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An Open Letter To Anyone Thinking About Trying Yoga

Why Making Yourself Vulnerable Protects You In Relationships

So, you may have been wondering what happened to me since I declared I would begin "dating spiritually." Well, I began a new practice of openly declaring what I want to prospective partners. It goes Read

A student in my class had never done yoga before. He arrived late, and the only space available was in the middle of the tightly packed room, and there was no time to discuss or prepare. I felt that he was struggling as we moved through the practice, and I made some suggestions on modifications to the poses and he kept pushing through. I felt the pushing, but at least he didn’t get up and walk out.

He was courageous enough to stay through the class, but made a quick exit afterwards. Knowing the transformative possibilities of yoga, I wanted to grab him, even shake him, while telling him to wake up and drink the Kool-Aid, but alas he slipped out, and in a moment was gone. I wondered what his story was. I wondered if he'd try yoga again. This experience prompted me to want to write a letter to new students.

Here are five things to remember when starting a practice of yoga:

1. It's probably harder than you thought.

This is by far one of the most common statements from new students. I remember telling friends when I first started yoga that it was the hardest thing I'd ever done, and I had done sports all my life. Yoga tends to use the whole body, which includes parts that may not have been called upon in quite some time.

Yoga is a mind-body practice and the goal is to make that connection, but in doing so, the body is strengthened and opened through a series of postures called asana. The important thing here is to honor the body and start where you are. There is a yoga class for everyone. If the style or flow of the class you attended really isn’t for you, check into different classes. Some are geared toward fitness level, health status and age.

2. No pretzels necessary!

I spent years staying off the mat because I wasn’t flexible enough. I thought that I'd need to contort my body into a pretzel if I was going to practice yoga the right way. When I decided to face my fears about not being good enough and came to the mat, I found I didn’t have to do that. But what I did find is that I have become more flexible, both on the mat and off, in ways I could not have imagined back then. We must remind ourselves that it isn’t about being good at yoga. It isn’t about achieving some contorted body posture. It's about the journey, every single second of it.

3. Your teacher is your friend.

Yoga is about energetics. Just as in any other classroom setting, the teacher is a key component. I can say for sure that I would not be where I am today without having incredible teachers with whom I connected deeply. There are many different styles of yoga in the west, and many different styles of teachers to go along with them. Find someone you trust to guide you. It's your journey, but your teacher can be the conduit to help you along the way.

4. Yoga is about connecting with oneself.

It's about remaining open and letting whatever comes come. Connecting with oneself can be uncomfortable. As we begin to connect, we can feel a whole host of emotions and sensations. Then the judgments come. I can’t believe I tried this. What was I thinking? Would it be rude if I just left? In these times, noticing your breath can help to let go of the tirades of the ego and allow the body to settle into the present moment instead of shutting down, closing up shop, and going home literally and figuratively.

5. If you practice regularly and sincerely yoga will change your life.

Many new students ask, “How often do I need to do this to get the benefits?”

The answer?

Practice as much as you can, whether it's once time a week or several times a week.

Yoga starts to transform as soon as you begin to practice, in major ways and in subtle ways, and the effects are cumulative over a lifetime. Yoga is healing. Yoga slows the aging process. Yoga strengthens the body, the mind and the spirit, and allows those who practice to face life with a sense of peace and resiliency they may not have previously known.

I am filled with gratitude for my teachers and my practice and what they have shown me about myself, about life, about being able to live fully. I am also grateful for the chance to get to better know myself each and every day and to share this practice with others along the path.

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Yoga Roots ??? Breathing Through Your Body, Into the Earth

As you lay on your mat, introducing yourself to the first breaths of the evening’s yoga session, you’ll often overhear the instructor guiding your breaths. During this introductory portion of the class, the focus is on stabilizing your mind and your thoughts, focusing on your breaths and your energies. With the gentle voice guiding you, you’re able to enter a centered state, prepared to begin your yoga session.

The instructor will often say something to the effect of, “Breathe in slowly from your mouth, following your breath as it makes its way through your body, down to your feet. Feel your breath and your body in synchrony, growing a root to the mat and the earth beneath you.”

Every focused breath calms the body and brings the mind to a present moment.

This process is meant to strengthen not only your mind and focus, but to also establish balance in your root chakra. The root chakra is the first one in your body, at the base of the spine, and it’s the core of your connection to the physical body and the Earth beneath you (hence, the root).

The importance can’t be overstated with yoga – match every breath with your movement and pose.

The process of breathing, in and of itself, is a complex one. Inhalation and exhalation are parts of physiological respiration. Breathing properly during exercise ensures that your working muscles receive the oxygen that they need in order to keep contracting.

There are several poses in yoga which are meant specifically to establish this sort of root. Mountain Pose and Tree Pose, for example, do exactly that. As you stand firmly on the mat, with your feet practically cemented to the earth, you’re able to feel the ground beneath you.

Simply “standing” in a single place may seem easy and meaningless to some, but it’s far from that. This sort of pose establishes a great mind-body focus. Moreover, maintaining this sort of firm root in your feet while at the same time having loose, relaxed limbs above the waist takes practice. It’s a bit of juxtaposition – the energy and weight in your upper body relaxed, balanced, with your lower body and feet firmly connected to the mat.

Indeed, the only way you’ll get this pose is through your breath.

Every aspect of yoga – every pose, movement and position is only enhanced through your breath. Standing strong, breathe in through your nose. Feel as the breath slowly makes its way down to your toes, strengthening your stance and feet. Breathe out through your mouth, allowing for this exchange of energy between top and bottom to flow effortlessly.

As the class winds down to a close, you often find yourself stabilizing, balancing and revisiting basic poses. Savasana and Child’s Pose are some favorites. During these poses, the class comes full circle. Just as you focused on centering your thoughts, energy and breaths at the beginning of the class, the end of the class brings the same. It’s a moment of clarity and relaxation, as simpler postures bring you to a simpler time of relaxation, where breath is in harmony with body.

When you’re outside, these sorts of poses and breaths are that much more potent. Without a yoga mat, you’re able to tangibly connect the earth’s surface with your bare feet. Except this time, when you’re connected, the benefits are more than a metaphorical root – there’s an energy exchange actually happening. Studies suggest that this concept of Earthing or being in direct contact with the Earth’s surface, may be beneficial to your health. As you stand on the surface, breathe in and feel that connection. Your body is absorbing the earth’s limitless supply of free electrons and, in turn, neutralizing harmful free radicals. You may not be able to see it, but your yoga practice will feel that much better when you’re outside.


How Yoga Heals The Diseased Heart

A new study titled, “Effects of Yoga in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis,” reveals that this ancient practice, ever-increasing in popularity in the West, has profound benefits to those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Previous to this study, the idea that yoga could heal a diseased heart was considered strictly theoretical, which is what motivated a team of Portuguese researchers to put the concept to the test.

The team performed a meta-analysis of the published research on the topic of how yoga might improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure.

Their methodology was described as follows:

“We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Excerpta Medica database, LILACS, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, The Scientific Electronic Library Online, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (from the earliest date available to December 2013) for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of yoga versus exercise and/or of yoga versus control on exercise capacity (peakVO2) and quality-of-life (HRQOL) in Chronic Heart Failure.”

The analysis found two studies that met the selection criteria, which included 30 yoga and 29 control patients.

Their results were reported as follows:

“The results suggested that yoga compared with control had a positive impact on peak VO2 and HRQOL. Peak VO2, WMD (3.87 95% CI: 1.95 to 5.80), and global HRQOL standardized mean differences (-12.46 95% CI: -22.49 to -2.43) improved in the yoga group compared to the control group.”

Their conclusion indicated that Yoga does have significant benefits for cardiovascular patients:

“Yoga enhances peak VO2 and HRQOL in patients with CHF and could be considered for inclusion in cardiac rehabilitation programs.”

They found an impressive 22.0% improvement in VO2 performance and a 24.1% increase in quality of life.

They advised that based on these preliminary results, “Larger randomized controlled trials are required to further investigate the effects of yoga in patients with CHF.”

Yoga Has Many Health Benefits That Science Now Confirms

In a previous article titled, “Modern Science Confirms Yoga’s Many Health Benefits,” we looked at the voluminous data that now exists demonstrating the wide range of health benefits yoga has been proven to produce. You can find the first-hand abstracts demonstrating this fact on our research page: Yoga Health Benefits, with over 70 indexed thus far!

Yoga is, of course, more than a physical exercise, but a method to integrate mind, body and soul. Yoga means, of course, to “unite” or “yoke” the disparate elements of the human experience. When you are engaged fully in yoga, the focus is on being present to one’s breath, which integrates mind and body naturally. Chronic heart failure patients can benefit from the way in which yoga enables the body to integrate into the mind in a way that requires the engagement of the physical and mental aspects of our incarnation, and results ultimately in the relaxation of both deeply.

Try This To Activate A Deep Yoga Practice Quickly

If you want a simple, quick way to enter into the realm of yogic healing try this practice:

“If I could teach only one yoga exercise—one that had to last you for the rest of your life—it would have to be Sat Kriya.* Why? Because this one exercise contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga within itself. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all well-being springs: raise the kundalini energy.

Here is simple and effective Sat Kriya. It is by no means the last word on Sat Kriya; but beyond words, it works.”

http://www.journeyman1.com/shamanism
Use Yogic Breathing To Calm Down In 6 Seconds

I was trained by the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta in India, where my teachers told me that the secret in pranayama was in the exhalation, not the inhalation. To calm down when we're flustered or angry, most therapists teach us to use our breathing. Everyone thinks that the secret is in the inhalation. The more I can inhale and fill my lung, the more calm I am, right?

Wrong.

Scientists led by Heather Mason of University of Roehampton (UK) have suggested that equal periods of inhalation and exhalation be used by yoga newbies to gain maximum stimulation of the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve, located in our brain, is in charge of our parasympathetic nervous system — it decreases our heart rate and blood pressure by deactivating the human’s “fight or flight” mechanisms, including anxiety.

When you stimulate your vagus nerve through breathing, you gain control over your raging heart rate and rising blood pressure. As they decrease, so does your activation in the anger and anxiety departments.

You will hear this time and again from all yoga instructors: “To gain control of the body, learn to control your breath.” Breathing management helps to balance us on a physical level as we execute our asanas (postures), mental level as our buttons get pressed at the workplace, and emotional level to regulate our thoughts and feelings.

So how long should we inhale and exhale to gain the maximum benefit? For newbies, it was measured to be five seconds minimum for the vagus nerve to be stimulated.

Feeling your blood boil? Take a deep breath and exhale to the count of six. Repeat.

Feeling that your body is unsteady in an asana? Take a gentle and deep breath and exhale to the count of six. Repeat.

What if you're not a yogi newbie? Then try slowing your breathing down even more. The average person takes 12 breaths a minute. Respiratory research suggests taking 5 to 6 breaths a minute instead.

Try it today to enjoy some peace of mind.

 


http://www.journeyman1.com/shamanism

6 Reasons to do Yoga

That Have Nothing to do with Losing Weight

After the passing of yoga guru BKS Iyengar we look at the legacy he leaves behind. Iyengar helped bring yoga to the West and inspired an international community of yogis. Iyengar knew that yoga was for everyone – that no physical or mental limitation could hold you back. He created his own unique practice that is very diverse in the type of sequences that are done, even from day to day. Depending on why you are practicing or why you want to practice yoga, there is a style that is right for you and your body. Regardless if you swear by Bikram or are a Hatha flow junkie, there are some benefits that every form of practice brings us — and they have nothing to do with losing weight.

Helps you Live in the Present

Yoga helps us focus on the present and become more aware of our body and its place in the world around us. As we go through the sequence position by position we move through time moment to moment, drawing our attention to the task at hand. To be able to complete an asana correctly we need to focus on our breath and the form of our body. If the mind wanders, we fall out of form and need to begin again.

Relieves Stress and Promotes Sleep

Yoga employs many relaxation techniques, which with regular practice can make you calmer over time. A study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital showed insomniacs fell asleep 15 minutes faster and slept an hour longer each night after two months of doing a 45-minute series of yoga poses daily before bed. Researchers speculate that regular yoga practice helped people relax, making it easier to turn-off at night. Daily training aids in focusing the mind on stillness and will teach you how to consciously quiet your mind whenever you feel overwhelmed.

Supports Immunity

Regular exercise and healthy relaxation practices have been shown to benefit immunity, increasing our resistance against seasonal illness and harmful invaders. Yoga specifically has been shown to support the immune system, even after one session. One study showed that yoga practice helped to increase the expression of specific genes related to immune function. It’s also a great exercise for supporting immunity during the winter, as it can be done at home in your pajamas!

Improves Circulation and Breathing

The way we breathe can affect our overall health and well-being, but it isn’t something many of us even think about. Yogic asanas and breathing exercises facilitate blood flow to every single part of the body. The heart pumps oxygenated blood to every cell and simultaneously brings de-oxygenated blood back to the heart for oxygenation.

Improves Flexibility and Prevents Injuries

Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Over time however, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making difficult poses possible. Yoga also helps to improve body alignment resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.

Gives you Inner Peace

Yogis are encouraged to meet their body where it is on any particular day. We are unable to force our bodies to move without the risk of injuring ourselves, therefore we have to relinquish all control. In the yoga studio the only competition we find is with ourselves. It is these meditative aspects of yoga that help many reach a deeper, more spiritual and liberating place in their lives.

There are many practices of yoga and there are many reasons to practice. September is National Yoga Month. Visit here to find free classes and events in your area.

Namaste!


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YOGA


Yoga is a wonderful way of releasing stress and pain from within the body.  There are many different types of yoga. Personally, I (Lesley Sitting Deer), have found the flowing types of yoga are more beneficial.

Always stretch to where it is comfortable for you.  You should never be sore from a session of yoga.  If you are sore, you need to pay more attention to your body and adjust how you are stretching.  Don't try to stretch the same as your teacher or other people in the class.  Pay attention to your own body.  Never strain your body to get into certain poses.  Just stretch to where it is comfortable for you.  Over time, your body will become more flexible.  You must remember, a lot of these teachers have been doing yoga for many years. 

Yoga can be practised everyday of the week.  Personally, I practise 2-3 times a week. It is also a good idea to try different types of yoga too.  When you become more confident about the stretches and the flow of yoga, you can then practise at home in your own time.  Personally, I tried two different types of yoga.  I had three main teachers and sometimes substitutes, due to my main teacher being away.  I did this over a three and a half year period until I became more confident about what to do.  Now I practise at home in my own time. Always dress in comfortable clothing.

What Yoga Inversions & Sex Have In Common

There are a few reasons why the practice of going upside-down is included in nearly every style of yoga, and is now starting to pop up at the gym in various workout routines as well.

If you've ever gone upside-down and challenged your balance and strength with headstand, handstand or any other type of inversion, then you are probably familiar with the exhilarating feeling of blood rushing to your head. If you look back to your childhood, you probably remember a similar feeling while hanging upside-down on the monkey bars at your favorite playground. Either way, when you return to a right-side up position you likely feel born again — like everything in the world is just as it should be.

So there's no doubt that being upside-down makes you feel good, but how many of us know exactly why? And what on earth does this have to do with your love life?

Here are three reasons why inversions activate those sexy brain chemicals and leave you feeling exhilarated. And yes, they might be just as good as sex, if not even better!

1. Inversions improve your mood.

Being upside-down directs blood flow to your head and brain. Increased blood flow means increased oxygen delivery to your cells. This means increased bioavailability of oxygen and glucose — both of which are needed for optimal brain function, memory and clear thinking.

But a clear mind is not the only benefit of increased blood flow to your brain. It also triggers the production of endorphins, which regulate your mood and are seen as our body's own happy makers.

A happier you translates to more sex-appeal, and simply makes you want to strut your stuff.

2. Going upside-down increases dopamine and serotonin production.

Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters produced during sex and orgasm — a similar effect to the consumption of dark chocolate. It's no surprise that these chemicals are also produced during exercise, when blood flow is increased and blood-oxygen levels go up.

When you enter an inversion, the oxygen rich blood that flows directly to your brain is maximized, which in turn stimulates production of dopamine and serotonin, giving you a sense of excitement — even euphoria.

3. Inversions can leave you feeling super-confident.

Increased levels in confidence are an added bonus of inversions.

Poses such as headstand, handstand and even downward dog, increase your core strength and muscle tone in your upper body and arms. Your neck muscles, shoulders and trapezius muscles will get stronger and your spine will be properly aligned, resulting in better posture, which of course will lead to a boost in self-confidence.

Remember your parents always nagging, "Chest out, shoulders back"? There is something to be said for that, since this posture shows confidence and has a positive effect on testosterone production. Another sex and power hormone.

You can take this to the test right now: if you sit in front of your computer and catch yourself slouching with your shoulders rounded forward, sit up straight with an erect spine, and let your shoulder blades slide down your back and away from your ears. Sit with a proud chest and take a few deep breaths. Don't you feel more powerful already, more in charge?

If all this is not enough reason to try a headstand next time you're in yoga class, think of those rosy cheeks and the healthy glow that will stay with you, well after the pose is completed. Inversions help you go into the world with a little extra bounce in your step, leaving you feeling totally irresistible with a sense of renewed vigor.

The Anti-Aging Powers Of Yoga & Breathwork

While many of us wish we could slow the hands of time, we must still face the fact that it is impossible to stop the aging process completely. We do possess the tools however, to slow down the physical and mental aspects of growing older.

With yoga, meditation and breathwork, we calm the nervous system, reduce stress levels significantly and yes, reverse that pesky pull of gravity!

YOGA

Any yoga inversion that brings the head below the heart and reverses the pull of gravity on the body is also great for your health. From headstand to shoulder stand, standing forward fold and even wheel, turning your body upside-down is a great way to help reverse the blood flow and rejuvenate the body as it ages.

Inversions can reduce stress and anxiety, and positively impact the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous and endocrine systems. As blood flows more easily to the brain, anything from healthier lung tissue to reduced stress on the heart, is possible. Not to mention, the many health benefits of a regular yoga practice is now widely known and even scientifically proven.

MEDITATION

While physical yoga postures can slow the process of the physical body aging, meditation can help slow the aging process in the brain. People who regularly practice meditation tend to have more blood flow to the brain, which improves functions such as memory and attention.

Meditation also helps decrease the production of stress hormones. A daily meditation practice can be as simple a expressing gratitude before getting out of bed each morning. You could focus on people, places and things you are grateful for, and allow them into your brain as you focus on your breath, rather than starting off your morning checking your email and going over your to-do list.

Of course there's also a seated meditation if you've got a few moments to spare — you can sit with yourself in total stillness as an observer of your thoughts. Even if you're short on time, it can only take a minute!

BREATHWORK

A deep, slow breathing practice (paired with both yoga and meditation or even done on its own), has powerful anti-aging properties as well. You might be familiar with pranayama (the yogic science of breath) and alternate nostril or Ujjayi breathing exercises from yoga class, where your awareness is tuned into your breath to help calm your mind and invigorate your practice. Focused breathing can help slow down and regulate the heart rate, calm the nervous system and even oxygenate your cells.

Practice taking slow, deep breaths anywhere — in the car, at the office, or while waiting in line at the store. As you breathe, let the inhale fill from deep inside of your belly and as you exhale, gently push it all the way out. Notice the difference after several focused breaths.

So while you can't stop the passage of time, you can use any combination of these tools to slow the aging process indefinitely, creating an all-around happier, healthier YOU.

What Foods Kill Your Libido and Poison Your Sex Drive?

Have you ever wondered how food can have an impact on your sex drive? Certain foods may enhance your sex drive whereas some can ruin your libido and can cause serious problems in your sex life. While an anaphrodisiac is something that lowers the libido, aphrodisiac is something that enhances sexual appetite. Loss of libido is a common problem that can affect approximately 1 in 5 men and even more women at some point in their life.

Foods That Kill Your Libido

• Bottled water: Water here does not have any role to play, but the plastic bottle which holds the water contains a chemical compound known as bisphenol A (BPA), which can hamper your sex drive. Various studies on the association of BPA levels in the body of the male and female have shown its negative impact on the fertility.

• Mint: The menthol in mint can lower testosterone levels in men, which may considerably decrease your sex drive.

• Canned foods: The high dietary sodium levels in canned foods can be very detrimental to your sex life. A very high level of sodium in the diet can cause elevated blood pressure, which in turn may limit the blood flow to certain parts of your body.

• Coffee: Drinking excessive caffeinated beverages like coffee may cause an increase in the anxiety levels which can lower your sex drive.

• Sodas: Drinking Citrus flavored sodas and beverages widely available in the market may increase the level of PBDE (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) in the body, which has a high negative impact on your sex drive,, and it also affects conceiving.

• Chocolate: Though chocolate is generally considered aphrodisiac but it may lower the testosterone levels.

• Other important anaphrodisiacs are alcohol and tobacco.

Other causes that may hamper your sex life

• Stress, anxiety and exhaustion

• Relationship problems

• Depression

• Drugs

• Getting older

• Hormonal problems

• Other medical conditions

• Medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity can also have a negative effect on your sex drive.

• Certain medications such as medications for high blood pressure, diuretics, depression, psychosis etc. can sometimes reduce libido.

The good news here is that since human libido is controlled by hormone levels, consuming foods that can boost certain hormones in men and women can help boost the sex drive. Natural foods and herbs which have been claimed to be aphrodisiacs include Ginseng, Ginkgo biloba (known as the maidenhair tree), Epimedium grandiflorum (Horny Goat Weed), hot peppers, raw oysters , bananas, granola etc.

http://www.journeyman1.com/hidden-truths
Tantra 101: A Super Simple Guide For Tantric Sex Beginners!

“Tantra is a set of techniques used all over the world to deepen intimacy, increase passion, and communicate in a more open and authentic way.” 

In a world of high stress, to-do-lists, and constantly running out of time, tantra is the perfect antidote to the routine that develops in every romantic relationship. 

This beautiful art of conscious, sacred sexuality has been practiced for thousands of years by Tantric couples in order to achieve authentic love, deep and passionate connection, and Spiritual enlightenment. 

And absolutely anyone today can draw from the ancient reservoir of knowledge and wisdom of our ancient ancestors! 

Tantra 101: 11 Tips For Beginners! 

Practice these methods to reconnect to your lover, and in no time, you will master the ancient art of tantra!! 

TIP #1: Make Time For A Weekly Session 

2 Commit to a weekly tantric session with your partner. Pick a day and time that works for both of you. 

Set aside at least two hours to truly celebrate your relationship. Do not reschedule even if you’re feeling tired, as your tantric session will soon invigorate your body and leave you feeling new, stronger energy flowing through you! 

Be sure to stick to your special date, only rescheduling if absolutely necessary. You’ll be amazed by the increased love, connection, and playfulness each session will bring both of you! 

TIP #2: Be Open To Try Something New 

Remember to have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. Have an open mind and open heart, even if something seems silly to you at first. 

Many people who are new to tantra have declared the eye-gazing exercise awkward and weird… until they tried it! 

Don’t dismiss anything, just set some practices aside until you’re ready to experiment with them later on. And make sure to remain playful and curious – if a practice feels good to both of you, you’re on your way! 

TIP #3: Set The Mood 3 

Prepare for your lover by cleaning and adorning your bed with comfortable cushions and blankets. Create a feast for the senses with flowers, light incense sticks (or diffuse essential oils), plus a few fruits and drinks you both enjoy. 

“Create a magical space by turning your bedroom into a temple of love.” 

Light plenty of candles – their flickering and dim light will bring magic into the space. Put on a soft, relaxing music playlist (that will play for at least 2 hours). And make sure that the temperature is just right so that both of you are comfortable. 

TIP #4: Take A Cleansing & Relaxing Bath 

Run a soothing bubble bath for your beloved. Light candles all over the bathroom, add soft music, spread rose petals on the floor, and pour a glass of their favorite wine. 

Even better, you can join them in the bath tub! 

TIP #5: Shake Your Body Alive 

Re-sensitize your body and to release any tension or blockages. 

Stand facing each other with feet hip width apart and slightly bent knees. Take a moment to relax from head to toe and next start shaking your entire body for at least 5 minutes – shake your arms, hands, hips, head, shoulders, legs… You’ll just love the tingling and aliveness you’ll experience afterwards! 

This practice helps your bodies experience pleasure in a much deeper, more intense way. 

TIP #6: Meditate Together 

1 Meditate together to clear your minds and connect to your hearts. Sit down cross legged facing each other and close your eyes. 

Breathe deeply – simply be together in silence until all the worries of the day are gone. This will help you both become fully present and focused on each other. 

You can also play a guided meditation, meditative music, or just sit in silence. 

TIP #7: Tell Your Beloved What You Love About Them 

Look them lovingly in the eye, and begin each sentence with ‘I really love…’. 

Be true and authentic, reaching deep into your heart to express all that you appreciate about them. This is not the time for a discussion but for sharing. 

To open your hearts even deeper and create more connection and intimacy, use the following phrases (and fill in the blanks): 

‘”My heart truly desires… “, “It brings me a lot of pleasure when you… ” 

Once you’ve finished, invite your beloved to do the same for you and thank them afterwards. 

TIP #8: Look Deeply Into Each Others Eyes 

Look into the eyes of your beloved: the gateway to the Soul, and ask them to do the same. 

Try to eye-gaze between 5 and 15 minutes. It will feel like a long time at first until you connect on the Soul level, and this connection will feel wonderful and delicious. 

To deepen the experience, synchronize your breaths so that you inhale and exhale at the same time. 

TIP #9 Sit In Yab Yum Pose 

6 This traditional tantric pose is a wonderful way to connect intimately with your beloved. 

The male partner sits down cross legged, while the female sits down on top of his legs facing him (clothed or naked). Embrace each other and breathe fully together. Allow your bodies to tune in to each other; to merge together in this beautiful embrace. 

Feel the love you both share, the appreciation for this special moment, and the joy of being able to celebrate your relationship! 

TIP #10 Engage In A Tantric Kiss 

8 Still sitting in the yab yum position, breathe together and imagine that you’re sharing each other’s breath. Then join your lips in a soft, gentle kiss. 

Allow your lips to melt together in a slow sensual kiss. Relax and savour the kiss as you caress your beloved’s lips with your own. 

Stay completely present in the moment and immerse yourself in the sensations of closeness and intimacy. 

TIP #11 Give {or Receive} a Tantric Massage 

4 Have him (or her) lay face down, as you awaken their body to various sensations. 

Softly touch their skin with flowers, fabrics, feathers, ice, hot wax, fingertips. Begin with a gentle touch, then proceed to longer, fuller. Start at non-erogenous zones (back, neck, head, hands, legs, feet), then slowly excite their sexual energy, touching their bottom, inner thighs and genitals. 

Have your lover turn over, and repeat on the front of their body – awakening their skin with soft touch, then massaging their non-erogenous zones first before proceeding to their chest, nipples, inner thighs and genitals. 

Keep asking for feedback and remind your beloved to relax, breathe fully, and stay present. 

Note: This massage is not about orgasm, so do not try to make them come – simply enjoy giving them pleasure. 

How To End Your Session 

5 At this point, you both may decide to make love – or not. If not, simply lay in each other’s embrace, and share your feelings in a soft, loving conversation. 

If you do decide to make love, do not rush it. Allow the penetration to happen naturally, without any effort. 

Start with slow, shallow thrusts, and remain completely aware of your bodies, your energies and particularly your genital area. Guide your consciousness to travel up and down your spine – between your heart and your genitals, and notice all the sensations in your body. 

And as you start to move again, allow your genitals to connect lovingly, and melt together in a sensual, ecstatic dance. 

Take your time! Tantra is not a chase to an orgasm – it’s a feast of pleasure, and as long as you’re both experiencing plenty of it, you’re on the right track!

http://www.journeyman1.com/hidden-truths
5 Tantric Sex Tips For Beginners

If you have never heard of tantric sex before, it basically merges the physical and spiritual energies of the universe into one, harnessed through two people connecting to the Divine forces during sex. However, the sexual experience gained through tantra is much different than what the mass media and advertising industries sell to us – this type of sex is taught in Hindu and Buddhist cultures, and dates back to ancient times as people discovered their connection to Spirit.

Our sexual energy serves a very beautiful and significant purpose outside of just orgasm, self-pleasure and procreation; it literally connects us back to Source through the very energy that created us.

Instead of having goal-oriented sex centered around reaching orgasm, tantra teaches you to slow down and focus completely on your partner. Sacred sexuality also teaches to abstain from orgasm as long as possible in order to cultivate greater sexual energy and a deeper, more profound bond between you and your partner.

The entire purpose is to activate your kundalini, or “serpent energy” in order to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Tantric sex takes a more meditative, spiritual approach than sex based solely upon carnal desires.

So, how do you get started with tantric sex if you have never tried it before?

1. Lock eyes with one another and breathe deeply.

Dr. Cheryl Fraser, Ph.D., is a sex therapist and teaches a couples’ workshop in British Columbia to help them connect more deeply to one another.

“Emphasizing breath and connection creates a deep level of intimate contact. This alone can open your heart to feeling closer, more loving and more forgiving. Second, the slow pace of tantric lovemaking will allow you to explore the sensual range of your bodies and minds.”

Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, gazing deeply into one another eyes and not taking your attention off one another allows you to connect on the deepest level possible, making intimacy even more sacred. Also, work to synchronize your breathing, inhaling your partner’s breath when he/she exhales, and vice versa. In this way, you literally take in all of your partner, sharing every piece of you with them. Controlling your breath is central to all yogic and meditative practices, and this will help you cultivate more sexual energy.

2. Keep your eyes open and focus fully on your partner.

Tantric sex teaches not to hide anything from your partner, and to remain open physically, mentally, and spiritually. To fully harness Divine energy, you have to feel totally comfortable with your partner, and turn your attention toward taking in everything about him or her: the contours of their face, the varying shades of color in their eyes, the way their skin feels, etc. Notice the small things that you might have overlooked before, and focus on everything you find enthralling and beautiful about him or her.

Oftentimes during sex, we close our eyes and turn away from our partner, which in a sense removes us from the situation and puts all of our attention on how we feel, instead of creating a more loving space with our partner.

3. Assume a “Yab-yum” position.

This is a Tibetan phrase meaning “father mother” and basically involves an extended embrace between you and your partner at the highest level of intimacy. You can either sit cross-legged directly across from your partner with your knees touching, sit with your legs wrapped around the other person’s torso, or sit in your partner’s lap with your legs totally wrapped around each other. Continue looking into each other’s eyes and practicing the “breathe in, breathe out” technique. Remember to take deep breaths all the way into your belly; shallow breaths will deplete your energy faster, and this exercise is all about learning to hold a higher vibration with your partner.

4. Take things slowly.

Don’t rush through sex just to achieve orgasm; fully embrace your partner, kissing and caressing him or her and enjoying the full experience. You can still have intercourse, obviously, but approach it in a more conscious and aware manner than usual – try to maintain arousal as long as possible without actually orgasming. This will take practice, but you will find that the more you do it, the longer you will be able to hold that “charge” and feel aroused without losing control.

5. Massage one another beforehand.

You can also do this afterwards, but the idea is simply to love and worship your partner, making him or her feel totally relaxed and ready to give and receive energy from the Divine. Try to massage along the spine in accordance with the chakras; this will help reawaken kundalini and prepare both of you for sacred sex. You should also set your intentions together before engaging in tantra so you open up a clear channel between you and the Divine to connect through.

http://www.journeyman1.com/hidden-truths
6 Practices To Awaken The Tantric Lover Within

We are all born Tantric lovers, because we are all born as divine, loving pure presence.

When most people think of Tantra, they think of the Kama Sutra and a host of awkward sex positions that seem unattainable even to the well practiced yogi. Many think Tantra is all about sex.

Yes sexuality is a part of Tantra, because Tantra is Love; Tantra is Life. So sexuality obviously falls under this broad category.

Tantra is love. Tantra is connection, presence and conscious relating to ones self and to another. Tantra combines spirituality and sexuality as a platform to deepen into self-understanding and empowerment, and is a sacred path walked by many.

Living a Tantric life unveils gateways to balancing and integrating our masculine and feminine energies, in order to feel whole again. To feel connected to our truth and infused with copious amounts of love and acceptance. A Tantric life allows one to see the divine and sacred in every living being and experience.

Exploring Tantra also creates space to shine light and heal shame, guilt and suppression — embedded in our society around our sexuality, where the seat of our personal power and creative gifts lie.

So how does one become a Tantric lover?

Bringing Tantra into your life means inviting in more love and presence. And yes, this includes your sex life as well.

Below are six tips on how to infuse the sacred in the bedroom and awaken the Tantric Lover within:

1. Think of love making as a sacred ritual.

Shift your perception from "having sex" to "making love and co-creating with the divine." Set up your bedroom as a sacred space; a temple. Create an altar in your bedroom with things that are special to you both; things that support the growth of each other and the highest good of all. Add special photos of the two of you, sacred books or other objects for manifestation purposes. Light candles and burn incense. Create a beautiful, nurturing and sensual space.

2. Meditate and set intentions before love making.

Before engaging in love making, take time to sit in meditation together while facing each other. Call forth your highest selves and offer your bodies up to a higher power. Imagine energy forming around the two of you individually, as well as around the both of you. Envision a third co-creative field being created.

Set intentions for the journey together and ask yourselves what you want to offer up to the divine through this act of love making between your bodies. Set clear intentions — individually and collectively — for the relationship.

3. Commit to presence.

By committing to being 100% present with each another creates space for true feelings, vulnerability and honesty to unfold. This in turn, will allow you both to go deeper into your highest self and to your partner. Do not be afraid to be honest, with how you are exactly feeling.

Check in with your body, constantly asking what it wants and where it is at. For women: If your yoni is not yet wet, it is an indicator that your body is not ready to receive. Do not lie to yourself and go against the natural signals from your body. Continue to dive deeper into yourself to look for any blockages, barriers and resistances; for these will only allow you to open more.

4. Practice Tantric massage on your partner.

Take time to massage and worship each other's body with full presence and awareness. Do not rush into the act. Use deep, slow and mindful massage. You may also practice a Tantric technique of yoni and lingham worship, by worshipping each other's genitals.

5. Men: Learn how to hold your seed.

All ancient Tantric traditions encourage men to retain their seed. Spiritually, this allows the energy to flow back into the body upon orgasm and raise up the body through the chakras. This leaves the man feeling energized as opposed to drained after sex, for his energy is being retained and used for higher spiritual purposes. Men become more focused, clear and present as a result. Plus they can continue to make love for hours and hours ...

6. Ditch any expectations and agenda.

The golden rule is to never have an end goal in mind. Goal-oriented sex; to reach a peak in orgasm, will leave you both disappointed and disconnected from one another in the present moment. Much like in life, when you have expectations you often miss what is actually in front of you and REAL.

Commit to the authentic deepening of your bond, rather than reaching a climax. And then once you make this mental shift, the climax will occur naturally, unexpectedly and even more intense.

 Tantra yoga

Tantra yoga is a general name for a confluence of mystical and religious systems developed in India over the past several centuries in reflection of certain traditional texts, called ‘Tantras,’ often attributed to divinities or mythological beings.

Tantric systems maintain a variety of cosmological presuppositions, sometimes biological in metaphor (e.g. disks or wheels — chakras — of energy or ‘prana’ that may be found throughout the body and in particular along the spine), sometimes religious in character (e.g. the disciplines which attempt to influence the deities Siva and/or Sakti, thought to be resident to the human body).

Typically yoga is an ascetic set of disciplines recommended by a historical or tutelary guru or instructor and is presumed to aid the practitioner in purificatory, conscious, or moral development.

Tantra (sometimes “tantric”) yoga in particular often includes a context of sexual symbolism, if not actual sexual activities, which are described as constituting this aid. Often there will also be an ultimate aim supposed (e.g. “moksha” or “liberation”) which serves to bolster the practices based on a presumed cosmology (e.g. better rebirths or an escape from rebirth into the world).

Buddhist tantra yoga developed as an offshoot from Hindu tantra centuries ago. Some lineages of Chinese Buddhist tantra also incorporate concepts and practices from Taoist sexual alchemy. One contemporary teacher of Buddhist tantra yogais Grand Master Lu, a Taiwanese-born monk working in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
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5 Ways to have An Explosive Orgasm

Culturally, we tend to think of orgasms as the be all and the end all of sex. Of course, orgasms are literally referred to as the "climax" of sex. But that doesn't mean there isn't always room for improvement ...

An orgasm is the involuntary, rhythmic contraction of genital muscles followed by the warm, tingling sensation of pleasure radiating through the body. To be sure, sex can be totally amazing without an orgasm. Reaching climax is just one of many peak experiences to be found in sexual activity (and sometimes even in other contexts!).

Nonetheless, if you desire more from your orgasms, here are five ways to lengthen, intensify and multiply a climax. In other words, here are five ways to have an explosive orgasm.

1. Strengthen your pelvic floor.

In the book The Sexology of the Vaginal Orgasm, author Karl F. Stifter writes that the PC muscle (the muscle of your pelvic floor) -- unlike any other muscle in the entire body — sends measurable electronic signals when repeatedly contracted. These signals travel through the spinal cord to the brain, stimulating the prostate in the male and the uterus in the female, and releasing pleasurable endorphins. It's no wonder that the Chinese, in the Taoist tradition, refer to the perineum as the Hui- Yin, or "power center" of our sexual bodies.

So what do we do with the PC muscle? Well, you can squeeze the PC by tensing around your genitals as if to stop urinating, or prevent bowel movement. Squeeze it when aroused in order to intensify pleasure, to stop an orgasm, to bring it on, or to prolong it. Prolonging an orgasm can be done by squeezing the PC to pause the sensation of orgasm, then releasing the contraction to continue the flow of pleasure.

The more you practice squeezing and holding the PC on your own, the better control you will have with your PC muscle during sexual activity. For muscle strengthening, squeeze 10-30 times, not more than three times a day, varying the duration and power of the squeeze.

2. Don't just breathe ... breathe creatively!

We all need to breathe in order to live — that's obvious. But breath is a fundamental ingredient of sexual pleasure. For one, it brings oxygen to all of your glands and body parts. Very crucially, breath brings oxygen to those glands which produce the endorphins and hormones released during orgasm, and enhances blood flow and sensation in the genitals.

Here's a very simple exercise: really try to play with your breath when aroused. Try panting. Short, shallow breaths can take your body into a higher state of arousal. On the other hand, taking long, slow breaths can slow down arousal, relaxing your body on a physiological level, and thus helping you be more sensitive and attuned to touch.

3. Explore different means to an end.

Essentially, your body gets used to following the same neural pathways. Try a different hand when self-pleasuring, or a new sensation; substitute one toy for another, and so on. You can expect a period of adjustment as your body learns to climax differently, but this kind of training means that you expand your means to get there, which often means you get there more often!

4. Go multiple.

With a clitoris, the most successful method I've learned and taught is to go for the second and subsequent orgasm within a minute of the first, using the same technique (e.g. stroking) as before. Your genitals will already be engorged, which is a prerequisite for climax, so you're already "in the zone." It takes some practice, but it's helpful to know that it's entirely physiologically possible for anyone. Often, women just don't know that they can have multiple orgasms, so they stop at one.

Those with a penis can multiply their orgasms, too. Alfred Kinsey's reports from the 1940s-50s were the first to reveal brain scans showing that the function of orgasm and ejaculation are governed by two separate parts of a man's brain. In fact, in both Tantric and Taoist practices, men are taught to experience the contraction and pleasure of orgasm without releasing semen. It's the ejaculation which is tiring, and is the end of erection — not the orgasm itself. This topic could be multiple books unto itself, and I highly suggest consulting Mantak Chia's famous book, The Multi-Orgasmic Man.

5. Play at the edge.

The longer you're in that pre-orgasm zone, often the bigger and more intense the orgasm. Staying in that zone, however, requires a concerted effort. First, it involves using the pelvic floor and breath, though it can also include pausing the party all together to add another sensation into the mix, or to do something else entirely in order to remain at the edge ... without tipping over!

The key is to find ways to feel relaxed while tapping into your sexual energy. Try doing this alone, as it takes practice — and there's no such thing as too much practice. But keep in mind: it's also essential to communicate with your partner.

Get to know what makes you aroused. Explore what path your arousal takes: does it peak and then stop? Does it fizzle out slowly? Does it never lift off? Practice staying in a state of arousal as long as possible, and get yourself on a steady diet of non-goal-focused, exploratory self-pleasure.

Above all else, remember that your body knows exactly what to do. All it needs is to remember, and be gently trained and retrained.

Tantra Is The Opposite Of Porn ??? Learning How To Actually Be Intimate

What if studying tantra could heal our addiction to Porn? What if tapping into our natural abilities to experience ecstasy changes everything?

I was really nervous when I first realized that I wanted to teach Tantra. What would people think? Would they be offended? Talking about sex is such a no-no. I live in a very small conservative community, how was this going to work?

But then a good friend said to me, “Do you realize what you’re offering people? Tantra is essentially the OPPOSITE of porn.” Once I realized this, I never looked back!

Porn is a funny thing. Despite some opinions, I believe that it isn’t inherently evil. Lots of people truly enjoy watching porn, including many couples who use it together to have a new experience. Yet it is seemingly undeniable that there are some real dark sides to porn.

Besides the obvious violence and anything involving children, there are much more insidious issues:

1) What We Look Like Is Everything

Porn focuses on being stimulated through the body. And so we are subconsciously told that sexuality depends on what your body looks like. You must be young, fit, have perky breasts and a large penis, otherwise you can’t be a good lover. And ironically this sets up a huge self-worth issue in everyone, particularly those who don’t see themselves as young, fit and perky. And for the ones that do, they still quite often don’t see themselves as perky or big enough. Ultimately, no one leaves happy with themselves.

2) It’s All About Successfully Pleasuring The Other

Porn focuses on pleasing the other. Now obviously there is some part of us deep down that knows that the desire to please our partner is actually a wonderful thing. But that isn’t usually how it comes across in porn. It comes across as the only thing that is important. That bringing the other person to orgasm is the only goal. And what’s wrong with that you ask? Well it is the message that our unconscious receives, that this is the only goal of lovemaking. That if you can’t bring your partner to orgasm, then there is no point making love. We end up with things like performance anxiety on both the giver and the receiver side.

3) Connection & Intimacy Aren’t Important

Porn has nothing to do with connection. It is simply a series of physical events that two people do together. There is no connection or intimacy. And this isn’t always bad, sometimes a round of rockin’ porn sex can be fun, but again it sends programming to our subconscious that this is what sex is about. That the connection doesn’t matter and it’s just about getting off.

4) This Is All We Are Capable Of

The worst part of it is that porn makes us believe that this is all that there is. We think that we know what sex is all about and that porn just plays the edge of it, which is what is so titillating. But it isn’t true.

THE TRUTH IS that we as humans are using maybe 5% of our sexual abilities. It’s like having a piano where we think that there are only 10 keys. So we get really good at playing chopsticks. But the truth is that there are 88 keys and we can actually play phenomenal mind-blowing music. But we just didn’t know.

Porn deepens the belief that chopsticks is all that there is. So we just play it edgier and edgier so that hearing it still interests us. But we are missing the boat.

So how does Tantra change all this?

It shows us the other 78 keys on the piano, and then teaches us how to play.

1) We Are So Much More Than Our Physical Bodies

The sexiest part of us isn’t our physicality. A truly sensual person has a presence about them that is absolutely captivating and enthralling. They can look at you and gently touch you in a way that will leave you spellbound. They will bring you into their inner quiet where you will breathe and touch each other sending chills and orgasms throughout your bodies. What their body looks like is quite irrelevant.

2) Pleasuring Is Greater When It Is Mutual

We are energetic beings as well as physical. When we are touching our partner, if we are really present and enjoying the feel of our partner’s skin, they will sense this. Your touch will be different than if you are just doing it in order to please them. When you are truly in the moment, there is an electricity that comes out your fingers (or other sexy parts) that permeates your partner’s entire body. As your partner’s body responds to this, this pleasure cycles back to you, and the giver and the receiver roles start to become blurred. There is just simply pleasure being shared regardless of who is doing what.

3) Connection Is Everything

We are DESIGNED to connect with each other on a very deep level. Human beings do not do well without feeling deep connection. We call it “neediness” and “being desperate” when someone is feeling disconnected. But it’s really just because deep down we know that we are capable of phenomenal connection. And when we feel this amazing connection, things in our lives just get better. Depression lifts. We don’t feel as anxious. We notice the joys in life. We appreciate each other. We feel a level of content and happiness that we just don’t experience when we are all alone.

In tantra, this connection comes first. This is the foundation of all the sexual play. It’s like you first have to “plug in” to each other before the energy can flow. And so there is real intention to drop our guards and allow each other inside to truly connect and experience each other.

4) Sex Is Meant To Be A Multi-Dimensional Experience

When we actually bring in everything that we truly are into our intimate experiences, we go from having simply physical sex to having an experience involving our minds, emotions, feelings, intuition, passion, presence, plus a pile of dimensions that you can’t even explain, they just happen.

And the most amazing thing is that it doesn’t take any tricks. It doesn’t take a pile of methods or fancy sexual abilities. It is actually incredibly natural and programmed into us, we just haven’t accessed it.

So Will Tantra Rid The World Of Porn?

I don’t think so. We love sex. Our sexual desire makes us feel alive. And truthfully, watching other people have sex can be very titillating.

Tantra heals our REAL relationships with REAL people. Learning how to actually be intimate with others allows us to have incredibly satisfying relationships with the people around us. We feel deeper connections and our intimate experiences actually heal us and make us feel wonderful about ourselves!

So porn won’t go away, but for many, the addiction can fade, because once you start experiencing the opposite side, your true potential, true intimacy and the sexual experiences that we are designed to have, the porn can’t own you. It just doesn’t come close to comparing to the experiences you’ve had.

I mean, once you’ve driven a Mazerati, driving a child’s push car just doesn’t compare.

http://www.journeyman1.com/hidden-truths
Sacred Dreams

Sacred Dreams

TRANSORGASMIC SEX AS ELUCIDATED BY LAO TZU~

A person's approach to sexuality is a sign of her or his level of evolution.

Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse.

Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body's other organs and systems.

Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged (through orgasm), and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered. It is a great backward leap.

For those who aspire to the higher realms of living, there is angelic dual cultivation (Transorgasmic Sex (TOS). Because every portion of the body, mind, and spirit yearns for the integration of yin and yang, angelic intercourse is led by the spirit rather than the sexual organs.

Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural.

Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation (TOS) unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body. Culminating not in dissolution (conventional orgasm) but in integration (by way of transmuting the libido), it is an opportunity for a man and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness.

The sacred ways of angelic intercourse are taught only by one who has him/herself achieved total energy integration, and taught only to students who follow the Integral Way with profound devotion, seeking to purify and pacify the entire world along with their own being.

However, if your virtue is especially radiant, it can be possible to open a pathway to the subtle realm and receive these celestial teachings directly from the immortals.

~Hua Hu Ching, Chapter 69

DEEP BREATHING


Deep breathing exercises can be done on a daily basis. Take 15 minutes to half an hour when you first get up in the morning to do deep breathing exercises and see how you feel.  Did you know, most western people are shallow breathers.

 A result of shallow breathing is less oxygen is being circulated around the body.  Shallow breathers have more illnesses and have a shorter life span.

An example of a deep breathing exercise is - breath deeply down into your body for three seconds through your nose, hold for three seconds, then breath out for three seconds out of your nose or mouth.  Continue doing this for 15 minutes to 30 minutes each day.  As you get used to doing this, change it from three seconds to seven seconds.  As you get used to doing this, change it from seven seconds to fourteen seconds.  But only hold the breath for three seconds each time.  You can keep going up in multiplies of seven.  But only hold the breath for three seconds each time.    


TAI QI AND QI GONG


Tai qi and qi gong are other exercises that can be practised on a regular basis too.  It all comes down to choice.

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OTHER SPORTS


Most other sports and all competitive sports cause wear and tear on the human body.  I had a friend that loved walking. She walked all over the place from about the age of 16 years.  She is now 42 years old and is going to be having two hip replacements within the next six months.  Jogging causes a lot of jarring in all different parts of the body particularly the ankles, knees and hips.  Netball has a lot of knee injuries, due to having to stop when you are moving at pace.  AFL players obviously have all different types of injuries but in particular, hip spurs.  ALL CONTACT SPORTS ARE HIGHLY DETRIMENTAL TO THE HUMAN BODY.

Swimming is a good exercise for the whole body.  The only negative is chlorine pools.  The negative effects of chlorine include: sore red eyes, breathing issues with some people, your finger nails and toe nails turn a yellow colour (obvious signs of poisoning), texture of the hair feels different and the smell can irritate some people.  Swimming in the ocean is beneficial.

http://www.journeyman1.com/body-mind-and-soul