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Win A Buddha’s Herbs Goodie Bag

My friends at Buddha’s Herbs – makers of high quality, high purity, well-priced supplements and teas, are sponsoring an Independence Day Giveaway here at Pilatesandreiki.com.

One of you lovely readers will win a Buddha’s Herbs Goodie Bag, consisting of a Buddha’s Herbs tote bag, mug, and a collection of their finest products. I love their products, and am confident that you will too.

Win A Buddha's Herbs Goodie Bag

Contest starts today – US Independence Day, 4 July 2014 at 7pm and will end at 7pm on Friday 11 July 2014. I will announce the winner on Monday 7 July 2014!

This is the first of several awesome giveaways that will happening here over the next few months, so please stay in touch!

Enter the giveaway below. Good luck!

Win A Buddha’s Herb Goodie Bag

SinuOrega Nasal Spray works extremely well, if you can handle it.

3/5 stars

Ever since we moved back to NYC I have struggled with my sinuses. After having only one sinus infection in six years while living in the Caribbean, I have had at least four in the past few years.

My physician prescribed generic Flonase, but now that Nasacort is over the counter, United Healthcare has informed me that they are upping my co-pay to $30 from $10 (for the exact same generic drug). Because the people who receive over $300 per week out of my pre-tax income would rather not pay for anything.

So I have become a huge fan of saline nasal sprays, with Ocean being my favorite.

Back in April, at the start of spring allergy season, I received an email from Naturally Savvy offering me a chance to sample and review North American Herb and Spice’s SinuOrega.

I received a full size (2 oz.) nasal spray and a general spray, suitable for odor elimination and cleaning.

sinuoregaBasically, you are inhaling the emulsified oils of wild oregano (here as NAHS’s Oregano p73), bay leaf, sage, and clove in a sea salt (saline) base. Oregano is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it actually clears out your sinuses on many levels.

If only I could handle the burn and the smell/taste!

NAHS warns on the package that there can be some mild burning sensations just after spraying, but for me the burning wasn’t minor and lasted for a bit. And then there was the intense oregano and clove taste in the back of my throat. Worse than the odd rosewater aftertaste of Flonase.

I – just – can’t!

Now, I can handle the smell when it’s not in my own body, so the cleaning spray is fabulous for me.

And look, North American Herb and Spice’s SinuOrega has 4.5 stars on Amazon, so clearly it works well for most people. The few negative reviews focus on the inability to handle the burn and smell, not the efficacy of the nasal spray.

My sinuses felt great on the days that I used the spray, but not great enough to withstand the burn.

Have you tried a natural nasal spray? Has it worked?

Marketing 101 for Trainers, Episode 3 –  Elevate Yourself In Any Studio

Wednesday, June 25, 3:00 – 4:30pm
at
Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates
177 Duane Street
New York, NY 10038
212-477-6499
There are so many new Pilates teachers on the market right now that it is important to elevate yourself from the rest while still maintaining good teacher and studio relations.
How do you become a busy teacher in a crowded studio? How can you be a valuable team member while also promoting yourself?
Next Wednesday I will show you how to make yourself shine in any studio through social media, referrals, sharing, and setting a great example for others.
I will explain the importance of various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram) and how to properly use them to help yourself and the studio(s) or gym(s) where you teach.
Sign up for Marketing 101 for Trainers Part 3. 90 minutes. $45.

Review: Weight Gurus Smartphone Connected Digital Scale

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have been looking for a scale that is simple and easy to use. A digital scale that will track my weight and hubby’s weight separately, track weight loss, and connect with my phone and/or tablet so I have an easy to track portablweight guru digital scale boxe record of my progress.

Of course, I also wanted an accurate scale that did not break the bank. With all the technology out there, I knew the scale of my dreams had to exist.

So I kept researching (also known as procrastinating).

And then, I received and invitation from Weight Gurus via Tomoson, a digital marketing company that connect brands with bloggers, asking me to review their Weight Gurus Smartphone Connected Digital Bathroom Scale with Large Backlit LCD and Weightless Technology. I chosweightguruscalee the black scale.

The Weight Gurus scale was easy to set up, only requiring that I pull a plastic strip from the battery case to get it started. It was easy to set up for two users, even with similar weights.

After you weigh yourself, the scale displays a symbol that you can photograph with your iOS or android device via the Weight Gurus app. I side-loaded the app onto my Kindle Fire and found it easy to use, with handy graphs and other great visual aids to show my weight loss. Exactly what I was looking for!

The only thing that would make this scale better is a body composition component, but that is available from Weight Gurus in a different model.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

The Influenster Go VoxBox was filled with free, full-size health and fitness related products. Here is my review.

One great bonus for having a relatively large social media presence is that companies, either directly or through a third party company such as Influenster or Klout, send me stuff to try out and hopefully pass along to my friends, fans, and followers.

govoxboxThe Go VoxBox is my second box from Influenster, and I pre-qualified for another one by being very active in the Twitter Party promoting the brands in the box – Playtex, Aqua Spa, Quaker-Muller, ProFoot, Blue Diamond Almonds, and Next Step shakes from The Vitamin Shoppe. This free box came full of full-size products, all of which are great.

I confess that I brought the Playtex Sport Tampons into work for others to try, since I am post-menopausal and no longer in need. People loved them.

I tried the Next Step protein shake from The Vitamin Shoppe, and was impressed by the decent flavor of the Mixed Berry packet (I tried it first because berry is usually the worst). I was also impressed by the Jack Mixing Bottle, which blended most of the powder easily.

nextstep

I was able to purchase a Muller yogurt at the store with the free coupon, and chose white chocolate cherry, which was as wonderful as it sounds. The yogurt comes with separately packaged add-ins.

The Blueberry Almonds were a surprise. I did not expect to like them, but the blueberry flavor was subtleblueberryalmonds_kindlephoto-226093167 and natural. I found that the nuts were the perfect mix of sweet and savory, which is one of my favorite combinations.

The Relax Aqua Spa Body Cream smells good and is a thick, easily absorbed moisturizer. I do wish that it had fewer chemicals, and while I will finish it, am not sure that I would buy more.

profoot_kindlephoto-225893751

And last, but not least, the ProFoot Pedi-Stone and Orthotic Insoles. The insoles have great arch support with some heel cushion, and the Pedi-Stone is a large flexible exfoliating tool.

Needless to say, I really enjoy these VoxBoxes from Influenster!

We live in a time of the changing face and body. What do people really look like? Your guess is as good as mine.

I can remember a time before plastic surgery was everywhere. Seriously, I do remember how it would be big news when a celebrity had a face lift, tooth whitening, or an eye or nose job. People would look drastically different.

Nowadays, with better techniques and many more non-surgical options, people start to have small pre-emptive procedures so that we never actually know how they would look and age naturally. There are now stand-alone cosmetic surgical centers where men and women can change how they look in a day, or even an hour.

When I was in graduate school and then teaching Pilates, I saw a lot of women with Botox in Philadelphia. I would notice not only the distinct lack of lines, but also the inability to move the face and emote as much as before.

Two good friends had liposuction in Philadelphia, and I have to say that they both looked fabulous after. It is a painful procedure, no matter what people tell you, but for them it was worth it.

And then a couple of my male clients decided to go for Hair Transplant in Philadelphia. If you have the money and time for a good transplant, it really works and can look quite natural. Don’t bother with, as my mom used to say, “cheap plugs”. It is not a good look!

(a sponsored post)

The Benefits of Pilates for Beginners

As the national battle against obesity in the US continues to gather momentum, so does the fight in the UK. Hardly a week goes by without a new brand or food item being placed under the microscope. This week it was soft drinks giant Coca-Cola’s turn in the UK media spotlight, with their controversial plans to fund a £20 million anti-obesity fitness drive in 70 of the country’s regional parks. This is despite the fact that soft drinks such as Coke are considered to be key contributors to the rise of obesity in the UK.

While the debate surrounding unhealthy food and drink items continues to rage, there is ample opportunity for individuals to make informed decisions about their fitness and nutrition, developing a more active lifestyle. Exercises methods such as Pilates offer a relevant case in point, as they can be easily learned and practiced from the comfort of your own home.

UK Retailers such as Fitness Warehouse carry the specific items of equipment you will need to start your home exercise program.

Consider the following benefits of pilates for beginners.

Improve your Posture and Alignment

While the majority of us exercise to lose excess weight or improve our strength and conditioning, there are other benefits of enjoying regular physical activity. One of the greatest benefits of Pilates is that it helps to improve your posture, by aligning and balancing your skeleton so that each individual muscle is held at its ideal length.

Should you live the majority of your life with your body out of alignment, there is a significant risk that you will place undo strain on your ligaments, joints, and spine. This can cause significant pain when you are older, so it is important to consider this from an early age.

Enhance Movement and Flexibility

If you are an avid weight trainer, you may already be on the way to developing a strong and well-conditioned body. However, it is important to develop a balance between strength and flexibility when exercising. Pilates offers an ideal opportunity to focus on this balance.

Pilates will help to loosen your muscles and improve mobility as the strengthen, which in turn minimizes pain and assists you in developing greater levels of stamina. This will also help you to negate the physical impact of aging.

Improve Levels of Physical and Mental Endurance

On the issue of endurance, Pilates is an excellent way of improving your levels of physical stamina and mental performance. After all, endurance is often drawn from your reserves of mental strength, and by consistently practicing Pilates you will develop greater levels of focus and enhance your capacity to complete a range of physical activities.

Pilates therefore enables you to operate from a foundation of strength.

(in collaboration with Fitness Warehouse)