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Headless CMS – A new way to create a common source of content for multiple platforms.

While traditional CMS has been a standard for a long time, we are witnessing a rise in companies adapting to Headless CMS due to the flexibility and scalability it offers in terms of data and information management. In this article, we shall discuss the difference between headless CMS and decoupled CMS and help you decide the best content management system for your business model.  

We live in an omnichannel world, where headless CMS has become one of the most essential pieces of technology. The content that you built for your website also needs to appear on different places like mobile apps, newsletters, websites, and needs to be integrated on various platforms. Managing a duplicate copy of your content is not just inefficient but also confusing.  Continue to Headless CMS Post on Reman Tech.

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Life & Productivity

Free education, and learning the art of observed intervention

Children in their nineties would know their lives were surrounded by two things – Books and outdoor play. There was nothing more to do. Especially in India, where formal education has been so important that it would become impossible for them to pursue a rewarding academic career without a proper degree. You can’t learn by yourself, that’s what that means. You have to have a certificate, which proves, although you can or can not in reality, that you are perfect for the job. Times are changing, though. We live in a time where books are not enough.

The world is simply transforming faster than books getting printed, and these books are, although some timeless, losing their importance faster than ever. Something similar is happening with our education system. Our education programs are not agile, which need to be. If we don’t transform them in speed with the world, students would not be able to cope with the future shock they would experience the moment they arrive into the practicalities of business, or profession. The core remains the same, and it remains pretty mundane, and it will be so, for time to come.

Take for example marketing. And I take this example, because everyone has to become a marketer, or a manager, at some point in their career, where selling their expertise is more important than their expertise itself. Except if you are a scientist on a government payroll or grant, you are going to have to pitch yourself, in front of a CEO, or possibly, you become the CEO, build some product out of your expertises, and pitch it to your potential customers. You get the point. Everyone sells.

To continue with the example, how do you become an excellent marketer? You believe graduate and undergraduate programs, and then you read a lot many marketing books, and maybe then you would realise the depth of this industry. This is a mundane way to study marketing, let alone anything else. Alright, I agree, it’s not completely wrong, they’re useful, but when it comes to keeping up with time, they’re useless. Sometimes, they lead to overwhelment, or information overload, leading to action paralysis.

First, marketing is something you can never learn without actually doing it, and second, the best marketing techniques are right in front of you, everyday, even right now. To believe that books can teach you everything you need to know about marketing, or any other subject for that matter, is a very limited approach. You need to experience it firsthand. You need to learn to observe, and understand the fine print that is visibly hidden from everyone around you. You need to see marketing in what others see as exciting opportunities. You have to know that you are being sold to, every moment of your life, and you need to be consciously choosing your purchasing decisions.

How do you become conscious, and observant? Well, experience. You can’t get that experience through books. Maybe, they can teach you the fundamentals of decision making, by giving you the best scenarios about how decisions were made in the listed scenarios, but you are always going to face something new, and that new is going to keep you troubling, if observation is not something essential to your syllabus.

To take this further, observe and listen to the marketing that’s all around you. How was this smartphone marketed to you? How did you come across your clothes, what made you choose these brands? How did you come across that kitchen table, or your iPhone, or your shoes, or anything else that you bought in the last thirty days? Make a note of their offer, the sales copy, the headline, and the pitch that made you want to spend money. Then try these observations with your product. Because if it caught your attention to buy, it worked.

Of course, the theory won’t apply everywhere. You can’t become a rocket scientist, or mathematician, although some would disagree. You don’t need someone to give you the theory all the time. You sometimes simply need to observe what they are doing.

Learning to observe is one of the most crucial skills in free education. If you want to learn something for free, learn to observe. Cultivating observation is not easy though, because not everything comes to you naturally. Sometimes, you need external help, or stimuli, to understand what to observe, and how observation works in your field of study. The tougher the observation aspect of any subject, the harder it will be for you to learn it. Sometimes, you will need a mentor to guide you through, and often it will take years before a subconscious observation pattern for that study is cultivated. You have to plant the roots of subjective observation into your subconscious.

To become exceptionally good at something, or anything that interests you, start by feeding your mind with information, that isn’t even understandable. Don’t worry if the information doesn’t sink in just yet, when you are trying to learn to observe. Let your conscious and subconscious mind take in all the available data, decipher the pattern, and then help you distinguish between different patterns, which you can then use to build advanced mental models, quite automatically, to observe patterns and scenarios.

But there is also a faster way to build such patterns – by applying the concept of psycho cybernetics, you can build mental models, that you subconscious can then use to achieve any desired result, almost on autopilot, which also includes learning to observe the innate patterns of any industry, any logical organisation of thoughts, or any for understanding how you are being stimulated, in consistent pattern, but do the things you do, so that you can do them better.

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Life & Productivity

Snooze Sprints – A surefire way to beat chronic procrastination

Every morning, we fight a battle with ourselves, in our bedrooms. When the alarm goes off, we pull out this devilish invention to fight the inevitability of waking up for the next nine minutes. And then, maybe for nine more minutes, and then some more. Most productivity experts will tell you that snoozing away your morning is bad for your day.

First, the argument is that the quality of sleep you get after pressing snooze is comparatively low. Dr. Matthew Mingrone, one of the lead physicians at Eos Sleep’s California center, says that it is, in fact, bad for sleep and can leave you groggier and more tired compared to getting out of bed after the first alarm. Instead of a deep sleep, our bodies experience light sleep, which promotes morning laziness and procrastination.

Second, in their book, Willpower, Roy Baumeister and John Tierney say that willpower depletes with use. If you spend your willpower fighting yourself out of bed in the morning, you will have less of it during the day when you most need it to handle that difficult colleague.

Yes, over 57 Americans are snoozers, with research suggesting that we spend around 3.5 months of our lives snoozing. That snooze button is responsible for delaying morning routines, feeling lazy all day, needing to rush into daily activities, and induction of anxiety in our day to day lives.

For most people, a snooze button is nothing more than a way to sleep a little more. It’s time to turn this productivity killer into a productivity tool. A simple change in perspective does the trick.

What is productivity to you?

I like the feeling of having achieved something, especially in the mornings. Initially, my mornings were snoozed and delayed, and my plans would never manifest. I dreamed of getting up at 4:00 in the morning, going for long walks or jogs, meditating, practicing Surya Namaskar, returning home in sweat, cooking my favorite breakfast, having that perfect morning shower, getting ready, and going to work. Heck, I also dreamed of writing for one hour in the morning. None of which manifested. I snoozed away my mornings and days, trying to build a productive morning routine, which only turned into a procrastinated nightmare.

And let’s face it, mornings are hards for most people, as the statistics prove above. Most people would love that 9 minutes of delay in getting out of bed, and probably, many other things they want to do in the morning and during the day.

I had to change the way my mornings went drastically. For productivity, I would have to accept that I only have a limited amount of time at hand before I hit the day. Say, I wake up at 4:00 in the morning, I have 4 hours for myself. If I wake up at 6:00, I have two. My work starts at 8:00 and ends around 5:30 in the evening. After which, I don’t try to be productive. I want to relax, enjoy my acoustic mixtape, maybe read something, or practice my newly found love for programming. The rest of the day is about exploring. If I had my first two (or four) hours sorted, I would be mentally at peace with myself during the day, staying in the positive feeling of being in control of my achievements.

So, first, you need to understand and figure out your productivity cycle. Make a list of all the things. Make it no longer than eight items you would like to get done, especially in the mornings if you have motivation for mornings like me.

For me, a productive morning is when I have meditated, practiced Surya Namaskar, done with some pranayama, worked on some blog posts, prepared my lunch, had tea with breakfast, and got my room cleaned and arranged. I also make a list of all the things I need to achieve at work during the morning. But this is a lot of work to do in the mornings, that too, regularly, and with consistency.

My Snooze Sprint

When my alarm goes off, I press the snooze button, get up in bed, and meditate. There you have it. The first task was achieved. I simply stay in the feeling of gratitude, my mind slowly catching up with the silence of the morning, and focusing on my breath, become aware, and flushing my body with prana using Pran Mudra meditation. I stay there until the alarm goes off again.

I press the snooze button again, get out of bed, make the bed, clean up, brush, and for the 9 minutes, I get ready to hit the next snooze. This is a buffer snooze for me. It helps me prepare for the upcoming tasks. By this time, I have meditated in just 15 minutes, started my day, made my bed, and have done the usual necessary things. The key is to get it done before the alarm goes off again.

Snooze again, I sit for pranayama. Nothing much. A bit of Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom, and Aum chanting. This goes on for the next nine minutes. Keep doing it until the alarm goes off again.

The alarm goes off. I snooze again and practice Surya Namaskar.

Hit that damn snooze button again, and I am in the kitchen, and in the next 9 minutes, I have to decide what I will be having for lunch. I soak the rice, get the curry ready, and get all the ingredients ready for cooking. I don’t have to start cooking because this sprint is a tool to get me going and nothing more. I get it ready. And, well, also make tea. In about 9 minutes, I have it ready until the alarm goes off again.

Cool. Snooze again. I fire up the laptop and choose any topic from the list of topics I want to write on. Just start typing. Don’t worry about anything else for the next 9 minutes except putting those 100 words into the word processor. Whatever you write, but write. You have managed to get yourself going, which is enough for now.

Snooze again, and make a list of what I want to achieve during the day. I have a time planner, making it easy for me to decide what I want to accomplish during the day. I also prefer using Google Calendar to plan the day, as it also displays my day to day commitments. The calendar helps me decide better and stay committed to deadlines.

Simple. In less than an hour, I have meditated, practiced yoga, exercised, set my meal plan, started working on a blog post, and planned my day. Especially if you get up at 4:00, you will see that your productivity and motivations will be off the charts.

Setting up your own snooze sprints

The joy of snooze sprint is not that you will have achieved a lot. There is only enough you can complete in an hour or two, but the motivation you receive from having accomplished something, taking control of your day, is utterly satisfying. Setting your snooze spring should be easy now, but let me give you some bullets to keep in mind, however.

  1. Snooze Sprints are not about getting work done but getting you rolling with your multiple goals quickly without losing momentum. When you first press the snooze button, make sure you have the most straightforward task on hand. You shouldn’t need any equipment or even have to move to get this task going.
  2. Make sure you know what you want to do after pressing the snooze button. I made a list of things to include in my snooze spring, and I follow the same order of snoozing every day. The tasks will probably be boring and tedious, but you only need to do them for less than 9 minutes. And I assure you, if they mean something in your life, you will do them for sure on you are on a roll after your first snooze.
  3. You don’t necessarily have to a snooze sprint in the morning. You can set the alarm to go off for a particular activity in mind and have a list of other activities follow up. You can maybe have a snooze spring during work when you want to decide and get started with a particular task you regularly tend to procrastinate on. Just do it for 10 minutes when the alarm goes off, and then snooze onto other activities.
  4. After a few days, the little sprints turn into habits. Maybe, you won’t have to snooze for every activity, but they will come naturally to you. This will create a morning routine you will be able to stick to for long.
  5. Don’t stop for the next activity. Let’s say you included pushups in your snooze sprint. On the first day, you could barely do more than twenty pushups. And you still have six minutes to go. Simply take a minute of rest, try to do it again, or continue with the next activity. This is a sprint. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to continue jumping from one activity quickly, without wasting any time.
  6. The first time you do something that requires consistent effort, it won’t be up to the mark. My Surya Namaskar postures were pathetic, and I couldn’t do more than five reps in the beginning. That’s alright. Observe yourself. What needs improvement? Be grateful for the five reps that you could do without any practice. Keep the pace.
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Health & Fitness

How to Sleep Better – An Unconventional Guide

I have been a bad sleeper for over a decade. The problem is not with sleep quality but with the timing. I have never had control over my sleep cycle, which is practically a terrible way to live. From what little I have learned about sleep and how to sleep better, I will document it here. 

Not being able to sleep on time is a problem because, without this one discipline, you have no control over when and how you will start your next day. While most people talk about a day schedule, and how to stop procrastinating, or how to get their life on track, let me say that these things come later. How can you expect your day to go well, when one day, you are sleeping at 10 pm, and the next day, you are sleeping at midnight, and the next day, you are sleeping at 3 am? Without regular sleep cycles, you are creating a mess to clean up the next day. 

Suppose you read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Ph.D. In that case, you will come across some of his research suggesting that neglecting sleep will directly affect your creativity, problem-solving, decision making, memory, cardiac health, and more. To take this further, sleeping less than 8 hours, especially less than 6 hours, your physical exhaustion time drops by a whopping 30%. You will see a significant decrease in your aerobic output as well. It also increases the impairment of cardiovascular, muscular, respiratory, and metabolic systems.

Here’s what you can do to improve sleep:

  1. Have a sleep schedule
  2. Devote time to light exercise, like walking. 
  3. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, especially before bedtime. 
  4. Have a relaxed schedule before bed.
  5. Try reading a book.
  6. Shower before bed. 
  7. Avoid exposure to screen brightness. 

But these tips are rudimentary. You can not expect someone who has been sleeping all their lives badly to sleep regularly suddenly. The real problem isn’t even lacking sleep. It’s a lack of regularity. 

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that habits are a way to conserve energy. We often spend almost all of our waking hours doing the thing that we’re not consciously aware of. Charles discovered that there is a three-step process to any of our habits. Cue —> Routine —> Reward. 

To put this in perspective, you have a subconscious cue to what you do, which triggers a specific routine, for completing which, your subconscious receives an appreciation or reward. If you wish to change a habit, you will need to change the routine part and leaving the rest intact. 

But you will require willpower. But willpower is not a quantifiable concept anyway. So, I wouldn’t want to go into that here too deep. One of the best ways to build willpower, do what you want, and not let your subconscious take the steering wheel; would ignore whatever Charles says and practice Vipassana

I have observed that Vipassana, a simple meditation technique for cultivating consciousness and accumulating your capacity to stay aware in any situation, helps immensely. I went to a 10-day meditation retreat, where you disconnect yourself from the world, turn off your cellphone, and practice a simple meditation that can take you forward in life. 

After the ten-day retreat, they suggest you practice Vipassana meditation for at least 1 hour every day, which is a small price to pay because my teacher in that course promised that if I practiced regularly, I would be saving on the total time I need to sleep, and also become so productive, I will get more work done in a day then I do in a week. He was sharing his experience, though. But then, I started practicing it, and to my astonishment, I was sleeping better than ever. 

You can also practice Yoga Nidra. Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a renunciate, has touched on a crucial subject in his book, Yoga Nidra, by helping achieve maximum relation through sleeping with awareness. Yoga Nidra is the process of gradually bypassing your conscious thoughts and unconscious activities and accessing the subconscious to plant the seeds of how you want your life to be. Plant self-discipline, daily routines, or command your subconscious to improve your health, or help you start that business you have been postponing since childhood. You can also ask your subconscious to help you sleep better. And well, it works. 

I think this is enough knowledge to help anyone sleep better. Practice Vipassana. Practice Yoga Nidra. And then, also commit to the little things these books talk about. They are essential, but real work is also required. You will have to rewire your brain for sleeping better fundamentally, and that will take time and effort. 

Some people are so involved in life, day to day activities, and basic subconscious patterns that they ignore living consciously altogether. This is a terrible mistake and the one I have experienced myself. Have an hourly timer. 

This hourly timer should remind you to do something regularly. For example, you can set it to remind you to spend 5 minutes in the practice of mindfulness meditation. Get up from whatever it is you are doing, and practice Vipassana when the timer rings. Just this one habit will guide you to take more control of your life. 

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Health & Fitness

Harmful effects of prolonged sitting + Solutions

The other day, a colleague of mine told me about how he spends over 8-12 hours on a computer. His typical day includes 8-12 hours sitting on the desk, and then he goes back home, slouches on the couch in front of the TV with his family, and then spend about one hour minimum reclining, in front of his laptop, in the bed. He rests his spine whole day. 

There are over 12 Ted Talks simply talking about how to sit properly. Yes, I counted. Simply speaking, sitting is bad for the spine, the neck muscles, shoulder muscles, chest, lungs, legs, and what not. Prolonged sitting is also connected to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat especially around the waist area, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Presumably, any type of extended sitting on desk, in front of the computer, or even behind the wheels is harmful. 

Research suggests that the risk of dying for someone who is sitting on their desk for more than 8 hours without any physical activity is pretty much equal to the risk of dying from obesity or/and smoking. The impact of movement is profound for maintaining good physical health, even if that means taking brisk walks regularly. Research also suggests that just 40-50 minutes of light physical activity is enough to counter the negative effects of prolonged sitting. 

There are a few things you can do to keep these harmful effects at bay. First, take regular breaks at work. Set a timer on your phone for 50 minutes every time you start a session. I have a Casio watch that blips every hours, which I consider as an indication to get up, walk, and stretch a little. 

Second, practice Surya Namaskar. It is an ancient technique that help you stretch your body muscles to their full capacity using just 12 simple positions. You can start with minimum seven repetitions, and then increase the count gradually. Takes less than 10 minutes, and it’s a complete exercise for your mind and body.

Surya Namaskar is the ultimate asana, meaning it’s a full body workout. You don’t need any equipments, or go to the gym, or survive on peanuts (although you can), to maintain your weight and agility for a long life. 

Third, just practice the first three steps of Surya Namaskar, if you can’t practice all of them at once. It entails you becoming conscious about your physique in the Namaste position, and then taking your arms in the air, and bending backward as far as you can, and then touching your palms to the ground. Just practicing these three steps will keep you safe from the perils of prolonged sitting. 

Fourth, learn to sit properly. Imagine how you would sit, if you still had a monkey like tail. You would have to keep your hips pushed back, and you would be resting on the thighs, instead of the buttocks. Your spine would be straight, and you would’t be making an effort to sit erect. The spine itself would keep you erect, without having to rest it using support.

Sitting on the buttocks bends the spine like a bow, especially if you are sitting in front of a screen, which is very harmful for lower spine, and thus the complains about lower spinal injury and lower back pain after a tough day at work. Oh wait, Bob and Brad can show you how to sit properly. 

So that’s about it. You shouldn’t be sitting for so long. And if you have to anyway, you should learn to sit correctly. Start moving. 

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Yoga + Sadhana

Surya Namaskar – Science, Technique, and Necessity

In this blog, I will tell you everything there is to know about Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. I will tell you how I fell in love with the 12 poses of Surya Namaskar, how it transformed my life, and why it is the most potent way to grow your immunity, increase your pran shakti, achieve mental balance, and transform your productivity.

We will discuss the ancient science of Surya Namaskar in flow with solar energy, and  also learn Surya Namaskar step-by-step. 

Introduction to Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, is an ancient technique to revitalize the solar energy in our body. The Sanatan tradition offers utmost importance to the Sun. In fact, the most important mantra in Sanatan dharma is Gayatri Mantra, a short prayer to the Sun, asking for it’s brilliance through intellect, health, and wealth. Gayatri mantra does to the mind, what Surya Namaskar does to the body. 

The sun rises and sets, creating a daily routine, which we can choose to follow. In fact, the world’s oldest healing system, Ayurveda, revolves around the sun. If we can live in alignment with the sun, following its course and direction, we can live healthy and happy. 

In the Yogic, and ancient Sanatana traditions, the morning hours are considered highly energetic, and spiritually charged. Early mornings are called Brahma Muhurta – the time between 3:30 am and 6:00 am, which is best for practicing deep meditations, yoga, and pranayamas. If you simply adjust yourself to the cycles of the sun by waking up early, during brahma muhurta, and going to bed a few hours after sunset, you will naturally benefit from the sattvik vibrations in the atmosphere. With just a few days of practice, you will notice priceless positivity and mental clarity. 

Surya Namaskar is one of the techniques to activate this solar energy within, which is constantly transforming, and creating invisible effects on our mind and body during the day. 

Surya Namaskar Step by Step Technique

Before you can practice the Surya Namaskar positions, there are prerequisites. Stand with your feet together, relax your body, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your whole body. Developing awareness is important because you are starting a process that will require all your physical and mental abilities, with all your pran shakti channeled in the direction of your body.

Become aware of your body from the top of your head, and move down, relaxing each muscle, and releasing all tension on the way. If you are doing this early in the morning, face the sun. Chanting Gayatri Mantra before starting Surya Namaskar is optional, but beneficial. 

With the help of this awareness, feel the vital currents of your body moving up and down throughout your body. Allow yourself to be relaxed and comfortable. Stay in the state of awareness for a few minutes before you start the practice of Surya Namaskar. Once you feel the bodily indication to begin practicing the poses, start. 

Step 1 – Pranamasana

(Normal Breathing, Prayer Pose) Keep both your feet together and close your eyes. Join your palms over your chest forming the Namaskar Mudra. Awareness is the key. Feel the pressure in your chest area. Pray in gratitude to the Sun. Chant Gayatri Mantra if you feel comfortable. Keep yourself calm and relaxed. 

Step 2 – Hasta Utthanasana

(Inhale, raise arms above your head) Raise your arm above your head and stretch. Your palms should be facing upwards. Try to stretch as far as you can. Keep shoulders apart and arms separate. Your back should arch, and your whole body should stretch upward. Also stretch the head as far back as possible. Bring awareness to the curve of your body forms on your upper back. 

Step 3 – Padahastasana

(Exhale, bend forward, touch ground)Bend forward. Your hands should touch the floor on either side of your feet. You can also try to touch your knees with your head. Make sure your legs are straight. Focus on your pelvis. Keep the back straight. 

Step 4 – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

(Inhale, bring chest forward, push right leg backward) Keep both hands touching the ground. Extend your right leg backward,and bend your left knee forward. Your right leg knee should touch the floor, and toes should be comfortably tucked under. Bring pelvis forward, chest out, and look up. Focus in between your eyebrows. 

Step 5 – Parvatasana

(Exhale, position left leg back with right leg) With palms supporting your upper torso, place your left food with the right foot. At the same time, raise your pelvis forming a mountain position. Your head should be between your arms. Make sure your legs are straight, heels grounded to the floor. Keep your awareness around the neck area.