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Your mind body & soul experience

every human creation starts in a mind

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Mind Body Soul You.


You cannot travel on the path until you become the path itself. Buddha


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What is Mi

Mi is a Mind, Body & Spirit magazine. Every month Mi will be bringing you articles on fitness, therapies, healing, holistic events, nutrition, reviews, helpful tips on how to improve your life and much much more... Mi is online with news, events, articles and competitions where we will continually push the boundaries of our existence. Follow along with the Mi journey...

What’s in Mi For this March

Doms

Ouchy muscles Page 4

Willing to be bewildered Energy is never destroyed or wasted...

Are you ready for a challenge? Whether you want to lose weight or gain lean muscle, join in the Project 10 Challenge along with thousands of others who are changing thier lives today! beincredible.bodybyvi.com

Fat facts or fiction

Things you need to know about FAT

My Yoga Journey

One woman’s journey of discovey

Spiritual Healing

Find out about Spiritual and Energy healing

Battlefield mind

Are you feeding your mind the correct knowledge

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Page 8

Page 12

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5 steps to a spiritual practice How and why we meditate

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Yoga, more than just exercise Learn from a master Page 24

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DOMS Delayed onset muscle soreness (or Ouchy muscles – what the… pain?)

By Kim Wheeler

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o you have taken the brave step to start working out, joining the gym, starting a new fitness class, getting the latest celebrity fad dvd or buying some weights with gusto. First day your instructor or the booklet tells you to take it slow and build up gradually. You think to yourself, nah… this isn’t too bad and you up your weight by 5kg and carry on regardless…

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You wake up the next day and feel ok… you think, “well that was easy, I feel a bit sore but nothing too bad, I could do that again!”. But as the day progresses that niggling ache in your back is starting to smart a little more, your thighs which used to lift you out of your chair with some ease are now somehow starting to fill with cement, your arms which change gear quite happily are now protesting with some increasing shoutiness (forgive the made up word, you know what I mean!). If this sounds like something you have experienced in some form or another then you will be experiencing the lovely world of DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness. Or Don’t Overestimate Muscular Strength (as I like to think of it!). What is it? I hear you ask… It is caused by Eccentric (or lengthening) muscle contractions, so a lowering of a dumbbell on a bicep curl, the tibialis anterior muscle in your shin when walking or running to control the descent of the toes after heel strike, the quadriceps on the downward phase of a squat. It is obvious that when a muscle contracts it gets shorter, so it is a little more mysterious with eccentric contractions, how can a muscle be contracting and lengthening? Obviously it needs to have this braking function or you would drop that dumbbell fast on the downward phase, or fall down into instead of sitting down with a control in a chair. There does not appear to be a firm understanding of how it happens as usually a muscle fibre can only be contracted or relaxed, however it’s imperative it does lengthen in this way for normal function! The soreness, or pain is thought to be caused by microtrauma in the muscle (although sometimes might feel like macro-trauma…!) What can you do about it? Not much when you have it - except wait until the body does what the body is great at and heals. Good news is that the body will adapt speedily to this trauma to avoid it happening again for the same exercise, so repeat the exercise again (after full recovery) and you will have reduced soreness and quicker recovery times. Over time this effect will be reduced, but studies have shown that performing an exercise at 40% of maximum effort can yield protective results of between 20-60% of 100% strength exercise 2/3 weeks later. Usually complete recovery is within 72 hours, but can be longer in more extreme cases (just be sensible consider the activity that caused the pain). Just be aware of the difference between DOMS (which is natural) and muscle injury or more serious damage. The pain will be slightly different and it is good to have experienced DOMS at least so you know whether you need to seek further assistance from

a health professional (sports massage therapist for example). Usually a more serious issue will present with an acute pain and getting progressively worse upon repeating the exercise as it won’t have sufficiently healed, this may be paired with some lovely bruising or inflammation. If this happens it is wise to seek professional advice.

There are a few techniques which *may* help reduce DOMS – although it’s best to avoid in the first place by building up slowly and gradually – but for those of us (me included) who are just too keen and love “feeling the burn” you can try these following tips…. SPORTS MASSAGE If you are an athlete and need to keep up a busy regime then sports massage could help reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Athletes also sometime use contrast or ice baths (brrr!) R.I.C.E Method of treating acute injuries – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Perform gentle stretches – this can help make it feel a little better but there is no evidence to prove it alone reduces soreness ACTIVE RECOVERY Performing low impact aerobic exercise after an intense workout as part of your cool down has been shown to increase blood flow and diminish muscle soreness. BODY AWARENESS Listen to your body and understand what triggers pain and let the pain completely disappear before performing further exercise. INCREASING PROTEIN INTAKE AFTER WORKOUT This may help the muscle repair more quickly if you include protein in your workout recovery meal, best taken within the golden hour (hour directly after exercising). So DOMS doesn’t mean all doom and gloom – it is a warning that you may be overdoing it, sure, but your body will adapt fantastically to increase resilience and strength, so don’t be too harsh on yourself, just be a little more careful and if possible work up to the exercises first. So if you go in with gusto, that’s fine, just bear in mind the consequences and be ready to deal with a little pain!! 5

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By Anne Wolf

By Anne Wolf

WILLING TO BE BEWILDERED A

ccording to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, energy is never destroyed or wasted, nor lost inside our Universe. Energy is also not created, instead, it simply exists: In perpetual flow and movement, shifting shapes constantly. Life and death, activity and rest, inhaling and exhaling, communication and silence, chaos and order... The whole spectrum of yin and yang. Energy is the base and root of all life, and it appears to have been sparked by ONE eternal source in the beginning.

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If you’re an atheist, you will find sufficient proof to believe, for example, that our life energy stems from a giant outburst of cosmic matter, perhaps the death of a massive star leading to a gigantic supernova. Or you can find one hundred other perfectly plausible, scientifically proven facts to back up your belief system.

shall stick to the term „God“ for the time being, in a feeble attempt to name what is far beyond words...

The beauty of life’s mystery is that something like the 2nd law of thermodynamics can be read both as rock-solid scientific fact as well as a highly spiritual thought! You (who have chosen to look at the Universe and all within it through the eyes of spirit) may immediately feel a warm sense of recognition when this principle of physics is worded in the above way.

These love letters can be tiny, seemingly insignificant.

Whatever form of spirituality you have chosen as your path in this lifetime - be it religious, pagan, just plain aware and present, you name it! YOU are the Creator after all! – You have made the decision to love your life, embrace it in as many facets as possible and hopefully to work on accepting it and taking responsibility for what you create and manifest from your own powerful Being.

The idea of God’s love letters being that He woos our hearts tenderly, always. We just need to open our eyes and be willing to be bewildered.

Light bouncing off a certain photograph. The sight of a butterfly long ahead of spring. A child laughing at the rustle of keys. The majestic flight of a bird of prey. Never forget that God is there within and without you, willing to do anything to make your heart smile, even in the deepest pain. As soon as you start to notice, you will stumble across God’s handwriting wherever you go. And you will drink it in. You will dare to be bewildered and dumbfounded. The same principles, same structures of so-called „Sacred Geometry“, the ancient Flower of Life, are found in the way an embryo’s cells will arrange just as in the seeds of an apple or the expansion of a galaxy.

There are days when it is incredibly hard to remain grateful and positive. As humans, we are Beauty in Creation is God’s way of winking at us. all familiar with this. Some so much more than others, but there is not a single exception. Did you know that the three striped poison dart frog will pluck its newly hatched tadpoles from All of us know the times that can get so dark that their pond gently, stick them to its skin and climb nothing seems to hold shelter and comfort. the highest plant stalks to then slip the offspring Your mind, usually a trusted companion, suddenly carefully into puddles of rain water on leaves and loses its grip and sends you into hurricanes of in blossoms, allowing them to grow up in the thought-chatter, numbing self-criticism or deep safest possible nursery? pits of despair. Did you know that the African rock python will Not even that mantra you have loved so much curl around its eggs and generate warmth by ever since you first heard it holds comfort, even vibrating its body forcefully? though it has been your refuge through the storm so many times before. Creation is full of gestures of love. There are times when nothing will feel right and not even your favourite idea, song, food, or Allow yourself to be loved by the Universe, you whatever else you usually find comfort in can put will find yourself again. your soul at ease. Not only on days like this, but especially then do I want you to keep remembering what Christian authors Stasi and John Eldredge like to call „God’s love letters“ in their wonderful book „Captivating“. Call the Divine Source by any name you please! I

Anne Wolf Author’s note: I am not a physicist. So excuse me if some things are too simply worded or just plain off. I can assure you it happened with the best intentions. 7

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Fat Facts or Fiction

By Kim Wheeler

Everything (well, some things…) you wanted to know (and some stuff you probably didn’t) about Fat! Exercising will spot reduce fat? FICTION!

We all know that to lose fat we have to eat less and move more – causing a calorie deficit. However, there are still claims and belief out there stating that by doing a particular exercise repeatedly will spot reduce fat. This is nigh on impossible! Fat cells are located all over your body, and they fill with fat when we have an excess of it in our bodies. This is because our bodies store it for emergency energy, to keep us warm and to keep us alive (we all need a minimum amount for survival). Understanding that fat will never, ever turn into muscle is key. Fat cells are fat cells, muscles are muscles – FACT. You can reduce the fat content in the cells to shrink your body size, and you can tone the muscle to appear sleeker and tighter. 8

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Be aware that we never naturally lose fat cells, they are usually the same quantity that we were born with. However, we can obtain more fat cells (aren’t we the lucky ones!). The sad fact is, once we have acquired them, they never go away (bah!). Depending on the individual, fat cells fill up with fat and grow to approximately 3 times their original size, then divide to create 2 cells. These in turn will fill and divide. So you can see it is better not to overeat in the first place, but what we CAN do if this has happened is STOP the cells filling and reduce the fat in each cell. This happens very gradually and all over the body, from your head to your toes. It is likely that the very place you notice it the most (ie. stomach, back or hips) will be the last place you notice it starting to shrink. Proactively what you should be doing is reducing your calorie intake – you can calculate this online using any free daily calorie calculator. Ideally (and more importantly, safely) you should be aiming for a deficit of 500 calories per day for a weight loss of 1lb of fat per week (3500 calories in a pound of fat). You can do 250 calories less of food and 250 calories burn from exercise or mix it up a little! Up to you. But aim to keep it steady and able to be maintained long term. It is possible to aim for 2lbs per week but be careful as suddenly increasing exercise can cause a heightened appetite, making no difference to body fat, so it’s best to build up gradually to maintain a comfortable deficit. Start to move like a Hare but expect results slow and steady like a (slender) tortoise…! Who won that race, huh? Exercise has a plus side too – increase muscle density and you increase calorie burn at rest! How good is that! So be sure to incorporate some sort of resistance training with your exercise structure, not only will you ward off osteoporosis as you age (even if you are a spring chicken (tortoise, or hare…) now, it is best to start sooner rather than waiting till later), but you will increase your metabolic rate, burn calories in your sleep and look fantastic to boot! Health & being fabulous! – 1, Fat – nil. Yeah!

heart rate, so not the best way. Our internal energy systems will always utilise the easiest source first (glycogen stored in our muscles), then delve into fat stores once this has gone. Some people will train High Intensity, others low intensity – really it is the best of both worlds to have a combo of the 2 along with a solid resistance program. Ultimately all you need to think about is the amount of calories you will burn will always correlate to how much fat you burn. More calories burned = more fat gone! If you like it in the fat burning zone, sure, you can hang about there for a while, but bear in mind you will need to stay there for longer and your fitness level will be unlikely to improve dramatically. But everyone is different and there is no “one” way which will suit all, some people will not be able to run or perform at a high intensity. Just doing what you can when you can will always be the best way for you.

Eating fat will make you fat…. FICTION! Provided you stick to the calorie deficit rule… AND eat healthy fats that the body needs and wants. So instead of processed trans fats found in fast food and microwave meals, opt for home cooked meals using olive or coconut oil, dress salads with avocado or virgin olive oils, eat oily fish, such as mackerel or salmon and eat nuts and seeds for snacks. Eat these in moderation as of course, they have a high fat content and therefore high calorie content, but your body will thank you a lot more for these foods.

Staying on the fat burning zone at the gym is the best way to lose fat FICTION! These zones keep you at a lower level for longer, which will burn calories, but utilising a lower 9

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healthy, nutritious vegetables, no more than a fist You don’t have to be overweight to have sized portion of carbohydrates (preferably try to use brown rice, wholemeal pasta and avoid white cellulite - FACT! refined carbohydrates), and a palm sized portion Underweight, overweight, young and old alike all of protein. can have cellulite – or not! Cellulite is the bumpy Fill your fridge with healthy options, so appearance of fat under the skin and occurs in 80- you are more likely to make healthier choices. 90% of post-adolescent females. The appearance of cellulite is caused by gaps in the connective Schedule in your exercise – and JDI (Just tissue over the fat cells. If the coating is tightly packed then you will not see cellulite, if there are do it!). Aim to do at least 20-30mins of activity holes in the tissue then the fat can be seen from every day. the skin’s surface. Many factors are in play with Drink water – this can be mineral water, cellulite, hormones and genetics, it is not linked to weight or even diet. You can improve the tap water, herbal teas. If you can’t go without appearance of cellulite by toning the underlying your caffeine fix (and early in the morning for muscles to compress the fat which will give a some it’s an essential part of the day!) it’s good to smoother appearance, but there is no cure. (Bad have a small glass of water with the tea or coffee to balance out the dehydrating effects of caffeine. times ). Not only will your waist, butt and hips be happy but so will your skin!

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This is the end of my article, hopefully it opened your eyes to fat and what you can do with it, about it and for it! Make small changes and you will get big results over time. If counting calories is just too much bother (and let’s face it, life’s hard enough as it is…!) then stick to these simple rules to help reduce intake. Listen to your body – avoid overeating. Stop when you think you are full.

FIND OUT MORE NOW

Use a smaller plate to serve your food – sometimes it can trick the brain to eating a lot less.

Fill at least half of that smaller plate with

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d n i M YOGA - MY JOURNEY Mi

By Lori-Lee Halteman

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oga is Hard! It takes dedication, devotion, turning all the night time into the day. oh wait that’s “Walk of Life”. Well Yoga IS the Walk of Life. It heals & enhances on Every Level! Body, Mind, Emotions, Soul. Stuff-Comes-Up. One is constantly being faced with ones self! All that we are is revealed, layer by layer! There is nothing like Yoga. It is it’s own mathematical equation. A body without Yoga is like Science without Math. Without the Periodic Table. How far can we venture without equations? It is the only way we discover what is True. What the governing forces are. Yoga is Not about repression. So it is boldly going where some fear to tread. Yoga is about ‘Dealing with it’. It’s not a procrastinators path. Yoga means fearlessness. Re-opening wounds that are scarred over but never healed correctly & digging out the root of the problem. You see what I mean? Asana’s can be easy for some.

Meditation can come easy for others... but YOGA, all 8 limbs... is a hard tree to climb. It is 100% challenging 100% of the time. So whySKYPE do it? Why not just numb ourselves & be enslaved Facetime by our desires? The ‘knowing’ that comes from Yoga -

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Phone 01622 29320 the 07921 17544


stillness & inner peace, the stability, agility, balance, emotional control & the ability to master & steer your ship & create your destiny is why we do it. It is not easy to build a bridge, but where would we be without them? It is not easy to perform surgery, but how many of us have relied on surgeons? We must Choose Yoga. It will propel us into a future of harmony & abundance. It will tear down the walls we do not see. The ones we hide... even from ourselves. Yoga is Liberation. It does not ask anyone to give up their religious traditions. It asks us simply to be Present. And when we all come together in this moment, not thinking of the past or future... we have the Power to create a new Paradigm. We don’t have to pray ‘As it is in Heaven’... because we will all be there - LIVING together. No one promised Life would be Easy, but Yoga Can & Will create a more Easeful, Peaceful existence. It Will decrease suffering. It will increase strength & fortitude. It will make things clear. It will stabilize your foundations so you can build your temple as creatively as you wish. Yoga is Hard... Life without Yoga - is Harder. This is the experience of my Truth. Love & Light to you all during your ‘Walk of Life’! xoXXox

SKYPE - Facetime - Phone

Stop Smoking NOW in the comfort of your own home What are you waiting for? Change your life now.

Call us for a free no obligation consultation We aim to have you free in 1 session

About Lori

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Lori is a qualified massage therapist based in The US.

You can see more of her wonderful Blogs at: h t t p s : / / w w w. b l o g g e r. c o m / profile/08555342477660731828

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SPIRITUAL HEALING

I

recently started training to be a spiritual healer at The Seekers Trust. I would like to share with you a brief overview of spiritual healing.

What is spiritual healing or energy healing? harmonize. health. The actual healing itself is one Healing can be defined as regaining balance of mind, body and/or emotions Spiritual Healing is a natural energy therapy that compliments conventional medicine by treating the whole person - mind, body and spirit. Healers are thought to act as a conduit for healing energy, the benefits of which can be felt on many levels, including the physical body. Most types of spiritual healing involve energy, both inside and outside of the body. The purpose of most techniques is to cleanse and clear the body’s life force of negative obstructions (I call this shadow dispersing) so that the mind, body and soul can

of a Spiritual nature and this has an effect on all levels within the person i.e. mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Two main methods are available. These are: CONTACT HEALING where the Spiritual Healer places their hands either on or near the patient. ABSENT HEALING where the patients are not physically present but healing thoughts are extended to them. The benefits of spiritual healing One of the benefits of spiritual healing is to enable total healing and not just curing symptoms. If mind, body and spirit can be made to work properly

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together, the illness can start to heal. It is usually believed by spiritual healing enthusiasts that any disorder, be it bodily, psychological or emotional, begins in the mind. People in good health can also benefit from spiritual healing, as the energy they receive helps to keep body, mind and spirit healthy and harmonious – and could help prevent future health problems.. I personally believe that healing may help in coping with all sorts of problems, not just poor health. Everyone seeking healing sessions with me is treated with respect and confidentially. Healing demands nothing of the recipient other than a willingness to receive. Under no circumstances will I try to influence your personal beliefs. Please note: You are responsible for your own medical treatment and care. Always consult your local doctor and in all cases it is recommended that you continue to follow medical treatment as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Healing sessions are available by arrangement. www.psychickathryn.co.uk

Contact Kim to book Limited spaces available 07903 762585 body@incredible-me.co.uk

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The Pilates Lounge • Women only Pilates classes • Intimate setting • Friendly welcoming atmosphere • Group sessions (4 per class max) • One to One sessions available

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By Ian Murray

BATTLEFIELD MIND

We are at war... I am not talking about the War in Afghanistan, Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, the War in North-West Pakistan, Mexican Drug War, Syrian Civil War, Iraqi insurgency (post-U.S. Withdrawal), Central African Republic conflict or the South Sudanese conflict... Wow that is a lot of ongoing harm in this world. I am talking about the war that is raging in our minds, the battle of consciousness - Reality vs Perception Are we being Educated or Indoctrinated?

So does the school system create strong, creative, free thinking minds? Do we currently have a So what are we being educated on? Can we blame school system that encourages using our own the education system for feeding us propaganda minds to find happiness, a mindful society or the and forcing us to “fit in� with the rest of society? pursuit of happiness through holistic and spiritual Our school systems are set up to get the students means? ready for serving the world in what is ultimately an experiment of economic slavery called From a scientific point of view we have been Consumer Capitalism, we are taught that we have taught that what science tells us is correct, how to purchase and entertain our way through life can this be? Science only finds answers though and this will be our route to happiness. If this is experimenting on all known available knowledge, the case why is depression rising? essentially getting it wrong until you get a theory 16

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of what is right at the current moment. Science itself will tell you that the very act of viewing something changes the thing you are looking at... How? Because we view it from our own perspective and we all see the world through our mind. Granted some things that we learn in school are the truth, such as math, music and some science but our TRUE history has been kept from us for reasons of subservience, control and conformity.

present him as a fraud, why are our children not learning about inventors such as Meyer? Why are they not being encouraged to develop alternate fuel sources? Our children are inevitably asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Their answers are conditioned responses in various forms of economic subservience, how many people do you know work at what they love or are following their calling in life? If money didn’t exist what would you like to do with your life? This is the question we should ask our children.

Everything we know comes back to money, “Money makes the world go round”, is this true? Can’t be because someone else will tell you that “Money is the route of all evil” So which one is it? Neither. Money is neither How long have human beings really been good or bad, it is the intent or the use of money on earth? that is the context we should judge upon. Education still perpetually references “fossil fuels” as the energy the world will soon run out of, how ridiculous is this? Oil is a biotic, which means it replenishes itself just not in our lifetime, so realistically oil serves no other interests other than economic. Why do governments keep secret the locations of oil fields? They do not want a case where regular people become rich or own a commodity instead of a corporation that is empowering governments.

How can schools teach a world view of religion where god created man at the time of the bible approximately 6000 years ago? Assuming that is correct why do we also look at fossils, dinosaurs and older cultures from way before this time. Does religion even have a place in school? Instead why are we not teaching humanistic spiritual practice?

For example, in Illinois, a well bit brought up a 200,000 year old bronze coin from a depth of 114 feet just outside Chillicothe, Illinois. According to If I invented a cheap, mass producible, unlimited the Illinois State Geological Survey, the deposits energy source that I could give to every person containing the coin are between 200,000 and on the planet do you think I would live to do 400,000 years old. so? Example being, in the 80’s, Stanley Meyer reportedly invented a car that could go from coast If there is a different history of the world and to coast in the United States on 21 gallons of water. people existed say multiple times throughout He was allegedly offered $1 billion from the oil Earth’s history, would it cause every system of industry to stop working on it but turned it down education to rewrite history? What impact would because he wanted this idea to go to the people. it have on religion? Is it easier to teach a truth Shortly afterwards, he was reportedly poisoned at a young age and then dull the mind into not to death and the research stopped with his death, finding out anything else, say by entertaining the his death was shrouded in mystery, he was said to masses via TV and creating a society of mindless have run from a restaurant where he was meeting consumers? about his invention clutching his throat and claiming to have been poisoned, the government In the beginning… there was religion and claimed 3 months later that he had died of a heart government attack. Here is the thing, if Mayer was right and his invention worked, what would have happened According to the Christian bible, God created to the oil industry and the governments that go to Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and war over oil? I will let you think of the answers... multiply. Why did the powers that be work so hard to Continued... 17

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... Based on this wouldn’t we all be the products TV for the purpose of “programming” of incest? What is the news and why do we need it? Do you There are four different blood types (A, B, AB and watch the news to be informed, if so what do you O) along with 2 different Rh values (positive and do with that information? Does it make you want negative). It is literally IMPOSSIBLE to have 4 to go out into the world an influence it, change different blood types and 2 different Rh blood it for the better or does this information change values all originating from Adam and Eve, yet us, inform us into conformity? A whistle-blower people happily accept this as the truth without from the CIA once admitted that the news had ever questioning their human origins. been scripted for decades in order to influence public opinion. There is a cause for everything in this universe, we always ask, what came first, the chicken or Television is toxic, by the time a person is 18 years the egg? And the Universe is the only one we old, he or she would have witnessed 200,000 acts know about, for all we know there are billions of of violence, do you think that would influence universes out there, something had to create this you somehow? one we are in after all. We watch TV-shows that are either so incredibly Governments will do what is right for them at any mundane or intellectually draining, is this the best point in time, Hitler burned down his own Reichstag use of the most powerful thing know to man, the building and blamed the communists in order to human brain? TV is dominated by commercials, incite war. Many people labelled as conspiracy they are either telling us we will be happy as theorists believe the same thing about 9/11. long as we are buying the merchandise that we don’t need, the new latest must have gadget Look closely and you will find that religion and the that is obsolete again in 6 months or some Big government work hand in hand, both are about Pharmaceutical company pill that will not make controlling the masses through subservience, you look like Angelina Jolie or get you over an control and conformity while neither encourage issue and will never cure you of anything. These free thinking or questioning the official stories. companies use people we class as celebrities to sell us products that we don’t need, ultimately 18

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they are telling us that we are not pretty or weigh too much, not happy enough and that our lives would be so much better if we were just like them. How often do we professionally airbrush our photographs?

consumer capitalism. Here is the thing, it won’t last, what happened to communism? Marxism etc. We are not happy like we are told we would be, depression, anxiety and stress is all on the rise, the doctors can only prescribe so many drugs that dull our brains and ultimately do not get us out of This is the LITERAL programming we receive depression. Finding our true spiritual happiness when we watch TV, yet millions of people would and looking after others is the only way. rather do that than to better themselves with a hobby or creating something that would benefit What does your mind do for you? your life or the good of mankind. Einstein is often quoted, ” Insanity is doing the Is it best for the government to keep the population same thing over and over again but expecting as distracted as much as possible with no time to different results.” This is reminiscent of every think critically or independently, about anything election as they always boil down to the lesser of other than who won the league cup or some two evils… and you always end up with evil. challenge in a jungle that will live a very short time in the memory and not make a single bit You have to seek the truth if it is hidden, put in of difference in your life. Is it now time to open as much effort to find it as it was to keep it from your eyes to the fact that our brains are built to you. Question everything, do only good, tell the learn, but it is what we learn that matters, shapes truth and open your mind to learning higher level or defines who we are. knowledge, not gossip magazine stories of some minor celebrity who is only looking to prolong By the time you reach old age you would have fame for the sake of an ego that is keeping them watched 10 years of TV, so what will have from true happiness. influenced your life and if you were told you had 1 week to live would you wish for the 10 years back? Ultimately, use your discernment when researching anything, including this article. If Knowledge is what we are, the only difference you feel there’s something wrong, then chances between a caveman and us is passed on knowledge are, there is something wrong with what you read. through education. If we didn’t have the knowledge to pass on we would have to do it all There is always someone to guide, teach and again and learn over generations and millennia. help you on your path to knowledge and Be thankful for our starting point, but what we enlightenment, you just have to open your eyes should be teaching is how to use the mind for the and mind and you will find them. purpose of spiritual well-being and inner joy, not mindless consumerism to keep us entertained till So I say we teach the future minds something we die. different because Einstein was right, why should we expect different results if we are still doing the What is truth? same thing. How about mindfulness for a start, train your mind to be confident, inquisitive, Each day you are alive is an opportunity to further creative and in control as it should be, not the your knowledge, better yourself and to grow in untrained brain that cannot hold a thought for body, mind and spirit. longer that 10 seconds before spiralling into doubt and negativity and working against us. Read something that will challenge your view of the world, explore what you cannot see yet, ask You should be questioning everything, use the questions and use your mind to explore your miracle that is the World Wide Web if you want world and what else is out there. to start somewhere... Sadly the school system only teaches us to be a The consciousness of the planet is on the slave to the current economic system we are in, shift. Everyone with a mind can join in 19


d n i M Mi

5 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE 1. GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

I bring work home with me... Stop working unless it is for yourself and you enjoy it! Why? Because if You are no good to anyone if you are tired and you are working for someone else and you are so busy you bring it home with you then something irritable. is wrong at work - this needs fixing at work and Is there any excuse you could give to not get to not at home, this time you will never get back bed early enough so you could wake up naturally? and is it that important in the big scheme of life anyway? Frequently made excuses: I can’t relax... All the more reason to kick start I need to watch another mindless TV show... So your spiritual practice!!! a TV show that gives you a negative influence is more important than practicing the One thing Can you see the picture now? that can make you feel good? Look at the TV shows for what they are, Toxic, negative and full of violence or a comedy that is made for the lowest 2. WAKE UP WITHOUT AN common denominator. Anything as important as ALARM CLOCK training your mind to work for you? 20

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The first sound of your day shouldn’t be the most on all the things you are thankful for and look at annoying noise you can think of... If you can’t what life could be, we are blessed that we are in an wake up early enough, go to be earlier... age and location on this amazing planet where we can practice a spiritual life. The human brain is hard wired to process ‘alarming’ noises to process and protect us from Sometimes a spiritual life is viewed as all peace, danger, it immediately sends out stress to the light and kindness, in the main that is the ideal body, ready to fight or flight. Is being stressed out but you have to get there first! To get to the love, of bed the best way to start your day? light and peace you have got to go to battle with the negative thoughts, feelings and limiting beliefs you are having every day. So when you come 3. STAY IN BED across them, go postal, medieval, to town or any As you wake up naturally, hang around in bed other battle euphemism you like to use. You will with your eyes closed, think of all the wonderful need to be a spiritual warrior to get your mind things in your life and be thankful that you are so working in the right way to bring you peace. lucky. Always think in the ‘Now’ No future or past thoughts.

Imagine all the amazing things that you will encounter during your day and all the good you can do for people. When you have created so much excitement that you cannot wait to get started, get up and get going... You could look at it another more powerful way and think of how long you have to live, you will come up with no answer, because you can’t know, so if you don’t know this should be the spur for you to want to do the best and most possible with whatever time you may have. So when you are thinking about all the good you want to do with your time and not waste your time being anxious, stressed at things that are not real yet or worried about future life in general. Then when you feel you have no more time to waste because you have limited life, get up empowered to take control of your day.

5. STAY QUIET Leave off all electronic devices and prepare for your morning meditation. Find a nice comfortable, quiet place where you can sit with your back straight, shoulders neutral and hands in your lap and meditate.

SO TO RECAP... I HAVE TOLD YOU TO GET LOTS OF SLEEP, RELAX IN THE MORNING AND TREAT YOURSELF WELL... ANY ISSUES WITH THAT?

4. GET UP, THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE... So you are up and not stressed (yay), empowered and excited. Now to greet the world with the wonder that it deserves. If you have any trouble thinking how wonderful your world is, just look online and be thankful that you are warm, not hungry, living on the streets or being bombed, harmed or persecuted. If this doesn’t do anything for you I suggest meditating Continued next page... 21

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d n i M WHY MEDITATE? Mi

If used properly meditation is a way to train your brain and gain control over the way it acts. When trained you can set it tasks like removing stress, promote physical health and well-being, combat chronic pain and fatigue, help you sleep easier, find inner joy and true happiness and above all be here in the NOW. On a deeper level, meditation offers a doorway into the vast uncharted unknown, we become an explorer just like the fables of old, battling rough seas, demons and harm on the way to a promised land full of wonder and knowledge. This is our mind, the rough seas are our thoughts, the demons are all our negative thoughts and beliefs and the calm promised land is where you will be. So here is the thing, meditating is hard, people have told me, it doesn’t work for me, I tried a couple of times and I must be the most unique person in this universe because I have a mind that is different...

Your mind will go from deep thoughts of past or future jumbled up with quick flashes of paying a bill, shopping and what to cook for dinner. A little while later you will open your eyes to find you spent the last 20 minutes running a negative, painful and damaging memory over and over like a bad late night movie.

So start with this thought, your mind is unruly like the puppy, but with some real effort and continuous conditioning or training you will get to a calm, peaceful place that is totally different from where you started. If you stop working on it you will be left with It is like anything you learn, it is different, difficult the unruly, untrained puppy that will ignore you, run and feels a little alien to you. So you start meditating, off, destroy things and hump strangers legs... you start on the thought of the day or concept and within about 10 seconds your mind has gone HOW TO MEDITATE somewhere else, you won’t even notice how unruly and untrained the mind is. There is one way to see Relaxed Posture how long you can keep on one thought, think of the word chocolate and see how long you can just Whether you do a floating lotus , downward dog, think of the word chocolate, when the thoughts cross legged on the floor or sit on your favourite leather chair, be sure that your spine is upright with wander, follow and see where you end up. head up and relaxed shoulders. To stop your mind At first I remember thinking that this is not right, wandering, sit up straight, the mind and body are am I doing it wrong? My mind was all over the one. Imagine there is a piece of string pulling your place. Think of an untrained puppy running amok, head to the ceiling, balance the body and the mind messing in the corner, chewing the table leg but will follow. then being forgiven instantly because it came back What to do with your eyes and did something cute... You will find 22

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Try and keep you eyes open even if it is just a little, but be comfortable. When your eyes are open it allows your mind to be more in the now or present. Let your eyes naturally de-focus, as if you are looking through an object. You will have to find what is best and most comfortable for you. Experiment and see what works for you.

As you notice your thoughts, simply let them drift away by bringing your focus back onto your breath. It doesn’t matter how many times you have thoughts and bring your mind back to now, just as long as you do bring it back. It is all training.

Feelings and emotions

Focus you thoughts softly

It is not easy to settle into your meditation if you are in the emotional charge of a past or future story, In our regular day we tend not to live in the present to pull free from this you should do a mind body or Now, we drift off and worry about future events scan, acknowledge the feelings, emotions and pain or think of the past negative events that cause you are having and set them aside, this will settle us issues, we have all taken a journey and got to you and put the charge aside. our destination and not remembered any of the journey, even when driving... Silence or Music Meditation is an excellent way to bring our mind to Now and wake up the mind to what is happening in the point of time when we can make memories that positively affect our life. Right Now in the present! If we don’t pay attention to what is happening in the present we miss out on the wonderful experiences by being elsewhere in our mind. So why soft focus? When we focus with concentration, it’s like light, you can have a lightbulb that lights a room or a pen torch that lights up only what you point it at. So be soft of attention and thought. Use your breath as a focal point, I tend to imagine and follow a single air molecule in and out. Breathing is the gateway to our soul. Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

You can download whale noises, a babbling brook or meditation music, or you could go with simple silence, sometimes the music or sounds can occupy the chatter in your mind or drown out traffic noise. If you can sit in silence then you may just experience what your mind is doing. Slowly but surely the outer and inner peace meet up and it becomes one.

How long should it last Start with 10-15 minutes, be comfortable, if you want to sit there longer, do so. If you hear yourself or someone else saying “I should” get rid of it, the only right thing to do is what is best for you and what works. If it feels right, go with it!

Breathing

Where to meditate

Simply pay attention to your breathing and each breath, it is a great way to bring your mind into the present or now. Notice your breath in and out, through your nose. You can regulate by breathing to a count of 7 in and 11 out or don’t regulate the breath and let it be natural, find what is best for you.

You could have a special place, create a shrine with candles, flowers, alters, special stones, miniature gardens, statues and meditation chairs or you could just have a chair that you like. It is completely up to you and what you believe you need. Some people like to be outside, this is fine also, just be in a place where you wont be attacked by an animal, or have someone or some noise bring you out of your meditation.

Using your breath to relax If you have difficulty settling down, try counting the breath or going back to following your the oxygen in through the nose and into the lungs and back out the same way and into the world again. Anytime your thoughts stray or you find you have drifted for a bit, simply bring your mind back to your breath and this will return your mind to Now.

Should it be enjoyable

There will be thoughts

Remember where you started the journey from so you can see how far you have travelled.

Yes. Simply put really, focus on kindness to others and yourself. Ultimately you need to create a habit, to do this you need to do a little every day until it becomes natural to you. Within a few short weeks you will have a habit that works for you.

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Yoga

More than an exercise class By Rose-Marie Sorokin

A

couple of years ago many of the old Yoga Masters in India expressed disappointment with how Yoga had been interpreted in the West. They pointed out that Yoga was not represented in its entirety in the Western world and that yoga teachers just picked out the parts that they liked, i.e. mainly the yoga postures (asana) and turned Yoga into a sport or an exercise class, and ignored the deeper meanings of Yoga.

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The misconception today that yoga is an exercise program, couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga postures are only one aspect of this ancient system of personal development. Yoga aims to still the mind – surrendering mental projections.

Yoga has 8 parts or ‘limbs’ covering different aspects of life. The Eight Limbs of yoga practice are: (1) Yama (The five “abstentions”): nonviolence, truth, non-covetousness, chastity, and abstain from attachment to possessions. (2) Niyama (The five “observances”): purity, contentment, austerities, study, and surrender to the divine. (3) Asana Literally means “seat”, and in Patanjali’s Sutras refers to seated positions used for meditation. Later, with the rise of Hatha yoga, asana came to refer to all the “postures” (4) Pranayama (“Lengthening Prāna”): Prāna, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, “āyāma”, to lengthen or extend (5) Pratyahara (“Abstraction”): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.

There are different texts discussing yoga, for example the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Patanjali was a sage who is said to be the founder of the yoga philosophy and the author of the Yoga Sutras (approx. 2500 years ago). The Yoga Sutras is a major work containing aphorisms on the philosophical aspects of mind and consciousness. Verse 2, chapter one in the Yoga Sutras: cittavrttinirodah (cessation of mental fluctuations) is Patanjali’s definition of yoga. It means a state of complete relaxation, inner peace and stillness yet it is a dynamic and alert stillness with great presence, awareness and aliveness rather than a sleepy or foggy state of mind. It is the integration of body, mind, breath and soul to oneness, a state of feeling whole and at one with ourselves, people around us, nature, the planet and the Universe. Instead of allowing our mind to fill our days with worries, repetitive (negative) thoughts and thoughts about the past and the future, we realize that we can use yoga to train the mind to become still. This is a very important concept. When the mind is still we will view life in a very different way and we find that we can have a life filled with peace rather than struggle, regardless of the experiences we have. When we are calm on the inside we are more resilient to outside challenges and can view them with an attitude of compassion (for ourselves and everyone involved) and detachment.

(6) Dharana (“Concentration”): Fixing the attention on a single object (7) Dhyana (“Meditation”): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation (8) Samadhi (“Liberation”): merging consciousness with the object of meditation. 25


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Yoga More than an

About Rose-Marie

Sorokin

Exercise class... A simple technique to use for achieving stillness of mind is to focus on the breath. We can do this while laying down in stillness, in a seated meditation pose or during yoga postures. As you practice this you will notice how a great sense of calm develops and it gradually deepens the longer you practice. You are training your mind to focus and relax. This has a profoundly healing effect on all aspects of your life. It removes the need to criticise, getting angry or depressed or feeling inferior. It allows us to accept ourselves fully as we are and also to accept other people as they are. We see the beauty rather than what is wrong in everything, including ourselves. We realize that there are lessons to learn in every experience we have, and also that every experience is a gift. We give of ourselves in a relaxed, generous and joyful manner and respect the fact that we also need rest and quite time. We create balance and live in harmony with ourselves and everything around us. We surrender.

Rose-Marie has worked in the body-mind area for over 30 years and has, for the last 23 years, been running her company Inner Light Yoga & Health Co  together with her partner Tim Axon. She is a qualified Spiritual Coach, Yoga and Pilates teacher and a qualified teacher of Meditation and Personal Development as well as an Astrologer, Healer (NFSH) and a You Can Heal Your Life Cert. Facilitator (based on Louise Hay’s work). Websites: www.innerlightyoga.co.uk www.yogapilatesholidays.com www.rosemariesorokin.com

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When a man finds no peace within himself, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. Francois De La Rochefoucauld


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