List Of Yoga Essentials

Yoga Essentials – A Checklist

By Sarah Freeland

Yoga has been booming in popularity for years now. Offering a way to connect with yourself through exercise and relaxation. However, if you are new to the world of yoga it can get confusing. While many instructors will give you a list of what you will need, and what to expect. Some might not, which will still leave you with the question; what exactly do you need to practice yoga? article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Well, with this yoga essentials checklist you no longer have to worry. Simply print it out, and bring it along on your yoga shopping spree. If you’d like to make it an even easier shopping trip, look around the store. There is everything that is a must-have with yoga, and many more accessories that will help to make it much easier.

* First and foremost you need to get at least a couple yoga outfits. While it is a common misconception, that normal workout wear is fine. They can often times be too cumbersome and loose to practice yoga, without having to worry about adjusting your clothes. Most yoga workout wear is snug-fitting, and meant to help you achieve inner peace without worrying about your clothes.

There are shorts, tops, pants, and even capris that are produced for yoga. Giving you a wide variety of clothing to choose from. The one key to selecting the perfect yoga outfit, is by keeping the weather in mind. Chances are, if it is snowing outside you don’t want to be caught wearing shorts. However, yoga pants will last throughout the year.

* Second, you have your yoga mat. Whether it is a Tai inspired mat or your standard issued yoga mat. They can be found almost anywhere these days, and are affordable for any budget. Some yoga mats have even been made to be somewhat sticky, which will keep the risk of slipping at a minimum. Try going organic! One of the major players in yoga, is living with the world. Giving you more reason to go green.

* The third essential item you must have for yoga, is a few props. Depending on what your instructor plans for the day. It wouldn’t be wise to be caught unprepared. From bolsters to meditation stands, there are a lot of props and accessories that are essential for yoga classes. They can be found almost anywhere, from online yoga specialty shops like this one to local shops. However, be mindful of quality. Chances are, if it is too cheaply priced you aren’t going to get the amount of use out of them that you’d want.

* The fourth essential yoga item is the yoga bag. Giving you the ability to keep all of your yoga essentials in check. There is nothing worse, than your yoga mat falling into a pile of mud before your lesson. Keep them all in one snug place, all with a little additional style.

* Meditation cushions, while an accessory can help with your yoga practices. Giving you the ability to attune yourself from within. There is nothing worse than a sore bottom on the floor, when you are trying to reach inner peace.

* Yoga DVDs to keep your lessons going. Can’t make your appointment this week for yoga class? No problem! You’ve got a couple yoga DVDs meant to keep you in the yoga mind set. They are essential for any yoga practitioner, especially those who are short on time.

* Foam blocks, while they would be considered props. Are by far one of the highest priority props for yoga. Thus giving them a spot on the essentials checklist. They can be found separately, or in yoga essential kits.

* A yoga strap is your friend! They are utilized frequently throughout a yoga class, or at home on your own. Much like the foam blocks, they can be found both in a kit or stand alone.

* The yoga ball and hand pump. While they can be found separately, they usually come as a pair. It will give you a leg-up at your class, when you come prepared with these two fantastic yoga essentials.

There are countless amounts of yoga items available. Which means that we have only begun to touch the basics on the yoga essentials checklist. There will always be something that you need or want with yoga lessons. Whether it be on the list or not, it is always a good idea to ask your instructor if you aren’t sure what you will need. Chances are, they will have an in-depth list of anything they require. Which will give you the ability to purchase your own, rather than utilizing their hand-outs.

Remember with all yoga items, you should try to go green. Many companies such as this one, will offer both an organic and non-organic version of all of these must-haves. Which will help you to keep our earth clean of chemicals, without having to skip a beat in your yoga lessons. Last but not least, the most essential yoga item is yourself. Keeping your body clean and free of chemicals and in tip-top shape, is by far the most important thing for yoga. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

The three popular types of yoga you may have heard of are hatha yoga, power yoga and bikram yoga. Hatha yoga is the style of yoga most practiced today. It is what you will think of when you think of yoga in general. Power yoga is a more aerobic-style yoga, with an emphasis on cardio. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room to accelerate detoxification. Universal Yoga sells everything you need to practice these and other forms of yoga, Pilates and meditation including yoga pants, yoga mats, athletic apparel.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.—A-Checklist&id=2029716

[], yoga blankets, yoga music, meditation accessories, uplifting apparel and yoga gear [].

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Benefits – Zumba Fitness

Benefits of the ZUMBA Dance Fitness Program

By Charli Ashby

Zumba is the latest worldwide craze and it is no wonder that Australia has been quick to embrace this fantastic new fitness trend. Zumba is a Latin dance fitness experience suitable for anybody. As an instructor myself, people always have questions and concerns regarding the workout. I say workout, but it is often referred to as a ‘party’ meaning it is such a fun and easy hour, you won’t even know you are working out. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring anymore and with Zumba it isn’t. The music is motivating, the moves are motivating the atmosphere of the class is motivating. In this article you will find essential key points to help with your Zumba experience. article, article,

Zumba is a fantastic way to workout. It has often been called the ‘exercise in disguise’ as it is just that. People that attend Zumba classes always say it feels like they are not working out, and that is the idea behind Zumba. It takes all your favorite Latin rhythms, (merengue, bachata, cumbia, salsa, reggaeton, mambo, cha cha and other styles including belly dancing and flamenco) and simplifies these moves making it an easy to follow workout. Zumba classes include everything you need from a workout, lower body, upper body and without even getting on the floor to do sit ups, your abdominal region!

A one hour ZUMBA class allows you to burn up to 1000 calories per session on average which is fantastic in you think about the other exercise regimes you would have to partake in order to burn the equivalent amount of calories. Zumba is great for weight loss in both women and men.

Zumba improves coordination. And the proof is right in front of you after you attend 2 or 3 classes. For those of you that are regular Zumba people, remember that first class you did? And how it was a little difficult? And now, if you think about how easy the moves have become and how you can pick them up more quickly. The proof is right there, the more Zumba you do the better you become, therefore the better coordinated you will feel. article, article,

Zumba is great for your general health and fitness level. In an average Zumba class you will get a sweat on but you should not be out of breath the whole time. There will be moments during some of the routines where you heart rate is elevated and the workout harder but then there are the songs with the routines which allow you to return to normal and therefore make the workout seem easy. A lady on the radio the other day from here in Adelaide was 120kgs, and from doing Zumba 2 – 3 times per week she was down to 80kgs! Zumba is a workout that works.

Zumba is a go at your own pace workout, which everyone should be aware of. This means you do what part of the workout you can do and for those parts that are too challenging you can take it at your own level or simply march on the spot. As long as you keep moving during the class, you are doing something good for your body. article, article,

The easiest way to find out about Zumba is by taking a class. Classes are casual and there is no pressure to get the moves straight away. As an instructor I tell people that the first class is the most difficult, it’s new and it’s probably like nothing you’ve ever done before so you have the right to make mistakes. People often come to me and tell me they are uncoordinated. I watch these people during the class and it appears they are not uncoordinated at all!

The moves are repetitive so it gives everyone time to pick up the moves, then later in the routine the moves are repeated again so you have a chance to refine them. After the first class, you will find the moves become easier, your fitness levels are better and your coordination will be improve. What better way to spend an hour out of your day?

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Charli Ashby
ZUMBA Instructor Adelaide
Check the website for times and venues

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.




Meditation For Beginners

If meditation is not something that you see as an option in your health and wellness program, maybe it should be. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer and producer. Mr. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters.

Regarding meditation he was once quoted as expressing, “Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”

Perhaps now might be a good time to clear out the clutter and think about the possibility that meditation can be very helpful to you. article, article,  photo

If you are new to meditation and are puzzled as to the process, we have a guest writer whose thoughts should be helpful.

16 Simple Strategies for Meditation Newbies

By Kurt A Tasche  |   Submitted On June 17, 2016

Meditation, particularly mindfulness meditation, has become exceptionally popular over the last couple of years. While meditation can be extremely simple, there are a number of common mistakes and misconceptions about meditation that you’ll want to prevent if you’re brand-new to the practice.

Starting on the right foot enhances the probabilities of maintaining your meditation practice and getting the most out of it.

Use these suggestions to avoid meditation mistakes:

  1. Sit up straight. Slumping over may be comfortable for a few minutes, but it takes more strength than you think to support bad posture. Sit up straight to prevent undue stress on your back.
  2. Start gradually. Just a few minutes is enough to start. There are 2 major reasons for this. It’s much simpler to be complete your meditation sessions when you only need to sit for three minutes at a time. Likewise, it’s more challenging to meditate for a prolonged period of time if you’re not experienced.
  3. Meditate several times every day. The more you meditate, the easier it will become. Soon, you’ll be able to sit for longer periods of time, and meditate more often.
  4. It’s all about the breath. Your breath links you to the moment and assists in keeping your mind focused. The breath isn’t something to be focused on intensely, rather it serves as an anchor to maintain awareness of the present.
  5. Count your breaths if needed. If you’re struggling to stay focused, count your breaths. Count each inhalation up until you’ve reached 5 then start over.
  6. Keep your eyes opened somewhat. It’s much easier for your mind to wander from the present if your eyes are closed. Keep your gaze low and soft.
  7. Acknowledge thoughts but avoid dwelling on them. All thoughts need to be treated the same. They’re just phenomena travelling through. Let them go and return your focus to your breath.
  8. Be patient. It seems like it must be simple to focus for a couple of minutes, however the mind prefers to stay hectic. It’s a challenging practice to break. Be patient.
  9. Sit comfortably. It’s not necessary to sit with your legs folded like a pretzel. Any position that can be held comfortably for the scheduled time is good enough.
  10. Utilize a timer. Without a timer, you’ll find yourself fretting about the time and continue to peek at the clock. Set a trusted timer and you won’t be as preoccupied with the time.
  11. Increase your meditation time by 5 minutes weekly. Avoid the temptation to advance too rapidly. Preferably, you’ll anticipate your meditation sessions. Progressing too rapidly triggers restlessness and agitation.
  12. Consider getting expert help. There are many complimentary chances to meditate with others. Try to find regional meetups or call your local Buddhist temple. With a lot of individuals practicing meditation, you’re bound to discover an expert ready to assist.
  13. Take every opportunity to practice meditation. Meditating at home under perfect conditions is excellent practice, however the main goal is to have the capability to practice meditation anywhere. A skilled meditator can meditate on a 99-degree packed, loud, smelly subway.
  14. Be persistent. If you’re meditating each day with the complete intent of improving, you’ll eventually end up being a proficient meditator.
  15. Stretch first. Your meditation position must be comfortable and easy. If your position feels like a stretch, you will not be comfortable. Stretch first.
  16. There’s no reason to be concerned about your hands Simply place your hands. Comfortably on your lap. Permitting your hands to go to low can eventually pull down on the shoulders and end up causing pain.

Meditation can bring you both psychological and physical advantages. Utilize these ideas when starting to practice meditation and you’ll rapidly become skillful at a practice you can take pleasure in for the rest of your life.

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Thanks much Kurt.

Kurt Tasche is a martial artist, Internet entrepreneur and motivational coach who writes articles and produces videos on the subjects of marketing and personal development. You can connect with him on his Facebook Page here.


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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and meditation expert who has been in private practice for over 20 years. He is based in Newport Beach, California and regularly appears in national publications such as Woman‘s World and Good Housekeeping. He is sought after speaker, consultant, workshop leader, author of numerous books, and he is also the host of the “The Happiness Podcast” and the “Meditation Podcast,” which are broadcast every week. His podcasts are available for free at (link is external) & 






Fitness – Improved Mind

Fitness should never be a fad but a way of life, wouldn’t you agree? article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Once we make up our minds to do something, there’s nothing to prevent us from achieving our goals.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”…… John F. Kennedy

So much of our power is in the mind. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Since there are so many schools of thought on fitness, let’s turn our attention to a guest writer who would like to share his thoughts.

Fitness: A State of Being
 by: Frederic Madore

Today’s technological advancement often raises a lot of questions. While we find that we have a lot more convenience at our disposal, there are many issues surrounding our present fast life. Most people often find that easy is not necessarily good, and that convenient does not always equal to rewarding, when it comes to our long-term goals. We ask ourselves if our lifestyles will actually allow us to age gracefully, or end up wondering why we feel so old when we are barely in our forties.

For many people who have become aware of how their lifestyles impact their future, fitness suddenly becomes a major priority. Never mind that you’re earning good money, or enjoying a rewarding career -if you don’t gear up your body fitness-wise, then all your achievements would hardly matter when you advance in years.

Those who have always maintained fitness-oriented habits are most fortunate. They are rewarded with a sense of well-being, calm despite stress, sound body and mind, and a physique that ages gracefully. Fortunately, those who have just become aware of the benefits of fitness can jump right in and start getting fit -the sooner, the better. The best thing with honing your over-all wellness is the fact that anybody can do it -regardless of status, age, and other factors. There’s not much expense involved. In fact, you’ll probably find that a fit lifestyle often translates into an easier existence. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Here are some basic tips for those who want to zoom their way to the right fitness level:

Eat right.

America has often been described as a fast food nation. Indeed, any health expert will tell you that your cholesterol levels will rise higher than any impending job promotions if you continue to indulge in grease-laden food. While there is nothing wrong with eating the occasional burger, anything excessive always proves to be harmful -not unless we’re talking about fruits and vegetables. This brings us to the topic of fiber. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. An increased intake will allow your body to flush out toxic elements and cleanse you thoroughly. They are even cheaper alternatives, and have the added advantage of boosting your body with vitamins and minerals. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Move right.

Unfortunately, working in an office setting often means sitting by your desk for long stretches of time. While you are surely exercising your mind and accomplishing tons of paperwork, your body is also accumulating unused body fat, often the result of a sedentary lifestyle. Few people are blessed with naturally good metabolism, and if you’re like the rest of us who have suddenly realized that they’re already buying bigger and bigger clothes, it’s time to incorporate some activities in your routine. You’ve got a variety of things to choose from -working out at the gym, swimming a few laps per day, jogging around the neighborhood, even climbing those four flights of stairs in your building every day!

“8” is a magic number.

And why not? Surely you know that people are advised to drink eight glasses of water a day, and sleep eight hours every night. Drink up those healthy liquids and hydrate your body. You’ll find that it speeds up digestion and provides a healthier sheen to your skin. As for sleep, always make sure that you allot time for relaxation, no matter how busy your life gets. Fitness is not just about your body’s condition, but the state of your mind, as well. article, wikimedia article, wikimedia photo

Relaxation and recreation are keys to a well-rested mind, therefore ensuring that you’ll never burn out and always have enough energy to keep going. Remember the number eight and be rewarded with a more relaxed mindset.

Of course, it would be best to consult your doctor before taking any steps.

A good physical exam will prove to be beneficial. You’ll not only find out the current state of your body, your doctor can advise on areas of improvement, as well. And when you’ve finally reached your fitness goals, you’ll find that maintaining it is a lot easier and makes your life much, much better. Tasks are easier, your energy level is always up, and you’ll find that you are better at managing and juggling your chores with minimum stress.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

Stone Massage Therapy

Soothing massage therapy can result in mental, emotional and physical improved health.

Have you ever considered hot stone massage therapy? article, photo

First of all, what is it?

The informative site educates, “Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are positioned on parts of the client’s body of to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt. These stones are heated in sanitizing water before use.

The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels.

Always check with your doctor before getting a hot stone massage; individuals with certain conditions–including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure–are advised to avoid this type of therapy.”

For repetition, Please consult with your doctor before trying this form of massage.

For those who have tried it, some state that among the myriad of benefits are pain relief and improved circulation.

We would like to turn our attention to a guest speaker who will suggest the steps you should take before you give this unique therapy a try.

Massage Do’s And Don’ts
 by: Chris Turley

Seen as a more effective method than traditional massage because of the stones’ wonders in promoting muscle relaxation and tension release, hot stone therapy is often preferred by a lot of people who are in dire need of giving themselves a chance to unwind.

But in getting a hot stone massage, there are certain things you have to know and follow. Here are some of the major do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind:

Do’s article, photo

• Schedule your appointment in advance. This will give the therapist or the spa book appointments more efficiently. Once you’ve booked your schedule, be sure to show up. Cancelling the last minute or not showing up is a very impolite thing to do.

• Arrive on time. This will give you time to relax before your session which is optimal in getting the best massage experience. Arriving early will also give you the chance to enjoy the spa’s facilities such as steam bath, sauna or whirlpool.

• Drink plenty of water before and after the therapy. Massage is known to release unhealthy toxins and drinking plenty of water helps a lot in flushing them out.

• Turn off your phone. Shun the outside world even for a few minutes and let this time be quality time for yourself.

• Relax. Take your mind off anything and imagine yourself in a calming place where there’s nothing left to do but to rest and relax.

• Discuss with your therapist any concerns and preferences that you may have about the session.

• Go to the bathroom before the session starts. Standing up, getting dressed and going to the restroom can surely interrupt the flow of the therapy and ruin the relaxing ambience of the place.

• Give your therapist a 10-15% tip. You may give even more if you are very pleased with the service. To further show appreciation, you can also make referrals to your family and friends.


• Don’t eat a heavy meal at least one hour before the session so you won’t feel bloated and uncomfortable. If you must eat, have a couple of light crackers instead.

•Don’t think of work or chores. This is your time to relax and it’s absolutely forbidden to let the letters w-o-r-k slip into your mind. You will only experience the optimum benefits of massage if you are able to relax your mind.

• Don’t feel obliged to engage in a conversation with your therapist if you want to enjoy the therapy silently.

• Don’t tighten up your muscles during the session because this is more difficult to relieve.

• Don’t wear perfume or apply lotion on your skin prior to the therapy. Perfumes are not advisable since you’ll be staying in an enclosed room. Wearing scents may suffocate your therapist while a lotion may interfere with the massage oil or lotion to be used in the session.

• Don’t get off the table immediately after the therapy. Feeling a little light headed or dizzy after a massage is normal. That’s why it’s important that you let yourself rest for a couple of minutes before getting up.

More and more people are turning to hot stone massage as a way to take a break from the usual grind of life which includes stressful office work, house chores and taking care of kids. By knowing these tips, you will be able to experience the best kind of therapy there is. article, photo

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

Learn more massage stone tips from Chris Turley, a director of a massage stone supply company on his site at