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Health & Fitness

The Art Of Silence: Meditation Techniques

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In today’s fast-paced world, many people are seeking a way to get away from it all and relax. Meditation, which is essentially a method to obtain a level of deep thought and relaxation, is one way to find inner peace and tranquility. Many people think of monks or other spiritual types sitting in crossed-leg position and reaching states of bliss when they think of meditation, but there are many ways to meditate. While there are many ways to reach a meditative state, there really are no right or wrong ways to meditate (this would defeat the purpose), only practice and finding ways that feel right for you.

Meditation is associated with many religions, but one does not need to be associated with any particular religion in order to meditate. You might want to investigate different methods, however, to find a form of meditation that feels most comfortable. One common method includes repeating a sound or word, called a mantra. Other forms of meditation involve focusing on a visual image, such as the flame of a candle or a symbol. Other meditative techniques involve breathing and physical movements, such as yoga or other breathing practices.

No matter what the method, the tools used in meditation are there to help users reach a state of mental relaxation. Many meditation techniques help you clear your mind of the constant thoughts that normally run through the mind. In reducing or eliminating these thoughts, one can reach a state of deep thought that is associated with meditation.

There are two primary approaches to meditation, which are concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. In concentrative meditation, the practitioner focuses on breath, an object, or a sound (mantra). In mindfulness meditation, the practitioner sits quietly and “observes” everything in the environment, including thoughts, sounds, smells, and more. In this form of meditation, the practitioner practices not reacting to the environment (both internal and external), which can lead to a greater ability to act in a non-reactive way in daily life. Both forms of meditation are useful, and one is no better than the other is. Personal preference may determine which method you choose, and you can always try both.

Both physical and mental benefits can result from meditation. This can include increased heart health through relaxation, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and a more youthful feeling. Mental benefits can be an increased sense of well-being, decreased anxiety and depression, and emotional stability. Meditation should not be used as a cure for physical or mental ailments, however, but it can be a powerful supplement. Those with physical or mental health conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before beginning a meditation practice.

Meditation can be quite physical, such as with some types of yoga, or seemingly passive, such as in mindfulness types of mediation. In addition to the types of meditation, there are different stages as well. Generally speaking, in early stages of meditation, the practitioner is more aware of the practice. He or she may have difficulty concentrating on the breath or not reacting to thought. With practice, this moves into a stage where one is much less aware. This is followed by a stage of bliss, which is followed by a very deep sense of self, followed by an ability to reach a stage of deep stillness.

There are many resources available on meditation. Those new to the practice may opt to take part in a class or guide when beginning. Others may prefer to read up on the various options and practice on his or her own. Visit the local library for books and resources or visit a yoga or spiritual center. Meditation can be an enjoyable experience and provide balance to an otherwise hectic life.

Health & Fitness

Eight Amazing Benefits of Teaching Yoga

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Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

Job Satisfaction
In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that “My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.” Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

Also, check out: Danica Patrick has a strong Yoga game

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.

There’s always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.

Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers

Your self-esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self-improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without a headache or a backache they came in with.

Your Own Health
As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

There is no Shortage of Work
When the working world is in the “9 to 5” mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a
Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don’t have a personal referral.

Continuing Education
Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It’s not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

Time
You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

Independence
Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

Success
No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year.
Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key ñ If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it.

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Health & Fitness

Stay Healthy – Learn To Meditate

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Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.

Also, check out: Effective Gain From Yoga

Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.

This unit has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.

General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:
– Deep inner peace
– Improved self-esteem
– Increased creativity
– Physical health/healing
– Reduced medical care
– Slowing/reversal of aging
– Reversing of heart disease
– Stimulation of the body’s immune system
– Reduced stress

I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.

Meditative Grounding Exercise
– Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.

– Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.

This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.

Energy Cleaning Exercise
Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.

– To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.

– Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.

Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.

Breathing Exercise
– Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.

– If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.

– Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.

– Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.

– Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.

– Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.

Retrieve Your Energy Exercise
Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.

– Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.

– Allow a few minutes for the process.

Journal Questions:
1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having ñ emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.

2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?

Ideas To Consider:

1. Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.

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Health & Fitness

4 Muscle Recovery Methods You Need to Know

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Everyone who participates in daily, weekly, or even monthly workouts knows one thing: it takes a physical toll on your muscles. When you work out, you are literally tearing your muscles so that they will rebuild better and stronger. In order to have your muscles rebuild in a better form, you need to take care of your body during and after your workout. Here I will provide four tips scientifically proven to speed up the process of recovery to rebuild muscle.

Also, Check out: “A Better You” Your 7 Days Program to Self-Improvement

1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Although sleep and performance may not seem correlated, it is proven that those who get more sleep are better prepared for their workouts and can better perform protein synthesis during their time asleep.

2. Consume Protein Before Bed
By consuming a lightweight protein snack before bed, you are giving your body the nutrients you need to rebuild muscle overnight. This can lead to faster recovery since your body puts those nutrients to work more efficiently when there is more accessible to them.

3. Consume Protein in the Morning
Since you have already used up the protein snack you had before bed during your rest, it is time to refuel your body and start afresh the next day. Make sure that you consume enough protein throughout the day to be able to recover during and after your workout.

4. Drink Lots of Water
Of course, one of the most obvious tips to recovery is to drink water. Water is a man’s best friend when it comes to working out. Whether it is because you lose bodily fluids throughout the day from sweating or you are dehydrated, it is always a great idea to give your body access to a sufficient amount of water. If you are dehydrated and begin to drink only a bit of water, your muscles retain that water in order to recover. This can add a few pounds on the scale due to what is popularly known as water weight. This is the perfect reason to drink water as you go instead of trying to make up for a day’s worth of workouts in one cup.

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