Yoga For Beginners

Yoga is defined as: a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

Even if you’ve never done yoga before, known anyone who has practiced yoga or even driven by a yoga studio, we can pretty much conclude that it is beneficial for your health and wellness, right?

Good!

The Ultimate Goal of Yoga

The ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve optimum spiritual, mental and physical wellness through consistent practice. This is a sure way to see and feel the benefits.

Sure, it will make you look amazing adding flexibility, while elongating your joints and limbs. Who doesn’t want to look good naked, right?

However, the practice of yoga is bigger than that. We’re talking about overall health and wellness.

(Bet you didn’t know that yoga is an ancestor to Kung Fu, did you? Read more to find out how)

Yoga should be practiced with the full intent of peace and happiness throughout the day, especially when the day becomes challenging.

Which Yoga Is Best For Beginners?

There are many different forms of yoga to practice, but for beginners you want to choose the right one. Some of the more advanced positions can be very challenging and you don’t want to get frustrated or discouraged before you see any progress.

With that being said, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga are regarded as the best types of yoga to start with.

Vinyasa Yoga is known for the fluidity because you’re stringing postures together to make seamless transitions from one to the other.

Breath control is important, of course, and it’s very fulfilling to do. The reason for this is there are no set rules for the positions. You can do any pose at any time and switch to the next pose of your choice.

Another benefit of Vinyasa is the cardiovascular workout you get in practicing. Although you’re practicing at a slow pace, it gets your heart rate going, which is the cornerstone of any good workout.

Hatha Yoga is more slowly paced. It involves movements that have benefits on a more cellular level. Some would say it is a tool of self transformation because it requires full concentration on breathe control, which forces you into a deeper focused meditative state.

Another point to make about Hatha is, in this day in age, the practice of Hatha can involve other styles of yoga in its practice.

Although Hatha can be more mentally challenging, the practice itself consists of slow, gentle movements that are great for beginners to benefit from.

How Often Should A Beginner Do Yoga?

There is no set schedule for when and how often you should practice Yoga. For a beginner, however, abiding by a typical gym schedule would be adequate to get your body used to the new practice.

If you go to a gym 3-5 times a week, start your yoga practice the same. This will give your body the full benefit and allow enough time for recovery.

Yoga might be promoted as soft, gentle and slow….and it is!

But it will kick your butt, especially if you go into it too fast, having never done physical activity before. Just take it slow, relax and enjoy the journey.

In Conclusion…

To extend on the point above, yoga is practiced in a group, but you’re not in a race with anyone. This is about you, your body, your improvement, your health and ultimately your well being.

Isn’t that a relief?

That’s one of the beautiful things about Yoga. It helps you have a personal relationship with yourself.

Namaste!

Before You Quit, Remember Why You Started

This was a “jewel” that was given to me a few years ago when I was in some really dark times. I pass it along to people every now and then when I see person caught in that mid-point of:

“Is what I’m doing even really working?”

“Maybe I should just try something else. It’s not happening as fast as when the other guy did it.”

“If it was going to happen for me, it surely should’ve happened by now!”

The reason I pass this jewel along to those I feel might need it, is because I SURELY needed it when it was given to me.

One of the worst feelings in the world is to be in a state of uncertainty. To have a passion to want to do something, to go about it a little bit, but get frustrated because you don’t see any movement right away.

The fear and doubt set in, you start looking around at other people who are in motion and then you 2nd guess yourself and your Own goals.

Then you want to abandon Your dreams and aspirations and take on someone else’s just because you see movement.

It doesn’t make any sense when you step back and look at the idea of these actions, but it is damn sure easy to fall into this counterproductive cycle.

So the solution to quitting….

Remember Why You Started It

When you find yourself in doubt of your goals and aspirations and you want to quit, remember the Feeling you had the day you decided to act on it.

Remember the enthusiasm you had when you told your best friend about your idea.

Remember how it felt to you when you first saw your ideas on paper (or screen) and how Real it was.

Remember the feeling, the situation, the burning desire to change your present ways that sparked this need for a new way.

As all of the greats advise, write down your vision and keep it someplace commonly visible to you. Put it on your wall, your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, anywhere you are guaranteed to see it multiple times a day.

This will reinforce your desire to continue and keep your Reason at the top of mind and in front of you.

Consistency is one of the hardest habits to build. It can be tiresome sometimes, tedious, dull and never ending.

But it is worth its weight in gold once you have attained it and made it part of your creed.

The Ability to be consistent stems from the other pillar of success: Discipline

Discipline is the very thing that enables you to be consistent. I once heard a wise man say that discipline is an expression of God. Everything in nature runs on discipline and consistency.

The sun rises and sets every day….The earth rotates every second of every day….The seasons change 4 times every year.

Discipline. Consistency.

Lastly……

Whenever we start something, it’s usually because the seed of thought had a bit of love in it. It had some kind of incentive for you that lit a fire to manifest.

This is the very thing you need to keep close to you at all times to keep fanning those flames.

Never lose sight of that thing that gets you up in the morning, that keeps you going back, and back no matter how hard it gets.

Before you quit, REMEMBER why you started.

Peace,

Little Known Ways To Wake Up Productive

One of the biggest challenges that I have, and have heard from others, is the inability to wake up productive and motivated. I’ve experimented with many different methods, read a lot of books and articles looking for the “same truth” in every suggestion and I’m going to list some things that have worked for me.

As always you should be a scientist with these methods and test them for yourself. We each have a unique set of obstacles to deal with when we wake up in the morning (kids, meal prep, scheduling changes, weather conditions, traffic, etc…) and these are just a few ways to make yourself more functional and efficient in the morning.

Prepare Your Mind The Night Before

I’ve been experimenting with listening to positive and productive lectures before bedtime. These lectures come in the form of Youtube videos, podcasts and recordings that come in formats that predate the digital revolution lol.

What I’ve been noticing is how I Feel in the morning when I do this and comparing that feeling to the mornings I don’t. I feel more focused, motivated to tackle my challenges and the negative chatter that I usually have is at a bare minimum if present at all.

This is due to the programming I’ve done to my subconscious the night before. If you go to sleep with thoughts of positivity, productivity and the notion to embrace the challenges ahead, it keeps the negative self defeating inner talk at bay.

Here are one of my favorites to listen to

If you can’t find anything to listen to that motivates you, it’s perfectly okay. Reach for a book if you prefer quiet reading before bed.

Prepare Your Body The Night Before

A calm mind Always makes for a much better night sleep.

How do you calm your mind?

Meditation!

Most of the time when people think of meditation, they think of an elaborate setting of sitting in a difficult position trying to levitate and make their body glow to perfection.

In reality meditation is the absence of thought and the chaotic noise that usually occupies the mind. This noise can often reach an unbearable pitch when we lay down at night to sleep.

A simple meditation can involve focusing on your breathing and nothing more. You don’t have to get into a lotus position in a silk garment (although if you have a silk garment and feel like it will put you in a better mental space, by all means do so).

Just breathe in and out, calm your mind and do your best to empty your thoughts.

Have you ever heard of the ancient meditative practice of Chi Gong?

If not….check out this video!

Pre-empt Your Unpredictability

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”

-Louis Pasteur

When I was a kid, my mother was always telling me to get my clothes laid out for school in the morning.

Imagine how I felt, being right in the middle of a difficult part of my favorite video game, being told stop what I’m doing and start ironing and folding!

Then I have to get my lunch ready (or make sure my lunch money was in my pocket), pack up my book bag and sit it at the door, and finally straighten up my room.

Crazy, right?!

Wrong!

What she was doing was teaching me to be prepared for the morning so it wouldn’t be a struggle. The more I prepared myself the night before, the more productive I could be in the morning, thereby lessening my challenges.

It’s easy to forget that those simple things that work so well in childhood, can work just as well in adulthood. So…..

-Prepare your clothes

-Do your meal prep

-Check the weather

….Whatever your life situation calls for you to be more prepared at the top of the morning, do so.

Get In Front Of Your Time, Not Behind It

Waking up productive can happen a lot simpler when you take control of your time in the morning. The ideas mentioned above can be executed a lot easier when you take control of your time in the morning.

Trying new things can take time to become second nature, so it will be a good idea to set your alarm clock earlier than you normally would.

The most perfect plans in history have not gone off without a hitch, so why should yours?

With this being said, you have no idea how your new strategies are going to effect what you and everyone else are used to. So give yourself an extra 30 minutes in the morning to make adjustments on the fly if need be.

Not only is this a benefit to your execution, it gives you a feeling of tranquility.

Here’s an example:

How often have you found yourself “ahead” of schedule?

Do you notice the feeling you get when you have ample time to do something your either close to completing or have already completed?

The feeling of ease that comes over you is priceless!

I remember how that used to feel in college when I had an assignment done with 2 weeks left to spare.

In Conclusion…

Waking up productive can set the tone for your day and, when done consistently, your daily life.

Start small.

Tonight before you go to bed, read or listen to something with a positive message. Something that you know your soul needs to hear before you shut it down for the night.

It could be just one paragraph, a page or, if you’re really feeling the vibe, a chapter.

Then, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than your normally wake up.

When you wake up in the morning with that extra 10 minutes, do something to set the tone for your day (meditation, more positive reading, sit in silence and reflect on what you’re thankful for)…..

And observe the difference.

What are some ways you use to wake up productive?

Let me know!

The Importance Of Home Comfort

The subject of home comfort seems to be a subject that is not discussed much. Sure you have television shows on channels like HGTV that cater to the idea of making a home look nice and neat (very important to me by the way), hospitable for guests and good enough for family when they come to visit.

But I wanted to touch on the importance of making your home a sanctuary and comfort place from the outside world.

It’s important, especially in these times we are in, to have a home in which you can turn off the noise and really hone into yourself. A place where you can meditate, be in silence, be comfortable and find peace after a long battle with the ills of society.

How often do you get home after a long day of work, running errands or dealing with an issue, only to come home to more of what you just left in the outside world?

How many times have you pulled into your driveway and had to just sit there for a second because you know as soon as you open the door, More is going to be demanded of you?

If you are a parent, your kids need to be fed, the house most likely needs to be straightened up, the garbage needs to go out and maybe even the dog needs to be walked and catered to.

If you are a parent And have a spouse, you need to do all of the above in addition to having some quality time with your significant other. On top of that, you might have even brought work home with you!

Sometimes it can be too much to deal with, which is why you need to do all you can to make your home a comfortable sanctuary of peace and harmony.

Set Your Boundaries and Enforce Them

Whether you live alone, have a roommate or have a family, boundaries must be set. If you want to have a comfortable home, you have to hold yourself and everyone accountable to do their part.

Try different methods and see which one helps you accomplish this goal.

One day, try coming in and don’t turn anything electrical on for the first hour (except for light if need be). Just come in, take a seat and breathe for a little while before you do anything else.

This will give you time to gather yourself and think about what it is you would like to do for the rest of the evening without being frantic about it.

You will need help from your old friend Discipline with this one, especially if you don’t live alone. Make sure you and everyone are on one accord for peace, comfort and tranquility.

Work On Your Optics and Surroundings

What makes for a good hotel room? A nice car ride? A pleasurable shopping experience?

Outside of treatment and service, Optics. How the place looks and feels to you.

Well…these same qualities are going to apply to your home and its comfort level for you.

Straighten up your home daily. I’m saying daily because a little each time is better than a lot in one sitting. Get some nice visuals that YOU like and put them everywhere. This means everything from pictures of loved ones, nature sounds, meditation tools, visuals that reinforce tranquility, to the colors that you like.

This is YOUR home we’re talking about so spoil yourself in the name of your health and wellness!

Lastly…..

I will touch on this quite often in the future, but this is a great way to get started. Where you lay your head and place your ass means a lot in this world. Society can have a way of eating away at your peace, taking taking taking and not giving anything back.

So you owe it to yourself to guard your home as your last line of defense.

What are some ways you use to maintain peace and tranquility in your home?

How have you successfully maintained home comfort?

Let me know!

Cleanliness – The Power of Organization

I feel like I have always been an organized person, or someone who wanted to be.

There would be times in school when I had my brand new binder, folders, notepads, pens, pencils, dividers and I was all set for the new school year.

But then the same thing would happen all of the time.

By the middle of the first quarter (in NY we went by quarters), I would have 2 folders left, a couple of pencils, no pens, I hadn’t used 1 divider and all of my class work for 5 different classes was scattered all over my binder.

This would happen repeatedly until I would stop everything and say “I have to get organized!”

One day it clicked in my head that what I was really doing was starting a vicious cycle all over again. I couldn’t keep going at my problem like this only to end up in the same position.

The first thing I would always have to do is clean everything. Once I did that I was able to focus on my organization.

And that was IT!

Cleanliness is the key to staying organized.

Sure things are going to get messy and dirty and out of sync. But to reverse those things always involves cleaning up first.

So, if getting back in sync involves cleaning up first, why not just work clean and organized from the start?

It’s easier said than done, but it’s possible.

Next time you take on a project, settle into a new living space or move into a new work environment, keep cleanliness in mind. This is not to say that you have to become like Howard Hughes in his last days of paranoia and neurosis, counting dust mites and such, but just being mindful of your tasks, your tools and your environment.

Your Tasks

What are they?

Do they have a deadline?

Have you set completion goals?

Are your goals realistic? (This matters for your sanity)

Your Tools

What are you working with to accomplish what’s in front of you?

Are these “tools” helping or hindering?

If they are hindering, is there a way to improve on them?

Your Environment

Is it conducive to you accomplishing your goals?

Is it possible for you to stay organized in your current environment?

If not, can you improve on it? Can you change it altogether?

The Point Is….

Cleanliness is the key that could finally help you get and stay organized. If you already are a clean person, you understand the value.

If you are a person who thrives in clutter and chaos, maybe this is a perfect time to try something different. Worst case scenario, you’ll know where everything is when you actually need it lol.

Think about how it would feel to wake up in the morning and know EXACTLY what you need to do, where everything is, where to start, how you should end, all while doing everything methodically and with purpose.

Watch how your daily moods change as a result of the clarity you have because you are clean and organized.

It’s not a tall order unless you are someone who thrives in “chaos”.

But think about this….

If you funnel and control your chaos, will that make things better? Or worse?

What are some of your most effective ways of staying organized?

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