Thanks to Women’s Fitness for spreading the word with this fabulous look featuring our Aladdin yoga pants from Wellicious. The latest colour has arrived – Dark Mauve, a deep, dusky pink which fits in with the softer, feminine colours Wellicious does so well. It’s also great with grey marl or black if you want to toughen it up a bit. Definitely one for the yoga studio or for tucking into those gorgeous new EMU boots.
If you haven’t placed an order yet, we’re now up and running with the top rating website Trustpilot so you can see what our other customers think of Lovestretch. We take our customer service pretty seriously so we’re proud to say you seem to like what we’re doing and the way we do it. To find out what people are saying, visit http://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.lovestretch.co.uk for a peek or leave your own experiences. We’re checking in to it on a daily basis so if there are things we need to do better, let us know. If you think we’re doing okay, it’s great to get good feedback too.
We’re keen students of US Harper’s Bazaar for it’s excellent beauty coverage. Follow the link below for a great piece on how to negotiate you way around the latest beauty potions and what they mean for your skin.
YOUR BIGGEST MISTAKE: Waiting until your 40th birthday to make your first wrinkle-reducing purchase. Take action before lines and wrinkles make an appearance. “Women should start using antiaging products as early as possible—even in their early 20s,” recommends New York and Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt. “It is easier to prevent damage from occurring than to fix it later on.”
IDEAL A.M. ROUTINE: Use a moisturizing cleanser like Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam ($35). To protect against free-radical damage, smooth on a creamy antioxidant like Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Face Serum ($80) or Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione ($175). Top it with an occlusive moisturizer, which prevents the evaporation of water. (Look for ingredients like glycerin, petroleum, and mineral oil.) Apply Dr. Brandt Time Arrest Crème de Luxe ($200) or L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Day/Night Cream ($24.99) while your skin is still damp “to lock in hydration,” says New York dermatologist Neil Sadick. Or, for an instant lift, try Lancôme Rénergie Lift Volumetry ($88). Finish with La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Sunscreen ($27.90).
IDEAL P.M. ROUTINE: After cleansing, smooth a few drops of La Mer the Radiant Serum ($250) or Sadick Dermatology Group PM Reversal Serum ($48) all over your face for an even, bright complexion. Alternate using a retinoid with an alpha-hydroxy acid every other night to improve texture. Try Dior Capture Totale Night Ritual ($225) or SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion ($75). Apply Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Intensive Deep Wrinkle Eye ($35), which contains retinol, around your eyes.
DERM TIP: A daily soy-milk compress works wonders for dry or aging skin because it has substantial hydrating and anti-inflammatory benefits, explains Sadick. Drench gauze pads in milk and apply them to your face for 20 minutes.
Approaching your exercise with the right attitude and a little preparation really can make a difference to its effectiveness. Yoga is no different and using a few rules can help to maximize the fun and results. Here are a few of them which apply to a full studio as much as they do to the home yogaista. If you don’t lose your focus because you’ve left something behind or rushed to class and you can guarantee a better workout.
1. Don’t practice on a full stomach
Doing yoga with too much food in your tummy can result in nausea, cramps, or even vomiting. The energy needed to digest that food can make you lethargic during the practice. Do not to eat for two to three hours prior to a yoga class but ensure you have enough water on board to keep you hydrated throughout.
2. Get the outfit right
Not from a fashion perspective but from a a comfort one. Yoga clothes need to be flexible and comfortable without becoming too loose to create a hazard. The ideal look is one you can entirely forget about – leaving you to concentrate on the poses.
3. Leave the fragrance in its bottle
A strong fragrance or body lotion will effect those around you. Keep the scent to a bare minimum and all them to focus on their own work.
4. Be prepared
There’s nothing more distracting than no having the right things to hand when you need them. A yoga mat, water, towel and a cover-up for afterwards are the usual basics but you will have your own needs to add to that. Prepare your kit and arrive calm and ready.
5. Arrive nice and early
Arriving around ten minutes before class begins gives you time to settle, become centered, and get on with some stretching.
6. Stay out of contact
Never take your mobile or pager into class – the brain must disengage from external distractions.
7. Remain injury aware
Tell the teacher if you have an injury or physical complication that could affect performance. The instructor may modify poses or skip them entirely to accommodate your needs.
8. Focus on yourself, not others
You should focus on your own body, not compete with others around you during a class. It is important to stick to your own limitations without causing a strain rather than worrying about a more advanced colleague. Working from your present, not desired, level of ability allows you to improve faster.
9. Think of others
Bonding with fellow students is important but should not distract others. It can inhibit the concentration of others and prevent them from hearing the instructor if there is a conversation going on between other students. A late arrival or early departure can also effect others. When you know that you’ll be arriving late or leaving early , tell the teacher so an announcement can be made to fellow students.
10. Keep it tidy
Props should be stowed thoughtfully and safely after class for the sake of harmony and good studio manners.
11. Take your own time
If the class does not end with a meditative period , you can usually remain to do your own and also take time to review the poses. This important period of reflection and winding down makes the workout more meaningful and helps you to retain the information learned.
It’s fair to say that we’re loving the new leathers coming into Lovestretch Towers at a rate of knots. This superb skinny jacket from EMU is one of several coming to us from the Australian masters of all things leather and merino, hence the combination of ribbed wool beneath the arms to ensure a really sinuous fit. Avelon is another of the top brands to watch for superfine leather jackets, from a classic biker to a fabulous tunic fastening with an asymmetric zip – coming in next month. Quality is always key at Lovestretch and this is never truer than when we’re choosing these investment pieces.
By nature we’re creatures of habit. Doing the same things at the same time is, to an extent, necessary to fit everything into our hectic lifestyles. It’s also easy to forget to add new ventures or experiences to our personal list. This autumn, as we settle into our cold-weather routines, do something different to liven things up a bit – you may well discover things about yourself you didn’t know.
Life Long Learning
We can never know enough. Some of us think we’ve done our bit when school is finished but education is something that is often appreciated more as we grow older, and wiser. Taking an interest in something new can have enormous benefits above and beyond the added knowledge or skill we gain. It can transform social lives and open whole new paths that wouldn’t otherwise have been found. If you’ve ever meant to learn a new language or master a musical instrument, or even launch yourself into an academic degree, ask yourself, ‘Why not now?’.
We know now that the benefits of exercise are legion. Far beyond simply improving physical fitness and reducing the chances of becoming ill or injured, our mental well-being depends also on our physical strength. It’s never too late to start exercising, whether your eye is set on achieving a marathon or simply getting around to learning Yoga. 20 minutes of daily walking is the place to begin if you’re starting from scratch; with perseverance, this simple routine will quickly inspire you to greater things.
Do Something For Someone Else
Our lives seem so busy, how can there be more room for others? If you’ve ever been asked to join a committee or give time to a charity it is probably a question you’ve asked yourself. It isn’t a selfish a impulse, simply a sensible one. You may already be working full-time, caring for or nurturing a family, a partner, parents, maybe. But the surprising part of making a little more room for others is the way this act in itself can alleviate the pressures from the rest of your daily life by adding a whole new dimension to it. Ask anyone who has tried it, and then ask yourself who can benefit alongside you – a local charity? An elderly neighbour who simply needs 20 minutes of friendly chat twice a week? There is always going to be someone out there who is grateful for the fact that you took the trouble.
Feel the fear and do it anyway…
We can learn from children whose natural hunger for new experiences, regardless of the dangers, inspires them to seek out physical excitement. As we get older and more cautious, we give up trying new things as we start to listen to our fears, which can easily become phobias if they are left unchallenged. Facing these fears can be exhilarating and liberating, and can give us a sense of achievement. Rock climbing, skiing or sailing are all great, and controlled, ways to overcome fears of heights, speed or water before they get to the problem stage. Simply seek out your inner niggles and face them down by getting out there and turning them into fun.
Surely one of the best ways to celebrate a birthday or anniversary would be with one of these 18-carat yellow gold-plated zodiac necklaces. Worn by A-listers, including Gwyneth Paltrow, and featured in Vogue, these pieces from Atelier SVL are sleek and simple ways to make a big and personal statement.
The coin charms, each one a vintage piece created in the 1940s, and their chains are bought separately and brought together to make an individual statement. Matching gold-plated chains are sold plain or studded with a variety of semi-precious and precious stones, including pearl, citrine, jade, iolite and onyx (Gwyneth’s choice) the choice of which is up to you. So within 10–14 days these special necklaces will arrive having been created specially for each customer.
The chains can be worn around the neck or triple-wrapped to create a bracelet, creating a relaxed and versatile piece that can be worn with most looks. The chains are interchangeable so if you want your charm to change personalities with your outfits, the transformation is easily done.
For enquiries about these fabulous pieces simply call or email the Lovestretch team for more information.
The dictionary definition for Hyperextension is, ‘Movement at a joint to a position beyond the joint’s normal maximum extension’. Put this way, hyperextension sounds rather painful and injurious although this definition does apply more to sports injuries. But the word ‘hyperextension’ is also used to refer to the less aggressive, but no less unhealthy, over-stretching or hypermobility of the joints so prevalent in yoga classes.
This is the third in a series of Lovestretch blogs posts focusing on advice for flexies (those people who can fold themselves in half and are the envy of many a stiff yoga student). It is however worth noting that hyperextension of the joints (in any stretching routine, not only yoga) is not the sole reserve of flexies – stiff people can hyperextend too.
The knees and elbow joints are most prone to hyperextension; a hyperextended knee makes a leg look like it’s bowing backwards and a hyperextended elbow like it’s bowing forwards. As standing postures form a very large part of the general yoga class syllabus, I’ll narrow the focus of this post to hyperextension of the knees for now.
A globally respected Iyengar yoga teacher, Julie Gudmestad, says: “Most people are all too aware of how easily and dramatically the knee’s connective tissues can be injured by twisting. But fewer people are aware that knee hyperextension -too much opening at the back of the knee – also creates misalignment and bad movement habits that can pave the way for arthritis and more serious knee injuries.”
The easiest way to get a sense of your propensity towards hyperextension is to sit on the floor (not a support) and stretch your legs out ahead of you. Straighten your legs as much as you can. How high do your heels, and perhaps calf muscles, raise off the floor? My legs are very hyperextendable and raise almost five centimetres off the ground. Not something to aim towards.
Relax your legs. Now, straighten your legs once more but work hard to keep your heels on the floor. Your legs should feel quite different this time.
This ‘floor method’ is great for illustrating the difference between hyperextended and straight legwork, particularly for those more prone to hyperextension. Keeping the heels on the floor while straightening the legs means that you cannot rely on hyperextension to straighten your legs and must make use of muscular strength.
One of the best yoga postures to see hyperextension in, and practice how not to hyperextend in, is Trikonasana (Sanskrit for ‘tri’ three; ‘kona’ angle; ‘asana’ posture.
Keep an eye out for my next Lovestetch blog post in which I’ll build on this floor-work knowledge by specifically looking at hyperextension of the legs in Trikonasana.
Till then, work on strong not straight and, happy practicing!
Organic, bamboo and soy yoga and Pilates style is available across Lovestretch.