Everything you need to know to start practicing yoga 0 78336

It’s not hard to find experienced yogis––Instagram and Twitter are filled with people who have mastered the craft. But yoga isn’t just for the social media stars. It’s a tradition founded in northern India that dates back 5,000 years and is viewed as a path to enlightenment in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. In the United States alone, more than 20 million people practice yoga for reasons ranging from spiritual enlightenment to calorie burning.

 

But what if you’re a beginner? While looking at pictures of the pros may serve as inspiration and make you fall in love with the benefits of yoga, it won’t teach you what to do as a novice. Luckily for you, we have the perfect how-to guide that’ll help you dive right in. With the right combination of hard work and determination, you’ll become an expert in no time.

Decide which kind of yoga you want to practice. There are more than a dozen types of yoga, with the most popular paths including Vinyasa, Bikram, and Kundalini. Some styles of yoga are traditionally practiced outdoors, while others, like Bikram, are done in rooms heated to nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’ve done some research and decided which style of yoga best fits your goals, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.

Buy the appropriate yoga gear. Fear not! Many sports expect you to invest hundreds of dollars before you even start, but yoga is not one of them. In fact, you may already own some of the things you need. Check your closet to see if you have comfortable, relaxed-fit clothing. You don’t want anything too tight or too loose. If not, you can stop at any clothing store and check their athletic section to pick up a new outfit. You’ll also want a yoga mat, which will help keep you in one spot and also reduce the risk of you slipping while trying out new poses.

Find a teacher, whether in-person or online. You can thank the convenience of the 21st century for this one––you can learn yoga without leaving your house. There are countless websites and YouTube channels devoted to helping beginners who want to learn basic poses, and many of them are completely free of charge. However, there are benefits to finding an in-person class. You’ll make friends with people who share the same interests and have the ability to receive constructive criticism from a teacher when you make mistakes. It’ll typically be more expensive than an online option, but you’ll reap the benefits.

Set realistic goals. An effective way to get good at anything is to have an idea of what you’re working toward. Perhaps you want to become more flexible, or maybe you hope to use yoga as a tool for relaxation or to decrease your level of stress. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s a good idea to specify where you want to be a month from now. Next, think about a six-month or year-long goal. Once you have long-term goals, all that’s left is creating a weekly schedule and forming a habit.

Once you complete our to-do list, nothing can stand in your path. We know you’ll succeed––happy stretching!

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Practice self-sacrifice: Things we can learn from Lent 0 10837

Lent, to be perfectly clear is a Christian practice. Although, anyone is welcome to try the tradition in honor of sacrifice. Lent is a tradition that involves fasting for forty days and nights in preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the Easter celebration.

I remember growing up in the Catholic church, my parents really took Lent seriously and they passed that will onto me. They would leave their ashes on for the entire day just to prove that they were serious about penance. Lent or Lenten-fasting is a Christian practice that involves depriving oneself of the things that are dear to him or her. It’s kind of a symbol to represent the kind of suffering that Christ endured in the wilderness. Although Lent is not for everyone, depriving oneself of some form of comfort is a good thing. Lent doesn’t just involve waiting for the sweets or food that Easter comes with; it requires depriving yourself of something that you are basically addicted to; something that takes some priority in your daily life; that is why it’s so symbolic.

Here are a few things that people typically deprives themselves of for a short while.

Focusing on your needs and not your wants

When I say this, I mean you should chin up and stop buying all the things that you want but don’t really need. Things like new phones and devices shouldn’t be your priority, not when you don’t really need them. This Lent you should try saving some extra money for a change, you might end up saving more money than you think. This little practice should span across everything you spend money on. For example, you can’t buy all the little things you set your sight on this Lenten fast.

Donating every day of the Lenten fast

Regardless of whether you are religious or not, giving should hold a special place in your life. We are blessed to be where we find ourselves today and should never forget those that aren’t as fortunate. This Lent, try to give as much as you can daily. It might be just a plate of soup or some old clothes, but it might be enough to put a smile on a person’s face.

 Gossiping

I know that most gossips don’t think they gossip. They just see their conversations as innocent gist sessions. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you are a gossip but a sure tell sign would be the feeling that what you are doing and saying might hurt someone. This Lent we should try to fight those habits that seem hurtful to others. After all, Lent is about repentance and penance, we should see the days of the lent fast as an intense confession and repentance session and try to break away from old destructive habits.

Limiting meal time to just three times a day

I think more than anything, Lent is about the tribulations that Jesus faced and overcame in the desert. So, its only appropriate that we too subject ourselves to similar conditions. Technically, limiting meal time to the standard three times a day doesn’t really compare to the kind of suffering that he endured in the wilderness, but I think that it’s a safe compromise. We should try to get closer to the savior this Easter by devoting more time to knowing him and curbing our eating habits. This meal limiting plan should cover just more than the conventional meal. It should also go in to cover other things like limiting your soda intake and junk food consumption.

Give up TV

This might seem impossible for some with unbelievable line-up of coming this spring. People easily forget that these great series will still be there a month after Easter. Television is inherently distracting. It’s practically impossible to stay focused on the Messiah when you are shacked up in front of the TV every night. This lent, you should try to disconnect from it all. Try minimizing your TV time and pick up something that is less distracting and more productive like prayer.

Pray this Lent

One of the major characteristics of a fast is constant prayer, this Lenten shouldn’t be any different. Try to devote some time to praying to him every day – it’s the most important part of the fast. You should put all that excess time from not watching TV to good use and try to really commune with him.

Here are a few things that we can change about ourselves this Lent that could help us improve our relationship. Lent, above everything else is about Jesus Christ. This little suggestion list allows us to effectively share in his experience and strengthen our relationship.

Getting your kids to read this summer 839 150663

Summer means different things for different people. For twenty-year-old’s, it’s the time to work and party; for parents, it’s the time to hold neighborhood events and start saving up, and for kids, it’s the time to kick back and finally have some fun. School’s out! 😃 It’s that one time of the year when they can go to the beach and hang out with all their friends without worrying about some project or homework. For them, the entire summer is all about having fun, and as a parent, it’s your sacred duty to balance fun with continuing education. You might even be able to replace “fun” with something more rewarding – like reading!

Knowledge attained outside the classroom tends to stick around longer

You don’t want to be the “uncool” parent that forces your kid to do something school-related during the summer, but you don’t really have that much of choice, here’s why. The lessons that really stick with you long after you finish school are the ones that you learned when you didn’t really have to.

The knowledge that is acquired without some form of ultimatum or consequence always leaves a lasting impression. It also introduces you to a new side of knowledge that is not purely scholarly.

Reading is right for you regardless of what it is that you decide to read – obviously you will have to control your kids’ intake in your spare time. Reading strengthens the mind, and continual learning increases the speed at which you assimilate and process information. Just imagine the kind of impact a fantastic reading speed could have on your kid educational future. You could be adequately preparing them for a future in academia.

Exposure

The reward of “ruining” their obsessively fun summer will be some exposure to other subjects and topics that are unfamiliar to them. Recreational reading could be very instrumental in building up their overall personality. Plus, proper exposure ensures that they have enough information to make smarter and more informed decisions at a tender age.

It can teach them to research and ask questions

Summer reading could form the basis of a voracious reading habit that could beautifully complement their curiosity. It’s not every kid that thinks about something strange that eventually go on to investigate, summer reading could introduce them to the concept of research.

How to get your kids to read during the summer

It’s easy to talk about getting your kids to read during the summer, getting them to do it another issue entirely.

Kids can be especially stubborn or pigheaded when you are trying to force them to do what they simply have no interest in. The only way to have them do what you want the right way is to either introduce a reward system or trick them that it’s all their idea. Local library’s often offer summer reading lists per age group.

Reward system

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to do anything you want? Wait patiently, there is always something they’ll want, and you can use that to get what you want – in this case, it’s a healthy reading habit.

When they come to you with a ridiculous demand, you can propose a fair trade that will engage their mind and keep it focused on a book that you’ll recommend. You can even choose to deliver the reward after the completion of several books, that way, you are getting the most out of your deal.

You can also choose to limit or restrict play time, and the completion of a certain number of pages could be the requirement they must fulfill before they are allowed to play again.

Making them think it’s their idea

In my experience, people are always more motivated to complete a project that they believe to be totally theirs. When it’s your plan, you just tend to pay more attention to it, it’s like you want to prove something to yourself and others around you. Adults think this way, and so do kids. They can be pretty devoted to completing a book they just accidentally stumbled upon or saw you flip through.

Sometimes you don’t have to be so obvious or aggressive, you could give a rousing speech about reading and hand them a book that you know that they’ll enjoy and leave the rest to them.

The summertime doesn’t have to all about vacations and parties, it could also be an opportunity for your kid to develop a reasonably analytical mind.

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