Our Top European Weekend Get-A-Way Locations!

People who associate winter with absolute gloom do not know Europe well. Winter is not the time to hide indoors and moan, waiting for the seasons to change. If you live in Europe or you would like to tour this great continent, plan your tour to coincide with the cold season and you will be surprised at the many exciting adventures and sceneries that await you.

If you are thinking of planning a weekend adventure or romantic gateway this winter, there are many European cities that will provide you with an unforgettable experience. One BIG advantage of visiting European gateways at a time when tourism is in low season is that in general you will spend less money than you would during summer. So, without further ado, here are our 5 top romantic European gateways to include in your bucket list:

  1. Amsterdam

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For those who have never been to this exquisite city, your mind may initially think of the famous Red Light District. But please let me assure you, this is definitely only one side of Amsterdam. There are exceptional sights seen in the outstanding architecture and vast amounts of canals and bridges that structure the city! With amazing food markets, coffee shops and museums you will have plenty of opportunities to explore. In peak tourist season the roads and pathways can be super crazy with locals and tourists travelling through the city on bicycles! But with visiting in low season may reduce the crowds, and regardless I would highly recommend hiring a bike and taking a spontaneous adventure around the city, you never know what hidden treasures may on the outskirts of the city!

One downside to Amsterdam is it is slightly more expensive than other cities in Western Europe, but travelling prices are cheap and it is also easy to find a good hotel deal so your entire trip can be successful on a relatively low budget! All I would say is remember to pack enough warm clothing as it can get quite chilly in the spring season!

  1. Salzburg

Beautiful view of the historic city of Salzburg with Festung Hohensalzburg in winter, Salzburger Land, Austria

Another great European city to visit is Salzburg, if I say this is where Mozart found his inspiration, and it was the setting for the film “The Sound Of Music” you can imagine how incredible this city is. There is a certain buzz about the city and you get the feel that this is the place where almost everyone wants to hold a concert or festival. Chances are that your gateway may coincide with one of these exceptional celebrations of music or other social event! The city is enticing and enchanting particularly because of its beautiful vies of the Eastern Alps. Make sure you visit numerous castles and fortresses in the city, and grab a taster of delicious German cuisine to sample at the Old Town and other places in the city. This is just a snapshot; the real story awaits you in the musical city of Salzburg.

  1. Lisbon

Cityscape of Lisbon in the beautiful sunset. PorugalPerhaps because it has not been the subject of a lot of publicity like other European cities, the capital of Portugal is not understood as it should. This is the perfect getaway considering the city’s laid-back nature. This city encourages relaxation with its beautiful vibrant colours and hilly contours guaranteeing you will see great views from every corner you visit! Choosing to vacation in Lisbon this winter means you will have the opportunity to walk the city’s alleys without the inconvenience of crowds.

You will also be surprised with the way in which a modern city can grow within a village setting yet the incredible traditional antique architecture remains. Yes, the ancient bleached limestone networks rival skyscrapers for beauty and grandeur in Lisbon and this is where the air of romance begins to blow on your face despite the cold. Make sure you take coffee in the many cafes on the streets of this city, watch bullfighting, and lie of the tranquil beaches.

  1. Vienna

Vienna, aerial view at night, with danube and cityscape

Okay so I know that Austria has already been mentioned but I cannot leave Vienna out! Famous for the culinary speciality Sachertorte, if you’re a fan of chocolate cake this is the getaway for you! Along with its highly recognised imperial palaces, Vienna has emerged as a contemporary city where the new and the old exist side-by-side.I would highly recommend visiting the Vienna State Opera which dates back to the mid-19th century, and rather than purchasing tickets to see the opera you can find opera tours which allow you to grab a snapshot of the Opera House for a less expensive cost.

  1. Budapest

The Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Basilica and the Budapest Eye

I have not yet had the chance to visit this city but Budapest has been highly recommended by friends who insist it is enticing and romantic right from the moment you arrive. How about a city of two halves, aptly named Buda and Pest? The magnificent and renowned River Danube is the perfect demarcation of the two sides of this must-visit getaway. Each of the twin sides of this city has unique places to visit and wonderful sceneries. The restaurants are relatively inexpensive but high quality, and the nightlife is completely different to that of Western Europe yet will always provide you with a night to remember!

Considering the dipping winter temperatures, you will appreciate that this metropolis is called the city of spas, some stretching as far as the 16th century. Budapest is the perfect travel destination for anybody who appreciates incredible architecture and wants an experience that is very far from the landscapes of Western Europe!

I hope that one of these cities has caught your eye, if you do get the chance to visit one of these amazing locations we would love see your experiences! You can tag us on instagram @grace_guru or use any of our hashtags #graceguru #graceguruloves #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Ward Off Winter Blues

Winter is here once again and so are the blues. The temptation to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary movement is very strong. Everywhere you look, there is gloom. The weather accentuates your feelings of misery and enslavement to your small space. You long for the day the sun will shine again. Is there a way to lift your spirits before then?

How can you overcome the overwhelming depression that often hits you during this gloomy season? This is the time that sleep takes a flight because you feel very cold. Many people are also lethargic and are not ready to venture outdoors. Did you also know that you are likely to overeat during winter? Perhaps it is because there is little activity and you spend much time indoors. You probably know someone who becomes irritable during winter; this is a symptom of winter blues. Winter is the time that you also feel like not socialising.

There are several strategies you can use to lift the gloom and actually enjoy winter instead of enduring it.

  1. Avoid Passive Life

Winter will nudge you to remain indoors but you need to avoid this temptation if you are to fight off the gloom. I am not saying that you should remain in your house as I am against locking yourself inside the entire day. Rather, dress in warm clothing as winter demands and give your muscles some walking workout. This will remove the strain from your legs, give you some exercise, refresh your brain and lift the gloom off your face. Yes, you can take a walk in winter and actually enjoy it.

  1. Get Fresh Air

Just as with taking a walk, you need fresh air. The air inside your house can get contaminated. You need to move out and absorb fresh air outdoors. This you can do especially when it’s brighter outside or during midday when there is a little warmth. You will also do your body a favour if you sit near windows where you can see what is happening outside. There is still a lot of excitement and life outside your house and you need not lose touch with nature simply because of winter.

  1. Watch Your Diet

One of the best strategies to keep off the blues during winter is to eat well. Invest in a balanced diet. A well-fed person is able to overcome the extreme cold that is associated with winter. Avoid junk food and eat healthy, natural and fresh food. Look for the foods that are in season during winter. For example, incorporate sweet potatoes, lentils, onions, leafy vegetables, oranges, ginger and so on in your diet. Take lots of warm water as well as teas, coffees and soups as they will help you meet your daily fluid requirements easily.

  1. Stay Warm

As the temperatures dip in winter, so do moods. Depression and irritability result from such situations, not to mention illnesses such as asthma, the common cold and pneumonia. You cannot afford to suffer from any illness during this gloomy time. You need to keep your body warm at all times. Choose warm clothing; eat warm food and drink warm beverages. Make sure there is a system to regulate temperature in your house, particularly to safely keep you warm. Do not venture outdoors in light clothing even when your body seems to have no problem with your actions.

  1. Let The Light In

Winter has a way of keeping away natural light at times. Sometimes you cannot tell whether it is night or day. Having gathered enough provisions and remained indoors, you may begin to lose acquaintance with natural light. Whenever you have the opportunity, let natural light into your house. Make sure the lights in your house are working and keep them working for as long as possible. You may want to invest in a light box which will offer an alternative to natural light especially on the days when winter is at its peak.

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  1. Exercise

I know you may not have a gym in your house, but you can improvise. You need to stretch out your body as much as possible. Create space in your living room or bedroom and practice yoga, for example. Use your furniture for support. Get a mat or stretch out on your bed. Get a skipping rope and use it every day. Many of the lighter gym equipment are also easily available and affordable. Use the internet to learn new ways of exercising. Apart from keeping you warm, working out will ensure your blood is flowing optimally and that you avoid winter illnesses.

  1. Build And Maintain A Social Network

Don’t live alone during winter. Even if you are forced to live alone, keep your communication lines open. People need your help and you need to help them too. Mental blues have a way of compromising the mental health of some people. Keeping close to family and friends will ensure you can face winter blues together. Go out and meet friends in social events. Don’t lock yourself in because this makes you vulnerable.

Group Of Women Enjoying In Restaurant

If you have any other tips, or any secret practice that you know works for you we would love to hear about it! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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A Beginner’s Guide To Yoga Practice At Home

So, it’s coming to the end of the year, Christmas season is upon us. I know that I have been slacking with the Grace Guru lifestyle recently as work and social schedules are very hectic! During this season I start to brainstorm goals for my new year’s resolutions. If you’ve been thinking the same and trying yoga is one of your goals, this short and simple guide is just for you! We will talk you through the basics so you’ll be calmly yogi-ing your way into 2016!

A key benefit of starting yoga at home is that you are not committed to a specific time or place, you have no nerves about being in a room with strangers, or having anxiety about not being able to reach into a certain pose. The only promise you need to make is to a yoga mat!

However, you will require one form of commitment, a pledge to yourself. Yoga beginners will need an open mind and a lot of patience, mix this with determination and you will feel your body progress and see results in no time at all!

Step 1 – Breathing

Lay down flat on your back (on your yoga mat), feet shoulder width apart and hands relaxed to your side. Attempt to engage your diaphragm and take a long deep breath, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeating this 10-15 times will reduce your heart rate and take you to a much calmer place. You can also play calming background music, to help create a peaceful atmosphere and block out any surrounding noises.

If something has been irritating you during the day, think of this as you breath in and out, feel the tension release through your shoulders and down your limbs.

Top Tip: Remember to maintain a smooth breathing pattern throughout your yoga routine to help your body stretch and strengthen.

Step 2 – Stretch

Mountain Pose – stand tall with your feet together; let your arms rest to the side with fingers together. Feel your spin stretch from the bottom of your spine all the way to the top of you neck.

easy begginer yoga pose

Child’s Pose – this pose is perfect for resting! Start wit your knees and feet on the floor, with your feet touching. With your knees apart rest your belly and chest between your legs. Stretch your arms out in front of you and place your head on the floor.

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Step 3 – Progress

5 Yoga Poses To Strive Towards!

  1. Tree Pose – stand with arms at your side, shift your weight onto your left leg and place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left thigh. With hips facing forward, when you have found your balance, bring your hands in front of you into prayer position.iStock_000012256061_Small
  2. Warrior – step your feet about legs distance apart and turn your right leg out to about 90 degrees. Take your arms out to the side and bend your right knee so it is above your ankle.virabhadrasana warrior pose #4
  3. Downward-Facing Dog – from the mountain pose hinge forward from your waist to place your flat palms on the ground. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart with your arms and back in a straight line. This may feel a little challenging at first, but remember to breath and relax deeper into the pose when you feel more comfortable.Business woman in conference room
  4. Cobra – lie facing down on the floor with your hands under your shoulders and your legs extended, tuck hips downwards as your squeeze your glutes, push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest.Yoga upward facing dog pose
  5. Bridge – lie on the floor with your knees bent and directly over your heels, place your arms at the side with your palms down, press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips. Bring your chest toward your chin and clasp your hands under your lower back. bridge

Step 4 – Cool Down and Relax

When you have finished a yoga-routine it is really important to lay down and completely relax your mind and body. The corpse pose is perfect for ultimate relaxation!

Relax your body, with your arms and legs by your side in a natural position that feels comfortable. Feel each muscle in your body start to relax, shut your eyes and breath deeply. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes to restore balance ensuring you will be re-energised after your first yoga session!

Beautiful sporty fit yogi girl relaxes in yoga asana Savasana

Which poses do you love to practice?

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Namaste!

 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

What is one of the most powerful word we use or should use everyday?

A magic word that in a second transforms everything into a great and happy moment for everyone?!

Yes, it’s one of the first words that we learn as a child and hear and say everyday…

Thank you!

“Thank you” Do we? But Do we use and say it often enough? Is it possible to overuse it? And do we really know the real meaning and the power that this one phrase captivates?

I think it’s very good and important to give lots of gratitude to all the good things that surround us everyday, whether it be – people, food, work, family, children, sun, moon and the stars! ….. the list can be endless!

Let’s keep reminding ourselves as to what we should start being thankful for! Everything we have in this life!

Let’s not look back but pay attention to the existing… the moment of now… the power or now!

I love saying thank you to the universe or call it God if you will, every time I’m having a meal. Blessing our food and energising it with positive vibes?!
So many millions of people are hungry at this moment and we the lucky ones who lets be honest spend most of our time complaining about some bullshit that does not really matter!

Why not be grateful for the family and friends we have! Whether that be a few or alot it simply does not matter…just be grateful and send your positive energy out!

Wake up every day and be grateful for life and for a new wonderful day to ahead!

Look at the rain or the sun and be thankful for Mother Nature!

I believe that by expressing gratitude you will even boost your inner happiness! I often take a few minutes in the morning or when throughout the meditation process to just say thank you for all the good things and people that I have in my life! This will work for you too…

Start by creating this amazing energy around you and even more amazing things will start coming back in to your life!

By sending positive vibes out into the universe, the universe will reply to you with the same or even more back!

Therefore I would like to end this post by saying thank you my dear subscribers for reading this and sharing the same gratitude to the world!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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10 Tips To Be More Grateful This Thanksgiving!

One of the most powerful phrases you will ever utter is, ‘Thank you’. There is magic in gratitude yet many people do not understand this. There are many reasons to look up and say ‘thank you’ to a higher power, relatives, friends and strangers. There is a reason that Thanksgiving has been dedicated to a specific day. The moment you begin to understand the power of gratitude and to practice giving thanks, you will be shocked at how many positives you have been locking out of your life.

I know you are likely to say, “Look around. What is there to be thankful for?” Granted, there are more than enough challenges to struggle with. They range from people to events. Some are inherent in our workplaces. Homes can become sources of stress for those who should derive joy in them.

But you can choose to be grateful for what you are and what you have even when the surrounding says otherwise. It all starts with an attitude of gratitude. You can choose to see all the gloom or do what the minority do – find opportunity in disappointment. The secret behind gratitude is the numerous doors it opens for those who embrace it. Those who see something to smile about and be thankful for are among the happiest people on earth.

So.. What Actually Is Gratitude?

To be grateful means to be thankful. It is anattitude rather than an act. A grateful person remains thankful even when other people don’t understand the reason for the gratitude. It means seeing the good in life and acknowledging the simple everyday things that many people would not notice. When was the last time you were thankful for your life? The fact that you woke up in this morning is a miracle worth being thankful for.

When you are thankful, you take note of the little pleasures that you would otherwise ignore. For example, what are the exceptional positives of your neighborhood? Do you appreciate the beautiful green environment in the countryside? It takes the smog, traffic and noise of the city for some to realise that nature is important? When was the last time you had a cold? When last were you admitted at the hospital? Are all these not issues to be thankful for?

Grateful people consider each day a miracle. They do not take their lives for granted. They are always aware of the good in their environment. They appreciate the chirping of the birds and the movement of birds in the sky. They realise that even the little creatures that crawl in their houses have a role to play in the ecosystem. Life becomes one great feast in which every moment is to be enjoyed. When you are grateful you don’t count your losses but your blessings. You look not at what you lack but what you possess.

Look at that beautiful view

Notice These Incredible Benefits Of Being Thankful

  1. There is ample research to confirm that grateful people are magnets to those around them.

Thanksgiving has its unique way of transforming the way we live and what happens in our lives.

You will have more joy, better relations and less stress. Most of the problems we face are figments of the mind. They are built around fear and anxiety. Gratitude helps you to face them with confidence knowing the good around you can only increase.

  1. Motivational teachings also encourage gratitude because by being thankful one is able to attract more positive outcomes in life.

The life you live today is a reflection of your dominant thoughts and feelings. Being thankful fills the heart with positive thoughts and this attracts more positive things in life. People who are thankful tend to attract positive people and circumstances. They enjoy living because they appreciate the little that comes in their lives.

  1. Gratitude also helps you to overcome stress and negative emotions.

You cannot avoid being stressed and unhappy considering the many problems that we face daily. However, gratitude reduces your level of stress and depression. Being happy, enthusiastic and optimistic is a result of gratitude. This happens when you are grateful. You have a better chance of achieving success when you are grateful.

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Tips To Be More Grateful

Gratefulness is an attitude but it must be cultivated through deliberate effort. You need to practice some routines and behaviours repeatedly until you become saturated with thankfulness. With time, you will realise that the more you practice being thankful the more you are likely to be happy, contented and successful in life. The following tips will help you to cultivate thankfulness:

  1. Keeping a journal: One of the best strategies you can use to develop a grateful attitude is to record the things you are thankful for in a diary. Writing enables you to reflect and learn from your experiences.
  2. Being thankful for meals: Before you eat or after you have eaten, be grateful to God or the universe.
  3. Thank people who help you: Be grateful to the waiter who serves you at the restaurant and other people who attend to your needs.
  4. Smile: Not many people can ignore a genuine smile and it is one way of making you even more grateful for your life.
  5. Start the day with a positive affirmation: When you wake up, repeat a phrase that makes you feel grateful.
  6. End the day with gratitude: Before you sleep, reflect on the events of the day and be thankful that you made it through the day.
  7. Bring a cheer to people in unfortunate situations: The misfortune of other people is not only an opportunity for you to help, but also to realise how fortunate you are.
  8. Celebrate the little things in life: Don’t wait for the big events of life; rather celebrate the milestones along the way.
  9. Listen to your favourite music: Play those refreshing tunes that fill you with cheer, especially as you retire to bed.
  10. Read a religious text: Most sacred books encourage believers to be grateful and kind.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Aura, Awareness and Attitude – What Does Your Aura Say About You?

Have you ever been drawn to someone and not entirely known why? But they make you feel at ease, you feel an instant level of trust?

It is easy to forget that our bodies radiate immense energy. We are not just a mass of flesh and blood. We are masses of energy. To be more precise, you are a field of energy.

The atmosphere of energy that surrounds us is called an aura. People can actually detect our aura’s and relate to us based on that consciousness.

So what is an aura? Think about some of the people in your life who make you feel especially comfortable when you are around them. These special characters in your life tend to pull people towards them, while inspiring confidence. They are like magnets and rarely have enemies. We call it charisma but in this sense it is their auras that are connecting with us.

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It can even happen with a total stranger! You meet someone, perhaps when you are travelling, and suddenly you feel like you have known them for years! I met a guy called Sam on a trip to South East Asia years ago, his presence made me feel safe, at ease, comfortable. Sam had a powerful and positive aura surrounding him, I can still sense his warmth even when I recall my first meeting with them!

Have you ever experienced this type of interaction? Please comment below – I would love to hear!

The opposite of this extraordinary aura also exists though. You may have met some people who feel as if they have negative energy surrounding them. They have accumulated so much evil and negativity that we prefer not to spend too long in their company. Negative vibrations can make us feel uncomfortable. Nobody wants to be around a person who is always negative and who seems to attract bad luck.

But aura is not just about you,

Every object, living or non-living has an aura.

This is etheric energy that revolves around an object. People and objects are miniature manifestations of universal energy which radiates from an object or a body to the point that it affects our surroundings. Every living thing emits energy nearby and that energy determines the reaction of people to that specific living organism.

For non-living objects, even with the absence of emotions, there is chemistry that determines the aura of the object. It all depends on the composition of the object. If you know how electromagnetism works, then you know the source of the aura of such objects. That is why you experience certain feelings and emotions towards some inanimate things and places. I am sure there are some spots, probably a cliff or lake, where you feel comfortable and nostalgic. You can discuss aura in relation to everything you know of. Whether you are thinking about gold, silver, diamond, stones, buildings, oceans and so on, aura is always present and has a great role to play.

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From the forgoing, it is obvious that your aura is very important. It can open or close doors for you. Your aura can determine how people react to you. You cannot live alone. Success in life depends very much on how strong and effective the relationships you have are. It is for this reason that you must realise the importance of being aware of your aura.

Aura is an indication of character. This is evidenced by the brightness, colour and range of the aura. What your aura reveals is who you really are. You can lie to everyone else but not to yourself. As they say, a good tree cannot bear bad fruits and vice versa. You cannot wake up with a positive aura while deep inside you feel evil and have malicious intentions towards others. Nature is more powerful than you. It is infallible.

You also must understand that aura cannot be hidden.

This is energy that radiates from you unconsciously.

You have no way of telling your aura to remain hidden. People will either love or hate you based on the character you exhibit, which is a manifestation of the aura you emit. If people are attracted to you and want to be with you, there is no way you can change that. If you are obnoxious and detestable, only a change of aura can save you. You either have positive aura or negative energy, which is emanating from within and revolving around you. 

An individual’s aura is powerful. So powerful that experts have discovered its presence three days after one is declared dead! How crazy is that?! Experiments are revealing that human beings continue to exhibit their auras for some hours after death. This shows the potency of aura and cements the need to cultivate positive aura at all times. Imagine a situation where people even fear to come near your body or grave because of the kind of reputation you had when you were alive!

The need for aura consciousness cannot be over-emphasised. You need to be in touch with your inner self to cultivate positive aura. Mindfulness and meditation are effective tools in bringing your soul, mind and body into conformity with the kind of aura you desire to project. By being conscious of your thoughts and focusing on issues that enlighten and inspire you, you can acquire a positive aura. Being aware of you aura is a result of deliberate effort to transform your thoughts. You need to align your thoughts with the universe and ensure you impact the lives of others with genuine kindness and generosity.

Are you in touch with your aura?

Young woman in white clothes standing in field on sunset

Banish fear from your life and embrace positive energy!

 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

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Benefits Of Sirsasana!

Yoga has been around for many years and is credited with many benefits. For example, it is said to have healing qualities in addition to enhancing physical fitness. It is important to understand some yoga poses since they carry specific gains for you. One of the most significant of these postures is Sirsasana.

What Exactly Is Sirsasana?

Widely considered as the best asana, Sirsasana is essentially the headstand. In plain words, it means balancing your body on your head with your feet pointing upwards. Some people think that doing this is acting like a child; after all, children are the only people capable of engaging in dangerous physical play like attempting to support the body’s weight with the head.

What these people do not know is that the headstand is among the most beneficial poses that one can practice in yoga. However, there is a rider. This is the kind of posture or activity that carries with it the tag ‘don’t try this at home.’ Seriously speaking, only engage in the Sirsasana if you have an expert taking you through the motions. If you have back or neck problems please wait until you are fully healed for you to practice Sirsasana. You would rather lose the benefits for the time being than worsen your health problems.

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What Are The Benefits Of Sirsasana?

Sirsasana can help you to increase the flow of blood in your body by allowing the blood into the lower limbs to reach the heart faster and get purified. People who sit for long will tell you that by the time they rise up they feel heavy in the feet and legs. The truth is that a lot of blood will have flowed to the lower limbs with little blood moving up. Through Sirsasana it becomes possible to allow stagnant blood to flow back to the heart more efficiently.

Another important benefit of Sirsasana, and which is related to the first, is allowing blood to reach the head region more effectively. Studies show that this movement is important in helping in toning the pituitary gland. All other endocrine glands are controlled by the pituitary, which also helps the reproductive glands to function more effectively. You also must understand that having blood flow to your scalp and follicles will greatly improve the quality of your hair.

Your organs are subject to gravitational pressure and Sirsasana will give you relief for negative effects of this strain. This is in relation to hydrocele and piles which can make you very uncomfortable. It is important to know that for your entire life, your organs have faced downwards because of gravitational pressure. The best way to give them a relief is to let them face the other way for some time.

Sirsasana will also help you to relax particularly when you are stressed. Stress is a common phenomenon in human life but it affects each person differently depending on issues and circumstances they have to deal with. The headstand helps you to become less worrisome and to overcome fear and anxiety. As you breathe in and out in this posture, you will begin to deal with the issues that make you anxious.

Sirsasana will also help you with focus issues. Your brain needs adequate blood to help it function optimally. When you give the brain its food, it becomes better in its work in addition to helping it to focus. In this situation, you are likely to feel more confident, active and attentive. That is what many people are trying to achieve through many not-so-effective methods. With this yoga pose, you have a shortcut to concentration.

If you want to make your arms and shoulders stronger, then Sirsasana is one of the best strategies for doing this. As you stand on your head, you will be building the stamina and muscles in the head and shoulders. To make sure your muscles get the required exercise, you can push your body down and up as you get off the pose. There are not many exercises that can give you this type of workout.

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If you are having problems with your metabolism and digestion, it is time you tried Sirsasana. One of the reasons you are not feeling well in your abdomen is because some of the food you have been eating is stuck somewhere in your system. This yoga pose will help to remove such food and this will in turn help blood to flow into the organs that support digestion. Nutrients are also likely to be absorbed faster and more efficiently when you engage in Sirsasana. 

There are many other benefits of Sirsasana. For example, you can relieve your migraines and headaches through this pose. If you are suffering from asthma, try this posture and you will find relief. Sirsasana also rejuvenates your body. The only way to find out is to begin Sirsasana lessons today.

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With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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What Is Karma?

How many times have you heard someone say, “What goes around comes around?” Karma is the principle that is epitomised by the unwritten law of life that for every action there is a reaction. Have you ever realised that if you do evil there seems to be a way through which evil comes back to you? Let’s put it another way. Do you know that when you do good, good things happen to you even if it is not immediate?

Karma is a Sanskrit word that means word, action and deed. But there is more to this term.

Some Examples

To understand Karma more, let us delve into more examples. Chickens love eating insects like ants. It is part of the chicken’s food. But notice that the remains of a dead chicken are eaten by ants. Wood from trees is the raw materials for making a matchstick. But you must be aware that one matchstick can burn an entire forest.

Have you ever heard of a driver who cuts off other people in traffic or overlaps only to cause an accident? This accident means that all the hurry has now come to a stop and instead of arriving at his destination this driver spends that night in a police cell, a hospital bed or a morgue. This is karma acting in the here and now. There are many examples that we can site, but those ones will suffice for now.

The most important thing is for you to get the drift. Karma is a power that you cannot see but it ensures that every action or thought is reflected back. It is like an echo which comes back to you. Sorry, I had stopped giving examples but could not resist this one. Karma is in simpler terms the law of cause and effect. Whatever you do comes back to you in a different way.

The Law Of Karma?

It is important to emphasise that the law of Karma is universal and cannot be broken. It does not depend on you. Karma will happen whether you want it or not. It does not matter whether you know it or not. You don’t have to love or hate karma for it to work in your life. It is like the law of gravity. You cannot claim don’t believe it exists and then jump from the roof of a skyscraper expecting you will not be hurt or die. Try it and the morgue will be your next destination; a place where you cannot question your beliefs or change them.

Secondly, everything that happens to you is deserved. I know you are fond of blaming others for your mistakes – pardon me if you don’t. But the truth is that you are the architect of your fate. Your misfortune and happiness are just part of your karma. You are in your current state because you caused it. That friend you put in trouble may suffer for the time being, but sooner or later you will find yourself in the same situation. Nothing happens by mistake. You plan it, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Thirdly, everything you go through, the thoughts, the feelings, everything, is specifically for you. Karma demands that you learn from your experiences. Since your current situation is a result of your past decisions and actions, you need to learn to do good and stop being evil. While you may be happy today, tomorrow you have to pay for your past mistakes. The only way to avoid this kind of a misfortune is to live today in a manner that you don’t regret what will happen to you tomorrow.

It is evident, therefore, that you are not fated. Rather, you set your own fate. You have the gift of free will or freedom of choice. You can decide to live honourably or commit atrocities that will come to haunt you later. Nobody has written your future or determined it. You create your tomorrow as you go about today and as you interact with other human beings. Every day you have the opportunity to change your future and to avert bad karma.

Despite this, whatever has been done in the past cannot be undone. You have to experience your share of good or bad karma. The most important thing is for you to learn from what you are going through. When you put your hand into red hot coal, you will get burned. It would be foolhardy for you to be burned again since you should have learned that hot coal can burn your hands. Karma demands that you change your future by learning from the present.

The Role Of Intentions In Karma

It is not possible to talk about karma without mentioning or discussing intentions. Karma is a creation of intention. Most of the evil or good we do is well-thought out. You take time and ponder on what you want to do and the effect it will have on the other person. Once you are convinced that your actions will have the desired good or bad effect, you launch your weapons. Whatever happens, you are creating good of bad karma for yourself and it will surely come to pass.

Does that sound like the couple you caused to separate by spreading malicious rumours and gossip? Wait for your time because karma does not fail. Remember that time you made someone to lose a job by creating the impression that they were not trustworthy? How about the day you laughed at that sick old lady? Isn’t it you who toasted to the collapse of another person’s business? Well, it won’t take long before your bad karma pays you a visit!

What If I Harm A Person Unintentionally?

Karma is born of intention. Where there is no intention to harm, karma will not be unfair to you and inflict punishment. I am saying this because many of us commit mistakes without intending and then fear that bad karma will come our way. Karma scholars hold that where there is no intention, karma is absent. You don’t have to worry. Perhaps you should just perform good deeds to the person you harmed without intention as this will attract good karma.

But I Know Some Evil People Who Never Experience Bad Karma, You Say.

I know them too. I am talking about the relatives who steal from orphaned children – depriving the destitute of their inheritance. I know the politician who murders competitors and instigates violence in order to win a political seat. I know you are aware of the drug load who continues to thrive while the poor people who buy his evil merchandise wallow in addition, poverty and death. There is also your sadist neighbour who will do or say anything simply to see that you are in trouble and suffering. The list is endless.

Don’t despair though; karma does not forget. It is a universal law that cannot be bent. Evil people cannot escape punishment. Their fate may delay, but is will surely come, most likely with vengeance. Karma does not move in a straight line; nor is it subject to our ways of reasoning. Even when people appear to enjoy destroying the lives of others, karma is still lurking in the background, waiting to pounce.

If you have been a keen observer you will have realised that the children of criminals almost automatically become criminals. I read about one of the sons of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi being sentenced to death by a court in that country. When he and his father were running the show and killing with impunity, they would never have thought that a day would come when someone else would rule Libya and condemn the Gadhafis to death. For decades, this family strangled Libya with impunity. The Libyan people would not have understood or appreciated karma then. Today you can be sure they understand that evil will never go unpunished.

Is Karma A Religion?

Although karma is about ethics and morality, it is not a religion. Karma is not about a god who controls what people do or don’t do. It does not emanate from a supernatural being. Karma is a rule of life and existence. Think about it this way: the law of gravity controls objects in space and on earth without fail. Similarly, karma is the law that controls the spiritual world, the realm of the unseen.

I needed to emphasise this because they are many people who believe that karma is about Hinduism. That said, karma does share some beliefs with oriental religion. For example, karma is about reincarnation. This is the belief that people never die, at least not the soul. After your die, you will continue to exist in a different form and your karma follows you in your reincarnated body. In the same way, your actions come back from the dead, as it were, to haunt you.

It is possible that you understand why some oriental religions advocate for animal rights and adherents practice veganism or vegetarianism. Apparently it is because of the belief that the animal you have in your compound is actually a reincarnated human being who, from his or her action in the previous human life, deserved, through karma, to be reborn as an animal! If you mistreat that animal, karma will catch up with you and you might as well be born a dog in your next life! Wow! That is powerful!

I know I am digressing, but this is important for you to understand the extent to which karmic teachings are entrenched in oriental religions. That goes to show the powerful nature of karma and the fact that we live in an interconnected and never-ending universe where karma will never let you off the hook. If it can haunt you in death, how can you avoid karma when you are walking on the face of the earth?

Are Words Also Subjected To Karmic Law?

Words are powerful tools through which we create reality. Whatever you convince your mind through your words that you can do, you will. Words are also born from intention. The heart and mind ponder what to say before you say it. Consequently, like actions, your words cannot avoid the law of karma. When you pass judgment upon others expect to be judged by the same standard.

Beware of your words when calling people lazy, fat, arrogant, silly and many other negative terms. Time will come for the same words to be used on you. Instead of unfairly criticising people, seek to understand why they behave the way they do. Before you say any words that are unfair to others, think about the type of karma that will result. Remember you did not create anybody and have no justification to call anyone ugly or foolish. If you do, your bad karma will surely catch up with you one day.

Is Karma Reversible?

No and Yes! No because once you have committed a felony, your punishment will come after you without fail. Remember it is a law that cannot be broken and it does not play favourites. However, karma can be reversed by learning from it. By this I mean that once you get your fair share of bad karma, you need to learn and practice good deeds so that you attract good karma.

The universe understands your feelings when you agonise over thoughts or actions that invited bad karma. It cooperates with you as you change your behaviour towards those you may have hurt. It helps you to change your bad habits in order to avert bad karma. As you seek for forgiveness from those who have suffered from your unfair actions, you will begin to feel more at home with yourself and good karma will be you reward.

Final Words

You cannot live on earth and assume that your good or bad actions happen in a vacuum. Karma exists to remind us that we have to be kind, generous and understanding with fellow human beings. You have had your fair share of bad karma, but you can change your life and enjoy more of good karma by beginning to behave responsibly today. Remember karma is real and active, whether you believe it or not.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

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BOOK REVIEW: “Calm. Calm the Mind. Change the World” – Michael Acton Smith

The author Michael Acton Smith has been cited by some magazines and organisations as one of the most influential personalities in the digital industry. He co-founded Calm, founded Mind Candy, and created Moshi Monsters. Calm. Calm the Mind. Change the World. Is a handbook sharing the many ways and means by which one can have calmness in daily life.

giphy-13Purpose

Truly, the world is becoming a ball of tension. In daily life, in anywhere, at work, at home, in politics, there is nowhere to run. The calm revolution is precisely a revolution to fight the hysteria going on in each of us. This trughly beautiful handbook intends to share expert knowledge contributed and shared by neurologists and gurus of mindfulness brought together by the author for the purpose of bringing it to the mainstream, thereby reaching more people.

What’s in it for You?

This beautifully-crafted handbook illustrates so many practical, easily doable, and creative activities or strategies that promote calmness in daily life. There are so many little things that can bring us calm and rid the tensions, pain, even anger. A walk to nowhere, without an agenda in mind, nor a goal, is a very simple and inexpensive act that can relax our mind and therefore our bodies. The benefits of learning how to overcome anxiety and stress are priceless. It’s not just the increase in productivity at work, it’s improving your health and life expectancy, increasing the quality of relationships, and countless others, all of which lead to a more peaceful and happy life. All of us are after all, still earthly creatures. We naturally aspire for self-preservation. We only want what’s best for us, we only want to be happy. Being calm and happy means we can give more of ourselves to our loved ones and to anything we work on. Calm begets calm, quality begets quality. Hop in the bandwagon and spread the calmness! The world needs it, that’s for sure.

Get a copy now and get a gift for yourself. The gift of calm. The gift of happiness.


 With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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