Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Three ways yoga can improve your relationship.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

If you’re wondering how you can improve your relationship with your partner, here are some tips to start now. If you already have a loving relationship, these principles can help maintain the magnitude of a loving relationship by allowing growth on many levels. So get your partner & begin today.

1. Principles to Reinforce Your Partnership

The first of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga are the Yamas. These encompass universal morality and respect for all living things, or Ahimsa (non violence). This means that kindness and friendliness should be exhibited in all situations dealing with living beings. Kindness is contagious, and if you’re able to treat complete strangers with empathy and respect, it will be that much easier to do the same with your partner.

Deceit and lies are two common elements of bad marriages and relationships. They’re detrimental in broken relationships and have the potential to shatter the love. Satya refers to speaking the truth as long as it does not hurt someone. When combined with Ahimsa, honesty trumps deliberate deception. For instance, telling your partner about an extra-marital affair would be extremely hurtful, but carrying on a fake relationship is harmful to all, including the third party individual.

Aparigraha is the Yamas principle that encourages divestment of materialism. Hoarding wealth beyond what you and your family need implies a self-centeredness that is inherently detrimental to relationships. Buy a homeless person a meal if you can afford it or help someone in need. Furthermore, gifts for your partner should be about the thought as opposed to the long-term value. For example, buying flowers or treating your partner to his or her favorite meals create lasting memories without the acquisition of material things.

2. Sexual Vitality

A 2013 study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that participants in long-term relationships were motivated to have an intimate relationship because it was important to their partner. In other words, people will be intimate even when they don’t want to if it makes their significant other happy. Granted, waiting in the beginning of a relationship can help to strengthen emotional bonds and commitment to one another, but a major challenge in long-term relationships is keeping everything interesting and fresh. And that’s where yoga comes into play.

A 2010 study published by the Harvard Medical School found that women experienced more pleasure and arousal after 12 weeks of yoga practice. Psychology Today cited a study from a yoga camp that found men ages 24 to 60 experience similar benefits after several yoga sessions. A yoga date every week can only improve your relationship it seems!

3. Shape Up

A study by yogi Alan Kristal and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that people who did one yoga session per week for four years lost five pounds versus the non-yogis who gained 14 pounds. Kristal credited yoga’s mind-body principles, which helped change the participants’ relationship with food and eating. Yoga also can help you quit smoking and get better sleep at night. Both will promote healthier looking skin, whiter smiles and positive emotions; all of which will help build your confidence in relationships.

Yoga connects you with the truths of the here and now. Likewise the focus of healthy relationships is the present, not the past or future. Incorporating yoga into your regular life ensures beautiful memories with your partner and promotes a future of love and commitment. And all of us can use love as a catalyst for growth on many levels.

Isn’t to day a good day to begin? Let yoga make Love!

-Brian Wilkins

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10 Ways to Live Life in a Calm Manner

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

1. Celebrate often.

Life is too short not to celebrate every chance we are given. Making the effort to attend class, attempting a challenging asana, or just shaking your hips in downward dog, are all reasons and opportunities to celebrate life and being one with your body.

2. Laugh at embarrassment.

We have all farted in a work meeting, or walked around with toilet paper on our shoe at a bar, or even fallen while walking up the stairs in the subway.  In the same vein, falling out of a balancing pose, bumping another practitioner, or hitting the floor with a thud coming out of handstand is all part of the practice.  It’s life, we’re human, and it’s okay.

3. Be trustworthy. Do not lie.

It is almost never okay to lie…even white lies should be used sparingly. The truth always comes out. Your word is you (your integrity) and once you lose it (your morality), sometimes there is no getting it back.

4. Choose the people in your life.  

The people you choose to keep in your life are a reflection of you. We will become more like them and they will become more like us. Choose carefully. Therefore, if negative people are in your life, you are part of that negativity that definitely affects you thus if you choose positive, loving people, you are just that, loving and positive.

5. Yoga and dancing are the cheapest forms of therapy you will find.

Putting on a great song (country for me) and dancing like a fool or rolling out my mat for a few sun salutations without fail makes me feel better.  You can do either anywhere you are and in a “crap” economy, these are great ways to save money on therapy and Xanax.

6. Check in.

I like to ask myself from time to time, “Emily, if you died tomorrow, would you be happy with your life?” Most often, I say, “Yes, I have had a great life and although I may not have done everything on my bucket list, I had a good run of it.”  If I do not answer in the affirmative, then I make a change. Do not avoid what you do not like in your life, check in, notice it, accept it, change it.

7. Take care of your bod.

This has been one of the biggest changes in my life as a result of yoga. We are only given one body and no amount of re-lifting, plumping, whitening, or tanning is going to do for your bod what you can do all by yourself. Take care of your body now and it will take care of you later.

8. You are one of a kind. Own it.

I continue to struggle with this one but never the less it is something I strive towards and deem crucial in living a gingerly life. Society loves things that are “one of a kind.” The idea that if there are only a few or only one of something it is better, valuable, and a luxury. But we forget that we are ALL one of a kind! We are life’s greatest luxury! Know this and own it.

9. Listen to your heart and intuition.

As I grow, I am learning just how powerful intuition is and how loudly your heart speaks to you if you listen. Your head can play tricks on you but your heart is usually spot on.

10. It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.

Appreciate every day and challenge yourself to be happy.

~ by Emily Schall

Bright future

10 Startling Facts About Fast Food

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

fasAfter reading this you may never want to eat at a fast “food” restaurant again, these incredible but true facts are enough to make many avoid these places for good! Here are 10 disgusting facts about fast food!

1. McDonald’s strawberry milkshakes utilize a ridiculous concoction of 50 chemicals including ethyl acetate, phenethyl alcohol, and solvent to imitate the flavor of real strawberries.

2. Chicken? More like a disgusting sludge of pink paste- it goes through a chemical process causing excessive bacteria, so it’s washed in ammonia then re-flavored with more chemicals and dyed. You may want to think twice before ordering nuggets, tenders, or other chicken bites.

3. The average fast food patron eats 12 pubic hairs in a given year.

4. The FDA approves an average of 30 insect fragments, including rodent hair, per 100 grams of peanut butter.

5. Shellac is used to enhance the shine of wooden furniture, but you can also find it in your delicious jellybeans, it’s used to improve the shine.

6. The FDA approved the use of bacteriophages on processed food like lunch meat and hot dogs.

7. Each can of coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, much more than what your body can process in a day, another additive, called phosphoric acid, cuts the level of sugar so that you don’t vomit automatically after drinking a can.

8. Fast food’s ‘healthiest’ choice is a salad packed with antifreeze’s chemical compound, Propylene Glycerol, which causes eye and skin irritation.

9. Many fast food chicken items contain beef additives, listed as extract or essence, used to enhance flavor and change health statistics.

10. Any cheese product labeled as processed is packed with additives, chemicals, and flavoring, it’s actually 49% of the product, half of the product has nothing to do with cheese.

~ Source: Positivemed

Five ways to get fit & lose weight with housework

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In a gym rut? Too cold to run outside? Unmotivated with your fitness? It happens. Fortunately, you can still manage to keep up with a yogic lifestyle, burn calories and get the heart pumping right at home — without exercising…yes, indeed with your housework! Here’s how to clean up the house and get chores done while working the bod at the same time.

Yoga-Inspired Chores

35 is known for not only being a yogi, but a yogi who practices yoga anywhere, anytime, even during housework. The wife of Alec Baldwin, yoga instructor and mom can be found posing around the home while cooking, ironing or doing laundry. And Hilaria shares all of it on her Instagram account @hilariabaldwin. In utkata konasana, Hilaria waters her plant in the sink. She loads the dishwasher with dirty dishes posing in a variation of vasisthasana. Even the dreaded ironing gets done while in gorakshasana. Give your yoga mat a break, and call yoga chores wellness multitasking at its best. Tackle the to-do list while relaxing the body and settling the mind? Easy.

Car Maintenance

Rather than spend $15 at the car spa to make your car look pristine, clean it yourself at home and burn some extra calories. Washing, drying and waxing your car by hand can get you moving and work up a sweat. Don’t forget to wash the windows and tires with special cleaners as well. “Wash your car regularly,” recommends The Art of Manliness. Using your biceps to clean car surfaces prevents corrosion from elements like sun, grease, grime, acid rain and dead bugs. Also, declutter, tidy up and vacuum the interior as a workout bonus.

Carpet Cleaning

To some people, vacuuming is practically a recreational activity and making straight carpet lines is like creating a proud masterpiece. To others, vacuuming is a dreaded chore that happens once every six months to a year, if that. Up and down the stairs lugging the vacuum. The dog barks and attacks the machine with such abhorrence. It’s laborious, and not a good time. But vacuuming can actually burn on average 238 calories, which is equal to the number of calories in a french fry order. Boost your calorie burn (and make your carpet look spotless) by removing stains and giving your carpet a deep clean.

Washing Dishes

You have friends over, which means it’s time to start training for this epic moment of the dinner aftermath! The dirty plates. The clean up. Washing dishes serves dual after-dinner purposes. Not only are you cleaning up, you’re standing up and moving around, which aids the food coma. Washing dishes can burn 85 calories in a half hour. In holiday dinner terms for example, 85 calories is most likely not much compared to how much you ate. But the chore can earn you an afternoon nap.

Chopping Wood

As you mimic Hilaria’s yoga moves around the house, invite your man to get fit with housework too. Greatist.com lists chopping wood as a heart-pumping way to strength train outside the gym. In time, the rugged outdoors and arduous task of wood chopping will transform him right into Paul Bunyan, really. Hauling and splitting firewood is a killer workout, and swaying the heavy ax just looks good. One hour of muscle-building lumberjack work can burn up to 500 calories. And wood isn’t the only thing getting carved. He’ll carve his core, arms and back with every piece of chopped firewood and your fire place will look stunning this winter!

By Abby Terlecki

 

7 ways to rest or relax

Friday, November 21st, 2014

It is a complicated world – gone are the days when it was enough to lie down on your mat, shut your eyes and drift off into a blissful relaxation after your yoga practice!

Living and working in a fast paced, technological world means that there is little distinction between day and night. Many people find it difficult to sleep and are looking at ways to restore their energy and alertness. Computer screens, shift work, 24 hour access to entertainment, long commutes are just a few of the challenges to sleep.

Lack of sleep is dangerous to health, leading to accidents and taking its toll on mind and body. Sleep science is a growing field of research increasing knowledge of the problems relating to insomnia and discovering more about the secrets of our nocturnal life.

Relaxation

It is important to recognize and differentiate between sleep and rest. In yoga, teachers traditionally end a practice with relaxation – usually around 15 minutes after a class lasting less than an hour and a half. This allows the body to realign, warm muscles to cool and the mind to calm.

This may be led by a guided relaxation where the teacher provides a soothing commentary – perhaps instructing physical areas of the body to release or using calming words to create a conducive environment to relaxation. Or, the teacher may decide to remain silent and just provide closing instructions at the end of the session.

Sleep

Sleep can be divided into four stages and two distinct states – rapid eye movement (REM) and non REM (deep sleep). The REM state is when the eyes can be seen to move under the eyelids and dreaming occurs. During deep sleep the body slows down, the muscles relax, breathing and heartbeat become slower and blood pressure decreases.

The four stages can, for an adult, be divided into 90-minute cycles. This starts with some light sleep which is roughly half of all sleeping time, then deep sleep, accounting for about 20 per cent, and finally the lighter REM sleep when dreams occur which is about 20 per cent.

It takes around 15 minutes to awake from a deep sleep and become fully alert.

Napping

Napping is a useful skill to develop and can be used anywhere to build up resources when tired. A nap lasts around 15 minutes and leaves you feeling refreshed – any longer and there is a risk of falling into the early stages of sleep and feeling groggy when aroused.

All that is required is a supported position – either seated of lying still – in a quiet uninterrupted space.

Concentration

Concentration can be seen as an entry point to a meditative state. Patanjali describes concentration as ‘fixing the consciousness on one point or region’ and meditation as “the steady, continuous flow of concentration”. Concentration (or centrring) is often used at the beginning of a class to encourage students to settle and connect with the start of the practice. Tools may include awareness of breath or sound or just sitting or lying silently for around 10-15 minutes.

Meditation

There are many ways to meditate, but all have the same purpose – to increase awareness, acceptance and understanding of ourselves, experiences and wider connections in the universe.

Meditation trains the mind to focus on what is real, staying in the present and encouraging a clearer perspective on life and relationships.

Contemplation or meditation (dhyana) involves holding on to an idea in the mind without the mind wandering. This takes practice and time and may involve concentrating on a physical object such as a stone, apple, egg or picture, or meditating on an abstract idea or concept such as love or duty.

Yoga Nidra

In Yoga Nidra, the mind is encouraged to drift and stay in its hypnogogic state which is the transition from wakefulness to sleep or from sleep to wakefulness. During this time, the mind is receptive to sounds and visual images. During Yoga Nidra the mind may also connect with unexplored creativity, intuitions and unexplored creativity.

Guided Yoga Nidra uses tools such as guided visualization including rotation of consciousness and awareness of sensations. It is usually delivered at a speed that encourages the mind to move between images and concepts.

Yoga Nidra can be a profound experience and care should be taken

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga uses props – bolsters, blankets, straps and eye pillows – to place the body in supportive positions for complete physical release. By staying supported in these positions for a longer period (up to half an hour or more depending on the pose) the body and mind are encouraged to relax and readjust.

Restorative yoga can be used as therapy or to provide a deeper relaxation experience.

There are a number of new studios worldwide providing excellent facilities with classes, workshops and training suitable for anyone who wants to learn, or expand their skills.

– Wendy Jacob32

Including Yoga in Your Work Day.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Yoga is an ancient traditional art form of exercise believed to have originated in the Rig Veda. Yoga emphasizes on inner peace and the self-origin of an individual for eternal truth. This form of art is considered great in the form of flexibility and keeping the body and mind free form chaos within. Having a cure for all kinds of ailments and focusing more on the individuals overall health. Incorporating yoga in your day to day activities helps the individual in Reducing stress, control over blood pressure, increased learning and power memory, manages chronic pain.

The best part of yoga is that it can be performed anywhere as the entire focus is on using the individuals energy and efforts which is not depended on any instrument of exercise unlike in gyms. Rather than performing yoga only on specific timings like a morning or evening class, yoga can be performed in small portions throughout the day keeping you energetic and focused all the time.

Few ways of doing yoga throughout the day in small portions

Deep Yogic Breathing 

Taking deep breaths at any given point of time when you are shopping at a grocery store, driving, walking to your workplace, watching TV, attending on conferences etc. Deep breathing calms the heart rate and nervous system and also has an influences the people around you and keeps them calm. Deep breathing forces more oxygen to the brain making you more alert, eloquent when dealing with clients, customers.

Meditation 

Mediation is the key factor in yoga that brings internal peace and bliss. A 5 minute meditation at your work place, college, school, and home can calm your body, mind and make your day more effective. Meditation can be performed in various ways, a simple technique that you can practice is CONCENTRATING ON YOUR BREATH. Close your eyes. Inhale, exhale a one count cycle for each breath, notice the air movement in your body, the belly, nostrils entering and leaving the body. Focus on one point and the see the increased concentration.

Desk Stretching 
A sitting posture e.g. Gomukhasana- cow face pose, stretches the upper body. Seated twist -right, left side stretch with legs shoulder length widened stretching at each side while you inhale and exhale .Shoulder stretch, hip stretch, back bend helps in eliminating physical and mental fatigue. All stretches at one seated place can help you a lot in relaxation.

Yoga at the Lunch Break 

Find an open and quiet place at a park or at your office terrace and perform few yoga asana like Tadasana ( Mountain pose ), Urdhva hastasana (raised arm pose), Uttanasana (standing -forward bend), plank pose, staff pose, Paschimottanasana ( seated forward bend.) These few postures that would energize your body, makes you feel more lighter, eradicating the toxins and increasing concentration.

Courtesy of Flora Cox. Ms. Cox is a part time medical student, who shares her view regarding health issues on many blogs. She is conducting a research on Ehic card (European health insurance card). yg

 

Astrology Soul Coach, July 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

“Go big or go home!”

No, you are not imagining there is a voice within that is screaming now is the time; if you’ve got it flaunt it; or some similar refrain. This month Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system (not including the Sun) leaves family and home-oriented Cancer for the drama and spotlight of Leo. Jupiter changes signs once a year so this is a significant shift in universal energies when the big daddy of them all moves into fiery and self-expressive Leo on July 16th. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and represents how we move past limitations and boundaries. With Jupiter in Leo we are being called to more leadership, self-confidence, generosity, visibility and authenticity. Remember that last one. Leo is nothing if not authentic. Leo loves to shine and is one of the more flamboyant, romantic and playful of the signs.

While Jupiter is in Leo we expand ourselves and enrich our lives when we take risks in the direction of our dreams; accept we were born to light up the planet; and are willing to be great at what we do. Greatness is lurking inside everyone – have you found yours? For more inspiration consider the lion – proud, confident and self-assured. The following people were born when Jupiter was highlighted in Leo, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Bette Davis, Jim Morrison, Yo-Yo Ma, George Lucas, Elizabeth Taylor, Edward Kennedy, Diana Ross, Jimmy Stewart and Eleanor Roosevelt. (Just to name a few!)

This year isn’t about being ostentatious, prideful, or acting superior. It’s about understanding we are each fabulous and spectacular in our own unique and individual way. Find that way and live it.

leoThis is a year to be more visible, more authentic and have a great time doing it!

 Quote of the month: “Be not afraid of Greatness.” William Shakespeare

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be also be heard on “A Course In Miracles with C.A. Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

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Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH April 24, 2014 — Chopa Zen Home and Gift has been selected for the 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Panama City Beach Award Program

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Best online Retailer Award

Best online Retailer Award

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for June 2014

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

In a relatively quiet month at the cosmic dance, one event stands out – a three week Mercury retrograde pattern that starts on Saturday June 7th. This week as an important file magically disappeared from my computer and SKYPE seemed arbitrarily to quit working, I felt the shadow of mass consciousness sneaking up behind me. Having been born when Mercury was traveling backwards, I look forward to them. Generally my experience is one of finding lost items, realizing solutions that evaded me previously, and feeling extraordinarily connected to my intuition.

In thinking about this upcoming cycle and knowing that many people dread them superstitiously like a bad urban myth, I came upon this quote from Albert Einstein, ‘A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.’  It got me thinking about how we humans are often adverse to taking a risk or making a mistake. That certainly didn’t stop Thomas Edison who is famous for saying ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. These creative geniuses had a knack for finding value in every twist, turn and detour. I can’t imagine a little ole Mercury retrograde would have provoked anything but wonder in their minds. 

When the thinking planet of communication does a turnabout, who is to say that the new perspective is not actually the right one? So what if our carefully laid plans get changed? It wouldn’t be so bad to get bumped up to first class on your flight, would it?

Mercury retrograde patterns are times to review, re-evaluate, renew, renovate, restore, refurbish, and re-group. This one which involves both emotional Cancer and mentally dexterous Gemini gives us the opportunity to better integrate our intuition. In fact, many people report, they feel more closely aligned with inner guidance; and experience more synchronicity when Mercury appears to be moving backwards. Open your heart and mind to the wonders of thinking differently. Dare to believe that your life is unfolding perfectly according to right timing.

Quote of the month: Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. (A Course in Miracles)

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be heard on her new show, “A Course In Miracles with CA Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

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Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for May 2014

Monday, May 5th, 2014

In March we discussed the planet Mars and its retrograde motion – which astrologically speaking tells us it’s a time for planning, designing and getting all our ducks in a row. This month, Mars, the planet of action, is ready to move forward again. Are you? Heading into May we are also under the powerful influence of a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Taurus the sign of creativity and manifestation. It’s definitely time to throw off the hibernation habits of winter and get going!

During May it’s important to do the necessary clutter clearing and releasing to get back to basics. Time to get serious about what we want to create and build in our lives. This might include examining not only the stuff in our lives but our attitudes as well. Are we playing offense or defense? A successful strategy includes a little of both, but we need to make sure we are not living our present moments based on past decisions. If a choice is still valid – it’s also a great time to reaffirm that commitment.

New Moon Solar Eclipses are harbingers of change. They often precipitate both endings and new beginnings. It’s time to do that spring cleaning in our homes, offices and in every area of our lives. It’s time to release old patterns, habits and ‘stuff’ that no longer reflects our current lifestyle or our future. In July, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, will make a bold move as it enters the dramatic sign of Leo for a year. It’s a call for each of us to step on stage with new levels of self-expression that reflect greater authenticity. Will you be ready?

This month we’ll notice an uptake in the energy (Venus in Aries is on fire!) as Mars moves into direct motion again and any sense of stagnation seems to be cleared away. Put away the excuses; the energy at the cosmic dance is moving and shaking!

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be heard on her new show, “A Course In Miracles with CA Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

Bright futureca@cabrooks.com

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