May 25, 2019

Quiet Your Mind

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Quiet your mind!

Meditation does not have to happen sitting on the floor, in a quiet room. In fact, meditation or the action of quieting your mind and calming your body can happen anywhere, at any time. Here’s how:

Sit, stand or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes if possible.

Inhale and picture in your mind a place, person, object or space that gives you complete and total peace and calm.

The key is to make the experience “real” in your mind picturing every detail, and involving all of your senses. What do you see, hear, feel, smell?

Perform 3-5 inhale and exhale cycles as you take your mind into your experience fully.

Next open your eyes, shake out your muscles, and enjoy the mental refresh.

12 Minutes to Stress-Free! Written by Jessica Matthews

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Got 12 minutes? 3 Simple Strategies for Stress-Free Surrender!
Written by Jessica Matthews

Busy day at work? Hectic holiday season?  A growing to-do list? Whatever the reason might be, in this fast-paced world it’s not uncommon to find ourselves feeling stressed from time to time, especially as the end of the year draws near. These three simple strategies for stress relief, which when done together take just 12 minutes to complete, can help you to truly relax and unwind at the end of a long day.

Yogic breathwork in child’s pose (Ujjayi Pranayama in Balasana)- Numerous scientific studies have shown that pranayama, the practice of breath control, helps to increase relaxation, decrease feelings of anxiety, improve mental focus and enhance overall psychological well-being. Ujjayi breathing, a type of pranayama in which inhalation and exhalations are done through the nose, is a breath that is both relaxing and energizing. This diaphragmatic breath has been shown to increase oxygen consumption, as it is designed to be both a long and smooth breath in which air is guided gently in and out of the body through the nose without force, creating a soothing sound, almost like the sound of distance ocean waves. Pair this breath with child’s pose, a resting posture that helps to release tension in the back while also relieving fatigue and stress, and spend about two minutes quieting the mind and steading the breath while enjoying a few moments of surrender.

Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani)- Borrowing from restorative yoga, this posture helps to release tension from the lower extremities and reduce swelling in the legs and feet while also calming the mind and decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress. With your legs extended up the wall, use folded blankets or a bolster to help support the lower back as you come to stillness for five blissful minutes.

Seated meditation (Mantra Visualization in Anjali Mudra)- Clearing your mind after a long day can seem like quite the challenge, especially if you’re new to meditation, but by practicing anjali mudra, a comfortable seated posture in which the palms are pressed together at heart center with both thumbs lightly touching the sternum and the head slightly bowed forward, in time entering that meditative state of awareness will start to become much easier. Couple this stress-relieving asana with a mantra visualization in which you select a word or phrase that you repeat silently to yourself, allowing it’s meaning to radiate through your body, and in just five quiet contemplative minutes it can help you to quiet your mind and truly become grounded, present and fully attuned in the here in now.

This article is written by Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT, is an exercise physiologist, yoga teacher, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, adjunct professor, blogger and fitness personality. Jessica strives to open minds, ignite passion and inspire the world to health and fitness through purposeful movement, quality nutrition and kind words. She has been featured as a fitness expert on CNN and has been quoted in numerous publications including Shape, Self, Oxygen and Oprah.com. For more health and fitness information, follow Jessica at www.twitter.com/fitexpertjess

Does Yoga Really Do a Body Good? By Jessica Matthews

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Does Yoga Really Do a Body Good? Writtten by Jessica Matthews

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, so one would assume it must provide some great benefits, right? Well over the last decade as the interest and demand for mind-body programming has continued to increase, so has the number of research studies conducted to examine the specific benefits that yoga has to offer.

Benefits of yoga
Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can improve muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and balance, which are often overlooked aspects of fitness. Yoga has also been shown to decrease the risk factors for chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, and also is effective in reducing chronic low-back pain, an issue which will affect nearly 80% of Americans at some point during our lifetimes.

Beyond the physical
In addition to the numerous physiological benefits, yoga also provides an assortment of emotional and psychology benefits. Yoga by definition means “union,” in essence the connection between body, mind and spirit. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve mood, and increase subjective well-being. Available research also indicates that stress-related diseases, such as hypertension, pain, cardiovascular disease, and depression are beneficially affected by regular participation in mindful exercise, such as yoga.

Can yoga do it all?
While the research regarding the physical benefits of yoga is in impressive, it is important to note that yoga was traditionally not designed to be a “one-stop shop” in regards to fitness. Research has supported this notion by studying and identifying the lack of aerobic activity that yoga provides. A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE®), conducted by Poraci and Spilde at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, showed that that a 50-minute Hatha yoga practice provides no substantial aerobic benefit, as the number of calories subjects burned was comparable to that of a slow walk. Vinyasa-style or Asthanga yoga (often referred to as “power yoga”) on the other hand was shown to provide a mild aerobic workout, as a 50-minute practice burned 344 calories on average among participants.

These findings are not intended to deter individuals from integrating yoga into their current fitness program by any means. Instead, these findings help to shift the focus back to the numerous valuable benefits that yoga was intended to and does provide, which often times are the critical components that individual fitness routines are lacking.

 

This article is written by Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT, is an exercise physiologist, yoga teacher, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, adjunct professor, blogger and fitness personality. Jessica strives to open minds, ignite passion and inspire the world to health and fitness through purposeful movement, quality nutrition and kind words. She has been featured as a fitness expert on CNN and has been quoted in numerous publications including Shape, Self, Oxygen and Oprah.com. For more health and fitness information, follow Jessica at www.twitter.com/fitexpertjess.

 

Reiki-The Inner Sunshine by Marty Fabianova

Reiki- The Inner Sunshine

Imagine you are lying on a beach. The hot sand is filling every cell of your body with a feeling of beautiful warmth and all your worries and stresses are being washed away by the whispering waves of the sea. The sun tickles your cheeks and the blowing wind is making you feel fresh, energised and content. Your body is relaxed and your mind is in a state of absolute peace. And now imagine that you can feel like this anytime, not just when you go on a holiday. How? By treating yourself to a regular dose of Reiki!

What is Reiki?

Reiki (pronounced ‘raykey’) is a natural, hands-on healing system. Its origins can be traced back to the ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. This technique was lost for centuries, until its rediscovery in the late 1800′s by Dr. Mikao Usui from Japan. Since then it has found its fans all around the globe.

This powerful healing enhances the flow of Qi/Chi (Chinese), Ki (Japanese), Prana (Sanskrit) or the Universal life-force energy which is present in every living being. The Reiki practitioner acts as a channel for this Universal energy, enabling the body’s own healing processes to be activated – on a physical, mental and emotional level. Reiki is now offered by the NHS, most commonly as a complimentary treatment for cancer patients. Heart surgeon Dr. Oz (‘Oprah Winfrey’s doctor’) and celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Meg Ryan and Angelina Jolie all tout the benefits of Reiki.

What are the benefits of Reiki?

Reiki engages the body’s own self-healing, so we are able to better address whatever dis-ease we are going through. It does not treat any condition directly. This healing discipline goes to the core of bodily and emotional problems, rather than just easing symptoms. Many fans of Reiki say that it helps them to release stress, improve concentration and sports endurance. It is also said to help lessen the symptoms of many chronic conditions.

Reiki is not restricted to any gender, age or religion. Everybody can benefit from Reiki’s rejuvenating and empowering touch. Are you ready for your portion of inner sunshine?

This article is written by Marty Fabianova. Marty works as Reiki and Bowen Technique Practitioner in Stoke Newington, London. She is passionate about helping people to tap into the wellness of their body and mind in a natural way. Contact her at www.thebowenway.co.uk or via marty.fabianova@hotmail.co.uk. You can also connect on Facebook via her page The Bowen way – Help your body to help itself or on Twitter @MartyFabianova.