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ParkoLife | The Art of Surrender

It's Friday. A brand new Week-End has started! I My soul will keep you good company while cultivating the art of surrender – in our asana practice, and in our own mental and spiritual practice off the mat.

Creatures of control

Humans are creatures of control. We are often unable to find comfort in the presence of uncertainty, and seeking control in every single aspect of our lives is akin to looking for that elusive target that will never present itself. The journey to seeking control thus becomes stressful and discouraging.

Whenever we start to covet over control and answers in every single situation, we unknowingly build an obsession over outcomes. We become dominated and controlled by our worries, fears, and disappointments. Life becomes a little more draining and tiring whenever we feel that control is slipping out of our hands.

However, what we do not often realise is that there is a limit in terms of what we can control in our lives. We may be able to make decisions and exert control over our decisions, actions, intentions, emotions, but a huge chunk of our lives also rely on other people’s decisions, actions, intentions, and emotions that are entirely out of our control. Attempting to seek control over something that we have no influence over is just like trudging in thick mud – you exhaust your energy but you don’t really get anywhere.

Letting go

From this evening, let's start seeking surrender on the mat by finding physical relaxation and surrender in poses that you often find a lot of tightness in. In a deep hamstring stretch or hip opener, such as seated forward fold or pigeon pose, tap deep into your body’s physiological awareness and find that space where you can ease your body into. We often hold tightness in parts of our body without actually realising it, even in our asana practice. When we are able to tap into that and find release and space within our bodies, we can more easily able to extrapolate the physical release to our mental, or spiritual release – is there something deep in your consciousness that you are holding on to, unwilling to let go?

Finding motivation in surrender

Finding surrender is not synonymous to letting go of motivation, letting things come and go as they wish. The art of surrender entails working hard, doing your best, doing what is right, but at the same time, letting go of any attachments of the outcome there may be. Understanding that you have tapped into your potential and have done your best, and the process and journey matters more than the outcome itself. Most of the time, we often find that the outcome is always for the better – we are often able to derive valuable life’s lessons and learning points when we stay present in the experience, no matter whether it is a positive or negative outcome.

Surrender is not passivity. It is knowing when and where to put in your best effort, and understanding that at the end of the day, every single thought and action that you take will manifest into greater personal growth no matter what the outcome may be.

I hope this Week-End intention assignment has sparked some inspiration for you both on and off the mat in this coming week. Have a great evening everybody!


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ParkoLife | The art of Self-Love

Happy Monday to you! This is Chiara! Finally I am coming up, leaving some space from motherhood every-day-challenge to reconnect to my Yoga world.

I've decided to keep you good company by creating a small post selection called Weekly Intentions.

This week’s intention is all about cultivating the beautiful habit of self-love, in approaching both your asana practice, as well as the practice of the mind.

The power of self-love.

Self-love has been a concept that is constantly talked about especially in the recent years, but yet at the same time, it is something that many of us struggle to practice.

Harnessing the power of self-love will not only transform the relationship with yourself, and also the relationship that you share with other people as well as practicing detachment from the material. Fully believing in your fullest potential, cultivating better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and taking mindful and healthful steps to eventually achieve your potential – be it physical, mental, spiritual – can also help you become better versions of yourself.

Here are some ways in which you can get started to cultivating greater self love in your daily lives:

1. Reframe negative self talk.

We often find ourselves engaging in negative self-talk, be it consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes we have the tendency to talk down to ourselves whenever we experience obstacles in our lives, no matter on or off the mat. It is important to reframe the way we speak to ourselves and understand that these negative self-talk go a long way in reducing self-esteem, confidence, and provides a higher tendency for us to give up whenever we are met with difficulties.

Instead of saying, “I am weak, I can’t do this at all”, say “If I continue to work hard, I will be able to achieve this one day”.

Or, instead of saying, “I will never be like him/her”, say “I am inspired by him/her to stay disciplined and one day I will achieve my target.”

That way, reframing negative self talk can help us seek out productive and sustainable ways for us to continue to find self-improvement, without constantly putting ourselves down.

2. Practice acceptance in your life.

While it is easy to practice acceptance whenever life seems fine and dandy, it is often difficult to find acceptance whenever the going gets tough. Being aware that impermanence of both the ups and downs allow us to stay a lot more present in life and stop constantly seeking and living in the future. Accepting that ‘this too, shall pass’ helps us to find contentment even when presented with challenges in life, and allow us to cope even with obstacles in the way.

Instead of constantly wishing that “I could have done this”, or “This would’ve been better”, trust that the path that you have set upon is the path that you are meant to undertake, and the challenges that you are presented with are life’s lessons that you are meant to learn as you grow as an individual.

3. Understand the power of choice in your emotions.

Whenever we are presented with negative situations or people in life, no matter in personal or professional life, we almost always react immediately to the situation and we often find ourselves getting consumed in anger, stress, and negativity. As we cultivate a habit to constantly take a step back and look at the situation in a more rational and less emotional way, we are often able to convince ourselves that our immediate reaction is not always the most healthy one – to our personal well-being at least. Especially in the case of negative situations, whenever we are able to understand that we have the power of choice to react (or not), and how we can react, we are able to stay calmer, more grounded, and a lot less high-strung.

We often create our reality through our own thoughts and emotions, and as a result, we also give out the energy that we have within us to the people around us.

I hope that this week’s intention assignment will provide you greater guidance in setting your intention both on and off the mat, helping you to create a more mindful yoga practice. Do share with me how your week went, and I will be more than happy to hear your thoughts and experiences. Have a beautiful week ahead! x

Photo credit: Leonardo Wong/ Unplash


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ParkoLife | Calories and the Casino experience

Do you really know what are you putting in your body and how it translates in weight changes? Be honest in your answer.

Let’s start from the very beginning, to make things clear and easy to understand.

There are 3 macronutrients:

Proteins

• Fats

• Carbohydrates (CHO)


For sure you have heard them before. Each food contains them either in singularity or in combination.

Each macronutrient provides energy to your organism in order to function.

Then, each macronutrient contains a number of calories, distribute in this way:

1 gram of Protein has 4 calories

• 1 gram of Fat has 9 calories

• 1 gram of CHO has 4 calories

• 1 gram of Alcohol has 7 calories
Now,

think that calories are like chips in your Casino experience and everyday life-in order to function- you need some of them. You must insert calories in your body in order to breath, to sit, to move, to exercise, to et, to talk, to have sex…even sleeping require an expenditure of calories.

So what’s a calorie?

It is a unit of energy. More specifically, a unit of food energy. And they are very much connected with your body weight. Whether you’re going to put on, lose or maintain your weight depends by their intake.

1. So, where you get these calories in the first place? Macronutrients.

2. Where do you find the macronutrients? Food.

3. And what is your goal when you play in the life casino? Depends.

Instead of analyzing the first law of thermodynamics, I’m going to give you another way to remember how you lose, maintain or put on weight, and I’m going to relate it to a Casino-that place were you go to become rich or poor in one night…

So ready? Let’s go!

Imagine you enter the Casino (your daily life) and the big boss (the metabolism) gives you 2000 worth chips to play with (your daily calorie requirements – the food you eat). Here the three possible outcome of the game;

1. If you spend all 2000, your body weight is in maintenance mode.

2. If you spend less than 2000, and go home with some money in the pocket, you re gaining weight.

3. If you spend all 2000 and you need to borrow some more from your savings, you are losing weight.

So, think that the 2000 worth chips you spend in the Casino are all the activities you do throughout the day. If you eat 2000 calories every day and you spend 1500, obviously the rest 500 are going to be stored. Guess where?

-Hips (they become Love Handle)

-Stomach (it becomes a Fat Loose Belly)

-Ass (...depends, somebody likes it big...)

-Arm (now you have fantastic Bingo Wings!!!!!))

Basically, all around your muscles.

Does it matter when you eat those 2000 calories? No.

You can eat all of them at once or in 20 different meals. The result is the same, you store them.

Does it matter where you get those 2000 calories from? No.

You can drink 2000 calories of vodka or eat 2000 calories of protein. The result is the same.

Apparently, if you want to become rich, the Casino requires you to be a consistent player .And for that, after a short period of time it rewards you. Either with a higher, a lower or the same number on the scale.

This means that if you eat consistently less calories from you daily requirements, your weight will go down. The same if you eat more.

But wait a sec!!!!

How do you calculate your daily calorie requirements and How do you know how many calories you eat?


Fancy an answer? Stay tune with the next post blog.


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ParkoLife | Calories and bank account

Everyone has a bank account.

Everyone should manage it steadily.

For everybody the goal is to increase their money into the account, obviously.

And, how would you do that?

The easiest method is to monitor your daily income and expenses, at least every 3-5 days. By this way you can keep a track of any potential increase or decrease of your money savings. Simple.

The body works exactly in the same way. It is like a “bank account”, where the Income is the calories taken and expenses is the calories spent.

So, how are you bloody going to lose weight if you don’t monitor closely how much you eat and how much you spend?

Before to keep on reading, let me dust the previous blog post concept: There are 3 macronutrients. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates (CHO) and each one of them contains a specific number of calories, exactly as:

1 gram of:

• Protein has 4 calories

• Fat has 9 calories

• CHO has 4 calories

• Special category: Alcohol has 7 calories

Question No1: How you calculate your daily calorie requirements?

Meaning, how much energy do you need to put inside your body daily?

Answer: just go here input your data and get the result you need. And now let me give you an example: Let’s say the calculation is giving 2000 calories.

You have 3 options to gain them up:

• You can eat daily 2000 calories, and your weight stays the same.

• You eat daily less than 2000 calories, and your weight goes down.

• You eat daily more than 2000 calories, and your weight goes up.

Crystal clear no? Everyone understands that. No one does it.

Now this number of your daily expenditure changes during the years. Activity changes, weight changes, age changes. So it needs to be adjusted.

Question No2:

How do you know how many calories you eat?

Answer: Here is all the drama of the world. Who the f*** wants to count calories??

BUT, WAIT ONE SECOND!

Didn’t you agree before about the way to manage your bank account? How does it make sense to do it for your money and not for your body? How is money more important than health?


An easy way to realize how many calories you eat is to write down everything you eat on a daily basis. Everything. Even the little piece of chocolate you think is made by thin air.

The best way to do this is by clicking here. You spend 5-10 minutes to find and calculate the calories of all the food you consume. It does it for you, no need any math degree.

Finally, you compare this number with the number from Question No1, basically with your daily calorie requirements and then your strategy begins! If you know your numbers, you can do everything. Knowledge is power. You manipulate your diet the way you want. As I do. As my wife does.

And now the last part of this post: Where do the macronutrients come into play? Just by pure knowledge. You have to know that when you eat chicken, you are eating calories coming from protein and fat. How many? Say, you eat 100gr of chicken breast. This has 30gr of protein and 8gr of fat. Do the math with the numbers above= (30gr protein x 4 cal) + (8gr fat x 9 cal) = 192 calories.

This applies to every single ingredient you put in your stomach. You need to educate yourself and learn what each food contains.

You need to know that olive oil is pure fat. You need to know that animal meat and fish has just protein and fat. You must know that fruits and vegetables have mainly carbohydrates.

After saying this, you can say to have no time to count your calories every day. And this is fair enough tho! But…. As for your bank account, try to check what comes in every 3-5 days.

And then slowly, you’ll start learning what each food contains, what makes you fat, what keeps you hungry and what gives you extra energy. Then you will be able to control your weight the way you want. Up or down.


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ParkoLife | The scale paradox


It’s time.

You want to be sexy and desired again.

It’s never too late.

So, you started going to the gym.

You make huge effort the first week.

You even started dieting. You try for at least 6 days to stick to your nutrition plan. Sunday is always free. No?

You wake up Monday morning, go to the toilet, release. Then you get ready, almost half asleep to scale yourself. Because, yes, after 7 days of “hardcore”, “superhuman” effort, you deserve to lose at least 3kg!

But….

God damn! Scale is wrong! For sure.

You come down, scale yourself 10 more times. No, this bloody scale you got on offer needs to be thrown away.

It just can’t be true! Instead of losing, you re heavier 2kg.

Your whole world collapses.

Your muscly, almost model like trainer doesn’t do his job correctly; he thinks you want to become a bodybuilder. But you told him you want to lose weight, not to become big!!!

Maybe is your dietician. You told her you can’t just eat chicken and salad. It’s boring. Next week the same food again???

You doubt everyone. Slowly, yourself as well.

All this effort for nothing. You are thinking about stopping. Doesn’t worth after all….

STOP.

BREATHE.

Everything is fine.

This is what is supposed to happen normally.

You actually need this to happen. Otherwise sexy curves are not created.

So let me explain you in few, simple words, why you gain weight when you start training.

2 reasons.

Firstly, working out causes little tears on your muscle fibers (this triggers the soreness within the first 48hours). Your body then needs to heal. Needs to repair the muscle fibers and make them even stronger than before. The body eventually starts a healing procedure that causes inflammation to the specific area. Various substances are gathered at the inflamed area. Blood vessels are opening up to release toxins and finally get healed. The area that got inflamed and gathered all the fluids, clearly, will weigh more!

That’s why your legs look swollen the next day you did your squats.

That’s why the number on the scale is higher than before.

Aaaa, for you to know, this procedure is part of a process called homeostasis – adaptation.

Secondly and less unlikely for your weight to go up, could be that you put on more muscles than the fat you burned.

Read again. Take your time.

In a week!?!? Forget it. Almost impossible.

But this is going to happen after a while. You’re going to build muscles and burn fat while doing exercise and keeping tight to your diet. Muscles weigh more than fat and occupy less space. So in your body frame, the composition of muscles/fat will have changed. Muscles will occupy less space but the weight could be the same or higher. The scale number will be the same as before but the mirror image will tell another story.

Easy and clear?

I bet you understood now and everything is crystal clear.

Nevertheless, I have a question for you.

When did you start judging whether you look sexy or not, from the scale?!?!

I thought the only true judge of your sexiness is the mirror. Am I wrong?

So why do you care so much about a number?

Who is going to ask your weight if you look like Monica Belucci at her best?

Does it matter if you are 5kg more, but your abdominals are finally visible and your butt pops out like a perfectly shaped watermelon?

Think about it.

Scale or mirror?? Who should be the judge?

If you need more advices of how to make your body look sexy like Jessica Rabbit, book a Skype Coaching Call sending an email to parko.crete@gmail.com


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ParkoLife | How to get a curvy bum and tight abs with 30 minutes training

First of all, if you are reading this and you are a man, continue. The post has useful tips even for you. Why do you think women like Brazilian exotic boys after all?

But this article is mainly for you. You, young lady, that you’re struggling on the treadmill in the gym every day and you don’t see these butt chicks lifting. Or you do 1000 abdominal crunches, as your trainer said, and there is still a cloak of fat above your belly.

There is SALVATION.

Don’t worry. And I’m going to give it to you.

But first I want you to understand something else.

So read it below. And then go to the solution. Otherwise it won’t work.

Before you go to the gym, or in any other place to exercise you have to prepared.

MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY

You can’t be exhausted from work and starving, and expect to perform at your training. You will just lose your time. And money. Better stay home and sleep.

Also, you can’t go to the gym to look for a potential husband and expect to get your body toned as well. You need to choose. It’s like having sex with your partner and on the same time having him texting with another girl!

Yes, this is essential. You need to understand that when you go training, you need to be present and focused. 100%. Nothing else gets between you and your ass pumping!

So are you ready for the solution?

Actually, when you read it, you will say, pfff easy, I knew it. One more point minus then, because you knew it and you didn’t do it.

So, in order to have these buttocks of yours high like a gazelle and abs that look amazing with your bikini, you need to do one single thing:

MAKE EVERY EXERCISE, EVERY SET, EVERY REPETITION, A FULL BODY WORKOUT

And how you do this?

You simply squeeze and tight your abs and glutes in everything you do. You work your arms and shoulders? Tight your abs and glutes. You train your calves? Squeeze abs and glutes like a maniac.

Even if you stand in front of the mirror fixing your hair, abs and glutes have to be on fire.

Dont worry, no one is looking at your ass. Everyone is focused on their own insecurities.

Basically what you want to do, is activate at the maximum the areas that tend to accumulate fat.

How? If you tight the area of interest, more blood is going to pass from there. Muscles will start to activate again and slowly will escape the dormant phase you ‘ve left them.

And of course be patient. Patience is a virtue.

Don’t expect things to change in a day or a week. Give at least 90 days. With a normal, relaxed pace you can see lots of difference.

Finally, don’t fool yourself. If you continue eating like a little elephant ( watch this video here ----->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3MPdW0G2R0), abs and glutes will be tight and firm, but you won’t be able to see them.

Now if you want to know more about how to make your abdominals and glutes be and look amazing, you can book a Skype Coaching Call with me, by sending an email to: parko.crete@gmail.com


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"Women who seek to be equal to men, lack ambition." Marylin Monroe