This is the official blog of the Landmark Group with insights
and stories from the people behind our many brands.

Don't weight and watch!

wellness.jpgThe Dubai Stone - I am sure most of you have heard the dreaded term. For the uninitiated it means adding a minimum of 7 kgs and with it a whole lot of other things. How does this phenomena happen ? Quite simply moving into a new environment often leads to a big 'Lifestyle Change'. Routines shift, diet starts to vary, physical activity becomes lesser and new temptations lead us to adopting unhealthy habits without realizing them.

People who move here often come from countries where they walk or take public transport to work. All of this changes when you live here. The hot weather for most part of the year makes it difficult to walk or exercise outdoor. Add that to a lifestyle filled with convenience, comfort, luxuries brunches, mall crawling and eating out and there you have it ....the added pounds or kilos !

But really this is not a phenomenon unique to Dubai. Most of us tend to put on the extra weight when changes in life happen and we do have our reasons for it. New job, new relationship, just married, had a baby, went on holiday, partying regularly -we have all been there, haven't we?

Then comes the stage where the clothes don't fit, the mirror makes you unhappy and the carefully worded comments about weight gain start. As people, we are all conscious and a little vain. The first realization of weight gain has us looking for the miracle diet, which will get us back on track in days. In today's age of easy Google search that is  really not difficult. You have celebrity diets, no -carb diets, lose a dress size in a week diets, cabbage diet, juice diet - the list is pretty much endless.

In fact Research shows that 95% of working adults -people like you and me, have tried some sort of a diet or the other, and most times been unsuccessful. While fad diets often help you drop a few pounds on a weighing scale initially and make you feel good, they are difficult to sustain in the long run. When your body is craving taste and proper food, its normal to fall off the wagon and turn to binge eating. So while a few pounds were lost earlier in the battle of the bulge, the 'diet' goes from friend to foe- leaving you right where you started.

Speaking of piling on the pounds, here's a thought. Why don't we combat the weight gain with the same weapon that started it in the first place - 'A Lifestyle Change'
But what does this  change look or feel like, and how do you know when you've made one? Well mostly it's going back to all those good things that are tried and tested and yes, work well for you no matter what age or gender you are.

Coffee is NOT Breakfast
We skip breakfast thinking we are cutting calories and honestly it is the worse thing you can do. By mid-morning  you are starving and you tend to go for anything that's available - cookies, chocolate bars, chips, croissants, etc. How healthy is this list and what it does is something we all know. A research group analyzed 4,200 adults and found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to eat fewer calories overall during the day. In fact make breakfast the heaviest meal of the day.  Muesli, eggs, milk, whole wheatbread, yoghurt, fruit.... they fuel your day.  Breakfast kick- starts your metabolism and since you have a whole day of running around at work you can easily burn those calories off.  Plus it keeps hunger pangs at bay and you don't up going to lunch feeling like you can polish off a whole buffet.

All Good things come in Small Packages
Most of us tend to eat 2/3 big meals in a day often ending with a big dinner. But that's the worse thing you can do to your body. If you think about it excess of any kind leaves you with a bad aftertaste. Try and eat 5/6 small meals so that your body constantly has energy. While grocery shopping pick - up healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, granola bars, whole -wheat biscuits that you can eat when you have a hunger pang between meals

The Balancing Act
Remember sitting on a see -saw, if all the weight is on one side, your either end up in the air or grounded on the floor and neither is much fun. Balance is an important term, so try and ensure that's how your plate looks during lunchtime - 30% Carbs like bread/roti/pasta/rice. 35% vegetables and pulses. 25% Protein. 10% Dairy Products and 5% Sweet Treat.

Don't save the best for last

For most of us dinner often ends up being the heaviest and a really late meal. Your body really doesn't burn much during television watching, net- surfing, bed-time reading and sleeping. So if you consume the most calories at night that your body doesn't need it just goes in as storage and shows up in the most unflattering areas. Keep that dinner light and early and it will go a long way in keeping you fit.

These Legs were made for walking
Most of us spend 8 hours a day chained to a desk but that is not what the human body was made for. Early man spent most of his time standing, walking and running and while the human race's abuse of the environment will some day drive us to the prehistoric ages we aren't there yet. But being on your feet does go a long way. Take a walk after lunch or dinner, go dancing, play a game with your children anything that keeps you on your feet is good.

The Naughty and Nice List
Well let's be honest here it was much simpler to write these things down than live by it every single day. You will have days when you do out for dinner to celebrate social occasions, a deadline at work that will leave you chained to your desk and never see daylight and endless other occasions. But let's try and stick to the 80-20 rule and be on track at least 80% of the times. Use your desk calendar as a measure, for every day you have been good put a check with your marker the next morning and for every day you have fallen off the wagon put a cross. At the end of the month ensure you have more checks than crosses so you end up on your Nice List. And at the end of the year and treat yourself to something nice before you ring in another healthy new year.

PITTA: The Energy of Digestion and Metabolism - Ayurveda: part 4

pitta.pngBalance or homeostasis is the cornerstone of Ayurveda. In Ayurveda the ideal physical condition is when the tridoshas - Kapha, Pitta, and Vata - are in harmony. When aggravated, your dominant dosha creates imbalances that affect your physical being and psychology.

Pitta, the energy originated from fire, assimilates everything from sensory perceptions and ideas to food. The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat.

In a Pitta body type the bones are less conspicuous than in the Vata individual. Pitta individuals have a tendency towards hair loss and premature greying. They seldom fluctuate in weight when in balance. They have soft, oily skin and have excess urine, sweat and thirst.

In terms of physiology, Pitta individuals have a relatively higher body temperature than those of Vata and Kapha, resulting in increased exhaustion during the summer months.

The Pitta clan generally has a sharp memory and an inquisitive mind. They exhibit strong leadership qualities. They make effective public orators and love to splurge on luxurious possessions.

When imbalanced, the Pittas tend to be irritable, stubborn and cynical. They also are capable of extreme anger, hatred and ego. Dr. Chandy says, "There is an old Ayurvedic saying that says 'An imbalanced Pitta individual doesn't go to hell; he or she simply creates it wherever they go!'"

Pitta imbalance commonly results in problems like acne, boils, ulcers, heartburn, hot sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, anemia and jaundice.

Nutrition Guidelines

Pitta provides the body with energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. The Pitta body type has a strong appetite and good digestive system however they are sensitive to deep-fried food. Pittas have a natural craving for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and enjoy cold drinks.

To retain the balance of body and mind, Pittas should avoid excessively oily food as well as caffeine, alcohol, red meat and salt.

Your Food and Your Mood - Sugar

fruit-vegetable.jpgSugar is an essential energy source. "But sugar is not just an ingredient in your favorite recipe. It is also the energy source of your body. Without sugar a body cannot function properly," says Dr. Chandy.

Addiction to sugar doesn't just result in diabetes; it can also lead to obesity, dental cavities and adrenal deficiencies.

Ayurvedic practitioners emphasize the necessity of a healthy diet consisting of fiber, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables to balance blood sugar levels. These food items release energy gradually, avoiding sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels that usually result from consumption of processed foods.

The Big Villain - Hair Loss

According to Ayurveda, the health of the hair is dependent on the body's digestive fire and basic body type of an individual. The first step towards treating the issue is identifying the root cause in your lifestyle behavior.

Amla.jpgThe major causes of hair fall include hormonal and nutritional deficiencies along and complications related to other diseases and stress factors. Excess of Pitta dosha in the body is aggravated by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of spicy, salty and sour food, caffeine, alcohol, meats, and excessive smoking.  Eating a balanced diet rich in protein and iron content, including leafy vegetables and fresh fruits is also an effective way of tackling hair fall.

Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend the use of a natural shampoo like amla or shikakai to clean the hair. Oiling and massaging of scalp, with coconut oil or medicated oils like Neelibhringadi oil and traditional Ayurvedic treatments is very beneficial for stopping the hair loss.

Additional Details:


Hair quality



Dark, coarse, wiry, inky, and frizzy hair.

Easily tangled. Dull. Split ends. Susceptible to dandruff infection


Light, fine and silky.

Premature graying of hair and premature baldness. Tends to become oily in hot and dry weather.


Thick, heavy, wavy, and slightly oily. Lustrous.

Generally very healthy hair.

FLASH : Bring your excess blood sugar under control by adding fenugreek and cinnamon to your diet.

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

VATA: The Energy to Get Going - Ayurveda: part 3

Vata.jpgVata, derived from the elements of space and air is the most powerful of the three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and is the energy of movement.

Physically, Vata individuals are usually tend to have dry skin, hair, and lips. They also sleep lightly and have a sensitive digestive system. The balanced Vata individual is active, creative, and gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate. Psychologically, they are distinguished by a quick mind but a short memory. They are also quick to anger and to forgive.

In an individual, an imbalance of their Vata dosha can result in irregular thirst and appetite and digestion problems. In addition, it also results in drastic weight loss, hypertension, and weakness.

Psychologically an imbalance results in a propensity to get bored very easily, a penchant to act without thinking things through, and an inability to save money. Imbalance will also result in feeling out of control, anxious, and depressed.
Vata-meditation.jpgIt is advised for Vata individuals to dress warmly as they are prone to feeling cold. Steam and usage of humidifiers and a daily pre-shower oil massage using warmer, heavier oils like almond or sesame is also recommended.
Dr. Chandy believes that one of the most important things a Vata individual can do to ensure balance is to devote some time to sitting still. He says, "It is very important to have 'me' time." He further adds, "One needs to spend some time meditating. You don't have to sit cross legged and chant a mantra for this. You can meditate even when you are dusting your house or cutting the vegetables or going for a walk or a run. And this is something that everybody irrespective of their dosha should do."

Nutrition Guidelines

A Vata body type should eat warm, moist, slightly oily and heavy foods to counteract the dosha's dry and cold attributes. The best flavors to calm the Vata imbalance are sweet and salty dishes - but in moderation. As Vata individuals are naturally lean, they can eat larger quantities than individuals with other dominant doshas. It is recommended they consume warm milk, wheat, fresh fruits like apricots and vegetables which include asparagus, beets and carrots. For non-vegetarians, it is suggested to stick to fresh organic meat.
Your Food and Your Mood - Yogurt

yoghurt.jpgWe have all grown up believing that if there is one thing that we can binge on, it is Yogurt. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins like B complex and protein. It is a lesser known fact that to digest yogurt, one must have a strong digestive system due to its tendency to ferment in the digestive tract. This is why practitioners of Ayurveda recommend consuming yogurt at noon when the digestion is at its best and pairing it with honey, goose berry or sugar.
Dr. Chandy says, "In moderation, yoghurt is a nutritional item as it strengthens the body, accelerates digestion, stimulates the taste buds, and reduces bladder irritability. However, bear in mind that the consumption of incompletely coagulated yogurt may flare up psoriasis, bleeding in hemorrhoids and may cause giddiness."
The 10 Big Villains

In this column we look at the ten big villains of modern life that have made us so susceptible to ailments. One of the biggest villains of the piece is the 'Sedentary Lifestyle' most of us lead. In recent history the incidences of heart diseases, joint problems, obesity, and diabetes have increased and are no longer limited to the middle aged and elderly.

According to Ayurveda, a direct result of a sedentary lifestyle, where people spend the majority of their time seated and not taking up any form of physical activity, is rheumatoid arthritis (Vata Sonita), which is a result of Vata imbalance.  

With diet modifications, active lifestyle and Ayurvedic treatments from qualified Ayurvedic doctors, Vata individuals can control these conditions without any of the side effects that stem when you use allopathic medicines.


Applying sour curd once a week to one's scalp and hair prevents formation of dandruff.

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

Eat and Live Healthy This Ramadan

The Holy Month of Ramadan is here with us again. This is a time for fasting, meditation, and sharing with friends and neighbors. It is also a time to remember those ailing from conditions that might hinder them from fasting and promote a healthy and holistic lifestyle. It is in this regard that the Landmark Group has launched an e-cookbook in an initiative dubbed the Beat Diabetes campaign. We have launched this e-cookbook as part of the larger 'Beat Diabetes, Eat healthy' campaign to encourage the community to adopt a healthy balanced diet.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that one in every nine adults in the Middle East has diabetes.  According to the IDF the number of people living with diabetes worldwide rose from 366 million in 2011 to 371 million in 2012.

Through the Beat Diabetes campaign, the Landmark Group continues to encourage individuals in the Middle Eastern communities to regularly check their glucose levels for early detection and remedial measures. The initiative has benefited nearly 150,000 individuals in blood glucose testing centers across the region.

In our effort to reach out to all families, we have made this Beat Diabetes e-cookbook available for free in a digital format and can easily be downloaded from our Beat Diabetes Facebook page. It comes with 30 easy-to-make nutritious recipes which will be very helpful to families with assorted cuisine choices such as Arabic, Indian, and Thai. These are great recipes aimed at educating individuals on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet in management of diabetes.

Know Your Body Type - Ayurveda: part 2

According to Ayurveda the human body is balanced in three combinations called the tridoshas (body types) - Vata, Pita and Kapha. Everybody is predominantly a particular dosha (body type), with the other two doshas being present to a lesser degree.

The three doshas' primary qualities can be tabulated as given below - but this is just an overview.






Ether and Air


Earth and Water



Medium built



Rough and Dry   


Smooth and Oily






Sweet, Sour and Salty

Cool, Sweet, Bitter and Astringent

Pungent, Bitter and Astringent



Strong digestion

Sluggish digestion


Enthusiastic, active

Determined, impatient

Patient, even-tempered

When the doshas are in a balanced form in a body the body will function at its best.

For this you need to have a rough idea of what your body type is by picking the best option that describes you, to answer the questions below. For a proper diagnosis and understanding it is recommended that you meet a qualified Ayurveda practitioner. The body type that has been picked the most number of times will reflect your dominant body type.


Ayurvedic-Room-2.jpgWhat is your skin like?
  1. You need to bathe in moisturizer or you are left with scaly skin. (V)
  2. Sensitive and warm (like your best friend) but with a tendency to reddishness, inflammation. It could also be oily. (P)
  3. Thick skinned (no, we are not talking about attitude here) and rather prone to acne. (K)

In terms of physical built, you are...
  1. Thin built, with small bones and prominent joints. (V)
  2. Medium built with a fairly well-balanced body. (P)
  3. Of solid, ample or stocky built with a larger bone structure. (K)

In terms of appetite and digestion...
  1. You have an irregular appetite and are hungry at times and sometimes you are not. (V)
  2. You have a large appetite and digest food quickly. You tend to get irritable if you miss a meal, however too much hunger results in inability to eat anything. (P)
  3. You tend to feel heavy after a meal and have a very sluggish digestion. (K)

Your brain resembles the latest super computer or a rather rusty analog computer...
  1. You are good at picking up new things but things get hazy when it comes to long term memory. (V)
  2. You are blessed with a good memory. (P)
  3. You take your time to assimilate new information, but once you remember something it tends to stick. (K)

Is nap time your favourite time or do you dread it?
  1. The smallest sound wakes you up. (V)
  2. You sleep well. (P)
  3. You are lost to the world once your head hits the pillow. A heavy and sound sleeper. (K)

The weather also plays a role in our body type. Usually...
  1. You don't like the cold. You prefer warm good and drink to cold ones. (V)
  2. You don't like the heat. You sweat easy and it makes you tired. (P)
  3. You don't like humid or damp environments. (K)

How do you handle stress?
  1. It makes you anxious, fearful and / or insecure. (V)
  2. It makes you angry, frustrated and / or irritable. (P)
  3. You tend to avoid difficult situations but are fairly calm under stress. (K)

Your weight is a pointer to many things - emotional and physical. Which best describes you?
  1. You don't put on weight that easily. (V)
  2. You put on weight easily but find it hard to lose. (P)
  3. You put on weight like most other people - over a period of time. (K)

Your attitude is also influenced by your dosha. You are normally...
  1. Creative, enthusiastic, active and somewhat restless. (V)
  2. Determined, impatient, critical, stubborn and easy to anger. (P)
  3. Even-tempered, patient, compassionate and not particularly high energy. (K)

These are some of the illnesses you are usually prone to...
  1. Constipation, anxiety, nervousness and / or insomnia. (V)
  2. Inflammation, hypertension, hypersensitivity (to allergies, rashes, arthritis etc.) and / or aggression. (P)
  3. Congestion, water retention, cystic acne and / or lethargy. (K)

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

The science of life - Ayurveda: part 1

chandy1.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

In his role with the Balance Wellness Club, Dr. Chandy leverages his understanding of  Dubai and the demanding lifestyle it dictates to offer holistic therapies that blend the nuances of pulse diagnosis, Panchakarma treatments, marma treatments, herbal remedies, therapies, rejuvenation and Ayurvedic nutrition. He also offers consultancy on identifying, preventing, controlling, containing and reversing the disease process caused by lifestyle, metabolic, ageing and stress generated disorders.
In this series, Dr. Chandy first introduces us to the science of life called 'Ayurveda'. Mention the word Ayurveda and most people will think exotic, ancient, Eastern medicine that is a closed door for anyone but those steeped in its lore. But nothing could be further from the truth. In today's crazy, frenetic life, where ailments and illnesses rear their heads in progressively younger and younger patients, Ayurveda and its lifestyle tips may be of more relevance than ever before.
ayurveda1.jpgAyurveda, ('Ayus' means Life and 'Veda' means science) is a form of alternative medicine, which originated in India about 5000 years ago.

Ayurveda doesn't just aim at treating illnesses, it aims to prevent illnesses and preserve life. Its basic premise is that the universe is made up of five elements - air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in human beings by the three 'doshas' or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas ('tridoshas') and this varies from person to person. When the doshas accumulate beyond the individual's desirable limit, the body loses its balance. To regain balance and good health the excess dosha(s) have to be reduced.

In modern times it is quite common to come across people whose doshas are in complete upheaval. They are born with one particular dosha in the ascendant but their lifestyle results in one of the two other doshas becoming dominant with time. These changes mean that they are not treating their body the way it should be and result in physical ailments and emotional problems.

But the change of doshas in one's body can also be sighted in as inane a statement as, "I used to be so calm and patient, but now I snap at everything." This could be your doshas being out of balance. While suppressants and pills will treat your symptoms, they will not necessarily leave you calm; rather they will leave you lethargic and dull. And worse they will not address the basic cause of your problem. Ayurveda however will approach it from the angle of the cause and treat that, thus getting rid of the symptoms and the root cause.

It is understandable for one to wonder - "All this is great but how does this form of alternative and ancient healing apply to me? What is in it for me?" Simple - an Ayurvedic body cleansing or detox, followed by adherence to the basic Ayurvedic tenets regarding your body type will help you deal with everything ranging from stomach bloating, hair loss, body pain and chronic illnesses to addictions, sinusitis, allergies, chipped nails and, the bane of life in the UAE, dry skin. Ayurveda can also help one deal with stress and manage one's anger and extreme emotions of rage or depression.

ayur-veda.jpgEven on a non-medical level, Ayurveda can help one achieve one's best in terms of physical health and well-being. We have all envied a neighbor who can eat anything and everything and not put on a kilo and pitied ourselves or a friend, who only has to look at a buffet table to add a few kilos to her waist. One's doshas has a huge impact on the kind of body one basically has. Understanding one's doshas can also guide one in ascertaining the best time of the day for a person to exercise and the best food for one to eat thus achieving the best body possible.

And while you will not end up with a body like Gwenyth Paltrow's, you will find yourself feeling healthier inside and outside - your digestion would be back on track, your skin will feel smoother and softer, your eyes will look brighter and your hair will glow with health. And no, this is not magic. It is science. Just ask Dr Deepak Chopra, an internationally renowned practitioner of Ayurveda or better still take a leaf out of the books of adherents of Ayurveda - Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Balance Wellness Spa connects with ladies night

The Balance Wellness Spa recently reached out to a key target audience by hosting a ladies night that also involved forming partnerships for the event - which was a real success.

IMG_6264.JPGThe spa, located in Dubai's Oasis Centre, held the get-together along with ila, a British firm that makes all-natural skincare products, and Scene, a magazine with celebrity news and photos, and news about entertainment, shopping and style.

Balance Wellness Spa, which covers 22,000 sq. ft., and has 21 therapy rooms, offers 65 therapies that include techniques from all over the world. The spa also provides customised Pilates and yoga sessions.

Selected Scene readers were invited to join us at the facility for a pampering party featuring the spa's treatments and Ila's products to try, with the magazine providing promotion, photography and media coverage.

The ladies began the night with a refreshing cold towel and a soothing cup of herbal tea to immerse themselves in the spa's relaxing atmosphere. Our guests were also offered a foot massage, which used Ila Body Balm and generated plenty of positive feedback from our guests.
The lucky ladies, who enjoyed healthy snacks and beverages from Balance Cafe, also received a goodie bag with a copy of Scene, a sample from Ila, an AED 100 spa voucher and more.

Everyone who came out for the event clearly had a great time, and a number of people booked treatments at the spa.

Working with Ila and Scene and creating this event presented an opportunity to connect with the target audience in a way that was fun for the ladies and productive for the Balance Wellness Spa.

What unconventional techniques do you use to reach your target audience?

Yoga - a natural way to lower your blood pressure

shutterstock_24695020.jpgYoga is quickly becoming the go-to method for resolving a number of contemporary health problems. While yoga reduces situational blood pressure, it may also reduce ongoing hypertension or high blood pressure, which occurs when pressure inside blood vessels is higher than normal expected values for age and gender.

When adopted as a way of life, yoga has a lot to offer those suffering from this silent killer. People who commit to a regular practice of yogic breathing exercises, asanas and meditation, will soon experience improved bodily strength and flexibility, mental and physical relaxation and greatly reduced stress reactions such as muscular tension, rapid heart rate, constricted breathing and anxiety.

There are a few probable mechanisms by which yoga works to keep hypertension at bay:

  • Chronic stress causes sustained muscular contraction, which reduces the width of blood dreamstime_xs_22221673.jpgvessels inside the muscles. Just like compressing a water pipe increases the force with which water flows through it, a reduction in blood vessel width increases blood pressure within. The sustained stretching and relaxation of muscles through yogic exercises reverses this effect.

  • Conditions of extreme excitement or tension activate the body's "fight or flight" response, which in turn increases blood pressure. This response is evolutionarily useful for genuine emergency situations, but unfortunately the urgency of modern-day living tends to over-trigger this response. Yoga helps to manage it by controlling adrenaline levels, thus reducing blood pressure.

  • Regular yoga practice may also reduce the stress hormones aldosterone and vasopressin, both of which contract blood vessels and thus increase blood pressure.

Emerging research continues to show the many positive benefits of yoga. Although other sporting and wellness activities also help reduce stress, few adopt an holistic approach that can be done safely every day like yoga. Try it and see for yourself!

Has yoga helped to reduce your high blood pressure and improve your overall health? Tell us your story here...

A little yoga beats a lot of stress

Pic_1.jpgDeadlines, bottom lines, budget cuts and creative ruts: stress in the workplace is a modern-day inevitability familiar to us all. Office life is faster, longer, harder and more demanding than ever before - and invariably, the loser in all of this is our health, wellbeing and peace of mind. Signs of chronic stress can be physical (fatigue, headaches, perspiration, insomnia, frequent illness), psychosocial (irritability, mood swings, apathy, depression, slowed thinking or racing thoughts) and behavioral (impatience, quickness to argue, increased use of alcohol/drugs, poor job performance), all of which can lead to more serious problems.

Here at Landmark Group we have our fair share of workplace stress; it's unavoidable. Thankfully, our holistic health experts at Balance 360 tell us there are sustainable alternatives to managing it, and one of the top things they recommend is yoga.

Yoga is an effective method of reducing stress, decreasing anxiety and improving physical health. It also helps to improve concentration and allows us to cope better with the demands of our daily lives, giving us a better perspective on personal and professional issues. A regular yoga practice boosts immunity and energy levels, reduces the likelihood of need for sick leave and makes us calmer, healthier, more positive and more productive.

Sounds fantastic, right? But putting theory into practice is usually the tricky bit, so here are some practical tips on how to incorporate yoga into your everyday life.

  • Just 60 minutes a week is enough. You don't have to change your entire lifestyle to get healthy - even one hour of yoga a week has been shown to be effective in managing stress, fatigue and chronic illness. It's okay to start small, but start.

  • Get a yoga buddy. Sign up for a class with a friend or colleague from work - it's more fun to do it together, and you're less likely to skip class.

  • Find a class close to work or home. That way, traffic, travel time and inconvenience are less viable excuses to not go to class.

  • Take yoga 'micro-breaks' at work. Ask your instructor for simple yoga exercises you can do on your own, and take mini-breaks from your computer or in between meetings to do them.

  • Ask about employee wellness programmes at your workplace. Fi_VE_8875.JPGnd out whether your company has a link with a local gym or wellness centre that offers yoga classes.

  • 'Trade up' activities. Don't think of yoga as 'yet another activity' to add to your already-packed schedule. Substitute part of an existing activity you can do less of (e.g. watching TV, poking friends on Facebook) with something you'd like more of (e.g. yoga).

  • Get your family involved. If your days off are reserved for time with your family, why not sign up for a yoga class together? Look for child-friendly yoga classes if you have kids - it's a productive way to spend time together and encourage preventive-health habits in your kids.

  • Shop around for a yoga class you enjoy. You're more likely to stick with a yoga class that's enjoyable. Instructors and class styles vary - try out a few and you're sure to find something that's fun for you.

Whichever way you do it, make yoga a regular part of your week. It's a great way to reduce stress levels, both in the office and outside of it.

Putting the 'care' back into healthcare

Icare_01.jpgGetting sick is bad enough, but getting sick and having to find a trustworthy doctor, at an accessible, caring medical facility, is worse.

Today's lifestyle comes loaded with a number of medical challenges arising from poor eating habits, long working hours and high stress levels. Meeting these challenges is not just about dispensing medication, but understanding and empathizing with patients, just like a traditional family doctor would.

Realizing this, we at Landmark Group launched iCARE Clinics to promote individualized quality healthcare in the UAE. iCARE Clinics is a one-stop family care centre catering to all primary healthcare needs in a friendly, warm environment. Our team of doctors, nurses and technicians provide easy-access medical expertise 365 days a year in areas including paediatrics, obstetrics/gynaecology, internal medicine, dentistry, radiology, pathology and family medicine, as well as general practitioner (GP) services.

Icare_02.jpgIt's always been our philosophy to provide exceptional value to our customers, and this venture proudly upholds that standard. We opened our first clinic recently in Dubai at the Oasis Centre mall on Sheikh Zayed Road, followed by a second clinic in Discovery Gardens. Over the next 2-3 years, we plan to establish twenty iCARE Clinics across the UAE.

Nothing is more important than your family's well-being, and we're here to support it. Here's to your good health!