US Open tennis fashion: the men

My last post highlighted a number of female players tennis fashion at the US Open. While men’s tennis fashion is rarely as interesting as women’s, this year shows some innovative patterns and, notably, more bright colors than we typically see in a single tournament.

Tennis fashion goes green

The most prominent color for men this year is green. Bright green. Neon green. It showed up on Milos Raonic, although I noticed his haircut as much as his shirt color.

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Milos Raonic, US Open Round 1

 

Crazy green works for Gael Monfils. Not only does it complement his dark skin, but also goes along with his unorthodox, acrobatic style that fans love so much.

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Gael Monfils, US Open Round 1

 

In addition to Raonic and Monfils, many more male players are sporting a similar color green, across a variety of labels. They include Jack Sock (also with a haircut), Marinko Matosevic, Juan Monaco, Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Querrey.

 

Murray’s tennis fashion: light on the green

Andy Murray wears just a touch of green on his wristbands and hat. Given all the other green shirts, his mostly-grey ensemble is refreshing.

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Andy Murray US Open Round 1

More bright colors in US Open tennis fashion

Green isn’t the only bright color showing up around the grounds in Flushing Meadows. Nick Kyrgios wore a particularly colorful shirt in his defeat of Mikhail Youhzny. Kyrgios is a relatively unknown Australian whose principal achievement since turning pro in 2013 was defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014. Although the pinkish-orange purplish-blue shirt by Nike is hard to describe, it works well on him.

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Nick Kyrgios, US Open Round 1

 

Another player who can wear bright colors is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. His orange shirt, sweatband and shoes look sharp against the white socks, shorts and hat.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, US Open Round 1

 

Federer’s timeless tennis fashion

Contrasting with all these bright colors was Roger Federer’s all-black “evening” ensemble. Perhaps he’ll have a different outfit for daytime, but being the star that he is, Roger is playing his first and second round matches during primetime on Ashe.

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Roger Federer US Open Round 1 (Evening)

 

Djokovic’s tennis fashion: boring!

You may have noticed that so far I haven’t mentioned the top-seeded male player at the US Open, Novak Djokovic. That’s because, even though his game is impressive, his tennis fashion is not. Sponsored by Uniqlo, Nole wears basic-looking outfits. No special colors — just red, white, blue and black. Always the same style of polo shirt. For this tournament, he’s going with red and black, and his shoes go with the theme. I suppose he opts to make his mark with tennis pure and simple, not with tennis fashion.

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Novak Djokovic – US Open Round 1

 

There’s lots more tennis to be played, and if the early rounds are any indication, things are going to continue to be exciting on the courts. Enjoy the matches, and keep your eye out for new tennis fashion trends!

 

 

Image credits: various photographers via usopen.org

US Open tennis fashion: the women

Almost as much fun as watching the matches is checking out the US Open tennis fashion. This year continues a trend towards variety of colors — not only in women’s clothes, but also in their shoes. Here are some ladies tennis fashions I’ve noticed so far during the tournament.

Sharapova tennis fashion: Day and Night

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Maria by day

Tennis diva Maria Sharapova is looking glam as usual. Nike has furnished her with a daytime tunic as well as an evening dress.

 

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Maria by night

 

Serena tennis fashion: the Big Cat

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Serena by Night: the Snow Leopard

Serena always stands out: not only for her dominant play, but also for her short skirts that emphasize the size and strength of her quads, hamstrings and glutes. This year she’s wearing an animal print dress. For her first round (evening) match, her dress was a more “formal” black and white — a snow leopard pattern. But then for her day match vs. Vania King, she sported the same print in pink and red.

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Serena by day: spotted pink panther?

Tennis fashion in blue, who knew?

Blue is a popular color this year. Azarenka looks cute in her blue and white tennis shorts and matching top. The young Canadian phenom Eugenie Bouchard shows athleticism and elegance in her slim-fitting blue dress.

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Vika shows her flexibility (and contrasting soles)

 

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Genie Bouchard stretches for a ball

Jelena Jankovic is also wearing blue, but she combines it with purple hexagonal spots.  Sponsored by Fila, Jankovic wears a simply styled dress that attracts attention with its bold print.

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Fila’s blue and purple print for Jankovic

In yet another take on the traditional blue color, Venus Williams is wearing one of her own EleVen designs, in a lady-like white and blue floral with a square opening across the shoulder blades. In her after-match interview, she indicated that this design includes some red — to make it red, white and blue for the US Open. Maybe she’ll add something red for the next round!

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Venus wins her second round match

Tennis fashion new color: blush

An often-seen color in early round women’s matches has been blush, or light peach. While blue, black and white are tennis fashion staples, this blush color is fresh and different. One Adidas top in particular has been worn by several players. Who wore it better, in your opinion: Andrea Petkovic, Kimiko Date-Krumm or Maria Kirilenko?

Caroline Wozniacki gets her own version of the Adidas blush. It has a contrasting panel down the front with a kind of flap that comes in two colors, berry and beige. Personally I’m not sure how this “flap” would work on many women’s figures. But on Caroline, of course it looks terrific.

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Caroline Wozniacki – US Open First Round

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Caroline Wozniacki – US Open Second Round

 

The next post will highlight men’s fashions from the US Open Tennis Tournament. Stay tuned!

 

Image credits: various photographers via usopen.org, zimbio.com

Yoga for TMJ: does it work?

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, or jaw pain and stiffness associated with stress, clenching and grinding the teeth — often while asleep. Over ten million US adults suffer TMJ symptoms, with women experiencing it at twice the rate of men: nearly 7% vs. 3.5%. Dentists often prescribe night guards, soft foods, hot and cold packs — which can help, but they don’t usually cure the problem. Knowing that my own TMJ was related to stress, I sought to resolve the underlying causes through yoga for TMJ.

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Workshop on Yoga for TMJ

Even though my track record with yoga classes is spotty, I signed up for a three-hour workshop, full of optimism that this was going to help me when other things hadn’t. Although I got lost and arrived late, I was the second-to-last person to get there, so the punctual people reserved their judgmental stares for the lady who came last. Thank goodness. I quickly realized I wasn’t the only stressed-out person in the room.

Our instructor was a yogi and an experienced cranio-sacral practitioner. She was about my age and had two little buns near the front of her curly hair, perhaps to contain the longer part of her bangs? Her hair also had streaks of pink and of blue, plus a hairband to keep it off her face. She used a colorful plastic teaching model of the skull to explain what goes on when our jaw starts to tense up. The bright colors on the skull ostensibly differentiated the various bones, but I thought it added a cheery note to what otherwise was a sober topic.

The only downside was when our instructor dropped her visual aid, and it fell apart. She became distracted and un-zen-like as she tried to fit the pieces back together.

 

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Yoga for TMJ: the lion face

“Okay, before we do anything, give me a little lion face,” our instructor said. The Lion Face pose involves dropping your jaw and sticking out your tongue. It’s often accompanied by rolling back the eyes. Here’s a video that shows you how to do it. There are lots of funny lion poses out there, even a flickr group that showcases some of the best ones.

You can’t clench your jaw when you’re doing a lion face. Our teacher emphasized that we needn’t do a “major lion face,” just a “little lion face.” She would talk for a bit, then stop her lecture for us to do the lion face. She would also interject “now do a little lion face”  into the sequence of poses she led us through later.

After I told my family about the lion face, my son took to doing it at random times. We might be at the dinner table, and my husband would bring up a controversial topic. I’d look across at my youngest, and he’d cue me to relax with the stuck out tongue and rolled back eyes. So far, this has been the biggest benefit of my class on yoga for TMJ.

 

Benefits of yoga for TMJ

I learned there is a link between the skull and the pelvis, and that yoga poses to open the hips and give you more hip stability can augment the lion face and other things you do to relax the jaw itself. At the same time, I’m not sure I demonstrated the proper attitude during class. It was hard to remain in a zen state, when actually I got tired of sitting for three hours on the bare floor, not to mention my annoyance at repetitive, self-oriented and generally stupid questions asked by one of my classmates. Why is there always one person who asks dumb questions? Faking a pleasant look while she was wasting everyone else’s time was NOT helping my TMJ!

 

Yoga for TMJ: attitude is everything

There was also a section where our instructor taught self-massage, and when I questioned whether rubbing my temples so hard that my arms hurt was really what I wanted to do, she came over to me and suggested I use less pressure. She placed her fingers on the sides of my head and asked me if I felt that.  “Sure,” I replied. “It feels like you have your fingers on my temples.” It did. But others had expressed amazement when she did it to them, so my comments weren’t appreciated. It was as if someone had said, “The emperor has no clothes.” Clearly, the subject of yoga for TMJ needed to be treated with more reverence than I offered.

Owing in part to bad attitude, I’m not benefiting from yoga for TMJ as much as I could. But at least the class was fun and provided some good stories. Bottom line: I think yoga can reduce TMJ, whether through specific asanas or general improvement in the ability to deal with stress. I’m just not there yet personally.

In the meantime, though, join me in a little lion face.

 

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Image credits: Amazon/Wellden, Damn Good Yoga, Anne Rosales

 

 

 

How to score tennis in Spanish, German and French

The clay court season is well under way, and tennis professionals are playing on courts accross Europe — all culminating in the French Open at Roland Garros, May 26 – June 9, 2013. The men just left Monte Carlo and are in Spain now, and the women are playing in Germany. So watching the Tennis Channel offers an opportunity to learn how to score tennis in Spanish, German and French.

¿Juega usted al tenis?

In Spanish, you start off the match with a saque (serve). Interestingly, the word for “lob” is globo, which also means “balloon.” You can find more Spanish tennis terms here if you’re interested. Here’s how to score a game en español:

  • 15 – Love: quince – cero
  • 15 -15: quince iguales
  • 30 – 15: treinta – quince
  • 40 – 15: cuarenta – quince
  • 40 – 30: cuarenta – treinta
  • deuce: cuarenta iguales (or just “iguales“)
  • advantage: ventaja
  • to win/to lose: ganar/perder

 

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Sign at Puerto Vallarta hotel

 

Spielen Sie Tennis?

In Germany, the tennis court is called a Spielplatz, or “play place.” German’s use of compound words makes their tennis vocabulary lots of fun — look here for more examples. If you can return your opponent’s Raketenaufschlag (“rocket serve”), here’s how to keep score:

  • 15 – Love: nfzehn – null
  • 15 -15: fünfzehn – beide
  • 30 – 15: dreißig – fünfzehn
  • 40 – 15: vierzig – fünfzehn
  • 40 – 30: vierzig – dreißig
  • deuce: Gleichstand (or Einstand)
  • advantage: Vorteil (or Advantage)
  • to win/to lose: gewinnen/verlieren

 

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Tennisschläger – literally, “tennis striker/smasher”

Jouez-vous au tennis?

A clay court, such you’ll find at Roland Garros, is called un court de terre battue.  Somehow the entire sport sounds more beautiful in French — see this link for more examples. Prepare for the French Open by learning how to score en français:

  • 15 – Love: quinze – zéro
  • 15 -15: quinze à (or quinze partout)
  • 30 – 15: trente – quinze
  • 40 – 15: quarante – quinze
  • 40 – 30: quarante – trente
  • deuce: égalité (the first deuce is often referred to as quarante à)
  • advantage: avantage
  • to win/to lose: gagner/perdre

So turn on the TV, watch some European matches, and listen to the umpires as they announce scores first in the native language, then in English. Think of it as a way to improve your foreign language skills while vegging out in front of a sport you enjoy.

Then, when you head out to play your next match, announce the score in a different language — you’ll have fun, and your opponents won’t understand what you’re saying.

Juego, set et partido.

Spiel, Satz und Sieg.

Jeu, set et match.

 

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Courts at the Jardins des Tuileries, Paris

 

Do you know more fun facts about tennis in Spanish, German or French, or do you have a correction for something I’ve said here? Let me know in the comments!

 

 Image credits: Anne Rosales, explainthatstuff via flickr,
 Aaron Rosales

Soulcycle brands spinning and spirituality

Having heard about Soulcycle, a cult-phenomenon among NYC spinners, I tried out one of their classes during a recent trip. Soulcycle’s spin on spinning is to add dumbbells and dance moves to stationary biking. It operates back-to-back 45-minute classes in eleven studios around New York, three in Los Angeles, and soon will have two in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Soulcycle also incorporates watered-down spiritual messages of the type one hears in yoga classes — but unlike the typical yoga class, a Soulcycle workout is shorter, burns way more calories and includes minimal stretching. Think of it as a yoga-alternative for the Type A exerciser.

Are you ready “to soul?”

I went to Soulcycle’s West Side studio after signing up for class online. While online signups are typical for many exercise classes, Soulcycle actually had me choose a specific bike on their website. My registration was confirmed with a “Welcome to Soulcycle” message that listed my assignment to Bike #32. It also offered information about attire, hydration and Soulcycle etiquette.

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Soulcycle packs in the riders

As a fan of good manners, I loved the etiquette rules — especially the part about “laundry,” since Soulcycle places their bikes as close together as possible. It’s a New York thing — people there have learned to tolerate less personal space than those of us who live in California suburbs. All the same, with 50 to 60 bikes crammed into a space about three times the size of an average living room, personal hygiene is key.

Although crowded, Soulcycle finesses their routine so that, even when you’re doing dumbbell raises, you rarely bump into the people on your left and right. For example, arm extensions are performed to the front, the rear and at 45-degree angles — but never out to the sides.

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