Posts Tagged ‘zen living’

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

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

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for October 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Astrologically speaking October is a very dynamic month of change with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aries on the 18th and a Mercury Retrograde pattern beginning on the 21st.  First let’s tackle the Eclipse. At the time of the Full Moon, the Earth will stand in-between the two luminaries keeping the light of the Sun from reaching and reflecting off of the surface of the Moon, thus creating a Lunar Eclipse. We can’t deny there are physical repercussions as the electromagnetic pulses are temporarily disrupted. Psychologically there are effects as well – mostly positive.

All eclipses are harbingers of change, but Lunar Eclipses, usually indicate we have come to the culmination or ending of a project, relationship or endeavor. Eclipses act like wild cards bringing new people, opportunities or events into our lives that prompt and guide us to make big changes. Many people report eclipses feel like their internal systems have been rebooted. It’s the chance to clean out some old “programming” and make a clean start. Even when an eclipse drops something in our lives that seems “out of the blue” or surprising, when all is said and done, we often realize the change is exactly what we needed.

Mercury, the planet of thinking and communication, will make its third and final retrograde cycle of 2013 starting this month. This one is in the mysterious, sensitive, complex, and psychological sign of Scorpio. Scorpio represents our need for cathartic change and transformation and the need for intense and passionate involvement. Minds and hearts will come together to reveal some amazing insights!

Both events – the Lunar Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde – have change as a common denominator. We don’t always have control of the changes in the world around us, but we do have the ability to choose our interpretation and use events as valuable learning devices on our way to earning our PhDs in Earth School. Enjoy the ride. I’ll be back with you next month to talk about the Eclipse of new beginnings – a New Moon Solar Eclipse on November 3rd. I’ll leave you with the words of Viktor E. Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, 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 daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

45

Pembroke Springs Retreat – Japan meets the country Bed & Breakfast

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

A weekend getaway is a great way to unwind and reenergize. A popular alternative to the traditional hotel is a Bed & Breakfast. Bed and Breakfasts often provide a much homier feel as well as personal touches and attention. Nestled on 175 acres of beautiful forest and surrounded by mountains is The Pembroke Springs Retreat.  Located in Star Tannery, Virginia, this serene B&B provides a country feel with distinctive touches of Japan.

The Retreat features five rooms, each with gorgeous mountain views.  Each room is decorated in a separate theme and has its own bathroom.  Guests are provided Yukata (Japanese bathrobes) to enjoy during their stay.  In the morning guests are treated to an authentic Japanese breakfast. This typically includes grilled fish, rice, seaweed, vegetables, egg, miso soup and fruit.  Guests may request an American style breakfast and the innkeepers will accommodate vegans.

During the day, guests can enjoy nature walks on the miles of trails on the property, observing the abundant wildlife and taking in the amazing views of the mountains.  Play a game of tennis on the all-weather tennis court or fish in the pond for bluegill and bass. The area is rich in history, from both the French and Indian wars to the Civil War.   There are endless antique stores in nearby areas.

One of the highlights of the retreat, are the two large Japanese baths which are fed with their natural spring waters. The ofuro has been used by the Japanese for centuries to alleviate both physical and spiritual maladies.  This ancient technique of immersion in hot water removes tensions, stress and soothes muscular pains.

While each of the five rooms has a variance of features, the Sunrise room brings Japan to you.  Facing the east and overlooking the forest, this splendid room features shoji screens, tatami mats and a horigotatsu or sunken table.

While the area hosts a variety of restaurants within a half hour drive, guests won’t want to miss dinner service (check availability). You can view images of the tasty meals presented by an obviously very talented chef on Facebook [www.facebook.com/pages/Pembroke-Springs-Retreat/107360610655]. These dishes are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious.  The innkeepers of this Bed & Breakfast jewel are Walter and Taeko Floyd.  The manager is Lisa Floyd.  To learn more about Pembroke Springs Retreat, visit their website http://pembrokesprings.com.bath