Begin by connecting with what’s really important.
Well, I’ve just started to work through the Dreambook & Planner I was given as a Christmas gift. The initial task seems to be that I should identify my core values, my skills and my talents, and sort out what my purpose in life is supposed to be.
That’s a tall order, and not something I could do in a few minutes. Or, maybe it is something I should do in a few minutes ~ just jotting down my first thoughts. Sometimes it’s better not to think too hard and ponder too much. Sometimes if I overthink things I just go around in circles.
I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line. ~ Jeanette Winterson.
There is a useful saying; ‘Your first guess is your best guess….’ Or, put it another way; ‘Trust your instincts….’ Instinctive behaviour is the way we act, or react, without having to think about it. Psychologists talk about fixed action patterns, which are hard-wired into our neural network. The best example I can think of in humans would be in sports, where such things as a golf swing, or baseball swing, become hard-wired into the brain after much practice.
Instincts in humans are sometimes called gut feelings or intuition, and it’s about ‘knowing’ things without consciously reasoning.
Our brains actually store every experience we have ever had, and that huge library of information is one half of what our gut feelings are based on. The other half of a ‘gut feeling‘ is emotion. Add our stored memories to emotion and we get instincts, gut feelings, intuition ~ call it what you will….
Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct. ~ Barbara Corcoran.
Instinct and intuition are very powerful, and often the right answer to any question will come from instinct, rather than reason. Ergo, in the case of my identifying my own core values, my gifts, and my life purpose, I intend to go with my gut feeling, intuition, and instincts. Of course, after I’ve written down my first guesses, I will go back and spend ages rethinking my answers.
Gut feelings are all very well, but something tells me that reasoning is better.
Sponsored by: http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises
10% discount on everything on saline valley if you quote code C7SYDV6B
Feeling a greater sense of meaning and purpose in Life.
An American friend has sent me a most wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gift ~ which I have already opened!
It’s a book; Rituals for Living, Dreambook and Planner. When I say it’s a book it’s kind of a journal, and diary, and project planner. The project in this case being My Life.
Stop playing small and start seeing yourself as the magical creator that you are. You can create anything you want. We want to help ensure that what you’re creating reflects your highest potential and most authentic self. ~ thedragontree
It’s about connecting with what’s really important to me; identifying my core values, gifts, and life purpose.
It’s also about developing habits and rituals to help me to realise my dreams.
At heart I am an engineer, I like planning, I need to make plans before starting any new enterprise or project. Well, this is a new project, it’s the rest of my life. A big project that deserves some big plans.
We firmly believe that if you set out to achieve your goals while remaining steadfast on the necessity of playing, caring for yourself, connecting to family, friends, a higher power, and the natural world ~ you actually amplify your ability to succeed. ~ thedragontree
I firmly believe that this book, the gift my American friend has sent to me, will help me achieve my fullest potential and realise my dreams.
In part it’s about self-awareness and self-actualisation, and in part it’s about developing habits and rituals which will lead towards the fullest and most congruent realisation of my desires, dreams, and goals.
You know what? This is a wonderful gift, and I know it was sent to me with love.
One of the benefits of writing this blog is that I can publicly thank my friend for this wonderful Christmas gift. Oh, and the kind friend concerned also has a blog. https://therobynbirdsnest.com
There are a couple of websites which sort of go along with this life planner;
Sponsored by: http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises
10% discount on everything on saline valley if you quote code C7SYDV6B
The most poisonous people come disguised as friends.
Some say that I’m an egotistical fake, and that all my problems are caused by my own lies and character defects. All I know is that I’m working very hard to be a better guy.
I took a walk outside early this morning, down by the sea where I usually find solace and serenity. The snow and wind were in my face, and the seashore was shrouded by a cold mist. Today there was no tranquility for me. My soul feels hurt, hungry, and lacking in love for myself. All I feel is regret and sorrow. What I could see of the surf was angry and accusatory.
Some would say that I’m a prisoner of my own ego, and that my personal identity is driven by conceit and self-importance. All I know is that it’s sometimes difficult to get through the next 24 hours, and then the 24 hours after that.
Sometimes I was a fake just to cope with life. BPD can do that to you.
What I’m trying to say is that I need to get my life in order ~ start to be honest with myself and everybody else, become reliable and trustworthy, stop being hurtful and aggressive at the drop of a hat… Perhaps then there can be some trust in friendships and I can begin to have real relationships with sensible people. I need to consider the feelings, needs, desires, wants, and commitments of others. I need to give more and take less. I need to change my ways.
It’s OK for me to want what I want, but becoming a fake to get it is abhorrent.
Some say that if nothing changes, then nothing changes. And, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. All I know is that this post is the start of something different for me.
All prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is difficult.
Sponsored by; http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises
Women don’t like mind games. Most women like romance.
I’m just a guy, you know? Ergo I don’t actually understand the woman I care for, and sometimes I don’t really know what she wants from me. However, in an effort to be a ‘better’ guy I’ve been exploring the internet, and I believe these are the behaviours a woman would like me to bring to a relationship.
You know what? I worked out #1 all by my self.
- Do not be a jerk. (From time to time I have been a 21 carat jerk.)
- Give her respect. Respect her opinions, career, interests, friends, family, needs, dreams, and desires. Respect her body, her mind, and her soul. Accept and understand who and what she truly is.
- Give her time and space. She’s an independent lady, so don’t be clingy and dependent. She is not responsible for your happiness, you are. Don’t pressure her into doing things she’s not ready for. But, when she needs you, be generous with your own time; always be there for her.
- Be confident and capable ~ take charge when you need to. She needs to know that you can always be relied on to take the lead when necessary.
- Always help her to feel safe. Don’t ever be threatening, and if she’s worried about someone or something, or scared of something or someone ~ then help her to deal with it!
- Respect her privacy. Don’t ever intrude where she wants to be private, and never, ever, comment on what she posts on social media.
- Follow through with your plans and ideas. Women like to know that if a guy says he is going to do something, he will actually do it.
- Be completely honest, unless complete honesty is hurtful. Women don’t like liars, and once you have lost a woman’s trust it’s hard to get it back again.
- When it’s appropriate be romantic. And, what is truly romantic changes from time to time, and from woman to woman. To be romantic; You need to get to know her.
- Be polite, well-mannered, and well-spoken. Very good manners take a little effort ~ but I’m lucky here, I’m a true English Gentleman, and good manners come naturally to me. And never, ever get drunk when she’s around.
- Self-deprecating humour. Don’t make jokes at her expense, but it’s OK to poke fun at yourself. She will probably like gentle humour, and dislike you trying to be funny by being vicious and nasty about other people.
- If she ever feels the need to apologise, accept her apology with grace. Especially never, ever, mention the things she’s apologised for ever again.
- A Man should never be late. She may have no sense of time, she may always be late for everything, but you should always be there on time~ always. If you’ve promised to call at eight o’clock, then you should call her at exactly eight.
- Be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. Women don’t seem to appreciate unreliability, a good guy needs to be the same good guy every minute of every day.
- Listen to her. When she wants to talk, listen patiently with acceptance and understanding. Don’t give her solutions she hasn’t asked for, just listen to her.
- Respond to her texts and emails in a timely manner. She may take forever to reply to you, but if you get a message from her, then respond as soon as is humanly possible.
- Always be clean, tidy, and well-groomed. You and your place should always be pretty immaculate, especially the bathroom. And, if you are ever invited to her place, treat it with the utmost respect. Clean your shoes, get a manicure, get a haircut, have some great pictures in your place….
- Be faithful in word and deed. Don’t screw around, don’t date other women, don’t constantly flirt with other women, don’t check out other women, don’t ‘like’ other women’s pictures on social media, and do not constantly jerk off to porn.
- Be complementary. Tell her she looks pretty, her hair’s nice, tell her you like her. and if it’s appropriate tell her that you love her.
- Do things just for her. Clean her car, make sure she’s always got petrol, (gas), in the tank, fix things for her, send her flowers and perfume, but bear in mind point #9, and be romantic in the right way and when it’s appropriate.
- Sex. Do not try too go to far and too fast. If anything, follow her lead, and remember point #10 , and always be polite and well-mannered. And, if and when you sleep with her, remember that her pleasure is important. You may need sex, but perhaps what she really wants is love.
Writing this stuff, it all makes perfect sense, and I don’t believe I’ve got anything badly wrong in this list. But, Ladies, if I have, then please feel free to tell me about it.
And, writing this stuff I realise that I do most of these good things most of the time, and some of them all of the time. Sadly, that isn’t good enough. Point #14 behoves me to be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy ~ I need to do all of the above all of the time.
That’s a tall order, but if she is worth it, and you really care, then she’s worth all of it all of the time.
In future, I shall make every effort to follow my advice from this list. I am going to do this stuff.
pictures by Jack Vettriano
click on the book to buy
Sponsored by: http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises
The philosophy of fasting calls on us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves.
On Monday of this week I was admitted to the rehabilitation ward of my local hospital. I was so confused at the time the doctor didn’t give me any choice in the matter.
The problem is I haven’t been eating and I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m now just 135 pounds, which is 20 pounds lighter than I was a short while ago.
Not eating does all kinds of bad things to the mind and body, including confusion due lack of potassium in the brain.
Today I was released to return to the garret, with the strongest possible warning that I need to take much better care of myself.
So I am now on a better programme of food, liquid, vitamins, and minerals.
I already feel much better.
All of us have to accept some anxieties.
Back in the day, when I was working all the hours God sends, I suffered terribly from the effects of stress. Everyone around me suffered too because I was bad-tempered, impatient, irritable and moody.
We all experience stress, to a greater or lesser degree. In fact without some stress we couldn’t function ~ our minds and bodies need a little stress to feel alive. However, too much stress is bad, and far too much stress can kill you.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selve
The proximate causes of stress and distress vary from person to person, but the usual suspects are: Bad News, City Life, Too Many People, Mindless Bureaucracy, Being Discriminated Against, Bullying, Work, The Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dysfunctional Relationships, Failed Relationships, Sex, Sexual Dysfunction, and the Death of Someone Close to You. And then you might have your own particular reason to feel that you’re under intolerable stress. Of course, there is also a chance that you are seriously mentally ill with something like Borderline Personality Disorder.
People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. ~ Marsha M. Linehan.
The warning signs that stress is adversely affecting your mental and physical health are;
- Apathy and Depression
- Chest pains
- Drinking too much
- Inability to relax
- Intolerance of and over-reacting to noise and disturbance
- Irritability and a bad temper
- Lack of concentration / brain fog / poor memory
- Palpitations (oh Gods, did I suffer from heart palpitations!)
- Tiredness and an inability to get things done
The symptoms associated with stress are in themselves so distressing that they are likely to make you even more stressed.
Many of us will approach our doctor if we feel under intolerable stress and are suffering from one or more of the very serious symptoms listed above. What your doctor is most likely to do is prescribe you some powerful psychoactive drugs; Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lexapro, Librium, Paxil, Prozac, Tofranil Valium, Viibyrd, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft… to name but a few of the very powerful chemicals your doctor could give you.
All of these drugs come with a load of side-effects, from tiredness, to sexual dysfunction, to feelings of dread, to wanting to commit suicide… Reading the leaflets that come with these drugs can be a very sobering experience. In my experience these drugs will either detach you from reality so you don’t worry about anything at all, or they will have an adverse effect.
If you’re lucky, then your doctor will also / instead refer you to some ‘talking therapy’ such as; Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt, Group Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and Psychoanalysis. Alternatively you could take yourself off to a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
I love going to my AA meetings and I don’t think I will ever stop. ~ Davina McCall
Drugs act fast, but all they do is mask the symptoms and make you ill from the nasty side-effects. Talking therapies and 12-step meetings will eventually make you well again ~ but the key word there is ‘eventually.
So what can you do to help yourself overcome stress?
Breathing is good. I mean slow deliberate breathing with serene and peaceful visualisations is good.
When I was under extreme stress I would take myself off to somewhere quiet, maybe into a church or public garden or down to the beach, stand or sit, or lie down comfortably, and really slow down my breathing, and at the same time I would breathe very deeply. Concentrating on my breathing I would listen to the sound of each breath, imagining it was the gentle sound of soft surf washing in and out on a white sandy beach under a blue sky. My breathing in and out exactly matched the sea gently washing in and out. After just a few minutes of this breathing exercise I always felt immeasurably more peaceful, and ready to face the next thing the day was going to throw at me.
Learning how to relax is the cornerstone of helping yourself to overcome stress.
‘Ha!’ You say; ‘If I knew how to relax I wouldn’t be so stressed…’
Breathing exercises are recommended by doctors and psychiatrists everywhere as a method of relaxation to overcome stress and anxiety.
Being better organised also helps alleviate stress. The best way to begin being better organised is to start writing things down, keep a journal, keep your diary and day-planner up to date, make lists, always have a to-do list, never go shopping without a shopping list… If you think of something you need to do, write it all down and then stop worrying about it.
Break big tasks into a number of smaller parts, and write a list of those smaller tasks with the date and time they need to be completes ~ then stop worrying about it all.
Learn how to say NO. Being at everyone else’s beck and call all the time is a sure-fire way to put yourself under extreme stress.
Stop using social media first thing in the morning, or late at night, and especially don’t look at crap like Twitter and Facebook when you are pressed for time.
Get plenty of good quality sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you’re under stress. If you really have insomnia, then it may be worth asking your doctor for something to help you sleep. But only rely on sleeping medication for a couple of weeks ~ these drugs are addictive.
Make reducing the stress in your life your #1 project, something you practice all the time, every single damn day.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not. ~ Valerie Bertinelli.
And please, please don’t resort to booze or recreational drugs, they make things worse very fast, and you can trust me on that one.
click on the book
Men who fear demons see demons everywhere.
My life has been plagued by demons; or character defects, or weaknesses, or a disease, or a mental illness, or Borderline Personality Disorder ~ call it what you will but with a new understanding I know that there are demons lurking in the deep darkness of my innermost subconscious.
We all have inner demons to fight, we call these demons, fear and hatred and anger. If you do not conquer them then a life of one hundred years is a tragedy. If you do, then a life of a single day is a triumph. ~ Yip Man
My demons have attacked me, tormented and tortured me, brought me low and taken me down the long lonely Road to Hell.
My demons have not won the final battle. Yet at times I have been overwhelmed and given in to anger, depression, drink ~ and that is exactly what my demons want.
My demons are cunning shape-shifters and change from one insidious, pernicious, torturous form to another as soon as my back is turned.
My demons are very good at finding the things that can hurt me the most, cause me the most pain, and bringing those things to the forefront of my mind in an ugly distorted form designed to torment and torture me. My demons use negative thoughts of those I care for the most to hurt me the most.
My demons assume the guise of Fear of Rejection, Worthlessness, Anxiety, Depression, Jealousy, Fear of Failure, Addictions, Obsessions, and Compulsions ~ and all of those disguises are designed to cause me the maximum suffering. And my pain never seemed to lessen, or subside, or stop. The pain always got worse than the time before.
It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster. ~ Carl Jung
My demons are my shadow side from my deep subconscious, and my demons may also exist in an evil spiritual form. Yet I have embraced my shadow side, I have accepted and acknowledged the existence of my demons. If dark spiritual forces surround me, if demons lurk in the blackness of my deep subconscious, I will make those demons face the light of my awareness.
My demons now know that they cannot win, they cannot kill me. The pain only lasts if I allow it to. Now that I am aware of my demons I can accept that all the vicious negativity in my soul is only my demons trying to hurt me. My demons want me to feel the pain, my demons want me to fail, and my demons want me to descend into drunken depression ~ and I will not give my demons the pleasure of hurting me, of witnessing me hurt others, of seeing my abject failure.
Facing my demons is not easy. Facing my demons may well be the most difficult thing I have ever done. From out of nowhere my demons can make me feel mentally and emotionally exhausted, angry, jealous, afraid…
My demons want me to stop looking them in the face and telling them that they can never again cause the kind of pain and suffering I have known in the past.
My demons no longer have ultimate power over me ~ now I have some little power over them, and now I can truly begin to recover from the poison in my soul and walk the warrior’s path.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
These days I seldom dream. Last night I had a vivid dream reminding me of a moment in my past.
There was a roadside casualty, a girl in the gutter. Obviously I stopped my car, got out to give assistance, and while I was putting the girl in the recovery position someone drove off in my car. Then the girl got up and ran off, and a guy does not chase a woman late at night. All of which was a bummer because I was then stranded on the wrong side of London, late at night, no wallet and no cell. (We call them mobile phones, and my wallet was in my jacket in the damn car.) Just getting back to my place took until mid-morning, and then all the phone calls cancelling cards, contacting my insurance company, telling the office I wouldn’t be in…. And that was a great car, which I never saw again.
That wasn’t the first, or the last time, my being a ‘Good Samaritan’ caused me much grief, pain, and suffering.
From trying to help a drunken woman in the street, to giving my bank details to a charity worker, (bogus), to rescuing a woman who was being hassled by a drunk in a bar, to driving an acquaintance home late at night, to helping out a coworker solve a tricky problem, to not having first date sex with an inebriated woman… Well, the list of ‘nice’ things I’ve done which then caused me much grief goes on, and on, and on.
Too often in my life I have tried to do the right thing, to be the good guy, the man in the white suit ~ and what has it ever got me? Trouble.
Even in close relationships I’ve found, to my cost, that being a genuinely kind, caring, and considerate guy, leads to trouble in the end. Women can and will walk all over a nice guy.
It seems that many people see a good guy as a soft touch, someone that can be trampled underfoot, someone of no real account. A geek, a jerk, a loser.
Well, maybe that’s their loss.
I can retain my ethics and morality, but my dream tells me that I also need to exercise harsh judgement in the people I am prepared to be kind to. There is no more universally nice Jack Collier.
What ever became of the Good Samaritan anyway?
A Leader is one who shows the way.
Listening to the wireless yesterday, I happened to hear part of a speech / response to a question by President Trump on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Allegedly some 100 men, women, and children were killed by Sarin Gas / and or Chlorine Gas, on Tuesday of this week. This ‘massacre’ took place in Khan Sheikhoun, in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib, allegedly the ‘massacre’ was carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Russia says this atrocity was caused by gas leaking from a terrorist / Syrian rebel chemical weapons depot.
Sarin Gas is particularly nasty stuff, invented by Hitler’s boffins, odourless and deadly in 10 seconds, it’s a perfect terrorist weapon. The use of Sarin was banned in 1997 under the UN chemical weapons convention. Chlorine Gas will also kill you pretty quickly, and obviously chlorine isn’t banned, but chlorine stinks. The 1925 Geneva Protocol specifically prohibits the use of Gas in Warfare, but apparently allows the use of chemical weapons within a state’s own borders in a civil conflict. So it wouldn’t actually be completely illegal for Syrian forces to use Chlorine Gas on rebels in Idlib Province.
However, the rights, wrongs, culprits, retaliations, and possible solutions for this terrible incident wasn’t what struck me about President Trump’s words during his Rose Garden Press Conference. My first thought was that Mr. Trump didn’t sound ‘Presidential’. His presentation skills were, quite frankly, terrible.
Strictly speaking, this wasn’t a ‘presentation’ by President Trump, but anytime a President of The United States of America speaks, shouldn’t he radiate authority, clarity, confidence, gravitas, and complete command of his brief? For me, Mr Trump just sounded like an amateur speaker at a golf club tournament.
The President committed the cardinal sins of deviation, hesitation, and repetition. I have a strong feeling that Mr. Trump speaks totally ‘off the cuff’, and ‘shoots from the hip’. At the same time I believe that Mr. Trump has spent far too long using facile social media such as Twitter, and not long enough reading modern history written by statesmen such as Winston Churchill.
Listen to one of Mr Churchill’s great speeches, such as the ‘Finest Hour’, and then listen to Mr Trump on Syria, and note the differences. If you like, you can also listen to someone like the actor Morgan Freeman, who sounds far more ‘Presidential’ than President Donald Trump.
The question is; does sounding and acting like a great president, make you a great president? Well, partly it does. Some say that John F. Kennedy was a great president, and that his greatest speech was his 100 days speech. All I know is that Kennedy ‘sounds’ like a great President, and sadly Trump doesn’t, not quite, not yet. Although Mr Trump does have a pretty cool sense of humour, and maybe that’s why a woman like Hillary Clinton couldn’t get herself elected.
Some say that a man should ‘fake it to make it’, and that looking and sounding like a leader is nine-tenths of the battle. All I know is that presentation skills are part of urban survival skills and something every man should learn.
Yoga is a type of meditation ~ and done properly it’s difficult.
Calling this post Yoga for Men isn’t as sexist or as misogynistic as you may think. When I was a much younger chap, far more cynical, and much less worldly-wise, I used to think yoga was a bit ‘strange’. In my mind yoga was something that girls did, and perhaps men who were a bit metrosexual. Now that I’ve grown up a bit I realise that yoga can be a strenuous and difficult workout ~ the kind of workout that hurts while you’re doing it and makes you ache afterwards.
It turns out that there are lots of reasons why more men should regularly practice yoga. Some say that yoga strengthens your immune system and relieves stress. And, that regular yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, agility, posture, stamina, and core strength. All I know is that regular yoga exercises and nurtures my body, mind, and spirit. Some also say that yoga will give you a better sex life.
Just in case you don’t know, yoga involves holding postures, and holding some of these postures for any length of time can be damn difficult. Even the few, (simple), postures I use require a great deal of strength, balance, and concentration. Because holding these postures take a lot of strength and stamina, your muscles become more toned and develop greater power and endurance.
Yoga also helps with proper breathing, better posture, better balance, better concentration, better digestion, and increased mindfulness and serenity. Regular and difficult yoga improves the way you look, stand, walk, and talk. I have been told, by a very close friend, that regular yoga also greatly improves one’s sex life, and increases the pleasure you can give to your partner. Also, some yoga poses work as great sex positions and increase the intensity of the female orgasm. Allegedly, it’s possible for women to have an orgasm just from doing yoga. Who knew?
So, these are the yoga positions I use regularly, and if I have the names wrong… well I’m not a yoga instructor.
The Tree. This classical, impressive, and elegant position promotes strength and balance in your feet, ankles, legs, and core. Like all yoga positions I’ve tried it also aids concentration, calms your breathing, and improves your grasp of mindfulness. Don’t worry too much if at first you keep losing your balance, what’s probably happening is that you’ve lost your mental focus. The tree pose puts all your weight on one leg at a time, but the balance, poise, and elegance has to come from the whole body.
Downward Facing Dog. Allegedly, this is one of those yoga poses that’s also a great sexual position ~ I can see that. This position throws a lot of weight on the upper body, wrists, arms, shoulders, and chest. It stretches the whole of the back of your legs and body ~ your spine, arms, shoulders, ankles, calves, and hamstrings. For me, unless I’m doing it wrong, it also strengthens my knees.
The Bridge. This position is especially designed to strengthen your pelvic floor, (and backside), which is good for all kinds of reasons, up to and including sex. The bridge position builds strength in your core and lower body ~ personally I can really feel this in my lower abdomen. This is another of those yoga positions which is also a fabulous sexual position ~ or so I’m told. When I do this, I keep my back straight and my belly flat ~ I have no idea if that’s a good idea or not.
The Plank. I find this pose tremendously difficult, not because I don’t know how to do it, but because it calls for a tremendous amount of strength. Done properly the entirety of one’s body weight is brought into play to build core body strength, exercise the arms and shoulders, and increase one’s fortitude. There are three basic variations of the plank, and the easiest is to rest on your knees rather than stretch out your whole body and rest on your toes. The second easiest is to support your upper body on your forearms, while the hardest of all is to be in a push-up position with all one’s weight on your toes and hands. Right now, I can hold this position for one minute only ~ which is a bit pathetic really.
The Warrior. This should be so easy, trust me, it isn’t. The warrior pose stretches and strengthens the legs and core muscles of the body. For me it also works the arms and shoulders. More than that, this is the one position that should be so easy that I want to do it properly and elegantly. Where that gets difficult is the whole being straight, having one’s belly and backside tight, steadiness and ease thing. The lady in the picture looks a bit wimpy because her right arm is dropping.
Right now I only use these five positions, and the list above is in the order I do this stuff. I hold each position for as long as I can, and that varies from 5 minutes per position, to less than a minute, depending on the pose and how I’m feeling that day. And, again depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll probably run through all five positions a couple or maybe even three times.
However, there are stacks more great yoga positions, and if you really want to learn about yoga, then I should strongly suggest that you take a proper class, there will be one near you. There are even a bunch of good online yoga classes. (I took one actual class at my local gym, once, and never went back ~ but that’s just me). Who knows, you may find yourself alongside some fit, supple, young women. Who will probably make you feel totally inadequate.