Herbal Remedies

Herbs and Health

Herbal Remedies From Mother Earth

I grew up in Mexico City where all kinds of herbs and home remedies are commonly used to treat several minor ailments successfully. Using herbal remedies and teas to treat a variety of sicknesses such as the common cold, sore throats, and fevers, instead of delving into pharmaceuticals right away, was the natural thing to do for my mom and aunts. And to be honest with you, it felt so good to know that mom had the perfect remedy at the right time, every time I needed it 😉

Consequently, I frequently think of herbs before considering traditional medication. I have faith in herbs not only because of my upbringing, but because I believe in their strong medicinal value which frequently comes with fewer secondary effects and contraindications than pharmaceuticals. After all, they come naturally from Mother Earth.

For instance, there is nothing more soothing than a chamomile or mint tea for a stomach ache, an arnica rub for bruises and muscle aches, a bugambilia tea with honey for a sore throat, aloe pulp for skin rashes and burns, and a bit of ginger to improve digestion, among many other remedies. Ah, but my very favorite one for those extremely stressful days, is an infusion of mixed damiana, valerian, passionflower and tila… nothing more soothing for a good night’s sleep!

Herbal medicine is also called phytotherapy. It consists of herbal treatments; plant derived or botanicals used for therapeutic reasons. More people are choosing herbal remedies nowadays, not only to avoid the high cost associated with conventional medications, but also because many common pharmaceuticals don’t seem to alleviate or improve the conditions as expected.

Botanicals and herbs are used as treatments for specific conditions, as a preventative measure, and to keep health at its peak. In addition, herbs can be used as a diet supplement, as many plants can also be the source of vitamins and other nutrients.

In general, herbal treatments are safe for just about anyone. Having said that, some plants can be harmful, especially if consumed in high doses.

Moreover, people with chronic conditions that are under medical supervision and taking pharmaceuticals on a regular basis, must consult with their physician BEFORE ingesting any herbs to ensure that there is no contraindication to use them in conjunction with their meds. Some herbs have the potential to negatively interact with –or inhibit- the mode of action or effects of specific medications.

Multiple herbal treatments are available and they can be found in a variety of presentations such as liquid form, capsules, tablets and pills, creams and lotions, and some others in tea bags and powder forms that you can mix with water or juice to ingest. You must be aware that the presentation does affect the result; for instance, capsules usually get dissolved and absorbed in the stomach, while the liquid form gets absorbed through the oral mucosa, making it more powerful as it reaches the blood stream much faster. Other botanicals such as aloe vera or arnica for muscle pain are better absorbed through the skin, so they are commonly found as creams and lotions.

Regardless of the mode in which you ingest the herbs and botanicals, taking them on a regular basis usually gives you better results as your body has time to adapt to them to reach a more stable healthy state.

Most people don’t know if herbal treatments are right for them. If you relate to this, I recommend you delve into exploring the subject matter more in depth and, as stated above, consult with your physician if you have any doubts or concerns.

There are many well researched guides, ebooks and resources to help you get more acquainted with herbs and their benefits, as well as how to use them to boost immune response, overcome pain, aches, and sickness.  An excellent resource that I recommend is “Remedies From Mother Earth.”

This is not just a 10 page report, but an all-inclusive 91 page eBook. In it you will find a comprehensive list of herbs, their characteristics, their available forms, and their most common uses. You will have the right information at your fingertips, as you are able to quickly find what herbs are used for a multitude of conditions.

There is also a full chapter on aromatherapy and another one with herbal recipes for specific conditions. All very useful but my favorite one is the section with the symptom guide where you can do a reverse lookup on common conditions and the herbal remedies that are used to alleviate or heal them.

This is definitely one of the best herbal guides I have ever read and one that I keep on my nightstand at all times. You will know what herbs to try for a particular ailment in just a couple of minutes… literally. Click on the ebook cover… you’ll get an immediate download right after your purchase.

 

Disclaimer: The content on this webpage is for informational purposes only. Much like traditional medications, the correct use and dosage can help combat the condition while wrong usage and overdose can result in intoxication and even poisoning. Herbs can be just as potent as their drug counterparts. Use common sense and get informed before you use them. For a complete disclaimer, please click here.

The pH Miracle

The pH Miracle

Living in Balance

I’ve never paid much attention to 3-day-diets, cabbage diets, miracle pills, low carb, low fat and the like, mostly because we know they are fads and even if they help you lose a few pounds, the results are seldom permanent.

To lose and keep your weight within healthy levels, there is nothing like a well balanced diet that is calorie appropriate according to body type, age, gender, and level of activity.

However, there is an exception to this rule. The pH miracle diet caught my eye a while back because it not only promises to regulate and maintain weight in a natural way but to increase energy and overall health, which is something we all can benefit from.

So I decided to read The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Dr. Robert O. Young, and although it was not an easy read, the food knowledge I gained was extraordinary. I must confess I felt overwhelmed with the amount of information, and the technical jargon got me confused more times than I care to admit. So, I decided to do my own research to find a simple way to implement all these things I had just learned about the pH Miracle diet.

And it paid off. I found an excellent and much more concise ebook that enabled me to start putting in practice a few changes in my own diet with ease and right away. I can’t begin to describe the almost immediate improvement I noticed, such as not feeling sluggish after lunch and being able to sustain energy throughout the day. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s get the necessary PhD jargon out of the way first.

What is pH Miracle, anyway? The p in pH stands for potential and the H stands for Hydrogen. Within the human body, this refers to the number of Hydrogen ions in a fluid or the body’s potential to attract Hydrogen ions. Essentially, the pH aims to maintain harmony between acidity and alkalinity which assures the balance needed for optimal organ function and overall health. In regard to the miracle word, it all comes to one simple concept: In many instances, just by restoring the pH balance your health gets restored as if by miracle!

The pH is measured on a scale that goes from 0 to 14, in which 7 is neutral, 0 is the highest concentration of acidity and 14 is the highest concentration of alkalinity.

According to many holistic doctors, the pH miracle diet offers a totally different approach to nutrition because it takes into consideration the delicate pH balance needed for great health.

Since we are into personal growth, we know the fundamental importance of balance in everything we do and the way we live. It is no wonder that the same principle applies to health!

Basically, in optimal conditions the human body should have a slightly alkaline pH. Thus, in theory, since the human body functions optimally at this level of alkalinity, the human diet should consist of mostly alkaline foods. Makes sense, right?

This is where things get interesting… Most standard modern diets –at least in the Western Continent and developed countries- are comprised of a high amount of acidic foods. Examples of these are animal protein, dairy products, sugar, fast foods and pre-packaged foods.

These acidic foods have the power to disrupt this delicate pH balance in the blood by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb and utilize important alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. And –as you might already have guessed- an alteration in the concentration of these minerals has been linked to an array of chronic diseases.

The bottom line is that acidic foods actually rob your body of essential minerals, and create an over acidic environment where yeast, mycotoxins and microforms can rapidly grow. To make things worse, several studies indicate that there seem to be a correlation between cancerous cells and an environment of acidosis.

The good news is that those who follow an acid-alkaline balanced diet may be avoiding the very foods that can be disastrous to their health. The old adage “you are what you eat” is an absolute truth, and more so based on the pH Miracle diet. While many of the foods we commonly ingest are considered acidic, the good news is that the decision to eat or not to eat certain foods is totally on our hands.

By choosing to ingest more alkaline foods, you are giving your body the chance to fight off disease, repair tissues, recover and maintain youthful health. As with everything else in life, it is a matter of choice.

More so, if you’ve been feeling tired and lethargic for no apparent cause, I highly recommend you take a closer look at the pH Miracle diet and the alkaline/acid balancing act.

You might be pleasantly surprised by just making a few changes and adjustments to your diet. I know I was!

Of course, you’ll get several other benefits, such as achieving –and maintaining- your ideal weight naturally, without the need to count calories or looking at portion sizes, PLUS improved digestionincreased energy and radiant health.

As to where to get this information, you’ve got several options. If you are the type of person that needs to know all there is behind every food you eat, you may want to give Dr. Young’s book a try, but I must warn you… be prepared for a thorough read (over 300 pages in fact) which at times can get quite academic.

On the other hand, if you want to skip the PhD details and dive into learning exactly how to improve your health by balancing your acid/alkaline ratio, I recommend you take a look at “The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet“; this is the ebook I mentioned earlier 🙂

In it, you will get the basics of this diet and then you’ll get straight into the ‘how-to’ in no time at all -which is what we’re after, anyhow. The ebook offers extensive food charts, recipes, a “Boost Your Metabolism” report, and several other valuable and helpful bonuses.

I’ll wrap this up by saying that many people that have tried the pH miracle diet state they’ve felt massive positive effects on their health within just a few weeks. I know I’m on my way to following this diet more closely, as I’ve gotten some results with just a few changes in a handful of days.

My plan is to get rid of acidic foods in my diet as time goes by and until I achieve the results I want. I invite you to increase your stamina, endurance, and the overall performance of your body machine, by giving “The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet” a try.  Click on the banner below to watch an enlightening video and for full details…

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Yours in Health!

Disclaimer: The principles behind the acid alkaline balance diet are based on holistic medicine and Chinese medicine, which have been around for centuries. However, as with any change that relates to your health, it is recommended you seek the advice of your primary health physician. The pH Miracle diet principles are being studied at John Hopkins’s University and by Dr. Neil Solomon of the United Nations. To read the complete medical disclaimer, please click here.

 

Insomnia

Insomnia 

9 Great Tips to a Good Night Sleep

Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you –like millions of people worldwide- ever spend several hours in complete limbo rolling from one side of the bed to the other at the mercy of crumpled sheets and your anxious mind?

If this sounds familiar, you have most likely tried counting sheep… or rhinos, tigers, poodles, frogs and even dinosaurs until you’re ready to create a little zoo inside your bedroom! And then you realize you’re neither insane nor in-love. It’s just that awful insomnia!

And as the hours seem to pass at the speed of a giant tortoise cruising the grasslands, your stress shoots up as you remember you have an important speech to give tomorrow at 8:00 AM and you’re going to feel sluggish! How are you going to perform and do a good job in spite of your raccoon eyes, half-closed eyelids, delayed reflexes and slowed mental processing? I hear you screaming… HELP!!

Studies show that lack of sleep leads to decreased productivity, poor performance and marked irritability. In fact, we can survive a 3 days without water and about 15 days without food, but without regular and restful sleep, we can experience hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, moodiness, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, and even memory loss. I’ll take sleep over food anytime!

So, if you suffer from sleep deprivation, I suggest you try at least one, and preferably all of the following tips so you can sail gently towards dreamland and enjoy an optimum level of relaxation and functioning on the following day. And I promise you… it has nothing to do with counting sheep.

  • Adopt a Regular Sleep Schedule
    Not all of us need the same amount of sleep; however, what is important is to doze off at the same time every day for you to get the needed 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Use an alarm clock to wake up and try to do it at the same time every day, weekends included! Try not to oversleep because you will surely feel drowsy or end up with a headache or achy body.
  • Drink a Glass of Warm Milk
    There’s nothing better to induce sleep and prevent insomnia on a regular basis. Milk contains tryptophan, a standard amino acid and precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that relaxes you. Milk calms the nerves and will eventually induce sleep.
  • Let Go of Caffeine and Nicotine
    Coffee is known to be a stimulant. Drinking even one cup before bedtime will worsen your insomnia. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic, which translates into frequent trips to the bathroom. Oh, and beware of sodas and chocolate… they contain caffeine too! Nicotine is also a stimulant, and can keep you awake for hours. Needless to say, quitting both will enhance your health in more than one way.
  • Keep Your Room Cool
    When we sleep, our internal body temperature drops so it is advisable that your room is kept at a likewise temperature. Use either an electric fan, an air conditioner or, if weather conditions allow, an open window.
  • Take a Hot Shower
    It is known that hot water is soothing and relaxing. Moreover, several studies suggest that a rise in body temperature followed by a sudden decline of it as you enter the fresh sheets can induce sleepiness and prevent insomnia.
  • Avoid Daytime Naps
    Naps can disturb your internal natural clock so it’s better to avoid all day time naps; however, if you must lay down for a nap, limit your power naps to a maximum of 20 minutes right after lunch, but not later than that. This will aid in recharging your batteries without making you feel drowsy for the rest of the day.
  • Silence is Peace
    Skip the news at night. Cut the bad habit of going to sleep with the tube on or with your iPod in your ears. It’s been proven that sleeping in silence allows for the body to relax and rebuild properly. Let the golden silence permeate your room to fully enjoy your zzz’s.
  • Skip the Sleeping Aids
    Sleeping pills may allow you to sleep for a few hours but they won’t give you the rejuvenated state of mind you need the next morning. Sleeping aids are not a wise long term solution for insomnia.
  • Learn to Think of Nothing
    It’s vital to learn to completely empty your mind of thoughts before you call it a night. Leave your problems for day time. Concentrate on sleeping and nothing else. Breathe deeply and relax. Put your mind at ease. If it helps, learn to meditate, and try binaural-beats!

Follow this for a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready to face your new day for peak performance!

Kiss your insomnia goodbye! Sleep like a baby… Nite, Nite!

The Five Rituals

The Five Rituals

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “The Fountain of Youth”?

Let me share a story with you… I can count with the fingers of my right hand the movies I remember from the time I was a young girl, and “Shangrila, The Lost Horizon” is one that will remain in my memory forever.

Based on a 1933 novel by English Writer, James Hilton, the adventure opens with the hijacking and emergency landing of a plane in a remote area of Tibet. The four travelers get rescued by a group of Monks and are brought to Shangrila, a lost city in a deep Himalayan valley surrounded by snowy mountains, where life seems to be a bliss for all who lived there.

The inhabitants of Shangrila lived a life of purpose. They helped each other based on love and total selflessness while living in eternal peace and tranquility. They also enjoyed perfect health and maintained a youthful appearance indefinitely.

James Hilton’s utopia impressed me not only because of the inhabitants being 100% healthy until old age, but because of the idealistic lifestyle they all shared. To this day I sometimes daydream and wonder how a life of utter well being and no place for wrong doing, disease or aging would be like…

I believe that this novel is intended to make the reader think of what’s possible, perhaps not to that extent but doable nevertheless. Truth is, Shangrila may not exist as described in the novel, but several studies have reported people of the Himalayas living past 100 years in good physical and mental health.

I have come to the conclusion that people who live in that area of the Planet must have a secret… And I also believe that with the possibilities available to many of us nowadays, we can live a more balanced and enjoyable life. I’m not talking about expensive pharmaceuticals and doctors with fancy degrees that just the rich and famous can afford. I’m talking about taking things into your hands, not taking things for granted, restructuring our priorities and making a commitment to dedicate some time to what really matters… hhealth, the number one element to live a truly abundant life.

The Five Rituals book offers a compilation of health secrets straight from the Himalayas that will improve your health in just 10 minutes a day. These ‘how-to’ guides will show you the science behind these rituals, will go into what spinning and the seven vortexes are, how to tap into reproduced energy, and why all of this is paramount to your keeping healthy for years to come.

The greatest wealth is health.
Give this manual a try and experience optimal health for yourself!

 

 

“It’s easy. It’s fast. And it works!
I love this program: it can make a tremendous difference in your health,
your energy, and the way you live your life.”
 

~ John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”

“These five simple exercises will make you feel young again.” 

~ Natural Health magazine

Improve Your Eyesight

Improve Your Eyesight

Naturally!

If you are like me and many others around the globe, you spend several hours a day in front of your computer screen and/or other screens, such as your Tablet and SMART phone. If you relate, this article will be priceless to you, as you will discover how to reduce eye strain that could harm your eyesight as well as how to improve your eyesight naturally.

But first… did you know that the main cause of eyesight problems is mental strain?

This is a fact with advantages, actually, for if you learn to eliminate or reduce mental stress, your eyesight will improve, naturally. Not all stressors are equal; thus, it can be challenging to permanently eliminate or handle some of them. However, there is one thing that is 100% within your control and that is the way you react to the stressor itself. When you learn how to handle stressors properly, it can be quite beneficial to your eyes and overall health.

You see, the way we react to the stressors is always related to the way we think, and as you know, we have the ability to be in total control of our thoughts. Then, it should not come as a surprise to learn that your thoughts can affect your vision. When you are thinking positive, pleasant thoughts, your eyes are more relaxed. This translates in better focus and smoother movements of your eyes which help you improve your eyesight naturally. On the contrary, negative thoughts cause your eyes to strain. Strained eye movements are jerky, you blink less, stare more and cause the eyes to feel itchy or burning.

So, the next time you are feeling blue, take a closer look at your thoughts and make it a goal to change that pattern of thought. In general, a positive outlook on life will leave you less susceptible to eye strain and other illnesses and diseases.

 

Tips to Alleviate Eye Strain

  • Relax Your Eyes in the Dark
    Take at least 5 minutes, twice per day to just close your eyes and focus on darkness. You may want to place your slightly cupped hands over each eye just as in a Reiki session. You will notice how relaxing this is for your eyes. While you do this, forget momentarily about your ‘to-do’ list, problems, challenges, deadlines and the like. Just dedicate this time to relax your eyes and focus on darkness. Breathe deeply as you do this.
  • Loosen Up Your Eyes’ Small Muscles 
    Swinging is a technique you can use to loosen up tense muscles all over your body, but especially in your spine, neck, shoulders and eyes. Stand in front of a window with your back straight and your feet shoulder length apart. Now start swinging slowly from your waist to the right and to the left; then back slowly and steadily allowing your eyes to move slowly as well. Resist the temptation to focus your eyes on any one scene or object. Just continue to relax your eyes and allow for images to blur as they pass in front of your eyes. This is a great exercise to improve your eyesight naturally!
  • Keep Your Eyes Moving
    Your eyes are naturally hyperactive, even when you sleep! This is the natural state of healthy eyes; however, when we focus on the screen or on a book for too long, the little eye muscles stop moving and this causes eye strain, dryness, burning and itching. Train yourself to take a few breaks throughout your day to improve your eyesight.

    Stand up and allow for your eyes to move smoothly by tracing the perimeter of objects; for instance, trace the outline of your desk, a door or any other object within reach. Do not jump from object to object in a jerky way. The purpose is smooth movements of the eye from side to side, and up and down a few times.

  • Rapid Blinking
    A common problem when working in front of the computer is that of staring. Make it a goal to take a minute or two away from the screen every 15 minutes or so, even if you have to set an alarm clock to remember! Roll your eyeballs in circles clock wise and counter wise. You can do this with your eyes open or closed. Then, blink rapidly for a few seconds to lubricate the eyeballs before you go back to work.
  • Diet and Nutrition
    Good nutrition is essential for your eyes health and for good vision. A well balanced diet will do the trick, but to improve your eyesight naturally, make sure you eat foods that are high in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Carrots have plenty of vitamin A, which is why they are known as good sources to improve your eyesight. Other good snacks for the eyes are sunflower seeds, apricots, nuts, pecans, raisins, soy beans, and –if you like it- chicken liver.

In general, staring and straining are the worse things you can do to your eyes. Do not forget to keep them moving and relax them often throughout the day. Also, think positivelymeditate and relax often, and most importantly… listen to your body. It knows when it is time for a break!

Certain eye exercises will keep your eyes healthy and your eyesight sharp for many years to come! I invite you to learn how to improve your eyesight naturally with specific eye exercises. get complete details by clicking on the ebook cover below…

 

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Have you ever felt like going through life following the motions, doing what you were supposed –or expected- to do, like an automated machine living outside or away of your true self?

I believe we all have felt this way to one degree or another. We suddenly become briefly aware of this every time we state things such as… “Where did time go?”… only to go back to our ingrained habits and usual routines short after this realization. This temporary awareness places us briefly in the present time, a momentary awakening that can be identified as a moment of mindfulness.

But before we delve deeper into exploring mindfulness, and just in case you are wondering why mindfulness should be adopted as a regular practice, just know for now that the practice of mindfulness is vital to live a well balanced and happy life.

Moreover, mindfulness is essential to practice meditation, and as we already know, meditation offers enormous benefits to our mental, emotional, and physical health. With that in mind, let’s continue…

The term mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism; however, it is not related to any particular faith but to the ideal state of the human beingMindfulness refers to the constancy of mind in the present moment. When you think of it, the present moment is all we truly have. The past is gone. The future is not here yet, and once it arrives, it becomes the present moment yet again.

Still, living in the present moment can prove quite a challenge for most of us living on today’s fast paced world. We tend to go through life dragging our past, and thinking of –or planning- a better future, usually dismissing the precious “now”

In fact, our ideal state as human beings is living in the present moment while keeping a balanced and healthy perspective between the now and future events. Buddhists call it “recollection” and it is used as a point of reference to return to focus every time the mind wanders away. This is one of the greatest challenges of the human mind. Have you thought about the fact that animals don’t experience anything else than the present moment?

A simple way to practice mindfulness is by watching one’s breath. When you focus on your breath you place your mind in the present time by paying attention to the air you breathe going in and out of your chest cavity. And while you maintain your attention on this function as your main objective, you must also remember to return back to focus when your mind wanders away.

In this manner, mindfulness means being aware of the present moment intentionally, and on a moment to moment basis while remembering what to do in the near future when/if your mind wanders away.

You can start practicing mindfulness by setting signals or indicators in your immediate environment that will prompt you to truly be in the present time even if for a few moments.

You can start doing this by committing to becoming aware of your self for a few seconds every time you see, hear, feel, taste, smell or do something that you have previously set your mind to.

For instance, every time you smell your morning coffee or hear a bird chirping or see a yellow car or whatever, you become centered in your present state for a few seconds.

And… how do you bring your attention to the present moment? -You may be wondering.

As stated above, an easy way to become aware of your present moment is by consciously observing your breath. Going with one of the examples mentioned, every time you hear a bird chirping, you take a few seconds to center yourself and observe your breathing.

When doing this, be aware of the fact that you are being conscious of your body’s breathing function, and you are noticing this with your mind while you keep engaged with your outer world. In this manner, you become fully aware of your being in and out at the same time. In other words, you acknowledge you’re inside your body as well as a part of the whole that surrounds you.

When you do this several times a day, you are actually training your mind to be in a state of mindfulness regularly. As you are able to hold these moments for longer periods of time, meditation will eventually become easier and you will be able to extend and sustain your meditative states.

Once you experience mindful moments habitually, you will start reaping the benefits of a more complete existence with less stress, more inner peace and more happiness.

Think about this… What if you could profoundly change your life just by becoming more mindful of your breathing? What if paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally could help you improve your health?

On Mindfulness for Beginners, Dr. Kabat-Zinn, internationally known scientist, best-selling author, and teacher who brought mindfulness meditation into the mainstream of medicine and society gives you immediate access to a practice that can potentially add years to your life, and will certainly enhance the quality of your moments and your years.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn will help you…

  • Explore five guided meditations that lead you breath by breath into the essence of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a program offered in medical clinics and hospitals around the world.
  • Cultivate the Seven Key Attitudinal Factors of MBSR—qualities of heart and mind that lay the foundation for mindfulness practice and for seeing and accepting things as they are as a first step to working wisely and compassionately with stress, pain, illness, and sorrow as well as life’s joys and pleasures—Zorba’s “full catastrophe”
  • Free yourself from limiting perspectives, and become more intimate with your own boundless awareness.

Learn more about this fabulous audio program, hear a sample, and prepare to be enlightened to rip the benefits of living in a mindful state, by clicking on the image above.

“You’re already in the perfect moment for inhabiting this liberating awareness,
which is always available…”
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

May You Master Mindfulness…

 

 

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga

Benefits to Mind, Body and Soul

The practice of yoga is one of the techniques I recommend the most for personal growth. This Hindu discipline not only keeps you healthy and flexible, but trains your consciousness for spiritual insight.

Yoga is almost as old as civilization. It dates back to the Upanishads, the Hindu scriptures written between 1000 and 5000 BC that comprise the basic teachings of Vedanta, a tradition based on immutable spiritual laws common to all faiths and spiritual traditions worldwide. The Vedanta refers to a state of self-realization, harmony and unity with collective consciousness.

The word yoga literally means unity of mind, body and soul. The Hindus practice it to initiate spiritual growth and eventually join the transitory self (Jiva) with the eternal self (Brahman), a similar concept to that of Carl Jung and the collective unconscious.

Physically speaking, yoga is a form of exercise based on the practice of “asanas” (a Sanskrit word that translates to “posture or seat”) as well as breath control known as “pranayama.” As you soon will learn, the benefits of yoga are amazing and go beyond the physical body.

The Levels

There is a wide range of technical difficulty but the good news is that you don’t have to be already fit and extremely flexible. Fortunately, you can start at a level that feels comfortable for you and still reap the benefits of yoga.

You can start at the beginners level with simple asanas meant to help with flexibility and peace of mind. Then, you can move into an intermediate and advanced level with more complicated asanas, if so you want. If you prefer, you can stay at the level that feels right for you. Thus, if you are just starting out, you can leave the complicated asanas for later or skip them altogether and stick to the practice of simple asanas that you enjoy and feel comfortable with, indefinitely. As with any form of exercise, the most important thing is consistency.

You can learn a handful of simple asanas and expand your practice at your own pace and as you see fit. For more yoga poses, that can be fun, relaxing and even challenging, and to get a free class, click here.

The Benefits

The benefits of yoga are well known. Recent research is discovering concrete evidence as to how yoga works to improve health as a whole, by helping heal aches and pains and keeping sickness at bay.

At the physical level, one of the main benefits takes place in the musculoskeletal system. This system gives us form, stability, and movement; thus, if you want to prevent -and in some cases, reverse- common age-related musculoskeletal system ailments, then yoga is a perfect practice for that.

Among the benefits of yoga are increased flexibility of tendons and ligaments, aids in the toning of muscles and keeps the joints lubricated. Certain asanas are especially beneficial to the spine as they increase elasticity and alignment while strengthening and stabilizing the back, which alleviates disc compression and eliminates or reduces lower back pain.

Also, different asanas exert a kind of massage in various internal organs and glands, which stimulate their respective functions maintaining their youthful characteristics that help prevent disease and ageing overall.

The blood supply is also boosted. Increased circulation helps provide nourishment to cells and flush out the toxins, as well a providing more nourishment that comes from the oxygen intake from deep breathing while practicing yoga.

As much as these health benefits are excellent, they can be considered positive side effects to the superb benefits that go beyond physical health. This is because yoga harmonizes the mind, body and spirit for quantum transformation at many levels.

yoga infographic

Yoga and the Mind

As we know, the power of the mind is abundant and limitless. When a mind is set on a purposeful intention, wonderful transformations take place.

An interesting point is the inter-connectedness that’s present between yoga and meditation. When practiced together the benefits increase exponentially. If done correctly, certain asanas and pranayamas produce supernatural states that create a sensation of detachment from the world around us.

When this happens, stress seems to vanish as we perceive circumstances from an “observer” standpoint. This results in a state of calmness and a superior positive mindset, both conditions needed to increase mind power.

Mind, body and spirit must work in sync for attaining extraordinary results in every area of life.  Yoga offers a way to enhance your physical, mental, and emotional health at the same time.

The Types

As a beginner, the first thing is to choose the right type to yoga for you. Your present level of fitness is definitely one aspect to consider, as well as your physical and spiritual goals. Here are some of the most popular types of yoga for you to explore:

  • Hatha

This is the most popular practice in the Western world. It focuses on the proper positions or asanas with the ultimate goal of preparing the mind for spiritual growth. It is thought that when the body is healthy, the mind is in optimum condition to pursue spiritual growth.

  • Kundalini

This is the most powerful of yoga practices. The focus is to move the energy at the base of the spine to the top of your head following the chakra line. You do this by breathing and meditating while changing mantras while you do your asanas.

  • Raja

This practice focuses in directing one’s life force up and down the spine to balance mind and emotions while centering one’s attention on an object.

This  site will give you an overview of the basics of several yoga disciplines.

 Mantras

Mantras –also called chants– are considered Yoga for the Mind. The concept is based on the effects of sound vibration in the mind.

Mantras are a one syllable, phrase or word in Sanskrit or English that help elevate consciousness by creating a higher state of deep concentration according to the meaning of the word used, or the sound,  the rhythm or the tone, as well as the position of the tongue on the palate.

Click here to learn a variety of common mantras.

Whatever practice you end up following, I highly recommend you practice yoga regularly as a form of exercise so you reap the multiple health and fitness benefits as well as enlightenment, self-realization, internal balance, mind power and a more spiritual outlook in life.

For complete details about yoga and how to start the practice, as well as intermediate and advanced tips and postures, I invite you to click here. You can also get a FREE class before you decide what’s the best program for you. All programs and classes are downloadable so you can take your classes wherever you go!

Yours in Health and Balance…

Namaste

Namaste means “The Divine in Me Bows to the Divine in You”; a respectful greeting where you join your hands in a prayer position as you bow your head. This has a completely different meaning to what prayer means in the Western world.

 

 

Meditation

Meditation

It is well known that the practice of meditation can lead to a better quality of life.   However, many people don’t practice it due to the misconception that meditation takes years of study and practice, and that the goal is to empty the mind of thoughts, which can be extremely challenging for most of us.

Truth is, there is an easier way to meditate that is just as effective. The trick is not to fight your thoughts or trying to expel them completely from your mind, but to let them come and go, without judgment or criticism, without labels and emotions, and without allowing them to stay or get a hold of your mind… just observe them as they pop into your mind and let them go as you re-focus your attention on your breathing.

Yes, it takes practice to quiet the mind in this fashion; however, it is very possible, it can be done relatively fast and it is certainly much easier than becoming a Tibetan monk! 😉

Personally, I can tell you that practicing meditation has been wonderful for me. Besides helping me be more relaxed and centered on a regular basis, I have become more aware of my actions and reactions to life events and circumstances. This has helped me be more accepting of ‘what is‘ which has brought more peace to my daily life.

It is for this reason that I consider the practice of meditation a crucial part of personal development. First, I’ll share with you some facts and the basic benefits of this practice. Next, I’ll disclose the biggest challenge that prevents most people from starting -and sticking to- a meditation practice.

I’ll also give you a couple of suggestions to help yourself overcome this challenge if you recognize it in yourself.

And finally, I’ll also reveal how to start practicing meditation with ease so you too can experience these benefits in your life. Ready?

Let’s start by describing the health benefits of meditation. In time and with frequent practice, you’ll eventually reach a state of peace that seems to linger throughout the day. As a result, your heart rate and breathing pattern slow down, which in turn gets the oxygen you breathe more evenly distributed throughout your body. In turn, your muscles don’t feel tight anymore, your blood pressure levels improve, the production of cortisol (stress hormone) in the adrenal gland diminishes, and your mind gets clearer allowing for creativity and other abilities to flourish. Moreover, your immune system response improves so you get sick less often as your digestion improves. Also, you get a more positive outlook on life in general which helps you keep a positive attitude throughout the day.  And, you get this all by just practicing 15 to 20 minutes per day!

As these changes take place, your body starts repairing itself. This reduces physical, mental and emotional stress which enhances your life experience as a whole. This reason alone supports the daily practice of meditation; it should be a part of your daily life; just as important as eating and sleeping.

With all these benefits… how come most people do not practice meditation? It is due to this ‘challenge’ I was referring to earlier. Can you guess what it is?

Most of us lead busy lives. We have jobs, families, friends, events, deadlines, appointments, responsibilities, and so much more. It can be difficult to leave aside our daily obligations, concerns and on-going inner chatter even if for a few moments, and that is the biggest challenge of them all because if you don’t consciously decide to set aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to practice meditation, there is no program, book or training that will help. However, once you commit to doing so, the rest is much simpler.

You must know that you don’t need a class or a teacher to learn meditation. You can learn this practice easily over a short period of time, by yourself, in your spare time. All you need is an effective and simple program, plus your commitment and a bit of practice. An important factor is to be patient with yourself. There is no rush because the end result will be worth it. Once you accept that it will take you some time and practice to master meditation, your mind relaxes and it becomes easier.

While there are a variety of meditation techniques, they are all based on the same principles. Here are the recommended guidelines to start this practice.

    • Get some quiet time
      It may look like a challenge, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and/or young children. A good way to start is by taking a look at your daily routine and look for a time span of 15 to 20 minutes that you can dedicate to yourself. Make it part of your daily routine and stick to it.
    • Choose a quiet place
      This may be another challenge if you live in a busy city. For some, the early morning hours may work. For others, night time is better after the kids are asleep and the TV is off. Find some quiet place where you can be by yourself and with no interruptions for a few minutes.
    • Learn to quiet your mind
      Easier said than done, but very doable. It becomes easier with time. Here is a trick that works: choose a small object –like a pendant- to focus on. Look at its shape, color, size, etc. Just focus on the object and let everything else go. Once you master this, it’ll be easier to close your eyes and relax your mind.Another method that works is to become the ‘observer of your thoughts.’ Just observe them and don’t get engaged in them. Do this every time you notice your thoughts creeping in. Do not fight them or become opinionated. Just watch the narrative going on in your mind as if you were watching a soap opera. Then, let go of the thoughts one by one as they appear.
    • Choose a comfortable position to meditate in
      The sitting position called lotus is a common posture to meditate in. You sit on the floor with your legs crossed and place the right foot on top of your left tight and your left foot on top of your right tight. This position may be uncomfortable for beginners, so just sitting up with your spine stable and straight will work. Lying down is not recommended as you may fall asleep.
    • Focus in the “NOW” moment
      Focus on the present moment and let everything go. This is not the time to think how to solve a problem with your obnoxious coworker, how to motivate the kids to do their chores, or how to best tackle your long to-do list for tomorrow. Give attention to this moment. Contemplate your “HERE.” This is your NOW. That is the only thing that IS. The rest is either in the past or in the future. Concentrate in your present -NOW.

As you practice meditation you will start experiencing wonderful results in your life. I suggest you include it in your daily routine as an integral part of your personal development plan.

Your energy levels and your ability to focus will soar. Your overall well-being will improve. Don’t despair if at first you don’t see any major changes. The important thing is to keep at it.

You will know you are making progress when you allow yourself to simply be, when you notice you are not judging your every thought and your mind quiets down instead of jumping from one thought to another. You will notice you are being aware of the present moment as you feel at peace throughout your day.

Your thoughts and emotions take a back seat.
There is a sense of inner freedom and peace, as you
 are just living this moment NOW…

The following video shows you the basic meditation posture and technique
give it a try and experience transformation through meditation!

How to Meditate

Learn the quickest way to meditative states!
Try it Risk FREE by clicking on the banner…


Meditation Timers

Do you get anxious about not knowing how fast -or how slow- time passes when you meditate? Good News! You don’t need to glance at your watch or clock every 5 minutes anymore. Meditate peacefully by starting and ending with the gentle sound of meditation bells… Get yours here:

15 minute timer

30 minute timer

45 minute timer

60 minute timer

Namaste!