Archive | January, 2017

Here is What Kills Hair Follicles

If baldness is a concern of yours, then you probably know that not only are there several causes but also many contributing factors to each cause. One of the main causes is damage to the follicle itself. How can this happen? There are many reasons this can occur, and you need to know what kills hair follicles.

First of all, you may not know what a follicle even is. The follicles are sac-like tubes that contain the roots. Attached to each follicle is the sebaceous gland. This gland is what secretes the oily substance sebum which is what lubricates the skin and hair.

The root that the follicle is surrounding is what is responsible for creating hair growth by stimulating the production of keratin which brings about the actual growth. Simply put, if your follicle is damaged, your chances of growing new hair diminish greatly. It’s very important to protect your scalp and prevent damage to the follicles in order to prevent baldness.

There are some obvious factors that result in follicle damage and destruction. Scalp disorders and traumas or damage is one of them. Follicles can not withstand constant high temperatures. Direct exposure to the sun and even blow dryers are common culprits that overheat the follicle.

Another main cause of follicle destruction is chemical exposure. Certain medications that you might use for the treatment of another ailment may contain a chemical that damages follicles. Unfortunately the benefits of chemotherapy for cancer patients far outweighs the disadvantages. The most noticeable disadvantage is baldness in chemotherapy patients. That is because the aggressive chemical treatments to the body kill the follicles.

One of the most common but yet not widely known causes of follicle damage is the hormone called DHT. DHT is present in both men and women and comes from the hormone testosterone. Post-menopausal women are at greater risk of having higher levels of the DHT. The loss of estrogen during menopause means that testosterone can take over and release more DHT. DHT kills the follicle by attaching to it and suffocating it until it falls out.

Now that you know what kills hair follicles, you can take some steps to prevent this from happening. Protect your head from heat, avoid stress, and most importantly avoid medications that contain chemicals that may cause damage if possible. There are also herbal extracts and some prescriptions available that may help with the regulation of the DHT hormone.

Posted in Hair Care0 Comments

Male Pubic Shaving Grooming Tips

It’s important to learn some basics about male pubic hair grooming and here are some tips that can help you. Did you know that women prefer men who shave their pubic hair.

A recent survey asked women if they liked men with shaved balls and the majority answered yes or to at least have it trimmed. Male pubic shaving is becoming more popular thanks to this changing trend, having it shaved or trim will benefit you in many ways. Many men are starting to become interested in shaving their pubes but it is important to not rush into getting the task done.

It is important to read about this topic because many man make the common mistake of using a razor blade to shave down there which is a BIG mistake. So pay close attention to the following tip.

If nicks and razor burn are common when shaving your face, imagine what it could do to your privates. Your pubic area is made of very sensitive skin so treat it carefully, using a razor blade is not a good choice and not recommended under any circumstances.

So how can a guy go about pubic shaving safely? With the Philips Norelco Bodygroom. The bodygroom is a male body shaver that was designed specifically for men. It is water-proof, cordless and has a hypo-allergenic foil to prevent irritation and more importantly to prevent cuts. You can use the Bodygroom to shave your balls or trim it down with one of the 3 comb lengths that come with the Bodygroom.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

How to Reverse Cirrhosis – Cure Your Liver Cirrhosis Naturally

When the liver cells start hardening and get scarred, because of a degenerative inflammatory disease mainly caused by excessive alcohol consumption, it is called cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the symptoms of liver cirrhosis are jaundice, red palms, vomiting, enlarged liver, weight loss, poor appetite, weakness, fatigue, upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation.

Well, it is possible to reverse cirrhosis of the liver and this article is dedicated to the methods of cirrhosis reversal.

  • You should always try your level best to consume a very balanced diet consisting of at least 75% or, if possible, even more fresh live raw foods, fresh seasonal fruits and veggies and just squeezed juices.
  • Leafy veggies and herbs like raw turmeric, milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke, fringe tree, yellow dock, lycopodium, most varieties of nuts, asparagus, broccoli, raisins, spirulina, plums, dulse, kelp, peas, legumes and brown rice, bitter gourd, cooked neem leaves etc are extremely beneficial for the health of your liver.
  • Prim rose oil and flax seed oil in their unfiltered organic varieties can take care of your liver.
  • Essential fatty acids, omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are also beneficial and they are found in fishes, fish oils and in nuts.

Things to avoid in order to prevent cirrhosis

  • If you want to bid adieu to liver damage and cirrhosis forever, you have to completely give up on alcohol and all kinds of alcoholic beverages.
  • You also have to stay away from drug abuse, LSD, ecstasy drugs, party drugs, cocaine, grass, pot, marijuana and everything else except doctor prescribed drugs as they can severely damage your liver.
  • Try to eat lesser quantities of animal protein such as eggs, fish, meat, poultry products, chicken etc.

Posted in Diet0 Comments

Conditioning a Barrel Horse

Barrel racing is a tough sport on both rider and horse. Barrel horses are athletes that need to be in really good condition when running barrels. A horse that is not in good condition and started on barrels may get sore and associate the pain with running barrels. This can lead to problems that are hard to correct.

If you plan on starting a horse on barrels or are getting a seasoned horse back into shape, start on their conditioning before putting them on the barrel pattern. Long trotting and slow loping are the best two ways to get a horse in top condition. These gaits will build up muscle and lung capacity allowing the horse to perform better and not be gasping for air after a run. Part of getting your horse into shape is building his lung capacity and stamina. Having an exercise program for your horse is the best way to monitor what exercise your horse is getting. This makes it easier to add or take away parts of the program according to his condition and needs.

Find a good, safe place to exercise your horse. An arena is good because of the cushion of the dirt or sand, but can become very boring for both you and your horse. If you have a large pasture you can do most of the exercising there. Dirt roads without rocks are good for this because the scenery isn’t so repetitive. Make sure that you don’t exercise your horse on ground that is too hard, like on roadways, cement or icy ground. Always put protective boots on your horse’s legs before riding to protect his legs from injury.

To get your barrel horse in condition you should work up to riding him six to eight miles three or four days a week. These days should consist of warming up with a walk, long trotting and slow loping. In the beginning you should do more walking and slowly take the walking time and add it to the trotting and loping segments. After walking a half of a mile, alternate long trotting and slow loping for a half of a mile. Do this for a week and then add another half of a mile. It can take months to reach the full six to eight miles, but getting a horse in top condition takes time and patience. Of course, if your horse is in good shape before starting the program you may increase the mileage faster.

On the days you aren’t following the exercise program you should your horse lightly or exercise him in a round pen. Allow your horse at least one day off a week to rest and relax. Turn him out in a pasture to run freely or lay around. This allows his muscles to still work, but at his own, natural pace. This also allows him to relax and not become bored with the exercise program.

After following this program for about 90 days you should see a vast improvement in your horse’s condition and stamina. He is almost at his peak performance at this point. Now you can add a sprint to your exercise program on one day of the week. Start out with a walk and trot to get his muscles warmed up and stretched. Ask your horse for a sprint for about 250 yards. Ask for as much speed as he will give you, allowing him to run as fast as he can. Slowly bring him down to a lope, trot and then a walk. Walk him until his breathing is even and he is cooled down. This does not need to be done more than once a week. If you are running your horse at a barrel race almost every weekend, you can skip this part of the workout.

Once you start competing regularly this rigorous exercise program can be cut down to a maintenance program. If you are competing almost every weekend you can shorten the exercise down to 45 minutes of walking, trotting and loping three to four days a week. Always be sure and give your horse at least one day off a week and don’t ride him hard every single day. Horses get bored with routine and can start to misbehave. Remember to not work him too hard the day of or the day just before a competition.

Posted in Workout0 Comments

The Top Seven Causes Of Workplace Stress And Fifteen Ways To Get Rid Of Them

Anyone who has ever worked knows that stress is part of the workplace. Stress in itself is not bad, in fact, we can’t live without it. Applying the correct amount of stress hardens our muscles, sharpens our minds, and strengthens our spirits. It is when we move from this “good” type of stress into distress that things begin to go wrong. The fact is, most people who work are feeling pressure from things going on both inside the workplace and outside the workplace. Let’s explore…

There are seven common stressors that effect how people feel about the workplace:

1. Being out of sync with one’s career values

2. Consistently applying burn out skills rather than motivated skills

3. Being delegated responsibility without authority

4. Being expected to produce more work with fewer resources

5. Job and career uncertainty and insecurity

6. The pace of change

7. Balancing family and work obligations

A combination of some or all of these seven stressors is the root cause of most, if not all, stress in the workplace. The indicators pointed out by many workplace surveys (working harder, feeling overwhelmed, work/life time priorities, irritability and frustration, zoning out with TV, feelings of helplessness, etc.) can be viewed as symptoms of these underlying root causes. Stress can be manifested by something as benign as someone having a tiff with a coworker to something as tragic as a disgruntled worker harming others. Following is a brief overview of each of the seven workplace stressors.

1. Being Out Of Sync With One’s Career Values

Put simply, career values are the personal principles or standards that govern our behavior in the workplace and that are important in our overall career decisions. Examples include job flexibility, time freedom, preferring either a fast- or slow-paced work setting, working alone, working with others, helping society, monetary reward, job stability, and so on. It is important that workers narrow down and define their 5 to 10 core career values. These core career values then become decision making and assessment points for people to measure and see if where they are working and what they are doing at work is in sync with their values. It is when someone is not in sync with her values that stress occurs. For example, if Jane’s top career value is work/life balance, but she is spending 80 hour per week at work, has not taken a family vacation in two years, and consistently misses her children’s school events; she has a values clash and stress occurs. The more she works, the greater the stress.

2. Consistently Applying “Burn Out” Skills Rather Than Motivated Skills

Skills are what people bring to the table to get work done. Budgeting, supervising, editing, computer programming, training, designing websites, etc., are examples of skills.

Motivated skills are the things that a person does well and likes to do. Burns out skills are the things a person does well but does not like to do. If someone is constantly applying his or her burn out skills rather than his or her motivated skills on the job, performance will begin to decrease, motivation is lost, and eventually “burn out” occurs.

Why don’t people always use and apply their motivated skills in the workplace? Most companies have a performance management system or performance appraisal process. It is in these systems and processes that motivated skills can be sabotaged. For example:

Sam, an account manager in a healthcare organization, has always been good at working with people, getting others to buy into his ideas, and documenting his work results. He completes a motivated skills assessment and learns that his main motivated skills (what he likes to do very much and is very good at doing) are employee training, sales, and writing. His burn out skills (what he is very good at doing but does not like to do) turn out to be planning and budgeting. His supervisor invites him to the annual appraisal meeting and the following conversation ensues:

Supervisor: “Sam, you did such a great job on the budget last year that this year instead of having you just do the planning and budgeting for our department, I’m going to ask that you do the planning and budgeting for the entire company. Again, you were so thorough and did such a great job that I think you should be rewarded.”

Sam: (Afraid to appear ungrateful and possibly jeopardize his job). “Well, thanks, but I…”

Supervisor: “Now don’t worry. I know working on the company-wide budget is going to take a lot of time. As such, I am revamping your account manager position and taking all of your training, sales, and report writing tasks off your plate. That should free you up to work strictly on planning and budgeting.”

Unless Sam speaks up and finds a positive way to negotiate himself back to what he likes to do and is good at doing, he will experience burn out, usually sooner rather than later. This burn out will lead to decreased motivation, which leads to less productivity, which leads to poor performance appraisals, and ultimately could result in Sam losing his job.

3. Being Delegated Responsibility Without Authority

This is a classic stress builder and is occurring more and more in organizations. Many people, especially those who have been with the company for a period of time, become taken for granted. Because they are always there and always willing to pitch in, it is often assumed that they will take on more and more work and responsibility. In essence, this creates a vicious cycle – as soon as one task or project is completed, it is assumed these loyal people will take on the next one with no consideration of their own time or motivational needs.

Because of the fast pace in most businesses these days, it is a common flaw that this work is assigned with no real structure in place as to who has the authority to carry it out – kind of a “just do it and don’t ask too many questions” approach. People in this position are often under self-imposed stress and end up working longer hours than many others in the organization, including the people who do the delegating.

4. Being Expected To Produce More Work With Fewer Resources And For Less Rewards

As managers are being asked to do more with less, they in turn pass this along to their work groups. This creates a see-saw of stress that bounces up and down the organizational chain. It is assumed that people will not push back on either of these points because it is an “employer’s market.” That is, there are more people looking for good jobs than there are good jobs available and the added stress of job security is imposed (more on this later.)

Along with the challenge of doing more with less, many employee benefits and/or reward programs are being “revised” or cut back. For example, many companies no longer carry over unused vacation from one year to the next…if you don’t use it you lose it. The irony being that it is harder to take time off because there is so much work to do and if a person does take a week’s vacation, the amount of work that piles up while out of the office kicks the stress drive into high gear once she returns to work. As such, many people don’t take a true vacation but take work with them or come into the office during vacation times just to keep the work from piling up too high. Holiday shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s is also being scaled back by many organizations. Promotions are tougher to attain. Some employers are even tampering with maternity leave by proposing a variety of flexible work schedules to dissuade employees from even taking leave. These “incentives” include items such as telecommuting, part-time hours, working during off hours, etc. Finally, there’s often a perception by workers that if they don’t play ball they will be “encouraged” to move on and find a different position.

5. Job And Career Uncertainty And Insecurity

It’s a fact: Most people in the workplace will have five to seven career changes over the course of their work lives. Some of these changes will be by choice, while others will be due to economic, business-related decisions, and other non-controllable factors. The fact remains, these changes are going to occur whether workers believe it or not, want them or not, or are ready for them or not.

Why so many career changes? It used to be that a person could go to work for a company and stay with the company for 30 or 40 years. If he or she was loyal to the company and did certain things in a certain way the company would take care of him or her. After a lifetime of employment the person would retire with a nice pension and a gold watch.

This type of informal employer-employee contract began to disappear in the 1980’s. From the early 1980’s through the mid-1990’s massive and unprecedented layoffs occurred (often in the name of the “bottom line”). Job security as we once knew it became a relic of the past. Today it’s all about becoming career self-reliant. The informal contract has changed to

“…we (the company) will give you the necessary resources (such as training and job aids) to do your job, but it is up to you (the employee) to determine where you want to go and what you want to do within this framework. Furthermore, there is no obligation on our part to ensure your job security – it’s up to you, the employee, to keep your skills sharp, your knowledge keen, and your career goals updated. Oh, but by the way, we expect you to work 45-60 hours per week, not say bad things about the company, and thank your lucky stars that you even have a job.”

This change in the informal employer-employee contract has snuck up on most workers and many still don’t realize this transition is occurring. In fact, the current workforce, those people aged 22 to 65 years, is the transitional generation of workers. What this means in terms of stress is that when many people (especially those between 30 and 65 years old) entered the workforce, they had an expectation of the way it used to work: That if one entered the workforce and was loyal to the company that the company would take care of her or him. After all, that’s what they heard from their parents and grandparents: “Get a good secure job, preferably with benefits, and things will be OK.” However, the reality has changed and people become confused and often fall into a survival mode of operation. They become afraid to challenge the status quo and question decisions made by the company decision makers (such as cutting vacation and other benefits, having more and more work piled on them, and being delegated more responsibility without the adequate level of authority to carry out the necessary tasks.)

6. The Accelerating Pace Of Change

Business decisions, technology, markets, and the economy – all seem to be changing at the speed of light. One day the company decides it is going to ramp up to provide product or service “A” and the next day switches to product or service “Z”. Workers invest time and energy to learn a new email program and 2 months later are asked to drop that one and learn a different one. Markets and the economy ebb and flow and the company reacts or even overreacts, setting off huge ripples of chaos and uncertainty within the organization.

These are things that managers and employees deal with on a daily basis. Over time, if a person does not learn to go with the flow of change, she or he will become overwhelmed when even the slightest change occurs. When someone reaches this point, something as simple as the company letterhead changing can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

7. Balancing Family And Work Obligations

There are two key family issues facing many in today’s workplace, 1) child care, and/or 2) elder care. This at a time when society, in the form of peer pressure and media advertising, continues to set the expectation that today’s worker should be able to do it all: Look great, be full of enthusiasm, have a great career, keep the home fires burning by taking care of children and/or parents, handle the pets, make over the spare bedroom, plan a fabulous vacation, the list goes on. It is worth mentioning that this sample list of perceived expectations was taken directly from just one evening of watching TV and noting commercials, sitcoms, and reality shows occurring during primetime. All these expectations foisted upon working folks in just a couple of hours. The question is, what message is this sending to workers and how are they dealing with it?

This constant effort of trying to be the perfect mom or dad, the perfect partner, the perfect worker, have the perfect body, drive the perfect vehicle and so on, is really taking a toll on workers and adding to the pile up of stress.

Summary Of Workplace Stressors

As you can see, the seven stressors mentioned overlap and integrate in such a way that it is no wonder that today’s workforce is becoming more and more stressed, apathetic, tired, and burned out. Being expected to do more with less, not having opportunities to recognize and apply their career values and motivated skills, having more responsibility heaped upon them without the necessary levels of authority to carry out the responsibility, and the constant nagging worry of keeping their jobs is a huge challenge for today’s workers.

Here’s The Good News: Fifteen Ways To Get Rid Of Workplace Stress

Although the stressors outlined above are real, it is always a good idea for people to assess how much reality versus perception we have in their individual situations. As such, take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions and to really think hard about if you have more power than you may think to change at least some of your situations for the better:

1. Am I bringing any of this on myself?

2. Are there things I can be doing to improve the situation?

3. Am I blaming someone or something else (my partner, my company, my children, traffic, etc.) for the degree of happiness I am attaining or not attaining in my life?

4. Am I actually taking control of what I can control and accepting what I cannot control?

5. Have I lulled myself into a false sense that my work and my non-work lives are beyond my capabilities to handle – am I copping out?

6. Do I know what my career values and motivated skills are? If not, how can I find out?

7. If I am unhappy with my work situation, what is my short-term action plan to transition to something better? Who controls this decision?

8. What are my long-term career action plans?

9. Am I being as time efficient as I can? Am I looking for ways to integrate tasks and projects?

10. Am I focusing on what needs to get done so that I don’t have to take work home?

11. Can I form a support group (possibly made up of trusted coworkers, friends, clergy, etc.) where I can safely share my concerns, vent my anger, and deal with non-productive emotions?

12. Am I a Type-A workaholic? If so, can I admit it and ask for help?

13. Do I use work as a convenient excuse to not deal with other facets of my life? (Primary relationship, self image, weight challenges, etc.)

14. What would it take for me to turn off the TV two nights per week and do something more energetic or socially responsible?

15. Are my tears and frustration at work really a symptom of something else going on in my life?

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Butt Acne Pimples – I Don’t Have Them Anymore and Neither Should You

Darn! It’s bad enough for some people to have to deal with acne breakout problems on the face, but for those of you who suffer with acne constantly breaking out on the buttocks, I feel your pain. And what about that acne’s nerve? I mean, it doesn’t care. It doesn’t discriminate. It has no sympathy. It will affect anyone at any age, race or gender at anytime and anywhere on the body – including the butt.

Pimples on the butt are an annoyance that you are constantly reminded about every time you sit down, or go to the bathroom, or take a shower, or put on a bathing suit, or whatever. They’re just there and you know it and you want them gone. I’m sure it’s disheartening when you find that your butt is sometimes literally covered with zits, even between the butt cheeks at times! These zits are unsightly and embarrassing, and they can also be very sore when they get inflamed – can’t they? And you’ve tried everything to get rid of them. You’ve tried scrubbing and scrubbing them hard and long, you’ve tried popping them, you’ve tried different over-the-counter and prescription medications, you’ve tried eliminating chocolate, just about everything you can think of, but they still seem to hang around.

What Exactly is Acne?

The most common form of acne develops when hair follicles on the skin become blocked with dead skin cells, coupled with the over-production of oil secretion by the sebaceous glands under the skin. When pores are blocked, oil builds up beneath them, causing bacteria to grow and multiply. Because of this, the affected area becomes inflamed and produces acne lesions or pimples in the form of pustules, cysts, whiteheads or blackheads.

What Causes Butt Acne?

The causes of acne on the buttocks vary but some common causes include irritation from non-fragrance free detergents or fabric softeners, stress, hormonal changes (not just women, men can have hormone fluctuations too), or perspiring under tight-fitting clothing. When you perspire with snug clothing on, perspiration from your sweat glands, your natural body oils and bacteria can clog pores and cause acne to start.

#1 “Get Rid of Butt Acne” Mistake

The biggest mistake that you can make when trying to get rid of acne on your rear is to overdo scrubbing the affected areas and not following an effective cure regimen. Do not scrub, scrub, scrub. This will only cause more irritation and encourage the bacteria and infection to spread and to fester.

What Can You Do?

Part of an effective butt acne cure regimen includes gently exfoliating the affected areas, by using a loofah or acne cleansing sponge to lightly wash your bottom, as opposed to abrasively scrubbing it.

Be sure to shower as soon as possible after perspiring heavily. Also, while exercising or doing other physical activities which cause you to sweat, be sure to wear cotton clothing that fits loosely. This will allow your skin to get more air and hinder the development of acne in undesired places, like your behind!

Do not pick or squeeze the pimples on your butt, this will cause them to become infected.

Follow an effective skin care regimen for your behind, just as you would your face. Note, the key word here is effective. So find one that actually works.

Acne or Keratosis Pilaris?

If you have a bunch of red or white bumps all over your butt, and possibly the legs too, that seems to be a little hard pimple rash, but you’re not really sure. It could be a condition called – Keratosis Pilaris. This condition develops when hair follicles become blocked and get inflamed because of the over reproduction of keratin proteins in the skin cells. This causes bumps to develop which usually seem to be worse in the winter months, more so than in the summer months. Also your doctor can prescribe Erythromycin 2% to help with the symptoms, but it probably won’t clear it up completely in most cases. Be sure to inquire about this type of butt acne at your next doctor’s visit.

Posted in Skin Care0 Comments

An Interview With Self-Realization Fellowship’s Brother Brahmananda

TIS: First of all, I wanted to offer my condolences on the passing of Sri Daya Mata.

BB: Thank you very much. It’s been nine days now.

TIS: Right. How is everyone in the Fellowship handling it?

BB: We’re doing well. We’re going to have a viewing of her body at Forest Lawn Memorial Park starting today for three days, and we’re having a public memorial service this Sunday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

TIS: Well I originally had wanted to speak to you about the true meaning of Christ at Christmas, which I would still like to touch on, but thought Sri Daya Mata’s passing offered an opportunity to talk about death, specifically in relation humanity’s fear of it, especially here in the west.

BB: You know, two books came out of her lectures, one of which was called Only Love and the other is Finding the Joy Within You, and in that latter book, she gives a description of a death experience she had many, many years ago when Yogananda was still with us.

TIS: I haven’t read either of those, so would you mind elaborating on it?

BB: Sure, not at all. In fact, once for some reason, we were on a telephone conversation together and she related this story directly to me, but she writes about it in detail in the book as well. She’d had a long meditation one evening and went to bed, and there was a tremendous pain in her side and she wondered what it was. The next morning she didn’t show up for breakfast, so one of the other nuns looked in on her and found out she wasn’t well. The nun called a doctor who said she had to go to the hospital. She said, “No, I will not go unless Master gives his consent.” Well he was out in the desert, about 150 miles away and there was no phone. Finally, they were able to get a taxi to go out there, and Master commented to a monk beside him, “You know, this is her time to die,” but he told Sri Daya Mata to go to the hospital. So she was taken to the hospital, and there was an operation, and as the surgeon was making his incision, she had the knowledge that he had made a mistake, but she wasn’t in the position to say anything. Then suddenly everything vanished.

There was a tremendous golden light, and she saw the spiritual eye and heard the great Aum sound reverberating through her. She said she was in a state of timelessness, and was beholding her whole life at one time, in the same moment. And then, out of the Aum sound came a beautiful voice saying, “This is death. Are you ready for it?” And in the light of the spiritual eye, she saw the world that was ahead of her filled with tremendous joy and intense communion with the Divine; it made the world we live in seem utterly gross and burdened by darkness. So she replied, “Yes, Divine Mother! One does not come this far into the other world and then want to go back. Why would I hold on to such grossness, when this divine bliss lies ahead of me?” But then the voice said, ever so sweetly, “But if I ask you to stay for Me?” She said she felt this tremendous thrill of joy. So she said, “You would ask me to stay for You? Yes, Divine Mother. Let me serve You!” And the voice said, “All right, my child. Now sleep,” and she lost consciousness. The operation proceeded successfully, and of course she came out of it.

TIS: Wow, amazing.

BB: So that just shows you her consciousness, and that was forty years ago and she’s been with us ever since then–until now. Although, I’m not sure she isn’t with us now, because just a couple of days before she left, she said to Mrinalini Mata, vice president of SRF, “When I’m gone, I’ll continue to love you all.”

TIS: So could you talk about why you think death is so hidden, or feared, especially in our western culture?

BB: Because there’s no background. In the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, we find that this whole universe is one of ongoing spiritual evolution in which Spirit freezes itself into solid matter, and gradually evolves itself back into Spirit, and this is going on all the time. It goes through the various kingdoms, the plant kingdom, animal kingdom, human beings and back to Spirit, and we’re part of that. So after perhaps eight million lifetimes in other life forms, the soul is here in human form.

The soul is individualized Spirit. It’s not as though we were ever created. We’ve existed always, but Spirit formed us from Itself and is drawing us back to Itself. So, as human beings, we incarnate from lifetime to lifetime, gradually evolving spiritually. Initially we experience the universe and the world through our five senses and what we’re seeking is joy. Well, it happens that joy is the very essence of Spirit. So what we’re looking for is Spirit itself, and we don’t find it through the senses. Gradually, through trial and error, we find that’s not going to work, and then comes the idea that perhaps the source of joy is inside.

TIS: Right.

BB: Now the great ones of India found techniques to quiet the body and mind so that one can begin to feel the inner bliss, the inner joy, the inner peace of Spirit, and that’s what Yoga is all about. And that is what we practice in Self-Realization Fellowship. Now, not having that understanding, people have no idea what death is about. We have our traditional ideas of heaven and hell, which don’t seem particularly logical, and a lot of people believe there is nothing beyond this physical world. They’re often uncertain. There is something inside us that says life goes on, and yet this seems refuted by the senses. So there’s doubt, uncertainty, and when there’s that kind of doubt, fear arises and I think that’s why people are so afraid of death. It’s the possibility of the extinguishment of our consciousness. Intuitively we know this won’t happen, but the fear is there.

For years now I don’t think I have, myself, had any fear of death. But there is a certain attachment to this physical body that everyone has. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be in it. Even realized souls have attachments to the body. Lahiri Mahasaya, the Guru of Yogananda’s guru, who was a disciple of Babaji, when he heard the message from his Guru that he was going to soon leave his body, he went into deep stillness. It took him a while to get used to the idea, so it’s an interesting phenomenon. We’ve all gone through it many, many times, but we don’t remember that.

TIS: Thank you for that insight. It’s helpful (at least for me) to have that understanding. So the other thing I wanted to discuss with you was Christ and its true meaning at Christmas time. Sri Daya Mata would always put together a beautiful message on this for both Christmas and Easter and I was hoping you could elaborate on that.

BB: Christmas represents spiritually the birth of the Christ Consciousness within us. Our essence is Spirit and Spirit is Cosmic Consciousness. We have been frozen as matter, and we’re evolving back to Spirit, eventually getting rid of the shells of delusion that surround us. Christmas represents the awakening of the soul to what it really is, and its mergence with that Christ Consciousness, which Yogananda said is the intelligence of the Divine throughout all of creation. As the seasons go, this is sort of the bottom of the yearly cycle where spring and summer lie ahead of us. There’s a kind of seasonal awakening which is represented in this ancient holiday that we now celebrate as Christmas. Esoterically, one can say this symbolizes the birth of the Christ Consciousness within us.

Now, what does Christ represent? On the altars of the Self-Realization Fellowship temples and centers, we have pictures of Christ and Krishna, who represent the same kinds of consciousness, Krishna in the East and Christ in the West. There’s a cultural aspect to this that is quite interesting. Carl Jung understood that there is tremendous spirituality in the East, in India, but he wouldn’t go there. He wouldn’t take it on, or get into that religious philosophy because he felt it was dangerous to his inner consciousness, as he was born a Christian. He gave the example of a friend who went deeply into the I Ching, traveled to China, and totally immersed himself in that culture–and eventually went mad. So Jung felt it would disturb his psyche if he did something similar. Now what Yogananda has done is to make the highest teachings of India assimilable by the western psyche.

You’ve mentioned you’ve been reading The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, the two volume set of Yogananda’s commentaries on the Christian Gospels. Selections from this work have been compiled in a much smaller book called The Yoga of Jesus, which is very nice.

TIS: Yes, I’ve read it in its entirety and it’s a wonderful introduction to the two volume series.

BB: It really is. The smaller book has the essence of the larger work, though it doesn’t have the marvelous introduction where Yogananda talks about his experiences with Christ, and the spirit of Christ that was with him as he wrote that scripture. But The Yoga of Jesus presents some key things, like the idea that at the birth of Jesus, the Magi–literally the priestly class in Iran or Persia at that time, were actually wise men from India, and as a youth Jesus went back to India to reciprocate that visit and thank them for it. Of course, there are other accounts of Jesus being in India. The Shankacharya of Puri, who visited the United States back in the 50’s through the auspices of Self-Realization Fellowship, told Sri Daya Mata that he had evidence in the Jagannath Temple in Puri of Christ being there. He was going to write about it but never had the opportunity. Yogananda said the same thing, and there are other sources, too.

So Jesus was in India and spent time there. He also spent time in Tibet with the Buddhists and then came back with all of that knowledge. Yogananda says that Jesus taught his disciples something very much like Kriya Yoga, which is our highest technique of pranayama, or control of life force, which brings the energy and consciousness inside. So Jesus was teaching that to his close disciples, but, to the masses he was speaking in parables — giving them ideas that would help them in their lives. What we’re teaching is what Christ really taught; he was a Yogi. That’s why we have the Yoga of Jesus.

TIS: Often during this time of the year, people debate whether Jesus was actually born on December 25th or not, does this date matter?

BB: I don’t think it really matters. Sure, there’s evidence that Jesus was born in the spring time, but it seems appropriate, as I said, to celebrate the birth of Christ Consciousness at this part of the yearly cycle.

TIS: Ok, so in closing could you talk a bit more about Jesus the man vs. the Christ Consciousness which was bestowed upon him?

BB: I suppose the key difference between our understanding of Jesus, and the traditional Christian understanding is centered in the third chapter of John, where Nicodemus is talking to Jesus. There’s the verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Those words indicate on the surface that the belief in Jesus, is the only way back to God. But, that can’t be. In the Bible, you have the example of Abraham as described by Jesus as being in heaven. Of course, Abraham had no experience of Jesus the man. When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am,” he fully identified himself with that consciousness of God, the Christ Consciousness, the vast intelligence of God throughout the universe. He felt himself as one with that, and he spoke from that vantage point. He spoke of himself as that Christ Consciousness.

That doesn’t preclude the possibility that there have been other great saints who were also one with that consciousness, Buddha, Krishna, and others. The traditional view is that Jesus is the only son of God. He said: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me,” and he’s talking from this state of Christ Consciousness, saying no one can expand back into Spirit without going through the Christ Consciousness that he was one with. So to me, that’s the great misunderstanding of Christian orthodoxy. Yes, Jesus is the only way, but that means the Christ Consciousness is the only way. I believe that man’s consciousness has existed for countless years on this planet, and many other planets, and obviously, this spiritual evolution, Spirit back to Spirit is an ongoing thing that doesn’t depend on one particular man, but it certainly does depend on that consciousness of God.

TIS: Thank you. I really appreciate your time.

BB: You’re very welcome.

Posted in Yoga0 Comments

Itchy Scalp and Thinning Hair? Tips and Advice That May Help

The other day, I received similar emails from both a man and a woman who described having an itchy, tingling scalp with hair loss that seemed accelerated and was accompanied by thinning.  Both wanted to know what they could do about their scalp (which hopefully would also help the hair loss.)  In truth, there are several reasons that these two things occur side by side or simultaneously.  I will discuss these things in the following article.

The Most Common Cause For An Itching Scalp Accompanied By Shedding Or Thinning Hair: By far, the most common cause for this condition is an over reaction to your scalp to the androgens that are on it.  Now, this may be a sudden onset of symptoms because either your hormones are changing, the androgens are increasing, or your sensitivity to the androgens is increasing.  All three of these things generally occur with age.   And, these things tie into genetic or androgenic hair loss, meaning your standard, run of the mill, patterned baldness or thinning.  Sometimes this is patterned (typically with more loss happening at the temples, crown, or top) or it can be more diffuse (especially in women.)

The treatments depend on how aggressive you wan to be and how bad the thinning really is.  Some people will only seek relief for the itching.  Tea tree oil is good for this as are anti inflammatory shampoos.  If you want to address the thinning, you will need to address the sensitivity at the follicles. However with that said, you will want to try things gradually and you should be very careful about any treatment that can affect or change your hormones, as hormonal vulnerability might just be what caused this. I often recommend starting with things that are placed on your scalp rather than going internally and taking things into your body.

Itchy Scalp Accompanied By Telogen Effluvium (TE):  Sometimes, for whatever reason, your follicles will go through a shed or a sort of spring cleaning.  This can occur, again, because of changing hormones, changing medications, illness, stress, and many other things.  Often, you will get shedding that will sort of run its course, and hopefully, end after a few months.  In the meantime though, since so many follicles are being shed out at one time, you can get a tight, itchy, or painful scalp while this is happening.

Now, sometimes, the thinning is caused as a result of the shedding, but sometimes miniaturization takes place. What this means is that your hair is growing back thinner and finer as the result of being affected by the androgens that I discussed above.  If your regrowth looks fine though, you’re typically over the TE hump and can just focus on reducing the inflammation of your scalp.

Other Considerations: Dermatological Conditions Of The Scalp: Sometimes, your scalp itches or looks angry because it’s having some reaction due to injury, allergic reactions, yeast, infections, or products that are injuring it.  This is typically something that your dermatologist can pinpoint with a sun lamp.  Sometimes, you will have reactions on other parts of your body other than the scalp.  You might see sores or bumps on the scalp.  Ask yourself if you have changed products or regimens. Thinning with these conditions is somewhat rare, although I have heard of this happening.

Posted in Hair Care0 Comments

What Type of Footwear Should I Put on For A Mini Trampoline?

The advantage of a mini trampoline is it can be utilized both outside and inside. This begs the particular question then: what type of footwear will be best suited? Will particular footwear wear down the trampoline pad? Would it be safe to jump with your bare feet? How about socks?

We’re here to reply to these kinds of questions once and for all so that you could increase your comfort as well as being safe.

Let’s begin by covering the shoes we recommend you DO use for your small trampoline. Certainly, you should first check with any paperwork that came with your rebounder regarding certain guidelines from the maker.

A set of tennis, running, or cross training shoes are ideal for working out on a small trampoline. They have enough traction on the soles to make sure you do not slide, yet they’re still gentle enough to not cause damage to the trampoline top layer over time. Additionally, these types of shoes provide great support for individuals that have poor arches or perhaps if you find your feet hurt after a round on the small trampoline. These types of shoes were created for bouncing, which will let you stay firm while jumping your way to your fitness goals.

Much better compared to tennis shoes are no shoes. Your own bare feet come with a natural non-slip sole. Additionally, you will be able to experience the subtle adjustments in the surface of the mini trampoline which will let you get used to changes in your jumping sequence. Also, bouncing on your naked feet can help improve your foot muscles that would otherwise not be used while using shoes. It truly is dependent on comfort and choice whether you choose to don tennis shoes or leave your feet bare.

An ideal compromise in between bare feet and footwear come in the form of Vibram FiveFinger shoes. They might look strange, but they definitely do provide you with the non-slip grip of a shoe with all the overall flexibility and subtle motions that are included with barefoot rebounding!

Regarding safety sake, our recommendation is that you don’t use the following when using a little trampoline. You’ll also extend the life span of your trampoline by following these suggestions.

Though it may be inviting to jump with your socks, especially when doing exercises at home, it’s a bad idea. Your socks give the bottom of your feet with no proper grip in any way. The top of the trampoline is sleek also. Add to that the proven fact that you’ll be jumping and twisting on the trampoline and it’s a recipe for disaster.

If we have not previously mentioned it in this posting, then it’s probably not smart to wear on a mini trampoline. We’re discussing stuff like flip-flops, sandals, cleats, boots, dress shoes, high heel pumps, slip-ons, the list can go much more. Use common sense and stick to bare feet or athletic shoes having soft soles while rebounding. It is going to make sure that you as well as your trampoline last for years in the future.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Nutrisystem and Cancer

The other day, I received an email from someone who asked me for information about “Nutrisystem and cancer.” She was no more specific than this. I wrote her back and asked for more information, but in the meantime, I began Googling the two phrases together. This is a question that I had never been asked before and I must admit that it had me stumped because I’ve been on this diet and in weight loss forums for a long time and I’ve never seen or heard these two phrases connected. However, I did research the topic and I did get more information from the writer of the email. I’ll discuss this more in the following article.

Nutrisystem’s Website’s Mention Of Cancer: Googling these two phrases together did not yield much information. I found some women in a breast cancer forum discussing the Nutrisystem diet but there was no correlation between their health and the diet. They were simply talking about weight loss as women, not as patients.

I then found one mention of the word cancer on the company’s website (under terms and conditions,) but this was merely a sentence saying that there is a correlation with being 20 percent over your ideal weight and an increased risk for certain types of illnesses. There is a long list of examples of the illnesses and cancer is one that is listed. This is a pretty broad statement that you will generally see on most weight loss websites.

Low Carbohydrate / High Protein Diets And Cancer: Eventually, the person who sent the email got back to me and offered more information. She really wanted to know if low carb / high protein diets contribute to cancer. And since Nutrisystem is “glycemic friendly,” she thought that it might fall under this category.

This diet does limit carbs and focus on getting lean protein. However, many of the high protein diets cited as being potentially harmful to your health limit fruits and high carbohydrate vegetables. This diet does not go that far. You are asked to add in fresh sides (which can include fruits and vegetables) at every meal.

Many of the critics of high protein diets are concerned that the lack of fruits and vegetables contribute to your not getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not only are Nutrisystem’s foods fortified with these things, but the diet asks you to add in your own healthy fresh foods at each meal to ensure that these basis are covered. I do understand the concern if you are on a very strict diet that limits fruits and whole grains, but this is not one of them.

Using Your Own Common Sense: Of course, you should discuss any concerns about this or any diet that you might be considering with your doctor. The company’s website does stress that it’s not offering any medical advice and that you should rely on your doctor, not the website, for information about your health.

However, I think that if you look at the nutritional information of the foods, you might be pleasantly surprised. Sure, they are glycemic friendly, but they are not overly restrictive. You are not only allowed but encouraged to eat fruits vegetables, and whole grains on this diet. The idea is to encourage a healthy lifestyle, not a dangerous one.

Posted in Diet0 Comments

Page 20 of 240« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »