Meditation Guide for Beginners

Have you heard or tried meditation?

Many successful people praise it as a staple of their overall wellbeing and a focusing practice which helps getting stuff done, being productive, and produce quality output work.

Moreover, meditation is a good addition to a healthy lifestyle. The health of the mind is as much important as the health of the body.

It can help you get rid of anxiety and even physical pain you experience during your workout routine, caused by some annoyances, pain due to high arches, for example.

If you never tried it, you should definitely give it a go. Consider this your little introduction to the meditation basics and techniques.

Concentration meditation

Meditation Guide for Beginners

This meditation technique involves the focus on one point. Some variations of the concentration meditation are repeating a word or mantra, following the breath pattern, listening to a gong, counting bead on a mala and staring at the flame of the candle.

The goal is to have a long session, but for a beginner, only a few minutes are fine for a start. The point is to keep yourself focused on a chosen object and returning to it each time your mind wanders off. Let go of all thoughts and keep the chosen object in the center of your attention.

It will be a bit difficult at the start, but you will improve over time.

Mindfulness meditation

Rather than letting the random thoughts go, this technique involves observing them. You are supposed to let those thoughts go through your mind and simply to be aware of them. You shouldn’t pursue them or judge them, just be aware of what are they and that they exist.

With this type of meditation, you will notice how your thoughts go in a pattern. You will become more aware of how you as a human can judge experiences quickly and label them as good and bad. With practice, you will develop an inner balance.

Some meditation schools teach the students to practice a combo of mindfulness and concentration.

Additional techniques

These are the examples of the most common techniques of meditation, but there are much more variations which you can practice. Buddhists, for example, focus on the compassion and cultivation. They search to see the negative events in a positive light, using the compassion to do so.

There are also techniques that don’t require you to be still, like walking meditations and tai chi.

Meditation benefits

For most of the people the goal of meditation is relaxation, and even if it is not their main goal, it comes as a result. There was even research at the Harvard University Medical School that gave the conclusion that people who practice meditation have an involuntary response to it that reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.

Other meditation benefits include:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Less perspiration
  • Less anxiety
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Lower blood cortisol levels
  • Less stress
  • Deeper relaxation

Even though a lot of researches search for the answer does the meditation have long-term benefits, the Far East philosophers say that meditation should have no goal, it should only make you be present.

Buddhist philosophy says that the ultimate reward of meditation is the liberation of the mind from the things it cannot control. Internal emotions and external circumstances for example. The liberated practitioner has no need to follow desires. Instead, it maintains a calm mind and achieves inner harmony.

How to begin meditating

Beginners may need a bit of preparation to start meditating.

You should take these four simple steps to get you started:

  1. First, you have to make yourself comfortable. It would be a good idea to lie or sit.
  2. Close your eyes, and let everything go.
  3. Breathe naturally, let it take its course, don’t try to control it.
  4. Start focusing on your breathing, and the moves your body makes with each inhalation and exhalation. Don’t control the pace or the intensity, just observe your chest, rib cage, and belly. If your mind starts wandering, bring your focus back to your breath.

Practice this for a couple of minutes, and once you get the hang of it, you can try some other techniques.

In conclusion

Your journey to the liberation of the mind will be slow and calm, and it will improve your overall well-being. Your days will start and finish with a better perspective on the world and the big problems of yesterday will become just a minor obstacle you are ready to overcome.

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How do High Arches Affect Your Running?

Having high arches can be quite the challenge, especially in performing sports activities like running. High arches affect your running style and your gait. While usually flat feet are the biggest problem for runners, high arches are right behind them with their own specific set of problems.
Some people can even develop high arches while running, and the others who already have them have to cope with improper pronation and pain after each running session.

How do high arches change your running and affect your feet

High Arches Affect Your RunningThe natural foot strike while running should go toward the outer side of the foot. The foot should spin inward while in the air, and it should absorb the shock on the impact. The motion while running involves a lot of joints and muscles in the leg.
The tendon which forms the arch in the foot has a shock absorbing ability, it flattens upon the impact and distributes the stress evenly. High arches are caused by the tightening of that very tendon, and it’s unable to flatten upon the impact, causing the heel and ankle to absorb the stress which can cause a lot of damage over time.

How can previous injuries lead to high arch while running.

Foot injuries and surgeries can make you change the way you run on a subconscious level. Depending on the type of injury or the surgery you might adapt your gait to avoid the pressure and pain in the affected areas. The result of such adaption is the stiff foot and footfall that will mimic the high arch.
Running for an extended period of time this way and you may develop an artificial high arch. Taking muscle memory into consideration, your foot muscles will preserve the learned gait and stiffness and leave you with a higher arch than before.

Natural high arches.

Most of the high arches are caused naturally by genetics. And just as much with anything you get genetically, there isn’t much to do about it. People with natural high arches are more prone to foot injuries and have to be more careful than the ones with normal arches.
There are therapies that can help with gaining flexibility, but the results will be minimal. Some people may benefit more from the therapy and some less, depending on each individual case.

How can a high arch be developed by limiting the movement.

Limited mobility can drastically change the way you run. Usually, this is strictly caused by bad shoes or the improper ones for high arches. Improper and bad shoes lead to artificial high arch development. The limitation of movement makes the feet stiff and tight.
Luckily this can be corrected with the proper shoes. It’s very important to have the shoes that won’t limit your movement and special kind of shoes for high arches.

How can you prevent the high arch from developing while running

The first thing to have in mind is the proper posture and gait. You should strike with the outer side of your foot. The foot should lean inward while in the air. Try to land on the midsole instead on your heel or the toes. Proper posture can help with training yourself to land correctly on your feet.
Stick out your chest and keep your head up while you run. Pay attention not to make jumping motions; unnecessary jumping can increase the shock that your feet will have to absorb. The next thing is the proper gear. Running shoes with enough cushion and shock absorption will help greatly in the prevention of development of high arch.

In conclusion

High arches can be a real handicap when you want to excel in your running routine. The people who got them thanks genetics will have to work a bit more to get the desired performance, while the ones that got them artificially can correct them by therapy. But, both of these cases can be helped with the proper running technique and the proper shoes.

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I am a Holistic Health Counselor, Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). I received my certification in holistic health coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, in New York, NY, the world’s largest nutrition school where I studied all the major dietary theories, from vegan to Paleo, and beyond. I’ve been fortunate to learn from esteemed teachers and doctors such as Mark Hyman, MD and Susan Blum, MD, Institute of Functional Medicine; Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University.

I also have a degree in Psychology from Indiana University, a background in social work counseling, and use practical lifestyle coaching methods to guide you in discovering which approach works best for you.

My approach to nutrition does not dwell on counting calories, carbs or fat grams. It is not about restrictions, denial, or guilt. Instead, I help my clients create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, balanced, healing, and fun.

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Why Ladybird

What the heck is a Ladybird, you ask?!

The Ladybirds is the name of one of my first labors of love: my kick-ass rock and roll band!

It was a 10 year love affair, and still very near and dear to my heart!

To me it signifies inspiration, freedom, fun, and following your passion, not to mention one of my childhood dreams manifesting into reality!

Pretty powerful stuff! So I honor it by using the name here, and sharing that energy and passion with you.

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Evolve and Attune

Evolve and Attune Program:

Do you remember what it used to feel like to be energetic and healthy, and want so much to feel that way again! Maybe you feel so out of touch with your body you don’t even know where to begin? May this fatigue, weight gain, bloat, and skin issues are all just part of getting a little older, or part of your genetics?   

Maybe you are a busy Mom, career woman with a lot on her proverbial plate and worry you don’t have time to revamp your entire lifestyle. Maybe you think it would be selfish to spend time and money on “just yourself” when other people (work, family, friends, etc) need you!

Do you want to make healthy lifestyle changes but feel discouraged at all the conflicting information that is out there? Would you ideally like to make some changes, but diets feel unsustainable and unpleasant- like a freakin form of punishment?!? Besides, who the hell has the time?!

If you are ready to make changes that are small, subtle but powerful and meaningful…. changes that will last, this 3-Month program is the one for you! It is a total nutrition and lifestyle overhaul!

You will learn:

  • Simple, healthy recipes that are fun and easy to make and pack maximum nutrition in a small amount of time.
  • A new morning and evening routine that will ensure a successful, loving, healthy way to start and finish each day!
  • How food works in your body and why certain foods are addictive – ie. it is not your fault that you overeat certain foods!
  • Which items and brands to buy at the grocery store.
  • How to clean out your home pantry for kitchen ease and success!
  • How to prepare simple, easy, delicious meals and snacks at home.
  • Smart tips for success in eating-out at restaurants and parties.
  • Simple, fun yoga routines and easy meditations to relive stress and gain energy and flexibility

You’ll go from overwhelmed and confused about food to confident and prepared, making healthy, nourishing choices for your body. You will have all the tools you need to create delicious, colorful meals for you and your family quickly and easily! Learning several basic strategies and taking the time to truly understand and implement them will enable you to go from stressed and drained to nourished and energized!

So you’ll actually spend less time worrying about weight and dieting, more time enjoying food and loved ones.You’ll feel confident and energized instead of drained and overwhelmed! You will rediscover your youthful zest and inspiration, making room for more fun and freedom in your life!

Get started on the path towards a healthier, happier, energetic and easeful life! Let me help! I promise, it will be more fun than you ever imagined!

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Emotional to Intuitive

Emotional Eating

Emotional to Intuitive Program:

Do you feel tired and frustrated with your body and worry that you will be battling with your weight for the rest of your life? Are you overwhelmed by the conflicting information about food and dieting and feel like you don’t even know where to start to get healthy?

Do you eat because you are stressed, fatigued, worried, lonely, or just don’t know what else to do? Do you feel out of touch with your body? Betrayed by it…. like you can’t trust it?

Do you pray to God you’d just get Mono or a vicious stomach flu so you can finally lose that extra 10-20, or more, pounds. Or (this was always my favorite) you wish that there was a pill you could take so you could just poop it all out! Even if it was crazy painful – you’d do it without question for the promise of finally losing weight!

Maybe you’ve even forgotten what feeling GOOD and energetic feels like?

Shopping, swimming, and special events are no fun because they are a constant reminder that you feel like a failure and have no control over your own body, and in some ways, your whole life.

You don’t like how you look so you pretend you don’t care about it. You may even feel bitter towards others who are “pretty”, athletic, thin, or just seem healthy and happy. You make judgments like, “they are vain”.  But YOU don’t need to be/look/act that way because you are not vain. You are a tomboy, the funny girl who doesn’t care about cute clothes and thinks that make-up and jewelry are stupid and shallow.

In feeling all this resentment towards others, you may or may not realize it’s actually yourself you’re mad at. Because sometimes you actually want those stupid things. But it hurts because you feel like you can’t have them. You’re actually sad and scared, not mad, because you feel like everyone else deserves that stuff but you. And this weight and the shitty way you feel is what proves it. It’s the physical evidence of your failure, put out on display for everyone to see.

Do you always feel like you are fighting food and your body? Like you “sort of know what you are supposed to be doing” but have no idea how to actually do it? You know you have what it takes to make some positive changes, but you still feel stuck?

Then, this 3-Month Program is perfect for you.

We will take you from the rollercoaster of emotional eating to an all-natural way of intuitive eating that is nurturing to your body, mind, and spirit.

You will learn:

  • How food works in your body and why certain foods are addictive – ie. it is not your fault that you overeat certain foods!
  • How to really listen to what your body needs, and eat in a way that supports and nurtures it instead of depletes it.
  • The difference between authentic self-care and counterfeit self-care and how to truly care for yourself in the way you deserve.
  • Simple yoga and meditation techniques for relaxation, flexibility, and body and spirit attunement
  • A new morning and evening routine that will ensure a successful, loving, healthy way to start and finish each day!
  • Which items and brands to buy at the grocery store.
  • How to clean out your home pantry for kitchen ease and success!
  • How to prepare simple, easy, delicious meals and snacks at home.
  • Smart tips for success in eating-out at restaurants and parties.

As a result you will feel empowered and confident! You’ll be nourished and energized by your food, not enslaved by cravings or depleted by junk food! You will know what to buy, how to cook it, and when and how much to eat for YOUR beautiful body!

So you can actually enjoy your relationship with food and your body! This will transform your life, allowing you to decide what’s next… What do you really want to spend your precious time, energy, love, and focus on? Family, creativity, being outside, living and loving life? These are all great answers!

Let me help you put your best, most beautiful foot forward and start making positive, healthy changes today!

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Quick And Dirty Program

Quick and Dirty Program:

Are you a busy woman with an already packed schedule? Does your own self-care always seem be the last thing on the list?

Then this one-month nutrition and lifestyle re-vamp is for you, babe!

Let’s get your sh*t together and get you feeling and looking like your best, beautiful self! Ow, ow!

Do you feel like you know how to eat healthily in theory, but who the hell has the time? With work, family, and all of life’s commitments, who has time to spend all morning at the farmer’s market, go to yoga classes, or make meals from scratch?

If you want to make a change but are not sure where to start, and you want measurable, lasting results, this program is for you!

This 1-Month program will change the way you look at food and lifestyle!

You’ll go from frazzled to vibrant!

Dragging-ass to energetic!

Discouraged to hopeful!

Feeling lost to being supported and empowered!

You will learn:

  • Simple, healthy recipes that are fun and easy to make and pack maximum nutrition in a small amount of time.
  • How food works in your body and why certain foods are addictive – ie. it is not your fault that you overeat certain foods!
  • What items and brands to buy at the grocery store.
  • How to prepare simple, easy, delicious meals and snacks at home.
  • Smart tips for success in eating-out at restaurants and parties.
  • Quick and easy yoga and meditation routines to relieve stress and increase energy, focus, and flexibility.

Let’s start now. Let’s take you from busy, stressed and eating whatever is around, to centered and prepared with a stocked fridge and a fresh outlook on your week!

Let’s scootch ya on over, from rushed and frazzled to calm and energized. With new, simple and effective morning and evening routines to regularly detox and nourish your body and relax your mind.

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