

  • Reflective logo at the back of hooda sports hijab
    Nashata reflective logo is now on the back to give you better protection for night use. This is especially useful for cyclists and hikers who train or race in the same direction of traffic.

CharN - b - half

  • More room and space in the front for better chest covering
    No matter what size you are, the hijab now looks balance front and back.
    MetalicS - s - half
  •  Flat awning on the forehead face
    The awning has been altered for a better fit while working out. The design is flat on the forehead and the is no space in between your forehead and the hijab.

AquaT - f - half

 If you would like to get one of these cool revolutionary hijab, visit nashata.com

 

Reduce Environment Impact, Increase Usability

The people at Nashata believe in being socially and environmentally responsible for the community and planet. We try our best to reduce use of plastic and paper, and  provide usable items to our customers.

Why no Plastic?

We want to simplify your task. Rather than just throw away the plastics, we are recycling the plastics so we can conserve the earth.

That is the reason why when you receive shipments from Nashata, you will find your purchases in reusable drawstring bags, with none or only one plastic bag in it (only if you purchase many items). You won’t even find product tags in the shipment. We perform Quality Check (QC) on each item prior to shipment. Unpurchased items are stored in plastic bags (as shown below). We only remove the items from plastic bags during QC. We then collect and send plastic bags and papers to recycling center in Cyberjaya once a week.

Unpurchased Products are Stored in Plastic Wrapping

Unpurchased Products are Stored in Plastic Wraps

Why no Product Tags?

Since we have all product information online, and all our customers are cool netizens, our customers can find necessary information at nashata.com anytime, anywhere. However, do look for Nashata bookmark in your parcel. This bookmark also entails product care information. If you look closer, you will find discount voucher too.

Nashata Bookmark In Every Package

Nashata Bookmark In Every Package

Why do you get a Drawstring Bag?

We pack all our products for shipment into Nashata drawstring bags. You will find your purchases in different bright colors every time. Let it be a surprise. You could use the bag during fitness sessions and even when you travel. Just toss your towel, change or workout attire into the bag.

Drawstring Bag

Simple & Practical for Fit Ladies

Green Ideas Anyone?

We always want to provide you something usable in our shipment. So if you have feedback on how we can improve going green, or useful items you would like to get from us – do drop us a note at contactus@nashata.com. We would love to hear from you.

Keep Calm and Stay GreenKeep Calm and Stay Green

 

 

4 Reasons Why Yoga Is for Everyone

I often get emails and comments from people telling me they want to start yoga but don’t think they have what it takes. I’m too big, I’m not flexible, I could never do that pose or I don’t have the strength. These are just some of the many excuses people put in the way of them and their yoga practice.

IMG_0139-1024x682

Here is something I’ve learned through my journey with yoga thus far; it is truly not about the destination. It’s not about putting your legs behind your head or standing on your hands, and this is something you will learn quickly if you go to any yoga studio. Yoga is a journey of self-love and acceptance. Perhaps, for this reason, yoga is best for those who think they can’t.It doesn’t matter if you can’t do a single pushup, or if your hands don’t even touch the ground in a forward bend. There is a famous saying by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of the Ashtanga yoga method that says “practice and all is coming.” Yoga is about dedicating oneself to their practice as a means of becoming more self-aware. Some of the advanced poses are bonuses of a regular practice, but not everyone gets there and that is completely OK. Yoga is an individualized practice and you work wherever you are comfortable.

 

Picture Credit

Here are some reasons why yoga is truly for everyone.

 

1. You can find a style that suits your needs – All yoga classes are not created equal. Some are more vigorous while others are based more on meditation or relaxation. There are even therapy-based yoga classes which specialize in specific types of injuries or ailments such as chronic back pain or rheumatoid arthritis. Do some research, reach out to different yoga instructors to get an idea of their style, and possibly try out a few different types. When you find one that suits your needs, stick with it!

 

2. Yoga is a personal practice – The main goal is not something physical, like building strength or getting lean abs. The most important aspect of any yoga practice is finding oneself, accepting oneself as they are, and working to become a better person on the inside. Everyone’s journey is different and unique and one should not compare themselves to others. Many yoga styles even encourage developing a home-based practice as a means of personalized self-growth.

 

3. Yogis are non-judgmental – Yoga encourages a completely judge free atmosphere. Yogis will generally be very accepting and supportive in your journey. They will not judge you for your size or abilities, mostly because they are focusing on their own personal journeys…not to mention they were once beginners as well. Just try it. Sign up at a yoga studio for the minimum amount of classes they offer and commit to sticking it out. I guarantee you will be surprised by how supportive and welcoming everyone will be.

4. You are bound to get better with time –One of the worst excuses you can give is that you are not flexible/strong/skinny/whatever enough to do yoga. You must remember that every single person started somewhere…yes even the most advanced yogis were once beginners. One of my biggest inspirations is Kino Macgregor, who is a well-known Ashtanga yogi who travels worldwide to teach. She didn’t begin yoga until 19 years of age without any training in movement therapy, and is now learning the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga (there are six series and most people never move beyond the first series!).

 

 

With patience, and practice comes change. You may only be able to touch your shins in a forward fold, but a few months down the road you will get to your toes. You might need a wall or a teacher to help you into a headstand but one year down the road you will do it on your own. So long as you don’t give up, change is bound to occur.

 

The change that has occurred through my yoga journey extends far beyond physicality. Sure I can touch my head to my shins in the forward fold (something I never thought I would do). I can balance upside down on my forearms. But more than any pose, I have gained an appreciation for myself; an appreciation for what I am capable of becoming, an appreciation for who I am and what I have. I’ve learned patience, I’ve learned mindfulness, and most importantly, I’ve learned to love myself even on the bad days. Now that is an important lesson for anyone.

Tips and Tricks for Dining Out

Eating out shouldn’t be considered as an excuse to sabotage your whole diet, especially if you eat out regularly. Eating out can still be a fun experience filled with delicious, but healthier, choices. Here are some tips and tricks for staying healthy at the restaurant:

 

Have the right mindset

Take some time to prepare before going out to eat. The first thing you want to do it’s create the right mindset. Don’t think of it as one big ‘cheat night.’ I like to allow myself a small treat every day, rather than dedicating a whole meal or day to binging. Surly you can enjoy yourself, but instead of choosing to most unhealthy meal you can think of, choose a balanced meal that is still healthy, but can also be considered a treat.

meal-918638_960_720

 

Plan ahead

Choose your restaurant ahead of time. Most restaurants have their menus available online. Check it out and make your decision before you even get there. This way, you don’t have to look through the menu while you’re hungry and ready to eat. Not only telling yourself you will make a smart choice, but committing to a meal before you get to the restaurant will make you more likely to stick to that goal.

 

Don’t starve all day

Many people make the dire mistake of skipping meals before a night out to eat. They think they can make up for missed times. Skipping meals will only make you hungrier and more inclined to crave the fattier options. Think about it; you’re starving and you’ve been waiting for a good 30 minutes for your food to come out…would you be excited for a grilled chicken salad? Not so much. Eat like you normally would any other day. Try to plan it out so that your last meal is a light snack about 2-3 hours before going to the restaurant.

 

Control portions

Make sure to control your portions, especially if you decide to treat yourself with your meal. Here are a few tips for portion control at a restaurant:

  • Order from the kids menu if they have one
  • Split a meal with a friend
  • Turn an appetizer into a meal with a side salad
  • Ask the waiter/waitress for a to-go container so you can put half of your plate out of sight to take home
  • Ask the waiter/waitress not to bring bread to the table

 

Substitute

Make substitutions when necessary. If you’re going to treat yourself to a cheeseburger, you probably don’t need the fries on the side. Order a side of salad or veggies instead and order a vinaigrette dressing, or oil and vinegar, over creamy salad dressings.

 

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Dessert?

The most important question, should I have dessert? If are out to dinner for a special occasion, and you don’t do it often, I say go for it…only if you have room for it of course! If you ordered a healthy meal and were good with your portion sizes, a little piece of dessert on a special occasion is perfectly fine. Be sure to split it with at least one other person. On the other hand, if you tend to eat out often, and/or you decided to treat yourself with your main meal (maybe you ordered a cheese burger or a creamy pasta dish), then I would say skip the dessert for the night.

 

Remember that healthy eating is all about balance. Going out and treating yourself to a delicious dinner is fine,  just find your balance by choosing a meal that is well-balanced (meaning it contains protein, carbs and fats), watching your portion sizes, and substitute with healthier options when you need to.

 

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15 Ways to Make Exercise Fun and Productive

Working out is no easy task. We get busy, tired, lazy, stressed or simply have other things we would rather be doing. But getting in a good workout is actually the best remedy for all of the above. It gets your blood circulating and heart pumping, it gives you energy, helps you to sleep better at night and can act as a great stress reliever.

The goal with a consistent exercise routine is to knock out all excuses. One of the most common excuses is, “I hate to exercise.” I find that the general population hates to exercise because they don’t really know what exercise is.

Let’s clear up a few key points about exercise before moving on:

  • 60 miserable minutes on the treadmill is not the only form of exercise
  • blood, sweat and tears does not equal exercise
  • you do not need to be in shape to start
  • a gym is a great resource, but is not the only answer
  • a 10 minute workout still counts
  • exercise can be fun!

Here are some exercises that are so fun you don’t even feel like your exercising:

 

1. Short Workouts

Ever tried HIIT training or Tabata? If you’re short on time these workouts are perfect for you…they can be as short as 5 minutes! The trick is to push your body to limits you never thought it could go. Spike your heart rate by quick, short bursts of exercise, and then follow it with a short active rest period. The cool thing about these workouts is you can do so much; sprints, plyometrics, strength training, rowing…just about any form of exercise you can think of can be turned into a HIIT workout.

 

2. Walking/Hiking

You don’t have to be dripping sweat and out of breath for your workout to be considered effective. Go for a brisk morning walk, even grab a coffee on the way, or get together with a group of friends and enjoy a beautiful day on the hiking trail while stopping for a picnic. That doesn’t sound like exercise to me!

 

3. Biking/Rollerblading

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Whether you’re into hardcore biking or just enjoy a leisurely ride, biking or rollerblading can be great exercises. You can enjoy the outdoors on a beautiful day while getting your workout in.

 

4. Yoga

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The great thing about yoga is there are so many different types that you’re bound to find something you like. From beginners to advanced to yoga therapy, yoga for relaxation, yoga for flexibility, strength training, even hot yoga or power yoga where you’ll find yourself wiping the sweat off your mat. Do your research, try a few different styles and decide which one your enjoy most, or even mix it up.

 

5. Group Fitness Classes

Group fitness classes are amazing! Not only do gyms typically have a wide variety of classes to choose from but they provide a great atmosphere of camaraderie and motivation. Typical gyms will offer classes in zumba, aerobics, kickboxing, kettlebells, spin class and more. You might like a mix throughout the week or you may search for a studio that specializes in the type of group class you enjoy.

 

6. Crossfit

A lot of women are afraid of weights. Crossfit is definitely an exercise that will get you over that fear. Learn proper form and push your muscles to their max with squats, deadlifts, weights, pushups and more.

 

7. At-Home Workouts

You may enjoy more solitude while you workout. There are countless DVDs out there ranging from total-body workouts to exercises targeting particular muscle groups, to dance and more. Pop a DVD in while your dinner is in the slow-cooker and you’re good to go!

 

8. Adult Sports Leagues

Were you active back in school? Do you ever miss being part of a team and competing? Join an adult sports league. Choose something you may have never tried like volleyball, softball, tennis or rowing, or kick it old school with something you used to do back in grade school like running, soccer o basketball.

 

9. Races

Races can be a fun way to get your exercise in, and many runs are set up as fundraisers for great charities. Try an adventure run, a color run, or simply run for a charity that you are passionate about.

 

10. Swimming

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Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for your heart, muscles and joints. Get in a pool and start swimming some laps, or if you don’t know what to do on your own, try a water aerobics class.

 

11. Get Active

Next time your friend wants to meet for coffee, suggest something active instead. Go for a walk, throw a frisbie, fly a kite, go bowling, or anything else that gets you up and moving.

 

12. Play with the Kids

Don’t just bring your kids to do fun activities to sit and watch. Spend some time with them and engage in those activities. Play tag outside, bring them to the playground, an indoor trampoline park or bring back your childhood games and play with them. Not only is it your exercise but it’s setting a great example for your kids to be fit and active.

 

13. Clean

Don’t feel like working out? Well I’m sure you don’t feel like cleaning either but remember those tedious house tasks that you keep saying you will get to but never do? Skip a day at the gym and instead get some house-cleaning done, especially the tasks that you’ve been putting off for months. You can also make cleaning time Qur’an time. Most of us probably don’t read or listen to Qur’an as much as we should. I like to play it in the house while I’m cleaning to be extra productive and feel good.

 

14. Ditch the Car

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Ditch the car whenever possible. If you work or go to school close by, swap the car for a walk or bike ride. If your gym is close to your house, jog over as your warm-up. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator and choose walking or biking over driving whenever possible.

 

15. Stop Sitting

If you have a desk job it’s a good idea to take a break and get some movement in every hour or so. Studies show that sitting all day can not only lead to back problems but also heightens the risk of heart disease, even if the person is thin and exercises regularly. Take a short, 1 or 2 minute walk around the building, or, if you have a private office or cubicle, you might even throw in some squats, pushups and stretches every hour. You can also use your lunch break to get active. Take a walk or go up and down the stairs a few times.

 

You see, the possibilities for exercise are endless. You don’t have to have a treadmill or a sweat rag. Any type of movement truly counts. It’s not about the calories you burn but it’s about getting the heart pumping and staying active for long-term health.

 

What types of exercise do you do for fun? Did I miss any that you want to add to the list? Comment below!

 

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6 Sunnah Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Faith and fitness; what do they have in common? I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of connecting our quest for health with our spirituality. This makes out path to wellness much more meaningful and full of remembrance. One way that we can do this, as Muslims, is by incorporating sunnah foods into our diet. Sunnah foods hold so many amazing blessings and benefits. Here are some easy ways to eat sunnah foods on a daily basis.

 

Honey

The Prophet (saw) said, “Upon you is the two cures: the honey and the Qur’aan” [Ibn Maajah]

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Honey not only has a high nutritional value containing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but it has medicinal uses as well. It can treat nausea, cough and cold and has been shown to be effective against advanced cases of stomach and bone cancer.

Honey can be easily integrated into your diet by having one tablespoon every day. You can eat it plain, mix it into your tea or drizzle it over some toast with peanut butter. It is also popular in baking as a natural sugar substitute to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.

 

 

Dates

Allah’s Apostle said, “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.” [Bukhari]

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Dates are a very low-fat, nutrient-dense food that provide a great source of energy and a natural sweetness. They contain a rich amount of dietary fiber, antioxidants and minerals. Dates aid in healthy digestion, heart problems, admoninal cancer and more. They are also great for providing natural energy.

I like to eat 1 or 2 dates just before a quick, HIIT workout. It provides me with the short burst of energy I need. Dates are a great, natural replacement for processed sweets like candy or chocolate bars. Lastly, it’s sunnah to break your fast with dates. This is effective because they give you energy after a tiring day of fasting, and they hold you over to perform your prayer before eating your larger meal.

 

 

Citrus

The Messenger (saw) said, “The example of a believer who recited the Qur’aan, is that of a citron which smells good and tastes good.” [Bukhari]

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Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit etc) are rich in vitamin C which can help protect against the cold and other illnesses. They also contain anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties, can relieve heartburn, can help maintain a healthy mouth and act as a natural remedy for bad breath.

Lemons/limes are probably the most common and popular citrus fruits and I personally always keep them in my house. They are great to have around for cooking. Adding the juice and/or zest of these fruits can brighten up the flavors of your dishes. Squeeze some lemon/lime juice on top of fish and other seafood dishes or add them to your salad to make it extra refreshing. They are also commonly used in dressings and can be used in baking as well. You can also cut up citrus fruits and use them in your water for added flavor and freshness.

 

 

Pomegranate

Rasulullah (saw) said, “Pomegranate and its rind strengthen digestion(stomach).” [Abu Nuaim]

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This amazing, bright and delicious fruit has many benefits. It can help to lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and has anti-cancer effects. It can also stem a cough.

Throw some pomegranates seeds onto your salad for a beautiful presentation and delicious crunch. They pair particularly well with arugula. You can also throw them into a blender with some of your other favorite fruits to make a smoothie, or simply eat them plain with a side of nuts or low-fat cheese.

 

 

Vinegar

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Allah has put blessing in vinegar, for truly it was used by the Prophets before me.” [Muslim and Ibn Maja]

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Vinegar is pretty well-known for its benefits, particularly apple cider vinegar. Vinegar has antioxidants which can help to prevent cancer, it is heart healthy, it may improve insulin-sensitivity and it may help with diabetes.

Vinegar is another thing that I always have in my house, specifically balsamic and apple cider vinegar. They are great for homemade salad dressings which are much cheaper and healthier than buying them in the store. A basic vinaigrette recipe is 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar. To add more sunnah foods throw in some honey for sweetness and squeeze lemon or lime for citrus flavor.

 

 

Thyme

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Fumigate your houses with Mugwort, Myrrh & Thyme.” [Kanz-ul-Ummal]

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Thyme is not only an herb with a distinctive taste, but it has medicinal benefits as well. It can help to lower blood pressure, suppress cough, boost the immune system and mood, and is used in many skin care products for its wonderful scent.

Right next to basil, thyme is one of my favorite herbs. I think it has a very warm, minty taste and is such a great way to add flavor to dishes. It pairs very well with lamb and also many vegetables. I like to roast my Brussles sprouts, tomatoes and sweet potato with some thyme and a dash of salt and pepper. Next time you are cooking lamb or vegetables, consider the addition of this wonderful herb.

 

 

 

 

References

http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20103251958.html;jsessionid=C266DAEDD072D290284CF60877B4E516

http://www.natureword.com/properties-and-benefits-of-citron/

https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article19.aspx#ref2

 


 

 

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