4 Self-Help Tips to Get Lean

Are saddlebags, love handles and spare tires inching their way into your body? Do you spend minutes looking at the mirror wishing you had the perfectly fit body of Angelina Julie or Brad Pitt? Do most physical activities you have previously enjoyed, morphed into pure torture? Does your diet mostly consist of salt, sweets and fats?

If you answered yes to one of the questions stated above, then you certainly have plenty of reasons to get lean the healthier way Keep in mind that losing weight is not for aesthetic reasons only.

If you are convinced that your well-being relations on your determination, then apply these tested and tested "get lean" guidelines to help you out. Not only will you lose those ugly bulges, you will also be launching a stronger, sexier and more self-assured you in the coming months. Still wondering how to do it? Here are the secrets:

1. Set SMART goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, result-oriented and time-bound in order to be highly effective. For example, if you want to shed off excess pounds, say how much weight you want to lose in a week or a month. It should be realistic. Health experts advocate losing no more than one pound a week to maintain the body's equilibrium. If you want to have a 24-inch waistline, express in concrete terms how it should be done as well as the target date.

2. Prepare a timetable and / or diary This will reflect your progress. Daily, weekly and monthly activities in order to get lean will be included. This means household chores and outdoor exercises should be listed as well as improvement in food preferences from unhealthy to healthy ones.

3. Commit with a partner . He or she will serve as a support system in your long and oftentimes arduous journey to fitness. Choose someone who can wholeheartedly support you even through the toughest times. It's really a great boost to the ego to have someone to talk to when you feel like giving up. Verbalize your innermost feelings when you feel an intense urge to quit.

4. Chant the "Yes, I can" mantra Dispel those negative thoughts and replace them with positive pep talks. The moment you wake up in the morning, fill your mind with upbeat reminders to lift your energy through the day.

Now you know how to get lean the healthier way. Best of luck.

Security Cameras in Schools

Security cameras used in schools to monitor activities do not differ much from common cameras. They are usually purchased in bulk quantities and require complex connections. With the help of them, teachers and staffs can easily monitor students. Security cameras in schools are useful to prevent thefts, property damage and entering of outsiders to school’s property. Now, more and more schools, regardless of their status, are engaged in installing security cameras.

Installing security video cameras will help students focus on their studies and not make them worry about outside violence. Cameras control crime and are the chief sources of evidences when crimes occur. They allow security personnel to do more job-specific work, and also save money in the long run by avoiding chances of burglaries and vandalism.

Most security cameras used in schools are color mini cameras with wireless and night vision features. They come with recording systems. These systems may be analog devices such as CCTV monitors or VCRs or digital IP based systems connected to a web network. Digital recorders ensure easy storage and viewing over different monitors.

Installing security cameras in schools will cost high (usually around $100,000) as a number of cameras with cables and other equipments are needed. Security cameras in schools are placed in only public areas such as near entrances, hallways, stairwells, cafeterias and parking lots where the officials can monitors activities.

Most security cameras in schools include features such as pan, tilt, and zoom and infrared recording options for lowlight situations. But these cameras generally do not have any microphones for audio recording. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor locations, and often have waterproofed and weatherproofed coverings. They are specially made for long continuous usage, and work often 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Many schools often use motion/behavior detection cameras, which automatically take images of any abnormal activity around them. There are many camera and surveillance system manufactures such as View Systems Inc. who manufacture systems especially for satisfying schools’ needs.

Agoraphobia Is Not the Opposite of Claustrophobia

Agoraphobia isn’t the opposite of claustrophobia – but a lot of people think it is. In fact I used to think exactly that. I used to think exactly that even when I was suffering from agoraphobia. I was even offered the opportunity to join an agoraphobics group, but I said no because I wasn’t afraid of open spaces. I quite liked open spaces as long as no one else was anywhere near me. In fact if there was no other human being in sight, then that was OK as far as I was concerned. But that was all a very long time ago.

The translation of agoraphobia is ‘fear of the market place’, not, as many people think, fear of open spaces. The essence of the market place is people and human interaction. This is what is fearful. Places that agoraphobes typically avoid, or have problems with, are supermarkets, theatres, cinemas, crowds, parties. Places where a rapid exit might be difficult.

The fear is usually of showing oneself up in some way in the eyes of others. Typically agoraphobes worry about things like: vomiting (usually as a result of severe anxiety); fainting; having a panic attack; or suffering from a genuine health emergency like a heart attack. The concern is usually one of embarrassment – perhaps fainting and finding oneself on a supermarket floor gazing up into a circle of concerned faces who will insist on making a fuss and calling an ambulance.

Many agoraphobes manage to get by with a trusted helper who accompanies them when they need to go shopping or out socialising. This person is there to rescue them and take them home should anything bad, like a panic attack occur. But when that helper is not available life is very restricted.

If medical help is obtained the most likely result is medication with tranquillisers and anti-depressants. Neither of which actually solve the problem, they just enable a minimum level of functionality. The problem remains, like a monster in the wardrobe, waiting to show its scary face as soon as you turn off the lights,  or look the other way. So you are trapped. The medication keeps the monster locked in the wardrobe, but doesn’t get rid of it. Stop the medication and the monster is free once more.

Life as an agoraphobe is no fun at all.

So if you are agoraphobic and reading this I want to reassure you about a few things:

  • This is not a disease, but you can ‘heal’ it.
  • There is nothing physically wrong with you.
  • Your brain is as normal as anyone else’s.
  • The cause is the way you think.
  • The cure is changing the way you think.

Changing the way you think is not easy, but it is a lot easier than living the isolated, fearful, life of an agoraphobe.

When you think about the totality of the change you need to make, it seems an insurmountable task.

When you think about the single next step you need to take – it becomes not only possible, but relatively easy.

The first steps are the most difficult. Every step after those first few become easier. They become easier because you have the memory of success and knowledge that what you are doing is already making a positive difference to your life.

Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similarly to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Top 7 Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Guitar Tunings

There are many different guitar tunings that are used in Rock and Metal music besides standard tuning. Guitar players in these genres like to use these tunings because they give a heavier and darker sound to their music.

Some of the more popular tunings used are Dropped D, Dropped C, Dropped B, E Flat, D, C and open G. Here are the descriptions of how the strings should be tuned and some of the bands that use them.

Dropped D tuning:

E ———-1st string

B ———-2nd string

G ———-3rd string

D ———-4th string

A ———-5th string

D ———-6th string (thickest)

This tuning enables power chords to be played with a single finger on the lowest three strings and produces a dark sound with it. If you’re music doesn’t fit together with this dark sound, you can place a capo on the 2nd fret and can still easily play power chords.

Some bands that use Dropped D tuning are:

Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Silverchair, Soundgarden and Velvet Revolver.

Dropped C tuning:

D ———-1st string

A ———-2nd string

F ———-3rd string

C ———-4th string

G ———-5th string

C ———-6th string (thickest)

Dropped C tuning is the Dropped D with each string lowered one whole step. Dropped C tuning produces a very low and heavy sound and is used by many of the new Heavy Metal bands.

Some bands that use Dropped C tuning are:

30 Seconds to Mars, Atreyu, Buckethead, Bullet for My Valentine, Children of Bodom, Godsmack, Bad Religion, Metallica, Mudvayne, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Rammstein, Shadows Fall, System of a Down, Three Days Grace and Ozzy Osbourne.

Dropped B tuning:

C# ———-1st string

G# ———-2nd string

E ———-3rd string

B ———-4th string

F# ———5th string

B ———-6th string (thickest)

This tuning will need heavier gauge strings to be effective. Also you might have to widen the string grooves as well as adjust the tension in the neck of your guitar.

Some bands that use Dropped B tuning are:

Audioslave, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, Mudvayne, Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Eb tuning:

Eb ———1st string

Bb ———2nd string

Gb ———3rd string

Db ———4th string

Ab ———5th string

Eb ———6th string (thickest)

This tuning is Standard tuning turned down a half step. There are a few reasons that bands use this tuning instead of Standard tuning. One reason is to sound heavier by using heavy gauge strings. By tuning down a half step it is easier to bend these heavy gauged strings. Another reason why some bands use this tuning is to compliment the lead singers voice.

Bands that use Eb tuning are:

Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Megadeth, Metallica, Motorhead, Nirvana, Poison, Slayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stone Sour, Van Halen, Weezer and Yngwie Malmsteen.

D tuning:

D ———-1st string

A ———-2nd string

F ———-3rd string

C ———-4th string

G ———-5th string

D ———-6th string (thickest)

D tuning is also known as whole step down tuning and as you have probably already guessed, it’s Standard tuning tuned down a whole step. D tuning has been used mainly in Heavy Metal music.

Bands that have used D tuning are:

Alice in Chains, The Beatles, Bullet For My Valentine, Bob Dylan, Children of Bodom, Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Racer X and Soundgarden.

C tuning:

C ———-1st string

G ———-2nd string

Eb ———3rd string

Bb ———4th string

F ———-5th string

C ———-6th string (thickest)

C tuning also produces a low sound that is mostly used by Hard Rock and Metal bands. The tuning is 2 whole steps below Standard tuning, which gives it a heavy sound but still maintains the same intervals as Standard tuning.

Bands that have used C tuning are:

Atreyu, Black Sabbath, Bullet For My Valentine, Deftones, Dream Theater, Jimi Hendrix, P.O.D., Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot, Steve Vai and The Who.

G tuning:

D ———-1st string

B ———-2nd string

G ———-3rd string

D ———-4th string

G ———-5th string

D ———-6th string (thickest)

Other than the Drop D tuning, G Tuning is one of the most popular alternate guitar tunings.

Some bands that have used G tuning are:

The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam.

These are just some of the alternate guitar tunings that are available to you to experiment with. Play around with them and see which tunings fit your style of music.

Yoga – Origin and Background

Yoga is an age-old science made up of different disciplines of mind and body. It has originated in India 2500 years ago and is still effective in bringing overall health and well being to any person who does it regularly. The word yoga is based upon a Sanskrit verb Yuja. It means to connect, to culminate or to concur. It's the culination of mind and body or the culmination of Jiva and Shiva (soul and the universal spirit). It's also a culmination of Purush and Prakriti (Yin and Yang).

The term Yoga has a very broad scope. There are several schools or systems of Yoga. Dnyanayoga (Yoga through knowledge), Bhaktiyoga (Yoga through devotion), Karmayoga (Yoga through action), Rajayoga (Royal or supreme Yoga) and Hathayoga (Yoga by balancing opposition principles of body). All of these schools of Yoga are not necessarily very different from each other. They are rather like threads of the same cloth, entangled into each other. For thousands of years, Yoga has been looked upon as an effective way of self-improvement and spiritual enlightenment. All these systems have essentially have this same purpose; only the ways of achieving it are little different for each of them. In its most popular form, the term Yoga has come to associate with the last of these systems which is Hathayoga. For the purpose of this article too, the term Yoga is used with the same meaning. Although, when it comes to Philosophy of Yoga, which is at the end of this article, the term Yoga will have a broader scope.

Asana and Pranayama

Let's take a detailed look at the main two components of Hathayoga ie Asana and Pranayama.

a) Asana:
Asana means acquiring a body posture and maintaining it as long as one's body allows. Asana, when done rightly according to the rules discussed above, render vague physical and psychological benefits. Asana are looked upon as the preliminary step to Pranayama. With the practice of Asana there is a balancing of opposition principles in the body and psyche. It also helps to get rid of inertia. Benefits of Asana are enhanced with longer maintenance of it. Asana should be stable, steady and pleasant. Here is the summary of general rules to be followed for doing Asana.

Summary of rules:

1. Normal breathing
2. Focused stretching
3. Stable and pleasant postures (sthiram sukham asanam)
4. Minimal efforts (Prayatnay shaithilyam)
5. No comparisons or competition with others
6. No jerks or rapid actions. Maintain a slow and steady tempo.

Each asana has its own benefits and a few common benefits such as stability, flexibility, better hormonal secretion, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It's a misconception that an an Asana (Yoga stretch) has to be difficult to do in order to be beneficial. Many of the easiest Asana render most of the common benefits of Yoga to their fullest. Beside, the beauty of Yoga is in the fact that at a not-so-perfect level most of the benefits are still available. That means even a beginner benefits from Yoga as much as an expert.

In their quest to find a solution to the miseries of human body and mind, the founders of Yoga found part of their answers in the nature. They watched the birds and animals stretching their bodies in particular fashion to get rid of the inertia and malaise. Based upon these observations, they created Yoga stretches and named them after the birds or animals or fish that inspired these stretches. For example, matsyasana (fish pose), makarasana (crocodile pose), shalabhasana (grasshopper pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose), marjarasana (cat pose), mayurasana (peacock pose), vrischikasana (scorpion pose), gomukhasana (cow's mouth pose ), parvatasana (mountain pose), vrikshasana (tree pose) etc.

Many of the Asana can be broadly categorized based upon the type of pressure on the abdomen. Most of the forward bending Asana are positive pressure Asana as they put positive pressure on the stomach by crunching it eg Pashchimatanasana, Yogamudra (Yoga symbol pose), Hastapadasana (hand and feet pose), Pavanmuktasana (wind free pose) etc. The backward bending Asana are the negative pressure Asana as they take pressure away from the abdomen eg Dhanurasana (bow pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Naukasana (boat pose) etc. Both types of Asana give excellent stretch to the back and abdomen and strengthen both these organs. Alternating between positive and negative pressure on the same area of ​​the body intensifies and improvements blood circulation in that area. The muscle group in use gets more supply of oxygen and blood due to the pressure on that spot. Eg in Yogamudra (symbol of Yoga), the lower abdomen gets positive pressure due to which Kundalini is awakened. Hastapadasana refreshes all nerves in the back of the legs and also in the back. As a result you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Vakrasana gives a good massage to the pancreas and liver and hence is recommended for diabetic patients.

2. Pranayama
Practicing Pranayama is one of the ways of getting rid of mental disorders and physical ill health. Pranayama means controlled and prolonged span of breath. Prana means breath. It also means life force. Ayama means controlling or elongation. Just like a pendulum requires twice long to come back to its original position, the exhalations in Pranayama are two longer than the inhalations. The main purpose of Pranayama is to bring mental stability and restrain desires by controlling breathing. Breathing is a function of autonomous nervous system. By bringing the involuntary process of breathing under control of mind, the scope of volition is broadened. Pranayama is a bridge between Bahiranga (exoteric) Yoga and Antaranga (introspective or esoteric) Yoga. A body that has become stable by Asana and has been cleansed by Kriya (cleansing processes) is ready for Pranayama. On the other hand Pranayama prepares the mind and body for meditational and spiritual practice of Yoga such as Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi. On physical level, practice of Pranayama increases blood in oxygen, subsequently refreshing and rejuvenating the brain and the nerves. Here are a few physical benefits of Pranayama.
a. Lungs, chest, diaphragm become stronger and healthier.
b. Capacity of lungs is increased.
c. Slow changing pressure creates a form of massage to all organs in the stomach cavity.
d. Purifies blood by increasing blood's capacity to absorb more oxygen.
e. Brain functions better with more oxygen in the blood.
f. Neuromuscular coordination improvements.
g. Body becomes lean and the skin glows.

There are 8 main Pranayama namely, Ujjayi, Suryabhedan, Sitkari, Shitali, Bhastrika, Bhramari, Murchha, Plavini. Among these, Ujjayi is the most popular Pranayama. Pranayama consist of 4 parts in the following order:
1) Puraka (Controlled inhalation)
2) Abhyantara Kumbhaka (Holding breath in)
3) Rechaka (Controlled exhalation)
4) Bahya Kumbhaka (Holding breath out).

The ratio of these parts to each other is generally 1: 4: 2: 4 with a few exceptions. Patanjali's Yogasutra agreements with this ratio along with many other scripts. For the purpose of overall well-being, practicing the first three parts is sufficient. A spiritual practitioner generally practices all four parts including the last one ie Bahya Kumbhaka. Such a practiceer also does many more repetitions than someone who does it for general health and well-being. Out of the four parts of Pranayama, it's the Abhyantara Kumbhaka that is essentially identified with Pranayama. There is one more Kumbhaka that happens spontaneously and is called Keval Kumbhaka.

Bandha (Locks) are very serious to the practice of Pranayama. Mulabandha (locking the anus), Jalandharbandha (locking the throat area or jugular notch), Udiyanabandha (locking the abdomen or diaphragm) and Jivhabandha (locking the tongue) are the four locks that are performed during Pranayama. Depending upon the purpose of Pranayama (spiritual or general health), locks are performed. Mulabandha, Jalandharbandha and Udiyanabandha are the common Bandha performed by everyone. Jivhabandha is mandatory only if done for spiritual purposes.

Characteristics of Yoga

Let's take a look at some of the chief characteristics of Yoga.

1) Yoga is not an exercise.

To understand the concept of Yoga one must keep in mind that the positions in Yoga are not exercises but bodily stretches and maintenance of stretches. You may describe Yoga in terms of Yogic stretches or Yogic practices. Acquiring a body position by stretching the muscles and then maintaining this position as long as one's body allows, that is what Yogic stretches are. Yoga requires very smooth and controlled motions and a slow steady tempo. To achieve this one needs to have total concentration of mind while doing Yoga. The movements in Yoga are smooth, slow and controlled. Comparison with others is very discouraged. Doing something beyond one's capacity just out of competition generally results in hurting one's body and hence is very discouraged. Breathing in Yoga remains steady unlike many aerobic exercises. Yoga is also Isotonic unlike bodybuilding exercises, which are isometric in nature. In isotonic stretches, length of the muscles increases while tone stays the same as opposed to the isometric exercises in which length of the muscles stays the same while the tone changes. In Isotonic stretches, body is stretched in a particular manner and maintained that way for some time.

2) Longer maintenance and fewer repetitions (as per the body's capacity).

Benefits of Yoga are enhanced with the maintenance of a body stretch. Longer the maintenance better will be the effect. However one can not force itself into maintaining the stretch longer than the body can bear. Each and every position is pleasant and stable (Sthiram Sukham Asanam). Sthiram means steady. Sukham means pleasant and Asanam means a body posture or position. The right position for you is that in which your body remains steady (sthiram) and which is pleasant and comfortable to you (sukham). The moment a stretch becomes unbearable and uncomfortable and the body starts shaking, one needs to come out of that position in a very slow, smooth and controlled manner. There will be more repetitions and shorter maintenance for a beginner. With more practice, the repetitions will be fewer and maintenance will be longer. After doing Yoga one should only feel pleasant and fresh and nothing else. If you feel tired or fatigued or any part of your body aches, it only means that you have tried beyond your capacity.

3) Trust your body. Apply minimum efforts:

With the practice of Yoga, you also learn to trust your body's capacity to progress in terms of flexibility without conscious efforts. As long as the aim is in mind and the body is stretched only to its current capacity, the flexibility develops on its own. One needs to just focus on breath, focus on the present state of the body pose and enjoy that pose as long as it feels comfortable. 'Prayatnay Shaithilyam' means minimum efforts. Although there is an ideal position described and desired for each asana, no one is forced into attaining the ideal position. Yoga is done with the trust that flexibility is acquired after a continuous and regular practice. There is a message here and that is to have faith in the unknown. This message along with the improved endocrine function, better muscle tone, calmer mind and increased positive outlook can be warmly beneficial for recovery from any illness.

4) Focused stretching:
The ability to stretch or pressure one muscle group while relaxing the rest of the body is called focused stretching. For example if a particular Asana is based upon stretching the stomach as the main muscle group (the pivotal muscles), then the rest of the body is relaxed while the stomach is stretched or pressured. One has to watch for unnecessary training of those muscles that are supposedly to be relaxed. Initially this is hard to follow overtheless it becomes easier with some practice. This habit of differentiating between different muscles for the pressure becomes very useful in other areas of life too. It enables you to relax better while driving during rush hour. While doing normal daily tasks it makes you aware of the unnecessary tension on different parts of your body. You are watchful even while talking to someone or while brushing your teeth or when stuck in a traffic jam. You learn to ask yourself, 'Am I holding my breath, are my shoulders tense, is my neck stiff, are my fingers curled?' etc. etc. These acts are unnecessary and they dissipate energy. Yoga teachers you how to relax and gives you time free of worries and regrets, impatience and anxieties.

5) Breathing:
Monitoring your breathing is an integral part of Yoga. Common mistakes such as holding of breath or breathing deliberately during during Yoga. Both these mistakes must be avoided. Holding back on breath gives headaches, fatigue and thus the benefits of Yoga are lost by improper or inadequate breathing.

6) Anantha Samapatti (Merging with the Infinite):

Ultimate goal of Yoga is the amalgamation of self into the greater self. Yuja means to combine or connect to. A connection of Atma and Parmatma is the merger of the body and the spirit. Yoga is a way of life. It's a total integration. According to Patanjali (founder of Yoga), two things define Yoga postures; a stable and comfortable body posture and Anantha Samapatti. Therefore you can not separate bodily postures from meditation. In fact a body that has become flexible and steady through practice of various positions becomes a good basis for the ultimate transcendental state of mind (Samadhi). The kriya (cleansing processes) purify the body. Mudra and bandha bring the necessary stability of mind and concentration, initially on one's breath (pranadharana) and then on God (Ishwarpranidhana). Initially the mind wanders a lot and that's ok One should let it wander. Later one should count his breaths and should observe the inner and outer flow of air through the air passes. (pranadharna). This will enable him to concentrate better on himself (sakshibhavana). In the beginning it will be difficult to concentrate since the body postures are not that steady. But with practice it becomes better and better. For this one must purposely take away his mind from body posture and focus it on to the breathing process (pranadharana).

Benefits of Yoga

If you follow the basic rules, several benefits can be reaped. Maintenance of body stretches makes the body supple, lean, flexible and stable. Breathing techniques purify the blood and cleanse nasal passages and sinuses. Stress relief is the greatest of all the benefits. Relaxing positions in Yoga teach you to relax your muscles and let the gravity work on your body. The ability to differentiate between tension on different parts of the body, ie to stretch one muscle group while relaxing all the others teachers you to relax and not waste energy during your daily routine. The part about concentration is important in providing relief to your mind from worry and stress of everyday activities. Here is a detailed look at some of the major benefits of Yoga.

1. Stress relief

Stress, tension, anxiety are the inevitable features of modern day life. Yoga offers many techniques to cope up with the stress and anxiety. A stress free mind reduces the chances of catching a disease to half, this has been widely known by now. Yoga teachers very effective breathing and relaxation techniques to achieve this. Yoga also helps you to feel relaxed quick and raise your energy reserve by teaching you how to let the gravity work on your body. Half of the fatigue in any activity comes from improper and inadequate breathing and by holding breath unnecessarily. Yoga teachers you how to breathe adequately and how not to make your body tense and stiff while doing other daily tasks too. The principle of focused stretching lectures you how to not waste energy during your daily routine. It makes you aware of the unnecessary tension on different parts of your body. Yoga teachers you to relax fully and gives you time free of worries and regrets and impatience and anxieties. People having busy schedules who are used to being in action all the time, must understand that relaxing is not a crime or not a waste of time. On the contrary it gives you new energy to do your tasks better.

2. Feeling energized and refreshed

Adequate breathing plays a great role in rejuvenating and refreshing mind and body. Breathing techniques in Yoga provide abundant supply of oxygen to the lungs, cleanse nasal passages and sinuses and thus help feel refreshed. A body that has become lean and flexible with stretches and maintenance of the stretches gets purified by breathing techniques and becomes energized. Various Yoga stretches induces a balanced secretion of hormones, which subsequently rejuvenates the whole body and one feels refreshed and energized as a result.

3. Flexibility of mind and body

Apart from the relaxing effect, yoga also consists of many body stretches which when maintained for a few minutes give a wonderful flexibility to our muscles. One starts wondering, 'Am I the same person who used to be so stiff?' In many chronic disorders of the spine, Yoga has helped many people to reduce the frequency and intensity of the disorder such as spondylitis, arthritis etc. Maintenance of body stretches makes the body supple, lean, flexible and stable. In the process, not only your body but also your mind becomes flexible. The mind acquires faith that things can change favorably given enough time.

4. Relief from chronic disorders

Yoga is particularly good for having control over breath and spine. Breath and spinal are like wild animals. You force them to do something they pounce on you. You coax them, being patient with them, they can be tamed to any extent. Many Yoga stretches make the spain strong and flexible. Time and again Yoga has proved to be a blessing for all kinds of disorders of the back. The technique of exhaling twice longer than inhaling (Pranayama) gives abundant supply of oxygen to blood and many impurities of blood are cured. The deliberate exhaling technique (Shwasanmargshuddhi) cleansse the nasal passage and the sinuses. They help get rid of chronic sinus trouble or clogging of nasal passage for many people. That makes the lungs and respiratory organs stronger. The abdominal breathing technique (Kapalbhati) helps people with asthma or weak diaphragm to breathe easily.

5. Focus of mind

Practice of Yoga helps in getting better focus of mind. Meditation, being part of Yoga, teachers you how to focus better and achieve more from any activity. Dharana, which means narrowed focus on a subject by restricting Chitta (mind) is one of the 8 limbs of Ashtangayoga. It teaches you to get rid of all other thoughts from the mind and focus on the target. People have benefited enthusiastically in terms of focus of mind by doing meditation (Dhyana) and Dharana through all ages.

6. Benefits at not-so-perfect level

Even if one can not achieve perfection in an Asana, the benefits of an Asana are still available at a not-so-perfect level such as calmer mind, better flexibility, better blood pressure, lower pulse rate and better endocrine function. Whatever state of Asana one is in, if one meets the pose comfortably, body gets the necessary massage and stretch. There is a better secretion of endocrine glands as a result of the steady and sufficient stretch. The brain cells get the necessary signals and mind becomes calmer. Breath is more controlled and as a result feet refreshed. All of this happens regardless of the level of perfection. It's the steadiness and level of comfort that's more important than perfection.

Origin and philosophy of Yoga:

Ashtangayoga

Among the many proponents of Yoga, Patanjali (2nd century BC) is the most well known and most revered of all and is well accepted as the founder of Yoga. His book Shripatanjali Darshan which is a collection of hymns (also called as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras) is held in high esteem by the experts and practitioners and is known as one of the most revered reference book (a workbook for actual practice) on Yoga. Patanjali's Yoga is called Patanjala (that of Patanjali) and is also considered as Rajayoga, which means the royal Yoga or the supreme, sublime Yoga since it consists of practices that lead to spiritual liberation (Moksha). Rajayoga is a part of Sankhya philosophy and is known to awaken Kundalini (Complete opening of Chakra when reached in transcendental state of meditation) and results into complete spiritual enlightenment if practiced regularly.

Patanjalayoga is also called Ashtangayoga since it has 8 dimensions or 8 limbs. Ashta means 8 and Anga means dimension or a limit in Sanskrit. Yama (Rules for the social life), Niyama (Rules for personal development), Asana (Yoga Posture), Pranayama (Prolonged and controlled breathing), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (narrowed focusing on a subject), Dhyana (continued) experience of meditation), Samadhi (transcendental state in which there is only an essence of pure existence) are the 8 limbs of Ashtangayoga. The first four dimensions make up the exoteric (Bahiranga) part of Ashtangayoga while the last four dimensions make up the esoteric (Antaranga) part of Ashtangayoga. Out of the 8 limbs of Ashtangayoga, Asana and Pranayama are the only two limbs that generally stand for the term Yoga in its most popular form.

Hathayoga

In the 15th century AD Yogi Swatmaram founded one of the six systems of Yoga called Hathayoga. Although the term Hatha in Sanskrit means being forceful, Hathayoga is not about Hatha but is about the balance between the two principles of the body. Ha and Tha are essentially symbols. Ha means surya (sun). Tha means chandra (moon). Right nostril (Pingala) is the Surya nadi while the left nostril (Ida) is the Chandra nadi. Just the way the sun and the moon balance the life cycle of the world; the two nostrils balance the life cycle of the body. Nadi is a channel through which the life force flows. Hathayoga helps to maintain this balance by correcting the functional disorders of the body and bringing mental peace. Hathayogapradipika is the standard textbook on Hathayoga written by Yogi Swatmaram. Hathayoga accepts Patanjala Yoga as standard. Although it's a completely independent school of philosophy in its own right, it's essentially based upon the philosophy of Rajayoga expounded in Patanjali's Yogasutra.

In fact, every school of philosophy culminates into Rajayoga since the aim of every school is the same as Rajayoga ie to attain ever-lasting peace and happiness.

Hathayoga consistors of
a. Asana (body positions or stretches eg mountain pose, cobra pose)
b. Pranayama (controlled breathing techniques eg Ujjayi, Anuloma Viloma)
c. Kriya (cleansing processes eg Kapalbhati)
d. Bandha and Mudra (Locks and symbol posts eg Udiyana bandha, Jivha bandha, Simhamudra)

As per Hathayoga, Asana, Pranayama, Kriya, Bandha and Mudra are stepping stones to achieve the ultimate psycho spiritual effect of Rajayoga. They create the necessary foundation of stable and calm mind and body for Rajayoga. There are however subtle differences between Patanjala Yoga and Hathayoga. Patanjali emphasizes more on the psycho spiritual effect of Yoga rather than the physical aspects and actual techniques of Asana and Pranayama. His Asana and Pranayama are also much simpler and easier to do than the ones in Hathayoga. For this he recommends least amount of efforts (Prayatnay Shaithilyam) and maintaining a steady, rhythmic tempo and a stable, comfortable body position. Patanjali's Yogasutra discuss Asana and Pranayama only in the chapter of Kriyayoga (part of Sadhana pada) as the tool to achieve physical and mental health. On the other hand, the emphasis of Hathayoga is more on the techniques of Asana and Pranayama, Kriya, Bandha and Mudra.

Philosophy of Yogasutra:

Patanjali's Yogasutra consist of 195 sutra and 4 Pada (sections or chapters): Samadhi pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada and Kaivalya pada. Kriyayoga, the chapter on the actual practice of Yoga is a part of Sadhana Pada (section about the means of study and practice of Yoga). Kriyayoga discusses Asana and Pranayama viz. the physical part of Yoga. Just to give a glimpse of Patanjali's philosophy, here are a few thoughts from the Samadhi Pada and Sadhana Pada of Yogasutra:

According to Patanjali, meaning and purpose of Yoga is to attain Samadhi (ultimate transcendental state in which there is a sense of pure existence and nothing else). Yoga is a union of mind and body. It's compared with a calm river, which flows down towards its inclined bed without efforts. Thus Yoga is more than a physical exercise. To be able to concentrate your mind is the greatest benefit of Yoga. Yoga is nothing but self-study. Purpose of Yoga is to be self-aware. Yoga teachers you to be nearer to nature and lead a healthy life. For this you need determination and faith in Yoga.

Tapaswadhyayeshwarpranidhanani Kriyayogah

Tapa (austerities), Swadhyaya (reading of scriptures), Ishwarpranidhana. Tapa is to make body alert and active glowing with health. Swadhyaya is the continuous study to sharpen the intellect. These sadhanas are to be used to wipe out faults of human nature. There are five kleshas (bad tendencies) such as avidya (ignoreance), asmita (ego), rag (attraction-affection), dwesh (hatred) and abhinivesh (self insistence, stubbornness). These five vrittis disappear by Dhyana.

Yogaschittavrittinirodhah. By practice of Yoga, all the functional modalities of the mind completely cease.

Control of your mind is what Yoga is about. You have to involve your mind in the Asana. Asana is an instrument to Yoga. Body postures, maintenance and rounds of an asana are to be done according to one's own capacity. Retention is more desirable than repetition. Meditation can not be separated from Yoga.

Prayatne Shaithilyam anantha samapatti. While doing Yogasana (Yogic postures), two things need to be observed. One is to be relaxed mentally and physically. The second one is Anantha samapatti. It means to merge with something infinite. Patanjali says that all good things happen when you stop trying hard. You become one with Ishwara, you let go your control and forget that you are in particular body posture. Yoga should be the way of life.

Yoga chitasya malam apakarot, Padena vachanam malam, sharirasya cha vaidyaken yo apakarot. The speech is improved by reading loud a Pada (stanza of a poem) and a physician cures the diseases of body. Similarly, Yoga cures and cleans an ill mind.

According to Samadhipada, all kinds of mental and physical problems such as disease, laziness, doubts and suspensions, disobedience, misunderstandings, temptations, unhealthy thoughts are the modifications of Chitta (mind). Consequences of these modifications are unease, instability, shakiness and distortions of inhalations and exhalations. Patanjali says that through total concentration and steadfastness and a regular practice of Yoga, one can get rid of all these problems.

Ishwarpranidhanadva However if that is very difficult for someone, there is another way to achieve total health and peace and that is to surrender to God (Ishwarpranidhanadva). According to Samadhi pada, when you have no knowledge whatever, surrender to God completely and you will gain knowledge.

Owning a Pet Otter

It may seem trendy to own an exotic pet, but owning an otter as a pet is illegal in most localities without a permit. They are considered wildlife and have requirements that are different from those of the average household pet.

Reasons Not to Own a Pet Otter

If you are considering applying for a permit to own a pet otter, here are some reasons why you may not want to. Of course, if you work at a zoo or wildlife sanctuary, then these reasons won’t concern you as much.

Otters Bite

Otters have very sharp teeth, and they bite.

Otters Spray

Otters have a musky scent and spray very much like a skunk’s spray. They are definitely not inside animals.

Otters are Nocturnal

They like to hunt for food at night, and the last sound you need at night while you are trying to sleep is that of an otter splashing in your swimming pool.

Otters Need to Be Near a River

Otters like to hunt fish in a river and can eat lots of food in a day. Chances are, you don’t have secure access to a river.

Otters Learn Survival Skills from Their Mother

Otters need to learn how to survive from their mother. Their mother teaches them these skills up to 18 months of age.

Caring for an Otter

Once you have a permit for your otter, there are some special requirements that you will have to consider.

Water for Swimming and Food

Otters spend the majority of their time in the water. They like to live in very cold water, and they have a high metabolic rate to keep them warm. They can even hold their breath under water for up to 10 minutes. They are playful creatures that like to hunt for fish and eat lots of shellfish, frogs, sea urchins and invertebrates.

However, because you are keeping them in an unnatural enclosure, these foods will have to be introduced. Otters eat 15-25 percent of their body weight a day, and that’s a lot of fish. In the wild, they can spend up to five hours a day hunting for food. They can grow to be 100 pounds in weight, so plan on supplying them with lots of food each day.

Mating Season Behavior

Otters can get very aggressive in the mating season so you have to make sure that household pets or other animals are not in the vicinity because an otter will drag an animal into the water and eat it.

By whatever means you obtained a baby otter and want to raise it yourself (don’t go near an adult otter), you can see there is more to caring for a pet otter than meets the eye. For your own sake and the sake of the otter, why not hand it over to the authorities who will know what to do with it for its survival.

3D DVD Blu-Ray Players

The future of home entertainment is with doubt going to be 3D. Experts predict that a quarter of televisions sold in 2014 will be in 3D. This shows a sign of incredible potential in the way millions of people view home entertainment.

3D TVs will not only revolutionize the way in which people watch live sport and satellite movies but also create a whole new breed of home DVD bluray players. Sony, for one, are already in final stages of developing a dedicated 3D DVD player capable of streaming high quality 3D visual effects directly to a 3D television.

Since the launch of the flat screen television the market place has grown massively with people rushing in their millions to purchase a thin, flat television. However, entertainment technology manufacturers are now using the arrival of 3D to create entirely new home entertainment systems and cinemas. The highly anticipated Samsung 3D Home Entertainment System will consist of three elements, combining to create a revolutionary home visual entertainment experience. The 3D high definition Samsung television will be matched with a bluray disc player and surround sound audio system. A complete system with the capabilities of competing with professional cinema experiences.

The purpose of a 3D blu-ray disc player is to provide a storage device which has an advanced capability in comparison to standard DVD formats. Capable of storing up eight times as much data. Providing a higher picture quality, larger audio files and extra content. Providing better entertainment and value for money than DVDs.

The arrival of high powered computer desks, laptops and 3D disk drives will also enable us to watch 3D movies on devices other the television. Providing a completely flexible method of watching and enjoying 3D movies.

10 Signs That He Likes You

You met this great guy and you’ve been dating each other for some time. Not in an exclusive relationship, but you have been spending time together. Phone calls that lasted for more than an hour, flirty smiles are exchanged.

You feel good about him.

Now is the million dollar question that you want to find out.

Does he like you? Is he into you, or not?

How to know the answer? What are the tell-tale signs that he is into you?

Well, besides using your woman’s intuition which is not something I can describe here nor teach, I’ll do my best to “simplify” this complicated thing call “love”.

10 Signs That He Likes You

1. Watching the same movie twice

He’s seen the movie. Although he wasn’t very impressed with it, but because you haven’t catch it he suddenly changed his tune and said he really would like to watch it a second time.

And so by the way, if you haven’t seen it too, why not let’s go catch it together, he asked.

You know his intention is then not on the movie, but the company really.

So girls, do not expose his true intentions. It’s enough to know the underlying truth, be appreciative ok?

2. His car is playing songs that just sound too, familiar?

Because those are your favorites! You have merely casually mentioned to him once, and the next time he drives you, you’re in for a musical feast.

Is he always so attentive to everyone’s needs and preferences? Well, you observe how he interacts with others and you tell me.

3. He asks that question!

Well, he will try to be as casual and nonchalant about it as possible. But no matter how cool he acts, deep down inside he is burning and dying to know the answer to this question:

“So, are you single?”

If your answer is yes, then this will be the next one:

“No way. How can someone like you be single? You mean, you don’t have a boyfriend?”

Now watch his body language closely. If you notice he is feeling tensed up by now, and totally relieved when your answer is “No” then you get the message.

4. He asks for a follow-up date even before the date is over

Now if he isn’t interested in you, why would a man be so anxious to “book” your time for another date with him even when the date is only half-way through?

Unless you look like Jessica Alba, or you can give him a million-dollar job like Donald Trump. If you aren’t either one of the two or belong to either one of the category, then this can be a clue to his heart…

5. Your name is not foreign to his friends

If you do get a chance to meet up with his friends, which you know you can create such opportunities, you’ll get some nice juicy bits from them.

But this may not be very fool-proof, neither are all of these signs, but if his friends raise their eyebrows or grin sheepishly when he introduces you to them, then that means word has been around within that gang on someone in particular, which could very well be you.

6. He can’t remove his eyes from you

Ok, we know that’s not the kind of stare-through-your-clothes type, but rather a slightly more loving kind of gaze that speaks of admiration and liking.

If the eyes could speak, they may just pop this question on behalf of their owner “You are the most beautiful lady I’ve ever seen. Would you like to be more than friends?”

The best test? When a bombshell or super gorgeous babe sashays past, you need to alert him before he notices her. (Of course, this is really carrying it a little far ha ha…. what does it take to stop a man’s roving eyes? I can’t find the answer yet)

7. He prompts you

Every now and then, he will find a chance to ask you what type of guy you are attracted to and are looking for in a partner.

Unless he’s doing what I’m doing (which puts me in a really privileged position to ask ha ha), what business is it for him to know what kind of man you like if not for the fact that he is secretly plotting his way to become the most suitable candidate?

Don’t be surprised if he starts putting himself down or discrediting himself by saying things about him that don’t fit into the list you described. He is testing waters to see what your reaction would be, which will give him some clues on how you feel for him.

For example you listed “having a good sense of humor and making you laugh” as one of the traits which you will be attracted to, and he says “Oh, I’m a boring guy actually. I don’t know how to crack jokes or make girls laugh. I must be boring you then” be careful of what you reply him.

If you say “Ya, I don’t think you are the type of humorous person either” versus “Oh is that so? But I never find you boring at all. In fact, I feel we have lots of things to chat about” he will either be secretly weeping in sorrow or jumping in joy .

By saying things like that, he is kind of “forcing” you to give a respond, and either way you will be giving away clues on how you feel. So girls, if you fancy this guy too, you know what kind of answer you should give, right?

8. He is doing you favors

Yes, he doesn’t mind ferrying you around if he has a car. He will also volunteer to accompany you all the way to an out-of-the-way place to satisfy a sudden craving you have for a food delicacy that is sold there.

He wiil help you with your school work, express his interest in lending you a hand for errands you need to run, buy some things for your family etc.

If a man isn’t interested in developing something further than friendship with you, unless he is too bored with his life or he’s Mr Super Ultra Nice, then I wonder what could it be that prompts him to be everywhere when you need his help.

9. He’s very anxious about celebrating special occasions.

Like Valentine’s Day (if he asks you out on that day, I would really suspect his intention, wouldn’t you?) and your birthday.

He would long to celebrate this special day with you, and preferably alone.

10. He buys you gifts

Sending gifts on no apparent occasion and for no reason is the easiest way for a man to declare his interest in a girl without verbalizing it. By giving you something, he is testing to see how you react. Usually he will do this when he still isn’t sure of how you feel towards him, so at least he won’t feel rejected if you reject his gift.

At the same time, he is hoping to make you happy with that gift. And if you are happy, he will be too!

Summarizing the above, they may not be 100% fool-proof scientifically proven signs to show he’s into you. They came from pure experience and observation. I purposely didn’t include things like body language where he will check how he look before meeting you, pointing his leg and facing his body towards you etc because I just want to make this as non-scientific as possible.

So ladies, hope this gives you some clues to how this man who is appearing in front of you pretty often lately feels about you. Does he has only platonic friendship in mind, or something more?

Hire a MySQL Developer

If there is one database that is the backbone of some of the biggest applications in the world – it is MySQL. It is perhaps the world’s most popular open source database. What makes MySQL and the job of a MySQL developer special are the database’s proven performance, reliability, and ease-of-use. These qualities have made it the leading database of choice for web-based applications. It is used by some of the world’s best-known applications that billions of people use every day. Some of the big names on the list are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo! And much more.

It is run by Oracle, which makes sure innovation keeps the database the top choice for MySQL developers. It consistently delivers new capabilities to power next generation the web, cloud, mobile and embedded applications.

For those wishing to learn the technology – a MySQL developer is taught how to develop console and web applications using MySQL. The choices of languages you have are PHP, Java, or Python for programming purpose.

There are a number of courses available out there that teach you how to be a good MySQL developer and get ahead in your career. There is ample of documentation available and a MySQL developer can develop an application around MySQL using that. What is challenging is managing the MySQL instances while ensuring performance, availability, and security is not compromised. This is what a seasoned developer is capable of achieving.

When hiring a skilled MySQL developer, you need to make sure he has strong proficiency in MySQL database management. He has decent experience with recent versions of MySQL. Make sure his understanding of things like MySQL’s underlying storage engines, such as InnoDB and MyISAM is good. His abilities should coincide with what you are looking for. Look out of his experience with replication configuration in MySQL.

A good MySQL developer should have the knowledge of de-facto standards and best practices in the database. Check for his proficiency in writing and optimizing SQL statements. Things like – his knowledge of MySQL features, such as its event schedule and his ability to plan resource requirements from high-level specifications is a good indicator of his caliber.

Additionally, look for his familiarity with other SQL/NoSQL databases such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc. Above all, it is important for a good MySQL developer to have good knowledge of limitations in MySQL and their workarounds in contrast to other popular relational databases.

Pebble Rock Tiles – Learn How to Use Them!

Pebble rock tiles are unique panels made of natural pebbles which are in most cases are being manually placed together and pasted onto a 1 sq / ft mesh backing so we can easily create a totally seamless natural rock panel effect. These stone tiles are considered to be inexpensive and can easily be used internally and externally.

These panels can be easily used for various internal as well as} exterior remodeling and other purposes including: bathroom walls and backsplashes, showers, kitchen backsplashes, counter tops, patio surfaces, flooring and walls. Many home-makers prefer using these natural stone tiles and they are becoming more and more popular these days due to the fact that they open numerous designing ideas while no special knowledge is required in order to use them.

Here is a quick overview on the installation process: Using these pebble rock tiles wherever in the inside or the outside requires no special skills or expensive tools / materials. These basic inexpensive materials include: scissors, grout, sponge, thinset mortar, trowel, grout float, sealer and paint brush. You basically need to brush a sealer over the tiles before you begin on mounting the tiles, now take the trowel and use it to apply thinset over the surface and apply the stone panels besides to each other, in the last phase take the grout and fill it in the space between the stones, after it dries use a wet sponge to clean the excess grout off the surface of the pebbles.

What makes these pebble rock tiles so popular? What are the advantages? Let's quickly overview the main advantages: 1) Can be used on surfaces at home that have high traffic and that need a product that looks good and can stand up to a lot of action 2) Durable to most common home detergents 3) Comes in various colors and shapes that can easily fit almost any surface and room setting.

If you plan on redecorating by working with pebble rock tiles, use these helpful tips:

1) Upon completion, it is important to wait the adhesive's recommended drying time before you begin on grouting.

2) Laminate the stone tiles with a sealer prior to installation – it 'll protect it from liquids, dirt and detergents transforming it even more durable.

3) In order to ensure an even color layout of the tiles, sort them before installation.

Pebble rock tiles provide numerous ideas for both the inside as well as exterior due to the fact that they come in various shades, colors and sizes; they are easy to be used and reliably inexpensively as compared with other alternatives.

Preparing for Times of Disaster

Whether you live in the western united states and have suffered fires and drought, or the eastern coast and endured hurricanes and flooding, chances are you may experience one or more natural disasters in your lifetime. Being prepared won’t take away the trial, but it will help you to recover as well as sustain you until damage can be restored again. There are three basic ways you can prepare for a disaster.

1. SECURE YOUR HOME. You may not necessarily notice the heavy vases stored above the kitchen cabinets, bookshelves packed with books in the den, or the glass mirror in the hallway as being potential hazards in your home, but during flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes, these items could cause injury. Securing heavy furniture to the walls could prevent them from tipping over onto someone. Strapping your water heater to the foundation of the house will keep it from falling and the pipes from breaking. If the water heater is damaged, gas could leak and valuable water could empty out. You can take inventory of every room in your home to see how to storm-proof and keep your family safe. Remove heavy items from upper shelves and place them on lower shelves. Install latches on cabinets containing glassware, and secure pictures, mirrors, and other wall hangings with earthquake-proof hooks. Keep shoes or slippers near your bed. If a disaster were to occur during the night, you may need to access them immediately to protect your feet from possible broken glass or sharp metal. Also, keep a flashlight in an accessible place in every room to utilize as a light source.

2. STORE FOOD, WATER, AND EMERGENCY SUPPLIES. If a disaster happens, it is likely that grocery stores will be out of commission for a while. You may have to rely, for a time, on the food you have within your home. Store the food your family likes and keep a few extra treats on hand to help bring comfort during a time of chaos or uncertainty. Store water in case your water supply becomes contaminated. Store enough for drinking as well as hygiene and cooking needs. Additionally, have first-aid supplies on hand as well as flashlights and batteries, extra blankets, cash, extra toiletries and feminine supplies, a manual can-opener, and any other basic needs you may have as you shelter-in-place. It would be a good idea to have a wrench to turn off any utilities such as power and gas.

3. HAVE A FAMILY PLAN. Whether you draw up a fire escape plan, or write out a strategy for evacuating, create a family plan for any type of disasters. Review with your family the possible scenarios in each case of an emergency. Establish well-thought-out solutions that will keep your family safe and help each other to make contact with one another in case you are ever to be separated. Have a meeting place to go, or a main contact person, such as grandparents or out-of-state family members to connect with to report your individual status. Remember to keep the pets in mind, and talk about your family plan often with family members. Above all, believe that if you and your family are prepared, it will make difficult times become more endurable.

How to Make a Girl Come Quickly and Effortlessly

Imagine a sex life where regardless of how long it went for, or how hard you wanted to, you never reached orgasm.

It’d be pretty frustrating, right?

Sadly, that’s what about 70% of women go through every single day.

Many men are waking up to the fact that their partner isn’t getting the sexual satisfaction she craves, and to their credit, are seeking out a solution to the problem. However, many of you reading this article are probably still unsure of how to give a girl multiple, mind-blowing orgasms that she know she desperately needs.

That’s where I come in. In this article, I’m going to show you exactly how you can make your girl come quickly, easily, and effortlessly, using a simple, idiot-proof three-step formula.

Step 1: Build Sexual Tension

With all that goes on in our lives these days, it’s easy for us to lose touch with our inherent sexuality. For guys, this usually isn’t a big problem – we’re so highly sexually charged to begin with, that it doesn’t exactly take a lot for it to awaken.

Women, on the other hand, are a whole different story.

As opposed to men, who are generally more sexually charged the longer it’s been since they’ve had sex, women work the opposite way. That is to say, they are at their horniest when they are having regular orgasms.

In order to make a woman orgasm quickly and effortlessly, we have to re-awaken her sexuality. We do this first mentally, then physically. The mental component is called sexual tension.

Building sexual tension, whilst easy when you know how, is a whole subject in and of itself. For the purposes of this article, just understand that it involves getting a girl’s mind to be receptive to any sexual advances you make. Ways to do this may include light touching, a certain look, saying certain things, flirting, and much more.

Once you have built a decent amount of sexual tension, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Foreplay

Being able to perform powerful, arousing foreplay is one of the best skills a man can have in the bedroom.

If sexual tension is the key to awakening a woman’s mental sexuality, foreplay is the key to re-aquainting her body with her sexual side. Again, there really isn’t enough room in this article to be able to reveal the secrets to amazing foreplay, but essentially it revolves around “firing up” her nerves and putting her body in a highly sexually charged state.

 

Step 3: Direct Sexual Stimulation

If you have built sexual tension correctly, and have given your girl amazing foreplay, she’s 90% of the way to having amazing, powerful orgasms already.

Having said that, obviously the actual physical stimulation is still extremely vital in making her come.

Again, unfortunately, there just isn’t room in this article to give a thorough and in-depth explanation of how to use the clitoris, G-spot, and vaginal nerve endings in order to satisfy a woman’s sexual cravings. We don’t have the space to get into a discussion of primary and secondary stimulation, or the multitude of “hot spots” that are part of the female body, or how to use mental stimulation in tandem with physical stimulation in order to give her powerful, mind-blowing orgasms.

What you have just read is the basic skeletal outline of everything you need to know in order to make a girl come quickly and effortlessly. If you apply this roadmap, there is no doubt in my mind that your girl will have the most powerful orgasms of her life.

Lift Your Spirits – 18 Quick Fixes for the Winter Doldrums

This is the time of year when I am always looking for a little lift. This string of days before spring unfolds just seem to stretch on and on.

Each year, it seems, I try something new at these times. Here are 18 things that have worked for me to lift the winter doldrums. See if any of these might work for you.

1. Try out a new exercise – something you've never done before. Whether you buy a new workout tape or try the Hot Yoga class at your gym, get moving in new ways.

2. Try a new hair color. It does not have to be anything dramatic. Just ask your stylist to add a few highlights to brighten up your look a bit.

3. Give to a new charity. With your family, research causes that are important to you and decide on a charitable gift. Whether you give time or money, making a new and fresh contribution can really renew your energy this time of year.

4. Buy something that screams spring. Treat yourself to a new breezy caftan top or some sporty new sunglasses. At the very least, go to your favorite boutique and try on a few of the new sandals styles for spring.

5. Treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh flowers as a centerpiece for your dining room table.

6. Test drive a convertible.

7. Find a new fragrance. Go to the cosmetics counter and sniff around for something light, airy, and floral.

8. Open the windows.

9. Get your bicycle tuned up.

10. Buy a large, healthy plant for your office.

11. Even if it's still chilly in your part of the world, aim to spend at least 30 minutes each day outside. A little sunlight and fresh air can really help to burn off the doldrums.

12. Have salad for dinner. My kids love taco salad on crisp iceberg. Another great choice is Caesar salad with marinated chicken strips.

13. Fire up the grill.

14. Get a pedicure.

15. Add a few colorful accents to your home. A few new pillows or rugs can lift your spirits.

16. Break yourself out of your routine. Sometimes our feelings of hibernation come in because school and work schedules during the winter do not afford many choices. And then we get stuck and a little burned out. Each day, change one thing in your normal routine. Call an old friend during your lunch hour. Drive a new way home from work. Bring home takeout from a new place.

17. Book a quick, last minute spring getaway for the weekend. Ask your friends for the most enjoyable road trip they have taken recently and follow in their footsteps.

18. Find a Community-Supported-Agriculture (CSA) initiative to participate in this summer. When we started getting involved, we began to really anticipate the arrival of our fresh, organic and locally grown produce each year, and it helped us to pay attention and to appreciate the natural rhythm of the seasons. This is a great time to do your research and anticipate the way those fresh raspberries and tomatoes will taste on your summer table.

How will you beckon the arrival of spring?