Sunday, August 23, 2020

5 Yoga Poses That Beat the Heat

 This cooling, calming sequence will leave you feeling lighter.
The dog days of summer are officially here, and you might find yourself feeling overheated, frazzled, and frustrated. Soothing, grounding yoga poses can help you  stand taller, and have a cooler head. 
Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)
From, seated bring one side hip as close as possible to the baseboard of the wall, swing your legs up the wall until you are reclined on your back with your hips close to the wall. Extend your legs up the wall. You can bend your knees slightly, especially if your hamstrings feel tight. This posture is good for low back pain and revitalizing the body. Optional prop: A folded blanket can feel really great under your sacrum. Remain in the pose for 5-20 minutes. 

Anantasana (Side-Reclining Pose)
Lie on the floor on your right. Press actively through your right heel, flex the ankle, and use the outside of the foot to stabilize the position. Bend your right elbow and support your head in your palm. Slide the elbow away from your torso to stretch the armpit. Externally rotate your left leg so the toes point toward the ceiling, then bend and draw the knee toward your torso. Step the left foot outside of your right knee. 
Optional: Reach across the inside of the leg and take hold of the left big toe with your index and middle fingers. Secure the grip by wrapping the thumb around the two fingers. (If you're not able to comfortably hold the toe, loop a strap around the sole and hold the strap.) On an inhale, extend the leg up toward the ceiling. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes, then repeat on the other side. 

Parighasana (Gate Pose)
Stand on your knees. You could pad your knees with a mat or blanket. Elongate your right leg out to the right, with the heel of your foot on the floor and your toes stretching away from your body. Make sure the right leg is straight, with the knee facing the ceiling and the ankle in line with your right hip. Ground the right foot strongly. Place the left knee directly below the left hip.
Stretch both arms out to your sides, palms facing downward. In your front body, reach from your sternum through your chest muscles, lengthening along your biceps all the way into your thumbs. Be careful not to poke your rib cage forward. Feel the back body extend from the thoracic spine into the pinkies. Inhale and feel some lightness in the side body; exhale and bend at the waist, dropping the right palm down to the lower right leg and stretching the left arm up, palm facing downward. This pose energizes and lightens the side body and invites the breath to become truly three-dimensional. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes, then repeat on the other side. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

16 Habits of Happy People

Happiness does not come from money, a perfect body, or even your ideal spouse.
Many say that true happiness comes from within – but is there a secret to drawing this happiness outward? The truth is that happy people tend to follow a few key habits, and these habits create equanimity, space, and a sense of fulfillment in life, regardless of their exterior circumstances.

Here are 16 habits of happy people: 

1. They stay social

Keep the relationships that are a positive influence and make time to visit with those individuals. Happy and successful people surround themselves with like-minded individuals. This also means letting go of any relationships that are negative or draining.

2. They don’t sweat the small stuff

Shake it off! If the problem you are upset about will be irrelevant in a year, month, week, or even a day – why even bother to sweat it in the first place?

3. They enjoy simple pleasures

The best things in life are free. Take time to notice the sunset, flowers blooming, or a child’s laughter. When we take time to stop and smell the roses, we enable ourselves to experience bursts of happiness.

4. They meditate

Even if it is for just 5 minutes a day – take time to meditate to calm your nerves and support your inner peace. This will also help you work through negative thoughts and emotions in a positive, healthy way.

5. They practice gratitude

A way to deal with stress and the bad moments is to approach each situation with gratitude. By acknowledging what we are thankful for, we bring our focus back to all the good that’s already in our lives, which is the basis for attracting more good things.

6. They see things a bit diffently

Anytime the word “problem” comes into your mind, change your outlook to see it as an opportunity to change your life for the better. Words like “problem” and “impossible” can be easily erased from your vocabulary.
 People who are truly happy don’t have problems, they have challenges. They don’t see things as impossible, they know that if they want it bad enough it can be done.

7. They embrace reality

Nothing is ever perfect, and we have to learn to accept what we cannot change. Happy people learn that in order to move forward, we need to go through setbacks. Happy people are ok with this and accept it as simply part of the process. 


8. They live in the present

Be present! Do not waste your energy by dwelling on something that has already happened, or be anxious about something that may not happen at all. Take the time to be in the here and now. You’ll experience so much more out of life!

9. They don’t hold grudges

When you hold a grudge, you are holding onto negative emotions like hate and anger. This takes up space and energy that could be spent on something worthwhile. We need to forgive and forget to build upon our foundation of happiness.

10. They don’t give excuses

Do not blame anyone else for your actions – take responsibility instead. Remember to use failures as moments of opportunities and a time for a change – this is empowering. Everything is figureoutable, so no excuses!

11. They treat themselves

When something really good happens, reward yourself! Happy people treat themselves as someone that deserves to be celebrated. You are worthy – remember that.

12. They dream big

Never limit yourself, or create restrictions. When you dream big, you become more positive and optimistic, which gives you the push and power to do absolutely anything you desire.

13. They take ownership

Never let anyone dictate how you should live your life! Taking ownership in all areas of your life allows you to have much more control over the outcome and is incredibly empowering and rewarding.

14. They eat well

Your body is a temple! Junk food can make you feel lazy and apathetic. When you eat right, your body feels right, which can help prime your mind and increase energy levels.
 Eat less sugar. You’re already sweet enough.

15. They are kind

This quote by Wendy Mass puts being kind into perspective: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Spreading kindness is contagious and it also produces feel-good hormones.


16. They do yoga

The time spent on your mat can make you feel more satisfied in all areas of your life. Physical exercise has been proven to reduce stress, and a consistent yoga practice also helps cultivate a positive mindstate. Inversion poses in particular are great for stimulating your brain and increasing serotonin levels.



There you have it – 16 habits to be the happiest version of yourself. You can be happy starting now, and no one can stop you except for yourself. Go out in the world, and start living! Smile – happiness looks gorgeous on you!!



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

15 Benefits of Walking Meditation

 When Sir Isaac Newton described the natural Law of Motion, he observed that bodies in motion tend to stay moving unless another force acts on it. Newton was referring to celestial bodies, but the same law applies to human bodies. Do you regularly keep your body moving, or does the cozy recliner often get in your way? Sir Isaac probably did not have walking meditation in mind when he developed his theory, but it certainly is a healthy habit to try.

Fitness experts have recommended walking as an ideal exercise for losing weight and toning your body. Walking is part of our daily activities, and it’s something that almost anyone can do. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can walk anywhere.


If you want to boost the benefits of your walking routine, you might consider adding meditation. Walking meditation is an ideal way to improve yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once you get comfortable with meditation, you’ll find that it will come as naturally as walking does.

Also known as mindful walking, walking meditation is a concept steeped into ancient Buddhism. It has been observed in the Buddhist cultures of Eastern Asia and continues to this day. These early cultures understood the inseparable bond between body, mind, and spirit thousands of years before Western science.


You don’t need special training or expensive gym equipment to start reaping the benefits of mindful walking. Whether you are strolling under the gaze of forest trees or taking a short walk to the post office, you can bring mindfulness to every step. These are some basic methods that you can modify to your preference.


Are you inspired by the stunning beauty of nature and breathing fresh air? Parks and forests are excellent places for walking meditation. If you have a city route, you can still notice the colorful houses and other attractive sites along the way. You can even practice while you are walking indoors through long corridors or while shopping in the mall.


Walking is so much of a part of your daily life that you don’t need to think about how to do it. Have you ever noticed the complex patterns of movement that involves your entire body? When you mindfully walk, you become aware of lifting your foot, pushing off with the other, and moving your legs, arms, and head.

While you’re walking, be aware of each breath and your heartbeat. Breathe naturally and intentionally while you inhale positive energy and exhale negativity. Feel your muscles and joints as they work together to move your body forward.


When you are walking, try to focus your mind on the present moment. Notice your breathing and each gentle movement of your body. If your mind wanders, bring it gently back to the present. At this minute, be grateful for who you are and the blessings around you.


You needn’t be a marathon runner to benefit from walking meditation. Medical experts often recommend walking over running since the latter can cause damage to joints and bones. You can pace yourself between a stroll and a quick power walk.

If your legs and arms are moving at an even stride for 30-45 minutes, you can optimize your walking meditation routine. The idea is to get your body and mind moving in sync. You’re not in a competition, and the goal isn’t to exhaust yourself.


Sure, there may be days that you can’t get outdoors to walk because of weather or busy schedules. You can still practice mindful walking while doing household chores or on your job. Simply be conscious of your steps, breathing, and being present in the moment.


Unlike some forms of Western fitness regimens, meditation walking, and other Eastern forms take a holistic approach to well-being. By walking and meditating for about 10,000 steps per day, you may soon notice its positive affect. These are ten benefits that mindful walking may offer.


Did you know that walking is an excellent practice for losing weight, lower blood pressure, and getting your body in shape? Walking helps burn fat, build muscle, and tighten loose skin. As you meditate, you can express gratitude for your body and enjoy the present moment of bringing it optimal health.


Do you want an efficient cardio workout without going to the gym? Walking increases your pulse and breathing, so it’s beneficial for your heart and lungs. Keeping your body moving can also increase and improve circulation throughout your body.


When you do exercises such as mindful walking, it can also reduce your blood glucose levels. If you are trying to control or reverse Type 2 diabetes, it may be a valuable support. Regular walking and meditating have also been shown to lower blood pressure if you have hypertension.


Boredom is the enemy of any healthy habit, including walking. As you blend meditation with your walking routine, you may notice many beautiful things that you’ve failed to see. Notice the sky, trees, and wonders of nature as if you were seeing them for the first time.


Soon, you will look forward to your daily walks and meditations. Practicing gratitude brings you joy and puts the fun into your journey. If your brain perceives a pleasurable activity, you are more apt to turn it into a healthy habit.


Have you ever been inspired by nature or been dazzled by a random idea while walking down a pathway? Mindful walking helps clear your mind of stagnant negativity, and you can experience greater mental clarity. You are also more apt to remember your ideas and creative rushes.


If you tire yourself with physical activity, you will be more ready for a good night’s sleep. However, endless mind chatter may keep you tossing and turning regardless of how exhausted you are. Blending meditation with walking can help soothe your brain and improve your sleep quality.


How do you feel right now? If your body, mind, and spirit are unbalanced, you feel the unrest deep inside your soul. Meditation walking addresses all three aspects of your personality and can offer you a sense of well-being that continues with practice.


For years, people who battled depression weren’t comfortable discussing it because of society’s negative attitudes. Are you among the estimated 7.1 percent of Americans with this prevalent mental illness? In addition to medication and therapy, many professional healthcare providers recommend exercise for their depressed patients.

Mindful walking can increase dopamine production in your brain, which can boost your mood. During your meditative journey, you can practice gratitude and be present. These actions may help you lift through the dark clouds of depression to feel the sunrays of joy.


Like depression, anxiety, and panic are other mental issues that people often decline to discuss. Anxiety is an unseen phantom that haunts your mind with fear and uncertainty. Multiple studies have shown positive results in patients with anxiety who meditate.

Their anxiety and panic levels are often reduced. When they team it with physical exercise like walking, the anti-anxiety benefits were noticeable.


Often, this disorder materializes as a crippling panic attack that makes you feel like you are dying. Sometimes, just worrying about having a panic attack can bring on one. Mindful walking is a great way to minimize panic.


Do you know that sluggish feeling you get after you’ve overdone it at mealtime? No wonder so many people opt for a walk after a heavy dinner. Walking involves your whole body, including your stomach and digestive system.

It can help your food move quickly through your system instead of building up to create painful gas and indigestion. Relaxing your mind with mediation can also ease the nerves and tension in the colon, making you less likely to have constipation.


Your energy level, or metabolism, is dependent on many internal and external variables. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and are steeped in negative thoughts and emotions, your energy levels will be dismal. Addressing physical and mental problems can be the key to a much-needed energy boost.


Are you exhausted from going at a frantic pace each day? Mindful walking can encourage you to relax and slow your life down. It will allow you to enjoy each moment as they come.


When you are out walking and meditating, you can train your mind to concentrate. Your brain will learn to filter stray thoughts. You may see a difference when you are focusing at home, school, or work.


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