My Introduction to Yoga Meditation

Many people have difficulty falling asleep at night. Thinking and worrying about numerous topics (work, money, sick relatives, noisy neighbors, etc.) keep them tossing and turning long after they have turned off the lights. A few years ago, I was in this very situation. I had just started a new job that required me to learn a wide variety of new techniques and procedures. The job expectations and responsibilities were more than I anticipated and I regularly found myself still “working” long after I had left the office.

Bedtime was rough, work swam through my mind, harassing me at a time when I was trying to settle down.  In addition, I faced the burden of having to get up earlier than ever before to get to work.  This kept me worrying about my alarm not waking me up.  Glancing at the clock throughout the night was torture, 30 minutes would pass and I didn’t feel any closer to falling asleep!

Not getting much sleep made it tough to focus at work and caffeinated beverages became my best friend. Coffee in the morning and at break, soda at lunch and sometimes another coffee in the late afternoon became my norm. While these drinks helped at work, they destroyed me at home. I would have a caffeine “crash” in the early evening and end up taking a nap on my couch.  The nap made me feel better but it came at a cost, I wouldn’t be tired at bedtime. Thus, the restless night cycle continued!

Tired of being tired and having to rely on caffeine and sugar to keep me going, I wanted a change. I decided to limit my coffee and soda to help my body to rest naturally and not because of a “crash”. I also decided to try a lot of the sleep “tricks” out there. I drank warm tea before bed, read a book, or tried to clear my mind completely.  None of these completely fixed my sleeplessness and brought new challenges to my night.  The warm drink gave me added trips to the bathroom, books gave me new topics to race around my mind and trying to blank my mind, well I found that impossible, thinking about that “nothing” means that I was thinking about something and not nothing in the first place.  See how dizzying my mind was!

Although my sleeplessness improved a bit as I got the hang of work, I would still have days or weeks where it was difficult to sleep. I began to consider medicinal sleeping pills. Citing a few potential side effects, a friend politely recommended yoga instead. He talked about the many benefits yoga can have.  I agreed to give yoga a try.

Yoga was challenging for me but I did start to feel more flexible while playing basketball and less back pain after a few sessions, so I kept at it.  During my fifth yoga class, the instructor gave a lesson on meditation and introduced Gauranga breathing. The process was fairly easy, take a breath in and while exhaling, slowly say Gauranga (Goooooooo-Raaaaaaaa-Annnnnnnnn-Gaaaaaaaa). After doing this a few times, I felt great, completely cooled down and relaxed.

So, impressed by its effects after class, I decided to try Gauranga breathing at night before sleep.  It had the same effects, my body was more relaxed, my mind became free of all the clutter that was keeping me up at night and I was able to fall asleep quickly!

Amazed, I went back to my yoga instructor and asked why was Gauranga breathing different than the other meditation I had tried earlier?  Her answer was the Gauranga is one of the Holy Names of the Supreme Person and by saying it, my mind was focusing on Supreme Person and therefore, I was experiencing true peace.  She elaborated that we are all part and parcel of Supreme Person and loving remembrance of the Supreme Person is the path to actual happiness.  And that an easy way to remember Supreme Person is by hearing and saying His Holy Names as they have a transcendental and purifying affect.  I agreed with her that I had never felt so at peace as I did while doing Gauranga breathing, it was as if all my worries had just disappeared.

I continue to do this amazing breathing exercise before bed and use it to de-stress when the troubles of the world become overwhelming.  Gauranga breathing just takes a few minutes but can have long lasting effects and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Doggie Destinations – Travelling with Your Canine Companions

 

Your dog is more than just your best friend – they’re a part of your family, and you wouldn’t leave a family member behind on your dream holiday now would you? Here’s what you need to know about travelling with your dog and finding accommodation that leaves tails wagging all round!

If you’re based in the US, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Woofstock, a spectacular annual event held every May in Toronto, Canada which draws over 300,000 visitors from around the globe. Entrance is free and there’s plenty of entertainment for every member from of the family, from fun contests and talent shows, kids entertainment, beach volleyball and lots and lots and lots of doggie shopping! BringFido is a fantastic resource for finding dog friendly accommodation in the area.

The UK is also increasingly open to travelling with your dog, with as much as 90% of locals taking their dogs with them on their annual holiday. WeAcceptPets.co.uk is a great listing to find pet friendly accommodation in the areas you’re keen on – so making a list of areas the human members of your family would like to see and checking this against available accommodation for the furry members is a great start to planning a family break.

Yorkshire Dales

For large or energetic dogs, Swinton Park is a massive 2,000 acre estate in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales to delight doggies and enthusiastic ramblers alike – you’ll even get a complementary dog chew on arrival! And if a full on hiking holiday sounds like just the thing, check out the Paws on Tour hiking trips scheduled each August on the North York Moors by Rambler’s Holidays, which includes clambering through dales and gorges as beach rambles. Partipants can join for three, four or seven nights and get the benefit of an experienced tour leader.

The Dingos liked Australia so much, they stayed!

If dogs knew about geography, they’d probably recommend Australia as their dream doggie destination – back yards don’t come much bigger than the Outback after all! And if you’re looking for the absolute cream of the crop – check out the some of the winners of the Five Paws Award! These destinations based all over Australia all offer that extra something special for your canine companion – from miles of unspoilt countryside to explore together to comfortable doggie accommodation in onsite kennels or with you in your room.

Byron Bay is always a popular holiday destination in Australia, and dog-friendly cosy studio also offers free Wi-Fi, a must if you’re like me and leaving your casino games at home would hurt almost as much as leaving Fluffy. They also have a beautiful walking track around the local lake, perfect for stretching canine and human legs alike after a relaxed day at the beach.

A word on… Transpawtation.

While our natural tendency is to want to make sure our friend gets a good meal before hitting the road, this is actually a pretty bad idea – many dogs are actually susceptible to motion sickness, and your good intentions may make the trip an unpleasant one for your pooch. Do make sure that your dog gets a decent walk and some energetic playtime before confining them to a cramped space for several hours. This will help to burn off excess energy, give them ample time to ‘do their business’ before you leave and lead to a calmer dog in general for the journey. Find some more great tips here about picking up a forklift for larger dogs.

Wherever you head off to, make sure you do your research ahead of time and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a holiday that leaves the whole family simply panting for more!

Your Gym is Outdoors

Are you a parent with no time to yourself? Join the club. Bringing up children is hard work and often leaves us no time to ourselves. But to be the best parent you can it’s important to relax and recharge yourself sometimes. There’s no better way to do that than getting some exercise. Not only will this keep you fit and healthy to look after your kids in the future, it’ll also make you feel great – drenched in happy hormones and excited to get back to your family.

Bringing up little ones can be expensive however, so having a monthly gym subscription may not be ideal for parents. Instead of splurging a lot of money, why not try exercising outside? This is a great option for the busy parent. Here’s a list of reasons why your gym is in fact outdoors:

  1. Your gym is a great place to meet people

Some people worry about exercising outside – that they’ll bump into people they know when feeling sweaty and exhausted. Well, fear not, there’s no need to look rubbish while working out. Tie long hair back in a classy braid or bun and put on some fashionable yoga gear and then it doesn’t matter who you see. Plus, if you often workout and feel you would love to get a fresh and easy look so your hair is never in the way of your workout, try out some stylish jumbo box braids – you’ll always be good to go!

  1. Your gym is everywhere

No need to live near a training track or treadmills, if you want to exercise outside you can do so pretty much anywhere. Want to run? Just run round the block a few times. Got a park nearby? Find a secluded patch and put yourself through you paces with squats, lunges and burpees.

  1. Your gym is all-weather-friendly

Contrary to popular opinion – working out outdoors isn’t just for balmy summer evenings. You can exercise in the open air whatever the weather. This comes back to the old maxim: it’s not about the weather, it’s about the clothing. Making sure you wrap up warm in winter and have something cooling for summer. This will enable you to get fit regardless of the temperature.

  1. Your gym is beautiful

Who wants to work out in stuffy underground bunkers or rooms with no natural light? When you exercise outdoors not only do you feel great from exercising, but you get some much needed fresh air. Go somewhere lovely like a canal or field. It’ll give you a moment of serenity away from hectic family life.

So there you have it – from wearing jumbo box braids to enjoying your local field – there’s every reason to get outside and do some fitness. When you’re bringing up a family, it’s important to do something for yourself every now and then. This’ll reenergise you ready to dive head first back into your role as a parent.

Moving Home the Stress-Free Way

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Young Couple Moving In To New Home Together

Moving house can be a very stressful experience – one of the most stressful of all, it is said – and it pays to be able to find a team to take the stress away from you. If you live in or around the Simi Valley or LA, you need to talk to Attention to Detail Moving, the best moving company in the region, as they offer a range of services that are second to none. You will find they can help with any move, no matter how complex or simple, and that they apply the same level of professionalism every time. Why do we recommend Attention to Detail above all others?

The company was formed with the intention of providing top quality removals services in and around LA, by a group of friends who were dissatisfied with the service they had been provided elsewhere. The provide precision, streamlined services based on techniques learned during military training, and have many satisfied customers so far, with hundreds of moves having been successfully accomplished. You can rely on them to provide the service you need at the best prices, as they provide competitive rates with excellent quality.

Simi Valley Moving Services

As the premier Simi Valley moving company, Attention to Detail are able to handle any request you may have, including both local and long-distance moves. They have a reputation for excellent service, and will do all they can to ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible. They will happily talk to you about moving large or unusual items – they are experts in piano removals, for example – and can help with storage, too. You will find the team to be helpful, friendly and professional throughout, and we have no doubt you will be satisfied with the entire operation.

By utilising military training, Attention to Detail have been able to improve the quality of their moving service beyond all expectations, and have raised the bar for quality in this area. They also offer expert, safe and secure storage solutions in the region, so if you need to store any items, for any duration, you will find their rates to be impressive.

Expert Packing Solutions

Packing is an essential part of any house move, and Attention to Detail can help with a home packing service that is the best in the business. They will advise you also on the best method of packing intricate items, and can show you how best to make sure all your items are safe for the journey ahead. With many satisfied clients so far, Attention to Detail is the name to remember for the very best service in the business, and at the most competitive rates.

By using Attention to Detail, you are engaging the services of professionals dedicated to taking the strain out of moving home, so you can be sure of a successful move. Check out the website now, and fill in the online form for a free quote.

Modern Bathroom and Kitchen Fittings

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kitchen-fittings

A beautiful bathroom and well-designed kitchen make life easier, and also add value to your home. With a vast choice of modern, stylish fixtures and fittings available it is essential that you get it right, and taking advice from professionals is always a sensible idea. Whether you are looking for a full kitchen or bathroom, or simply want to upgrade fittings such as faucets, basins or toilets, you will be impressed with the range on offer from Plumbtile, a leading provider of fixtures, fittings, tiles and accessories with a truly comprehensive choice of top quality, name brand items.

Choosing the best quality is always advisable, as not only do you get a longer life, but quality really does shine through. All of the items available from Plumbtile, everything from bath tubs and showers, kitchen sinks and a wide variety of accessories, are guaranteed top quality, and also you’ll find them to be sensibly priced. Take the range of superb Drop-in Sinks, for example: beautifully designed and very stylish, they are perfect for any kitchen installation, and look fantastic with other superb fixtures and fittings.

Advice from Experts

The Plumbtile website also offers a great selection of advice and help on how to install tiles, and what makes the best choice for your individual requirements. You can chat to an expert live on the website if you wish, or use the contact details to get in touch, and one of the team will come back to you as quickly as they can. They’ll be happy to talk to you and answer any questions you might have, so you can understand everything you need to before making your purchase.

If you are looking for tiles, then Plumbtile is the ideal place to be. They have a wide selection of different types of tile, including glass and stone options, and supply quality items at sensible prices. We like the superb marble tile range from the highly-regarded Cosa Marble Co., who have been manufacturing and supplying beautiful tiles of many designs, and will certainly have something you like.

Beautiful Bathroom Fixtures

The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the home, and while essentially practical, there is no reason why you cannot have a beautiful bathroom. Tiling is especially effective, and Plumbtile has a fabulous choice of bathroom tile options, plus you can choose from a full selection of bathroom furniture, all from quality manufacturers. Whether you are looking to replace your current bathroom suite, or are fitting a new one in the home, you will find everything required at Plumbtile, the experts in quality service and products.

Have a look at the Plumbtile website now for more details of their extensive range of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, fittings and accessories, and you will find that they have the best items at the most sensible prices. We recommend you talk to the friendly experts using the live chat option, as they will be able to help you with everything you could possibly need.

How to Foster a Child To Love to Hunt

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There are a number of valuable reasons to get your children involved with your hunting trips. It helps them adapt to difficult situations, learn gun safety and management, create a steward for the environment and encourage exercise and fitness. However, you don’t want to trick your child into going hunting with you or to make them suffer through a miserable situation if they are clearly uncomfortable. This will only lead to them shying away from the thought of joining you next time. As a parent, it may be a struggle to get your child interested or to be a voluntary active participant, but there are ways and reasons to make hunting appealing to them at a young age.

Creating Advocates for the Environment

You can get your child started by getting them outdoors as much as possible. At first, don’t make it about hunting at all — just focus on getting your child feeling comfortable in the outdoors. Encourage them to explore and get dirty while roaming the woods with you while you scout for the upcoming season. The more connected that your children can feel with the natural environment, the more likely they will be receptive to the environmental ethics that come with hunting. By taking your children out on their first hunt, they are entering into communion with nature on another level than they ever have before. To learn more about the importance of children spending time in nature, explore Richard Louv’s book, “Lost Child in the Woods.” Make sure that they are ready to take that next step to avoid having pushback from them later on.

Making a Game of It

Try offering an airsoft gun to your child to encourage them to use it for target practice. It will allow your child to become more familiar with holding a gun and experiencing the thrill and anxiety that come with pulling the trigger. Set up fun targets in a safe area to create a game out of target practice for them. While they may see this target practice time as a fun time, it is also a valuable learning experience. This is also a handy opportunity to teach them about gun safety and the do’s and don’ts of handling a firearm. Make sure they know that, although they are using an airsoft gun, it should still be treated as a weapon and a potentially dangerous firearm. Once they build their confidence up with an airsoft gun, they may be chomping at the bit to join you on your next big game hunt.

Power in Knowledge

Some children don’t fully grasp why you hunt in the first place. They may assume that it is just a means for providing food for the family or that you do it for quality time with friends in the woods. While both may be true, teaching your children about the ecological cycle and the food web may enable them to better understand why you hunt in the first place. When a child can feel like an active participant in a larger picture, they will typically get on board. Let your child know why there are only so may tags issued for certain animals each year and how fish and game manages the delicate balance that exists in our forests. If it’s the act of shooting an animal that is preventing them from pursuing hunting, they may find it interesting to know that they are helping to keep the balance that we strive to keep in our ecosystem. You never know, it could persuade them to pursue a career as a game warden when they grow up.

How to Cook Your Christmas Chicken In A Paper Bag

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brown-bag

Paper bags can be used in plenty of ways in the kitchen. For example, you can use them to help your fruit to ripen faster. You can even use a paper bag to make a delicious dinner if you know what to do, and making paper bag chicken is one of our favourite ways to repurpose these eco-friendly bags.

A nice roast chicken dinner isn’t something that many of us would turn away from, and using a simple brown paper bag can make each mouthful more mouth-watering than ever. Roasting a chicken in a paper bag is an excellent cooking hack since the material lets just enough steam escape for the skin to get brown and crispy but still traps enough to make the meat moist and tender.

Of course, you need to make sure you use a bag that doesn’t have any printing on it, and make sure that the bag doesn’t touch the top of the oven. Just follow these simple instructions to get everything else done in style.

First thing’s first: turn on your oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. Next, rinse your chicken off and then remove as much excess fat as you can. It’s now time to add some seasoning; sprinkle the chicken generously with some salt and pepper, then rub the skin with some paprika and use rosemary and onion for inside the cavity.

You’re now ready to use your brown paper bag. A standard size bag should be big enough; just slip the chicken inside, then use some kitchen twine in order to tightly seal it closed. Take your bagged chicken and place it on a baking sheet, then put it on one of your oven’s lower shelves. Sit back and relax for the next hour and a half while your chicken roasts.

Once your 90 minutes is up and the kitchen is full of the delicious smell of roasted chicken, remove it from the oven and then open the bag slowly to release the steam still held inside. All you need to do now is let it stand for 10 minutes or so before digging in.

Planning a Cabin Getaway in Wales

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I was recently invited to join a group of friends on a trip to Wales for a 4 night break. I’ve never stayed in a log cabin before so I was unsure what to expect or what to bring. We drove down from Scotland so for the five hour journey I knew we’d need some drinks and snacks, then when we got there we had a self-catering lodge so I wasn’t sure how well equipped it would be. Would I need a pillow? Did they provide cleaning stuff? Should we have packed the hoover? These are all questions I had and as four us were travelling down in one car as part of our friends convoy I knew we didn’t have much room for everything in my kitchen cupboards. We booked our cabin through the website hotels.com, here is an exclusive hotels.com discount for you.

planning-a-cabin-getaway-in-wales

We eventually arrived at the cabin near Colwyn Bay at about 4pm on a Friday night. As we walked in I felt a bit nervous that I hadn’t brought the right things. But luckily it turns out I was spot on in my decision making. So for anyone heading down to the land of leeks and dragons here is a list of essential items you should take:

Clothing

Plan your clothing choices carefully. Depending on the time of year make sure you are prepared for all weather conditions. We’re talking wellies, jumpers, vest tops and if your cabin includes a hot tub you’ll swimwear and a bath robe. You’ll need a raincoat or suitable outerwear and walking boots for a woodland environment.

clothing

Toiletries

Most cabins won’t have any free miniatures of shampoo or soap so remember to take your own. Just remember it’s like your own home so you’ll need toothpaste, lotions and scrubs. If there’s a group of you why not buy large size toiletries and share them?

Food

We had quite a long journey down to the cabin so we couldn’t buy perishable food before we left. I done a shop for dry goods, juice and beer to bring down and share amongst our housemates. Everyone brought crisps, beer, vodka and things that wouldn’t go off during the journey. When we were about one hour away from the cabin we stopped off at a Tesco and got some fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and milk so we could stick in the fridge as soon as we got there. If you had a lesser journey you could prepare some food at home and put it in containers or a freezer bag.

Torch

Your cabin may have one of these, but don’t take the risk. Most cabins are in estates that are pretty far spread out and have no street lights or proper outdoor lighting. Play it safe and invest in a few good quality torches that will fit in your handbag but also light the way for you getting home at night.

Towels

Don’t get caught out when you step out of the shower! Our cabin wasn’t serviced to the extent of supplying towels so check before you go. You’ll need enough towels to last your stay and one extra in case you go paddling on the beach so take some nice fluffy ones of out your wardrobe.

Disposable barbecue

For those clammy summer nights, there’s nothing better than getting everyone around a campfire and enjoying some drinks and food with music playing through someone’s ipod speakers. A disposable barbecue is a must for the occasion – they are not expensive and can hold a good quantity of hot dogs and burgers for a small group.

Why Video Slots Will Have You Hooked

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why-video-slots-will-have-you-hooked

Are you a slot machine fan? They are great fun, as well as affording you a chance of winning some money. Whether you play at your local arcade or in the pub you most likely have a favourite slot machine, either one that you are lucky with or that you simply enjoy playing. Slot machines have long been a favourite way of spending leisure time, so what if you could play a great game, any time of the day or night, from the comfort of your own home? It’s the perfect solution for when you don’t want to go out on cold winter nights, and it’s easier than you might think.

We’re talking about online slot machines, and you can even play for free. If you have yet to try these innovative and entertaining games we recommend you do, and in particular you should try the very impressive video slot machines which are the latest innovation. Easy to play and great fun, video slot machines offer a new way of enjoying your gaming, and there are many to choose from.

Find the Best Video Slots

You can find the best collection of video slots on 777SpinSlot, a great website offering information, comparisons and expert reviews of the most up to date and impressive games available. This is the place to go if you want to play the latest, most interesting and entertaining games, and there is so much choice you can be entertained for hours. One tip we would like to pass on is this: before you play video slots for money, play for free and learn the game.

What do we mean by playing for free? The website will offer you a chance to play with demo money; you get the full game play but without spending anything. Of course, y9ou cannot win money in this mode, but the advantage is it allows you to thoroughly learn the game before you risk your money. Once you’re ready to go with real money you know the game and the features, so you stand a better chance of winning.

Hundreds of Games

With hundreds of games to choose from – including traditional and familiar slot machines as well as video slots – you will surely find something you enjoy, and you can play anywhere you have an internet connection and a tablet, laptop or even a smart phone. With 24hour access it doesn’t matter if you want to play on your lunch break at work or at home in the middle of the night, so you can enjoy video slots whenever you want.

Video slots are an innovative addition to the roster of games available, and you can find many more games to play at the many online casinos. Look also for signing-up bonuses where you can get free money to play your video slots, and there is plenty of information at 777SpinSlot about the best places to play. Be careful with your gambling and you will enjoy video slots to the full, and stand a good chance of winning some serious cash.*

5 Reasons Not to Miss Christmas in Bath

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Bath’s beautiful buildings make it a wonderful place in which to spend Christmas, and there are a whole host of fantastic festive events that make the city even more of a winter winner. Here are our top five reasons to come to Bath this Christmas.

  1. Torchlit Dining at the Roman Baths

Take in a slice of history as you savour a five-course meal. The special dining area overlooks the spectacular Roman Great Bath that gives the city its name, and the Terrace, which is usually reserved for private events and functions, is only transformed into a restaurant for five nights each year. Candles and garlands create a festive air while Searcys deliver mouth-watering dishes.

  1. Bath Christmas Market

One of the most popular festive events in the UK, the Bath Christmas Market plays host to 170 stalls over 18 days. Most of the stalls are manned by businesses based right here in the city, so this is a fine chance to pick up artisan products, including some delicious refreshments. Situated right in the heart of the city, there are a number of beautiful hotels that you can stay at and pop into the markets whenever you feel like it.

  1. Shoppers Carols at Bath Abbey

Wonderful as the Bath Christmas Market can be, even the most ardent of shoppers will eventually want to take a break and rest their feet. Why not take a look inside Bath Abbey? The choir regularly performs 20-minute ‘Shoppers Carol’ services, and the building’s striking interior is well worth appreciating while you catch your breath.

  1. Bath Philharmonia Snowman Concert

There are plenty of great shows on throughout the year at The Forum, but this might just be the one we’re looking forward to the most. Bath Philharmonia, Bath’s own professional orchestra, will treat audiences to live music alongside the magical ‘The Snowman’ animated film. You’ll appreciate ‘Walking in the Air’ like never before.

  1. Bath on Ice

Taking a stroll up to the Royal Victoria Park means having a chance to get your skates on when you visit during the winter. From November 18th right through to January 3rd, although not on Christmas Day itself, you’ll be able to hire some skates and spend an hour or two gracefully carving up Bath’s very own outside ice rink.