Thursday, 27 October 2016

image/attractiveness/4: Sculpting

                   Image result for french beautiful legs drawings


We have been looking at leg exercises. As we go through life, we naturally start off with muscle tone as children, teens, & young adults. Some people never seem to lose their muscle tone, & these are women who are naturally active, who keep their weight stable, don't drink too much alcohol.

The hair thing

There are other things that we can do to have nice legs. Removing hair by shaving, or waxing, regularly. If you shave, a man's hi-tech razor is fantastic. It's easy to do this in the shower, or after. A cheap hair conditioner makes it really easy, as does a body wash. You can also use body lotion if you're shaving after having a shower.

The Tanned Look

We can also add a light tan, through some careful sunbathing, gardening, etc, or by using tanning lotions, all of which help hide a multitude of marks & blemishes. And it also gives us what I call definition.

How to look vital

And one of the best visual ways to look & feel better, is to have definition. This is hard to explain, but basically if you think of how a healthy young person has a strong outline to their face & body, whereas a much older person who is not so vital, has far less outline. 

This outline has to do with our life force, which you could also call prana, mauri, or chi. We have so much life force when we are young, healthy, fit & vital. To still have it as one moves through life, is such a blessing. 

We can do this by building up our life-force with diet, exercise, rest & state of mind. It can be done.

Define Your Body

We can also add extra definition by body sculpting. Not in the body building sense, although that is good to do. no, this is a bit different. 

Whenever you apply anything to your body, whether it's:

  • dry brushing
  • scrubbing with a mitt or exfoliating
  • smoothing on tanning lotion, body lotion or oil
we can do all of these knowing that we are sending extra circulation to the skin, & thereby helping us get more of a glow to the skin. We can have a system of using all this. 

All movements go towards the heart.

  • start by doing brisk strokes on the sole of your foot, then the top. 
  • work up from ankle to knee
  • then knee to hip
  • firm strokes up, softer strokes down. 
  • now circular moves around the hips & the buttock
  • up the lower back
  • do big circles on the abdomen, up the right side, above the navel to the left, down the left. Do this several times, making the circles smaller & smaller. 
  • you can also rub the abdomen from base of torso up, right to left
  • then grab around the waist & do pinching or rolling moves there
  • upward strokes from waist, up ribs, to under the breasts. 
  • around the breasts in big circles
  • stroke down from collarbones to chest
  • arms & hands are done the same way as the legs: backs of hands, wrists to elbows, elbows to shoulders
  • down the upper back
  • in the areas that you think need extra effort: knead, pinch, roll, slap, these areas as you see fit.

All of this need only take a couple of minutes. If we learn to do something like this systematically, then it becomes second nature.

Sculpting extra

So that's for circulation. For the sculpting aspect, visualise each body part exactly as you would like it to be, whilst you are brushing, washing, applying lotion, whatever. Make it a habit. An effortless one.

Friday, 14 October 2016

walk, squat and lunge to stay young

                            Image result for vintage french women beautiful legs drawings                                                                  
Legs and Strength 

Studies have been done to study effects of leg strength on brain function, in particular cognition: thinking, learning and memory. These studies were done over 10 years, using twins.

All physical activities help with our muscles releasing hormones that encourage our nerve cells to grow. We have nerve activity that sends messages via impulses all through the body - including muscles. 

Yes, muscle tone can & does improve with the help of our nerves. And this could be part of an explanation as to how muscles have memory, as nerve impulses which create "tracks", seem to create memory.

We Don't Have To Do Much

One of the important factors was that we only need small improvements for cognition. So it's ok if we start  small with exercise. 

As a yoga teacher, even with only a weekly class, I can see dramatic improvements for newcomers, in muscular strength, which of course includes the ability to balance. And it may only be simple moves that we are starting with!! And I also notice that concentration improves fast. And that people are just looking better.

How it all works

Any physical movement that we use, even as simple as reaching for something, works our muscles. Because our muscles are doing the work, from brain impulses telling them what to do. Of course, this all goes on within the secret language of the body. We are unaware of it happening.

Start easy with fidgeting

If you have been unwell, or are very unfit, one of the very first things to do, is to simply start moving your body. If you can only sit: 

  • shake your arms
  • then shake 1 leg at a time
  • move your extremities up & down
  • turn your head from side to side
  • get up and put something away
  • walk to the letterbox
  • if you are recovering from illness or injury, do a wee spurt here and then, as you can.

Every bit helps, & it's also called "fidgeting" doing this. It can burn up a couple of hundred calories a day, doing "fidgeting". Your body will be grateful for these little moves. I have done all this myself, to start recovering from severe illness.

Body - mind connection

I'm very conscious of  people getting their body to move, so that they can easily improve their quality of life, & improve their physical strength. Early on as a yoga teacher, I noticed that there was a direct relationship between physical strength & emotional strength, which I guess can be translated as : 

                    "healthy body = healthy mind"

And, of course,  I know it for myself. If I don't move....I don't feel good.

And as a yoga teacher, I actually don't think that yoga is the only way to keep fit. I truly believe that whatever suits you, your personality, the time that you have available, & your life, is the best way.

But for cognition, & general muscle tone, we need to move

  • Squats are great because you can just pause & do 10-20 without taking up much time
  • Holding a yoga warrior pose is good because your muscles have to work a bit differently to keep you in that pose
  • Walking briskly as you move around your day is good. 
  • Moving creates an energy, & uses muscles
  • Going for a walk improves cardiovascular health, & helps clear the head.

Move To Stay Young

If you watch children at play, they are always moving. To stay young, we need to move too. Another important thing: exercise thickens our skin which means we get less wrinkles. (just saying......). When I had a long period of inactivity from a damaged foot, I started to get wrinkles. It was actually disheartening.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

image: attractiveness/ 3/ legs

                                         Image result for vintage french beautiful legs drawings

looking at legs:

Thighs are the last place where I put on weight, but I have a sister who puts weight on there, first. And I put weight on my calves fairly quickly, whereas my sister doesn't. I'm sure that everyone else has body quirks like this. Either way, our legs actually need only a bit of looking after.

Start with ankles

An ankle exercise, three variations are here, also gives great muscle shape to our calves. They can be used for our calves, knees, thighs, buttocks & abdominals, too. If you can do them on a step (hold onto something for balance if needed), it's actually better. As you go up onto the toes, pull up from your ankles to your waist. Pull up and tighten simultaneously. Relax the muscles as you lower the ankles. To really tighten everything, you could keep the tension on throughout, but you would need to do hamstring, quads, buttocks, calves & abdominal, stretches afterwards. If you are doing these on a step, finish them by dropping the ankles over the edge of the step, and holding to stretch out your calves. Even if you don't do this, do a standing forward "hang" with arms either dangling down, or arms folded, or holding onto legs, ankles or big toes, to stretch out the hamstrings. If you are not keen to do all three variations, just do the up on toes, then heels to floor.

Develop balance

Our ankles are intimately connected with balance, so they are a key area to keep strong as we get older, as balance can decline with age. However, as a yoga teacher, I can truthfully say that almost everyone when they first comes to yoga, has bad balance.  Standing on one leg at a time, for a short period at first, then for maybe twenty to thirty seconds each, is the way to learn to balance. There are tricks to doing it: do not do it when you are hassled in any way; push the standing foot firmly into the floor if you can; and gaze at one point as you go into the balance, and as you hold it. I know that there are people who balance on one leg whilst brushing their teeth, or similar, but that is too frenetic for me. Balance poses are supposed to induce calm.

Yoga makes legs nice

The standing poses of yoga, including leg balances, are excellent for shaping, strengthening, and lengthening leg muscles, as is downward dog/mountain. Hold each pose three breaths each if you are doing them everyday, or five to ten breaths if doing them a couple of times a week.

Squats are #1

To be honest, the best legs that I ever saw in my life, were from two women who each did squats each day. One did twenty squats with feet hip width apart and facing forwards (for thighs and buttocks). She also did twenty squats with feet further apart and toes turned out like little plies (for thigh, inner thighs, buttocks) If you push into the feet to come back up, the buttocks are more firmed. They were done fairly fast, with either no weights, or baked bean cans. Easy peasy.

The other woman was a yoga teacher. She also walked, a lot. In her class we did so many different types of squats, to start the class. We did each one far less times than the previous lady, and of course in yoga, one moves a bit slower. The yoga teacher used other poses also. Of course. But mostly squats. When we do the up and down on the toes, and the squats already described, it greatly magnifies the effects if we also visualise our legs and buttocks being in perfect shape. This amplifies the body-mind connection, and is very effective.

There are excellent reasons to do squats, and I personally prefer them to the big wide legged standing yoga poses such as triangle, warriors. Next we shall look at why.

Friday, 7 October 2016

image: attractiveness/ 2/ inner beauty

                                        Image result for vintage french beautiful legs drawings

True beauty

I'm often quite mesmorised by the absolute loveliness of some people. And yet, it has nothing to do with being beautiful. A way of smiling, of laughing, of caring. The way some people's face just light up when you see them. Their inner attractiveness, it just beams right out of them. And it is so magical. This is true loveliness and is beyond a person's looks. Allowing our inner attractiveness to shine forth, is to me, the way to be the most attractive one can be.

What do you think? Who do you know like this? You will have inner attractive qualities too. And, it can be a bit of a quest to allow it to shine, and indeed, to even realise what our own inner qualities are, that people fall in love with. 

Be with people who make you feel good

One of the best ways that I have found to allow one's inner attractiveness to shine, is to associate with people who make you feel good. Not with compliments and so forth, no, just those people whom you can be yourself with. Your nice self.

A couple of years ago, I just quietly, discreetly, bit by bit, moved my presence away from people who kept criticising myself & others. I did the 5% thing. You, know, make changes 5% at a time. That way I didn't feel "bad" separating myself. It made heaps of space for people who did care about me and whom I also cared deeply for.

I'm not always sure why we do these things: keep on trying in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes I think that we are just really nice people, so we keep on trying to get situations to work. Other times we feel guilty about thinking of moving ourselves away from toxic situations. On the plus side, though, when we do discreetly slip away, it breaks the bonds between us and others which are not beneficial. And, importantly, because it's done nicely, quietly, those friendship bonds can be resumed when situations are better.

Then, when we do meet, that inner attractiveness can shine forth from our eyes, our smiles, our body language. Because we are glad to see the other person.

                                 Image result for pollyanna

My childhood inspiration

When I was a child, I was inspired by the story of Pollyanna. The little girl who had lost both parents and came to live with her aunt. Pollyanna always saw the magic in everything. She was glad for people who had good things happen for them, and she was loving. I sort of took it on as my "creed" and earnestly tried to be like Pollyanna. I bet I wasn't like that all the time! All children are beautiful, that magic, trust, and love shines out off them. And it can too as an adult, people with that inner attractiveness, they have those similar attributes: they can see the good in situations and in others, and they appreciate this. They are loving. They are caring. With this creates a magic that we want to be around.

And this nothing to do with our "looks". It has to do with our own innate nature.

rewriting your life

                                    a difficult time I have been unwell and then managed to get the flu, too.  My immunity was so low f...