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Women, their mind and body and the men who love them

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach lately. Of course I can do this quite a bit in the summer. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Kelowna, BC and this city is full of beautiful bodies – men and women alike.

All that aside, for the last 10+ years, I’ve been observing all the different shapes and sizes we women come in and I’ve come up with this. It doesn’t matter what age or nationality or how much money you make or how much time you spend at the gym, your hair length or colour, or stature. It all boils down to this one thing. We don’t love and accept ourselves for who we are. Accept it or not … deep down we know it’s true and that’s a fact!

How do I know this? Well first, personal experience. I’m a woman and I fall into at least one of the categories below, and secondly, I’ve talked to so many women and their men over the years. We are our own worst critics.

In our 20’s

Now these are some fabulous years, n’est-ce pas? It’s about hanging out with the girls and the guys. It’s about school and a little work and a lot of play. It’s about having fun and dancing at the clubs with our hands in the air screaming, wooo hooo, we love everyone, we kiss our girlfriends and our guy friends and say and do things we never would do without…. Liquid Courage, LOL. We feel pretty darn hot but aren’t we still always looking over our shoulders to see what ‘she’s’ wearing, or if ‘she’ has nicer hair or is wearing nicer clothes or has bigger boobs, looks better in those jeans, has whiter teeth, am I skinnier than her? And, last but not least, do I look better than her?

In our 30’s

If we were successful in finding ‘the one’ in our twenties, we’re already married with at least one or two babe’s. Life is good, good, good.

We fulfilled our childhood dreams of the fantasy wedding and no one sings it better than Shania Twain. “ Am I dreamin or stupid, I think I’ve been hit by cupid, but no one needs to know right now. I want bells to ring, a choir to sing, the white dress, the guests, the cake, the car the whole darn thing, but no one needs to know right now. We’ll have a little girl, a little boy, a little benji we call Leroy, but no one needs to know right now.”

If we chose to follow a different path in our twenties we might just be starting to feel our biological time clocks ticking.

So here we are, 30 something, great career or family, maybe we have a little mommy tummy – we deserve that, right? After all we did carry those beautiful babes for 9 months, and we did nurse them probably just about as long. Standing in front of that mirror, all by ourselves, we convince ourselves and tell ourselves, hey! I look good for my age and what I’ve accomplished. You know what? You do! But aren’t we always looking over our shoulders to see what ‘she’s’ wearing. Does ‘she’ have firmer boobs? does ‘she’ have a mommy tummy? Is ‘she’ prettier, or sexier? Is my husband looking at her? And, last but not least, do I look better than her?

In our 40’s

We’ve either never been married and have no children because we chose to pursue travel and/or career over husband and children or any variation thereof, or we’ve been married for 15 – 20 + years. Our children are older now and we’ve got a bit time on our hands now. We don’t have our girlish figures that we had in our 20’s and 30’s. Things are falling south, right?

You fall into one of these generations and regardless of what you have done, are doing, or want to do, you are not the exception, you are the rule and the rule is that you are 40 something. Maybe you’re divorced looking for a new Mr. Right? Or still with your Mr. Right, or still looking for ‘the right’ one. It doesn’t matter. Aren’t we still always looking over our shoulders to see what ‘she’s’ wearing. Does ‘she’ have fake boobs? maybe a tummy tuck? Is ‘she’ prettier, or sexier? Are the men checking her out? And, last but not least, do I look better than her?

I won’t go into our 50’s because I’m not 50 yet but I’m inclined to think, based on conversations, that by the time we women are 50 and beyond, we don’t care about the same things we did in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s’. We are not so concerned about what ‘she’ looks like anymore because it doesn’t matter.

Along the way, we are who we are, we look the way we look, we feel the way we feel, we love the way we love and guess what? The whole time you were looking over your shoulder asking yourself if you look better than she does, she was also looking over her shoulder wondering if she looked better than you. If this is the case in your life then we suggest speak with Chicago life coach and maybe they can help you balance your mind and body.

And here’s the last thing. Take a look around! It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, skinny or chubby, have long hair or short hair, blond, burnette, or red headed, have a mommy tummy or a flat tummy, big or small boobs, big or small bum.. The men… you know what they love? … They love women! In all their beautiful shapes and sizes.

So go out there, love yourself. Don’t wonder if you look better than she does because she’s wondering the same thing about you too!

Remodeling your bathroom can be an exciting yet daunting task. The end result can be so nice, but the getting there so difficult, especially when trying to work everything out financially. Here are ten tips to remember when remodeling your bathroom on a budget.

1. Determine what your goals really are.

When looking to remodel your bathroom, it’s easy to think of everything that you could ever want changed. But, all of that isn’t really necessary. Realistically look at your circumstances and decide what’s most important.

Given your budget, what really needs done? Are there pipes leaking? Is something broken? Is this an issue of needing more space? Or a more modern look? Getting new curtains obviously doesn’t fix the running toilet. And just wanting an overall updated look probably doesn’t require getting a new tub. Spending money on projects that don’t add value to that which you prioritize is a waste.

2. Identify what you can do yourself.

When remodeling a bathroom, there are likely projects you can take on yourself. Think through what needs done and split everything up into two categories: what you can reasonably do yourself and what you can’t do for yourself. Consider attending free home improvement workshops to better enable yourself for the tasks at hand.

There’s no point in paying a contractor extra to do something you could have handled on your own. Similarly, there’s no point in wasting supplies, time and effort in trying to pull off something you know you won’t be satisfied with. Contract for what you should contract, but do it yourself for projects you can handle.

3. Request multiple bids.

For the tasks you decidedly cannot do on your own, invite a few contractors to your house to offer quotes on what the total project will cost. Compare the offers. Ask what, in particular, makes one remodeling contractor able to offer this set of services for lower than another’s bid.

Consider what levels of quality you’re willing to negotiate on and what ones you aren’t. Contrast your preferences with what the various contractors are offering. Research the contractors to see what people are saying about them, and ask to see samples of previous work. Providently choose the best option for your circumstances.

4. Think ahead.

When looking to remodel on a budget, sometimes we get so caught up in saving money that we don’t think of the long-term ramifications of the choices we’re making. In an effort to save, we might choose to only remodel the downstairs bathroom and leave the kids’ alone for now. And that might be a great option.

But, if in three months we’re going to decide the kids’ bathroom really should get some remodeling done too, we’re going to miss out on the symbiotic benefits of renovating multiple bathrooms at the same time. Look at your situation and identify what work would be best done together. Proceed with the tasks that are both financially efficient and in line with your goals.

5. Consider your options.

Look for cheaper alternatives to fix the problems that need addressed. The floor may need replaced, but linoleum will likely cost less than tile. You may still opt for the tile, but you should do so realizing it’s the more expensive option.

If a bathtub’s only problem is that it’s pink, having the tub painted will likely be a less expensive option than having the tub entirely replaced. Similarly, choosing to replace small accessories instead of the major staples of a bathroom (where feasible) can be a cost-effective way to revamp a bathroom. With your goals in mind, carefully consider what less-expensive options are reasonable in your remodeling projects.

6. Buy secondhand.

Paying retail price for a new model is always going to damage the project’s bottom line. Think about buying secondhand, or even just buying last year’s model. Look at what’s being offered on sites like, which directs buyers to sellers in a way that also eliminates shipping costs.

7. Think small.

Even after you’ve eliminated unneeded projects and settled on a few essentials, there’s still room for thinking small and conservatively with the few projects that are on your plate. Only change what’s needed.

Buying all new towels may be more fun, but buying one new accent color to go with some old towels still in good repair would be more cost-efficient. The more expensive shower curtain may be the most amazing curtain you’ve ever seen, but one half the price might take care of the job just as well.

8. Go green.

In the long-run, energy-efficient models will save you money. And what better time is there to go green than when remodeling? Often contractors and/or home improvement stores will offer rebates on new models in exchange for older, less-efficient models. Work with your contractor to see if any energy-saving related deals apply to your bathroom remodeling projects.

9. Visit your thrift stores.

You could pay an arm and a leg for bathroom fixtures and fixings alone. For all the necessities that don’t require the utmost level of quality, look around at your local thrift stores and garage sales. There are certain aspects of remodeling a bathroom that do require a lot of money, so don’t waste it on the parts that don’t have to.

10. Be efficient.

For most bathrooms, organization is the key in not feeling small or being crowded. Being efficient with purchasing items that can multitask will not only help your budget but it will also help the end product of your remodeling efforts look nicer. Concentrate your decorating efforts on pieces that are functional as well as stylish. It would be a shame to negate all of your previous budget-minded remodeling efforts by spending too much on products you don’t need that will only clutter your new and improved bathroom.

My wife and I had an understanding before we decided to live together: I would make room for her warehouse of tools and she would allow me a complete floor to ceiling room for my books. After 11 blissful years, I have a library with over 5 thousand books including 300 volumes of Playboy Magazines, several first editions comic books. She has a basement, a garage, and a storage area for her tools.

I grew up in a construction business. My father was a general contractor. When I graduated from college, I wanted nothing to do with any type of construction work. I refused to even own a hammer. All that changed when I met my wife. Her garage was packed with tools and I knew she enjoyed using them.

Because my wife can handle a hammer better than most men, we saved money with repairs around the house. Coupled with experience from my construction years, we tackled a few household projects. We replaced electrical outlets, painted rooms, replaced door frames and sealed cracks in the basement block.

We decided to invest in real estate rental property and hired a management firm to oversee our investment. Once we realized the cost of having someone else manage our rental units, we quickly grabbed hammers, rulers, squares, electrical testers, paint brushes and pipe wrenches and went to work.

The first year we replaced our property management company we saved 10-15 thousand dollars. Even though our days are filled with sanding walls, repairing drywall, hanging fans, etc., we saved enough from our repair bills alone in this tight economy for a profitable balance sheet.

While some contractors (men mostly) frown when my wife directs their work with considerable competence and knowledge, over the years we noticed a change in the landscape which was once dominated by men. More women are entering the construction fields.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s February issue women are outpacing men in graduating from college and they have better employment prospects.

In 2016 we took a carpentry class at the local trade school. The class was a mixture of men and women. The women did not shy away from any of the hands-on instruction and were as capable as the men students.

We also participated in classes at Home Depot,

How much money did we save? Here are some examples.

1 .Replaced leaky faucet in tub, saved $490 for plumber, faucet and washer.
2. Repaired and painted walls in rental unit saved $3500.
3. Replaced electric plugs in the kitchen electrician $200 each 6 outlets equals $1200.
4. My wife replaced 10 door locks for rental units saving $35 hour from a handyman.
5,We replaced a door for $25. Original cost of the solid wood door: $1,000.

Handyman work is not just a man’s job. It can be a couple’s job and with the benefits of savings.

Remodel Your Bathroom for Under $500

Bathrooms are typically updated every 7 to 10 years. These updates usually focus on the flooring, fixtures and sometimes the porcelain elements (i.e. toilet, tub and sink). During a full scale bathroom remodel you can end up spending $10,000 or more. However, if your bathroom needs to be updated, or at least freshened up, and you don’t have a multi-thousand dollar budget to work with what do you do? The answer is to spend you money wisely and do the work yourself.

Remodeling a Bathroom for Under $500 – Step No. 1: Replace What Needs to Be Replaced

The first step in creating a budget for your bathroom remodel is to identify what needs to be replaced and what can be freshened up. Start by looking at your big ticket items, the toilet, tub and sink. Look for cracks in the porcelain, rusty pipes and other signs of excessive wear. Next look at the flooring. Again look for tears, chips, cracks, mold, stains and other signs of excessive wear. Finally, look at the cosmetics of your bathroom. Do you still like the color scheme, tile designs, etc.? If not, write down what you don’t like. After you have a list of items that need to be changed, repaired or replaced, you can visit local home improvement stores to start pricing items.

Remodeling a Bathroom for Under $500 – Step No. 2: Find Low Cost Products

If you are on a very tight budget, then you need to look for items that give the look you want but that are inexpensive. For example, high end one piece toilets cost around $300 to $500, however, you can buy a basic one piece white toilet from Glacier Bay for $99. Flooring is going to be another high ticket item. If you are looking for low cost tile, then shop around at tile closeout sales and garage sales. You can also look for salvage tiles. Paint can run you any where from $10 a gallon to $40 a gallon depending on the brand and where you buy it. Department stores are going to offer you the best prices on paint, however, your color choices will be limited.

Remodeling a Bathroom for Under $500 – Step No. 3: DIY

To keep your bathroom remodel under $500 you will also need to do the work yourself. Fortunately, installing a toilet, laying linoleum and painting are all very easy to do. If you have never installed a toilet before look for online video tutorials or written instructions to make your project easier on you. I am 5’1″ and have limited plumbing experience, and I was able to remove my old toilet and install in less than two hours, so it can be done with minimal effort.

Check out RG Counter tops a leading fabricator of kitchen and bathroom counter tops specializing in fabrication and installation of granite, marble, limestone, and quartz material. 

Towing Reimbursement Coverage: Consider Adding It to Your Policy

Imagine you are driving down the road and the next thing you know your check engine light comes on. This may seem like not a big deal, but then your car starts sputtering and dies on the side of the road. No matter what you do, it just will not start.

You are stuck calling a towing service and getting your car towed to the shop. Tows can be quite expensive, especially if you are a long way from home. One way to reduce the cost of getting your car towed is to add a towing reimbursement coverage plan to your policy.

What Is Towing Reimbursement Coverage?

Towing reimbursement coverage is exactly what it sounds like. When added to your car insurance policy, if your car ever breaks down or is involved in an accident, towing reimbursement coverage will pay for your car to be towed. Depending on the type of towing coverage that you have, the policy may cover towing up to a specified amount of miles, or it may cover a tow to anywhere you wish.

Additionally, most insurance companies have a set amount that they will pay for the tow, and you will be responsible for paying any amount above that. Some policies will include coverage for other eventualities, such as running out of gas or locking your keys inside your car.

Towing Reimbursement Limits

There are set limits by an insurance company as to how many times you are allowed to use this service during the course of a year. When you are discussing this coverage with your insurance agent, it is important to ask what the limit for your towing coverage will be.

It is important to not abuse this service. Using your towing reimbursement insurance too often can cause your insurance rates to go up, as you will be racking up the number of claims on your policy.

Roadside Assistance Versus Towing Reimbursement

When it comes to car insurance additions, it is always important to understand the different types of coverage available. Many insurance companies offer towing reimbursement as part of their standard collision and comprehensive policy. This means that if you are involved in an accident and cannot drive your vehicle from the scene of the accident, the insurance company will pay for towing your car to a repair shop.

However, roadside assistance coverage allows an individual the freedom to have their car towed no matter what the cause may be. Additionally, roadside assistance will have a set limit of coverage available as determined by the policy that you have chosen.

Benefits of Towing Insurance

Unfortunately, no one can predict when their car may break down or they might be involved in an accident. For this reason, it is important to have towing insurance to help pay for the unexpected cost of having your car towed should this happen to you.

Depending on the distance and what towing company is used, the cost of a tow can be very expensive, not to mention the cost of having your car repaired. Towing reimbursement coverage offers a way to lower these costs and gives you the peace of mind in knowing that should your car break down, you will have someone to come pick you up.


When choosing a car insurance policy, it is important to think about all of the possible situations you could be involved in. From accidents to a simple break down, having the right insurance policy in place can make all of the difference. Make sure to research the coverage that you are paying for and make sure that if you are in any of the above situations, your policy has some form of protection for it.

Counseling Services’ Workshops Focus on Time Management

If you are experiencing difficulty in juggling classes, homework and a job while trying to find time for yourself, don’t worry — there is hope.

Counseling Services at the Snow Health Center began offering stress management workshops for students Wednesday.

The goal of the workshops is to teach students how to manage their time effectively.

Megan McInerney, a graduate assistant at Snow Health Center, said every college student handles stress differently.

Students who are coming directly from high school may have a harder time coping with stress than a student who has been in college for a while, McInerney said.

McInerney listed three important tips students need to remember in managing stress: No.1: Take care of yourself; No.2: Schedule time for yourself; and No.3: Avoid drugs and alcohol.

She said drinking alcohol doesn’t decrease your stress load or make your problems disappear.

Your stress doesn’t go away, McInerney said. It is important for students to talk about stress when it becomes really bothersome.

She also said that students should let other people know when they are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes having someone share or take over a few tasks can help alleviate stress.

Counseling Services is available to help students from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

These services are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students can also make an appointment to see a counselor if needed. The services are free.

McInerney also said students can look on the Internet for ideas on how to manage stress.

McInerney encouraged students to attend the workshops.

I am hoping that students will take something away from this to apply in their every day life, McInerney said.

Acupuncture for Migraines: What You Need to Know

I’m one of those high-strung people who constantly suffers from stress-related pain. Backaches, tension headaches, muscle pain, joint tenderness and abdominal cramping are an everyday part of my life. When the going gets really tough, I sometimes develop intense migraines that– without some form of treatment– can last days.

I have yet to find one single treatment that knocks out all of these problems, but the tenants of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have always been beneficial to me. I’ve found that TCM treatments, including acupuncture and acupressure, have always helped to relieve my migraine-related pain and other forms of recurrent discomfort.

If you’re interested in using acupuncture to treat your own migraine symptoms, there are several key points to consider.

1. Talk to your doctor. This isn’t just a recommendation that we health-writers give to appease attorneys. It really is a critical step in seeking treatment for migraines– or, for that matter, any other medical condition. Your health care provider can help to diagnose your migraines to differentiate them from similar problems, such as sinusitis or severe tension headaches. She can also evaluate you for signs of common migraine causes, such as hormonal imbalance and food intolerance. A comprehensive evaluation is essential for guaranteeing a correct diagnosis and a safe treatment.

2. Understand acupuncture. Acupuncture faces a tremendous amount of misunderstanding, both among health care providers and among those receiving the treatment. Traditional healers use acupuncture to stimulate specific points in the body, known as medians, by inserting very thin needles into the skin. In TCM theory, this facilitates the flow of chi, or life-energy, into the appropriate areas of the body, thereby enabling healing and pain relief. TCM theory is neither entirely consistent nor entirely inconsistent with Western medical science. Despite thousands of years of traditional use, it’s not clear if acupuncture really “works” or fails to work for migraines.

3. Know the evidence. Only one Western clinical study has evaluated acupuncture’s efficacy as a migraine treatment. In the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, adults who experienced migraines more than twice per month were divided into two groups. One group received only conventional treatments for migraines, while the other group received both conventional treatments and regular acupuncture. Those who received acupuncture had fewer headaches, needed less medication, made fewer doctor’s visits and missed fewer work days than the group receiving conventional treatment alone.

4. Know the limitations. Like all treatments, acupuncture does have limitations. The clinical trial examining acupuncture for migraines failed to account for the placebo effect– the patients receiving acupuncture may have experienced improvement simply because they believed that the treatment was working. There’s also no clear evidence that “real” acupuncture works better than “sham” acupuncture, or that it can entirely replace conventional treatments. It’s also critical to understand that acupuncture fails to effectively eliminate underlying problems such as hormonal imbalances.

5. Consider other treatments. TCM practitioners rarely recommend acupuncture as a sole treatment for any condition. Instead, it usually on a holistic view of the patient. Comprehensive TCM treatment may involve acupuncture in combination with medicinal herbs, dietary changes, exercises, meditation and conventional treatments. Of course, always get the go-ahead from your health care provider before you use any of these treatments. Medicinal herbs and radical dietary changes can cause dangerous side effects when used inappropriately.

Get Clean with Spring: Give House and Body an Eco-cleanse

What exactly is an eco-cleanse? Take a section of life, such as eating habits, and how it is done every day. Now, how can it be made better in relation to the environment and health? Using different methods and incorporating them gradually to make them become the new daily activities.

There are seven areas that can be made over to be more organic, healthy and eco-friendly: plastic and paper; electricity; food habits; drinking habits; schedules; automobiles; and consumerism.

Knowledge is Power

Before any of these changes are implemented, research and another daily habit should be in place. For research, venture through a few green Web sites such as Treehugger. Also scour the Internet for green books, but don’t buy them — at first! Right down the titles and search at the local library for copies, which will save on resources. If they are not available at the library, use a book swapping site to get a used copy. Research does not require a new book, and then these books can be re-swapped once done, saving money and the environment. Click here to get more info about the best cleaning service in your area.

Another way to stick with the eco-cleanse is establishing a green journal. Begin with observations, and they do not have to be long. Sit in a local park and observe the landscape. Are there ducks or birds? Is the grass green or brown, or maybe some other weird color? Once becoming aware of the surroundings, reporting about changes in habits or noticing changes in the environment will be easier as concentration and observation has been building. Continue to use the journal to talk about the struggles of the eco-changes and to brainstorm on how to make it work better.

Cleansing Body and Mind

After the groundwork has been put into place, it is time for the eco-cleanse. Try each one of the tips for a few days before starting the next, in order to incorporate all at some point in the future. Some tips also may take some planning ahead of time.

  • Fast from electricity. Before going to bed, shut off the television, the computer and any electronic device not needed to wake up in the morning. Wake up early to start the coffee machine instead of leaving it plugged in all night. If a television is needed to sleep, turn a timer on for an hour or bit more so it will turn off automatically. Also, choose one day to go completely off the scale and be electricity-free, using this time to read, spend time with family and friends, exercise or any other non-electronic activity.
  • Try being vegetarian, or vegan. This is one of the most green ways to help the environment, and a great way to help the body. If vegetarianism is a new idea, try adopting the method to one meal a day. Once that seems comfortable, try two meals or see if a whole day can be planned minus meat. If the vegetarian diet has already been adopted, try going vegan with the same method. This type of change requires planning and preparation but once implemented for awhile, it becomes almost second nature and it does such a huge help to the body and environment.
  • Change drinking habits. As this ties in a later tip, ban the plastic bottles. Buy a water filter instead, or just drink from the tap, which is actually pretty well filtered water (unless you live somewhere where it’s not.) There are other ways to get juice, once of which is buy items in glass bottles. It can be pricey, so why not make juice? A juicer, electric or otherwise, can create a quality product and possibly a better product. Try to look for products that use recycled material.
  • Make one day of a week a slow week. By slowing down, it can help your health. Life can be a stressful mess and that stress has a negative effect on the body. In the long run, it can have a negative effect on the environment when the easiest way to get things done is through disposable products. But these products really harms the Earth. Slowing down means embracing family meals (maybe try a vegetarian dish), an organization of papers (recycle them!) or some meditation.
  • Try breaking the plastic and paper habit. Start with recording how much plastic and paper is used every day. After a day or two, start reducing that consumption. Stop buying plastic bottled drinks and water, be conscientious of the packaging items have around them and buy fruits and vegetables not in plastic. Carry reusable bags everywhere. Print two-sided or don’t print at all! If items need to be bought, recycle what is left. Really think about the item being bought before buying, and if it can be bought without the plastic or paper surrounding it.
  • Give the automobile a break. The United States have become a nation of car drivers and many other nations are following suit. Instead of driving around the block to drop off mail, walk to the nearest mailbox. Get out and walk or ride a bike to the grocery store, bringing a backpack or large bag easy for carrying. If driving is necessary (obviously for food or medicine,) plan out trips in order to cut driving all over town for a variety of items. If another mode of transportation to work is unreasonable, try a carpool.
  • Become an un-consumer. If something is needed (other than food and medicine,) buy it second-hand. Resolve to buy nothing new. This may sound like a crazy idea, but it helps to cultivate if certain items are really needed and if they can’t be bought for cheaper and just as good condition as a new item. By reusing an item, it doesn’t sit in a landfill and gets a second life. It’s not only about being frugal but reducing consumption of natural resources and stepping away from the culture of never-ending consumption.

Being a Green Person

These tips can cleanse the body, mind and environment. By taking steps to be conscientious to the surroundings, a person can make their body and environment as one.

Yoga for All Ages and All Levels of Fitness

The great thing about yoga is that it can benefit anyone and everyone. From older people who are looking to keep fit and healthy to younger people and athletes who are looking for more challenging exercises to strengthen their body and mind.

Many people start yoga in order to help improve their health, whether that is as simple as digestion or more serious illnesses such as osteoarthritis. And that’s the great thing; Yoga is an exercise technique which can easily be adapted for whatever your capabilities, and from which many people can benefit. Obviously the exercises need to be performed regularly in order for them to have an effect, but with more and more people taking up yoga every day, why not try it yourself?

Take a Yoga Holiday

When thinking about where you would like to go for your next holiday why not consider going on a yoga retreat. After all the whole reason for getting away is to enjoy some rest and relaxation time and what could be better than yoga.

As you would expect, these retreats are set in peaceful and tranquil locations with many retreats situated in mountains, forest areas and even on secluded beaches. The retreats run on a timetable basis where in a typical day meditation and yoga normally compromises the morning activities. The afternoons are usually where you get free time and then the evenings are taken up with chanting.

Most of these activities are optional so you can choose what to take part in, so ultimately your holiday is still your own.

If you want to come away from a holiday feeling fully relaxed instead of feeling like you need another holiday in which to recover, then a yoga retreat could be just what you need.

Laugh Your Way to Health

If you feel better doing regular yoga exercises then you might want to combine laughter with it and reap even further benefits. It is said that laughter makes your chances of experiencing happiness much greater and new yoga classes combined with laughter aim at helping with this.

Throughout these yoga classes you will experience laughter eruptions from members of the class. Some of them are scripted and others are just spontaneous and usually in response to the scripted outbursts.

It has been documented that laughter helps with giving you a sense of well being but it has also been used in the past to help with pain relief as some people have found that just ten minutes of genuine laughter can leave them with a few hours pain relief often helping them to sleep better.

Although there are still not many classes which employ this technique it may be worth reading up on the technique and trying it out yourself.

Pregnancy and Yoga

Being pregnant is no reason to stop doing your yoga exercises. Of course you will not be able to perform some of the more advanced extreme body contortions but as long as you take the correct precautions you can continue to benefit physically and emotionally from your yoga practise.

Some of the exercises to avoid when pregnant are those that involve stretching your body too strenuously, in particular your abdominal muscles. Also, be sensible; If any particular pose is causing you discomfort then do not continue to perform it. Throughout your pregnancy you will probably find that you need to adjust your exercises in line with your changing body.

Yoga exercises can benefit both you and your baby, as long as you remain aware of your limits.

Teaching Your Children Yoga

Yoga is something that most adults take up, but it is never too early to start, and can children can really benefit from the exercises. In today’s world even children suffer from stresses, whether it’s with exams or homework, and yoga is a great technique to help them cope better with these things.

Some people are even going as far to say that yoga should be included as part of the school curriculum. Yoga can not only help with getting children to exercise is this world of video games and watching TV, but can also help them to control their feelings of anger and frustration. Bullying can be a big problem in school playgrounds so teaching children to think and stay calm and controlled during times when they might otherwise get very angry can only be a good thing.

Chi Kung for Health: A Tradition of Fitness

The wisdom of Chi Kung (also spelled “Qigong” and pronounced the same way with either spelling: chee gung) is the source of the martial arts and of Chinese medicine. Both traditional and always evolving in its styles and methods, Chi Kung is spreading worldwide. In translation Chi means living energy; while Kung means skill or method. So, Chi Kung is the skill of cultivating vital energy. As an art of self-healing, it includes movement, meditation, sound and visualization. A modern interpretation is that Chi is the biologically generated electricity that flows throughout the body. Then Chi Kung is the way to recharge your own batteries.

This spring, build up your health and vitality with Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang’s Primordial Qigong. It is a powerful method from the Taoist healing tradition of China. This series of gentle movements blends the creative energies of Heaven and Earth with the personal energy within each individual human body. Primordial Qigong recharges you from the abundant life energy that flows all around us in Nature. It promotes physical endurance and peace of mind. It greatly helps people with many different ailments, including stress, fatigue, headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis and rheumatism.

Metabolic Efficiency (classical signs: faster growth of hair & nails, better digestion)

Spiritual Effects: Bright Eyes, Intuition, Creativity, Meaningful Dreams, Synchronicity

China’s culture has included Chi Kung fitness skills for over two thousand years. Modern Chinese educational and medical institutions include this health training in their treatment programs. Individuals also learn Chi Kung for its many physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits. The temples and martial arts schools have preserved these skills in Asia. Now each of us in the West can enjoy them with regular practice to restore, refine and build our Chi.

In traditional terminology, Chi Kung enables the student to feel, circulate, and store the three living internal energies:

Shen – the Consciousness

Chi – the Physical Energy

Jing – the Physical Essence

Collectively these three are called the “Three Treasures of Life”. By building and circulating the Chi, we increase vitality, prevent or overcome illness, and promote healthy longevity.

Acupuncturist Eli Jacobe first learned Chi Kung meditation and Taiji movement from Master Mantak Chia in 1982. That inspiring vision of Chinese health philosophy and its personal benefits led him on to study Chinese medicine. He graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture in 1985. In Chi Kung his primary teachers include: Thomas Tam, Lic.Ac. (Oriental Culture Institute, Boston), Mantak Chia, Kenneth Cohen, & Dr. Wan Su-Jian (in Beijing, China). In 1987 after diligent daily practice and continuing instruction, he received a teaching certificate from Thomas Tam. In 2006 and 2009 he earned certificates in Taoist Medical Qigong from Dr. Wan Su-Jian, including authorization to teach Master Wan’s system, called BaGua XunDao Qigong. Before discovering the Chinese healing arts, Eli had taught restoring fertility yoga, meditation and stress management since 1974, having trained with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The field of Chi Kung is diverse, including lineages of many styles and methods. With development extending over thousands of years and in many regions of China, there are innumerable moving exercises targeting all the systems and structures of the body. There are meditation methods using the breath, sound, or visualizations. Chi Kung meditations can be enjoyed seated, standing, lying down, or even walking.

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