Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Workout Wednesday: Stretching


I've loved wearing high heels for as long as I can remember. I'm no Wonder Women, so my feet do get tired of dancing and jumping in them after a couple hours. Even so, I've more or less been comfortable and comparatively less achy when wearing high heels, and I've realized that that's because of all the dancing and sports I've done growing up. Sounds randomly weird? Well, it's not.

All that exercise has made my legs much stronger than what they probably would have been without. This in turn helps me be on my feet (or toes) for a fair bit of time. Given all the recent push to exercise, sports and dancing as a lifestyle for women I thought why not share some easy tips for our shoe lovers so they can have a stronger, healthier body and some motivation to do so.

So here comes a something new from the Devika Bharadwaj HQ for you. Say hello to: 


The idea is that every Wednesday, we're going to share with you some tips, exercises, asanas, information or anything under the sun to help you move your body. Literally. So as a first, starting with something fairly easy but important, we've got Stretching for you!

There are plenty of guides, tutorials and videos out there focusing on stretches for various age groups and body types. A 5 minute google hunt will lead you to something that suits your body. I've listed a few simple stretches that I've learned over dance and yoga lessons.
(Please note: reader discretion is advised before practicing any of our suggestions.)

  1. For quad muscles
    Stand next to a wall sideways. Lift the outer leg backwards, getting your foot to your butt, and hole it there with your hands. You can take support of the wall with the hand that's close to it. Or if you feel confident enough, you can raise the opposite hand upwards to give a nice full body stretch.  Repeat with the other leg, and don't forget to breathe!
  2. For inner thighs 
    Again, stand sideways next to a wall. Taking support of the wall that's inwards, slowly lift the opposite leg sideways & outward and then bring it back. Repeat a 3-5 times (as comfortable to you) and then repeat with the other leg.
  3. Uttanasana
    This is one of my favorite yoga asanas and stretching exercises. Simply stand with the feet together, then from the hips, get your torso forward, towards your legs. Place your hands on your feet (or drop them wherever comfortable; no stress). After a few seconds, come back up lifting your upper body from your hips again. Note: keep your knees slightly bent and not locked to avoid injury. 

Just doing these for 10 minutes a day will also help unwind and relax your body. Stretching does have a lot of benefits, such as:

  • This one’s a given: it increases your flexibility.
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens muscles
  • It helps relieve tension from your body & mind. Bid adieu to stress!

I hope you like our #WorkoutWednesday idea. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions to share with us, please, please, please do so! You can even send in pictures or videos that we can share with our social media followers.

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur

Monday, 11 July 2016

How to effortlessly maintain your shoes during monsoon

Being a Bombay girl through and through, I love the monsoon. I love adrak wali chai, the hot snacks, the cool wind and the green landscape. I love everything about this weather!

Well… almost. I do hate the muddy roads, the increase in traffic and I particularly hate what happens to a lot of my stuff due to the insane spike in humidity levels.

I’ve met many shoe lovers during exhibitions who fret about buying leather shoes out of fear of maintaining them this season, and I’ve met people who really just don’t bother taking care of their shoes. 
Whether you fall in either of these categories or another one altogether, here are a few ‘hacks’ for you so you can walk through this weather in ease. 

  1. Get the crap out of your shoes.  
    Don’t let damp mud remain on your shoes after use. I know this can seem cumbersome (and eeky), especially if you spend a bit of time walking outdoors. However, particularly during monsoon, it is important to get the goo out before it hardens and attracts moss or fungal growth on the shoes. Just rub your shoes well on the door mat and wipe them clean. Easy peasy.
    Extra tip: Clean the pair using a damp cloth and NOT a wet one.

  2. It's time for a dry spell.  
    Your shoes love dry spells! It is a good practice to switch between shoes every day in this weather and letting each pair dry before you wear it again. Not only would it maintain the quality of the material, but also keep your shoes great looking for a longer period of time. Allowing your shoes to dry under the fan is the best way to air them out.

  3. Stuff ‘em with some gossip.  
    Once completely dry, stuff your shoes with some newspaper (or the paper that comes stuffed in your Devika Bharadwaj shoe box) to help them retain the shape. For all the men out there, if you've invested in a shoe tree, you're awesome! But if you haven't, fret not. Newspapers work as a great substitute.
    Careful though! If your shoes have a lighter insole or lining and they haven't dried well, avoid using newspaper, as it could lead to ink stains from the paper.  
Sure, you've invested in a good, quality pair of shoes; but these small tricks increase their 'rack-life' by leaps and bounds. I hope these tips help you maintaining your shoes longer.
Got some more? Tell me now in the comments below! 

Shoe love, 
Dev B
Shoe Designer, Entrepreneur