fitness, fitness journey

How to start yoga practice?

I have been asked a gazzilllion times about how to start a yoga practice.

Do you have to be a yogi and retreat into the Himalayas to get into it or should you be so flexible that you twist and turn yourself into a pretzel?

I have had the pleasure of learning and practicing yoga in both, the western world and lately, in India.

My Story:

My first ever yoga class was at a local teacher’s class and at that point in my life, I did not know that getting a good yoga teacher is half the job done. Now, this woman was all heart but no skill. She mixed up online youtube yoga sessions with her version of jumping around the room chanting Om at the highest volume. Her incense filled room with intensive chakra art was enough to intimidate anyone. Needless to say, I never returned after a month of wierd zumbaish yoga classes and I was crushed.

I later got in touch with an Ashtanga yoga teacher and since was based up north in England and I was down south, our sessions were online and she would make pictures of poses for me to follow and I felt happy with my practice but i wanted to more.

During my last trip in India, I started looking up yoga retreats and classes and most of them were just out to cheat you. One woman asked me to pay up a huge amount of money first before even considering the classes. I felt like this was a bad money making business now and felt a tinge of sadness at not being able to learn yoga in India, the birthplace of yoga.

In the later years, I started lifting more and as I loved getting instant results or just hitting the iron hard, yoga took a backseat in my life.

I met some very funny and crazy characters during this phase. I was still looking for a good teacher and I met an overzealous religious leader who prescribed me to stop eating bread, lay off caffeine and ONLY eat vegetarian food to consider getting results in his classes, I ran for dear life. One woman preached to me about the intensity and greatness of Indian culture and Hinduism and as I am against ALL FORMS OF ORGANISED RELIGION I despised it.

Last month, my father found an Iyengar yoga centre in Delhi and as I was here, I did some research, found it credible and visited the centre.

It was like finding home.

For the first time, I did not feel the oppressive need to trying to prove anything. The teacher was someone who loved yoga for yoga and the only thing she asked of us was to not come hungover to her class.

She taught biology along with yoga with no religion added in and I felt whole with my mind and body.

She did not twist us or even put us in a headstand, she focussed on us understanding our bodies and after my 8 classes were over, as I went over to thank her, i felt so overwhelmed that I bawled my eyes out, crying about finding a good teacher in Toronto. I am lucky enough that she has agreed to help me haha!!

So, here I am, a bodybuilder and a lifter, I practice yoga and I am by no means an ideal yogini but I am so happy with the way my body and mind respond and the amazing amazing teacher I had that I have a new found love for yoga.

Even if lifting is still on the driver’s seat, yoga is right by it as a co-driver.

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body positivity

The relationship between physical fitness and mental health: My Story

Last week I asked my community to send in questions asking about the relationship between physical and mental fitness and I just uploaded a video about it.

HERE is the video for you to check out.

Now, I tell my story.

I was 270 lbs at my peak and suffered from severely low self esteem, this resulted in a minor personality disorder where I would act out in the weirdest ways, hate every single person and decided that I would rather be alone and eat than do anything about what plagues me.

A no filter #transformationtuesday I bulked and cut and lost weight and am so happy with my results. And despite the physical change a strong mental change has ensued. I have started a journey of discovering myself. Cliched enough? But under layers of fat and bad eating habits and stupid society, you tend to shut yourself in a cage. I am on youtube now, breaking the cage so that no one goes through what I did. we are beautiful at all sizes and fitness is about making you the best version of yourself. Join me on liftlikeagirl . . . . . . . . . #fitfam #fitlife #girlswithmuscles #beautiful #ukfitfam #weightloss #selflove #instafit #stronghold #strong #delhigirl #londonblogger #fitfam #bodybuilding #femalefitnessmotivation #indianfitness

A post shared by Samridhi R Kumar 🇨🇦 (@liftlikeagirl13) on

I was friendless and bullied and took it out on food and my family. I was NOT the best person to be around that time.

Slowly, I started dieting and lost “some” weight but by all means was still “fat” . This resulted in a minor change in me where I started getting some male attention (Hello, male validation for making women feel “good” about themselves) and I started drowning in depression and compliments. I would rather be called pretty than anything and I had no self respect.

I started lifting weights and had so many people muscle shame me because of that. I cut them off.

I started doing yoga and started listening to my mind for the first time in so many years.

Today, I stand here, a girl with muscles, a bodybuilder, an iyengar yogini and a person who is happiest at the gym, hitting the iron and I ward off all depressing thoughts with headstands.

If there was ever a cure for my depression, ED, low self esteem and everything else, it was physical fitness.

 

Life Lessons

Are we allowed to dream?

 

Self motivation and love for our own self is often termed as being selfish.

But how selfish should you be then? Are you not even allowed to dream?

Our self worth is often calculated in terms the society deems respectable and correct.

Are you rich? Definitely worth it.

Are you beautiful? Gorgeously worth it?

Do you have a big social circle? You are in!!??

But, does all of this truly make us happy?

I dream of making it in the big city. The Big Apple and there have been roadblocks but I persist. and I will.

As a former fat girl, I get to evaluate a before and after me, a chance many people do not get.

I have grown every single day into a human being my parents would be proud of and let’s face it, they are the only ones worth doing anything for.

I feel like we should be a train on a journey of self happiness and fulfilment and the people we meet and join in with are coaches but we are the engine.

We should never ever change our track for anyone and if they like you for who you are, they WILL join in or leave and that is OK.

But

Dream on and don’t care about the labels the world throws on us.

We are so much beyond labels.

Life Lessons

The liberty to choose a partner

Love.

Aren’t we all just a little bit obsessed with it?

We love watching romance films, reading novels that give us butterflies in the stomach and day dreaming about that dream boat you exchanged glances with.

In India and some other parts of the world, love seems to have been hijacked by insecure parents, societal demands and astrology. In an age old tradition of arranging marriages, relationships are being butchered and people sold off as perfect matches.

On paper, this seems like such a perfect concept, you match the class, type and anything else of two people, parents are happy with the family (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IN INDIA) and lo! You are married off?

I don’t understand why the society and parents like to be in between two people, but that’s how arranged marriages work.

It is sad for me to see people still encouraging something like this where a personal choice is taken and made public, the topic of who you should marry ceases to lie with you but with your local neighbourhood aunty, relatives and experts.

It doesn’t matter if you are compatible or not.

It does not matter if you love each other of not.

And it definitely does not matter that one family will try and spread patriarchy as much as possible.

Well, i can get tired of tired of writing but this nonsense does not seem to stop.

Rather be single than be involved in an arranged marriage.

So, I shot a video rant with a funny girl and if you want, watch it for some laughs.

HERE is the video.

Life Lessons

Men do not stare at me at the GYM

I am at the gym, rushing through the sidewalk in a large coat with my active wear under me. I am almost always too excited at the prospect of the gym to waste time in the changing room.

I open the door and a cool breeze welcomes me and I know I am home.

I take off my coat and reveal a tight pair of grey gym pants, my favourite piece from Gap I got at a bargain in New Jersey.

My sports bra clings on my breasts and have a blue and often white cotton top to avoid any accidental boob slippage.

I walk down the shiny plastic red lit staircase to the basement where the heavy weights are, tightening my fanny pack and taking out my gym gloves to wear.

I stare at my reflection the in the mirror. A red haired girl stares back, a tribal tattoo peeking out from her left breast, a sneaky quote on her left wrist and a symbol on her neck. I raise my arms to tighten my hair and my grandmothers’ names on my arm peek out. All off these, surrounding me and giving me comfort.

The music blasts on and I put on my blue headphones at maximum volume, ready to lift and lift heavy.

As a woman who lives in the city, being comfortable with your body and the inherent nakedness that comes with at the gym are two paradoxical lives I have lived.

In the gym, while deadlifting, I would always push all off my top inside my sports bra to avoid any piece of cloth being stuck in my waist belt and while working out any body part, I make sure clothes are not a part of it.

Will I get stared at?

Will I get nasty comments or comments that would make me feel disgusting about being a woman?

A common answer would be yes, maybe.

But, to my surprise, I am never stared at. The gym is surrounded by people working their asses off on a schedule and is full of mirrors. Appreciative glances are passed and acknowledged at a good form, at a heavy weight you are lifting and at an amazing muscle pump you get and that is that.

90 minutes later, I step out, in my coat, a hoodie or a hat on my head and the only way you would know I am a woman is by looking at my breasts and behind and that is enough for men to stare at me.

They cannot see my eyes or my face.

They see red hair peeking out and curves and that walk is the most excruciatingly painful walk ever.

You can call out a cat-caller or fight someone who tries to touch you, but what do you do to people who stare at you and mentally undress you?

I often ask myself why would they do this? What do they gain from it? It is not like I hand out my number to any guy who stares at my body parts.

I found this open letter to men who stare and it connected with me.

Have you also faced this?

Have you been stared at and made to feel uncomfortable?

Please read this and comment with your experience.

Open Letter to Men who Stare

#metoo

 

 

fitness

1 K Subscriber Giveaway!!

I am so so happy and blessed that my subscriber count on youtube has crossed 1ooo subscribers!

And as a special giveaway I looked into my jewellery collection and found this amazing unisex Swarovski Crystal watch and I am giving that away as my contest ends!!

To participate:

  1. Watch the whole video and answer the question in the end in my comment section.
  2. Follow and subscribe to me on youtube and instagram.

I will do this for 5 videos.

THIS is the first video of my super giveaway!

A full body gym and HIIT workout!

Hope you enjoy the video.

body positivity

Are Beauty Pageants Sexist?

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR A CHANCE TO FEATURE IN A VIDEO TALK

I have always believed that parading a bunch of good looking people, mostly tall, skinny and fair women is one of the ways media and the society makes you think believe in a different standard of beauty.

We are all so different and are all beautiful.

I look at myself, I am short, barely crossing 153 inches, muscular with bulking biceps and strong quads, have red hair and brown skin and in no way will be getting a beauty queen crown in the near future.

So, I am slightly amused at the amount of happiness India has been giddying with an Indian woman winning the coveted Miss World crown. (Is Trump still behind the scenes?)

The banality of this is such, that in a patriarchal society where the media refuses to talk about rampant issues, we would rather feast our eyes on such beauties and objectify them

But

I am glad for Manushi Chillar, daughter of two doctors who, surprised me by actually having an opinion. (that does show my prejudice towards beauty contests and I plead guilty.)

And, as a consummate traveller, I stalked her instagram and found her very pleasing, raising hopes in me that she will take this pla60133549tform and speak up and do some good.

The other beauty queens who did something sensible, albeit a bit late were Priyanka Chopra and Sushmita Sen and everyone has been pretty much stereotypical.

But, I stand here, an optimist, waiting for the day when Indian beauty queens and beautSushmita-Seny queens in general represent the women of the world in a more wholesome and inclusive way.

But, do click here and watch her instagram and get some travel inspo.

MANUSHI CHILLAR TRAVELSPO

And

I would love to know your opinion on beauty pageants.

 

fitness, Life Lessons

My Drunken Nights: Does Alcohol and Fitness Mix?

As it is Friday and we are all getting ready and headed off to drinks with friends, a session with wine and Netflix or plain simple house party. And we deserve it!

We have worked so hard the whole week that we need to unwind.

Now, alcohol haters will say there are other ways to unwind and relax and you do not need to intoxicate yourself. I beg to differ. I prefer days I can lounge and drink red wine and have a gossip session with my girlfriends. Or I like a strong pre-game night and club hopping with my friends and meeting cute guys over gin and tonic.

And my personal favourite? Getting sloshed on diet coke and rum and dancing away the night.

But, as I lost the weight and went deeper in the world of fitness, I realised how such nights, even one such night hampered my progress for almost a week. I would eat more, kill my diet, I would lie with a horrible hangover and I would lose my mental peace.

So, here I share a video where I talk about how Alcohol affects fitness.

WATCH THE VIDEO

On a lighter note I share some of my most memorable drinking stories. Do you have one? Comment with a fun thing that happened when you were pissed.

  1. As I mentioned in a video here. I once had two whole bottles of red wine and remembered the night. So, I had a major crush on this guy (who, I later found out was gay ) and was invited to a house party where he would be there. Now, in order to hide my embarrassment and my love for him, I started off with my house guest gift bottle and kept drinking, flirting as much as I could with him, thinking it was a successful night. I was the perfect faux hostess, handing out food, sharing funny stories and my love for Bollywood. I also made it a point to give an update to my best friend every 15 mins and needless to say, the next day and the few days later, I was shattered when I found out where his interests lay. Oh, and he had a serious boyfriend as well.
  2. The rum and coke night: A friend wanted to set me up with another friend of his. I was not too keen but it was a thursday and drinks would be cheap and I was tired from all the school work, so I sauntered off. I bought some drinks and some drinks were bought for me. I met the guy and did not think much of him. I met another guy who was married (My luck IS that good). We started dancing, the set up was sloshed on beer (light weight) and the married guy was chaperoning everyone (who gets married so young!!??) and then I met a guy who in my rum induced haze looked like Tom Cruise to me. I was a happy girl and my friends had to physically be around me all the time to prevent me from going and asking him if he was Tom Cruise (thank you for not letting me embarrass myself).
  3. The Vodka Incident: At a filmmakers mixer, I was a wingman for a friend who had it bad for another. Now, I don’t usually do setups but then they were both good friends and I genuinely thought she liked him. So I set up a date for them, sort of (I was third wheeling in my head) and kept buying them drinks and kept the conversation flowing and when she finally left the place, I thought it was a success. To celebrate, my friend and I went to another club pretending to be man and wife to avail a special discount, used my card again and again and the morning after had to call the father to get some money in order to not default.

Such is life.

It might seem interesting or a funny read but the pain of the hangover and the silly antics have put me off alcohol and the fact that now that I see my muscles and abs, I don’t want to run around with a beer belly or a red wine baby and ruin it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons

Who am I: The get to know me tag on youtube

Isn’t this the most cliched and introspective yet philosophical question of all time?

Who am I?

What makes me unique and why should you read my thoughts and watch me do things?

As a filmmaker, model and social media influencer, I create a brand image of myself and push it out everyday, trying to get people to like and engage with my brand. But honestly, that is just one aspect of me.

I am like a spider with webs interwoven in so many places with other spiders, some close and some far and some affected by the webs that I break and then I get affected by the webs someone else breaks. We are all interwoven into each others webs and as I start unravelling a part of my web, I feel a certain responsibility towards the others who are and have been a part of my web.

The get to know me tag on youtube forces you to look at the web and chart a course that will get show the audience more of your web but still hide the web of the ones who don’t want to be a part of it. Privacy 101?

So, a I sat down to to write 10 facts about me, I became overtly conscious and aware of the fact that I have a responsibility towards the people around me and even when those people have gone from my life, the web has not. I have a responsibility towards my audience and if I promised them more honesty and deeper insight into my life, that is what I will give them and I hope I have done it all the while keeping up the image of my brand and the lightness of tone I exude.

And one of the best things that happened as I filmed this tag was that I suddenly got connected with the old Sam. The decisions I took throughout my short life have shaped me so much that it has made me excited for this adventure called life.

I regret my mistakes, I regret some circumstances but I love every moment and am thankful to the ones who cocoon me in their webs and love me and not try to kick me out of it.

Thank you my fellow spiders and follow me and be a part of my lovely web.

Watch my video here

Life Lessons

How to Motivate Yourself

Motivating yourself can be a hard task but applaud yourself if you are reading this!

You have taken the first step in getting off your ass and actually doing something.

I write this from personal experience and research I have done.

Sharing my story: I am a filmmaker. Now, this might seem like the most glamorous job in the whole wide world, but sadly it is not. I am not from a film lineage, so I do not have a line of producers and directors ready to work with me. I have sit and create scripts, contact as many people as I can and show them my work, I need to be proactive with shoots I get, work on minimum wage and then work somewhere else to pay off rent but all of this makes me want to be a filmmaker even more and enjoy my small successes when I get them. A short film I directed was in the indie festival circuit following which an American media company bought it, I got a project with another American company and another with a British TV series and then there are times when there is a slump and I could sit on my ass and cry and trust me, I have done that.

On a personal level, I lost my grandmothers and am going through a breakup that seems to de-motivate me even more and makes me trust people even less. I left London and am countryless, travelling in the hopes of finding a home.

Then how do I motivate myself to churn out videos for youtube, inspire my fitness community, finish my projects on time and still come up with new projects and keep myself busy and my bank balance rolling?

I read a paper once that said that when we start to think of a work we have to do, there is a 6 minute window after which our brain starts to procrastinate. USE THAT WINDOW or identify when it is happening.

Despite what anyone says, motivation comes from within and from a place inside you where you tell yourself that you love yourself. Why do you want to do what you want to do? To make yourself better? Be it a project deadline, a meeting, calling up someone or plain and simple going to the gym.

Everything and anything we do is for our own benefit. We never do anything for anyone.

Even if it is a good deed or a chore for your family member, you do it because you love them or that it makes YOU feel good.

I device steps to motivate myself in times I am low on something and I find that once the brain starts churning, there is a zap of energy and I am full of ideas, positivity and a wish to do more.

Listen to music that pumps you.

Read articles or books that push you.

Write down your goals.

Look back at where you were and where you are now and start again.

Someone asked me how to be motivated to be a fit person, so here in this video I share ways I motivate myself to go and workout every single day.

HERE IS THE VIDEO

fitness

Benefits of pushups for women

Let’s face it, women have lesser mass on the upper body are and lesser muscle mass as well, the end result? Women tend to have weak upper body strength.

So, how do we make ourselves stronger? Pushups babay!!

Here I list out the benefits of pushups for women:

  1. Pushups enhance the strength of your biceps, triceps and chest. Which means that the flab on your arm is worked and you can actually drop a bra size.
  2. Core Stability: As we age, the core strength reduces which causes flabby stomach to appear and fat tends to be deposited on the belly. As the movement of pushups force you to retract your abdomen, you reduce the are and make it stronger.
  3. Overall toning: Don’t we all want a sculpted look with toned arms and shoulders to look good in a dress? (Yes, I also tend to get superficial). Pushups will help you with that.

 

SO, without further ado, head over the video HERE and find out the types of pushups you can do!

fitness

Office Workout| Easy stretches

Sitting in Office all day long, staring at a big screen and working through mobiles and laptops mean that our spines have to work in a way it is not accustomed to.

The human spice is divided into three parts, the C section connected from the brain to the back, the second one from the back to the lower pelvis and the last from the pelvis to the tailbone. In these three parts, there is mobility, which has since time immemorial helped our ancestors chop down trees, hunt animals, build huge building like the Empire State Building and invent stuff.

But now, we sit and do not use our spine due to which it tends to become straight and results in severe neck pain, back pains and unnecessary stress to your back and head.

It is such a shocking statistic that almost 90 percent of us have back problems, we do not sit with correct posture and are harming ourself.

Ever since I lost 100 pounds, I have been working on improving my fitness level and did a bit of a biology class to understand the human skeleton and ways to improve our posture. This helped me understand how to reduce back pain and helped me create this liftlikeagirl workout wednesday special that works your spine and gives you a good stretch. Workout while you are at work so that there are no excuses for not being your best self.

Here is the video link.