Tag Archives: Yoga

Eating Healthy On Vacation

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Eating Healthy On Vacation

Dear Friends,

Recently I took a trip to Chicago to watch my niece graduate college. The trip was in three cities over three nights in three hotels.

It started me thinking about traveling and how we can maintain a sensible normal diet.

It can be very tempting to abandon your good sense of healthy eating on vacation. Although you may strive for healthy eating, it’s easy to drift off and grab an ice cream cone here and there.

It’s easier than ever these days to request a low fat or vegetarian meal in a lot of the restaurants but as I found out not in all of them even in a great big City like Chicago.

This is  especially true if you have any restrictions, like no dairy, no onions, no garlic, no spices etc.

Rather than simply relying on greasy foods for nutrition, I suggest going to the local market after your settled. If you are renting a car to travel around  you can and pack some nutritious foods in a cooler full of ice packs. Fruits and vegetables, crackers, yogurt, and sandwiches are all great to have with  you on the road.

Also, once you arrive at your hotel, you should do yourself a favor and turn the minibar key down – as this helps to avoid the temptation.

If your hotel offers a continental breakfast, stick to fruits, cereals, and proteins. If your hotel room/villa has a stove or microwave, think of what you can make from the local store that is fresh.

If you simply must eat out, do so only when you are hungry. Restaurants will usually serve large-portions, so be careful. If you do go a bit over on a meal, simply cut back on the next.

If you find it hard to fit in three square meals a day, try to fit in six smaller meals or snacks,as your body needs fuel every four hours or so.

When you eat out, avoid appetizers. Whatever you do, do not miss any meals.

When it’s possible, you should avoid eating large meals at night. When your body gets ready for  sleep and slows down, it also burns calories at a much slower pace.

Never eat bread before bed, and make sure to avoid the butter. Choose fish or poultry for your meal instead, and include vegetables as a side dish.

Even though it may sound hard, eating healthy on vacation isn’t really that difficult. All you have to do is use a little will power, and pass up foods that you know aren’t good for you.

This way, you’ll enjoy healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle wherever you go.

The next time you go on a vacation, always remember that eating healthy is a way of life. You can afford to get something you crave, although you shouldn’t make a habit of it.

One ice cream cone or a pizza isn’t going to matter – as long as you know when to stop.

If you can get in some form of exercise each day. If the resort or hotel has a gym make it a point to check it out. Go for a long walking tour then hit the Jacuzzi.

Most importantly try to incorporate some sense of your normal exercise routine each day during your vacation as to not shock the system when you return to your normal workouts when you are back home.

Namaste in Good Health,

Kat

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A step by step guide to learning Yoga

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A step by step guide to learning Yoga

Dear Friends,

Okay, so we lost an extra hour of beauty sleep last night, worse things could happen. Hopefully you were dreaming a pleasant dream before your time was shortened.

Today’s featured image was taken when we spent the day at the beach and rented a jet ski in the island of Saint Kitts in November as part of a Caribbean cruise. The water was perfect.

If your on my blog chances are you have heard a little about Yoga and wonder what it’s all about.

You probably have a few preconceptions and imagine a girl twisted up in lotus pose, or maybe you picture a person sitting cross-legged chanting some weird sound?

To simply things, I am going to review step by step what you can expect in a normal Yoga session.

First Step: Introduction:

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. Sometimes an instructor will start in seated and ask you to sit crossed legged and close your eyes. They might instruct you to concentrate on a person that you want to offer up your practice to today. It could be a family member, a friend, a person you heard about on the news that is going through a situation, heck, it can even be an offering for yourself and your needs, but I’d advise to put others ahead of yourself unless you are particularly struggling with an issue. There is no limit to whom you “offer” the positive energy of your practice up to.

The reason an instructor usually starts in standing after dedication is that the standing position is the most natural Human position there is. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in its natural standing position. The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or weight. What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us – we are not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate of the state of the body. Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm up stage for your routine. This is the only time in your life you will be ‘taught’ to breath and it’s a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

Second Step: Your Routine:

This is the art of your session which will vary the greatest depending on what style of Yoga you are learning. Each posture (think exercise segment) will be different, however, the nature of them will become very similar after a short period of time. You will be stretching muscles that you don’t normally use in the course of a day. Your teacher will explain to you the alignment for each pose. He/She may approach you to guide you into and out of the postures if they see you doing it incorrectly or if they feel you would benefit from a slight adjustment. Usually the teacher will ask before assisting, but if you are not wanting assistance approach the teacher prior to class and explain that you hard about adjustments during the class and you’d feel uncomfortable if that were to happen. The instructor is there for your benefit and will understand your “personal space”.

Normally your instructor will say the pose in both English and the native “Sanskrit” terminology for the pose. Don’t worry about trying to understand or learn the Sanskrit in the first few months, that will come to you with repetition and is not expected of any student but rather optional if you wish to learn anatomy in Sanskrit.

A lot of times your Yoga teacher will talk about the reason behind certain postures and about the energy points of your Chakra’s (Areas of spiritual power within the body). The Chakra system is important  to learn because it can teach you where areas of congestion are in your body and you will learn postures to release the blockages to allow energy to flow freely.

Final Step: The End Of The Session:

During the session you have worked a lot of key areas of your body and the relaxation stage or end of your practice is where you will allow this energy that you have built up to flow in and out and around your body. Usually you will have a cool down period and then “Savasana” or the resting pose. This is where you allow your body to stretch out grounded to the floor beneath you and relax all of your limbs. You concentrate on your breathing and fully “letting go” so that your pent-up energies can release and flow and bring your body, mind and spirit into a calm state. The teacher will normally have you wiggle your toes,feet,fingers,hands and slowly turn on to your side and gently push up into a seated position to end the class with a “Namaste” which can be thought of as an offering of thanks for your practice.

Yoga will give you a sense of peace, calmness, joy and a greater understanding of how to breathe, improve your overall health as well as cope with everything in your life.

Give it a try.

Namaste In Good Health,

Your Friend Kat

The Mat Season:6 E:10 “Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1-7”

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“Right understanding comes from direct perception, inference, and valid authority.

Dear Friends,

How do we know God exists? Most of us can’t speak from personal experience. So, should our knowledge come from interpretation or assumption? Wow this Sutra is awesome!

The author of Demystifying Pantanjali tells us “When it comes to a simple earthly matter, valid authority may come to us by a phone call or a radio report. But when it comes to spiritual matters- like, “Does God exist?”- true perception is rare; without true intuition, perception is not always reliable.

The take away:

God must be consciousness!

Valid authority is the most important of all.

Do Not Take Advice From Men

Namaste,

Kat

Marriage & Yoga = Union

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My niece and her husband have been together for over 7 years before they tied the knot.

What a beautiful ceremony and reception for such a wonderful couple.

Did I mention she is a Yogi?  She recently did a perfect headstand /Sirsasana.

That got me thinking about the meaning of yoga and its correlation to marriage.

It is commony known that yoga means union, oneness and eternal bliss.

However, as we study Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras this year we learn he did not express that

yoga was “union” but more of a “restriction” of the fluctuation of consciousness.

In the Gita, yogi’s are advised to practice Brahmacharya Vrata (celibacy).

In India, yoga is considered “union”, “eternal bliss” and also described as “love”.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and

the two are united into one.”

Webster defines marriage as this:

mar·riage
ˈmerij/
noun
noun: marriage; plural noun: marriages

1.
the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman).
“a happy marriage”
synonyms: wedding, wedding ceremony, marriage ceremony, nuptials, union

Webster’s definition of yoga:

yo·ga
ˈyōɡə/
noun
noun: yoga

a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

Origin
Sanskrit, literally ‘union.’

I have to say there is something magical about “union” especially when it brings two

hearts and souls together for eternity.

May God bless this “union”.

Thanks to Meg and Chris for having us share in your special day.

Namaste,

Kat

The Mat S6 E8 “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1-5” by Kat of JYL

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Dear Friends,

“Demystifying Patanjali” was based on the wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda presented by his disciple- Swami Kriyananda as a basis for a balanced Yogi to study. It is important to understand that these interpretations can somehow get mixed up. As far as 1-5 is concerned it is a complex Sutra and one that you should take your time with learning.

Key Points

Vrittis= one’s self-developed inclinations (desires & attachments)

Some cause pain, some give pleasure.

*No self-definition can bring anyone happiness.

Sharing with others can only help to remove a layer of egoism from the giver’s consciousness.

We must try to overcome all self-definitions.

Our vrittis do not define us as we are; they only define us as we think we are.

We may tread the downward path to further suffering, or the upward, to eventual bliss in him.

Take what you can from each lesson and share your knowledge.

Namaste,

Kat

The Mat S6 E3 “Mercy, Compassion and Karma

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Dear Friends,

We can’t avoid difficulties or problems in life. Now for the good news- we can change our Karma. We can change every aspect of our lives. You may ask ” Why would I want to change my life?” So I’ll answer that for you. By changing your life, your karma changes deep within your being for the better.

From the Buddhist point of view on life and death- happiness is for eternity- in other lifetimes- in the future. When we change with a “Mission” we awaken this eternal happiness.

Ask anyone what “Karma” means to them. Generally, people tend to believe “Karma” is something bad that happens from bad actions.

What is “Karma” really? Let us study this together. Karma is Sanskrit for “action”.

It is the happenings of cause and effect that goes beyond life and death. Think of it like this, every thought, every action, each word that crosses our tongue and how we act are all little seeds that we plant in our garden of “our life”. These “seeds” or “causes” which is truly what they are can sit quiet and dormant now or during the future. However, from time to time, or under certain circumstances, these seeds will reveal themselves. This happens as “results”- whether it be a reward or punishment.

Buddhists believe life is not just “now” but the past, present and the future lives or “three existences of life”.

Let us examine “The General Law Of Cause And Effect”.

Our actions at any time become part of cause and effect. Buddhists believe if we hurt others, steal from them, cheat, lie etc. these things will express themselves in the present or future with bad effects on our lives.

To start believing in this we would have to do something positive for every bad action we have even done to rid ourselves of such bad karma. We would also have to stop making bad decisions and acting in any manner which leads to bad karma. This could leave many of us feeling hopeless like we don’t have enough time in our lifetime to fix this.

The best news is we can change simply by striving to live with respect for our own happiness and the happiness of others.If we spread this type of action or “behavior” we begin to immediately change the direction of our life. No longer do we feel “hopeless” or “powerless”. By seeking to live better, our laundry list of sins can be cleansed by wisdom.

As we strive to clean up and make any change we will run into opposition, people and things will interfere with your attempts to clean house. You need to look at those times as “added bonuses”. By overcoming the difficulty you have naturally removed your karmic incidents.

By devoting yourself and showing others your path by your actions you will have removed negativity during the walk through your troubles. The key is to do this with a positive attitude. Turning your negatives to positives ,thus transforming your destiny.

Namaste,

Kat