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10 Ways to Practice Self-Love

Start with these 10 ways to practice self-love. Ten. Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. Nine. Go to bed at the same time…

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Start with these 10 ways to practice self-love.

Ten.

Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others.

Nine.

Go to bed at the same time as often as you can and allow 7-8 hours of rest nightly.

Eight.

Eat real food. Eliminate anything that comes out of a package or box from your diet.

Seven.

Get 10 minutes of exercise daily: take a walk at lunch or after dinner.

Six.

Drink water throughout your day.

Five.

Spend 10 minutes of your day in silence. Close your eyes and rest your senses.

Four.

Consider letting go of the past, contemplate what a life free of resentment and regret would provide.

Three.

Once a week do an activity just for you, take yourself out on an adventure, it doesn’t have to cost a thing or take up much time. Schedule it and keep the appointment with yourself.

Two.

Journal. Journal your thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Look back periodically at what you wrote and get to know yourself through the words on the pages.

One.

Share some of your time or fortune with someone who needs assistance.


How do you practice self-love? Let us know in the comments below!

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Yoga for Weight Loss – Does it work?

How does the body lose weight? – The body gains and loses weight based on the amount of food (a.k.a. calories) it uses to metabolize…

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How does the body lose weight?

The body gains and loses weight based on the amount of food (a.k.a. calories) it uses to metabolize to keep the body thriving. If a person consumes more food and drink than needed, the body eliminates the fiber and excess nutrients in the feces and urine, respectively, and stores the excess fats. In order for the body to lose weight, it must be under one of the two circumstances. One, the body loses weight when the food it intakes equates to less calories than the energy it needs to thrive. The second circumstance is that the body loses weight when the amount of energy it uses is higher than the amount of calories that it intakes.

Can Yoga Assist in Weight Loss?

Considering how the body loses weight we can look at the question of whether or not yoga can assist in weight loss. The answer to that is not a clear cut yes or no. First, a yogi must tally body weight, the amount of calories that he or she consumes daily, then subtract the amount of calories used during the week including the yoga practice he or she is following. For example, if Serena weighs 155 pounds, consumes 2,000 calories a day and practices yoga twice a week (a one hour Hatha Yoga class for a woman at 155 lbs will use up 298 calories) she will burn 596 calories of the 14,000 that she intakes weekly. Depending on her physical activity for the rest of the week, she may or may not lose weight practicing yoga. If she has a sedentary life, as most Americans do, working at a desk, driving a car and watching a few hours of TV each night, we can assume no weight loss will be realized. If however, if she lives an active life or reduces the amount of calories she intakes, we can assume that she may realize a stabilization of body mass, if not experience some weight loss.

The Real Deal

If you reduce the amount of food and drink that you consume compared to the energy you use or you increase the amount of energy your body uses above the the energy it intakes, weight loss will occur, with yoga or otherwise. Without knowing your weight, weekly intake of energy and use of energy, I couldn’t tell you whether you could lose weight using yoga, that is a very personalized calculation. What I can express is this: yoga is utilized optimally as a philosophy more than a physical practice. Within the context of yogic philosophy, one is on a journey to be connected with the self. A regular practice of yoga, tuning into the self, will assist in most goals in life, whether that goal is to trim down body mass, reduce stress, increase innovative thoughts or remain strong and flexible as the body ages.

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The Benefits of Meditation

Why Meditate? – The benefits of meditation are undeniable. Meditation calms the mind. From the moment we awake and open our eyes…

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Why Meditate?

The benefits of meditation are undeniable. Meditation calms the mind. From the moment we awake and open our eyes until we put ourselves to bed, it’s typical to have a stream of thoughts flowing through our minds. This is why we practice yoga and part of yoga, as a whole, is meditation. When the mind is calmed by meditating we can balance our emotions, quiet our thoughts and create a higher level of self-awareness.

How to Meditate

There is no secret mystery to meditation. Just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, meditation takes some basic, initial instruction and then it takes practice to enjoy the benefits. Anyone can meditate. Meditation is free. Meditation can be done anywhere. Meditation can be done anytime. You can take a class at a meditation center or a yoga studio if you’d like to have a personal guide. Pilgrimage Online offers great, free resources for meditating you can find HERE.

Avoid the Pitfalls of a Newbie Meditating

Try meditation and then try it again and again. Don’t be concerned that you aren’t doing it right. At first, it may seem odd to to take no other actions outside of sitting and breathing. The stillness may be uncomfortable, initially, as most of us have zero experience with quiet time in our day. You may find that sitting quietly highlights just how active your mind is and that might be uncomfortable. The odd discomfort of being new to meditation is only temporary. It’s normal. Remember: you’re trying something new so give yourself some space to learn and grow.

Getting to Know the Real You

When you meditate, you take time to just be you. Not the you that has a name that was given at birth. Not the you that wears clothes in the style that is acceptable to society. Not the you that has emails to read and to-do lists to complete. In meditation, you see you for who you really are: the being, or soul, some might say, that is behind the thoughts. Your thoughts and who you are, are two separate things.

Letting Go

When you see yourself, sitting quietly and letting go of the racing mind, you will feel a sense of contentment and calm. You will see that all there ever is, is right now. Yesterday and what will happen in the next hour don’t exist when you are in the right now, being you. In fact, meditation prepares you for the future. People who meditate regularly are more innovative on average. Meditation also helps you heal from the past. Taking that time to sit quietly helps you release what you’re holding onto: thoughts and emotions about the past.

A New Practice

If you are new to meditation or renewing your interest in meditation, I invite you to meditate for at least 3-5 minutes this week, then again next week and so on. I invite you to start a regular practice of meditation and, in turn, gain the most valuable of benefits: a higher level of self-awareness.

If you found this information helpful or have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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Namaste and its Meaning

You’ve undoubtedly heard your yoga instructor greet you with, “Namaste.” As you’re guided through the practice you’ll hear Sanskrit…

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You’ve undoubtedly heard your yoga instructor greet you with, “Namaste.” As you’re guided through the practice you’ll hear Sanskrit words mixed in amongst our shared English language. Years of practice may go by before you begin to pay attention to the Sanskrit words and wonder about their meaning. Naturally, new yogis are more focused on the getting into and out of the poses with proper alignment and less interested in the foreign terms being used in class. Then, one day when you’ve gotten in and out of Warrior II with ease and grace, a word you’ve heard tens of times before, like Namaste, suddenly becomes your focus and you wonder, for the first time about it’s meaning.

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Two Parts to Namaste

Namaste is broken down into two parts. Nama means ‘to bow’ and te means ‘to you.’ Usually Namaste is said while hands are in Anjali Mudra, otherwise known as Prayer Pose or Salutation Seal. The palms are pressed lightly together at heart center, thumbs resting on or above the chest near the heart, head bows. It’s a respectful way to salute another person.

When I say Namaste to students I use the gesture to silently communicate, “I see you and the light within you. I see me in you and I see that we are one.” It’s a way to connect with another person, bow with respect to all that they are and all that they have been though in this life. It’s a way to unite with each other, at the same level and recognize we are all one.

What sanskrit words are you hearing in class? Let me know in a comment below.

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How you can set an intention for your yoga practice

What does setting an intention mean? – You may have heard your yoga instructor invite you to “set an intention” at the beginning of class…

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What does setting an intention mean?

You may have heard your yoga instructor invite you to “set an intention” at the beginning of class. Setting an intention isn’t an ancient practice. It’s not one of the 8 limbs of yoga. You won’t find it in the Bhagavad Gita. So why does your teacher mention this in class? What does it mean to set an intention?

Set Out Into Life with an Intention

Setting an intention is a reminder that what you do for an hour on the mat is preparing you for the 23 other hours of the day when you’re off the mat. Most of the day you are dealing with life – work, school, relationships, money, traffic, parking, the list is endless. When you head out into your life without an intention, things can get fraught with difficulties.

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If you set out into life with an intention, such as: peace, love, acceptance, or patience, the incidences of your day are seen through a sort of intention filter. Like a pair of sunglasses that you put on and it changes the way you see things. If you can’t find parking and you’re running 5 minutes late for an appointment, the whole situation looks and feels differently if you have the intention of acceptance and patience.

Other People’s Experience

 Other people’s experience of you will be colored by your intention as well. Rather than being stressed and angry after arriving 5 minutes late, your intention has you focused and calm. Nothing has changed, life didn’t suddenly get easier, but your intention allows you to cruise through the big and small battlefields of life with less resistance and more ease.

Begin Your Day with an Intention

Try setting an intention at the beginning of your next yoga practice. Something that you would like to cultivate more of in your life off the mat. As you breath in, image that you can draw into your lungs and body the essential qualities needed to create that intention in your life. As you exhale, breath those qualities out into the room, the people around you, into your city and ultimately into the world.

What intention are you setting for your life while on the mat? How is it changing your life off the mat? Let me know in a comment below. 

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3 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

On the first night of my Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 the head instructor asked me what was going on with me physically and…

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On the first night of my Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 the head instructor asked me what was going on with me physically and spiritually. I told her I hadn’t been sleeping well, wanted a better night’s sleep and there was a lot on my mind at the time. The projects I was working on filled my head as soon as I laid down at night. She gave me a yoga prescription for my sleeplessness and told me to do Halasana (a.k.a. Plow) right before bed. She explained that I must make sure this pose truly is the last thing I do before sleep, i.e. teeth brushed, no more communicating with family or on my phone, lights out, pajamas on. I took the prescription and it worked. There are countless poses that reduce insomnia. Here are a few.

Halasana

Halasana is a pose done while lying on your back. Set yourself up to create a strong base in the back of your shoulders and arms, just as you would in Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand). Kick your legs overhead and press your toes into the floor behind you. Stay in the pose for up to 5 minutes and slowly draw the legs back over head and return them to the floor. This pose is therapeutic as it calms the mind. A calm mind reduces stress and anxiety.

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Uttanasana

Uttanasana (a.k.a. Standing Forward Fold) is a standing pose. From Tadasana (Mountain Pose) inhale and raise your arms up alongside your ears. Exhale and fold forward from the hip, keeping the spine long, as the crown of head lowers to the floor. If your hamstrings are tight, keep a bend in the knee to avoid rounding in the spine. This pose diminishes insomnia through the therapeutic properties of inversion.

Sukhasana

Sukhasana (a.k.a. Easy Pose) is a seated pose. Sit on the ground or a block. Adjust your seat height so that your hips are higher than your knees. Cross the legs at the shin, knees wide apart, heels of the feet are tucked under the opposite leg. Rest your hands, either palms up or down, on your legs. Sit up well, with a tall spine. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, drawing long, controlled inhales into and out of your nose. Stay seated in this pose for up to 5 minutes. The act of taking time to sit and solely focus on breath cultivates a high level of mental clarity.

If you’re experiencing sleepless nights, try one of these poses right before you lay down to sleep tonight. If it works for you, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a note below in the comments section.

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