Yoga to Try

frogs-2403525_1280.jpg

Close your eyes and breathe in. That last load of laundry can wait. Your boss can’t get you here. All your stress and anxiety isn’t allowed. For once, nothing is important. The only priority is clearing your mind.

Open your eyes and breathe out. See your body fold in new ways; experience the foreign stretches. Stand up and feel it - the energy. Not some coffee-induced, bound-to-crash-soon-energy, but some authentic, slept-like-a-baby-energy.

How? Yoga.

It's always difficult to nurture our mental and physical health simultaneously; one always seems to get the upper hand. Towards the end of high school, I was the most "fit" I had ever been. I worked out often and was in good shape. Looking in the mirror, I was happy with my body, but I wasn't happy. It took me a while to realize that I was repressing my problems and never taking the time to address anything.

It wasn't until a friend of mine showed me yoga, an exercise that encompassed both the serenity of meditation and the fulfillment of exercise, that I started to actually like the person within my body. That's not to say that yoga is some majestic discipline that will rid us of suffering, but it certainly has many restorative qualities. There is no way to express how much mediation, and not medication, can help anxiety. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, the breathing exercises from yoga compose me far better than any anti-depressant ever has.

In Hinduism, Yoga is the process of reversing the regular flow of energy, through breathing and meditation, to join an individual's spirit with the Universal Spirit, so one may perceive things with their mind, rather than their unreliable senses. It is a practice well over 5000 years-old. Although Yoga is an immensely rich discipline, asanas (postures or poses) and Pranayama (breathing control) are the aspects Western Yoga highlights most. 

There is a reason that 5000 years later, across the world, people still practice yoga; it works. Nothing relaxes and stimulates the human body simultaneously like yoga - not to mention it builds strength and increases flexibility.  Whether it be the fast pace and high-intensity of power yoga, the sweat and determination of hot yoga, or the helpful props in restorative yoga, there is certainly a type of yoga for everyone.  

stones-1372677_640.jpg

To top things off, Ottawa has a growing yoga community with many studios. During the summer, on Wednesdays parliament hill is converted into a giant dojo and they offer a free yoga class. My personal favourite free yoga is Free Full Moon Yoga at Lansdowne Park. Everyone gathers on the great lawn under the moonlight, definitely a bizarre sight.

Plus with YouTube and other sites, there are endless videos to get you started... It's just a matter of rolling out the mat. 


Matt Picture.jpg

Matthew is an Ottawa-based writer with a passion for football that was conceived in 2009, when the New Orleans Saints defied all odds and won their first Super Bowl Championship. He longs to visit Northern Europe to see the aurora borealis. Until then, he reads graphic novels, plays Super Smash Bros., and attempts to stay fit. 

It's Just a Fad: The Truth About Detox Dieting

16762359914_085d955b48_m.jpg

The media is always shoving new ways to lose weight down our throats — quick fixes and diets that are sure to ‘purify’ our bodies and make us the healthiest version of ourselves.

However, they leave out one little detail; none of these diets are going to help you be healthy or thin in the long run. Sure, they may work for a few days or even weeks — but the minute you stop the diet and start eating normally again, you gain all the weight back. You can’t stay on a ‘quick fix’ diet forever, they’re not sustainable.

Detoxing is essentially ridding your body of any toxins or other unhealthy substances it may have. There are many people who believe that detox dieting is the key to weight loss and healthy living. There are juice and soup cleanses, water fasts, special teas, and even baths that claim to detox your body and help you shed five to 30  pounds in a week. And they will! You will lose all that weight! You’ll also be exhausted, malnourished, and suffering from either severe constipation or severe diarrhea. The creators of these diets also forget to add that the minute you stop your ‘cleanse’ and go back to eating real food, all the weight you managed to lose will come back — and then some.  

34524616253_07095805f4_m.jpg

The truth is, you already detox and flush toxins out of your body naturally. That’s what your liver and kidneys are for! The kidneys remove waste and regulate the amount of fluid in the body, while the liver filters blood and detoxifies chemicals. There is no need for any fancy “detox diet”. By drinking about two litres of water a day and eating a balanced, healthy diet, you will allow your body to detox naturally. By doing these fasts and “detox diets”, you are doing more harm to your body than good. There is also the fact that fasting and dieting can be extremely addictive, and those predisposed to eating disorders may come to develop an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia.

Don’t feel discouraged, though! There is still hope for you to lose the weight you want to without any kind of quick-fix or fad diet. It will take longer, and you will have to put in a lot of effort, but you will be the healthiest version of yourself —and still get to eat all your favourite foods!

In my next post, I will be detailing how to lose weight with the best science-backed method; using your BMR and TDEE alongside specific diet adjustments. I will explain the methods and how they work, alongside a general timeline of when you can expect to lose weight.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse or “detox-diet”? Let me know your experience in the comments below!


mkm.jpg

When she’s not curled up with a book or furiously scribbling out poetry, Nicky can be found caught in debate, unafraid to use her sharp tongue and even sharper wit. As a second year Professional Writing student, she takes to debating in written form, debunking myths and ensuring that her point is heard.

Comment

Nicky Clermont

When she’s not curled up with a book or furiously scribbling out poetry, Nicky can be found caught in debate, unafraid to use her sharp tongue and even sharper wit. As second year Professional Writing student, she takes to debating in written form, debunking myths and ensuring that her point is heard.

Living A Balanced Life

kaboompics_Young couple with sunflower.jpg

 

If you look up ‘How to Live a Balanced Life’, you won’t get the exact key to your answer. However, you will often find a Google search will give you plenty of tips and quotes on what a balanced life is. That is pretty much all you are going to get. I wouldn’t trust those Mama Gizelle Fortune Teller websites, they just want your money.

Why is it you only find tips and tricks? Because there is no one right answer to what a balanced life is or how to live it. Everyone experiences their life differently and has a unique path to true happiness and success. Some see their success and true happiness as being wealthy, others seek spiritual fulfillment as true happiness; only you can decide what a balanced life is.

 There are also multiple different tips that can lead you towards your path - especially for those in difficult times or struggling through life’s many obstacles. Everyone needs a little push in the right direction or enlightenment that leads to research. Here are a few words to live by, when seeking a balanced life: always remember that your body is your temple, and only you have complete control over its properties, inside and out; mind, body and spirit. It’s important to always care and love yourself; don’t be afraid to put your needs before others.

pexels-photo-592931.jpeg

 

Having to let go of the past if given an opportunity to move closer to your goal or dream doesn’t always have to be a negative choice. Every day we are faced with options and challenges that leave us unsure or lost. To achieve success and happiness, you must have faith in yourself and your abilities to take a risk in life. It is natural and understanding to also rid yourself of a toxic person or situation, to fill your environment with a positive atmosphere.

Taking a step back in your current life situations, and assessing what your next move is, can help you create a plan to reach your preferred destinations in either your career or personal life. But rarely it is also said to ‘expect the unexpected’, something many people have feared, going back to having faith in yourself, to take a risk, unsure of the consequences. We often forget to consider if we are so unsure of what is going to happen, whether we plan for the worst, or hope for the best, why put such a large effort into ensuring everything goes according to plan?

To be honest, the answer to living a balanced life is about accepting the choices and challenges life may throw at you, taking them in stride, and putting your best foot forward to reach your path to true happiness. Always remember your body is your temple; your mental, spiritual and physical health come first.

With that in mind, what can you say is the definition of your true happiness? Your path to a balanced life? Fame? Money? Dogs? Comment below!

 

pexels-photo-464332.jpeg
Comment

Alyson Doherty

 

I have had a passion for literature since the day Dr. Seuss started to make sense. Healthy living is just one of the many other strong passions I have, and combining two great passions is living what I believe is a fulfilled life. Walk through my arranged blogs on the joy and knowledge of healthy living!

Welcome to Active Voice!

Active Voice is a blog created by four Professional Writing students who have an active interest in healthy living. We each come from diverse backgrounds and want to lend our voice to communicate how to live a healthier life in every way. We will cover everything from mental and physical well-being, to spirituality and relationships. We hope that you enjoy reading Active Voice as much as we love creating it!

If you had a say, what would you like to see us cover on Active Voice?

Comment

Nicky Clermont

When she’s not curled up with a book or furiously scribbling out poetry, Nicky can be found caught in debate, unafraid to use her sharp tongue and even sharper wit. As second year Professional Writing student, she takes to debating in written form, debunking myths and ensuring that her point is heard.