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Inspirational Quotes



“The human being is so busy hunting for happiness through material pleasure that he does not realize the amount of psychological stress he builds for himself. Only when he understands that although he is reasonably materially comfortable in life, he is not really at ease with himself or others. And he knows that there cannot be real happiness unless and until he finds himself never uncomfortable with himself or with the other.”


Ramesh S. Balsekar


“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.”


Hsin Hsin Ming



Supine Lateral Ball Roll

Supine Lateral Ball Roll

Are You Participating In The Depression of the Recession?

by Catherine Carrigan, catherine@totalfitness.net




Many of my clients recently have been experiencing the depression of the recession.


The depression I am witnessing amongst my clients has a different character than the depressions I have seen in recent years.


Whereas before, I saw so many clients whose root cause was adrenal burnout, these days I am seeing many people who are upset about money – even if they are happily employed.


Here are a few suggestions:


Affirm to yourself, “I have completed the cycle of participating in the recession/depression.” This is one of the most important affirmations you can use right now. One way you can tell if you are participating is if you are focusing on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. Also affirm, “I shift from participating in the recession to participating in my own recovery.”

Make a gratitude list every day. Scientists used to think that each person has a happiness set point that basically doesn’t change, whether you win the lottery or end up in a wheel chair, the thinking went, you would experience the same level of happiness on a long-term basis. The newest research shows that you can actually increase your happiness set point if you focus on gratitude. The trick is you have to actually FEEL grateful – not just mentally tick off your list.

Stop reading the news. This may seem obvious, but you can always try an experiment. Read your favourite newspaper for half an hour, and notice how you feel afterwards. Then take a week off all news sources (print media, internet and radio news) and just focus on your own experience of life. Then notice how you feel. While you are at it, stop feeding the beast. Refrain from engaging in “ain’t it awful” conversations, whether they be about your own troubles or other people’s issues.

Be part of the solution. Even if you have lost your job, had your pay cut or are experiencing a slow down in your work, find a way to give back. The universe exists in perfect balance. The more you give, the more you will get back – even if that return comes to you in good feelings, friends, new business connections or happiness. Whether you give time, energy or resoures to your most treasured charity or a relative in need, it doesn’t matter.

Re-evaluate what really matters to you. When I ask clients to list their top 10 values, what generally tends to matter includes family, friends, good health and a strong spiritual connection. Many of the people who complain about the changes in their financial situation were the same people 3 years ago who had no time for anything that actually mattered. When was the last time you had an opportunity to sit on your porch and really talk to a friend? To maintain a regular spiritual practice? Ask yourself if you aren’t actually being given a great opportunity to find new balance in your life.

Establish a regular meditation practice. Start with 5 minutes at the end or the beginning of every day. In yoga, we talk about the practice of pratyahara, or withdrawal of the senses. As long as you motivate yourself through fear or anger, you will never truly arrive at where you want to be. It’s important to remember that where you’re your mind is focused, that is where your energy flows. Throughout the day, take a meditation break and focus on how you feel rather than what you are thinking about. In doing so, you will begin to rebuild your own chi. A Catholic priest developed a way to explain meditation that he called “The Welcoming Prayer.” As you meditate, affirm, “I let go of the need for security, affection or control.”

See the bigger picture in your life. As long as you remain focused on what you don’t have, you are unable to see the blessings coming your way. Your choice is to accept, resist or change. If you can’t change your circumstances, you can save yourself a world of psychological and physical stress if you accept them. If you run around resisting what life is serving up to you, expect to feel anxious, depressed and/or miserable.

Climb a mountain, and I do mean literally. It’s worth repeating that scientific research shows that long-term, exercise alone is more effective for treating depression than antidepressants. And short term, exercise alone is more effective than exercise and antidepressants together. There’s nothing like being in nature to give you a fresh perspective. But being at the top of a mountain endows special blessings. Psychologically and spiritually, being at the top of a mountain provides an uplift. If you live in Atlanta, climb Kennesaw Mountain or trek to the top of Stone Mountain. Take a day trip to the Appalachian Trail or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even if you can’t move your body to the mountain, spend time outdoors in sunshine on a daily basis because sunlight helps to reset your circadian rhythms and is one of the simplest antidotes to depression.

Stop pressuring yourself. A lot of depression is pressure. Here’s what I explain to my clients: there is external pressure, such as the demands of your job or the stress of making big changes in your life, and there’s internal pressure, which is what you expect of yourself, such as pressuring yourself to be your version of perfect – for example, a certain weight, usually for women dramatically lower than what they currently are now. How can you ease up on all that you expect of yourself? Do less and find yourself enjoying more. Practice being a human being rather than a human doing.

Learn how to protect your energy. Many of the clients I have who suffer from depression are empaths. That means they pick up the energy and emotions of others, even without knowing it and even without wanting to. Working on developing healthy boundaries can help, but so can using kinesiology to discover what will actually help keep you in your own energy. Stay out of other people’s troubles and practice enjoying your own experience of life.


Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

by Catherine Carrigan, catherine@totalfitness.net




I have helped countless clients normalize their blood pressure naturally with zero medication.


One client years ago told me I had helped her more than 22 cardiologists and all her years in Sunday school.


Although she weighed 90 lbs. dripping wet, she suffered from unrelenting high blood pressure until she became my client.


Here are a few things you can learn about your blood pressure:


1. Most people with high blood pressure are not exhaling properly.


One of the first things we do when we get stressed is hold our breath.


When this happens, we are usually externally focused on our so-called “problems” and are not aware of what’s happening inside our bodies.


Where ever your attention flows, that is where your energy goes.


So when you are focused on your “problems,” your energy leaves you and goes outside yourself. This is also a primary cause of exhaustion – too much external focus on “problems,” not enough focus on restoring our internal harmony.


When we practice mind-body exercise like yoga or qi gong, we turn our attention inside and restore the natural harmony of mind, body and spirit.


One of my yoga students about 10 years ago had tried virtually everything she could think of to normalize her blood pressure.


She had lost weight. She had done race walking, lifted weights, exercised daily – nothing worked.


Finally she became a regular attendee at my evening yoga class. A friend had convinced her to come.


She went to her doctor for a regular checkup and she told me later that the nurse kept checking and rechecking her blood pressure. They couldn’t believe what they saw – they thought their blood pressure monitor might have broken.


For the first time in 10 years, her blood pressure had totally normalized.


The only thing she had done different was join our yoga class and attend regularly.


Simple 3-part breathing that we learned in our first yoga class will normalize your blood pressure.


You can practice this in your car on your way to work, on your walks outside in nature or any time you feel stressed.


2. According to scientific research, anger and anxiety drive up your blood pressure.


I saw a client recently whose blood pressure shot up during a routine checkup at her doctor’s office. The MD was two hours late seeing her, and she had not eaten anything all day so that the nurses could do her blood work. She was delayed getting her work in for a deadline, and was frustrated at having to wait so long. Her blood pressure was 160/90 when they finally measured it.


In yoga therapy, we say that the emotional body is the largest of the koshas, or sheathes, that make up our body-mind.


It is important to realize that emotions can shut down anything – any organ system, any muscle, literally any body function.


Women have a larger limbic brain than men.


In fact, a woman and a man can experience the very same stressful event and on average, according to scientific research, a woman will have about a 6 times greater emotional reaction than a man.


As women, we must make the connection about how our emotions affect our health and develop and use regular methods of balancing our emotions or face the consequences with our weight and physical health.


For my client who had experienced the high blood pressure moment at her doctor’s office, when I did healing work with her, I found she was feeling angry and frustrated about 15 times per day.


It was not one big thing but all the little aggravations that were constantly driving up her blood pressure.


Here is a simple, quick technique to release frustration from Total Body Modification, one of the many kinesiological techniques I have mastered.


Step 1. Flick the xiphoid process upwards towards your face.


Step 2. Rub horizontally across your forward 30-60 seconds while inhaling, exhaling and taking one complete breath.


Step 3. Flick the xiphoid again.


3. In my healing work, I find many other involved factors for high blood pressure. Many times there are other organs that are not functioning properly, specifically the kidneys, liver, pineal or pituitary. I use healing work and nutrition to normalize these organs. I have yet another client who had struggled with high blood pressure for years and I did one healing session with her recently, going over all the organs, and she normalized completely even though she is currently in the process of selling her company. She had been experiencing dizziness going from sitting to standing, and I normalized this shift in her body with one session of healing work.


4. If you research the side effects of high blood pressure medications, they are depressants for your central nervous system. Many clients who suffer with depression feel worse if they have to take blood pressure medication. Taking advantage of natural healing methods can go a long way to helping you feel better overall, both physically and psychologically.



What’s Wrong With French Fries?

by Catherine Carrigan, catherine@totalfitness.net




Some amongst you can skip this question. If you are already informed on this issue, skip ahead, because more than likely you are maintaining a normal weight, have bright, clear skin, enjoy a good mood on a regular basis and have no pain anywhere in your body.


For the rest of you, if you really must know, ponder this:


Fried foods, alcohol and gluten foods are pro-inflammatory.


That means they cause inflammation in the body.


Inflammation has multiple physical and psychological effects. Inflammation raises the stress hormone cortisol, which lowers your metabolic rate and causes weight gain around your midsection that resists endless hours of Pilates classes. Inflammation causes pain. Inflammation reduces the body’s ability to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. Inflammation causes rapid aging and wrinkling of your skin.


Heating oils other than coconut oil at a high heat causes rapid oxidation, which leads to free radicals in your body.


If you want to lose weight, get out of pain, flatten your belly and overcome depression, I recommend you eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Among other things, that means I recommend you avoid regular consumption of French fries.


You can find out more by visiting www.nutritiondata.com.


There is an actual inflammation index. Any food with a negative number is bad for you.


Fast food French fries rate negative 181, closely followed by bagels at negative 180.


Positive numbers are indicators of anti-inflammatory foods.


Wild Atlantic salmon rates a positive 493. Dry roasted almonds rate 56.


You choose your fate, both mental and physical, every time you pick up a fork.

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