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Pretty Mumma Says…

Read what this pretty mumma says 🙂

Hi..I am Surbhi! Pretty mumma of this blog.

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After having worked for almost a decade, I decided to quit my career to take care of my 2 kids. But always had the itch to do something worthwhile. I have picked up multiple professions in my career span out of sheer interest. I love reading books but never thought that writing will be attractive to me and I will choose it as my profession.

I am a Mass Comm post grad and based in New Delhi. I work from home, but not to be confused with “comfort of my home”. When you have kids, you are never comfortable, even at your home (if you know what I mean!). Every morning my dining table becomes my desk, while I instruct my help to put things in order. When I am not running after my kids, I read, write and dress-up. I am a shoe and makeup lover.

This is my personal blog. The thoughts and impressions are my personal and bear no resemblance. All the content and personal images on this blog are fully copyrighted and owned by myself. 

If you like my posts, like them and spread them around. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!

xo

-Pretty mumma

Freedom for Our Children – The Yoga Way

Free·dom – ˈfrēdəm –noun

  1. The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Yoga is a celebration of the freedom we experience in our minds, bodies, hearts and souls. With so much competition, stress and difficulty young kids face, it has become very important that kids should learn yoga for their holistic development. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfilment, they can navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease.

When kids start learning yoga at an early age, it encourages self-esteem and body awareness in them along with a physical activity that’s noncompetitive. Yoga fosters cooperation and compassion in children which is a great gift that they will possess for their life. Yoga is a path that can lead our kids to inner happiness and complete personal freedom.

Why and how yoga is beneficial for children?

The playfulness and the frolic that we see in our kids is a derivation of their elemental energy. The state of a kids health depends on the direction this energy is led. Kids grow up very quickly and their metabolism is much faster than adults. Teenaged children, both pre and post puberty, are going through an overhaul of hormonal balance in their bodies which then affects their behaviour and mental faculty.

Additionally, the state of modern education delivers an unimaginable amount of academic pressure on the child. The competition and the expectations to perform well have introduced kids to an unforgivable amount of stress that used to be the forte of adults. Practicing yoga may not reduce the societal pressure but a child can be better equipped to handle stress and perform well under these conditions.

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Yoga certainly helps a child learn how to focus better and the ability to grasp a concept and then memorize it making kids more efficient to deliver the expectations. Yoga is the holistic approach that tackles all these issues by developing and strengthening the core of each individual kid, both physically and mentally.

Benefits of Tadasana or Mountain Pose

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Increases awareness
  • Steadies breathing
  • Increases strength, power, and mobility in the feet, legs and hips
  • Firms abdomen and buttocks
  • Reduces flat feet

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Benefits of Halasana or Plow Pose

  • Improves digestion and appetite
  • Effective in weight loss in obese children
  • Strengthens the abdominal muscles
  • Makes spinal cord strong and flexible
  • It helps to reduce stress

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Benefits of Paschimottansana or Seated Forward Bend Pose

  • It acts as a stress reliever
  • Remove anxiety, anger and irritability
  • Calms the mind
  • Stretches the spine and brings flexibility
  • Good for constipation and digestive disorder
  • Useful for increasing height

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Benefits of Dhanurasana or Bow Pose

  • Strengthens the back and abdominal muscles
  • Opens up the chest, neck and shoulders
  • Tones the leg and arm muscles
  • Adds greater flexibility to the back
  • Good stress and fatigue buster

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Benefits of Padmasana or Lotus Pose

  • Opens up the hips
  • Stretches the ankles and knees
  • Calms the brain
  • Increases awareness and attentiveness
  • Keeps the spine straight
  • Helps develop good posture
  • Helps to keep  joints and ligaments flexible

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Yoga is meditative by nature. So whether your child is holding a balancing posture, sitting in meditation or moving through a series of poses, there’s going to be a calming, soothing effect.

This blog is hugely inspired by Anjuji, a person I stumbled upon by sheer luck, who teaches yoga selflessly to underprivileged children. She was kind enough to provide a lot of information for this article. Read my feature on her here – Yoga with Anju Mishra – A Blog Feature

Thank you Sabeeka for introducing me and passing the baton. Sabeeka writes at www.momsmethods.com. Catch her in more action on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I further pass this baton of “freedom of expression” to Soumya who writes at www.thepinkdazzle.com. Take a look at her awesome work at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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This blog is part of a series of 13 blogs written by 13 versatile bloggers writing for one common goal #FreedomToExpress.

 

One More Coffee Before I Go

Hey, hi! It’s been a while since we went for a coffee – just us two. There was a time when we had all the moments to ourselves but now, after the kids came into our lives, having privacy has become a rarity. Let’s take a break from the hustle-bustle of our daily lives. Let’s go for a coffee some day – just the two of us. Look into each other’s eyes and have a conversation that we haven’t had since very long. Let’s talk just about us. Let’s talk about anything; just anything. When was the last time we sat in a quiet corner of a coffee shop and talked about random things? I am so busy with my life that now mostly revolves around our kids, and you are getting busier with your work that we don’t know what’s actually going on with us. Let’s talk about our plans, our daily struggles, our daily disappointments and our daily achievements. I am so eager to listen to you talking to me while “looking at me” and not at kids or TV or mobile phone. Let’s go for a cuppa and have a real conversation while Bob Dylan plays in the background.

One more coffee for the road…one more coffee before I go…

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky
Your back is straight, your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie
But I don’t sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ’fore I go
To the valley below

Your daddy he’s an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He’ll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ’fore I go
To the valley below

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself
You’ve never learned to read or write
There’s no books upon your shelf
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ’fore I go
To the valley below

This article is the seventh and the last blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. Prompt for Day7 is “If we were having coffee”. #writetribe #writebravely #wtfow

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Yoga with Anju Mishra – A Blog Feature

Happiness is an inside job. If you don’t do the right things for yourself then there are chances that no one else will. I had a chance to interview one such person who is working untiringly and selflessly for the underprivileged, for the joy and happiness it brings to her. Meet Anju Mishra, who teaches Yoga to the underprivileged in Haridwar, the city where the River Ganges exits the Himalayan foothills.

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She was drawn to Yoga from a very young age but she couldn’t pursue it due to lack of guidance. Later on, she studied Yoga at a university and completely plunged herself into the yogic philosophy and sciences. She runs a not-for-profit organization where the focus is on the education of underprivileged children. Simultaneously, she is associated with Innerwheel, an organisation that deals with issues like environmental protection and afforestation, issues that are very close to her heart.

Here’s what she has to say:-

Q) What made you start doing and now practice Yoga? Since how many years have you been practicing it?

In the modern scenario, Yoga seems more relevant than ever before. It occurred to me that our environment and atmosphere, our food habits and way of life have become less and less organic as compared to the ancient times. Be it fast food, packaged/processed food, food high in calories and low in minerals and vitamins is fostering a depraved mentality in people and as a result affecting our wholesome health. The advancement in technology gave us comforts, convenience and may have increased the number of years of our life expectancy but it has reduced the quality of healthy life considerably. Thus, the next logical step to a better and holistic future is Yoga without a doubt and that’s the reason why I have chosen this path. It has been close to 10 years since I have completely immersed myself in Yoga and that’s way of my life. Tranquillity that my soul experiences through Yoga is addictive and I still pursue to learn more.

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Q) What inspired you to teach Yoga?

Interestingly, I have been inspired to teach Yoga by my own teachers from the university who do outstanding service for the society by educating students to share the knowledge with people yet untouched by the virtues of Yoga. Helping another human being is the sole purpose of our existence and even though one has no resources and no possessions, he/she can still be of help to the society. This thought is at the core of my motivation to teach Yoga to everyone who has the desire to learn.

Q) With your knowledge and success you could have become a well known Yoga guru. Why did you choose to teach Yoga to the under-priviledged?

I’m driven by the philosophies of Yoga and fame isn’t mentioned anywhere in it. I’m not averse to success and popularity but look at things this way.  There is a huge section of society that is so busy surviving the daily grind of life. They are vulnerable to diseases and disorders very early in life and they don’t have access to better healthcare and hospitals like us. Yoga seems more essential for them than for us and yet you will not see a Baba Ramdev or Shilpa Shetty, who are so called ambassadors of brand Yoga, to come and teach these poor folks. I’m simply compelled to fill the blanks which were overlooked by more influential people and in this process, fame and material success became trivial and inconsequential for me.

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Q) What is your take on prevalent modern day Yoga practices?

The prevalent Yoga in-vogue is a two edged sword in my opinion. On one hand, Yoga is more popular than it has ever been since the prehistoric times. But on the other hand, I feel it has lost its depth and the attention to detail of each asana. The commercialisation of Yogic studies has turned it into an industry and that’s against the fabric of yogic principles. As long as it’s a win-win situation for teachers and Yoga aspirants and leads towards fulfilling life, I have no complaints.

Q) Do you have a website, Instagram page or any other social media presence? (I will mention these in the article)

The thought of a website or an Instagram account never occurred to me. Although I am active on Facebook I do not use it for broadcasting my activities related to Yoga. You will be my first connect to the online world as far as Yoga is concerned and I’m grateful for that. Although, whenever I had set up a Yoga camp anywhere it was reported either in local news channels or news papers; that’s about it.

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I want to thank Anjuji for agreeing to be a part of my blog. I am grateful to her for taking out time from her busy schedule to answer my questions. I wish her all the success in all her future endeavours.

This article is the sixth blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. Prompt for Day6 is “Feature a guest – a guest post / an interview”. #writetribe #writebravely #wtfow

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A Letter to Shahrukh

With Shahrukh Khan and Imtiaz Ali coming together, I was looking forward to a classic romantic film. I must also tell you that despite having the media invite, I chose to buy the tickets and watch it. I shouldn’t have done that.

Hi Shahrukh,

Hope you find this letter in best spirits. I am sure you will be very glad to know that recently, we had the pleasure of watching your latest mind-blasting blockbuster that totally knocked us out – Jab Harry Met Sejal. I have to make a very honest confession – it’s not for the faint-hearted. What a story and screenplay! How bad can it get, after all? Yawning for continuously 2 hours is no joke. How do you even come up with such awesome ideas? Do you guys really plan or did you smoke something? Do you think about the time and money movie-goers put into a movie like this? I mean…just tell me what inspired you to name it “Jab Harry Met Sejal”? If there’s an award for the worst movie title, this will win hands down! Do I sense a midlife crisis in your career? Why are you doing this to yourself?

The movie started with a song depicting your life and lifestyle. I became hopeful. I even bought the biggest popcorn tub for my kids so that they let me watch the movie in peace. After some time, I was the one munching popcorns, whiling away my time, whereas my kids slept. Thank you! I bow down!!

I totally fell for your character “Harry” when he agreed unwillingly to help Sejal find her lost ring. Poor girl, all alone in an unknown territory decides to pile-on and yet, Harry was being suave and gentlemanly through out. Hats off! I appreciated his honesty when he confesses to Sejal that he is a man of lose character. But determined Sejal still sticks to him and writes an indemnity bond. Wow! Now, that’s an original idea. Or is it?

Now, please tell me who sings songs at 6:00 AM after being chased by gangsters a night before all over the city? Like, really?? That’s not normal. One minute we are in between a kidnapping, other minute we are in Frankfurt for a wedding.

Some songs in the movie appear just out of nowhere, even when it wasn’t required. We all know both you and Anushka can dance really well. No need to show off…please! The track done by Diplo – sounded really cool on Dolby. Great track!!

Let’s talk about Anushka a.k.a. Sejal. All I have to say is – “Nice try!” – Exactly like she said in the movie. Beautiful clothes and dresses, by the way! And makeup – on point! There was a wedding scene in which she wore jeans with a beautiful ethnic short kurta and in the next scene, she was dancing in a salwar. Change of mind? Thought so.

You must know that I am a very selective viewer of Bollywood films. With you and Imtiaz coming together, I was looking forward to a classic romantic film. I must also tell you that despite having the media invite, I chose to buy the tickets and watch it. I shouldn’t have done that. This movie left me with my all hopes shattered.

Best regards,

Your Fan Not-Anymore

This article is the fifth blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. Prompt for Day5 is “write a letter”. #wtfow #writebravely #writetribe 

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A Day in My Life – Photo Blog

An average Indian faces many issues going through the life every day. I am no different. I look at life through the lens of an optimistic realism – obviously, there may be no such real thing. Still, I am pursuing a pseudo-realism in this world full of polygamy of harsh realities and fairy tales. Every day for me becomes one such day – reality check! Every day is eventful with two handful toddlers. They are friends one minute, foes in next. It takes one weird sound, one thud and one scratch to turn a day full of laughter and chuckles into a day of crying and screaming. I will share about my day with the help of pictures because words will not do the justice.

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Good morning!! The day begins.
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I don’t want to sleep again after breakfast. I want to watch what my big sister is doing.
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Blurred pictures are cool, Mom! Otherwise, how would anybody know that we don’t like to stay still?
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Mom, let’s take some selfies while my baby brother is taking his afternoon nap.
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Time for my workout. Let me finish it before the kids wake up!

And the day goes on…

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Thank god Daddy is back from work.
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While Miss D is having her dinner with Daddy, Monsieur RD falls asleep in mommy’s arms.
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Aah!!! Finally some ME time!

This article is the fourth blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. #writebravely #writetribe #bloggingchallenge

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Face – The “Map” of Your Health

An ancient Ayurveda practice that tells about the ailments inside our body by just looking at our face.

Before the invention of sophisticated machinery and the advanced biochemistry tests, the ancient medical practitioners used peculiar observational diagnoses to quickly narrow down the symptoms to specific imbalances within the body and help prevent or treat the diseases. The same techniques can still be used today to read the skin on your face to help determine what’s causing acne or blemishes. One such technique is called as “Face Mapping“. It’s an ancient practice rooted in Indian Ayurveda, according to which an area on your face is connected to an organ or body part that tells what to treat internally for clear external results. Also explained by Chinese scholar Chapan Lee, Face mapping is the ability to see the reflection of the body’s organs on each part of the face by observing the face’s complexion — such as lustre, dullness and colour [and acne!] — as well as the tongue and facial expressions.

Here are 10 the areas on your face that tell about your health:

1. Forehead – gallbladder and liver issues

According to Ayurveda, the forehead is ruled by the Vata dosha and relates to the nervous system and digestive system, meaning stress and internal stagnation are probably causing breakouts here. Try reducing the amount of processed foods and fat in your diet sure to eat less processed foods, while incorporating meditation and yoga to keep stress low.

2. Between eyebrows, right side – repressing emotions in your liver

It’s apparent to most that deep seated anxiety would cause your lovely face to wrinkle up. By understanding the line pattern, you can understand where you might be holding stress and which of your organs may consequently be most at risk. If you have a vertical line between your eyebrows on the right side, it indicates you’re repressing emotions — especially anger — in your liver.

3. Between eyebrows, left side – repressing emotions in the spleen

A line on the left side indicates that emotions are likely penned up in the spleen.

4. Eyes – joint problems, intestinal issues, thyroid problems

Eyes can be particularly telling: Small irises point to joint problems and an increased whiteness in the iris can indicate that joints are in a degenerative state. A spotty iris can mean poor nutrient absorption in the intestine. If you observe a light ring around the iris, cut back on your sugar and salt intake as this indicates that you have an excess of both. A yellowish colour in the eye can indicate a weak liver.

5. Below eyes – impaired kidney function

Puffiness and swollen lower eyelids indicate impaired kidney function. Increasing water intake will help, as will measures that kindle the body’s digestive fire, such as adding more spices to your food and making sure to chew your food well. (Ayurveda recommends chewing each morsel nearly 30 times before swallowing!)

6. Cheeks – slow metabolism, low absorption of nutrients, lung issues

Patchiness or discoloration on the cheeks can indicate poor metabolism and low absorption of nutrients, such as folic acid and iron. Additionally, cheeks are linked to lung function (think about how red your face gets during a strenuous workout that has you breathing hard), so pay attention to the quality of your breath and consider breathing exercises.

7. Nose – blood and heart issues

Because the cheeks and nose are governed by the Pitta dosha (the fire element), it’s no surprise that breakouts here indicate an internal flare up. The nose is closely related to your circulatory system, so if you find yourself breakout out there, it might indicate a blood pressure issue. Up the amounts of essential fatty acids in your diet (avocado, flax, olive oil), and avoid alcohol, coffee and spicy foods.

8. Lower lip – intestines, digestions

Your lower lip can provide key insights into the functioning of your intestines. Browns spots can mean you may be suffering from indigestion and poor enzyme function, as well as a possibility of parasites or worms in the lower intestine. Adding more probiotics to your diet may help. Pale lips are often the first sign of anaemic onset, so increase your intake of leafy greens and other iron-rich foods. If you’re noticing a distinct bluish tinge on your lips, it may indicate poor oxygen absorption — possibly even a heart condition — and if you’re experiencing breathlessness that goes with it, you definitely want to follow up with your doctor. Finally, discoloration on the lower lip could indicate a possible disorder in the intestines, while discolorations on the edges of your lips may indicate a kidney issue.

9. Tongue – toxin buildup, lung issues

Your tongue is the first place many internal disorders will show up, so you’ll want to inspect it every day (preferably in the mornings). Circular white residue in the middle or the back of the tongue indicates a build up of toxins in the intestines or colon, meaning it might be time for a detox. Frothiness or abrasions at the edges of your tongue indicate a possible issue with the lungs, meaning aerobic exercise and meditation are especially important for you. If you find the outer edge of your tongue looking ridged or uneven, that would indicate poor absorption of nutrients into your blood stream. This could be happening because you’re eating too many processed foods, and sometimes even due to the overuse of vitamins (counterintuitive, I know!). Focus on clean, whole foods high in vitamins, iron and folic acids.

10. Chin – Hormonal imbalance

Your chin is most likely where hormonal imbalances and stress will make themselves known, which means you’re more likely to break out there around your menstrual cycle. Reducing stress as much as possible, getting adequate sleep and exercising will help in healing blemishes around this Kapha dosha-ruled area.

This article is the third blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. Prompt for Day 3 is “Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual”.

On the basis of the technicality of the information in this article, a lot of content is sourced from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18257/face-mapping-what-your-skin-says-about-your-health.html

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My DELL – The Resource for My Reboot

Hello! Meet my laptop DELL*. It came to me as my birthday gift by my darling husband at the time when Orkut was a rage and more popular than Facebook. This laptop gave me virtual wings (whatever happened to Reb Bull).  It gave a phenomenal boost to my not-so-happening social (media) life. It also became my companion whenever I was alone. I could binge watch Sex and The City. Yes!

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It added to my cool quotient too, I was Orkut-ing and watching videos on Youtube. I also made an account on Facebook. Swanky!! Poking wasn’t considered offensive then. I could download music and movies, and get lost in my own world. I could read books, tabloids and magazines online, and boy, I could flaunt my extraordinary knowledge about current affairs, Bollywood and Hollywood (remember Keeping Up With The Kardashians?).

Dell gave me the flexibility to work from home (or not) whenever I couldn’t drag my lazy backside to the office. Sickness, guests or any imaginary/actual exigencies, you see. I was growing possessive about it.

Dell was my biggest helping hand and companion all day when I was pursuing my Masters degree during my sabbatical from work. I even carried it to Starbucks (for free wifi) and finished my work. Ok, yeah…skyped with friends sometimes too. Is that a crime?

After having kids, nothing came handy like Dell. I could entertain my kids by playing kids’ music and videos on Youtube. I didn’t care as long as I could get a 20-30mins breather in my 24 hours of mommying without help. Judge me away!

I chose to give up my not-so-highflying corporate career for my kids and turned to writing. I give all the credit to my ex-boss who opened my mind towards writing and allowed me to take my chances. And now…Dell is my ONLY resource through which I channel my creative energies. I am a fulltime blogger now, alongwith a freelance writer and a content consultant. Because I have a laptop, I can work anytime and anywhere in the house, or wherever my kids are playing.

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My laptop is with me for almost a decade now. It has seen its prime and lows. It has been thoroughly tested for its endurance but it never gave up. That’s how I identify myself with Dell – my resource for my recharge and reboot.

*This blog article contains original content. This is not a sponsored post. It doesn’t contain any affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

This article is the second blog in the series of 7 blogs that I am writing as a part of The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6, 2017. Day 2 prompt is “a resource you have or use”.

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