Shamanism – A Way of Life

Shamanism is a way of life, a way of living in harmony and balance on Mother Earth. The Huichol Indians of Mexico say that it is our responsibility as human beings to be good caretakers of the earth. It is our responsibility to nurture our environment, ourselves and all that lives on the altar of Mother Earth. This is the healing way of Shamanism.

The word “shaman” is thought to be derived from the Tungus tribe in Siberia. Anthropologists coined the term and it is now universally used the world over, but each culture or tribe has their own word. In the Huichol language the word for shaman is “mara-akame.” This translates as “Deer Spirit Person”, one who is a messenger of the universe, or messenger of the gods.

Shamanism is an ancient technique of healing and finding a connection to the spiritual world of nature. In the world of shamanism, we say that everything is alive and sacred, such as the plants, trees, stones, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans and springs. Everything is alive with sacred energy, “kupuri” and when we feel connected we are inherently blessed and healing takes place. When we connect with all of life in this way, we help to heal our bodies, hearts and spirits.

Shamanism involves developing love and a special appreciation for the world of nature. Don José Matsuwa, my Huichol grandfather, often said “love the gods with all your heart and you will feel whole and complete, Grandson.” He instructed to do this every day. When we try to find our inherent connection to nature, we feel better, happier.

Another aspect of shamanism is to go to sacred places of power, to go on pilgrimages. A sacred place might be an ocean or a powerful mountain, like Mt. Shasta, the 14,000 ft peak in northern California. The Huichols would call such a place “a dreaming god”. The Indians know Mt. Shasta as “the healing mountain”. The Huichols go on pilgrimages often to pray and ask for special blessings at such places. We can tap into the life force that Mother Earth has to offer and ask for something special for our life. Journey to a “kakuyari” or place of power to find your connection to nature.

Shamanism also involves ceremony and dance. Ceremony and dance are done to honor life, the four seasons, the four directions and all that lives. It honors the special relationships between people, the four-legged ones, the winged-ones, the mountains, and all the nature powers. Thus a human being becomes complete.

In essence, shamanism is a way of life that brings one into balance. In this case, balance is defined by one’s relationship to nature. The more in touch we are with the world around us, the more complete our inner soul becomes. I have been fortunate enough to be able to dedicate my life to this connection, but everybody, no matter where they live, has the opportunity to find this connection everyday of their life. All it takes is the awareness to purposefully dedicate time to creating this bond. This bond is inherent to each one of us and so it is only natural to develop a spiritual connection to the natural world. This is Shamanism.

Finding Your Level of Fitness

One of the first questions about exercise that people have is how much they should actually do. Is 20-minutes a day, three times a week enough? How about overdoing it? Is a daylong bike ride too much? I want to lose weight. How much exercise do I need to do to accomplish that? Here are a few suggestions that will address all of these questions.

The first level of exercise goes something like this: any amount is better than none! If you are completely sedentary, even going for a short walk occasionally will be better than never doing a thing. There is basically no negative to small amounts of exercise and usually a positive response in overall health and well-being.

Next up is the amount that will give you the greatest benefits in terms of longevity. This comes about when a person burns about 300 calories per day through exercise, through moving their body. This is about the equivalent of walking or jogging 2.5-3 miles or doing any kind of aerobic activity for around 30-45 minutes, at a comfortable moderate pace.

You can take this to the next big gain by doing some form of exercise up to about one hour most days of the week. Research has shown that those who both live the longest and have optimal health have adopted this level of consistency with their movement and exercise. Again, that is one hour of exercise most days of the week. This can be done all in one shot, or if you are like many people, they find that breaking it up into two shorter sessions throughout the day is of equal physiological benefit and can actually help keep the feeling of Fit Soul intact from morning to night by offering a few chances throughout the day to take a true break from the responsibilities of life and get outside to absorb the beauty of life going on day and night.

Can a person put in too much exercise time? Definitely! What level this is will certainly be based on your current fitness. But if you are one of the select few who have tons of time to devote to exercise, the cutoff of true positive benefit seems to happen at about three hours. Over three hours of exercise in a day has shown to reduce immune function. So proceed with one eye on your overall health if this is the category you are in.

Is exercise the solution to weight loss? It can certainly be part of the answer, but research is now showing that it is usually not the entire solution, that is unless you are one of those who is fit enough to fall in that last category of training several hours each day. You can think of it in these terms. A pound of fat stores 3,500 calories. A 160 lb person would have to run just over a marathon in order to burn that amount of calories, and this is just to lose one pound of body fat. If you have say 50 extra, well, you can do the math. It’s a lot of exercise and for most people, between lifestyle commitments and bodies that may just not cooperate with three hour training sessions, looking to exercise to be THE answer to weight loss is unrealistic. In such cases, nutrition becomes the missing piece of the puzzle. (more of this in our book and in future issues)

However, exercise can definitely be part of the solution. Adding lean muscle through exercise helps burn more calories even when you are sitting still. Burning even a few more calories daily through exercise can assist in body composition changes by supporting any reduction in portion size a person makes. And most of all, exercise is definitely a big factor in gaining a Fit Body, which creates a more positive mood, which then gives one more energy and the ability to seek out healthy choices in all areas of life, which is a very positive feedback loop!

Mark Allen - six-time Ironman World Champion

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL- profiles Mark Allen and Fit Soul Fit Body

During Sunday’s Chicago Triathlon, I kept my heart rate low, cut my pace at every hint of muscular or cardiovascular pain and crossed the finish line about half an hour behind my personal record in that race. It was exhilarating.

What I accomplished is a goal I once considered unreachable, not to mention undesirable: I raced without competing. My ranking among the more than 4,200 participants in the Olympic-distance triathlon couldn’t have mattered less to me. More important, I ditched the notion of competing against oneself. That had been an appealing concept at age 40, when I was fitter, faster and trimmer than I’d been at age 20. But at 50, the triumphs of the last decade—the time I flew past most of the few-and-proud at the Marine Corps Triathlon—are far behind me, and anyway my cardiologist is urging moderation since the discovery of an aneurysm in my aortic root. “Race all you want,” he says, “but keep your heart rate below 120,” far lower than most peak workout targets.

“If you have to go as fast at 50 as you did at 20, you will grind yourself into the ground,” says Mark Allen, a former triathlon champ once known as the world’s fittest man.

Amid ever-rising calls for more exercise in America, there isn’t much guidance on cutting back. As the baby boomers who fueled marathon and triathlon crazes enter their 50s and 60s, their unquenched competitiveness can become a threat to their stiffening joints, rigid muscles, hardening arteries and high-mileage hearts. And it doesn’t help that nearly every exercise message they hear emphasizes more. It’s as if nobody wants to acknowledge that exercise isn’t the fountain of youth.
“The no-pain-no-gain mentality suggests that you can keep making gains if you just work harder,” says Mark Allen, a 51-year-old athletic coach once known as the world’s fittest man for winning six Ironman Triathlon World Championships. As co-author of a new book called “Fit Soul, Fit Body,” Mr. Allen argues against fighting age with more hours on the treadmill. “If you can’t let up on the competitive part of it, if you have to go as fast at 50 as you did at 20, you will grind yourself into the ground and become stressed out, bitter and unhealthy,” he says.

A growing number of exercise scientists are questioning the more-and-harder philosophy of fitness, and not only for aging athletes. A study published last year in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine reinforced other recent research showing that intensity tends to diminish the view of physical activity as pleasant. “Evidence shows that feeling worse during exercise translates to doing less exercise in the future,” says Panteleimon Ekkekakis, an author of that study and a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

Taking on new sports or challenges can give long-used muscles a break while feeding the desire for new goals, says Marjorie Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, who at 58 has become a recent devotee of spinning. “As you age, you have to be flexible about new activities.
Of course, exercise can provide substantial protection against chronic ailments ranging from heart disease and diabetes to dementia and depression, all the while helping weight control. But like any medical treatment, exercise can also cause damage, particularly in older athletes. The risk of sudden cardiac death rises substantially during exercise. Overuse injuries, especially involving joints, rise with age.

Older athletes struggling against declining performance are prone to excess training, which can hurt the immune system and raise levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. A number of medical experts, including Kenneth Cooper, the physician long ago credited with founding the aerobics movement, now believe that extreme exercise can increase the body’s vulnerability to disease like cancer.

For aging athletes, it is loss of prowess that can lead either to abandoning exercise or to a health-endangering doubling up of it, “in pursuit of what can’t be recaptured,” as Mr. Allen puts it.

In his mid-40s, after dozens of triathlons and swimming competitions, Dan Projansky was yearning for something new, so he took up the unusual challenge of open-water distance swimming, using only the butterfly. That’s a stroke that wears out many accomplished swimmers after a few hundred yards. But this month, Mr. Projansky gained glory in national swimming circles for completing an open-water 10-kilometer swim using only the butterfly. “I belong in the psych ward,” jokes Mr. Projansky, a suburban Chicago insurance professional who is 51.

The competitive flame is hard to extinguish, as the returns from retirement of cyclist Lance Armstrong and professional quarterback Brett Favre have shown. And it’s no different for fanatical amateurs. A decade ago, marriage and children brought to an end the elite triathlon career of Matt Rhodes, a 50-year-old Chicago metals trader. But in the pool where he swims these days, he competes against whoever is in the lane beside him, particularly if that athlete appears younger, “and I’m crushed if he’s faster than me, even though he doesn’t know I exist,” says Mr. Rhodes. He still believes, “probably wrongly,” that he could match his long-ago feats in triathlon.

Charles North similarly understands the undying nature of competitive urges. He was relieved when knee troubles ended his record of elite-level distance running, including a 2:46:34 Boston Marathon. As a practicing physician with two young children, “I really didn’t have time to train like that anymore,” he says.

But no sooner did Dr. North start swimming than he began plotting how to finish atop his age group at statewide meets. “Then it occurred to me, ‘What does it matter?’ ” recalls Dr. North, 61. Even so, while cycling in the hills around Albuquerque these days, he often feels compelled to pass the riders he comes upon, he says, especially if they’re younger.

In my case, the aneurysm-induced prohibition against high-intensity aerobics seven years ago presented an ultimatum: Either give up trying my hardest in races, or quit racing altogether. At the time, I was still setting personal records, and training alongside competitors who had the Ironman logo tattooed on their ankles.

Unable to imagine myself aiming for last place, I gave up triathlon. For exercise, I devoted usually an hour a day to walking, riding a stationary bike or jogging around a neighborhood track, and occasionally lifting a few weights.
As the years passed, it began to seem remarkable to me that I had ever engaged in hours-long bouts of exercise. Eventually, I started wondering whether I still had the stamina to do it—even at a snail’s pace, per doctor’s orders.
That’s when the old excitement returned. During Sunday’s triathlon—a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run—there were moments when I felt tempted to speed it up, usually to pass somebody. But mostly I resisted, allowing myself to turn it on only in sight of the finish line. After crossing it, I entered the medical tent and checked my heart rate: It was 97. My time was about 2:54. Next year I’m aiming for just over three hours.

For Baby Boomers, lighten the workout load

For Baby Boomers, lighten the workout load
September 1, 3:40 PM
Baby Boomer Examiner – by Paul Briand

The man who was once known as the world’s fittest man, is backing off when it comes to exercise.

That’s because, at 51, Mark Allen is slowing done … on purpose: advice he offers other Baby Boomers in a book he co-authored entitled “Fit Soul, Fit Body.”

Allen has remarkable credentials as an athlete. He was a six time Ironman Triathlon world champion. It was Outside magazine that dubbed him the world’s fittest man.

He believes Baby Boomers are at an age where the “no pain, no gain” mentality is more hurtful than helpful.

“If you can’t let up on the competitive part of it, if you have to go as fast at 50 as you did at 20, you will grind yourself into the ground and become stressed out, bitter and unhealthy,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Baby Boomers as much as anyone, perhaps more so, need to exercise.

They are advancing into the age of possible heart disease, diabetes and muscle/joint ailments. Regular exercise can help control weight, reduce stress, improve strength and balance, and improve our overall well being.

To get there, Allen suggests an approach that focuses less on trying to outdo yourself … or others.

“…exercise can provide substantial protection against chronic ailments ranging from heart disease and diabetes to dementia and depression, all the while helping weight control,” notes today’s Journal article.

“But like any medical treatment, exercise can also cause damage, particularly in older athletes. The risk of sudden cardiac death rises substantially during exercise. Overuse injuries, especially involving joints, rise with age. ”

As the saying goes, everything in moderation.

Fearless in the Face of Fear

Have you ever been afraid? What happens? You hold back, maybe just for a second, or possibly forever. You choke on the words that need to be said and instead spit out something that bars you going down the path that truth would have taken you on. Ever regret it later that you let fear get in the way?

Brant speaks about this normal human emotion in every single workshop of his that I have been to. He also gives tools to rid one’s self of the hold fear can have on us. I used them over and over and over during my racing career because certainly, when faced with exactly 140.6 total miles of racing and an island environment that defines the word “intense”, fear was certain to emerge at some point. But as Brant would also emphasize, we can be fearless in the face of our fears, meaning we can take that first (or sometimes final) step into the unknown even with our fear, and through that empower our lives.

I learned a similar lesson about fear from an unlikely source a number of years ago. It came from a guy named Walter, who is the brother of a dear friend of mine Lisa. Walter is a surfer by passion, and on any given day is as good as the world’s best. We met one November at Lisa’s (and of course, Walter’s) childhood home on the North Shore of Oahu. This is the Mecca of surfing. It’s the Kona of that sport, and a place anyone worth their board shorts has to journey to at least once in their life. I’ve surfed since the mid-70’s, so for me this was a chance to become one of a select few who have paddled into some of the most perfect and powerful waves in the world.

Walter and I were ready. The swell was big even by Hawaiian standards. Then the sentence came. “Whatever you do, don’t hesitate at the top of the wave or your cooked.”

“Don’t Hesitate.” Let me translate this for all of you. It means don’t let fear get in the way. What Walter was saying, certainly from experience, is that as you paddle for one of these moving football fields, no two exactly the same, there will come the moment where you have to apply all the force your body can muster to create enough downward pitch in your board to start the drop into this gigantic moving wall of water, and if you hesitate you will get hung up at the very top of the wave, but just for a moment because in the next instant you will become one with the lip of the wave and get pitched into God’s thin air. Enjoy the ride because at some point you will, with the accelerating force of gravity, come in contact with cement-hard water at the bottom of the wave just in time for what will feel like a Mac truck crushing down on top of you, turning your helpless body into a rag doll that will have absolutely no control of your destiny for what will seem like an eternity. Okay, so have fun.

Walter easily slipped into the first elevator drop that came our way. The next one was mine. All those Ironman championships must count for something, right? Only if you don’t hesitate. I was positioned perfectly. The second wave of the set was coming right to me. I turned toward shore and started to paddle. Up I rose, as the first 2/3’s of the monster passed underneath me. The lip was next. I had to get forward speed down the face before the lip pitched. And then…I hesitated.

The world stopped. Walter’s words were like a bomb going off in my head. “Don’t Hesitate.” In my races I never hesitated. Regardless of how impossible something seemed I still went for it. I never, ever gave up for one second. Fear was there, but it was always background noise. But there I was, a legendary moment was unfolding, and I was hesitating. I had good reason to! It was the biggest, fastest moving wall of water I had ever encountered, and Walter was gone. There was no one in the vicinity to help me if I needed it. It was the wave, my fear and me.

If I hesitated a nanosecond longer two things would happen. Either I would miss the wave as it passed underneath me, or I would have my personal Niagara Falls barrel ride, without the barrel.

What do you do when fear strikes? Do you hesitate? Does the energy and possibility of the moment pass you by? Can you become fearless in the face of your fears and drive forward anyway? Do you get pitched into the oblivion of self-doubt wondering if you will ever surface? Or do you just dig with all your might and thrust yourself into life’s moving wall of unpredictable waters?

Brant had said it thousands of times. “Be fearless in the face of your fears.” Simple words from one of the greatest shamans ever speak to the inner part of your soul; the place where all of our spiritual strength comes. The place beyond thought or reason that will find trust even in the toughest moments.

I dug. And dug. And in the next instant I had it! I popped to my feet and dropped into one of creation’s most amazing creatures. For the duration of that ride, and then some, I was charged up with the moment that exists beyond fear, where we deactivate the negative effects of alarm clocks, deadlines and credit card debt and go for something that requires taking that extra stroke, even though it may drop us into oblivion anyway.

Workout Your Inner Caveman

We are all alive today because our genetics are well adapted to survive in the natural world. In fact very little has changed in our internal coding for many thousands of years. If we looked back at the lifestyle of our ancient ancestors we would see into a window that reveals clues about how all of us in the modern world can exercise to activate positive long-term changes in both health and happiness.

If we were to take a time machine back to a place before supermarkets and agriculture, we would see a world where our ancestors were fairly active. No one sat on the couch with the TV remote a thousand years ago. People didn’t drive to the convenience store to get a snack. They moved, steadily, throughout the day gathering food, hauling what they collected and of course on occasion making a quick retreat to the safety of a cave when a hungry predator was seen lurking around, looking at them as if they would be a tasty lunch. Historians have put their best estimates at the amount of terrain people covered daily at about three miles. And this wasn’t on nice paved sidewalks, but was rather on uneven, unpredictable landscapes that nature provided.

What does this have to do with developing lifelong fitness, losing weight, getting faster and simply feeling better? Everything! Our ancestors moved to survive. They moved steadily and they survived. They raced fast for one reason only: danger. They walked, collected, then relaxed and they survived and thrived. In the modern world, some exercise programs have very little thread of connection to this ancient philosophy, which has at its very essence lots of steady daily exercise with some lifting of loads and the occasional sprint for survival.

Most people use their exercise as an extension of what has become a very fast paced world. In other words, they exercise at very high intensities all the time and rarely do any of the moderate exercise that was a requisite for survival, one that enables our ancient genetics to release hormones in our bodies that give us that warm fuzzy feeling that says “Life Is Good!” In fact, high intensity exercise gets interpreted in our bodies as a sign of danger; that something bad is about to happen. This type of exercise releases another set of hormones in the body that are interpreted as high stress, that calls out “I am fleeing for my life”. It is not a sign that we are having a good workout!

Steady exercise at moderate levels is related to walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, etc. All at heart rates that are also moderate in intensity, that enables a person to have a sense that what they are doing is as much a chance to let their minds run free of what might be bothering them as it is a workout for their body. The crossover point comes when the intensity moves up a few levels and suddenly you are no longer gaining insight into life’s problems and absorbing life’s wisdom, but rather are having to focus all your attention into getting through your workout. This is a sign that you may have gone from the steady exercise diet that brought health and happiness to our ancestors to the one that was a high signal to get out of a dangerous situation.

In our book we give specific guidelines about how you can monitor your heart rate to make sure you stay on the healthy side of the intensity line when exercising, as well as how to sprinkle your training with just enough “survival” efforts to sharpen you for life. But short of using those parameters, the takeaway thought for your exercise is that if it is enjoyable, if it is at a level of intensity that allows you the ability to reflect about your life and to absorb the wonders of nature that surround you. If that is the case, you are probably working those ancient genetics that give a good sense about life, helping you gain long-term fitness, lose weight, shape up and let the worries of daily life slip away.


Summer: Inner Balance & Harmony

Here we are, in the season of the light. It feels to be racing by at the speed of light and indeed the summer offers bundles of joy and happiness, which help make time fly. Today, I am at the foot of Mt. Shasta, celebrating this summer season in our 28th annual retreat here at this healing place. The light is glistening through the trees, as the wondrous mountain reflects the rays from the sun.

Though we have already passed the midpoint of summer, the days remain long and the dawn’s light is early. This time of light provides each of us with an opportunity to leave behind the darkness, shed negativity and embrace the light and all that is positive. Too often we focus on the negative, allowing the smallest disturbance to continually pester our body and soul. This unconscious physiological cycle can drain our physical bodies. It is imperative that we consciously focus on the light and use it to create beneficial transformation from the inside out. Although this practice is important during any season, the summer presents us with a special chance to use our outer environment to create positive change in the deepest realm of ourselves.

During the seminar, here at Mt. Shasta, I will offer an exercise to each participant, which assists in connecting with the light of the sun and the love of our mother earth to create inner balance and harmony.

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Exercise Explanation: Go outside and find a place to walk on the earth. Walk slowly. With each step try to imagine the energy of the earth (love) flowing up through your body and into your heart.

Next, imagine the light streaming down from the sun and sky. Imagine this light coming down through your head and into your heart. Feel the love and light mixing in your heart and allow yourself to feel a sense of balance between earth and sky. YOU are in the center, connecting the love and light through your conscious awareness of the two.

* * *

This practice can help everyone. I offer it at almost every seminar I teach. My grandfather, Don José Matsuwa, continually reminded me during my apprenticeship to, “always feel at home on the ‘altar‘ of mother earth. The earth is your mother.” Other times he would tell me, “The sun is your father. Learn to speak his language.” The exercise above allows for a simple, yet profound way for each of us to connect with with two of the four elements. Don José also used to tell me, “never be fooled by simplicity.”

Though this exercise, as well as many others that I was taught, may at first appear too simplistic to create any truly tangible change, through diligent practice, comprehensive and extensive transformation can arise.

With this in mind, take the time to to connect with the light of summer. Little by little, this positive change will occur. No one should expect to be in perfect physical shape from a 5-minute jog. Lots of little steps add up to cumulative corporeal health. The soul reflects the body in this way. It takes repetitive “training” to bring about true spiritual change.

Institutions using Fit Soul Fit Body

Fit Soul Fit Body is now being used as a text in numerous institutions around the world. Below is a list of just a few.

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Menlo Park, California – Recommended reading text for a number of their courses

Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona – Used by the Department of Preventative Medicine as a resource material for health assessment of at-risk patients.

Cabrillo College, Aptos, California – Recommended reading for PE7 Human Performance

Wellnesscoaching School, Holland – 2nd year course curriculum in Wellness Coaching Course degree program.

Eating Well to Bring Balance

Many of us have had the experience of discovering that growing herbs or some peppers or tomatoes in pots on a balcony around the back door can lift the spirits. In many urban areasmulti-family community gardens, filled with vegetables; herbs and flowers are burgeoning as more and more people discover that working intimately with the soil for food and relaxation promotes a more conscious perception of the sacredness of all things. Even though most of us cannot grow our own food, we can become conscious of how the food we eat is grown and processed before we buy it at the market.

Food, specifically corn, is life for the Huichol people. Corn istheir main crop, along with beans and some squash. The fields are planted along steep hillsides surrounding the various villages and ranchos where they live in the Sierra Made mountains of Mexico. Corn is the mainstay of the life of the tribe and their ceremonial cycle. The Huichols plant 5 colors of corn: red, yellow, white, speckled and blue, each in a different field. According to Huichol cosmology, not only does the corn resemble a human being with the corn silk like our hair and the ears on the stalk resembling our arms and legs, but each color represents the various races of humankind.

In everything they do, the Huichols are balanced and steady; so too is their relationship with the food they grow and eat. Food is medicine, sacred, and meant to nourish their bodies, keeping them strong so they can gather their firewood, walk miles to their fields or to the spring where they get their water. Food keeps them strong so they can hold their ceremonies and go on extended pilgrimages to their sacred sites. Their very simple diet of beans, corn tortillas and of course, homemade salsa, provides extremely valuable proteins and nutrients that nourish and sustain them. In all aspects of their lives the Huichols recognize that their bodies are directly connected to Mother Earth. All of us are an extension of her body, and the earth and its food sustains us. We should eat, not just to fill up, but thinking of ‘food as the good medicine it is; something to enrich our bodies and minds and help us sustain our well-being.

Be conscious and a conscientious consumer. Eat foods grown without insecticides and produced without chemical additives, whenever possible. Find produce that is locally grown by small farms if you don’t have the space to have a garden. Patronize your local health food stores. In addition to packaged products, they often sell organic fruits and vegetables. Read the ingredient labels on any packaged foods you may buy so you get to now what you are really consuming.

Remember the sacredness of food. How it is nourished by Mother Earth and the elements of air, water, and light. Be aware of what you are eating and slow down to truly appreciate it. Set aside work, worries and other difficulties as to appreciate what it is you have before you. You don’t have to make a big ceremony out of it, but as you eat slowly and consciously, the good food on your plate will be more effectively used by your body.

Remember the steadiness of the Huichol people, their lives of balance and harmony, which has helped them maintain their remarkable way of life for thousands of years. Strive to maintain a steady focus in all you do in your life as well. This kind of steadiness comes in many forms in Fit Soul, Fit Body – for example helping to keep an athlete in rhythm, but also helping anyone of us to maintain balance and accomplish our goals.

By feeding our bodies with the right foods, we can keep our blood sugar levels steady, which enables the body to be strong and allows it to devote its energies to regenerate rather than having to spend time correcting an unbalanced state. When we keep steady emotionally, we have the energy needed to cultivate our souls and fill our beings with the positive attributes of life, rather than having our energies monopolized by dealing with emotional highs and lows.In this way we can walk through life focused, calm and balanced, in harmony with ourselves and the world around us.