Tag: Astavita HLA

By Mona Gill

I tend to get tight and stressed very easily. And the only way I get to let everything go is by coming back to my mat. It is by working through certain postures that help me open, relax and release, letting it all go.

When we do a bind in yoga correctly, we allow our body to relax into the pose and we can hold the pose for longer periods. At first it feels uncomfortable, maybe even slightly painful. As we try and relax into the pose and open up, binding brings about different benefits.

This includes

  • opening of the heart and chest
  • mental balance as it requires focus (You have to be able to try and relax into it as opposed to resisting the pose)
  • massages the internal organs
  • lengthens the spine
  • relaxes tensed muscles

Bear in mind though that not everyone can bind easily therefore props like straps or pillows are recommended for added support. A few types of yoga binds are; bound side angle, dancers pose and bound head to knee.

Binding also promotes flexibility over time so if you are like me, constantly tight from gym and weight workouts, practice binding and eventually your body will thank you.

Be kind to yourself when practicing – never force the pose. Always set an intention, do your best and breathe and release into the pose. That is when you will truly feel and experience the eternal benefits of the pose.



About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

by Mona Gill

Healthy lifestyle = good nutrition = overall health wellness.

Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to various diseases like heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and even linked to cancer as well as high blood pressure or hypertension. We may not always be able to control the onset of diseases but we can certainly control what we consume by making smart and healthy food choices.

Your health is your wealth! Taking the steps to eat healthy, eat clean and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine is important to maintaining good health.  Physical activity like cardio, HIIT workouts, or even yoga could be helpful in body detox, rebuilding and re-energizing – basically anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 mins, 3 to 5 days a week will reduce your risk of diseases. Even mental health like depression can be influenced by our diet according to recent evidence. Overall feelings of wellness and balanced moods can be protected if our diet contain the adequate amounts of nutrients – especially foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Of course, on top of proper nutrition, medication prescribed by a doctor is essential. Medication for mental disorders does at times cause patients to gain weight, thus leading to low self-esteem. Here is where paying attention to nutrition, diet and physical activity all play a part in helping with weight management. Take baby steps when it comes to making changes. Simple changes like reducing intake of fatty food, sugary drinks, as well as eating smaller meals more often. Variety of Orange color fruits and vegetables which are a good source of beta-carotene. Overall, you’ll do well by paying attention to healthy choices.

Nutrition is critical to overall well-being and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you look good, you feel good as it does also affect our brain function. Imagine not eating properly and being cranky and “Hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry). Hence, pay attention to what you eat as what you eat, you become. We are our own mirrors so eat a variety of wholesome foods in order to support a healthy lifestyle.
About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.


By Mona Gill

Do you practice yoga mostly in the studio or indoors? Well, to let you in on a little tip, I have been practicing yoga outdoors lately. I found that I enjoy it a little more as there is just something about breathing in fresh air while practicing. Here are my thoughts on why practicing yoga outdoors is beneficial.

1. It increases your body’s awareness.

When we practice yoga in a studio with mirrors (which we usually do), we can see ourselves and adjust our poses accordingly. In the open, there are no mirrors, so you cannot see yourself. However, without mirrors, you can focus more on your body rather than the reflections from the mirrors. This enhances your practice as it takes more focus on really being present.

2. It boosts your confidence level.

It takes a lot of courage to practise yoga outdoors, in public places, such as in the park or gardens. Especially for those who are shy, this really takes them out of their comfort zone and challenges you to embrace something new. But this is when the real positive changes happen so definitely keep working at it.

3. You will feel more grounded.

When I am practicing alone outdoors, I am more connected to the earth and feel more connected to myself. Without other distractions, I can have a better and deeper practice.

4. Feeling invigorated

Practicing yoga outdoors exposes you to fresh air. When there’s fresh air, it is easier to for the body to relax and be really connected mind, body and soul.

5. Increased sense of well being

When connected with nature, people tend to relax more and hence sense of wellbeing automatically increases! Working out outdoors usually leaves me feeling more refreshed, relaxed and light-hearted.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your mat and take a walk in the park and garden or your favourite open space outdoors and let your outdoor yoga journey begin. Till the next post, keep practicing. Namaste.


About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.


By Mona Gill

I started way back in 2006 in Calgary, Canada. I was looking for a different type of workout and was getting tired of the gym workouts. A couple of friends introduced me to hot yoga and let’s just say I was “hooked” after. It started off as something I added to my usual workouts, then it was me practicing 5 days a week and soon enough it became my lifestyle not just an exercise routine. I never need to force myself to yoga, I just do it like it’s second nature to me. So how has yoga helped in my life so far, read on and you’ll know:

1. Yoga helps pushes me to my limits.

I’m not the most flexible of person but yoga teaches me self-acceptance. Not only that, practicing yoga takes me from self-acceptance to stretching my limits. One of the limits was I never thought I can do a headstand because I always thought my lower body was too heavy. However, through constant practice and learning the technique of engaging my core to help stabilise my body, it was achievable. This reminds me that I do not have to feel limited by my physical self, instead it challenges me to stretch beyond my own mental limitations. Once you realise it, it’s all in the mind. You need to be focused and “in the moment” and envision it happening even if you fall over and over. It builds confidence and self-esteem.

2. Another reason why I practise yoga is that yoga helps me in coping with situations better.

Practicing yoga keeps me from making unhealthy decisions whether it’s to do with food or other areas of my life. It helps me keep my mind healthy especially during times of crisis or stress. We do not have control over all situations but it we can choose how we react and cope. When I feel the need to shut the negative voices in my head, I meditate silently while I practice or even just sitting still and closing my eyes and it gets better.

3. Yoga has enabled me to connect with others.

I find that I am better able to share my knowledge and experiences, especially after taking teacher training courses with Yoga works Canada, Universal Yoga with Andre Lappa and Copper Crow in Singapore. One thing to note though is that you do not have to be a yogi to practice, you just have to find what works for you and your body. Some people prefer yin yoga, some like hatha. Personally my practice has been about inversions as it helps build strength in my core muscles and strengthen my spine for overall stability. Occasionally I like vinyasa for some intense cardio depending on the level of the class.

Bottom line, it is important to also realise that yoga is not about being just physical, it teaches us the quieting of the mind, getting connected mind body soul and being aware of what you need at that point of time in that moment. Till the next post, keep practising!


About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

 By Mona Gill

As you may know yoga is a big part of my life and I’m a yoga instructor myself. People practice yoga for many reasons, some for health, others for keeping with the trends. However, today I would like to share the five pillars of yoga developed by the Sivananda school of yoga. Embracing these pillars are fundamental to our yoga practice and helps us maintain an overall balanced and healthy lifestyle.

 1. Right movement

Right movement is very useful for beginners and helps our joints maintain healthy conditions. Yoga provides movement therefore constant practice combined with other exercise helps maintain these healthy conditions based on our body type, age and state of health.

2. Right breathing

It is important to know when to breathe in and out during your practice.  Having the right technique improves mood, lowers anxiety and stress. Therefore, learning the prayanama breath is useful in yoga practice.

3. Right relaxation

Relaxation means the ability to balance activity in your life. Take proper rest when required. This includes resting your emotional and mental state, besides your physical body.


4. Right nutrition

You need to eat right to support your yoga practice. Eating is also a form of practice in which you seek balance and not over indulge. Always striving to attain balance therefore mindful eating can support your practice.

5. Right intention

Right intention refers to cultivating a positive attitude. Equally important is the ability to quieten the unnecessary noise in your head during a practice or even when not practicing yoga but in everyday life even it’s just for a few minutes makes a huge difference.

There you have it, the 5 pillars of yoga. Embrace them and you’ll find that yoga embraces you back with much more. Till my next post, keep practicing.


About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.






by Fai A Gaff


I do realise that one can never truly fit this training schedule into your daily life as this would be the ideal schedule for a full time athlete, or someone close to that. What we should keep in mind though, it is good to know what we are competing against and the benchmark there is in terms of training.

What does this knowledge give me?

Well, first, it gives you a reason to know why the elites are that much faster than you are. It isn’t an excuse for you not doing well in the races but it is the honest truth. If you are not training as hard as they are, there is a high chance you would not be able to perform as well as they are. Don’t beat yourself over losing to them. Compete against someone who trains just like you, with your schedule, with your body composition, and with your commitments. Who would that be? The person staring back at you in the mirror, that’s who.


What do you need?

Let’s start with something that is truly simple. All you would need to do is to tick off what you do have or pop by a store and get what you do not.

Swim Attire: Swim Suit*, Goggles, Swim Cap (Recommended but not necessary)

Cycle Accessories: Bike that Fits you well (Road Bike Ideal), Cycling Shorts*, Cycling Shoes (Recommended but not Necessary)

Running Accessories: Running Shoes, Water Bottle, Running Tights*

If you have realized the asterisks on the three different attire, that is because you could go for a one stop solution of a tri-suit. One note of caution would be to have more than one of this suit as you would be using them for every single one of your trainings plus the race days too.

How long before the race should I start my fitness regime?

It all really depends on what you want to achieve; are you completing the race or competing? Are you using this as a first race to gauge how you’d do and set the benchmark for the future races or are you going to put in the time and effort to get the best possible result you could? Bear in mind, whichever you chose to do, there will be time and effort needed on your part to do this, even on days you feel like lazing and staying in bed. Let’s start it off with the assumption of wanting to do decently well in the race and that means you should look at starting about 12 weeks prior to the race day.

What are the trainings?

Before we look at a possible training schedule, let’s have a look at what we should do for each of the three events; swim, run, cycle.


  • Technique Swim: Focus on your stroke technique and breathing. Do laps of the pool
  • Endurance Swim
  • Continuous Swim: (Preferably) Swimming the circumference of the pool and never touching the wall



  • Speed Work: Either Hill Runs or Sprint Training, Try to achieve a higher race pace with this
  • With 15 minutes of race pace warm up and cool down for each session
  1. Endurance Work
    1. Consistent yet fast paced running for a continuous period with easy warm up and cool down of 15 Minutes for each session
  2. Cycle
    1. Endurance Cycle
      1. Maintain A high pace for a continuous period
    2. Combination with Run
  3. Strength Training
    1. Legs Workouts
    2. Back Workouts
    3. Mobility Workouts


So from the above breakdown, we have 9 different types of workouts. This means that there are days you would expect yourself to be working more than twice a day. Remember, always schedule for a rest day but this day could also be an active rest day where you could have your Mobility Workout done then.


Possible Schedule to follow

  • Day 1
    • 30 Minutes Technique Swim
    • Legs Workout
  • Day 2
    • Run Speed Work – 15 Minutes warm up, 30 Minutes Workout, 15 minutes cool down
  • Day 3
    • Cycle and Run Combination – 45 Minutes cycle, followed by 30 minutes run
  • Day 4
    • 45 Minutes Endurance Swim
    • Back Workout
  • Day 5
    • Endurance Cycle of about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Day 6
    • Endurance Run of about 1 to 1.5 Hours.
  • Day 7
    • Active rest day
    • Mobility Workout


Strength workout and Diet

Needless to say, both your workouts and diet has to be personalized and suited to you. Hence, for this part of the training, you might do well in engaging a professional who could aid you in ensuring the right form, posture and regime for the workout, as well as the target weight and diet for your food intake. You might want to look at getting help from Trainers who are athletes themselves as no one would know what it is like other than an athlete. They would also understand how difficult it is for you to go through the trainings and would help in motivating you.


Famous Last Words

As you can see, it will not be easy to hit the top of your game and compete with the elites but it would be a rewarding journey if you do decide to take it up. For those of us having a different goal, stay tuned for the tapered down version of the training while we try to help you achieve the best version of yourself while still ensuring you wouldn’t be falling asleep on your desk!

astaxanthin, cookie, healthy eating

If you love coffee and cookies in the morning, why not make it better with Astaxanthin cookies? Besides being delicious and nutritious, low in calories and ideal for healthy eating, they’re providing you your much needed antioxidants for good health.

Here’s the recipe, originally from laurainthekitchen.com but we’ve adapted it to include our favourite Astaxanthin and  also reduced the sugar for a healthier taste.

For those of you who prefer some real life action, you may watch the video here:


4 capsules of Astaxanthin Healthy living Antixodiants

1 2/3 cup of All Purpose Flour

¾ cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

1 Tbsp of Vegetable shortening, softened at room temperature

½ cup of Brown Sugar

¼ cup of Granulated sugar

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

¼ tsp of Salt

½ tsp of Baking Soda

1 tsp of Baking Powder

1 cup of Semisweet Chocolate Chips


    1. 1)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, line a few baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    1. 2) In the mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, both kinds of sugar, egg, vanilla and mix until combined.
    1. 3) In a small bow, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, then add it to the butter mixture, mix together until combined.
    1. 4) Add the chocolate chips and mix them in until evenly distributed.
    1. 5) Using a small ice cream scoop (1 Tbsp measure) scoop out the cookie dough onto baking sheets.
    1. 6) Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the edges are a lovely light golden color, allow to cool completely.


There you have it, eating healthy is not that difficult. And it’s not that difficult at all to incorporate some Astaxanthin into your daily diet.

Till the next recipe or blog post: Live well | Look Good | Be Happy!

By Mona Gill

We all need to “detox” our mind and body from time to time. It is essential to clear out the body of toxins and clear our minds to recharge and refocus. Many a times we think that we need to take a long break or trip to some secluded island. In this post I am going to share a few tips and tricks that I find useful, so that you can ‘detox your mind and body even in the city.

1) Process of elimination.

It could be anything that you have consumed too much of during the last few months from caffeine, alcohol, sugar or salt. So instead of going on a “diet”, I recommend eliminating one thing that you consume daily for a few days or a week and notice how you are feeling and notice the improved energy and overall health.

2) Declutter your house or work space environment.

It helps to declutter and not be a hoarder. This process creates space in your mind. Do not hold on to things that you no longer need. Being in a clutter-free and neat environment helps you focus and perform better. Many a times, we hold on to things which we haven’t used in a long time, thinking ‘What if I need it again’. However, you need to be determined to let go of things you don’t need, because chances are if you haven’t used it in over a year, you are probably not going to used it again ever! Recently I got rid of a bunch of clothes that I haven’t worn in ages and tried not to hold on to the thought of “what if I need them in future”. Because I knew that if I haven’t worn those clothes in the past year, there’s really very little chances of me wearing those clothes ever again.

3) Do some yoga!

Practicing Yoga can help in detoxing and healing. Take a detox flow class that helps wring out your digestive organs while in the twist and encourage fresh blood flow and fluid to these organs. This is great for promoting digestion, eliminating and promoting the flow of fluids through the lymphatic system. It helps to release trapped gas and connect mind and body, making you more aware of your body and mind.

4) Take a tech break!

I like having a day or two where I go away for a couple of days with the family and disconnect from my phone and internet. With Social Media being so popular nowadays, it can become quite addictive scrolling through Instagram and Facebook.  To take a break, you may want to practice mindfulness by doing something different to disconnect – it could be something as simple as reading a book, cooking and baking, a weekend trip or even just taking a walk phone free!

Many times, it just takes a little effort to ‘unplug’ ourselves from our present state of clutter, clear our mind then reconnect and notice the difference even if it’s only for a few days. Your body and mind are your temple so nurture and be kind them!



By —  Fai A Gaffa.

1) Go for a walk

It is as simple as it sounds, put on a pair of shoes or flip flops, and just have a walk. Set your watch to 30 minutes, enjoy being outside. Enjoy the sun, or enjoy the rain! Remember the times when you were a kid where running in the rain was a joy? Get that joy. Enjoy the moment. You’ve worked hard, go on and have fun jumping in puddles!

2) Make a smoothie

Trying to get your summer body back but the soda has been killing your ability to do so? Get yourself prepared with smoothies that taste good and are good for you. Try out the different recipes there are on the Internet, you could very well be the next Smoothie expert!

3) Meditate

Meditation does not mean you have to be seated down in a quiet room. Sure, that is one of the ways but I, for one, find it meditative to go for a run and just be with myself. Find something you enjoy and enjoy the process of being with yourself.

4) Declutter

Nothing messes the mind up more than a messy table. Same goes with your kitchen counter! If you can’t find anything but that chocolate bar in side door of your fridge, you know you would be going for it when that hunger pang hits. Give yourself the best chance to succeed! Get organized, donate what you can, feel better from then on.

5) Plan your meals

Planning your meals might not sound like a fun thing to do but if you plan your meals out well, a lunch of boiled chicken and carrots could turn out to be a full meal. Remember, plan things out based on what you would be able to achieve. If you know you would need that one little bite of chocolate some time in the day, have that little bit. Prevent yourself from needing to binge.

6) Go Grocery Shopping

Now you’ve planned what to have, plan what you need and head to your nearest grocer! This is where it could get fun. Stay away from the chocolate and snack aisle and be adventurous in the fruits and vegetable section. You never know what you might discover!

7) Go Supplement Shopping

Start with what you need and stay there. The more you learn about yourself and the more you train, the more you realise what you need. Need something to get you started? Have a look at Astareal for their supplement. Be sure to check with your doctor to see if you have any allergies before you start on a supplement.

8) Go to the Gym/Find one

Need something to fill up your time while being beneficial to you? Start working out well. You would soon recognize what it means to be a part of a great gym when you walk, feel and live better. Boutique gyms with close personal coaching works the best, if you ask me.

Scientists in Japan evaluated the anti-fatigue effects of Astavita® Healthy Living Antioxidants (HLA) on mental and physical stresses encountered in daily life. The results showed significantly reduced fatigue and improved test subjects’ condition in many ways.

People who had reported mental and physical fatigue were treated with Astavita® HLA for 8 weeks. Mental and physical stresses were induced by a mental challenge, where individuals were subjected to the Uchida-Kraeplin test (an arithmetic test requiring intense concentration), and the physical component was performed using a bicycle ergometer. Test results and feedback metrics of fatigue were assessed both before and after the stressor tests.

In the calculation test, an increase in errors observed in the control group during the second half of the test was almost eliminated in the Astavita® group. Furthermore, the concentration and clarity feedback reported higher levels when compared to the control group. It is likely that the Astavita group could handle the stress better because biochemical tests conducted on saliva samples also revealed that Astavita® HLA significantly reduced stress-related biomarker called cortisol.

This study suggests that Astavita® HLA is beneficial for people who work under high levels of physical and mental stress. Perfect for professionals, busy-moms, people preparing for exams and many more. For more advice also check out Dr Corish’s holistic approach to combating fatigue here.


Reference: Hongo et al., 2016, 32(7):577-91 Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines

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