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Yoga for a Strong, Happy and Healthy Core

The core of a person can be defined in many ways. In the physical sense, the core consists of the muscle groups between the hips and the ribs. In a psychological sense, the core makes up the deep inner-self some might call the soul. In an energetic sense, the core is what makes up the solar plexus, a place in our body that is home to bundles of nerves responsible for those curious gut feelings. Yogis often refer to the solar plexus as the third chakra, the spirited space in our body that governs our self-esteem and feelings of empowerment.

However you view your core, a regular yoga practice has a strong and powerful effect on it. Whether physical, psychological or energetic, your core will be particularly influenced, and the following is a look into why.


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Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

To meditate is to disengage from a seemingly ever-present mental chatterbox and reflect on just one pure thought. If you think this sounds easy, stop reading this article for a moment and witness your thoughts. Are they jumping from subject to subject? Are you thinking in fragmented thoughts? Do thoughts randomly pop into your head for no apparent reason? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, the following information will be helpful to you.

To Practice

Sit in a comfortable position, free from external distractions. Close your eyes and focus on one single thought, whether it is a word, image or repetitive sound.

Concentrate fully to keep your focus on this one thought without interruption. If you make it even just 30 seconds without any other thoughts entering your mind, you are doing remarkably well.

What to Expect

If at first you don’t succeed, simply try again. Meditation requires a tremendous amount of effort and repetition to master but yields great benefits, so be patient. It is not uncommon to want to just ditch the practice all together, as it can be extremely difficult to focus and concentrate. When your thoughts go willy-nilly, take a break and then try again later.


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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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Yoga for the Classroom

As school districts continue to tighten their budget, certain classes become extinct to make way for a more fiscally efficient approach to education. If the days of playing kickball, bombardment and whiffle ball in PE classes are long gone, what is taking their place to fulfill the physical activity requirements of growing children?

In 2001, The Accelerated School in Los Angeles, California piloted a program called YogaEd, designed by Tara Guber, in an effort to bring yoga into the classroom. The objective of this strictly secular curriculum was to teach proper posture and body awareness, techniques for relaxation and stress management, and self esteem building through compassionate problem resolution. The program’s goals were to instill life long habits for healthy living, enhance physical, social, emotional and mental health, and strengthen academic performance.

In 2003 a study was conducted to determine the results of the program, and the findings were in full support of not only its continuation at the Accelerated School, but also in the advancement of sharing the curriculum with more than 150 other schools.


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Positive Daily Affirmations for Healthier and Happier Moments

By Jill Lawson from Jill Lawson Yoga

Many of us believe the power of thought can greatly affect the course of a day, if not our feelings and attitudes that shape the opinions we have of ourselves. As quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny,” thoughts can promote positive or negative experiences for us.

The following daily affirmations work to cement positive thoughts in our subconscious mind, allowing us to practice healthier habits and lead us to more fulfilling and much happier moments. They are helpful when we are having a bad day, but equally as effective when we are feeling good already. The more we can put a positive thought toward something, the closer we are to actually bringing that thought into our reality.


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