Pranayama

I would like to write about a special breathing practice, which is called Paranayama. We all know that breathing is something that we do every day, 24/7, but don’t really pay any attention to it most of the time. If I tell you what life changing benefits you can get out of Pranayama, I am sure it will make you so much interested that you will start practicing it on a daily basis.

Pranayama is made up of two words i.e. “prana” meaning breath and “yana” meaning to control or restrain. Pranayama, therefore, means to control the breath. Without breathing, we obviously can’t live. Prana is a vital element of our existence on this earth. The only thing we ought to do is take good care of this precious gift God has given us. Utilization of this energy source gifted to us is crucial to ensuring we stay a healthy and disease free lifestyle.

The benefits of pranayama can’t be underscored. There are intangible (that can’t be touched) and tangible (that can be perceived by the sense of touch) advantages.

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Controlled breathing rate!

I am sure you know it already or at least heard it from your friends – Yoga is great for the mind, soul and it will also help you to control your breathing a lot. So another way to practice Paranayama is trough Yoga, it will enable you reduce your breathing rate and breathe more deeply and slowly.

But can you imagine?! With Pranayama, you can reduce your rate of breathing from 13-16 breaths per minute to 5-7 breaths!

A decreased respiratory rate leads to the following

  • More oxygen will be pumped into the lungs due to the slower and deeper breaths
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relaxation of the body muscles and joints
  • Eased nerves
  • Internal organs will be relaxed leading to less wear and tear hence a healthier lifestyle

Backlight profile of a woman breathing deep fresh air in the morning sunrise isolated in white above

Increase in life

According to yoga, breathing increases longevity. The deeper and slower you respire, the longer you will live. For instance, tortoises breathe 4-5 times a minute, and they end up living more than 200 years.

Improved blood circulation

When we breathe, fresh oxygen enters our bodies, and we exhale carbon dioxide. Oxygen travels from our nostrils to our lungs and later on to the heart. Once it reaches the heart, it is pumped into the veins and arteries throughout the body. Therefore, deeper breaths lead to better blood circulation and a revitalized life.

A healthy heart

It’s common knowledge that the heart is the most conscientious organ in the body. Once it stops beating, that’s the end of life. It beats close to 101, 000 times a day. There is not a single minute it has stopped, whether you are resting or sleeping. Your life expectancy will mainly be determined by how healthy your heart is. The more oxygen you breathe, the more oxygen and blood is passed through the heart leading to the more youthful heart. The lesser oxygen you breathe, the lesser blood will be pumped through your veins and arteries leading to a weakened immune system and lower energy levels. You will feel weak, and your muscles and joints will be frail.

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Benefits to the body

Pranayama will have a positive effect on various body organs such as the kidneys, abdomen, heart, pancreas, intestines, diaphragm, and the lungs.

An improved digestive. Digestive system related problems will be cured with better breathing techniques.

Reduced lethargy and improved energy levels.

With more oxygen in the blood, toxins will be removed from the body leading to a better well-being and an improved immune system. Removal of toxins and a better immune system means the onset of illnesses is easily prevented.

Improved mental health

Pranayama frees us from all forms of stress and depression related issues such as anger and lasciviousness. You will be freed from all mental conditions bad characters traits such as arrogance, egotism, and greed for the earthly possessions such as money.

Yoga is great for the mind and soul. Pranayama practice will help you feel relieved, calm, a sense of body lightness, inner peace, and better concentration. You will experience better memory, improved sleep patterns, and enhanced skills.

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Enhances life quality in old age.

The world is changing, and unfortunately, we are engaging in more sedentary lifestyles. We are exercising less, walking less (because we think having a car is the most important thing to own), and spending more time on our smartphones and computers. We are becoming zombies. Living such a lifestyle will lead to your lung capacity decreasing as the lung tissues grow less elastic.

Such a lifestyle means we will have a poor quality of life in our old age. Pranayama will help improve this quality and help us live a better life when we are retired.

Old age problems that yoga will reduce include:

  • Hardened arteries which may lead to lower circulation of blood in the body
  • Rheumatism, headaches and backaches.
  • Muscle pains, stiff joints and weakened bones.
  • Pranayama will also lower the buildup of uric acid in the body which can have adverse effects such as discomfort and chronic joint pains.

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Reduced stress

Once you feel stressed, your body will experience bursts of energy to counter any form of danger that may come your way. Scientifically this is known as the fight or flight effect. You will experience faster and shallow breaths which mean less oxygen will be inhaled and consequently pumped into your bloodstream.

Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline will be produced which increases the blood pressure and heart rate. However, with breathing you can be able to control all these. Deep breathing will give you a sense of calm. Your heart, mind, body, and soul will be peaceful. Deep slow breaths reverse the effects of adrenaline by stimulating the vagus nerve in the parasympathetic nerve system which lowers the heart rates and blood pressure which eventually leads to a calm mind and body.

Your emotional state will be improved with deep controlled breathing techniques. You will be less reactive to your emotions due to a relaxed spirit.

The stages of the breathing process include

Puraka known as inhalation- Here you breathe in deep and slow, and you fill your lungs with air.

Kumbhaka i.e. retention. This is the second stage where body temperatures are raised, and oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream.

Rechaka i.e. exhalation. You release the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the lungs and diaphragm return to its normal position.

Young woman enjoying coffee while lying in the bath with foam and candles

Types of Pranayama

Bhastrika

This means to bellow, i.e. produce a blast of air. Just as a bellow is used to generate lots of air, you ought to breathe in and out rapidly. To practice the Bhastrika Pranayama, sit in a comfortable position and inhale in and out while closing your mouth, expanding and contracting your chest.

Start with 10-15 breaths then increase them to 25-30 breaths. Remember inhaling deeply is the whole point of Pranayama. Retain the air in your chest for as long as you can, then slowly release the carbon dioxide.

Bhastrika Pranayama leads to

  • Reduced throat inflammation
  • Eradicates asthma
  • Destroys phlegm
  • Eliminates all diseases related to the lungs, throat and bile.

Suryabheda

Ensure you are in a comfortable position such as siddhasana. Keep your eyes shut when practicing this Pranayama. Close the left nostril and slowly inhale air through the right nostril. Once you have inhaled enough air (you should be comfortable), close the right nostril with your thumb and retain the air by pressing your jaw against your chest. Increase the rates of retention until sweat is slowly excreted from the hair roots.

Exhale slowly without producing any form of a sound through the left nostril with the right nostril is still closed using your thumb.

Benefits of Suryabheda Pranayama

  • It eliminates any decay in the body
  • It also destroys any worms in the digestive system
  • It cures illnesses such as sinusitis, rhinitis, and rheumatism
  • Suryabheda Pranayama also clears the brain and purifies it.

Ujjayi

Before beginning this Pranayama sit in the siddhasana position and keep your mouth closed at all times. Inspire slowly through both nostrils in a smooth, comfortable pace. Close your mouth once the inhaled air fills up your lungs until the end of your throat. Enlarge your chest when breathing in.

When you are inhaling, there is a weird but uniform sound that will be produced due to the partial closing of the throat. Ensure you are in a comfortable position when breathing and retaining the air in your lungs and throat. Then slowly respire through the nostrils. The best thing about Ujjayi Pranayama is that it can be performed even when during your normal day activities e.g. when at work, or even when walking.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama include

  • Reduces the amounts of heat in the head.
  • Removes phlegm and increases the gastric fire in the body
  • Curing of pulmonary illnesses such as asthma
  • Reduces occurrence of heart-related illnesses

Bhramari

Ensure you are in a padmasana sitting position before starting the Bhramari Pranayama. Breathe in through both nostrils and expire while making the sound of a bee. Repeat the inspiring and expiring severally until the body is soaked in perspiration.

Once you feel like you have perspired enough, inhale deeply through both nostrils and retain the air as long as you are comfortable then let out the carbon dioxide slowly through the two nostrils. You will feel calm and joyful once you are done with this procedure.

Benefits

  • When you start the process, there will be increased body temperature and consequently improved blood circulation throughout the body
  • When you conclude the process, body heat will be reduced through sweating.

Sheetkari

This Pranayama is a little different from others as it involves folding the tongue till it touches the upper part of the mouth. Once you do that, inhale through your mouth while making a hissing sound. Ensure you are comfortable while inhaling, then respire slowly through the two nostrils.

You can choose to keep the upper and lower jaws in contact when breathing in and repeat that process severally.

Benefits include

  • It boosts robustness and beauty. You will be full of strength and life
  • Eliminating problems such as insomnia, hunger, sluggishness, and dehydration.

Sheetali

Sit in a comfortable position. Stick out your tongue straight and fold it like a tube. Then inhale air through the mouth while making a weird but uniform hissing sound. Expand your lungs and retain the air as much as you can. Relax a little bit, then respire the carbon dioxide slowly through the right and left nostrils.

Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama include

    • Blood purity. Your blood and circulatory system will be pure and toxic waste will be exhaled.
    • Quenching of thirst. You will feel better and rehydrated
    • This practice also reduces the hunger pangs and cools the body.

Plavini

The Plavini Pranayama is unique as it involves drinking air from the mouth to the stomach like water. ‘Drink’ the air until the stomach is ballooned a bit. You have to hear some hollow sound when you tap your stomach.

Practice the said procedure slowly. Once you have practiced enough, allow air out. Belch out the air repeatedly.

Benefits

  • Those who have perfected this Pranayama can float for lots of hours on water
  • Persons with this skill can stay without food for several days

Anulom-Vilom

Sit in a comfortable position. Use your right thumb to seal the right nostril and inspire using the left nostril. Breathe in the air to the lungs and not the stomach. Seal the left nostril and expire using the right nostril. Do the said procedure repeatedly.

Then close the left nostril and inspire through the right nostril. Seal the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat those steps severally.

Anulom-Vilom Pranayama leads to

    • Stable body temperatures
    • Lengthens life
    • Reduces stress
    • Removal of toxins from the body
    • Better blood circulation

Chandrabhedan

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor. Your shoulders should be straight and relaxed, and the back should be upright. Seal your right nostril with the right thumb and inspire through the left nostril. Ensure you are comfortable when inhaling to the lungs. Seal the left nostril using your right-hand index finger and exhale through the right nostril.

Repeat the procedure above for 15-20 times.

Benefits include

  • Curing heartburns
  • Stabilizes the body’s temperatures
  • Cooling the body

It’s important to note that this Pranayama shouldn’t be practiced by people who suffer from low blood pressure. It should also be done only during the summer and not any other season.

Pranayama for Children

So now that you have learned the most popular Pranayama techniques, how do you go about teaching your kids such methods of cleansing the body and living a healthy lifestyle?

Pranayama helps children find inner peace and harmony. Pranayama will uplift their moods and spirit; they will learn how to deal better with nerve-wracking or anxious situations. Practicing such yoga techniques is fun.

Steam Train Method

This is particularly popular with baby class or prekindergarten kids. The first step is to sit in a comfortable position such as a crossed- legged position. Instruct them to seal their nostrils using the upper lip. Then, breathe in through the nose forcing the inhalation to sound like a steaming train.

Gradually speed up the breathing in and out. This particular Pranayama method is critical as it calms the minds of the kids and betters blood circulation in the body.

Dragon Breath Technique

This is another popular Pranayama method for children. It’s slightly different from the steam train method because it involves letting out the toxic carbon dioxide to the universe. The mouth should be kept wide open, and exhaled gas let out to the universe.

The first step is to be in a kneeling position. Instruct them to should raise their hands in the air and outstretch their fingers. Inhale through the nose slowly until the lungs are filled with air. When exhaling, the kids should stretch their arms in front and exhale through the mouth. It’s an entertaining process, and I’m also pretty sure the kids would have fun pretending they are a dragon.

With the hand and fingers movements, the kids are stretching and relaxing their upper body.

 

The Mantra

Using a mantra in the form of a poem, encourage the children to breathe in and out. A mantra will help them improve their concentration, cleanse their bodies and enhance awareness. A chosen mantra should be something that will uplift, calm or empower the kids.

Reciting loudly or quietly, the kids can recite the mantra below.

There (inhale) is (exhale)

Nothing (inhale) that (exhale)

Can (inhale) stop (exhale)

Me (inhale) from (exhale)

Accomplishing (inhale)

My dreams (exhale)

The three named Pranayama for kids can be practiced by kids who are up to the age of 18. They can be used as a good base for teaching the more complex Pranayama techniques such as Chandrabhedan, Anulom-Vilom, Plavini, Sheetali, and Sheetkari et al. They are great for the mind, body and soul. They can be particularly useful for the children who suffer from anxiety issues, and stress related problems such as depression.

They can be performed during any season the year or whichever time of the day or night. Encourage your kids or younger siblings to practice Pranayama for kids as there is no other perfect gift – blissful moment – you can give your child or younger sibling(s).

 

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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Keys To Lasting Happiness In Life!

According to Vedanta philosophy, there are two categories of happiness. The first type of happiness is the one that is a result of things turning out the way we want them to be. For example, we can say we are happy because of our friends, family or even children. We are happy because of certain resources that are affecting us, resources that can be taken any time e.g. they aren’t permanent by nature – You could lose your job or wife, so reasons for this type of happiness can be lost any time.

The second category of happiness isn’t as a result of something we achieve or something we do but  it’s a state of being. It doesn’t depend on the outer circumstances or our moods. As a result of this state our inner self tends to become calm and exuberant. Pure joy, in this case, is a result of a connection in our deepest state of unbound awareness.

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Listed below are keys that will ensure lasting happiness in your life.

  1. Listen to your body’s behaviour and needs…

What are you comfortable doing and what are you not comfortable doing? When you are undertaking a task, ask yourself, “Do I like doing this?” If your body displays signs of distress and agony or anguish don’t proceed with the work. However, if you feel comfortable and eager to do the chore, please continue. Know what you love doing and what you detest doing then follow what your body says.

  1. Pay the most attention to the present…

Live and enjoy the present and always keep in mind it’s the only time you have. Accept what comes your way, maximize whatever it is and learn from it. Keep attention to what is on the table at the moment. The infinite laws of nature should be left the way they are, and life should be enjoyed to the fullest the way it is. The present is the way it is. The current moment is as it is because the world and universe are at is.

Ignore what others have to say about you. People may say all sorts of things because of how you look, the way you dress but you should ignore all the negative comments. Discover the infinite possibilities that you have on your hands. Look at life positively.

  1. Eat healthy…

Avoid alcohol and other fermented foods. Expose your body to safe and clean environments, nourishing foods, and happy and comforting experiences. Consider your life to be a life support system. It is like a transport system that will take you to where you desire to be. For you to arrive safely at a particular place, you need a road worthy vehicle. The same way, you should keep your body healthy. Avoid contaminating your body with toxins such as cigarettes, or liquor. Desist from alcoholic drinks. The human body is made up of cells that contribute to the state of comfort and well-being. Therefore, keep every single cell in your body in its purest form.

Healthy smoothie - banana-vanilla, pomegranate and orange, spinach and herbs

  1. According to psychology, the natural state of us humans is a state of love. Fear, hate and distress counter the state of love…

You should, therefore, build a “wall” that will shield all the hate and negative statements from your family and friends. Take part in undertakings that will have a positive impact in your life such as team building exercises. Take any fears you have and come up with ways of countering them with compassion and love. Instead of fearing exams, why don’t you study hard and work hard for them so that you won’t have to fear the outcome of the results. Once you read and revise, you will be happy when you receive your results. You can face threats because your inner self is invulnerable and impenetrable to fear.

  1. Create time for meditation and relaxation of the mind…

Meditation can be explained as the gateway to high levels of self-awareness, linking the mind to our inner power and eventually to self-worth. Look for space and release your feelings, breathe in the clean air, and discover your inner happiness and peace. You could start short e.g. with a ten-minute meditation either by listening to calming music or just relaxing over something that works for you. You could eventually lengthen the time you meditate by staying for longer periods every week.

How about you start each meditation session with a short prayer. Don’t ask for stuff, instead, connect your higher self and your source of light. Make it a habit, a daily practice. Pay a lot of attention to your inner life and shun external interpretations that aren’t good for you such as animosity and deception.

handsome couple practicing meditation exercises on the beach at sunset

  1. Find a place in your heart to forgive…

Avoid reacting to opposition or anger with hatred, because through that, you will stressing yourself. You will make things worse because you will end up filling up your heart with disgust, and you will end up being furious. How about, you relinquish your anger as, through that, you will be cooperating with the universe flow of peace and tranquility.

  1. Show me who are your acquaintances and I will describe your character…

Such are wise words that we should always remember so as to remain happy. Your world “out there”, replicates your reality “in here”. Persons who you react with abhorrence and revulsion project your inner world. Be nice to those close to you. Whatever you love and care about most is what you wish for yourself. If you love someone and care about them, it means you would want the same for yourself. The key objective here is self-knowledge.

What Will Affect A Peaceful Mind?

  1. Special attachment is dangerous…

What we all call love is nothing but special attachment to someone or something. Such kind of attachment isn’t recommended.

If there is love, I will be at your service. Whatever you need, I will provide.

If there is attachment, I will look at you and ask myself, “What kind of service do you provide?”

One partner states: I deserve this because I married you.

The other half says: I deserve this because I married you.

This form of special treatment often passes off as love, because both the husband and the wife think that life is all about rights and not duties.

Affection + Egotism = Attachment | Attachment – Egotism = Affection.

Understand the statements written above. I don’t dispute love and its existence. I am just a firm believer that attachment isn’t something that should be approved.

Attachment is all about how many times you will see your partner and, therefore, there is no space for anything to blossom between the two of you. With love, you are open with each other, and there is a chance for discovery of new things between you two. Just like when flowers bloom during the spring season, your relationship will blossom, and you will be happy when there is love.

Intimate scene of couple in love

  1. Control your desires…

Uncontrolled feelings and desires cause mayhem. We are humans, and as humans, we can’t live without desires, needs and wants. However, the tricky part is, can we control our feelings? What happens once we let our emotions rage?

Feelings can be uncomfortable at times. Controlling what you feel doesn’t necessarily mean repressing or ignoring them all together. It means keeping them in check, the same way that thermostat keeps the room temperatures in your house in check. Doing so will help you become emotionally stable as well as bettering your health.

The best way of keeping your emotions in check is to focus more on your physical senses. For instance, is your heart beat rate faster? How are muscles behaving? Are they tense or tightened? Is your breathing shallow or rapid?

Acknowledge your emotions instead of suppressing them. Once you know they are there e.g. sweaty palms, and a faster heartbeat, you will be able to relax and heed what your body is communicating.

If you have heightened muscles, you could try PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation). PMR will enable you to identify any muscular tension in your body

Look for a quiet and relaxing environment and calm down. Relax for about 10-20 minutes.

Ensure you are always comfortable. Wear clothes that you like. Try to wear loose fitting clothes. Cleansing and deep breaths will help calm your mind and muscles.

Curl your toes as tight as you can for 5-10 seconds. Relax your muscles for around 20 seconds, and then move to the other foot. Do the same for all the other muscles in your body including those on your stomach, buttocks, lips, eyes, forehead, upper arms, hands, hips, thighs, feet and the forehead.

If you are always working, or if you are always busy, focus on the facial muscles. Engaging in such activities will help you relieve any stress you may have.

You could use visualization methods to relax. Picture yourself in a safe place. That place should be soothing and relaxing. That calm place could be quietest park you know, your bedroom, the spa, your worship place, or the beach. Create as much detail as you can. What do you smell, hear, feel, or touch?

You could imagine yourself as that pebble that’s thrown in the ocean. The pebble will drift away as the waves rise. Picture your problems to be that pebble. Imagine all that negativity, hate and animosity are drifting away just like a pebble. Comforting, isn’t it?

Young woman enjoying coffee while lying in the bath with foam and candles

Visualization often seems weird in the beginning, but once you practice it, you will find it normal and comforting.

  1. What do you operate on? If they are likes or dislikes, be ready for consequences… 

We are all unique in different ways. What I desire, might not be what you desire. For instance, a person might find pleasure in smoking, but another guy might not stand it. Some guy may look forward to selling his condo; another, on the other hand, can’t wait to buy it. Such happens everywhere.

What might be happy for someone may end up being sad and sorrowful for another. Therefore, it’s not a being or thing but how you relate and share with it. It’s not the external world that wrecks your peace but rather how you relate to it.

When you are operating on the mind level, it’s all about what you like and dislike and that is dangerous. For example, if you go to a certain country, and you find whatever food you like isn’t part of the menu, so what next? You will end up furious. And that will dent on the level of happiness you intend to achieve.

You should, therefore, operate on the intellect level instead of likes and dislikes as that will help you choose the correct path.

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  1. The mind has a tendency of wandering…

Sometimes the mind rambles when you are talking to someone. It’s a little bit tough to concentrate 100%, even if you really want to. Lots of things are always running through our minds. The haunting past, anxieties about the future often affects our concentration.

Such worries tire us and tire our minds. Take time off and relax.

Avoid working on the weekends. Relax your mind, take a walk at the beach or spend your Saturday at the park. Children are most of the time happy. You have ever asked yourself why? Because they never worry about the past or future. Their minds are always relaxed and therefore, they are always joyful and happy.

Once You Change, You Will Be Able To Change The World!     

Be the change that you want to see on the planet. Do things that you would want to see happen on the earth. If you decide to change your thoughts, your actions, the world around you will change.

View your environment with new lenses. I know everyone would like to see a clean and airy environment free from all filth and waste from non-biodegradable goods. I know you love it when the air is clean. Since you like it that way, then why would you want to engage in practices that will be detrimental to the environment such as unclean energy sources e.g. coal energy. Isn’t that going against what you would want the world to be? If you want a clean earth, green, use clean energy sources such as solar power. Avoid littering the environment. The main problem of changing the world without changing yourself is that you will still be you even after you change the environment that you dwell in. With all your negativity, hatred and flaws, you will stain the world with your sabotaging tendencies.

With you being in such kind of situation, you will not achieve whatever you intended because your mind is full of all that negativity.

Avoid spending so much time on other people’s mistakes e.g. “I wish he didn’t walk like that”, “I wish he didn’t drink that beer” Sometimes we end up forcing our closest friends or family members to change. The truth of the matter is, it’s a little bit challenging to change a person for who he or she is.

Instead, be an example, a beacon of hope. If you wish your spouse to be more positive, allow your positivism to permeate your relationship.    

beautiful girl enjoying the summer sun outdoors in the park                                                                    

 With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

 

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The Ayurvedic Dosha

Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The modern world has slowly accepted this traditional system of medicine, and it’s seen as an alternative to modern medicine. In most Western European and American hospitals, this traditional form of medicine has been integrated into general applications as well as in the medical field.

Ayurveda has been in use for more than two millennia and has varied and evolved over the years. It’s said that the classical Ayurveda began with the transmission of the medical expertise from the Gods and then knowledge was passed to the sages, and finally to the human doctors. These therapies are based on complex compounds of herbal products, metals, and various mineral substances. Ayurveda also involves complex medical techniques that include surgical procedures e.g. perineal lithotomy, extracting foreign objects, suturing wounds, and rhinoplasty.

Medical scholars have asserted in the past that Ayurveda originated in the prehistoric periods, and some concepts of this traditional form of medicine were discovered since the times of Vedic period and Indus Valley Civilisation or even earlier. However, most of the medical expertise was developed in the Vedic period, with systems that include Jainism and Buddhism having some practices and concepts appearing in the Ayurveda medical system.

Under Ayurveda is three fundamental substances called the doshas.

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DOSHAS

Doshas according to the Ayurveda system are three humors that constitute the body of a human being. The dosha teachings are also commonly referred to as the Tridosha theory.

Ayurveda mainly exists because of a delicate but key balance between the three doshas or bodily humors called Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.

The three named doshas above are present in every human being, but the teachings of Ayurveda proposes that we all have at least one dominant dosha since our birth date. Ayurveda also recommends that there should be a balance between the other two doshas. Once the doshas are well balanced, we will live a healthy and disease-free lifestyle but when they aren’t, we develop diseases that are often as a result of various causes. Such causes may include:

  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Most of the Eastern Asia countries have fully integrated the three doshas into their schools of medicine. Ayurveda physicians will even undertake evaluations of your body such as checking your pulse, evaluating your appearance, taking your temperature and asking questions to see how you will handle them and also how you respond to certain scenarios.

There are three doshic states…

Decreased: In this case, a certain dosha is present but in a lower than normal proportion also known as a depleted or a reduced state

Balanced: All the 3 stated doshas are present in their normal equal proportions also called an equilibrium state.

Increased: One of the doshas is present in a greater than normal proportion also known as an excess or aggravated state.

Of the three states above, the aggravated state or increased state leads to the highest number of imbalances, which often come from a range of influences such as stress in life, or a dosha aggravating budget. You could initiate a reinstatement of balance, but it would need a lot of dedication and effort. You would first need to understand your body makeup then complement the needs of your external environment with the needs of your internal environment. Ayurveda medical system offers various specific recommendations for every individual ranging from a general lifestyle change to the treatment of diseases.

VATA DOSHA

Vata’s definition is derived from the elements of air and space, which translate to ‘’that which moves stuff’’. It is considered as the most significant dosha because it the greater life’s force and it controls Kapha and Pitta doshas.

Vata Qualities   

Some Vata qualities include mobile, light, subtle, rough, dry and cold. A Vata person may display the mental and physical individualities in both an imbalanced and balanced condition.

Vata Pyschical Characteristics

Vata individuals have a sense of excellent adaptability, light frame and are thin. As mentioned above, the Vata influences other doshas. Energies in Vatas come out in bursts and, tend to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. They have cold feet and hands. Their digestion is sensitive, and they sleep lightly as compared to the other doshas.

Vata persons are always on the go with energetic, creative body and minds.

Imbalance Of A Vata

When a Vata is imbalanced, it exhibits anxiety and certain disorders that may include either one or some of the following; constipation, dry skin, arthritis, pains, aches, loss of weight, weakness, and skin dryness.

A Vata individual becomes imbalanced as a result of

  • Sleeping late at night and for fewer hours
  • Eating while on the run
  • Smoking cigarettes or shish-a
  • Drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
  • Eating while anxious or depressed
  • Having an irregular routine

How Can Vata’s Stay Balanced?

A balanced Vata is enthusiastic, creative, lively, balanced, and gifted with a natural ability to communicate and express him or herself effortlessly.

Listed below are some guidelines a Vata can undertake to ensure they are balanced:

  • Follow the dietary steps listed below
  • Have enough sleep and always keep warm
  • Vatas should avoid certain climatic weathers such as dry climates, windy and cold conditions
  • Avoid very noisy places such as clubs and bars
  • Reduce traveling and keep your movements to a minimum
  • Avoid inconsistent routines and engage in exercises that are regulated and gentle in nature
  • Create time for rest, having breaks between heavy and complex tasks.
  • Live in a safe, peaceful and calming environment.

Young woman having head treatment with pouring oil in Ayurveda spa .

Favourable Diets

A Vata is known to be dry and cold and, therefore, require nourishing warm foods, of reasonably heavy texture. Fat and butter are recommended for stabilising a Vata.

Always choose satisfying, sweet, soothing and salty foods. Other diets common for Vatas include warm milk, hot cereals, butter, cream, nut butter, raw nuts, baked bread, warm soups, and stews. Sugary fruits are preferred to the sour and bitter ones. Vatas are advised to wait till fruits are extra ripe so as to consume them.

You should also have hot water and warm drinks regularly. Drinks such as hot herbal teas ought to be taken in the late afternoon.

Spices that a Vata can use in their foods include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.

What Types Of Food Should A Vata Reduce?

Vata should desist from drinking drinks with a lot of caffeine such as sodas and coffee. Sweets should be avoided. Cold drinks and foods such as raw vegetables, and greens, iced drinks, and salads will lead to a Vata imbalance as stated above. Avoid having unripe fruits as they deemed to be too astringent.

VATA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Vata should undertake to ensure dosha balance and restore Vata balance if there is any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapes, avocados, lemons, fresh figs, plums, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, coconuts, berries, sweet lemons, cherries, stewed, sour oranges, plums, grapefruits, apricots, and bananas.

The fruits listed above should be well ripened.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include pears, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Dried, unripe fruits should be avoided.

Grains

The best grains for a Vata include cooked rice and cooked foods such as oatmeal cereals.

Note that the cereals should be cooked and not dried.

Grains to be taken with moderation include millet, dry oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.

Dairy

All forms of dairy are allowed.

Meat

The best meats for a Vata include chicken, turkey and sea foods all in small quantities. Generally speaking, the best meats are white meat.

Types of meat that to be taken in moderation include red meat, e.g., beef and pork

Beans

The best type of beans includes the following: pink lentils, chickpeas, tofu and mung beans. However, tofu should be taken in small quantities unlike the other listed type of beans.

Beans such as black beans, kidney beans should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Vatas include ghee, sesame and olive oil. Olive oil is the best oil and is highly recommended due to its nutritional value and health benefits.

Spice & Herbs

Vatas should avoid having spices in large amounts. They should also desist from astringent and bitter spices and herbs that include thyme, fenugreek coriander seed, and parsley. Herbs such as turmeric and saffron should be taken in moderation.

Vegetables 

All vegetables listed below should be cooked.

The best vegetables include the following: turnips, garlic, carrots, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes

Vegetables that should be taken in moderation include broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, eggplant, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, peppers peas, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts

Desist from consuming raw vegetables.

Seeds & Nuts

Almond seeds are considered the best for a Vata. However, all nuts and seeds are acceptable.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed.

PITTA DOSHA

Pitta is related to the elements of Water and Fire and roughly translates to ‘’the one that cooks’’ It refers to the energy of metabolism and digestion in the body that functions through substances such as enzymes, bile, and organic acids. The liquid nature of the named elements above accounts for Pitta’s element of Water make-up.

Locations of Pitta in the body include stomach, spleen, eyes, sweat, pancreas and the small intestine. Psychologically, they govern courage, joy, jealousy, mental perception and anger. Physiologically they provide the body with energy and heat through the breaking down of complex molecules.

When you feel like your body is “overheating,” Pitta is usually the cause. Internal body temperatures should always be kept in check to avoid such scenarios.

 

Pitta Qualities

The qualities of a Pitta include acidic, pungent, penetrating, intense, light, hot, and sharp. This dosha controls metabolism, energy production, and digestion. A Pitta’s principal function is conversion and transformation of foods into energy.

The qualities listed can be reflected in either an imbalanced or balanced state.

Emotional Features of a Pitta

Pittas have a strong ability of concentration and are powerful intellects. They are excellent speakers, good decision makers and teachers. Other characteristics of Pittas include direct, sharp-witted, precise and, ambitious, outspoken and practical. They love challenges and taking adventurous trips.

Imbalance of a Pitta

When they are imbalanced, they exhibit certain behaviours such as being argumentative, short-tempered, and emotional outbursts.

What Causes the Imbalance of a Pitta?

  • Overworking
  • Eating while furious
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Drinking alcohol, tea or coffee
  • Consuming Pitta-aggravating diets

When Pittas are imbalanced, they suffer from disorders such as burning sensations, indigestion, skin rashes, peptic ulcers, and heart burns.

How Can a Pitta Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan listed below
  • Engage in calming exercises every day such as walking, tai chi, yoga, and swimming.
  • Participate in activities that relax the mind like spending time in the park enjoying the picturesque nature
  • Avoid climates with high humidity, excessive heat, and steam.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid conflicts
  • Avoid stimulants especially those that are artificially made

Woman doing meditation near the ocean beach. Yoga silhouette.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Pittas need to have warm or cool foods with reasonably heavy textures. Pittas should desist from having hot, steaming foods. Ideal tastes include astringent, sweet and bitter tastes. Consume cool foods in the hot weather such as ice cream, salads, and milk. A good breakfast for a Pitta may include apple tea, cinnamon toast and cold cereal. Red meat should be avoided as it tends to generate heat for the body. Vegetables are best for Pittas. They should consume high amounts of vegetables, grains and milk.

Foods a Pitta Should Reduce

Pittas should avoid all alcoholic drinks. A Pitta should go slow on the consumption of fatty foods i.e. they ought to use less added fat and butter. They should skip hot drinks, nuts, honey, egg yolks, hot spices, cheese, pickles, and sour cream. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Pittas ought to use lemon juice as a dressing instead of vinegar. Fermented diets should also not be taken by Pitta persons.

PITTA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Pitta should undertake to maintain balance and restore balance in case of any imbalance.

Fruits

The best fruits include apples, sour cherries, berries, grapefruits, pineapples, peaches, raw papaya, dark grapes, and persimmon.

A vital point to note is the fruits named above should be sweet and ripe.

Avoid any fruits that aren’t ripe and sweet especially plums, oranges, grapes, and pineapples.

Grains

The best grains include white basmati rice, oats, barley, and wheat.

Grains such as rye, corn, millet, and brown rice should be taken in moderation

Diary

The best forms of dairy for a Pitta include milk, egg whites, butter, not sour fruit sorbets and ghee.

Cheese, ice cream, egg yolk, sour buttermilk, cream & yogurt should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats for a Pitta include; shrimp, chicken, turkey, and river fish. All the listed types of meat should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as seafood and red meat should be taken in moderation

Eggs and fish

Beans

Mung beans, tofu, red lentils, and chickpeas.

Beans such as black lentils, black gram, and Ar har Dal should be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for Pitta include sunflower, soy, grape seed, and olive oils.

Oils such as coconut, corn, safflower, almond and sesame oils should be taken in moderation.

Spices & Herbs

Pittas should avoid all types of spices as they too heating. However, some herbs and spices such as cumin, mint, black pepper, dill, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, saffron, fennel, and turmeric can be consumed in small amounts

Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, sprouts, squash, zucchini, parsley, green beans, and spinach.

Some of the vegetables that ought to be taken in moderation include onions, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers and chilies

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Pitta include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and coconut seeds

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed except for molasses and honey.

KAPHA DOSHA

Kapha dosha is related to the elements of water and earth and roughly translates to “the one that sticks” It refers to the energy of lubrication and constituents of the body with its physical and structural form and the smooth functioning of all human parts. In general terms, it can be referred to the body lubrication, glue and cement of the areas of the body all rolled in one.

Kaphas tend to weigh heavier as compared to the other doshas. They also possess earthier bodies than the other two types. As a result of being heavier, they can easily store fats and fluids. Their speech is slow and melodically. They are attached and naturally calm. Sometimes they have watery dreams and have heavy and thick elimination.

Locations of Kapha in the body include the following: tendons, lungs, fatty tissue, ligaments, connective tissues, chest, throat, lymph, and the head. Psychologically, they govern greed, mental inertia, forgiveness, attachment, and love. Physiologically they store energy, moistens food, and they relate to bodily fluids such as mucous, water and lymph

The fluids in a Kapha may be stored in the body and leading to a dampened system which will eventually cloud the mind and weigh down the body leading to fatigue. This accumulation of fluids in the body leads to other body disorders that include sinus congestion, obesity, and mucous related diseases. Such body disorders often, in the end, cause depression, attachment, and lethargy. 

KAPHA QUALITIES

The qualities of a Kapha include steady, slow, heavy, oily, cold and soft. It governs the body structures. It is the principal that holds together cells and forms the bone, muscle, and fat. Kapha also provides immunity to the body. The core function of Kapha is safeguarding the body from diseases.

Kaphas have an excellent stamina and a strong build. Their skin is radiant and smooth. Their digestion is regular, and they sleep soundly. However, once a Kapha adds a lot of weight, he or she tends to retain lots of fluids, which eventually manifests as allergies in the body.

What Are The Emotional Characteristics Of A Kapha

They are naturally loving, thoughtful and calm. They tend to be comfortable with routine and enjoy life. Kaphas are also supportive, loyal, steady, patient, and strong. They love listening to music, relaxing and reading.

Imbalance Of A Kapha

What causes an imbalance of a Kapha?

  • Overeating
  • Eating to get rid of emotions e.g. eating sweets when stressed.
  • Not engaging in any physical activities.
  • Avoiding intellectual tasks.
  • Spending a lot of time in cool and damp climates.
  • Spending lots of time indoors especially on the TV, laptop or computer.

When imbalanced, Kaphas become lethargic and overweight. They sleep excessively. They suffer from diabetes, depression, asthma, and depression.

Kaphas also hold onto jobs and relationships when imbalanced. They show excessive attachment and are resistant to change. They are also quite stubborn.

How Can Kaphas Stay Balanced?

  • Follow the food plan below
  • Exercise every day.
  • Engage in activities that will energise, stimulate the body and mind.
  • Allow for variety in life, challenges, and excitement.
  • Break off from old ways of thinking, and stagnation.
  • Always keep dry and warm
  • Take part in introspective activities such as writing and meditation
  • Have a boundary between being taken advantage of and being nice.

What Are The Favourable Diets?

Kaphas need to have dry foods, light, warm or cooked light meals. They also do best with raw vegetables and fruits. Spicy foods are such as Indian or hot Mexican foods are good for Kaphas. Dry methods of cooking that include broiling, baking, sautéing, and grilling are preferred to moist methods of cooking such as poaching, steaming or boiling. Preferred spices include turmeric, cumin, sesame seed, and fenugreek. Tonic water, endive, and romaine lettuce are some of the foods that are good for a Kapha.

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Foods Kaphas Should Reduce

Kaphas should go slow on the consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and should reduce salt consumption as this often leads to fluid retention in the body. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Kaphas have a tendency of overeating.

They should have the main meal during the day with less heavy, dry foods in the late afternoon or night. Kaphas should desist from consuming fats, sugars, dairy products, chilled drinks, and foods. They ought to use oils and ghee in small proportions.

KAPHA FOOD PLAN

Stated below are steps that a Kapha should undertake to ensure balance and restore Kapha balance if there is any imbalance. These foods mainly affect the moist and heavy aspects of the body.

Fruits

The best fruits include grapefruits, cranberries, apples, pears, prunes, papaya, berries, cherries, and pomegranates, and apricots

Dried fruits including figs, apricots, raisins, prunes, and are great for Kaphas.

Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include mangoes, bananas, fresh figs, dates, and coconuts.

Grains

The best grains for a Kapha include basmati rice, buckwheat, barleycorn, millet, oats, and rye.

Grains, for instance, rice and wheat, should be taken with moderation

Kaphas are also advised to avoid steamed grains and hot cereals because they are too damp for the body.

Diary

Small amounts of whole milk, warm skim milk, camel milk, goat milk, and soy milk are good for a Kapha. They can also take eggs, but they shouldn’t be cooked with butter or fried

Eggs yolks should be taken in moderation.

Meat

The best meats include the following; lean fish, chicken, and turkey which should be taken in small amounts.

Meats such as red meat and shrimp should be taken with moderation

Beans

All legumes can be consumed.

Beans such as kidney beans and tofu to be taken in moderation.

Oils

The best oils for a Kapha include sunflower, grape seed oil, almond, and olive oil.

All oils should be used in small quantities.

Spices & Herbs

Kaphas can have all types of spices and herbs. However, the most preferred include sesame, cumin, ginger, and fenugreek. Spices and herbs are good because they improve digestion.

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Vegetables

The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, sprouts, peas peppers, and spinach.

Vegetables to be eaten in moderation include zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Seeds & Nuts

The best seeds and nuts for Kaphas include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Sweeteners

All sweeteners are allowed but in small quantities.

Woman having Ayurvedic spa treatment. Pouring milk.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amazing Reasons to Run Your First Marathon

Marathons have been with humanity since the days of the days of the Greece Empire. A marathon is a long race where people compete for honours and fame. Today there are different categories of marathon runners: those who compete for money, presents and records, people who compete for fun and those who do it to accomplish a dream. Whatever your motivation, it is time you ran you first marathon and I will tell you why. Before that you need to know that there are mainly two type of marathon – the full marathon which is 42 km long and the half marathon that is 21km long. However, there are other fun marathons that you can participate in including the 10km, 5km and children’s races of varying lengths. Most major cities have a marathon that take place annually. In the UK, the London Marathon is regarded as one of the major races in the world, attracting thousands of runners including elite athletes from around the globe. The US also hosts many marathons with Boston and New York being the most famous.

OMSK, RUSSIA - MAY 24 : Marathon runners compete at the Spring Half Marathon 2015 in Omsk, Russia, May 24, 2015. Marathon athletes running on street

Training for the marathon

When you decide to take place in a marathon, you need to start preparing early enough. The best favour you can do yourself is to have a group of people to train with. Develop a training plan. Remember you must practice running for the same distance that you intend to run in the real marathon.

Make sure you also train adequately. You cannot begin training one week to the marathon because you will not be ready on the material day. Another important consideration is to invest in the best running shoes as you will need to be comfortable during the race. There is nothing as boring as training for marathon alone. Get some company and you will enjoy your training.

Remember to drink a lot of water because this is the fuel that will keep you going. Energy drinks are also good to use as long as they do not contain a lot of sugar. More importantly, eat a balanced diet, preferably wholesome food, but moderation. Carbohydrates are very important because they give you the energy you need to train for the race.

  1. For the sheer fun of it

There is a lot of fun involved in running a marathon particularly when you do it in a group. There is a lot to see and share with your fellow competitors in the course of the marathon. Fun moments as people struggle to finish the race will make the experience even more exciting. What more? There is nothing that defeats the joy of reaching the finishing line even if it is five hours after the winner.

Young girl crosses finish line

 

  1. To get motivation to accomplish other tasks

Running a marathon enables you to think, live and accomplish a dream. Within the few hours you will be running, you will acquire the discipline needed to set, prepare for and attain other goals in life.

  1. To lose weight

There is no way you will prepare adequately for a marathon and finish it yet fail to shed some weight. Preparing for a marathon requires you to run a lot and in the process you will burn calories.

  1. Health benefits abound

Running will make your blood run as it should because your heart will be strengthened and oxygen will reign free. Expect your risk of heart diseases to be lowered significantly and your blood pressure to normalize. Cholesterol takes a flight when you run a marathon, while your immunity will get a boost.

  1. You will make friends

Normally, major marathons bring together people from all walks of life. Here you will find amateur and professional runners from all continents and you will make lasting friendships with them.

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  1. To contribute to charity

Many people who participate in marathon do so because they are out to help a certain cause of kindness. You could help to build a school or a hospital in a developing country. With the number of disasters and prevailing poverty in the world, this is a great reason o participate in a marathon.

  1. How about being the special one?

How many people in your family or neighbourhood have ever finished a marathon? You will be in a special class. You will have a story to tell people and your story will be retold and inspire other people to take the challenge.

  1. To take part in a historic event

Marathons are important events in the calendars of important cities. Taking part in marathon means you will be listed as having participated in a great event. You will have important memories to deliver to your children and grandchildren.

Determine to run a marathon this year. It may look daunting for now but you will never regret once you reach the end of the race. If you have been craving an accomplishment that will rank high in your lifetime goals, look no further than running a marathon. Remember you don’t have to run the full marathon at the first attempt. You can start with 5km or 10km and later graduate to the half-marathon before taking on the mother of all races – the full Marathon.

 

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX

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Help Save the Planet – Change Your Food Shopping Habits

The world is reeling under the weight of environmental degradation. Humankind is busy destroying its resources with little regard as to how future generations will live or survive. Governments and organisations are some of the main culprits in this regard thus explaining their slow and half-hearted reactions. It is time that each one of us took the task of saving the planet personally.

Different Ways; Same Objective

There are different ways to play your role in making the planet a better place to live in. Among the most popular is to be vegan or to eat only organic food. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you curtail emission of greenhouse gasses and the use of chemicals in growing food.

Of course you have many other reasons to want to be vegan or to eat organic food. Most of the food in our market is grown using chemicals that are known to contribute to high risk of cancer and other diseases. Genetically Modified Food (GMO) is also said to be responsible for some diseases. Add this to the use of antibiotics and artificial hormones and you will have second thoughts before buying and eating conventionally-grown food.

On veganism, it is important to realise that human beings contract some diseases from domestic animals. These animals are kept in congested conditions where they are fattened for slaughter using chemicals and modified animal feeds. The normal process through which an animal must go before it matures is shortened so that you get meat and milk on your table. If we all chose to be vegan, there would be no need to rear animals in such unhealthy environments or even to eat them.

How The World Can Be Saved

The most important issue, though, for this article is that we are able to save and protect the earth through the food choices we make. Suppose all of us chose to eat organic food, there would be many benefits. It would be a decision that would revolutionise the world, help to conserve the environment and save the world billions of dollars that we are using to treat diseases associated with chemicals in food.

To begin with, if we stopped growing and eating organic food, there would be fewer toxins in our soils and the air. Normally, most of the chemicals used in farming remain in the air, water and soil for very long durations and continues to poison the environment. When people eat these foods, they are likely to get sick often gradually.

In addition, if we decided to grow food organically, the fields on which this food is grown would absorb most of the carbon in the environment. Is it estimated that one acre of an organic field can absorb the amount of carbon that is emitted by about 11, 000 cars every year. In essence, we would be reversing the negative effects of excess carbon in the air.

Animals that are grown the normal way emit less carbon than those that are grown for meat in secluded and congested places. We have interfered with nature and this is causing us many problems. When animals graze in the open and eat the grass and other plants they are meant to, the carbon and other gasses they emit are in tandem with natural flows of carbon in the air.

Female Customer Shopping At Farmers Market Stall

Another reason to support the assertion that going organic would save the earth from further destruction is the fact that non-organic farming also requires the use of other techniques for packaging which increases the waste burden of the planet. Normally organic companies ensure they have sustainable ways of packaging their products so that only few greenhouse gases are emitted.

Organic farming is in tandem with nature because it replenishes nutrients in the soil. Organic strategies also protect plants from pests and diseases in a manner that does not interfere with the ecosystem. What most of us don’t know is that some of the pests we consider harmful and kill with pesticides are important to the environment and should not be killed.

Greater Awareness and Activism

The good news is that people are becoming sensitive about the environment and are making demands related to the type of foodstuff they want to purchase. It is not just about nutritional value of food but how that food is grown. People want to eat food that is grown in a healthy manner. In turn, supermarkets and governments are conducting research and surveys among consumers to know what type of foods the latter do not want to find on shelves.

It is sad that human beings have resorted to destroying the very environment they live in. For example, our flesh-eating habits are depleting fish and other creatures in the ocean. The wastes from the animals we keep for meet are polluting the air and making the earth hotter by the day.

By choosing to be vegan or to eat organic food only, you may not seem to be doing much, but if all of us played our little roles effectively, we would save the earth.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Are You Obsessed With Social Media?

Whenever the word ‘addiction’ or ‘obsession’ is mentioned, we associate it with negativity. We believe that people can only get addicted to cigarettes, harmful drugs or other obnoxious substances and behaviours. Is that why we don’t notice or acknowledge that we are addicted to social media sites?

Asking pertinent questions…

What are the symptoms of this addiction? Are there negative repercussions in such a scenario?

Addiction is addiction – the terminology notwithstanding

It is important to begin by stating that there is no difference between addiction to drugs, work or social media in terms of the disruptions these activities bring to life and how they affect the individual in question and those around him or her. That is why you should think twice before castigating that person who is sinking under the weight of cocaine, if you exhibit some of the symptoms we are about to discuss.

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How to self-diagnose your social media addiction

The good thing about social media obsession is that you don’t need to sit before an expert and explain your symptoms for you to know you are hooked. You can do it yourself. Here’s how:

    1. You wake up in the morning and turn to your phone (incidentally it ‘sleeps’ under your pillow), turn on the internet and check whether there is anything you missed on FB while you were asleep.
    2. Your phone is connected to the internet while you spruce up to go leave your house because you don’t want to miss out on interesting posts that are trending in your Whatsup group.
    3. Breakfast is on the table but you have one eye on your phone going through all the stuff being shared in your group.
    4. You don’t forget to take a photo of your breakfast and display it or FB, Twitter or even Instagram just to show your friends and followers what you ate!
    5. You give live updates of everything happening in your life, tagging people to photos and videos and ensuring they know what you are dressed in. Even when you are bored and tired, you make sure the world knows it.

  • Every idle moment, including when you are in a bus or train, is used to make observations of people and funny events and to post images of what you come across.
  • You are on social media most of the time, visiting as many platforms as possible because you are on almost all the sites.
  • When your friends want to find you, they don’t need to call you or come to your office or home. You have a reputation of being online most of the day, even at odd hours, thus making it easy to locate you.
  • There is this game you are playing and you cannot resist reaching the next level; after all you are competing with many other people in your group and you want to have the bragging rights.
  • You are the selfie queen. Every time you meet with important people and some nobodies is time for a selfie, which you promptly post on social media and boast about the meeting the persons on the photo.

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  • I don’t want to get into details of those who tweet while performing some vital duties in lavatories or those who are quick to get the details of some famous dead folks and giving breaking news of the death of such celebrities.

Why you should act!

This list is endless. What is important is that you realize that social media obsession is taking away precious time that you could use reading, discussing face-to-face with loved ones and consciously interacting with other people. It is unfortunate that you can spend more time with people you barely know or those who are far removed from you while neglecting those around you and who matter most to you.

Eventually you will begin to neglect your own hygiene and personal needs to pander to the vain expectations of other people. Remember social media creates a false image of perfection that you are expected to fit in and since you cannot attain it, you end up with low self-esteem, despondency and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

How to end the obsession

  1. Ditch social media sites. Pull down your accounts and be free of this addiction for ever.
  2. If you cannot leave social media completely, reduce the number of sites you are in; after all the same people you follow on Twitter are your friends on FB.
  3. Come up with a social media schedule in which you spend a few hours every week catching up with the latest news, thus leaving the rest of the week for serious stuff.
  4. Spend more of your free time with real people, chatting, laughing, enjoying a meal or beverage, travelling and helping the poor instead of wasting all your productive time on social media.
  5. Work on your attitude, self-esteem, grooming and other personal elements away from social media and create a unique style for yourself so you don’t fall victim of unrealistic expectations of social media.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

XXX

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Get Rid of Old Stuff and Start Anew in 2016!

The whole world belongs to humanity. However, there are some spaces that belong to individuals. You own such a place. It is your house, bedroom and so on. Occasionally, a lot of dirty stuff and other cluttering materials accumulate and this leads to physical, emotional and spiritual stagnation.

Is it normal to have stuff we don’t need?

Once you understand how the stuff you don’t need dirt contribute to your attitude and personal life, you will realise the need to rid yourself of the old and allow new and fresh ideas into your life. Often, we think that having stuff we don’t need is just a normal issue. But is that really true?

Think about those cards that your former boyfriend sent you many years ago and which you keep in a small or big box somewhere in your house. Are they really worth keeping today? How about those old shoes and clothes that you don’t wear anymore? Is there something more useful you can do with such space? How about the dust that emanates from these spaces, hurting your health? How many people would benefit from those old clothes that you are keeping and which you cannot wear because they are out of fashion or cannot fit you anymore? Even if you don’t want to donate your stuff to the poor why not convert them into money? You can sell your used books on Amazon and spend the proceeds in other ways.

It is unfortunate that you lost that close family member. However, keeping their old clothes and other bulky mementos in a closed room in your house is not the best way to celebrate the dead. Wouldn’t it be better to remember you late relatives by giving out their stuff to the needy?

Beyond getting rid of old stuff here is the philosophical angle of de-cluttering

The old and bulky stuff that occupies our precious spaces is closely connected to our relationships, histories, identities and also feelings of self-worth. We choose to keep old photos and personal belongings of our dead relatives because we want to remember them. Those romantic letters from your childhood flame are important for your history and also to remind you of your worth when somebody else rejects you.Many a times when you go through your stuff you are going through an emotional journey. Every item reminds you of a specific time in your life when you were either happy or sad. Some photos bring fond memories of people you once knew. There are also those photos that you don’t even want to look at a second time because they bring back painful memories. In essence, whatever you keep that has no use currently carries memories and emotions that are either positive or negative. When you decide to get rid of such stuff, you are getting rid of those memories and feelings. Consequently, it is important that you sort out your stuff carefully before you burn some documents, throw away some papers, sell some personal stuff or even donate to charity.

Woman buried under an untidy cluttered woman wardrobe. Woman in high heels needs help from to much shopping. Shopaholic girl.

How your dirty and bulky stuff affects you emotionally…

Experience has shown that people who have unwanted stuff that occupies space unnecessarily in their lives also have emotional problems corresponding to the clutter in their lives. In those old shoes, clothes, letter, photos and other stuff are negative feelings and experiences that you need to let go. Many have never forgotten their former lovers. They keep photos and other mementos of their former flames. As a result, they spend a lot of time comparing current lovers with past ones and end up with broken hearts because no two people are the same.

Your house lacks vital energy because, where that power should be, because you have chosen to keep the personal belongings of your grandparent who died many years ago. There is no way new positive energy will come your way if you don’t create space for it. Those projects you have not completed for many years fill you with frustration and desperation. You have even allowed some people to store their unwanted stuff in your house. It is stuffy, dirty and uncomfortable. You cannot think creatively in your own house.

A new beginning

As you begin the New Year you need to create time to sort out valuable items that deserve to be retained and those that belong to charity or the trash bin. Look around you and you will realise that a huge chunk of the stuff in your house is simply useless junk that clutters your life without adding any value to you.

The New Year offers you an opportunity to begin life anew. Getting rid of old stuff should be a gradual process because it is not easy to let some stuff to go. However, always remember that the moment you get rid of unwanted stuff, you will get a new dose of optimism that will help you live more productively in the New Year. Free yourself of trash and live in a clean physical, emotional and mental environment.

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With love,

Grace Guru

XXX                                                                                                                                     

 

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Change Your Attitude for You to Make It

Many people do not live their dreams because they choose to believe in lies. We are all born with the desire to be better and to surpass our expectations. Nobody wants to lead a mediocre or low life. If desire were to translate into reality without any effort all of us would be living in utopia. However, the role of beliefs in determining success or otherwise cannot be ignored.

What is it that you believe that makes you less than successful?

The Law of Attraction holds that the mind and the mouth have power for good or evil. The mind does not differentiate between the truth and lies if you make it belief any of the two. When you believe in a lie and want it to happen so strongly, it will.It is, therefore, important that we establish which lies these are because once we do, we will have the strength to change our attitudes and actions. Perhaps it is because we are afraid of succeeding, or we think we don’t deserve it or we are simply naïve. The fact is that we have to watch what we believe if we are to avoid falling into the failure trap. Before we delve into those lies, you need to remember that the Law of Attraction works in all circumstances irrespective of whether you believe it or not. Moreover, only after overcoming identifying the lies you have accumulated over time and getting rid of them will you be able to take full advantage of the law of attraction.

Here are the lies:

  1. You believe that you can’t do that thing or accomplish that project and you convince your mind so. This is the beginning of failure. The moment you plant a seed of doubts in your heart, you immobilize your mental capabilities. The mind believes that there is no need to act because no success will be realized.
  2. You believe you don’t know where you should start your journey to accomplishment. It is important to realize that nobody really knows where to start. The secret has always been to start where you are with what you have. The right way, if it ever existed, will become visible when you take the path available to you. Unfortunately, many of us wallow in the suffocating dust of perfectionism, waiting for the perfect opportunity, which eventually never comes.
  3. You believe you don’t have the means to actualize your dream: Unless you were born in a king’s house or your father is a dollar billionaire, there is no time you will have all the money you need for a project. According to the law of attraction, what you need is an idea and the desire to pursue that thought to the end. If you don’t have a viable idea even the largest amount of money will not lift you out of misery.

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A dose of positivity

Many of those who fail to reach their dreams lack a positive mind-set. The law of attraction teaches us to be optimistic. When we believe everything will turn out well even in the midst of gloom, the mind and body will find a way of getting us out of the mess. Instead of folding your hands and lamenting about how nothing goes well in your life, you should start believing and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. The mind is a very powerful tool that you can manipulate to your advantage. You need to mould your mind to embrace life positively. Whatever you convince your mind it can accomplish, it will. Similarly, when you believe in the lies that you cannot accomplish a certain task or project, the mind will obey you. It is, therefore, important to understand that life will always have its disadvantages but only hope, faith and optimism will help you out of the gloom.

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We limit ourselves by the beliefs we have. Within us is limitless possibility. When you use an iPhone and its capabilities remember a human being like you had that idea in mind and went ahead to actualize it. If the Wright Brothers had listened to the negative voice that says “I can’t” probably we would not have aeroplanes today. Life has unfathomable possibilities staring at you but without a dose of belief and optimism, you will never see beyond your current situation. If you are looking for excuses as to why you should not succeed in a certain course, you don’t need a lot of effort because life presents them to you. However, if you choose to see with the eye of faith and recognise the little door opening somewhere in your world, you will make a difference.

The right moment does not exists

“Nothing goes well in my life” is the song of the person who chooses to wait for the right moment and the one who is too fearful to try. Determine to get out of that trap today. Open the inner eye and attract the kind of life you always wanted by practicing optimism and positivity.

With love,

Grace Guru

XXX

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How to Make Your Resolutions A Reality

Positive thinking and the law of attraction have continued to mesmerise people over the years. In particular, the idea that by visualising something and holding that image in the mind can actually bring that object to a person is popular among people. But does it always work like that? What lessons can we learn from visualisation to help us realise our New Year resolutions?

Some people cannot tell the boundary between fantasising and visualising. You can create fantasies in your mind about a car you want to purchase and believe that simply by dreaming about it, it will be actualised. This is what most naïve practitioners of positive thinking believe. Most of what people call the law of attraction is actually lopsided and unable to yield results, unless by coincidence.

Earn Your Results

One of the tenets of life that many people ignore is the fact that results must be earned even when visualisation is part of the equation. According to research, you stand to gain if you focus on the real steps that you will take to achieve your dream instead of fantasising about the dream itself. You are better off thinking and planning the process of achievement instead of wasting time on the potential outcome.

It is human to try and avoid the long and practical route. We want the shortcut and that is why we believe that fantasy will yield fruits without exerting any efforts. Your mind normally believes in the images you create for it. It is possible to create an image of success and convince the mind that it has already been achieved, thus negating any need for real effort.

First – Visualise Your Action

That is like putting the cart before the horse. To do things the right way would be to visualise the efforts first before the outcome. The moment you base you aspirations on a solid foundation of action, you are on the path to success. In essence, you cannot simply set New Year resolutions and wait for time and chance to make them happen simply because you have ingrained the image of your expected outcome deeply in your mind. The moment you glorify dreams at the expense of pertinent action, you lose the way to success.

Your New Year resolutions are good but you must chart the path to them. While your destination is known to you, it is impossible to get there unless you know the way and actually travel on it. You will do yourself a great favour if you identify the way and start visualising how you will cover every step. Before you realise it, you will have covered every mile and arrived where you always wanted to be.

See yourself going through the steps to your resolutions instead of fantasising and feeling excited that you have arrived even before starting your journey. It is not naturally for fruits to grow where the roots are or vice versa. Everything has its place in the scheme of things. Nature does not change its processes and principles to favour you. You must plan based on the infallible laws of nature.

Second – Take Action 

Now that we are clear that you must focus on the actions you will take towards achieving your New Year resolutions, begin to realistically act on your plan. The first point would be to fight doubt. Doubt is the water that douses the flame that is your dreams. It is rare for a person to have a dream without some lingering thoughts of self-doubt in the background. The difference between successful people and those who don’t make it is that the former decide to stifle self-defeating thoughts.

The next important action you must take is to work on your positives and affirm your positive conduct. This New Year, you need to work on eradicating your negative thoughts while at the same time adopting positive behaviour. Think about your strengths and focus on making them even better and surpassing what you have already done. For example, waking up early to exercise will lead you gradually to your fitness goals instead of fantasising over the ideal image.

Another crucial step towards your dream is to stop procrastinating. Granted, there will always be a tomorrow to accomplish your goals if you are too tired and have enough excuses not to do anything today. However, that tomorrow may be next month or next year and you will not have realised your objectives. Procrastination is one of the greatest thieves of time or so we are told. Don’t fall into the temptation of having excuses for what you should be doing now.

To complement these efforts, exercise mindfulness as you plan for the New Year. Concentrate on one action at a time. Mindfulness teaches us to focus instead of multitasking. Give each action towards your resolution the time and effort it requires before moving to the next one. Only then will you realise your plans for the New Year.

Happy New Year! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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