user-icon chevron-right minus plus cross google shopping-cart caret-down chevron-down chevron-circle-up menu search youtube facebook twitter rss linkedin2 pinterest

outdoors

The sense of enjoyment is a central consideration in whatever exercise program you choose. Any physical activity carried out with your teeth gritted virtuously thinking that you are, after all, doing your duty can only be counterproductive.

Featured

Your Silent Sea

Your Silent Sea

There are five main channels for detoxifying your body: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the bowels and the lymphatic system. None is less less recognized, nor more important in spring-cleaning the body, than your lymphatic system. Yet the state of its health and functioning is still almost completely ignored. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep skin healthy, youthful and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and help prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body's metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of toxic debris which cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and of stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells. WASTE DISPOSAL So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses— ranging from rheumatism or cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin-brushing, special breathing techniques, and infra red saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid which flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. They have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of the body as a whole. Making use of these techniques is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty. WHITE BLOOD MAGIC Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids”. A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi's observation by saying: 'Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman's body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.' Five liters of this 'seawater' are to be found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest is in your lymphatic fluid or lymph—sometimes called 'white blood'. Thanks to the lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids, so that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. For cells and tissues to be nourished, for them to remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance, and the water itself needs to be relatively uncontaminated. BEAUTIFUL FLUID In your body, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to enable the nutrients and oxygen to be exchanged for the wastes which the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. These lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. In fact, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels which drain excess fluid, and the wastes which it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries the wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. The lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND The microscopic network of these lymph channels resembles the blood capillaries, except that it is finer. And the lymph system in many ways is rather like the blood system except that, while the blood system is powered by the action of the heart muscles, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead, its nourishing, water-balancing and eliminative functions are almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles which occurs when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements—together with biochemical factors, such as whether or not excessive quantities of protein are present in the fluid—keep the lymph flowing and make it possible for the lymphatics to carry out their important task of bodily cleansing. For good lymphatic functioning—to keep your body free of the buildup of wastes and toxicity—you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks in comfortable shoes, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues.

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

One of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world uses hot and cold baths and showers to increase your vitality, balance hormones, beautify skin, tone muscles, clear your mind, and vitalize your nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulation. It quickly brings you a sense of wonderful aliveness, and all the while it is dissolving, transporting, and clearing rubbish from your body and psyche. Father Sebastian Kneipp The father of all water therapies was Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian priest who first made us aware of water’s healing power. “When used appropriately,” he said, “water and herbs can cure almost every disease.” He established Bad Worishofen in Germany in 1897, a center where people all over the world came to be healed by special ice cold baths, walking barefoot in the snow, and other simple but powerful methodologies that are celebrated to this day. I first learned the secrets of water healing in my early twenties after spending many years in a state of ill health thanks to my being raised on a terrible diet. It had been based on huge bowels of breakfast cereals piled high with white sugar, horrid fast foods eaten at 5 am in truck drivers’ cafes throughout America, and a lot of other junk. No wonder I was unhealthy. However, what I learned from the generosity of some brilliant British and European doctors who practiced natural medicine turned my entire life around. This was how I came to work in, write about, and teach natural methods of healing. It is also how I came to visit Kneipp’s centers for hydrotherapy, which still continue to thrive, especially in Germany. In many ways the most important of all I learned was how powerful healing with simple water techniques can be for improving your life at any time. Let me share with you one of these techniques. Do try it and let me know how you get on. There are many more, but let’s begin with this one. Thanks to water's chemical and bioelectrical properties, and to your body's physiological and energetic responses to them, water therapy is a superb method for cleansing, energizing, and restoring great functioning to any tired or aging body. The technique of using alternating applications of hot and cold water is called “Contrast Hydros.” If you have not yet experienced the turn-on it offers, you have a real treat ahead. After a workout, athletes use hydroelectrics in the form of contrast baths and showers to strengthen the body, prevent muscular damage, and eliminate aches. Contrast hydros not only help clear wastes and vitalize but also bring nutrients and oxygen to areas of your body that need them and balance your energies, helping to protect you from stress-induced damage. Here is how Apply hot water to your whole body for three or four minutes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Follow with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water. Repeat the procedure three times. The application of cold water needs to be just long enough to make blood vessels constrict. This can take place in as little as 20 seconds. Cold water triggers your sympathetic nervous system to energize while hot water intensifies parasympathetic activity for relaxation. The combination of the two makes you feel great. It’s important that you start slowly, increasing the length of your exposure to hot and cold water gradually. If you have a separate bath and shower you can use the bath for one temperature application, the shower for the other, moving back and forth. During the summer, make your bath cold and your showers hot. During the winter, reverse this. Like any natural treatment, contrast hydros need to be followed carefully and wisely to get all the benefits they offer and to make sure no harm is done. You will probably find at first that a plunge into cold water or a cold shower is a shock to your body. Soon this will turn into an experience of total pleasure. It is always the first cold application that is the hardest. The biggest barrier to getting into cold water is a psychological one. Once you leap this hurdle you’ll find yourself eagerly looking forward to your daily treatment. Here are a few cautions: Always check with your doctor before beginning any natural treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for you. He or she may advise you not to use contrast hydros if you have any kind of heart condition, nervous disorder, high blood pressure, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, or suffer from hardening of the arteries. Make sure your body is warm before beginning. The room should be well heated. Don’t let your body become chilled during the treatment. If you feel yourself becoming too cold, immediately stop and get into a hot bath or shower until you warm up fully. Always begin with a hot application and end with cold. Start slowly with 2-3 minutes of hot application followed by 20 seconds of cold. As your body gets used to contrast hydros, increase the time of the cold applications up to 1 minute (even up to 2-3 minutes if you are extremely fit or an athlete). When you finish, dry your body well and dress warmly. I’d love to hear how you get on so I can share with you other hydroelectric treatments that cost virtually nothing but can be wonderfully life enhancing.

Cancer: Let Nature Protect You

Cancer: Let Nature Protect You

Cancer is the most feared disease amongst women. These days we’re bombarded with propaganda about how dangerous it is. We’re told we need to be using drugs and expensive medical procedures to protect ourselves from the dreaded cancer in its myriad of forms. I believe it’s time to turn away from all the drama, and get practical. Fifty years ago I was trained by some of the finest medical doctors. These men and women had all been conventionally trained MDs. But each one of them had chosen to leave behind the approach to treating illness by prescribing powerful and potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. They chose instead to teach people how to access their own natural potentials for creating highlevel health and protecting themselves from illnesses. Thanks to all I learned from them, I was able to raise my own four children without drugs, as well as transforming my own health. Let me share with you some of the things I learned from them when it comes to helping protect your body from cancer and other illness. You will need to make some simple yet profound changes in the way you may have been living. But, in the process, it can help you—as it did me—to expand your health so effectively that you will never look back. By the way, did you know that less than 10% of all cases of breast cancer are likely to be related to genetic risk factors? Other risk factors are almost all environmental issues. For we live in a highly poisonous world which you need to learn to protect yourself from. Here’s my simple checklist. How many of these changes are you willing to make in your life to achieve high-level wellness long-term? Stop buying convenience foods from supermarkets and clear all of these foods out of your kitchen now. They are full of pesticides, colorants, chemicals and flavor enhancers all of which are fundamentally damaging to your body and health. Go for REAL foods in everything you eat: Meats and eggs from pastured organic animals, only wild fish— never farmed fish—and organically grown dark greeb vegetables and a few low glycaemic fruits. Grow as many of these as you can in your own garden or kitchen windows, or find a good source near you and shop there. Get plenty of Vitamin D3. Hang out in the sun if you are lucky enough to live in a sunny country. It is a proven fact that the more elevated your solar UVB exposure is before 11am and after 3pm, the less susceptible you will be to developing cancer of many kinds. If you live in a country with little sunlight, be sure to take a supplement of vitamin D-3+vitamin K-2 twice a day. You’ll need between 2000 and 5000 IU of D-3 and 100mcg-200mcg of vitamin K-2. Never cook your meats at ta very high a temperature. Charring may taste good but it is not good for you and has been strongly associated with cancer risk. Never eat unfermented soy in any form, be it milk, tofu, or any other. If you want to eat soy, be sure it is only fermented soy and is non-GMO, traditionally fermented soy including natto, tempeh, miso and tofu. These fermented soy products may even help prevent cancer. Drink a pint of green juice from organically grown vegetables every day without fail. Take a top quality omega-3 oil every day. Steer clear of electromagnetic fields every chance you get. Don’t use Wi-Fi in your home. If you need to use it, turn off the Wi-Fi as soon as possible. When you do not have to use your cell phone, make sure it is in Airplane Mode. Get plenty of simple exercise daily: walking, dancing, weights, Pilates, whatever you like best, and make this a habit. Re-establish your body’s healthy weight and stay that weight. These simple measures work like a dream for everyone.

Exercise Reborn

Exercise Reborn

By now I’ve worked with thousands on Cura Romana. I have tried to help them come to terms with the fact that the program has little in common with conventional slimming diets. These demand that you grit your teeth, summon up every ounce of willpower, and exercise like a fanatic not only while you are losing weight but ever afterward. Such an attitude breeds fear. We have been taught by the media and all those slimming gurus that, just like denying yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food during weight loss, if you don’t force yourself to exercise vigorously you will never reach your weightloss goals. After all, we are told, the body needs discipline. Like a resistant child, the body must be forced to do what is good for it whether it likes it or not. DESTRUCTIVE NONSENSE Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not need to exercise on the CURA ROMANA JOURNEY. Because of the dynamic nature of this unique protocol—unless you are someone who is in the habit of exercising regularly just because you love it—while you are on the rapid weightloss part of the program, exercise can actually be counter-productive. Why? Because the biological, physiological and spiritual transformation that takes place in your body on the program need space and time to be able to take place in their own unique way. So do the “miracles” of enhanced self-awareness and capacity for joy which participants report . Extra pressure exerted from outside by trying to push your body hard or altering the exacting dietary protocol because you think this will make you lose more weight faster will not work on Cura Romana. Don’t even think about it. Now, after more than three years of doing my best to get this through to participants on the program, I think I am beginning to succeed. It is time for exercise to be reborn. Facing a run, swim or cycle as a chore is missing the point. Movement—whether dancing, yoga, weights, Pilates, swimming or what-have-you is never something you ‘should’ do because you are ‘supposed to’. Exercise has enormous value. It is an important key for reconnecting with your essential being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So let’s throw out all the ‘shoulds’ we’ve had forced down our throat, and explore the real power of movement and discover how, when it is done for pleasure, excecise can literally transform your life. MOVE FOR JOY Joy is a powerful motivator. Once you discover this your whole experience of exercise changes forever. Far from being something you do quickly to get it over with—a chore you ‘virtuously’ suffer through—it becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of your life. American enthusiast the late George Sheehan, whose legacy still continues to inform people of the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.” Running easily down a country road at dawn, gliding through water, speeding down a mountain covered with fine snow, are meant to be done for their own sake—for the sheer pleasure of it. The fact that these activities are good for you becomes incidental to the sensuous, delicious, unexpected pleasure you can come to experience. As you discover this for yourself, you begin to know what moving your body is all about. In the next few weeks I want to explore exercise—movement—and its relationship to joy, authentic freedom, and wellbeing on every level of our lives in a whole new way. I’m excited about doing this and I hope you will enjoy what comes of it and that in the simplest ways it can help enhance your connections with your own body and your life as a whole.

Jump For Joy

Jump For Joy

Skipping, jumping, running on the spot and arm flinging on a firm mini-trampoline is an amazingly beneficial and fun form of exercise. Rebounding will do all that other forms of aerobic exercise can—strengthening your heart and lungs, firming your muscles and more—because of the unique way in which your body is subjected to the changing force of gravity when it bounces. Rebounding crosses the generation gap too. It can be done as easily and as effectively by a six-year-old as it can by an ailing seventy-year-old whose muscles and joints have long before lost some of their capacity for smooth movement. Believe it or not, there are top athletes who use rebounders as part of their training program. Yet the infirm are given rehabilitation on the same kind of rebound exercise devices. It all depends on how you use the equipment. The units, which look like low coffee-tables, consist of a steel or aluminium frame on six or eight legs, over which is sprung a drum of firm but elastic material on which you bounce. They sit somewhere between six and ten inches off the floor, and come in many different sizes and shapes—oval, round, polygonal, square. They don't seem out of place in the corner of a kitchen, or tucked away in the bedroom. In fact, you can use a bouncer anywhere. If you’re someone who dislikes the rigmarole of changing, running and showering, or you find exercise ‘too boring for words', you can do your bouncing at home—even with small children running around. You can dress any way you like, watch movies, listen to music or carry on a conversation while you are exercising. MANIPULATING GRAVITY From a physiological point of view, what gives rebounding its power for building fitness, improving health and retarding aging is the way it makes use of the force of gravity. Apart from a Power Plate, this is the only form of overall vertical, rather than horizontal, exercise anywhere. The up and downward movement on a bouncer, coupled with acceleration-deceleration, brings about continual changes in the force that gravity exerts on your body. All your organs, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, even individual cells are energized in a way no other form of exercise can accomplish. When running or skipping on a bouncer, the G-force at the top of the bounce is non-existent. For a moment, your body experiences the weightlessness of an astronaut in space. Then when you come down again onto the elastic mat, the pull of gravity is suddenly increased to two or three times the usual G-force on earth. This puts all parts of your body, from the tiniest cell to the longest bone, under rhythmic pressure. GREAT STUFF The cellular stimulation the body receives from continual gravity/non-gravity exposure has remarkable and unique benefits. Waste materials in cells are gently eased out into the interstitial fluid so they can be carried through the lymph system and eliminated from the body. Increased oxygen is brought to the cells enhancing cell metabolism. Cell walls get stronger and healthier. Cells function more efficiently with repeated use of a rebounder. This leads to a gentle but effective detoxification of your whole system. The texture of your skin improves. Energy levels rise. Often even within only a few days, your body begins to look younger and feel better, freer, more alive. And because rebounding is amusing, it is a form of exercise which even resistant lounge-lizards take to. Taking it up one week doesn't usually mean giving it up the next. BOUNCE YOURSELF LEAN James R. White, a researcher in rehabilitation at the University of California at San Diego, designed an interesting study in the long-term effectiveness of weight-loss programs using exercise. He put some people on rebounders. Others rode bicycles; some ran on a treadmill. The control group did nothing except diet. All who exercised lost a significant amount of weight and showed a definite increase in the level of their fitness. But in the follow-up study designed to test long-term effectiveness of regular exercise, only 5 percent of the cyclists and 31 percent of the runners were still exercising, while a sound 58 percent of the bouncers were still bouncing. It helped keep off the pounds they’d shed. The explanation bouncers gave for continuing to exercise was simple. First, it was easy. Second, it was great fun. REBOUNDING FOR REHAB A number of sports medicine specialists report that using a bouncer regularly is a great way of exercising when your body has sustained some kind of injury, such as a twisted knee or Achilles tendonitis. It provides any sports enthusiast a chance to maintain his fitness while helping his injury heal. It also helps you avoid the familiar depression that sets in when you cannot exercise. Indeed, many exercise physiologists insist that, because of all the benefits rebounding brings the body—right down to a cellular level—it is a significant and powerful tool in encouraging healing, both of minor injuries and of degenerative conditions including arthritis. At Elks Hospital, Idaho, Dr Kenneth Smith, former head of the Department of Rehabilitation, reports success in using rebounders when rehabilitating patients with orthopaedic or neuromuscular conditions. In a large study involving 2,300 patients in California, where rebounding was used as the major form of physiotherapy, researchers reported excellent results. Bouncing strengthened muscles, eliminated and prevented pain in the lower back and elsewhere, and was helpful in treating both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Bottom line: Manipulating gravity is not just fun. It’s great for healing and ideal for helping you feel wonderfully alive.

Why You Should Climb Rocks

Why You Should Climb Rocks

The first time I climbed a rock was 35 years ago. I was terrified. I was the only woman on an all men Outward Bound course for top executives, which purported to teach them to work better as a team in the corporate world. The course was run by a ruthless retired Major from the SAS. He was also a Scottish Rugby International with an ego to match. TESTS AND MORE On the first day, each participant had to choose from one of three activities that he would follow for the week—canoeing, underwater diving or climbing. I rejected diving and canoeing, since neither posed a challenge to me. I carelessly opted for rock climbing. Whatever activity one chose, the course demanded that we accomplished a series of personal tests. These became more and more severe as the week went on, culminating in an all-day challenge which was a bit like a grail quest. All challenges were team challenges. On the final day, the grand quest involved doing something over the water (which the canoeists did), under the water (which the divers did) and, for us climbers, scaling a pinnacle of rock high above the trees, towering above the river—a place, we were told, where “only men and gods dared go.” DAY ONE Having opted for rock-climbing on the afternoon of that first day, I stood at the foot of a spiky rock surrounded by 10 men who had made the same choice as I had. Most of them were none too happy to have a woman as part of their team—something that did not inspire self-confidence in me at the challenge that lay ahead. Our climbing tutor turned out to be a muscular creature with a voice as gorgeous as Richard Burton and a caustic sense of humor. I later found out that, in addition to being accomplished at rock climbing, he was also the director of an adventure center in the wilds of Wales, as well as an expert at mountaineering and orienteering. His name was Graham Jones. Graham stood in shorts with legs spread and hands on his hips at the top of the rock and shouted to us below, “Which one of you is going to go first?” My male colleagues shuffled around, looking down at their feet. They failed to respond to Graham’s demand. Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with contempt from other members of my team at being forced to work with a woman. Far more important, I was frozen with fear. This made me blurt out, “I’ll go first.” “OK,” shouted Graham, “get moving.” MY CHALLENGE I started up the rock. I had no idea if I’d ever get to the top. I had to grab onto any little crevice I encountered with the tips of my fingers. Then, instinctually, I began to move the way a spider does, reaching out with hand or foot, pulling up, sliding over, reaching out again. I completely stopped thinking; it felt far too dangerous to think. At that point, I discovered something amazing: When you are crawling over a rock face, stresses concerning anything else in your life vanish. Mental chatter goes silent. There is only your body and the rock face. It is one of the most exciting relationships I have ever formed with anything or anyone… A simple, authentic freedom develops that cannot be described. It can only be lived. When I got to the top, Graham was waiting. The scowl he’d worn looking down at us from the top of the rock was now gone. He was grinning like a wicked child. Without warning, he handed me a rope woven through a stitch plate. The other end of the rope was tied to the belt of one of the men standing below. This guy was big—maybe 90 kg—rotund and awkward. “Wrap the rope around your waist,” Graham told me. “Put it over your shoulder then hold while he climbs.” “There’s no way I can hold this guy.” I said, and began to tremble. “Climb,” shouted Graham to the man below. “We don’t have all day.” I did the best I could to tighten the rope through the stitch plate in my hand as the man got closer. Halfway up, the guy did come off the rock. I held on for dear life. To my amazement, I found I could hold him without difficulty. Of course, what I did not know is that Graham had also tied me to a tree so even if I had failed in my belaying duties, neither he nor I were in any real danger. Like a lot of outdoor activities, provided it is done right, the danger of climbing is an illusion. For a beginner, this illusion is essential to make it a worthwhile activity. Complete trust in your instructor is as essential as the illusion of fear. You cannot leap into the process until you are confident that your instructor knows what he is doing. THE VALUE OF FALSE DANGER Rock climbing can feel like the most frightening thing you can do. Such beginner’s fear is of great value. Enduring it can ultimately breed confidence. In reality, skilful rock climbing puts much more emphasis on mental and emotional strength than on physical prowess. Because of this, I think it may well be the most valuable of all outdoor sports activities. Most of us could make a list a mile long of things we are unable to do. Rock climbing has a remarkable way of shortening that list tremendously. Anybody who has scaled 100 feet of sheer rock straight up rapidly comes to know there is little one can’t accomplish, if one sets one’s mind to it. Most climbers will agree that rock climbing is far more than a mere sport. It is a perpetual challenge to climb better, faster, and with more agility than before. Soon, you develop more skills than you ever imagined you’d have. This special relationship develops between you and the rock: A sense of closeness and friendship. Once established, you begin to experience the most extraordinary sense of “flowing over” the rock—almost like a dance. This relationship demands all of your attention. This is how, while you are on the rock face, there can be nothing on your mind except how you are going to make the next move, find your way, keep going. It’s an experience which somehow sets your spirit free. I had never dreamed that I could get to the top of the rock. Graham taught me how to do it. You put one hand or one foot in front of the other. You care only about one step at a time. A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. By the way, all the men in our team who had treated me scornfully that first day had elected me leader of the team three days later. When the final day’s holy grail task took place, our team not only won the much sought-after grail prize. We achieved the highest number of points ever given to any team in the history of the organization. Miracles can happen! TRANSFORMING LIVES My experiences rock climbing, and later climbing mountains, are by no means unique. Deprived children who have never set foot out of the city have similar experiences and are rewarded with similar self-transcendence. The main difference between you and them is that you will be aware of what is going on, while they just blindly follow. Yet they, too, transcend themselves as we do. Rock climbing seems a dangerous sport, and because of its inherent dangers, safety rules and equipment are excellent. Provided you use them, you are safer on the rock face than you would be on the motorway. Yet there is something about the feeling of danger when you are climbing a rock or abseiling down from the edge of a cliff that is very valuable in terms of breaking through self-perceived limitations. You are safe, and yet you are presented in an immediate way with the idea of death. TAKE A COURSE You do not have to be fit to begin climbing. Take it slowly, climb regularly and you will rapidly gain skills and become fit. Sheer face climbing requires skill more than brute force. To learn, you can either join a club or go on a course where a guide teaches you. The best climbing gear is a pair of riding breeches with long socks, although a pair of straight-legged jeans or trousers will do just as well in the beginning. The equipment itself—ropes, belts, helmets and shoes—is usually supplied by the course. You’ll never know how much rock climbing or mountaineering can do for you until you try it. The exercise you’ll get is invaluable for toning muscles, improving skin and bringing you a new sense of vitality, whatever your age. Equally important, it can take you away from your everyday problems. You find yourself faced with totally different, unknown and unforeseen tasks to accomplish. I also love the way there is no competition involved in rock climbing. The only thing you are working against is yourself—bettering previous attempts, becoming more skilled, gaining more confidence in your judgment and yourself. This alone is what matters. There are very few areas in anybody’s life where you can say that. Try it. You may well come to love it as much as I have, no matter what your age.

Exercise And Transformation

Exercise And Transformation

Not only is wholeheartedness important if one is to realize the full potential for exercise, the enormous power for self-expression and physical transformation which can come through movement only takes place when muscles and exercise are also linked through mind-body awareness. We are not machines, no matter how much we are told otherwise. When we have treated ourselves as such, either by neglecting to care for our physical needs or by forcing our bodies through exercise routines like automatons, we both create distortions of posture and body shape and dissipate precious adaptive energy instead of renewing it. In fact most of us have quite literally grown up with postural distortions which over the years become so much a part of us they are almost like physical symbols for our personality. When you begin to approach exercise from a more unified perspective it's important to find ways of unlocking some of the residual tensions which underlie these distortions and to set the body free to move naturally so we can make the most of whatever form of exercise we choose to do. A good yoga teacher can help you do this gradually over a period of time. So can some very simple exercises which I learned from a quite extraordinary movement teacher called Lilla Bek. Herself a longtime teacher of yoga as well as an acclaimed healer and writer, Lilla Bek's approach to movement is an ancient one - based on the principles of sacred dance where the body is not only put through its physical paces to tighten muscles and firm contours but to balance the body's energies through what in mystic traditions are known as the chakra centers. There are believed to be seven of these, starting at the base of the spine and rising through the solar plexus to finish at the crown of the head. Each chakra is said to be connected with specific endocrine glands and to influence the functions of organs related to it as well as energy in the part of the body it governs. Each is also believed to have specific psychic qualities - the one in the belly, for instance, is said to be connected with the actions of the will, while the chakra at the throat is a center for creative energies, particularly artistic ones and for self expression. The purpose of sacred dance is to revitalize the energetic circuits of the body and mind and to unify the system so that one connects up both with the earth as well as one's own energies and is fed by them. Whether or not the chakra system is ever validated by scientific research, working with exercise and movement in this way can be a superb means of integrating mind and body as well as working out long-standing bodily tensions and postural distortions that make you look and feel older than you are. After a while your body really does become a vehicle for the expression of the inner being. Its movements become naturally graceful and authentic. Over a period of time even the most distorted frame seems to untwist itself as the muscles are freed from chronic postural habits and tensions which deplete energies and undermine natural beauty. But for me the most rewarding thing of all in beginning to work in an energetically aware way with movement is the extraordinary levels of energy it brings. It is as if you create for yourself a link with the earth which supports you at a high level of calm vitality long after other, more disconnected, exercisers have fallen by the wayside. postures for transformation To begin working energetically rather than mechanically with your body it is necessary to do two things. First you need to identify areas of chronic tension, which are distorting body shape and posture, and eliminate them by an active process of letting go. Second you need to begin drawing conscious awareness to the ways in which even the smallest movement, whether it takes place while running, dancing, speaking or whatever, affects muscle groups and energy-focus in other areas of the body not directly related to the muscles doing the work. Lilla Bek has worked out some gentle but useful postures which do both. 'Most people,' she says, `even very active people, have many areas of residual tension which restrict full movement and interfere with the free flow of energy so that they become unnecessarily fatigued. These areas are really the result of how we live and how we use our bodies. Our waking hours are largely spent using only a small amount of space right in front of us - for instance as when we are driving a car or eating, working at a desk or watching television. Every group of muscles in the body has another that works in opposition to it. When we restrict our movement to such a small space we tend to contract the muscles of one group without ever doing any kind of contrastretch to bring its opposing muscles into play. This is how chronically tense muscles lead to body distortions such as dowager's hump, slumped shoulders, excessively curved backs and the rest.' undoing the kinks The postures Lilla Bek uses to undo long-standing kinks in the body are designed specifically to create a contrastretch for each group of chronically tightened muscles. At the same time, because they are done slowly and deliberately in a deeply relaxed state they make it possible for the person practicing them to begin experiencing just how connected up his body is energetically. Take the movements implied in Leonardo's famous spread-eagled man for example. Hold yourself in this position and slowly move your arms from your sides to above your head - palms turned outwards. At each level of movement you will find that a different group of muscles come into action which are quite separate from those of the arms and shoulders involved in the movement. First the lower abdomen is tightened and the energy there is stimulated, then the solar plexus, the chest and the area of the heart chakra come into play. Then the jaw line, the lower face and ears, the roof of the mouth, the eyes, cheeks and forehead each in their turn are activated as you move your arms higher and higher. To someone who has never had any consciousness of the energetic phenomenon of exercise and the unification of body movement such an experience is like a revelation. Practice a few of the postures which heighten your body awareness and you will find very soon not only that your posture changes as your body becomes more fluid and more supple and a more articulate expression of your being, but when you turn to your aerobics or your yoga or your running or your sacred dance there is a lightness and a freedom which you have never experienced before. Here are five of Lilla Bek's simple postures. Spend two to five minutes on each once a day and you are likely to experience new energy levels as well as a sense of authentic natural grace which no amount of mechanical jogging around the park or sweating it out in they gym can match. the opening This position has a remarkable ability to open out the body, expanding the chest, releasing chronic tension from the neck and shoulders, gradually smoothing out hollow backs, and greatly expanding contracted hip joints. here's how Lying flat on the floor relax and close your eyes. Ask a friend to take a look at the position of your chin. It should be pointing straight up at the ceiling, forming a right angle with your neck.  If it is higher than this, place a book under your head to bring it back into alignment. As the natural alignment of your spine improves you will need a thinner and thinner book until you can do it without one altogether. Does your back lie flat against the floor or is there a hollow? An arched spine indicates that you normally hold your chin wrongly which stretches the skin of the neck and creates a double-chin look. How far are your shoulders off the floor? Do they differ in this? As chronic tension is released by doing the exercise regularly your shoulders will come closer and closer to the floor, your back will lengthen and your chin will naturally align. Draw your right foot up while placing your palms downwards on the floor and rest it near your buttocks. Do the same with the other foot placing your heels together, soles flat on the floor. Now, starting with your palms against the sides of your hips, begin to explore the space around you with your arms and notice the parts of your body which slowly moving your arms outwards and upwards activates. Moving your arms up and out you begin to activate energy first in the pelvic area, then the solar plexus, heart, thymus, forehead and top of the head. When you get to the level where you are lying with your arms in line with your shoulders, let your hands open slightly and you will have reached the level of the throat energies. Explore the feel of each level of the arms in turn by moving them slowly and then leaving them at each level to sink quietly to the floor. If while doing this you gradually open out or close your fingers you will produce many interesting changes in energy at different levels of your body. With your arms extended like this at the sides your shoulder blades will separate and then by letting your knees open outwards to the natural pull of gravity you will discover your breathing opens up. Explore this position for two or three minutes before going on to the next. expansion This position opens out a collapsed midriff, lengthens the body, energizes the solar plexus and even tightens the muscles of the face. here's how Moving from the first position, now place your feet about 18 inches apart with soles flat against the floor. Leave your arms at shoulder level and very slowly roll your hips to the right side simultaneously rolling your head to the left. Return to the center keeping your lower spine in contact with the floor and repeat the movement to the other side. Your knee should gradually fit into the arches of the opposite leg. Don't worry if they don't touch the floor. They will eventually. Most people have a shortened midriff and the solar-plexus chakra which provides the body with dynamic physical energy cannot function properly when this is the case. This position has a remarkable effect on the look of the face when it is practiced regularly and can make you look considerably younger. But for this to work you must `connect up' your face with your body - particularly in the spaces through which the knees move in your awareness as you carry out the movement. Take a full breath before you begin and exhale as your hips roll to the side then inhale again slowly as they return to center, exhale in starting position and repeat to the other side. the rainbow This is a position of natural grace. It brings a superb stretch to the waistline, lengthens the whole body, flattens and firms the abdomen, and integrates body energies. here's how Lying flat on your back take a full breath, exhale and roll to the left side, bringing your arms together in the same direction. Now bring your right knee across and exhale. Keep your knee down by holding it with your left hand to make sure it will not go back up. Now very gently try to take your right hand up and around your body. If it does not come in contact easily with the floor above your head then the energies from your heart and throat areas are not freed for use. Have a friend calculate in this position how much your arm is off the floor. If it is more than 6 inches then problems of distortion will be exaggerated in your body and it will take a bit of time to correct. If it is exaggerated it is a good idea not to exercise vigorously until the exaggeration disappears. bow to the earth Not only is this position profoundly relaxing - an excellent way to relieve stress after the end of a long day - it is also wonderful for alleviating lower-back problems and period aches and it encourages energy to rise up the spine flooding the whole body with new vitality and clearing a fuzzy mind. here's how From a kneeling position, bend your body forward, pushing your hands out in front, and stretch forward like a cat. On the in-breath, bring your hands to lie at the sides of your feet and lower your buttocks. If you have difficulty in doing this be gentle but persevere since chronic contraction here can lead to lower-back problems later. On the out-breath, bring the top of your head down in front of your knees. Rest a moment and then bring your hands forwards and place them one palm on top of the other. Rest your forehead on top. Close your eyes and relax for two minutes or more. The detensing effects of this position work slowly. It can be held for longer than most. It too is excellent for the solar plexus but it is also good for releasing energy that has been blocked at the base of the spine. the lengthener This position and the gentle movement which accompanies it activates the base of the spine, improves blood flow to the brain, takes pressure off of tired legs, alleviates lower-back tensions, improves circulation in the pelvis and is a superb antidote to stress. here's how Lying flat on your back relax as fully as you can. Now start to raise one leg slowly up as high as you can go. Be aware as your leg moves through the arc that with each 6 or 8 inches it passes through different parts of your body become energized, starting with the base chakra and moving up through the belly, heart and throat when it reaches a right angle. If you can go beyond this upright position you can also activate head energies. Now with your hand on one knee, don't pull by force but hold your knee with your hands and see how far you can bring it into your body. On the in-breath raise your forehead to the knee. Breathe out as you bring them together, relax and lie back. Repeat with the other leg, going through the whole sequence for two or three minutes. If you are unable to bring your knee all the way to your body do persist with the exercise. It will help protect you from lower-back troubles later. You will get a splendid feeling of lengthening over your whole body after working through this position. Combine these simple `untwisters' with a habit of regular aerobic activity - walking, swimming, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, cycling, running, jogging or rowing - and you will find a new sense of integration takes place and your energy levels will soar.

Try Walking

Try Walking

One of the best things about taking a daily walk is that it is such a natural and easy thing to do. You need no special equipment - apart from a good pair of shoes - and because the easy flowing movement of putting one foot in front of another can be so wholehearted it often brings a sense of freedom to the body which so many more mechanical approaches to exercise miss out on. A number of studies show that for a variety of reasons walking is the best form of aerobic exercise available for most people - provided it is done regularly, briskly and with true enjoyment. There is another important proviso too: vigorous exercise in any form will serve you best, and you will only avoid strain and injury if you have worked out enough of your chronic residual tensions to enable you to give your body over to the rhythmic movements it involves. Outdoor sports such as tennis, golf, riding and sailing can be fun and helpful although, unlike walking and the other specifically aerobic activities, they do not create a steady demand on your body because of their stop-and-start nature, so it is best to include some aerobic exercise in your lifestyle even if you are an avid games player. If you like more challenging activities than walking, try jogging or running, rowing or swimming, cycling or cross-country skiing—all excellent aerobic activities. Like regular brisk walking they too get heart and lungs working well and help keep you young-looking and feeling. They are great if you want to achieve a high level of fitness and most important of all if you really like doing them. This sense of enjoyment is a central consideration in whatever exercise program you choose for ageless aging. Any physical activity which you carry out with your teeth gritted virtuously thinking that you are, after all, doing your duty though you hate every minute of it, can only be counterproductive. For mind and body are inextricably linked and for you to get all the benefits of exercise you need to make that link a positive one. mind and body flow That's why, for most people, walking is so good. There is something quite extraordinary about the way that walking briskly in low-heeled shoes - particularly if you can walk in the country or in a park amidst trees and flowers - seems to revitalize the body while it sets the mind free for thought. Thoreau used to say, `The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.' And Dr George Sheehan, the highly respected cardiologist, sports-medicine expert and passionate marathon runner, wrote of walking, `You will read of this phenomenon again and again in the journals of the great thinkers, writers and artists. They were all great walkers. They found that not only can one train the body while one is using the mind, the mind actually works better when the body is in motion.' Some interesting scientific studies confirm the notion that walking helps clarify mental processes. At Purdue University, after giving subjects psychological tests to determine their decision-making abilities, researchers put people into a fitness program in which regular walking was a central feature. They found after six months on the program that they had improved their decision-making skills 60 per cent more than subjects in the control group who did not exercise. George Macaulay Trevelyan, Britain's highly respected historian, who had a real passion for long walks used to say, `I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.' Research into the effects of regular brisk walking more than bears out his belief that this kind of moderate exercise can play a central role in keeping the body healthy, young and fit. Besides, walking is the form of exercise least likely to cause injury, it is inexpensive to practice, natural, and efficacious. It will lift your spirits and keep down your weight, tone your muscles and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. walk your way to wellness So good is brisk walking as a means of strengthening heart and lungs and improving cardiac resistance that in some studies of different forms of exercise it comes out better than cycling or running. At the University of Wisconsin, for instance, when researchers examined the effects of brisk walking (at a rate of 4 miles an hour or more) on men they found that it pushed some heart rates up to 87 per cent of capacity, which was the same as the cyclists achieved and only 3 per cent lower than the runners. This measure of maximum heart rate is a useful one, whatever kind of exercise you choose to follow. It is determined by subtracting your age from 220 beats a minute. And it will tell you just what kind of workout you are giving yourself. In an interesting study by David Mymin and Dan Streja, researchers discovered that the rejuvenating effects of strenuous exercise such as running - including a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreases in circulating insulin levels - also take place when people are put on exercise programs based on walking even at a pace lower than 4 miles an hour. HDL is a lipoprotein in your blood. Generally speaking when it is high the chances you will suffer a heart attack are low. Before the Mymin study it was assumed that only long-distance runners and other active exercisers would have high levels of HDL in their blood. But the study showed that such beneficial changes can take place just from walking. Walking's ability to lower circulating insulin levels is also important for high-level wellness and age retardation. Many people past the age of forty have disturbed insulin levels which can lead to adult-onset diabetes and heart disease. The walkers in Mymin's program experienced a definite decrease in circulating insulin. Other research confirms the Manitoba findings and shows as well that walking is an excellent way of increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the cells all over the body. Like any form of rhythmic aerobic exercise it improves lymphatic drainage, stimulates arterial and venous circulation, and promotes the elimination of wastes and morbid materials that can cause free radical damage and cross-linking on a cellular level. It also brings increased blood supply to all the body's organs. Brisk walking is particularly good for people whose work tends to be mentally or physically passive because it counteracts the tendency of their circulation and their eliminative processes to become sluggish. Max Bircher-Benner always insisted his patients rise early. Then he sent them out into the hills and forests around Zurich for an hour's brisk walk before breakfast. Walking was an important part of his `order therapy' and still is in every naturopathic clinic in Europe. free and often To get the most out of walking do it every day. Choose some place you want to walk to, and wearing low-heeled shoes and loose comfortable clothes, set out with your arms swinging free from the shoulders. Breathe deeply and carry your body high. Every few minutes draw in a breath and then after a few seconds, without exhaling, draw in another and after a further interval of a few seconds still another. After the third inhalation vigorously expel all your air. This helps inflate your chest to its full capacity. Most of us don't breathe fully and deeply. We therefore miss out on the full benefits of oxygen for brain and body. After a walk of, say, 2 or 3 or 4 miles, if possible, take off your clothes and rub down your skin with a flannel which has been dipped in cold water or take a brief cool shower followed by a brisk rub with a Turkish towel. It will leave you refreshed and renewed with energy to spare in the hours ahead. And how intense should an aerobic activity - walking or other - be for best results? Most experts insist you should exercise somewhere between 40 and 60 per cent of maximum capacity. This you can figure out by following a few simple steps: 1. Find out what your resting heart rate is by taking your pulse for six seconds and multiplying by ten while you are seated comfortably. You do this by putting two fingers on the artery just inside your wrist. 2. Subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximum heart rate. For instance if you are fifty then your maximum heart rate would be 170. 3. Now find out your heart rate range by subtracting your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate. Say for example you are fifty and your maximum heart rate is 170 with a resting rate of 70. Then your heart-rate would be 100. 4. With this information you can now calculate your best exercise level to achieve a good anti-stress, anti-aging effect. Calculate 40 per cent of your heart rate range (which is 100 in our example) which is 40. Now add this to the resting rate of 70 and you get the figure 110 beats per minute - your target heart rate for exercise. 5. For middle-aged and older people who are not athletes walking moderately or briskly will raise their heart rate to that target rate, which is 40 per cent of ultimate capacity. Younger people and highly trained people will need to run or exercise more vigorously to reach it.

Get Going

Get Going

Nothing produces a holiday high like the right kind of exercise. Exercise is a major detoxifier. It sheds waste and lifts your spirits. And the best kind is the kind you like best. The days of donning pink leg-warmers and busting a gut at the gym because it is supposed to be good for you are over. Exercise is an important key in the detoxification process, as it gets your lungs working and your lymphatic system moving. During atwo-day apple fast you need to take some exercise, but only gentle exercise. Long walks are perfect. You do not want to put extra stress on your body by wearing it out with a stiff workout or long run. If you exercise regularly and are pretty fit, then go for a long brisk walk. If exercise is something you would rather not think about, let alone do, indulge yourself in a couple of long lazy strolls in the park or in the country to get your lungs and lymph working efficiently. Once your apple fast is over, to help your body to remain as free of toxins as possible, you need to take some regular exercise. walk it out Regular aerobic exercise (where your heart is beating firmly and you breathe deeply over a period of 30-45 minutes) is essential. It increases your body’s ability to process oxygen – and a high consumption of oxygen keeps your energy high, and keeps you looking and feeling good. Moreover, exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. And, just in case you think you have to become a marathon runner, you may be surprised to find our how simple real fitness can be. Brisk daily walks can not only be a lot of fun, they can help keep your body clean from inside out. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise and then gradually – over several weeks if necessary – work up your pace to four miles an hour. This means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Once you can do that easily you will be able to walk, say, three miles a day in 45 minutes and you’ll be getting a very pleasant but effective workout, which will bring you lots of energy and have you feeling great. Of course, there are other alternatives as well – you could swim or jog or skip or row. But each of these requires special equipment and special places or times to do, whereas walking can be done almost anywhere by anyone without any special training and without spending extra money. rebound madness Rebounding – bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline – is tremendous, childish fun. This is probably reason enough to do it, but it is also excellent exercise to help with detoxification. The unique up-and-down movement of your body on a mini-trampoline subjects it to changes in gravitational force. For a split second at the top of the bounce, gravity or G-force is nonexistent. But at the bottom of each bounce, as you come down upon the elastic platform, the pull of gravity on your cells, muscles and tissues is suddenly increased by two or even three times the usual G-force on the earth. On the way up, gravity closes up the millions of one-way valves which control the flow of lymph. Then when you come down again onto the trampoline the internal pressure changes quickly and dramatically, causing them to open and bringing about a surge of lymph, so you set up an internal massaging motion which shunts lymph along. Rebounding is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to exercise at home, no matter what their fitness level. It’s particularly good for anyone who is embarrassed by the idea of going out in running gear or going to the gym. Unlike many in-the-home exercise options, rebounding has a particularly high continued use success rate, probably because it is so much fun. It gets your mind and body working and seems to raise spirits like nothing else I have ever come across. I often use it for 10 minutes or so when I’m feeling fatigued or stressed. Begin bouncing gently so that your heels barely leave the ground. If you feel unsteady, use the back of a chair to support yourself with one arm as you bounce. You might like to bounce to music or even while watching television. As an alternative to bouncing with both feet together, try jogging from one foot to the other. Begin with 10-15 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes or so as your strength increases. how much? how long? Regular physical exercise – the kind you get if you do 45 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, running, rebounding or rowing at least four or five times a week – suffuses the skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, and increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s cells and to remove waste products from them. Always leave no more than 48 hours between sessions, so that you will continue to benefit from the enhanced metabolic rate. Just in case you think you don’t have time, I can promise you once you start you will create more time for yourself because everything in your life will flow more easily. When you notice the benefits that a sustained exercise routine brings, you will find your body craving for more. But more is not necessarily better. Exercise to help elimination needs to be rhythmical and continuous, to use large muscle groups and to be performed at an intensity and frequency that increases your heart input only to 60 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR) – never more. How do you work out what that means for you? Simple. First take your own pulse. Place three fingers along the artery at the wrist until you feel the steady beat of your heart. Then, using a watch with a second hand, count how many times your heart beats while the second hand records six seconds passing. Multiply the number of times your heart beat in this period and multiply by 10. This gives you how many times per minute your heart is beating. Once you know how to do this it is easy to calculate the rest. To discover your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Then multiply this figure by 0.6. This will give you your target heart rate. For instance, if you are 40 years old: Maximum heart rate = 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute. 180 beats per minute X 0.6 = 108 beats per minute. get going Any form of sustained aerobic exercise which gets your heart beating at your target heart rate is ideal for minimizing the build up of wastes in your system, for releasing wastes that are already stored in your tissues, and for burning any excess fat. Begin slowly with only 15-20 minutes of exercise at a time. Remember to check on your heart rate at least twice during every exercise session and adjust your activity accordingly when it goes more than 10 beats above or below your target heart rate. You need to judge how long is right for you by checking on how fatigued you feel one hour after exercising. That is the best indication of whether or not you are working with your body’s own rhythms and needs. If you find yourself fatigued an hour after exercising, then you are overdoing it. So pull back until your body is ready for a higher dose of activity. Exercising too hard or too long can actually produce more waste for your body to get rid of. Choose between dancing freely to any music you like, swimming, rebounding, running, cycling or walking briskly. Walking is the easiest of all since you can do it anywhere. Walk to and from work, climb stairs instead of using the lift – it’s all good exercise and half the time you won’t even notice you are doing it.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 18,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 13 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of June 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.59 lb
for women
-0.95 lb
for men
-0.59 lb
for women
-0.95 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of June 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

sign up for our newsletter

download our free book healthy & lean for life