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Healthy Love: Your Heart, Your Mind, Your Body

I have some great news! Well, I have some great news if you are in love. (If you are not currently in love, I offer some great news for the future, when you are back in love.) Being in love is not only good for your Friday nights, it’s also good for your body, your mind, and your lifelong health! On the Huffington Post this week, Laura Schocker wrote a piece called “This is Your Body on Love.” I loved the piece and the hopefulness it gave me for the future. Let’s recap.

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1. Your heart is healthier! 
According to a recent research study in Finland, cardiac “events,” meaning heart attacks, heart disease, and blood clots, are much more common in unmarried men and women. Up to sixty-six percent more common, in fact. Obviously factors such as eating healthy and exercising regularly will also increase your chances of heart happiness, but it certainly won’t help to have a partner by your side, as well.

Furthermore, the magazine Psychological Science reported that “having a supportive spouse” was associated with hardened arteries, as well as the fact that happily married people are three times more likely to survive surgery after major heart operations.


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Yoga for Lovers: No Partner Necessary

Celebrated as the month of love, February can be a little sad for those who are without a special someone. Valentine’s Day, with all of its commercial grandeur and hype, doesn’t have to be a let down if you’re alone. No one else but you is required to feel love.

Several thousand years ago, Rumi, a Sufi poet and mystic, penned the beautiful verse, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Love is abundant. You don’t need much to feel it. All you need is an open heart and the remembrance that love is everywhere.

Aside from the many health benefits of yoga, we are also encouraged to be open to the enchantment that lies within when we practice. In other words, yoga helps us to dismantle those barriers that keep us from experiencing love.

The following suggestions will help you realign with love. They are not necessarily for couples, spouses or partners; they are for anyone wanting to rekindle a love affair with life.


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Your Dating While Dieting Survival Guide

By Jennifer Gregory

While dieting at any time requires planning and willpower, dating while on a diet can pose some extra challenges. Many dates revolve around dinner or drinks, and once you hit it off with someone it can be easy to spend time with your new partner instead of heading to the gym. If you aren’t careful, you can quickly gain back the five pounds you spent the last month working so hard to lose.

But don’t despair, it is very possible to both date and continue to lose weight by following a few simple tips:

Plan Active Dates

Instead of meeting for a meal, suggest a date where you both get moving. “Dieting is not all about food, it’s about being active, too,” said Kenzie Harrick, Certified Health Coach at KHolistic.com. Some ideas include a bike ride, kayaking, hiking, roller skating or even throwing football in the park together. “Active dates are a creative date idea, a way to exercise and a way to test your connection with more than dinner conversation,” said Harrick. During dates where you do eat out, suggest an after dinner walk to work off the calories and get some fresh air.


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Mantras to Boost Your Mood

A mantra is a repeated word or group of words believed to have the ability to create a change due to the power of their specific vibrational qualities. The use of mantras originated in Vedic philosophy, which is a predecessor of Hinduism, to enhance the spiritual experience. A classic example is the mantra Om, which is used to invoke a connection with the body, the mind, and the soul, to the universe.

Today in America, mantras are used for just about anything and can be made up of just about any words. While you can practice reciting mantras traditionally with Sanskrit or Hindu words such as Om, any word or group of words will work as long as you fully believe in the power of change they instill.

To gain a boost in your self-esteem, mood or attitude, choose all or one of the following mantras. Be sure to pick a mantra that you resonate with, as this will make it a lot easier to trust in a positive outcome. If none of these mantras are of interest to you, make one up! Repeat your mantra silently in your mind or out loud several times a day and take note of the changes that occur.


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Your Relationships Impact Your Relationship with Food

mom and babyYour relationship with food may be directly related to your relationship with others, including, and possibly primarily, your relationship with your parents. Infants learn that the world is safe and form bonds with caretakers by having their needs met consistently and promptly. These needs are sleep, comfort, cleanliness, and food. It is the first way that we experience love, caring, and by extension personal value.

When a child’s basic needs are not met consistently and lovingly, a child may develop an attachment disorder. Deborah Klinger, wrote on the Good Therapy blog, “Eating is inextricably entwined with being fed, nurtured, protected and loved.” I am sure I am not the only one with a grandmother (and a mother and aunts) who still nurture and express love, at least partially, through food.
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