Practicing Asana!

Everyone loves practicing ásana (physical positions); they are amazing; they make your body strong, supple and definitely healthier. But why does almost every style of yôga practice ásana in a different way?

I can not tell you much about the others methods, as I don’t practice them, but I can explain ours and why is so effective.

India is, historically, one of the most invaded countries in the world.  Every great emperor in the world passed through there, including the Aryans, later Alexander the Great and most recently the British invasion. You can be sure that every single colonizer somehow changed and influenced the Indian culture and, consequently, Yôga. The most recent, and significant, change that happened in Yôga was the introduction of repetition of the ásanas.

Ásana was traditionally practiced with permanence, but when the British army landed in India the yogins of that time seemed to like the Western idea of working out the body with repetition and this new habit got stronger when Yôga was exported to United States.

So, what do we lose by practicing ásana with repetition? First of all, ásana should not be categorized as “gymnastic”. Ásana has not only the aim to make your body healthier, but, mainly, to achieve body-consciousness and self-knowledge. Body and mind being closely interrelated, the practice of ásana aims at mastery over the body with a view to securing corresponding mastery over the mind. Control of nervous and vital energies produces control of mental functions. The mind-body complex is brought under perfect control, the indwelling Self shines out and the higher self is realized.

I think it is only possible to achieve such delightful results with permanence of ásanas, never with repetitions.

When you stay in the position for a good time it acts deeply on the muscle fuses, the receptors inside the muscle cell that are connected with muscle tone, and with the protection against the risk of strain. The position, combined with focused attention and coordinated breathing, affects the muscle fuses, stimulating them to lower their defensive control over the muscle. The fibres of the muscles decrease their level of contraction and effectively stretch.

Ásana is any firm and confortable position”

Yôga-Sutra of Patañjali

Written by Paulo Pacifici

 

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15 Tips To Help You Get Out Of A Bad Mood Fast

Moods are important! Emotions are part and parcel of every human being. The tradition with human feelings – these include both good and bad vibes! If anyone tells you that they only experience good moods, please realise you are dealing with a liar or a mentally disturbed person!

As fate would have it, it always seems harder to get into a good mood but always very easy to lose it. To put it differently, you are likely to change into a bad mood faster than it will take you to adopt a positive emotion. It feels like an exercise in futility, right? … Not exactly!

Stimulate the secretion of endorphins!!!

Stimulate the secretion of endorphins!!!

Why A Bad Mood Is To Be Avoided

It is important to consider the negative effects of a bad mood, hoping that this will jolt you into realising why you need strategies in order to rid yourself of a bad temperament. A foul disposition sets in motion a series of negative reactions to people, events and other external stimuli.

When you are in a foul temperament, you are likely to dent your reputation through negative talk and actions. You may say something you will regret. It is also possible to throw away opportunities and people that could have helped you. In other words, a bad mood beclouds the mind and precipitates negative conduct.

How To Change Your Mood For The Better

Here are effective actions to take when your mood goes south, as it will often do. You will realise that changing your mood to the better will demand that you address certain mental, physical, social and even dietary issues:

1. Treat the cause, not the symptoms: Your moods are indicative of a deeper problem within you. Perhaps it is self-acceptance or low self –esteem. Possibly there is an unresolved problem with someone else. It is time you took the bull by its horns. Iron out the issues with the other person, or, where necessary, seek professional assistance.

2. Set goals and priorities: Your foul mood is probably due to exhaustion and feeling that you have too much to do within a very short time. Write down all the tasks that await you and prioritize them. Identify the urgent and the important and decide what to do first.

3. Adopt a positive disposition: Whenever you focus on the bad that is happening or is likely to happen around you, you tend to feel to despondent. Focus, rather, on what makes you happy. Think about your past success whenever the present seems to be going against your present desires.

4. Grab a wholesome snack or meal: Your moods plunge when you are low on energy. The best solution is to eat healthy food like fruits, nuts, vegetables, avocado and dark chocolate, to name a few. The nutrients these foods carry will elevate your mood almost immediately.

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Healthy snacks: Try a small piece of gluten free bread with nut butter and some raspberries on top! Yum!

5. Engage in an enjoyable activity: What is that pastime that brings out the best in you? Just do it. Get out there are and ride a bike. Volunteer for community service. Engage deliberately in activities that have previously lifted your moods and made life enjoyable.

6. Invest in some humour: Your mood has plummeted? Watch that favourite comedian or comedy show and bring back some excitement into your life. Call the funny friend who makes you laugh simply by being around you. Go out and meet them as this will spike your mood. How about remembering events and people that made you laugh in the past?

7. Bring a smile to your face: This is where we say you should fake it until you make it. Go before a mirror and smile at the person who is looking back at you. Act happy and you will be surprised at how quickly your thoughts pick up the happy mood.

8. Engage in a distraction: Instead of focussing on that issue that has negatively affected your disposition, look for something different but more enjoyable to do. It may not be something you have done before, but it has to help your forget your reasons for being sad.

9. Work out: It is rare to find a person who is exercising being unhappy at the same time. Exercise has a way of stimulating the secretion of endorphins thus lifting up your mood. Take a brisk walk, hit the gym or perform push-ups in your living room to drive bad moods away.

10. Practice spirituality: There is a soul inside you that yearns for connection with the Supreme Being. Nurture your soul by engaging in prayer, meditation or any other activity that nourishes the inner being. The ensuing peace of mind cannot c0-exist with bad moods.

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11. Listen to your favourite music: Music, especially that cool and sentimental type and spiritual vibes, has a way of lifting up your spirit and giving you a reason to be positive and to smile again, despite the negatives around you.

12. Dance: Closely related to music is the idea of moving your body in unison with the beat and rhythm music you are listening to. Dancing, like exercise, has a positive impact on your endorphins, banishing away a foul mood and bringing back the positive vibe you need.

Just Dance!

13. Reach out to friends and family: Some bad moods stem from feelings of disconnection from the rest of the society. That is why you need to call your friend and eat out or watch a movie together. A much cheaper option is to set out on a walk or picnic.

14. Play: Which is your favourite game? Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, badminton? Get some friends or visit the sports club and play to your satisfaction. Bad mood will eschew you.

15. Disengage social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their cousins have a way of making you feel less successful, unimportant and less attractive, especially when you look at the posts and profiles of apparently more successful peers. Give yourself a break and focus on improving your self-esteem.

Most importantly, remember you can only get out of a bad mood by taking practical steps. Whatever works for you, bring the vibe and groove back, maximize on it, and bad moods will not dictate how you live your life!

With Your,

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.

Double exposure portrait of a woman combined with photograph of nature

  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 Secrets to Sleeping Like a Baby

Insomnia – that monster that befriends you just when you need sleep most – has reached alarming levels. There is an epidemic of sleeplessness. None of us is immune from this condition. It is important for us to find out what causes insomnia and how to overcome it if we really want to sleep like the babies we once were.

When sleep avoids you…

When was the last time you had a restful night and enjoyed it for two to three consecutive days? With all the cares of this life, you go to bed expecting that you will doze off as soon as you slip under the blanket. Unfortunately, many are the times you will roll and roll on your bed hoping and wishing that sleeps will come your way but in vain.

Melatonin and the science of sleep

Let us first understand the science behind insomnia. There is a neurochemical that is secreted in your brain that controls your sleep patterns. Melatonin, once released into your blood, makes you drowsy, relaxed and sends you to dreamland. This chemical is there in your system during the day but in low quantities. As the evening wears, on melatonin increases until about 2 am, when it peaks.

Interfering with melatonin flow

In essence, sleeplessness is a result of interfering with the natural flow of melatonin in the body. The solution lies in exercising mindfulness. You should know when the body is telling you to sleep. You must stop interfering with the natural cycle of melatonin in the blood. By now you know that taking caffeine drinks is one way of ensuring you don’t sleep when you expect to.

More importantly, you need to time your sleep to coincide with the melatonin wave. One way of doing this is to come to terms with your day shortly before you go to sleep. While sitting on your bed, shut your eyes and reflect on the issues that you have not resolved, then simply allow them to go. Now breathe deeply and lie down.

You can also lie on your back, concentrate on your breathing and relax your body and mental faculties as you breathe in deeply. Try as much as possible to be at ease in this position and sleep will encroach gradually into your territory. When this happens, turn to your favourite side and enjoy restful sleep.

Watching television before going to sleep

The blue light rays that come from your television, laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and other electronic screens, interferes with the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland. Consequently, if you use such gadgets and immediately go to sleep you are likely to take some time before sleep catches up with you.

For this reason, the best time to go to sleep if you have been using these gadgets is after one hour. Ensure you finish working with these devices early enough such that you have time for other activities that will take at least one hour. How about arranging your clothes or washing dishes before you sleep?

Sleeping in a cluttered bedroom

Your bedroom should be a sacred place. The moment you allow this important room to be disorganized and cluttered you send away sleep. Avoid distracting your sleep by all means. For example, watching TV or working on the computer in the bedroom will expose you to blue light and we have already analysed the consequences of such action.

Have as few extras items in the bedroom as possible. Let every item in the bedroom be related to sleep. Ensure your beddings are clean and well-spread. Let the mattress be flat and comfortable. The pillow should also prop you up based on your body and should be comfortable enough.

Lack of exercise and relaxation

Your body needs to be relaxed before you go to sleep. You can achieve this by engaging in yoga. Begin with meditation to bring your body, mind and soul into harmony. Sit comfortably on your bed and prop you body up with a pillow or other comfortable material. Cross your legs, close your eyes and begin to stretch your body using any of the less-involving yoga exercises.

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Among the recommended yoga exercises to induce sleep include seated twist, corpse pose cross-legged bend, forward bend, knees-to-chest pose, reclining twist, reclining big-toe hold and half happy baby. Regardless of the posture, make sure your mind is relaxed and that you feel every part of it. Remember to practice mindfulness as this will promote body immunity and regulate your blood pressure too.

Other reason for insomnia

Lack of sleep can also be caused by chronic pain, allergies, anxiety, depression, some types of medicine and neurological diseases. Ensure you seek medical or psychological help as the case may be because some of these issues are beyond your ability.

To sum up, you need to deal with the causes of insomnia in your life because you really deserve to sleep like a baby as this is an important step towards making yourself productive the following day. Sleep is vital; pursue it at all costs!

 

family sleeping on the bed with question mark concept

 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

XXX

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The Perfect Bedtime Drinks To Send You Into A Peaceful Sleep

After a long day making a living, nothing brings more relief than to finally slip between the sheets and enjoy a restful sleep. However, for many people, sleep does not come easily for a number of reasons. More importantly, people have devised healthy ways of ensuring they get adequate and quality sleep whatever the day might have brought their way.

One of the best ways to make sure you enjoy your night’s rest is to drink herbal tea! Due to its amazing benefits to the body, herbal tea is loved all over the world. But do not imagine there is only one type of this product. Thanks to tradition and developments in the kitchen and medical field, there are many varieties of herbal teas each with unique benefits. A look at a number of them will reveal exactly why you need to start taking herbal teas today.

Importance Of Herbal Teas

Before then, let us understand a few things on the importance of these teas. Herbal teas help you to sleep because they contain nutritional elements and less caffeine. Compare this with common teas which contain caffeine and you will realise why herbal teas are the best choice of beverage before going to sleep. Caffeine generally keeps sleep away from the body and that is not what you want before you go to bed.

Many of these teas also have a soothing effect on the tummy. Normally, when your tummy is rumbling and complaining about something you ate during the day, you cannot afford to close your eyes. A number of herbal teas help to control flatulence and bloating which are common stomach problems. In essence, when you drink herbal teas before going to bed, the gas in your stomach is neutralised and sleep becomes your friend.

Another major problem that many of us have is heartburn. You know that obnoxious feeling when your chest feels like it is in hell. How many of us can sleep when having heartburn? How many common beverages or teas can take care of this problem? Your guess is as good as mine. By dealing with acid-reflux, herbal teas help you to deal with heartburn thus allowing you to have a restful night.

Now this is for pregnant women – some of the most delicate people we have in society. Nausea and morning sickness are common and you need to find a way to overcome them if only to have a normal day when you wake up. Your unborn child is also safe when you take herbal teas before your sleep. You may not be pregnant but you have a relative that may need herbal teas to ease her morning sickness.

Not all herbal teas perform the same role. Some of them may have elements that may not augur well with you. Consequently, read the labels carefully before your purchase herbal teas to determine whether the products will help you. For those who prepare the herbs directly, please read about the particular herbal tea to know if it contains any negative effects.

Our Recommended Herbal Teas:

  1. Peppermint

This is a popular herbal tea especially because it gives energy to the body and relieves stomach upsets. In case you had a busy day eating and drinking all sorts of foods, your tummy may give you trouble and this is the kind of herbal tea that will give you relief before you sleep.

  1. Chamomile

This is the most renowned of herbal teas all over the world. Many people prefer to dry out the flowers, prepare the powder and use it directly. You may also purchase it from a shop where it may be combined with other herbal teas.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is also a very important bedtime tea variety. It is a common plant that you can find in most places. However, there are also lavender herbal teas that you can purchase and use before you go to sleep. More importantly, lavender helps you to relax and deal with stress.

  1. Valerian

Research has confirmed that valerian has sedative properties. Our ancestors may not have had the benefit of research but they knew instinctively and through experience that valerian would help to deal with anxiety and help people to sleep.

  1. Lemon Balm

There are many people who also prefer lemon balm as a bedtime tea. Those who love this product say it helps them to relax thus inducing restful sleep. You may opt to buy the processed type or make your own from the leaves of this important plant.

  1. St John’s Wort

This plant with yellow flowers may be your solutions for lack of sleep. Research shows that St John’s Wort reduces anxiety and is also an anti-depressant. With so many people experiencing depression, this plant will boost sleep by dealing with anxiety.

Now you know it. Don’t suffer from lack of sleep or use pharmaceuticals that have negative side effects. Choose herbal teas and sleep soundly and healthfully daily.

Which is your favourite herbal tea? Any tricks or secret flavour combinations? Share with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle!

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

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Beat That Dreaded Bulge – A Quick and Simple Detox After a Period of Indulgence

Christmas is a time of indulgence – good and bad alike. The festive season provides an opportunity for us to unwind after a long busy year. At the end this season, many of us will be exhausted. Hangovers, lethargy, illnesses and irritability will be common as we try to deal with the aftermath of our drinking sprees and binge eating.

Before you think you are being judged for your excessive behaviour, remember you are not alone. All of us indulge over Christmas and New Year, it’s one of the best parts of the holidays! There are numerous visits to other people as we also receive visitors. In between, there is the temptation to eat and drink beyond normal to please our hosts or guests.

The only problem is that you will be left to deal with the repercussions. When all the niceties have been said, the music has died down and everyone has returned to their day to day lives, you will be left to argue with the weighing scale that dreaded bulge (erghhhh).

Most of the regrets actually emanate from poor planning of the holiday season and a carefree attitude. It is like a dog that has been unleashed and given a few hours to indulge in its most-craved activities before being tied up again.

The following are our quick and effective methods that you can use to detox your body after indulging in binge eating and excessive drinking:

1. Go Water Crazy

Your body is predominantly made up of water. Water is life and without it your body cannot function (especially on a hangover where you are more than likely to be extremely hungover and have a lot of salt in your system from that guilty pizza, kebab or burger at 3am). Water is also a cleansing agent, working with the kidneys and the skin. After mistreating your system during festivities, you will do well to cleanse your blood by drinking a lot of water.

Mixing warm water with lemon is also known to remove any toxins from the night before. Similarly, peppermint tea and green tea can be extremely helpful with relieving symptoms of bloating, constipation and other digestion problems. They can also act as a temporary fix to speed up a process of loosing any weight you may have gained from having one too many minced pies. (Yay for herbal tea!)

2. Squeeze In A Workout

It is ironic how we throw caution to the wind when the festive season arrives. People who used to flock fitness centres all of a sudden take a break. The few exercises you used to do at home evaporate from your mind and schedule. You sleep late and wake up when the sun is up. By the time you celebrate the New Year, you have added kilos.

Hard as it may sound, hitting the gym just once will help so much. Not only will you feel better within yourself, you will also jump kick the return of the fitness bug ready for the new year!! Even if you take a short jog round a local park, or along a river, throw yourself ahead of the game and in front of everyone else (don’t deny those mini competitions that will arise with your friends come January).

3. Ditch Carbs

Now that you want to detox your body it is important to remember where it all began. It all started with uncontrolled eating and drinking. Similarly, your path back to the ideal weight and healthy body is through diet. You must start watching what you are eating. More importantly, eat foods that help you to clear the bad stuff you have eaten over the previous weeks.

To begin with, don’t bloody skip breakfast! I don’t know what time you will have to wake up, but irrespective of your busy work schedule, make sure you enjoy a heart and healthy morning meal. The food items on your breakfast table should be well-balanced. High levels of fibre and protein are key.

Secondly, ditch the heavenly carbs. Oh yeah we’re talking pasta, pizza, rice, bread – the whole team. Feeling lazy and craving a Big Mac, or Fish and Chips? Hell no, you can forget about that. Ditch all processed foods, put the phone down what do you think you’re doing ordering Dominos Pizza or that lamb curry? We’ve just had Christmas! The time for guilt-free indulging is over! You will without doubt begin to feel the difference if you stop eating carbs and processed foods even after a couple of weeks!

Lastly, You cannot detox your body if you don’t watch the portions you are eating. Your lunch should not be as heavy as your breakfast. Actually, the best way to ensure you don’t overeat during lunch is to eat well in the morning. Keep your lunch to leafy greens and some protein, mix with some delicious salad recipes and dressings so that it encourages you to keep eating healthy.

4. Get Your Zzz’s

In addition to water, exercise and diet, give your body adequate rest. Part of the reason you have gained weight over Christmas is lack of sleep. Eat a light dinner some two or three hours before sleep. Got to bed early and give your body ample rest. Your mind needs detox just as the body. Make sure your house is well-ventilated, and surround yourself with your favourite music. Practice positive thinking especially as you face the challenges of January. If you are religious, revive your spiritual life.

Practice this and you will recover quickly and effectively from any excess weight and psychological complications of the holiday season and face the New Year confidently.

If you have any special tips that work for you, we would love to hear about them! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru 

xxx

 

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Christmas Chaos – How To Keep Your Cool During The Holidays

Once again Christmas is around the corner, which includes extremely busy schedules and a whirlwind of activities. You will be expected to host parties for your immediate family, relatives, friends and neighbours where necessary. You will also have obligations to attend work events, neighbour’s dinner parties and make the trip to the grandparents’. To prepare for all these activities, there are hundreds of items to be bought. Somewhere in between, you may be fortunate to travel and enjoy some time with your friends. The list endless, but the fact is indisputable – your excitement will be as high as your troubles!

How do you remain sane in the midst of all these activities? We hear you say… Here are a few of our best suggestions to ease the chaotic holiday period:

  1. Priorities

There are many activities that you can engage in this Christmas. You are spoilt for choice on which destination to visit. Your friends and relatives are competing to visit you or for you to grace their parties this year. You want to purchase the best gifts for your family but with such a long list of presents to buy you may be stuck for money. Your salvation lies in having priorities. However, whatever you choose to put first, remember family is the most important aspect. If anybody wants to involve you in an activity that will disadvantage your spouse and children, turn the former down.

  1. Plan Ahead

I want to believe that you took time to plan for this holiday. You must have decided how much you will spend on various aspects of the holiday including travel, clothing, food, parties and so on. If you haven’t, it isn’t too late. Remember January is coming and with it bills and expenditure. Do not plan to spend everything during Christmas and begin to struggle when the bills come your way in January. If you fail to plan, you will be working on autopilot and will not know when the gas in the tank will be gone.

  1. Avoid Impulse Buying

Make sure not to overspend. You must be disciplined. Christmas spending can easily get out of hand. If you are the type that cannot remain faithful to a financial plan, you will soon be dealing with excessive spending and this will cause you a lot of mental anguish. Don’t purchase items because your neighbour has similar ones. If you are a parent, take advantage of this period to teach your children how to make wise purchasing decisions. You will not have peace of mind celebrating Christmas when you are unsure of your financial abilities in the New Year.

  1. Learn To Delegate

If you don’t want to run around like a headless chicken, share out responsibilities with people around you! Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, partner, and family members for help! Sharing out your Christmas to-do-list is actually a great way to spend some time with your loved ones, away from the usual distractions of iPhones or TV! Prepare some meals with your partner, divide the shopping list with your friends, and open a bottle of wine to decorate your home! Who said organisation isn’t fun ;-)!

  1. Remember Yourself

I know everyone will be looking up to you to deliver on this big occasion. However, remember you have a life to live and a Christmas to enjoy. Don’t forget to buy yourself a Christmas present. Get enough sleep in between parties and travels. If you are religious, remember to reflect on your spiritual beliefs of Christmas. Take time to pray and connect with the Supreme Being. Bring cheer to the lives of the unfortunates as this will bring cheer to your heart too. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will have a chaotic Christmas and that is the last thing you want!

  1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Whatever you do this Christmas, take time to breathe fresh air. You can do this by making a trip to a favourite destination, having a picnic with your family along the banks of a river, visiting a children’s home and playing with the kids in the open or play your favourite outdoor game. The most important thing is that you absorb fresh air because it invigorates your blood and brain and renews you to participate in more events. Staying indoors for most of Christmas is likely to make you stressed and maybe even grumpy. Let nature help you to remain calm during this hectic time and you will not regret in January saying you just helped others to be merry at your expense.

We would love to connect with you more, you can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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How To Refresh The Energy In Your Home

Your home is your palace and temple. It is a palace because it is your little kingdom where you rule like loyalty. Here, nobody can come to belittle you or make your life miserable. Your word is authoritative. Your home is also a temple because this is where you commune with yourself and the Supreme Being. Home is the space where you feel most fulfilled and most spiritual.

Why You Need An Energy Renewal in Your Home

Such an important facility requires the best form and level of maintenance and care. However, as you become busy, it is possible to fall into a routine and forget about the care of your home! After a while your home may not inspire you as it once did. That is the point at which you need to allocate some time and refresh your surroundings.

Let us look at this issue from a different angle too. Many of us spend time, especially during some weekends, cleaning up our houses. We take time to arrange documents and take out any form of dirt to dump it in the rightful place. Despite such efforts, you may realise that your house is still not as energising as you may want it to be. In essence refreshing and renewing the energy in your home is not a one-off activity but a continual process of identifying areas that need change.

What then are some of the activities you can engage in to rejuvenate your domestic space?

  1. Fresh Air

There are reasons for keeping doors and windows shut – security, to keep off dirt and to prevent ourselves from the elements. In most cases, when we are away at work we ensure all windows and doors are locked. Not any of us dare leave windows open at night for fear of intruders, including wild animals. For those who don’t have time over the weekend, their houses rarely have time to ventilate adequately. Such an environment is full of foul air even if you don’t realise it. Your thinking and creative abilities are effected significantly when there is no fresh air in your house. This festive season, let gusts of fresh air have their way in your house for positive energy.

  1. De-Clutter

Over the last year, your home may have become one big rubbish dump. Some of the dirt is not hidden because it comes in the form of old pairs of shoes which you don’t need any more. How about those clothes in your wardrobe that you used to wear but haven’t thought about for nine months? There are some useless documents and papers that have no value to you yet they still take up space in your drawers. It is time you kicked out all the unnecessary stuff from your house since this will allow more positive energy to flow into your space.

  1. Nature

It is time you brought in some other living entities to share with you. How about beautiful plants that can recycle the air you breathe out and give you more of the air you need. You can even become a gardener and use unwanted containers in your house to give a home to one such plant. These plants will attract some insects and natural processes of life and growth will be taking place right inside your house. As you nurture these plants, they will absorb foul air and energy and imbue your house with life and positivity.

  1. Fly On The Wall

What decorates the walls in your house? When was the last time you brought down that 10 year old family portrait and hung a new one? It is time you gave the visual image of your house a new face. Look for artworks that are more in tandem with your current feelings and desires and hang them on the walls. Look for images that inspire you to change your life for the better. Remove those photos and paintings that do not reflect good memories or intentions for you.

  1. Animal Lover

We share a rich heritage and genes with animals. Pets know what is happening around them and feel the same way we do. If you don’t have a pet, consider the options and benfits. Share your house with another living thing that can express itself in a way towards you. As long as you have space and time to take care of that cat, dog, fish or other favourite animal, do not hesitate to introduce it into your life. Such a decision will bring you positive energy and a new way of looking at life.

We would to see images of your newly renewed homes, or pics of your kittens and puppies! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

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Stand Out From the Crowd – Gain That Natural Sparkle and Glow This December

Your skin is one of the most important body organs – in fact, the largest. The quality of your skin is an indicator of your overall health status. Your skin is the most visible part of your body and people tend to make certain judgements about you based on the health, texture and glow of this amazing part of your body (come on, we’ve all done it).

We all know that feeling where we have completed our daily routine, we look in the mirror and feel no glow, no light. Whether we are wearing make-up or a natural complexion, some days you think you look glum, maybe patches of dry skin and your make up just doesn’t look as it usually does. This article will highlight the key ways that you can make sure you feel a little glam every day, you know when you feel like the light catches you in the right places all God damn day!

More often than not when people call you beautiful, they can be talking about your skin, as well as your other features. Just as a smile or bright eyes can light up someone’s face, so can your skin! For this reason, if you want to stand out from the crowd this holiday season it is time to go back to basics. There is no point with adding more make-up to your skin when the problems may be arising from the quality of your skin itself.

Natural Strategies For Glowing Skin

So, here are out recommended natural strategies to ensure your skin has a new lease of life this December.

  1. Drink A LOT Of Water

This is the probably the most obvious yet ignored strategy for making your skin glow. We all underestimate the power of water, for one, your body consists of roughly 70% water so keeping yourself hydrated could not be more important! Water is the fluid that must be present in almost all body processes. Your blood is water enriched with essential minerals, fluids, nutrients and so on. For your skin to glow, you need the recommended eight or more glasses of water daily. But there is a catch here. Some people argue that other drinks can contribute to the eight glasses, but I would highly recommend eight glasses of pure water. I know that I used to believe that drinking tea or coffee, for example, would count as water. But in fact, due to the levels of caffeine in these drinks this actually dehydrates you. Alternatively, herbal teas can help with hydrating the skin, and can also detox you at the same time!

  1. Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables

We often forget that the skin is not artificial. No amount of makeup and chemicals will transform your skin – especially not without negative effects. Moreover, your body needs to be nurtured from inside to the outside. The body understands one language – good nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are particularly important for making your skin healthy and free from toxins. Remember acne and other skin blemishes are not what you need two weeks before Christmas, now is the time to ensure you don’t wake up Christmas morning with a trip from Santa and a horrendous break out. This December look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season, snack on them raw or as part of lunch or dinner. You will be amazed at how eating apples, kales and other superfoods will make your skin glow. We outline our recommended fruit and veg for this season here: http://graceguru.net/7-food-stars-of-december-to-boost-optimal-health-2/

  1. Know Your Skin

If you are sick of your skin controlling you, you may have realised that some foods you eat often leave you with blemishes and rashes. It means you are sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. Sometimes what you think is eczema or acne could actually be a case of your skin being resistant to some food item you have eaten! This December, listen to your body and how it reacts to certain foods. Attempt to detect the foods that affect your skin negatively and remove them from your diet. Alternatively, you can take drastic measures like taking two weeks to eliminate all suspicious foods from your diet and then introducing them one by one, this detox may initially bring out a break out as your skin is usually the last place your body will release toxins from. But, after this break out has cleared, and your diet is clean, you will begin to see progress!

  1. The Worst Of All… Stress

The condition of your skin is related to the activities in your mind. To put it differently, your mental health can directly affect the health and texture of your skin. For example, when you are stressed, your skin becomes pale and vulnerable to external damage. Stress creates a rich environment for bacteria to invade your skin. Eventually, your immune system is compromised and acne, eczema and psoriasis begin to manifest. This is why it is extremely common to see teens and students with more cases of acne, due to their high levels of crazy hormones.

  1. Use Natural Skin Products

This December is your perfect opportunity to start using skin care products that agree well with your skin. Due to the demand for fast results in skin care, thousands of women are applying harmful chemicals to their skin. The results are often unpleasant especially in the long run. Your skin should glow naturally and nothing brings you closer to this ideal than to use as many of natural skin care products as possible. Products made from fruits, plants and herbs actually contain nutrients that your body needs, just like fruits and vegetables. The good news is that you can learn and apply raw fruits and other herbs to your body without any extra costs and still achieve that natural, glowing skin that you have always craved!

We would love to hear any tips you have for maintaining a healthy glow, of if you have any amazing natural tips for exfoliation or moisturising! You can see us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/graceguru.net or send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

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