The Mindful Journal


A Closer Look At The Sacral Chakra


Last week we took a look at the root chakra and explored the ways in which your feelings, behaviours and relationships are affected by this chakra. Today we are going to examine the sacral chakra and discover certain ways in which you can work to balance this energy centre.
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Is Yoga An Effective Tool For Weight Loss?


There is much debate over whether yoga is an activity that can contribute to effective weight loss or not – with strong arguments on both sides of the discussion.

On the one hand, some people believe that because yoga is not a fast paced physical activity it can therefore not be considered a serious weight loss tool. This follows the belief that you must be directly burning calories at a serious rate in order to lose weight.

On the other hand, it can be argued that practicing yoga is a great way to build muscle, tone the body and strengthen the mind – all of which can then contribute to weight maintenance and weight loss.

This misconception of a yoga class predominantly consisting of stretching and seated meditation is perhaps the reason that many people feel that yoga is not an effective way to lose weight. However, if you have ever taken part in a class then you will know that this is not the case!

Losing Weight With Yoga PAMA London

Yoga requires a commitment to developing both your physical and mental strength, and as this happens your stamina, flexibility and focus will improve also.

The Physical

Yoga consists of hundreds of different asanas, all of which have varying physical benefits. Although it is true to say that some of these poses are more concerned with flexibility than they are with physical strength, this is certainly not true of all of the poses! As you work to hold each pose for longer periods of time you will be building your overall strength and increasing your muscle mass.

As you continue to burn fat and replace it with muscle, you will naturally lose weight and you will also burn more calories when you are not directly engaging in exercise. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat does.

Although the benefits of this can be felt with the majority of different yoga types, you may want to go for a more physically demanding variety to enhance your results and get the most out of your session. Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga and Bikram Yoga are thought to be the best choices when it comes to yoga for weight loss. This is largely due to their intense pace and challenging poses.

The Mental

When it comes to how yoga can benefit you emotionally to support weight loss, you have to consider the reasons that you are not currently reaching your weight loss goals. Do you make unhealthy, emotionally charged food choices? Are you currently lacking the motivation to lead an active lifestyle? Perhaps you are simply stuck in a fitness rut and need to refresh your mindset to find your focus?

One of the most amazing things about yoga is how it encourages you to look inside of yourself, and to better understand your choices, your thought processes and your understanding of the self. When this begins to happens you will likely develop a greater understanding and appreciation of how you can care for yourself.

This process will often lead people to make more positive choices in terms of their self-care, their lifestyle, their diet and other connected concepts. Recognising negative habits and distancing yourself from them will soon follow, and this can be beneficial for both overall health and reaching desired weight loss goals.

Yoga For Weight Loss

Deciding to embrace yoga as a new part of your workout routine can be an exciting way to mix things up. As well as supporting and boosting your weight loss efforts, yoga can also benefit both your body and mind in other ways, such as keeping your mood up!

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Maximising Your Muscle


For many gym goers the aim of the fitness game is to build muscle efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately there is conflicting advice from the experts as to the best way to achieve this!


The discussion as to whether you should lift light or lift heavy is ongoing, with many strong opinions on either side. If you are trying to decide which is the best way for you to move forwards with your exercise regime then read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of both methods!

The Benefits of Lifting Light

A study published last year* suggests that a person may enjoy the same benefits from lifting light weights as lifting heavy weights if the repetition amount is increased. Lifting weights in this way is great for building muscular endurance. Also, one of the best benefits of training in this way is that the impact on the joints is much less than when a person lifts heavy weights.

If you have an existing or past injury in an area of your body that you are trying to train through weightlifting, then sticking with lighter weights is a safer idea than pushing yourself to go heavier.

The Benefits of Lifting Heavy

Several experts discount the idea that lifting light weights can yield the same results as lifting heavy weights, even with an increased number of repetitions. One theory behind this is that when you lift weights that you consider to be heavy, signals are sent from the brain to the muscles to indicate that the body is under great strain, leading to an increased level of strength that is not achievable with lighter weights.

The Benefits of Lifting Light PAMA London

In addition to building muscular endurance when you lift heavy weights, you are also going to be enhancing your strength and your power.

If you are going to go heavy with your workout then it is a sensible idea to add this weight slowly. Don’t start at a weight that you know is going to push you too far beyond your capabilities. Find a weight that you are comfortable to lift five to six repetitions of before the amount starts to become a challenge. You can then build upon this gradually with each workout.

Consider Your Goals

There seems to be substantial evidence to support the claim that lifting heavy is an effective way to build muscle mass in a relatively short period of time*. However, huge gains are not necessarily the goal for everyone. If you want to build your muscle in order to tone your body for a lean physique then lifting light can be the best way to achieve this.

Making an effort to preserve the health of your joints as you age is another popular reason for engaging in weightlifting exercises. If this is your goal then light lifting is certainly the best option. If you are over the age of 40 then lifting light is going to be the best way to help keep your joints healthy and your body toned. Once you have enjoyed your 40th birthday your body will begin to be more at risk of injury – and injuries from working out too hard are no exception to this rule! Your muscles will naturally have a decreased level of elasticity, which means that they are less able to bounce back from damage.

The Conclusion

One truth that is agreed upon by experts around the world is that your body adapts when you are getting into weightlifting. This means that you will have to mix up your routine if you wish to continue progressing. So, if you want to maintain and build upon the muscle you already have then you will need to continue to increase the amount of weight that you are lifting, as well as switch up the exercises that you are doing.

If you know that you want to be your best when it comes to your weightlifting workouts but are struggling to find the enthusiasm then click here to read our top three tips for finding fitness motivation! 

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The Evolution Of Women’s Activewear


Fashion is an ever-evolving concept and this is true whether the clothes are being worn in the high street or in the gym!

Sportswear Style Through History

Sportswear style has been influenced over time by many different aspects of society. It can be inferred that initially activewear would have consisted primarily of garments simply designed to cover a person in a comfortable and sensible way. However, over time as the concept of fashion continued to develop, this became as applicable to sportswear as it did to other areas of the wardrobe.

The earliest sporting activities that people can be observed participating in are arguably those that involved shooting and hunting. Therefore, some of the very earliest active wear choices can be seen to have been tailored to these activities. Tennis and golf were also popular early sports.

Women in Sport

When it comes to the clothes that were designed for women to wear whilst engaging in these sports, the garments were certainly designed more to suit the attitudes of society at the time. The clothing would often be quite heavy and actually restrict their movements. This is because it was seen to be more important to keep the body covered for modesty than it was to be able to move freely.

It wasn’t until the early 1920’s that women’s sportswear began to evolve to help the player, rather than just to keep her covered. In 1922, Suzanne Lenglen started to smash expectations of women in sport when she turned up to play a tennis match in a short skirt and without her hat – the first woman to ever do so!* Although this was a huge step forwards, it was a further decade later until women began to wear trousers during sports.

Shifting Attitudes

From this point onwards a shift in society began to emerge in regards to what was acceptable for women to wear during sports. This is a concept that was further fuelled by the push for gender equality that was apparent during the Second World War.

When World War Two came to an end in 1945, synthetic fibres became more prominent within the clothing industry. This opened up a whole new world of activewear potential. Nylon was a particularly popular choice for making sports garments at this time, and was used to create clothes that were not only comfortable but that looked good too!

In fact, it is fair to say that by the 1950’s attitudes in regards to women’s sportswear had shifted from conforming to societies expectations, to satisfying the fashion choices of the individual.

Activewear Today

A balance between style and comfort is evident when observing the clothing choices that people make for physical activities today. Both men and women have the freedom to make their individual choices when it comes to their sports clothing. For many people functionality and comfort is the most important thing. However, due to the endless availability of different styles of sportswear today, it is easy to find clothes that are both stylish and practical!

Choosing the Right Clothes

The clothes that you choose to wear to exercise will first and foremost be influenced by the sport that you are doing. For example, you wouldn’t wear the same clothes to yoga that you would wear to go skiing!

Your clothing choices may also be influenced by your interest in preserving the resources of the planet by opting for sustainable fabrics. A subject that you can click here to read more about!

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Nutrition To Nourish Your Mind


Eating well is an essential part of living a healthy life, and doing so is not only great for your body but your mind also! Just like your body, your brain needs certain vitamins, minerals and more in order to function as efficiently as it can!

Today we are going to take a look at the role nutrition plays in happiness and mental health, as well as how exercise is also an important factor in both of these things!

Nutrition and Mental Health

The role that nutrition plays in mental health has long been under-appreciated. However, there is increasing evidence to support the connection between a healthy diet and better mental balance.

Studies have shown that eating a diet high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can help to prevent the onset of certain mental health conditions*. This includes things such as schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is largely due to the abundance of antioxidants present in these foods, which help to combat the damage caused by free radicals.

Evidence shows that those who regularly consume either fresh fruit or fresh vegetables every day are less at risk of struggling with their mental health than those who don’t*. This is due to a combination of things, and can be attributed both to the increased amount of nutrients being consumed, as well as the act of consciously including these foods in the diet.

Healthy eating is a self-care act in itself, and taking the time each day to nourish your mind in this way is a great way to demonstrate kindness and love to yourself.

Hormones and Healthy Eating

The nutrients that we consume through our food directly impact our hormones, which have a huge influence our mood. When our hormones are out of balance we can experience a wide range of feelings, such as sadness, anxiety, or feelings of being overwhelmed. Our appetite will also likely be affected.

Nutrition and Mental Health Happiness PAMA London

There are certain foods that are known to be great for balancing the hormones. For example, cruciferous vegetables are thought to be useful for tackling excess oestrogen in the body, whereas foods that are high in B vitamins can help to tackle feelings of depression that may have occurred due to a hormonal imbalance.

The Good Stuff

In order to eat for optimum health – both physical and mental – it is key that we consume a combination of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The importance of hydration should not be overlooked either!

When we talk about ‘the good stuff’ in relation to your diet, we are talking about natural whole foods, whole grain produce, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables – essentially anything that has been grown and not manufactured!

One of the reasons that many healthy foods are great for your mind are that they contain beneficial levels of thiamin. Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is known to boost the mood, especially in those who are already experiencing depression.

The Bad Stuff

Research has shown that over the last 60 years the amount of people actually hitting their five a day quota has dropped by more than 30%. As the amount of good stuff being consumed is in decline, unhealthy eating habits will therefore be on the rise!

When we talk about ‘the bad stuff’ in relation to your diet, we are talking about processed and packaged foods, junk foods, foods that are high in sugar, high in calories and high in saturated fat!

Eat Well, Exercise Often

When you eat a diet rich in whole foods and other healthy goodies, then you are giving your body the fuel that it needs to exercise well. As we discussed in our article on Wednesday, feel-good chemicals are released in the brain when we exercise. These feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins, help to balance our mind and enhance our happiness.

So, the best thing that you can do to nourish your mind and fuel your body for optimum health and happiness is to eat well, exercise often and remember to be kind you yourself!

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Namaste Journal



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Follow Your Intentions

The first part of namaste comes from "namaha," a Sanskrit verb that originally meant "to bend." Bending is a sign of submission to authority or showing some respect to some superior entity." Over time, "namaha" went from meaning "to bend" to meaning "salutations" or "greetings." The "te" in namaste means "to you," Deshpande says. So all together, namaste literally means "greetings to you." In the Vedas, namaste mostly occurs as a salutation to a divinity.