Month: April 2021

Natural Joy

Natural Joy

When Harvard psychologist Jack Engler was doing his research with my teacher Dipama, he asked her about one of the common misunderstandings of Buddhist teachings. “This all sounds very gray,” he said. “Getting rid of greed, getting rid of hate, getting rid of ignorance. Where’s the juice?” “Oh, you don’t understand!” Dipama burst out laughing. “There is so much sameness in ordinary life. We are always experiencing everything through the same set of lenses. Once greed, hatred and delusion are gone, you see everything fresh and new all the time. Every moment is new. Life was dull before. Now, every day, every moment is full of taste and zest.”
When love meets pain it becomes compassion. When love meets happiness, it becomes joy. Joy is an expression of the awakened heart, a quality of enlightenment. When we live in the present, joy often arises for no reason. This is the happiness of consciousness that is not dependent on particular conditions. Children know this. Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, describes how enthusiastically children write to him. “One day a little boy sent me a charming card with a drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim, I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

We have seen how joy can come in deep meditation. Students describe trembling, tears of laughter, cool waves, ripples of ecstasy, floating joy, joy like turquoise water, bodily thrilling, grateful joy, playful, delighting joy and ecstasy of stillness. They describe joy in the body, heart and mind, joy in the beauty of the world and joy in the happiness of others.

Sometimes people mistake Buddhism for a pessimistic view of life. Certainly the Noble Truths teach about suffering and its causes and in Buddhist countries there are a few very serious, grim–duty style meditation masters. I, myself, like many other Westerners, sought them out. I was so determined to transform myself and attain some special realization that I went to the strictest monasteries and retreats, where we practiced 18 hours a day and sat unmoving in the face of enormous pain. And at these monasteries I learned many important things.

But somehow in the seriousness of my quest, I failed to notice the extraordinary buoyancy of the Buddhist cultures around me. Seeking austerity, we serious Westerners failed to notice that most Buddhist temples are a riot of colors, filled with paintings and statues and images of fantastic stories of angels, devas, bodhisattvas and Buddhas. We ignored the community life that centered around the temples, the cycles of rituals, dances, celebrations, feasts and festivals. In our ardor, we did not appreciate how many of our greatest teachers, Ajahn Chah, Maha Ghosananda, Ananda Maitreya, the 16th Karmapa, Anagarika Munindra, had marvelous, easy laughs, and an infectious sense of joy.

Read Natural Joy, Part 2.



This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Wise Heart”

The post Natural Joy appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Video: Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom Dharma Talk

We have the capacity to be awake and to see the world as it is with a graciousness and an understanding. As the poet Mary Oliver writes, “To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” This is our dance, our human incarnation: to tend and love that which is ephemeral.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 2/8/21.

The post Video: Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom Dharma Talk appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

How to Train to Get the Most Out of your Surfing

How to Train to Get the Most Out of your Surfing

Surfing is one of the world’s most enjoyable sports, being extremely popular as both a profession and recreational activity. However, it is also considered one of the most physically demanding.

While surfing has a cool and laid-back approach from the outset, competing at the elite level requires your body to be in peak physical condition – and it doesn’t just involve surfing waves.

For many, a surfing lifestyle seems easy where you spend as much time in the water as possible. While important, more research has gone into training approaches outside of the water to increase the performance of elite surfers.

Understanding effective training approaches to surfing will help surfers achieve more in the water and help prevent injuries associated with the sport.

Exercise Right had the chance to talk to Pere Campistol and Dr Steven Duhig. Pere Campistol is Sports Scientist following his passion of contributing to the surf community by researching and developing training programs to enhance performance and mitigate the risk of surf injuries. He’s been working as a surf coach and training surfers using dry-land techniques. Dr Steven Duhig is a Lecturer and researcher at Griffith University, Gold Coast. He currently convenes Sports Coaching and Exercise Prescription and Programming with his research focusing on sports performance and injury prevention.

Both Pere and Steven have been contributing to the surf community by researching and developing training programs to enhance performance and mitigate the risk of surf injuries. They have endorsed the use of dry land and breathing techniques to help surfers become both physically and mentally ready for the demands of the sport.

More recently, Pere, Steven and co-founder Martin Salinas have started developing THE SURF PENTAGON. Their mission is to create an ecological system through the delivery of passionate pedagogy, fostering evidence-informed and integral experiences to enrich the performance of the surf community. The platform will provide a progressive learning system targeted to surf coaches and surf-enthusiasts.

If you’re a surfer wanting to become more efficient in the water or just curious how an elite surfer train, hear what our experts have to say.

The experts advice to surf training:

Should a surfer look beyond the water and spend time in the gym or going for a run?

Absolutely 100% for getting in the gym but a BIG ‘it depends’ for the run. We know the numerous benefits associated with strength and power training, not only for performance but also injury prevention – so this type of cross-training will allow you to surf better and more often. Now, running is a great form of exercise and we don’t deny is also a fantastic way to clear the head BUT long distance running will likely increase ankle stiffness which isn’t desirable for surfing – probably no harm if you’re going for a couple of 4-5km runs each week but just be mindful. If you’re trying to improve your fitness, then we’d suggest focussing on the energy systems and mode of exercise related to surfing.

For example, we’ve got a sweet little drill called ‘Beachies’, which is geared toward what you might experience when paddled out at a beach break, it involves:

5 x 5s paddling/swimming efforts then duck dive

Rest 10s

20s all out tethered paddling/swimming

Rest 20s

2 x 15s (120% MAS), 15s (70% MAS)

The MAS is the mean aerobic speed determined from a 400m time trial. You divide 400m by the time taken to complete (in seconds) then calculate either 120% or 70% of this value. (e.g. 400m time =380s, MAS = 400m/380s = 1.05m/s).

What are some training specifics surfers should consider?

We focus on 5 foundational aspects when developing/ensuring our surfers meet an adequate level for their goals/ aspirations:

Breathing techniques – How we breath (mechanics), utilise diaphragmatic an intraabdominal pressure for trunk stability purposes, respiratory muscle training to reduce metaboreflex (i.e. Improved paddling endurance), up and down regulation of psychological and physiological states using different breathing techniques and surf specific breath hold drills.

Mobility and stability – Do our surfers have the required range of motion to perform well? We identify potential mobility and stability issues that may compromise performance. For instance, a surfer may have good chest flexibility, but they also need to be able to control the shoulder through circumduction due to have to control the board when propelling through the water (reduce surfboard drag).

Energy system development – We make sure we’ve prepared our surfers for worst case scenarios. You can use your own experience in addition to the scientific literature to decide which energy system you should target. This component is especially important for those not fortunate to live a stone’s throw from the surf – be sure to get wet and train with the right mode of exercise to prepare for your next surf trip.

Resistance training – Don’t worry about trying to look like Hercules. You should be aiming to get a strong relative pull up (females>1.3; males>1.4 – relative pull up formula = (external load + bodyweight)/ bodyweight) to improve paddling and shoulder health. Strong and power legs will also improve your wave speed and throwing buckets of spray, squat and countermovement jumps and isometric mid-thigh pulls have been associated with higher scores in competition.

Paddling technique – We recognise that everyone has their own style but there are certain aspects of paddling technique that will make this strenuous activity, easier. Make sure you focus on minimising drag (mobility and stability can assist this) which is easily done by correct board positioning and ensuring you direct your force generation in a horizontal manner (pull the water to your toes, don’t push it to the floor).

How does a surfer better manage their recovery and injury prevention? Is stretching and strength training the key?

We encourage the 4 R’s; refuel, rehydrate, rest and regenerate. It is also worthwhile you implement a surfer monitoring system, accurately track training and surfing loads (e.g. training volume, session RPE and surf duration). Be willing to adjust daily training intensity or volume or even allow a day of complete rest when performance declines or the surfer complains of excessive fatigue, establishing open lines of communication is key to receiving this information. Be sure to individualise your programs as we all respond differently.

Does a surfer benefit from flexibility and mobility (e.g. Pilates or yoga) to help manage injury prevention?

Injury prevention is a tricky one given its multifaceted nature. We’d suggest injury prevention should be approached using ‘Goldilocks zone’, if there’s not enough or too much flexibility/ mobility then you likely increase the risk of injury. Our advice is to know the demands of the surfing such as required joint range of motion and angles which require strength. For instance, can they get in to (mobility) and out of (strength) a deep squat with a dorsiflexed ankle, flexed knee, internally rotated and flexed hip and flexed trunk.

Need help with your training?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can assist you by guiding you through an individualised, safe and evidence-based exercise program to “bulletproof” your workouts. Get in touch with your local exercise expert today by clicking here.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started. 

read more blogs

Written by Exercise Right staff.

We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series.

The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

How to Train to be an Elite Netball Player

How to Train to be an Elite Netball Player

Sprint, jump, land, pivot – the basic fundamentals that make up netball. It is an interval game that requires players to have explosive acceleration speed, the ability to decelerate and change direction fast. The game itself is demanding and players must be conditioned to perform at a high standard.

While a netball player requires a good amount of aerobic fitness, the high intensity actions associated with the sport play a greater significance on individual performance.

Published data shows a high level of aerobic conditioning is required for the sport with average heart rates reported to be between 75 – 85%of the maximum heart rate during match play. However, although performance within netball is primarily associated with aerobic endurance, the outcome of netball is dependent on anaerobic activities.


AerobicYou may be more familiar with the term “cardio”, aerobic training is a type of cardiovascular conditioning.

The “formal” wording for aerobic means “with oxygen” – Breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can make it to the muscles to help them burn more fuel. You perform an aerobic exercise over a longer and sustained period of time (running, walking, swimming, cycling).

Anerobic Unlike its counterpart, anaerobic focuses on high intensity, high power exercises.  It involves quick burst of energy and are performed at a maximum effort for a short time.

Anaerobic exercise is any activity that breaks down glucose for energy without using oxygen. The idea is that a lot of energy is released within a small period of time, and your oxygen demand surpasses the oxygen supply (e.g. HIIT, sprinting, calisthenics, heavy weight training).


Hear from the expert:

Exercise Right spoke with Sam Joseph, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at QUT Netball, and Sports Scientist at VALD Performance, on what an amateur netball players should consider when training to take their game to the next level.

“Netballers need to be both anaerobically and aerobically fit, but we need to remember how Netball is played – many short, sharp accelerations rather than long distance continuous running. These movements are powered by the anaerobic system, hence we should favour anaerobic conditioning”, says Sam.

Training considerations for netball players:

Anaerobic conditioning improves the aerobic system simultaneously, so you get value for money.

Aerobic conditioning is useful, however running 5km at a slow pace is unlikely to help you in the 3rd and 4th quarter produce hard drives to the ball at high speed.

Conditioning should focus on a range of intensities between 70-100% of your max speed, with rest periods between 1-4 times as long as run (higher rest for more intense efforts. 2-5 sets of 4-12 reps up to 20 metres in length is a good place to start. If you are sprinting (90-100%), make sure you start with a low distance and amount of reps. Long distance slow running is good at the start of the season to get used to running again, but remember, it will lose effect quickly (1-4 weeks).

Does each position training differ?

The type of programming you need will ultimately depends on your current physical traits and the position you play/would like to play.

End Court players (GK/GS) are restricted to just one-third of the court and their movements will likely be short and fast, with a lot of jumping. They usually cover much less distance in a game than mid-court players. Your conditioning should focus on short (1-6 seconds) high intensity runs (80-100% of max effort) with rest periods of 1-3x how long you ran for. Incorporating jumping into this running occasionally would be useful. 2-4 sets of 4-12 reps would be a good place to start. Adding some longer distance aerobic type running at the end shouldn’t hurt.

Attacking & Defensive Mid Court (GD/WD/WA/GA) players have similar requirements to Centres, but often have a specialist skill/trait on top their ability to run (shooting/agility/defending). This means they need to be able to consistently run well across the game and perform these skills. The positions need high aerobic fitness to be able to run long distances over the course of the game but have strong anaerobic systems to tolerate the centre-pass sprints, hard drives and cuts to the ball. Conditioning for these players should focus on a higher amount of volume of anaerobic running (3-5 sets of 4-12 reps of 7-100% of max intensity. These players should also complete some aerobic conditioning on top of this to promote better recovery during a game.

Centres need to be the fittest (think highest Yo-Yo/Beep Test scores) on the team. This means they need to have little drop off in intensity from the start to the end of the game. They should be completing the greatest volume (distance) of running. Centres should be doing more anaerobic conditioning than aerobic, in a similar ratio to the attacking/defending mid court players.



You aren’t playing so you can train more to make sure you’re ready for the season. For pre-season I’d recommend starting with lowest amount of sessions until your body is coping with the training.

2-3 Strength Sessions per week: Make this a priority as the stronger you are, the better athlete you can be. Running becomes easier, you’ll jump higher and importantly be less chance of getting injury

1-2 sessions per week focusing on Speed and Anaerobic ability: This will mean long rest for your speed work and higher intensities (80-90%) and low rest (2-3x work period) for your anaerobic conditioning. This can be done before/after your skills training

1 session per week focusing on Anaerobic and Aerobic ability: You should do your anaerobic work first and then use aerobic work after this. This can be done before/after your skills training.

1 Mobility & Recovery session/week: use this to recover from the week (Sat/Sun). Foam-rolling, trigger-balling, self-message and stretching is useful here. Going for a walk/slow run also works.

During the season:

Prioritizing performance is key so make sure you’re fresh. I would recommend working backward from your game to make sure you get the right training session at the right time.

Game Day +1 (One day after the game): Light aerobic work (jogging/walking/cycling) + mobility & recovery

Game Day +2: Strength Session + Off Feet Interval training (take on a couple of sets of intervals on a bike/rower/ski-erg/airbike to keep up your anaerobic qualities)

Game Day +3: On court training + Top up conditioning (a little bit of running anaerobic conditioning (5-15 minutes) after training will keep you fit but fresh)

Game Day -3 (Three days before next game): Rest Day

Game Day -2: Strength Session + 2nd Skills Training.

Game Day -1: Rest Day

Game Day: Warm up well (walk + mobilisation) and dominate.

Want some extra advice?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can assist you by guiding you through an individualised, safe and evidence-based exercise program to “bulletproof” your workouts. Get in touch with your local exercise expert today by clicking here.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started. 

read more blogs

Written by Exercise Right staff.

We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series.

The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

Overcoming Relationship Struggles During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The current pandemic situation and all the restrictions that were implemented in the past year have certainly taken their toll on our lives and also on our social interactions. People had to adapt to a new way of living and … Continue Reading

The post Overcoming Relationship Struggles During the Covid-19 Pandemic first appeared on Success Consciousness.


After an exhausting year for everyone, how can we bring what’s been dormant back to life? This hour, TED speakers explore ways to revitalize our minds, bodies, buildings–and even populations. Guests include psychologist Guy Winch, visual artist Amanda Williams, biophysicist Andrew Pelling, and writer Wajahat Ali.

6 Self-Care Food Practices to Adopt Starting Now

Self Care and Food

Trying to Overcome Fatigue and Stress? Here are 6 Self-Care Food Practices to Adopt Starting Now

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting prolonged isolation have tested the mental health of even the best of us.

As the restrictions slowly ease and life returns to normal, we will, once again, find ourselves caught up in the rat-race, so absorbed in the daily commotion. Getting a little break may feel like a blessing.

As we get sucked deeper into the vortex of the daily life, finding appropriate time dedicated to yourself can be quite difficult.

Although the idea of self-care may seem futile to many, it is absolutely crucial for your physical as well as mental well-being. And perhaps one of the easiest ways of incorporating it into your daily routine is to start with the food you put in your stomach.

Even though it may not be anything close to a deep tissue massage, it will surely improve your stress and overall mood, resulting in a healthier, happier you! Because after all, we are what we eat.

Here Are 6 Ways You Could Start

Ditch the Diet

The notion of dieting, detoxing, or “cleansing” usually brings about feelings or actions related to restrictions, guilt, and of course, stress. And since when were these things associated with good self-care?

Good self essentially involves properly fueling your body with healthy and the basic foods it needs for its survival, rather than holding back on food, which will only result in low energy levels and you feeling miserable the entire time. Not only that, but fad diets and cleanses don’t exactly provide adequate nutrition and you’re left feeling hungry and deprived.

That’s definitely not even close to self-care. On the contrary, dieting often perpetuates a stress cycle that makes you feel worse constantly.

Instead of choosing to go down a dietary path, it may be better to improve your eating habits, like incorporating more green into your food and limiting added sugars instead of cutting back the amount of food you eat.

An easy way is to review your grocery list to ensure you’re buying products that fulfill your daily dose of essential nutrients.

In fact, if you prefer to shop online, Lidl is a great medium through which you can get your hands on a plethora of healthy grocery items at discounted rates. You can even check out the Lidl leaflet for upcoming special offers so you get double the advantage of your grocery shopping.

In here, you may find a number of breakfasts, and vegetable options, all at jaw-droppingly low prices.

Lidl does this by taking advantage of its sourcing and operational differences which are then passed onto the customer in the form of lower price rates, setting it apart from the rest of the businesses in this sector.

Get Colourful With Your Food

Adding a variety of colors to your plate is a great way to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.

This could include tomatoes, lemons, carrots, greens, mushrooms, etc. This will lead to more diversity of immune-boosting as well as inflammation-fighting vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Incorporating some color into your food can not only make it more appealing but result in a more satisfying state afterward. Don’t be afraid to add more color as the more you add, the better when it comes to nutrition.

Limit Use of Added Sugars

When you’re down in the dumps, it can be tempting to reach for the sweet goodies in your kitchen. And while these may provide you with a quick boost of energy, you may soon experience a crash resulting in you feeling even worse later.

Not only that but eating sugar-laden foods in excess amounts can lead to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, as well as a number of cardiovascular diseases. Apart from that, indulging in sugary treats can trigger blood sugar drops which may, in turn, make you feel jittery, anxious, or even short-tempered.

Get Comfortable with Herbs And Spices

A variety of herbs and spices are not only used to jazz up bland dinners, but pack in a ton of health benefits as well.

They help beef up the immune system, lower cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels and help fight against a number of serious diseases such as cancer.

They can be used to prepare different teas that may help relieve stress and anxiety, and even improve sleep.

Prepare Infused Water

Scaling up your water intake is perhaps one of the keys as well as easiest components of practicing self-care, yet overlooked the most.

Your body is made up of almost 70% water and hence, staying hydrated is absolutely vital for the smooth functioning of the body.

Unfortunately, many of us are unable to take our daily 8 glasses of water due to the hustle-bustle of daily lives.

A great way of amping up your water intake is incorporating infused water into your everyday life. This can be done by adding a little excitement and flavor, by steeping fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, grapefruit, lemon, cucumber, etc. in your carafe.

This will make your water fresh, colorful, and healthier making you gravitate towards it more.

Befriend Nuts and Seeds

Seeds and nuts such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are a host of nutrients. Just a handful packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals as well as heart-healthy fats.

In fact, according to research, indulging in nuts at least twice a week may actually reduce the risk of heart disease by almost a quarter.

Many fitness fanatics seem to avoid them, fearing a rise in their daily calorie intake. And yes, seeds and nuts are high in calories. However, when taken in moderate amounts, these can provide a big health boost to the consumer.

They can be easily incorporated into your daily diet by sprinkling some on top of salads, soups, and smoothie bowls. Therefore, don’t waste any more time and start crunching your way to better health!