Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Apps!... I did it again!

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To a small set of people in my life, I'm one of those who, to put it politely, go where angels fear to tread. 

In short, there's those who wait, with bated breath, to say of me: "Oops!...She did it again!"

I'm going to tell you about some 3 apps that I've used but I have explored more and intend to continue this exciting trend. First, however, I'm going to let off some steam!

Today, I'm glad to say that I'm 55 and I've done it again! I've struggled with something new to me and reached some level in ease of use.
Smartphones can make the difference between life and death as one ages these days and it's apps that account for most of these benefits.

I note rather too much undue caution in people above a certain age and it's sad. Besides losing out on a lot of the joys of life, this attitude helps them shut down from the mainstream of life faster than the usual physical ageing process.

When I was young, being conservative was a huge virtue. The smug abounded who drooled with anticipation for a brave one to stumble and fall face first in some truly icky shit. One justification for those times could be that technology was no child's play in its infancy. Few could afford gadgets and getting them repaired/replaced was a major pain, not to mention how hard it was to acquire them in the first place.

In contrast, with the advent of computers and, more specifically, the Internet, it’s the fearless and frisky who survive better. Again, observe how the old vertical hierarchy of old to young has been turned on its head. Nowadays, if you're not willing to learn from the young, you've as good as nailed your own coffin down.

Aptitude with apps is a major plus point today. The first thing my son expected his parents to do when we got our smartphones was get apps. We were both a little embarrassed to admit that we had little idea how those would work or how they would benefit us. 

Shortly after, the main focus of discussions on a couple of groups in which I participate was apps. But Google searches didn't help me understand what an app was nor how it could be useful to me. In the meanwhile, our son loaded a few apps on both our phones, on the one hand and, on the other, circumstances forced us to realise the importance of apps.

We were about to travel and, somehow, it was late evening when we sat down to book a taxi ride to the airport for early morning the next day. Damn! All the fancy taxi sites like Uber and Ola and even Taxiforsure, which we’d recently used, were only accessible via apps. Though we managed to contact a local cab service and get the job done, it was an eye opener.

As the journey progressed we found ourselves relying increasingly on apps for finding out where we were, platform numbers, and whether our train booking had progressed to confirmed. But all that travel related information apart, apps sustained us in our time away from home in a much more significant fashion when I found myself with too much time on hand in the hotel room and too many hearty meals to cope with.

A brief foray into Google Play Store fetched me 3 apps for my needs.

The first was Yoga is both a workout in itself and a good stretching routine on its own or to precede another workout. The interface was fairly user friendly. It was fairly good while it lasted but, today, after some 4-5 days of use, it is inaccessible.

Advertising itself as “Daily Yoga - Fitness On-the-Go, Daily Yoga Software Technology Co. Ltd Health & Fitness”, it claims 
Daily yoga is the best yoga app on Android which guards your health everyday with your own yoga studio on the go!Daily Yoga is the world's most popular yoga coaching app suitable for all levels, beginners, intermediate and advanced, providing 50+ HD yoga exercises and the largest database of 400+ yoga poses, HD VIDEOS, live voice guide, soothing music, social community, and more.

I used Easy Joint Movement which is a plugin of 'Daily Yoga'. 

In other words, each time you select a free yoga workout from Daily Yoga, you have to download and install something else! Time consuming, for one thing!

Besides this one, I also downloaded and installed Office Yoga to De-Stress, Seated Yoga Routine, and Yoga Sequence for Beginners as part of using

They were all fairly good but certainly not quite safe for total beginners or the unwary. In any case, I don’t know how it would function for anyone who tried it now.

The second app I used was for meditation. And this was out of sheer curiosity as I’ve been meditating for years using a set of techniques I acquired from my father. However, a new technique is always a shot in the arm.

Simple Meditation, Creative.Software.Studio Health & Fitness, does fairly fulfil its claim  
Simple Meditation App teaches the voice guided meditations. Also it provide smoothing sounds, which calms your mind and helps to relax.

The European accented voice is a tad annoying. The music is adequate but not terribly appropriate. Some ragas would have done nicely.

However, the interface is quite user friendly and I’ve finished the 8 sessions. 

They are short and do help one relax quickly.

Though I’ve yet to investigate the sounds, I’d freely recommend it to anyone who needs quick destressing or a short intro to meditation.

The third app is the one I like best.  Abs workout, Caynax Health & Fitness, contains a
workout schedule to perform in 42 days - no shortcuts - known as Aerobic Weider Six (Aerobic Six of Weider).Daily ab workout contains 6 exercises to perform everyday to get perfect 6pack. Forget about push ups, sit ups, pull ups, squats etc. No need to go to gym. You can do this 6 pack abs workout at home.

It gives you a nice burn but you should be wise and skip a rep if it really hurts. However, I do not think that it would really harm you.

I’ve only got to Day 4 and there’s loads more to go.

It’s very easy to use as there’s an audio track to guide you through and an animation which shows you what to do. The rest times are nicely adequate to balance the demanding workout.

If you’re sincere about wanting nice abs, download it now!

As for me, I'm spending the rest of the day investigating apps of all kinds.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Jesse Beauty, Unisex Salon and Spa, Aundh, Pune

Groupon is where I head when  I want to pamper my dear ones and myself. It's usually got the kind of deals I can deal with: a massage for as little as Rs. 499 and, sometimes, or at some locations, for even less! Besides a massage, there are deals for all kinds of other things and there's Groupon for most cities, even around the world. And that is how I booked us for a massage at Jesse Beauty, Unisex Salon and Spa, Aundh.
These days, with most of us sitting at a desk all day, mostly hunched up, our bodies end up feeling stressed. The muscles are tense. Lack of fresh air and no time for a workout makes for dull skin and  a miserable mood. 
In the olden days, in India, there was, at least, an oil bath, once or twice a week. In some places, like Kerala, I recall seeing people give themselves a nice oil rub before a wash. Nowadays we have no time for all that and we'd rather not have to clean up a tiled bathroom after that. 
It's, therefore, a small luxury and an almost must to go have a massage now and then. And that's what I booked for us. 
The parlour was easy to find as it's next to Medipoint Hospital and above Saarthi Veg Restaurant.   This makes it convenient to find and, after a relaxing massage or other beauty treatment, why not treat yourself to some yummy vegetarian food?
Jesse Beauty is quite spacious compared to a few other salons I've been to so far. The white backgrounds and the decor, in general, were quite appealing.
The lady who runs Jesse is an absolute sweet heart. She gave my son a chocolate as it was his birthday!

There's a nice lounge to relax in while you wait for your turn. It's got a big TV set, lots of cool magazines and very comfortable and elegant seating.
And you can have a coffee too!
The staff conducted the massages most professionally and it was really good. I've been to a few places in Pune for these massage deals and this one I rate highest so far. 
They offer a couples massage which makes it such a luxurious experience. The massage room was spacious and pleasant. My partner got so relaxed he began to snore! 
 To the left of the picture you can see the shower room-it was most modern and luxurious and such bliss to have a nice hot shower after the massage. 
All in all, I have to say a big thank you to Jesse for having given us a superb and luxurious experience!