Physical Health

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Lisa McCourt is a renowned speaker, teacher, and author of many best-selling books about unconditional love. In her new book, Juicy Joy, she offers a powerful guide to creating the life of your dreams – one filled with happiness, personal freedom, abundance, and true fulfillment.

Each page of Juicy Joy resonates with Lisa’s authenticity, warmth, and wisdom.  Filled with  practical tips and inspiring, heart-felt stories from Lisa’s own life and from the thousands of people she has coached, Juicy Joy will help you connect to the truth of who you are and share your own unique gifts and talents with the world.

To order your copy of Juicy Joy, click here.

What People Are Saying

“I love this book! It’s honest, from the heart, inspiring and, like the title says, juicy. Lisa McCourt captures all the values I hold dear and expresses them in a believable, engaging, and exciting way.” ~ Alan Cohen, author of Enough Already

“Lisa is a sparkling example of what she teaches. She excels at the art of being ‘happy for no reason.’” ~Marci Shimoff

“Lisa McCourt is a daring and adventurous life pioneer. If you are ready and willing to follow her 7 Steps, I promise you will be forever (and fabulously) changed.” ~Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret, and foreword writer for Juicy Joy

“Lisa McCourt has developed a brilliant step-by-step system for relocating yourself as the juicy, delicious, vibrant creature you were born to be. Allow these seven steps to launch you into unprecedented heights of self-adoration.”
~Regena Thomashauer, author of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts

Lisa McCourt

Lisa McCourt

More about Lisa

Since Lisa McCourt’s bestselling books about unconditional love sold over five and a half million copies, were translated into 11 languages, and received multiple publishing industry awards and starred reviews . . . she thought she was a real smarty-pants on the subject of love. Then a lightning bolt of divine insight struck her and she realized, at last, that there’s one rare flavor of love that transforms everything and without it, no other flavor can exist. Self-love: it’s not just a cliché anymore! Once Lisa witnessed the miracles that are possible through true self-love, she made it her mission to perfect the art and science of achieving radical authenticity and outrageous self-adoration. She has taught her juicy-joyful, sometimes shocking, always delicious methods to thousands in her popular presentations and online trainings. Lisa lives in sunny South Florida with her two self-loving kids.

CalmQuestion: What is the purpose of meditation?

Answer: People are drawn to meditation for many different reasons. Some begin meditating because of a doctor’s recommendation, seeking health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. Others come to meditation seeking relief from the fearful, angry, or painful thoughts that constantly flood their mind. Still others come to meditation in search of greater self-understanding and expanded states of consciousness.

It is accurate to say that the purpose of meditation depends on the meditator – but it is also true that anyone who meditates regularly receives profound benefits on all of these levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Meditation isn’t a random or chaotic experience. On the contrary, it is a systematic process that allows the mind to experience its nonlocal source – the field of pure potentiality. That is why meditation can be taught and why it produces repeatable results.

We invite you to experience the power of meditation in your own life by joining us for the 21-Day Meditation Challenge beginning February 20. Registration and participation are free! Join us for a guided Mind-Body Odyssey led by Deepak Chopra, davidji, and other master Chopra Center instructors. Learn more and register here.

“There is no greater magic than meditation. To transform the negative into the positive. To transform darkness into light – that is the miracle of meditation.” ~Osho

Frozen River SmallDuring the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in frantic activity that leaves you exhausted, out of balance, and susceptible to winter colds and flu. If you want to truly enjoy this special time of year, the best gift you can give yourself and your family is nurturing self-care.

1.  Do one thing at a time.
Instead of multi-tasking, give yourself the joy of focused attention. When you’re cooking, turn off your phone, Blackberry, and TV.  Let yourself fully experience the sensory pleasures of preparing and eating your special holiday meals. If you’ve decided to send out Christmas cards (remembering that you can ignore the voice telling you “should” do so), make it a pleasurable ritual. Turn on some beautiful music and focus on the gratitude you have for each person to whom you’re writing a card.

2.  Commit to less.
Don’t succumb to the collective hallucination that would plunge you into a mad scramble to find thoughtful gifts for everyone from your mother to your child’s teacher, create reindeer topiary for the lawn, and make platefuls of cookies, candies, and pies from scratch. Choose to participate only in those holiday activities that hold meaning and joy for you and your loved ones.

3.  Communicate consciously.
A helpful tool to prevent emotional strain at family gatherings is the Buddhist practice of “right speech.” Before you speak, ask yourself these three questions: Is what I am about to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?  Find more conscious communication tips here.

4.  Maintain a restful sleep routine.
While it’s easy to fall into an erratic schedule with parties, travel, preparation, and other seasonal events, you will feel better and actually be able to accomplish more if you cultivate a restful sleep routine. When you find yourself pushing too hard or overdoing any activity, rest.

5.  Learn to meditate.
Besides sleep, the best rest is the deep relaxation provided by meditation. When you meditate, your breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall. You go beyond the mind’s noisy internal dialogue and experience an oasis of inner silence and stillness. An easy way to get started with meditation the Chopra Center’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge – we have a brand-new free challenge starting in February 2012, and you can also start right now by downloading our Summer Meditation Challenge. Learn more here.

6.  Eat warm, Vata-pacifying foods.
ginger teaWhen the weather is cold, limit your intake of dry and raw items such as nuts, chips, and uncooked vegetable, which all tend to aggravate the body’s nervous system and digestion. Try delicious soups, cooked whole grains, and nourishing stews. Drink plenty of hot tea, such as ginger tea. Find a simple ginger tea recipe here.
Learn more about Vata-balancing foods here.

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7.  Don’t skip lunch to do holiday shopping.
Skipping meals aggravates both the Vata and Pitta doshas, so stick with regular mealtimes.

8.  Exhale your stress.
In stressful situations we have an unconscious tendency to breathe shallowly, which only increases anxiety in our mind and body. Kapalabhati is a yogic breathing technique that releases stress and toxins from the body. Find Kapalabhati instructions in our library.

9.  Nurture your senses with aromatherapy and essential oils.vanilla
In your home or office, use soothing scents such as orange, lavender, neroli, sandalwood, vanilla, orange, basil, or clove. Performing a relaxing self-massage with sesame or other natural oils is a deeply healing practice that you can treat yourself to every day.

thanking sunshine XSmallSince ancient times, philosophers and sages from every spiritual tradition have taught that the key to experiencing deeper levels of happiness, fulfillment, and well-being is cultivating gratitude. One of the earliest advocates of a daily gratitude practice was Dutch philosopher Rabbi Baruch Spinoza. In the seventeenth century, he advised that each day for a month, we ask ourselves the following three questions:

1.)  Who or what inspired me today?
2.)  What brought me happiness today?
3.)  What brought me comfort and deep peace today?

We invite you to try this practice and share your responses with the Chopra Center community. Your stories may just help others connect to the beauty in their own lives.  Whatever we put our attention on expands, so taking a few moments to focus on the gifts of our daily experience can open our hearts just a little bit more and may even blow the doors completely open . . . letting us feel our original, blissful nature.

The healing science of Ayurveda recognizes that seasonal rhythms have important influences on our biological cycles and health. Each season expresses characteristics of a specific dosha, or mind-bodyAyurveda spices principle.  Learn more about the doshas here. In the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the midst of what is known as Kapha season – the period of late winter and spring, which brings the cold, wet weather that characterizes the Kapha dosha.

When our Kapha dosha is out of balance, it can manifest as colds, sinus congestion, weight gain, allergies, sluggishness, depression, and a lack of motivation.  These common conditions tend to be aggravated during Kapha season, so now is a good time to correct any imbalances in your mind-body health.

You can find out what your current imbalances are by taking part 2 of our Dosha quiz here.

Here are some suggestions for balancing Kapha:

  • —Make choices that are warm, light, energizing, and purifying.
  • —Follow a regular daily routine; avoid taking naps during the day.
  • —Favor lighter, drier foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes .
  • —Exercise every day: running, bicycling, swimming, aerobics.
  • —Stick to warm and bright colors, such as yellow, orange, and red.

Interested in more mind-body wellness tips?

Subscribe to the Chopra Center’s free online newsletter, combining timeless wisdom with the newest discoveries in mind-body medicine. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and visit our rich archive of past issues.

There’s still time to register for the Journey into Healing workshop this February 16-20 in beautiful Vancouver!

Learn more here >>

If your New Year’s goals include physical health, emotional well-being, and spiritual awakening, the Chopra Center’s Journey into Healing workshop in Vancouver is a rare opportunity to learn with the masters.

For the first time, Cesar Millan will be a featured speaker at this signature event, where he will teach the practical steps for reconnecting to the body’s natural state of health and balance. Along with mind-body healing pioneer Deepak Chopra, the Vancouver premiere of this signature workshop include the Chopra Center’s medical director, Valencia Porter, M.D.; co-founder of the San Diego Cancer Research Institute, Daniel Vicario, M.D.; and Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, an internationally renowned ayurvedic physician and teacher.

It is 2011 and a new year lies before us. This is an opportunity filled with richness and boundlessness to start fresh in new jobs and new relationships, create never-before-imagined dreams, forgive and release old memories, and break out of old habits and patterns.

No matter what has happened in your life up until now, you are always capable of new choices that will allow you to experience more happiness, love, and genuine fulfillment.

It all begins with intention.

When we set an intention, commit to action, then let go of our attachment to the outcome, we tap into the universe’s infinite organizing power. New opportunities and possibilities open up to us, and we begin to experience more moments of SynchroDestiny – the unfolding of synchronicities or meaningful coincidences.

Begin right now by writing down your intention and sharing it here on the Chopra Center blog. Declare to yourself and our community of supportive, like-minded individuals that you are committed to your dreams and sharing your unique gifts and talents with the world.

Also, write down one small step that you will take today towards the fulfillment of your intention. The action can be as small as doing an internet search for a relevant class, finding out the location of a business networking event, or doing ten minutes of yoga. Then tomorrow, take one more step. By committing to regular, consistent action, you will tap into an unexpected momentum and discover the universe conspiring in your favor.

Frozen River Small

Tips for a Relaxing Holiday Season

During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in frantic activity that leaves you exhausted, out of balance, and susceptible to winter colds and flu. If you want to truly enjoy this special time of year, the best gift you can give yourself and your family is nurturing self-care.

1.  Do one thing at a time. Give yourself the joy of focused attention. When you’re cooking, turn off your phone, Blackberry, and TV.  Let yourself fully experience the sensory pleasures of preparing and eating your special holiday meals. If you’ve decided to send out Christmas cards (remembering that you can ignore the voice telling you “should” do so), make it a pleasurable ritual. Turn on some beautiful music and focus on the gratitude you have for each person to whom you’re writing a card.

2.  Commit to less. Don’t succumb to the collective hallucination that would plunge you into a mad scramble to find thoughtful gifts for everyone from your mother to your child’s teacher, create reindeer topiary for the lawn, and make platefuls of cookies, candies, and pies from scratch. Choose to participate only in those holiday activities that hold meaning and joy for you and your loved ones.

3.  Communicate consciously. A helpful tool to prevent emotional strain at family gatherings is the Buddhist practice of “right speech.” Before you speak, ask yourself these three questions: Is what I am about to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Find more conscious communication tips here.

4. Maintain a restful sleep routine. While it’s easy to fall into an erratic schedule with parties, travel, preparation, and other seasonal events, you will feel better and actually be able to accomplish more if you cultivate a restful sleep routine. When you find yourself pushing too hard or overdoing any activity, rest.

5. Meditate. Besides sleep, the best rest is the deep relaxation provided by meditation. When you meditate, your breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall. You go beyond Meditating with incentsthe mind’s noisy internal dialogue and experience an oasis of inner silence and stillness. Click here to access free guided meditation audios from the Chopra Center’s lead meditation teacher, davidji.

6.  Eat warm, soothing foods.
When the weather is cold, limit your intake of dry and raw items such as nuts, chips, and uncooked vegetable, which all tend to aggravate the body’s nervous system and digestion. Try delicious soups, cooked whole grains, and nourishing stews.

7. Don’t skip lunch to do holiday shopping. Skipping meals aggravates both the Vata and Pitta doshas, so stick with regular mealtimes. Learn more about the doshas here.

8.  Exhale your stress. In stressful situations we have an unconscious tendency to breathe shallowly, which only increases anxiety in our mind and body. Kapalabhati is a yogic breathing technique that releases stress and toxins from the body. Find Kapalabhati instructions in our library.

9.  Nurture your senses with aromatherapy and essential oils. In your home or office, use soothing scents such as orange, lavender, neroli, sandalwood, vanilla, orange, basil, or clove. Performing a self-massage with sesame or other natural oils is a deeply healing practice that you can treat yourself to every day. Find complete massage instructions at the Chopra Center’s online library here.

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Interested in more mind-body wellness tips?

Subscribe to the Chopra  Center’s free online newsletter, Agni, combining timeless wisdom with cutting-edge information that will help you get into the best mind-body shape of your life. Click here to sign up for Agni and visit our rich archive of past issues.

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