Thursday, May 3, 2012

Perfect Skin

A visibly perfect skin… the ultimate sign of beauty. A targeted treatment is necessary to obtain a smooth and uniform skin with refined skin grain. Sothys innovative research has resulted in a line of specific care products for skin care Institutes: Pore refiner system in order to meet consumer demands with a customized solution.

PERFECT THE SKIN > Pore refiner system

Pore refiner system works at the heart of the skin to boost the pool of healthy cells and bring out a perfect complexion by reducing enlarged pores.


Refining Peel-Off Mask

> Its innovative texture rapidly eliminates impurities and tightens skin grain to bring out a lighter and fresher complexion.

The skin is softer, lighter and cleaner… instantaneously.

Complexion perfector

> A second skin effect with an ultra-soft touch to cover and reduce the appearance of pores, to matify the skin and to provide a perfect illuminator under make-up.


Matifying Refiner Solution

> For chronic combination to oily skin and for skin whose pores are momentarily enlarged.

Its high-tech formula contains high concentrations of targeted active products to tighten skin grain and reduce shininess, to create a more uniform and illuminated complexion.

Smoothing Refiner Solution

> For skin with collapsed pores resulting from skin ageing.

Its high-tech formula is concentrated in active substances to visibly tighten pores and smooth by a tensor effect and to boost radiance.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4 Simple Ways To Create The Illusion Of Longer and Fuller Hair

There are a few ways you can get your hair to grow out faster, but there are also a few ways you can make your strands seem both longer and fuller. It's all about cut, color, and ensuring that your hair is in excellent condition. See four tips for mastering the art of illusion below:

  • Keep your ends in tip-top shape: "The more your ends match your roots, the healthier the hair looks," explains master hairstylist Natasha Warton-Sanivskaya, of Cetana Salon Spa in San Francisco. So to keep your ends looking just as fresh as the roots, use protein-rich shampoo and conditioner to plump up the hair. Occasional applications of deep conditioners (on the ends only) will also make a huge difference.

  • Think heavy: Severe lines create fullness and weight. So if your coiffure is looking a bit wimpy, consider getting a cut that has more of a blunt feel.

  • Go darker: You don't have to go darker all over, but applying a color that's one shade deeper (whether it's warm or cool) around the outer perimeter, a longer, fuller look is achieved. Tip: Warton-Sanivskaya suggests adding a fun pop of color just under that top layer, at the parietal ridge. Not only will this technique provide lots of movement, but it also enables you to go from something more modest to something more playful—just by parting your hair in a different direction.

  • Matchy-matchy: And going back to the ends-should-match-the-roots mantra, you can also revitalize washed-out, sun-lightened ends with a hue that coordinates with your roots.
Via Prevention Magazine

The 5 Hottest Spring Nail Colors

The top nail polish shades of the season may be offbeat, but they also flatter every skin tone.


Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Manicure in Heart to Heart

"Coral is the perfect bright," says New York City manicurist Sheril Bailey. "It's pretty on all skin tones and so cheerful." This shade looks great on those with yellow undertones.


Essie nail polish in To Buy or Not to Buy

Lilac is more elegant when it's high-gloss—matte versions can read as flat and chalky. A word of caution: Gray or lilac tones can make skin look ashy, so be sure to moisturize


OPI Nail Lacquer in Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh?

"This shade is especially beautiful on dark skin," says Bailey. It elongates fingers the same way nude pumps seem to extend the legs. This shade is extra flattering on those with olive undertones.


Estée Lauder in Teal Topaz

The key word here is "muted." As in gray undertones. As in subtle. As in totally chic.


Chanel Le Vernis in June

"Soft peach is the new pale pink: It works on everyone but is a notch more substantial—and sexy," says New York City manicurist Jin Soon Choi.


The 8 Best Skin Tips You've Never Heard

Simple? Yes. Predictable? Hardly. There are a multitude of ways to make skin look younger, fresher, and brighter—and they're things you never would have guessed.



Yes, even that tiny tube of hotel face cream does something. Any emollient will not only temporarily plump up fine lines but also help prevent skin aging. "When we do a peel or surgery, probably the single most important factor in wound healing is keeping the area well moisturized," points out Richard Fitzpatrick, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Sun damage, he notes, is no different: A daily lotion containing glycerin, shea butter, or another basic hydrator "allows your skin to repair itself much more effectively." It also increases its mobility, making repetitive smiles and squints less punishing to the face. That said, the basics should be used only in a pinch. For daily use, dermatologists prefer moisturizers spiked with ingredients designed to boost cell turnover, stimulate collagen growth, and banish DNA-damaging free radicals.


Forget pulled hamstrings. The most overlooked gym-induced strain hits us above the shoulders. "I can pinpoint women who tense the jaw and throat when exercising, because it makes the cords of the neck more prominent and pulls down the face," says Fredric Brandt, a dermatologist in New York City and Miami.


Don't assume you're inoculated against photodamage just because the sun is barely up when you leave for work and sets on your commute home. Unlike UVB light, UVA rays travel through windows in the office, home, and car, warns Dover. Until recently, few worried much about the latter wavelength, partly because it causes a tenth as much tanning as the former. But in fact, "two very important studies a few years ago showed that UVA is carcinogenic and induces the grayish, yellow-y cast you see on older people's skin," says Dover, who recalls one laser-resurfacing patient whose wrinkling was "five times worse on one side" from years of daily drives between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Those who don't spend most of their waking hours in a cinder-block bunker should "wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen 365 days a year, rain or shine," he says.


All the SPF and sun avoidance in the world can't protect you from the space heater next to your desk or the fireplace in your living room. Direct exposure from two to three feet away causes redness and a breakdown of collagen, says Brandt, who advises sitting at least ten feet away.


Radiesse, Juvéderm, Sculptra, and other volume fillers are more widely available than ever. And women are increasingly aware that a fuller face looks younger than a "taut, windswept one," according to Seth L. Matarasso, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. One consequence of all this: As many patients (and their doctors) get carried away, "their eyes, mouth, and even their jawlines can become dwarfed by their protuberant cheeks," he says. Grossman prefers to fill the fat pads that go away with age: at the temples, the front of the ears, and the chin. "Filling in the periphery of the face restores softness and balance without making you look done."


Or so it seems. In addition to banishing crow's-feet, headaches, a gummy smile, and excessive sweating, a few units of this injectable may shrink prominent glands just under the jawline—the ones that may make some women appear jowly, says Francesca Fusco, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, who heard this tidbit from a fellow doctor at a recent American Society of Dermatologic Surgery conference. Fusco is careful to note that while this can sharpen the jawline in some patients, "it won't reduce jowliness across the board in all women."


Guzzle water, the advice goes, and your skin will thank you. But New York City and Santa Monica dermatologist Karyn Grossman cringes when she sees women toting around bottles of water—or any other drink. As with straws, "the constant pursing creates lines and aggravates existing ones around the mouth," she says. Her suggestions for saving face: Sip filtered water from a glass at home, and carry a reusable bottle with a spout "so that you can squirt it into your mouth instead of sucking on the top."


Fusco can tell which side a patient sleeps on by the vertical line on her cheek. "The skin is pressed against wrinkles in the fabric," she says. The best way to avoid sleep lines is to snooze on your back. A more realistic strategy: smooth pillowcases. "Satin or silk is best," says Fusco. "Or buy the softest, highest-thread-count fabric you can."

Via Allure

Sothys Digi-Esthétique

An exclusive global method, Digi-Esthétique® is an original technique developed by Sothys: an absolute quest for effectiveness and well-being.

Specially developed to heighten the effectiveness of the treatments and the assimilation of active ingredients, the original Sothys technique combines acupressure methods and Eastern and Western massage procedures.

It lies at the heart of Sothys programmes and boosts their extreme sensoriality by transforming each treatment into a moment of well-being for the body and mind.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cosmeceutic Ageless Programme

Your skin, being the outermost layer, reflects the overall state of your health and age. With natural forces of ageing being inevitable, visible signs of skin ageing can be decelerated with proper care and the right products. SOTHYS introduces the world’s 1st patented COSMECEUTIC AGELESS PROGRAMME, formulated with the revolutionary H2CR™ cosmeceutic complex and customized active ingredients specifically developed to restore skin’s youthfulness.

The scientific concept of this groundbreaking creation to restore youth, lies in their fundamental biotechnology research from Les Jardins Sothys™ (SOTHYS’ Auriac Garden), where they uncover other active ingredients like Flax Complex, optimizing it to fight off signs of ageing at each specific age grade with the combination of SOTHYS’ H2CR™ Cosmeceutic Complex and Hyaluronic Acid (derived from wheat).

The Cosmeceutic Ageless Programme starts with a diagnosis using the Ageless Diagnostic Index to measure the skin’s age (as oppose to the ones biological age) addressing the specific skin need so that customization of the intensity of the treatment and the prescription of the serums can be done address the root of the problem.

Experience proven results to redeem your skin’s youth like never before.

Grade 1 Re-Energize:Skin Radiance

Revitalizing Serum Grade 1

A boosting serum gives a boost in energy to dull complexion and noticeable 1st signs of wrinkles, fine lines; crow’s feet, leaving your skin revitalized with a smoothing effect.
Proven Efficacy:

- Improvement of smoothing expression wrinkles: +40%

- 94% of the models feel their skin is more radiant and revitalized

*Tested on 18 models for 30 days

Ageless Cream Grade 1

Scientifically innovated to shield and reinforce anti-free radical actions, protecting cellular damage hence preventing pre-mature ageing (expression wrinkles) whilst re-energizing skin giving it the youthful radiance.
Proven Efficacy:

- 92% of the models were satisfied by the overall product’s efficacy

*Tested on 117 models for 30 days

Grade 2 Re-filler: Fine Lines and wrinkles

Lifting Serum Grade 2

Amazing lifting serum targets at visible laughing lines, sagging and dull skin, leaving the skin smoothened and firmed.
Proven Efficacy:

- Diminution of wrinkles’ depth: -15%

*Tested on 21 models for 30 days

Ageless Cream Grade 2

Innovative anti-glycation action reinforces skin’s architecture from being too rigid reducing and preventing formation of fine lines and wrinkles. This also helps in smoothing out wrinkle creases and preserving the facial contour.
Proven Efficacy:

- 92% of the models were satisfied by the overall product’s efficacy

*Tested on 117 models for 30 days

Grade 3 Restructure skin elasticity

Restructuring Serum Grade 3

This serum works best on deep wrinkles and renews skin elasticity, leaving it toned and firmed.
Proven Efficacy:

- Improvement on skin’s firmness: +20%

*Tested on 18 models for 30 days

Ageless Cream Grade 3

Anti-MMPs with triple action (restructure – reorganize – protect) on collagen that helps to boost resistance of the supporting tissues in the skin to increase elasticity. It is also to prevent wrinkles from deepening and to reinforce skin firmness preventing slackening or sagging of the skin.
Proven Efficacy:

- 92% of the models were satisfied by the overall product’s efficacy

*Tested on 117 models for 30 days

Grade 4 Re-nutrition: cell longevity and cell nutrition

Replenishing Anti-ageing Serum Grade 4

Contains patented Flax complex, it reconstitutes the skin with optimum nutrition and increases the equilibrium of the skin for cell longevity. Specific application techniques provided.
Proven Efficacy:

- 95% of the models said their skin regain the essence of its youth.

*Tested on 24 models for 30 days

Ageless Cream Grade 4

An active cream that acts on cell metabolism to increase the production of Sirtuin, stimulate cell regeneration and sustain cell’s lifespan.
Proven Efficacy:

- 92% of the models were satisfied by the overall product’s efficacy

*Tested on 117 models for 30 days

Anti-ageing Duo Mask

This multi-action mask containing mineral cocktails that helps to stimulate the production of collagen smoothing out fine lines and revitalizes and restores skin radiance. Apply 1-2 times per week.
Proven Efficacy:

- 90% satisfaction on tensor / smoothing effect

*Tested on 22 models for 30 days

Shaping Neck Care
Formulated with Mamaku Extract, Watercress and Biomimetic peptides remodel the neck contour, and refine and re-sculpt the lower part of the face, neck and décolletage.
Proven Efficacy:

- Tonicity increased by 54%

*Tested on 20 models for 30 days

Noctuelle™ Cream

A night cream with AHA and Vitamin C that aids skin regeneration as you sleep. Wake up to a clear and relaxed skin in the morning.

Bounce Back From Cold or Flu Fast

11 best ways to soothe symptoms and speed up recovery

Fighting the Cold or Flu

First, the bad news: There’s no actual cure for cold or flu. But on the bright side, these viruses do tend to clear up pretty quickly—within 3 to 10 days, in most cases. While you can’t kill the bugs with medications, you can treat the symptoms so you feel more comfortable and prevent complications, like bronchitis or pneumonia. Here, 11 things you should do at the first sign of sniffles and sneezes.

Is it cold or flu?

Cold symptoms are mostly respiratory—sore throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose. The flu can have these symptoms too, but it’s much more likely to produce fever and chills, along with headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. “It comes on more suddenly, and the symptoms tend to be much worse than with a cold,” says Christopher Czaja, MD, an infection control officer for the National Jewish Health Hospital in Denver.

Knowing the difference is important because if you suspect you have the flu, you can take an antiviral medication, like Tamiflu, which can shave a few days off seasonal or swine flu if started within the first 2 days of getting sick. Tamiflu is available by prescription only, so if think it’s the flu call your doctor--fast!

Rest and hydrate

Take Mom's advice: Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids, Czaja advises. "Drinking water helps thin mucus secretions in the lungs." What about that old standby, orange juice? It’s fine as a fluid, but don’t expect any bonus benefit from the vitamin C it contains. "Scientific studies have yet to prove it’s effective for preventing or treating respiratory infections," Czaja says.

Sip hot tea

All teas contain theophylline, which is a natural bronchodilator. Choose the brew you find most tasty. Add a little honey if you wish, says Gwen Huitt, MD, director of the Adult Infection Disease Unit at National Jewish Health Hospital. Honey coats the throat to soothe irritation and is rich in infection-fighting antioxidants. It also spurs saliva production, which can help thin out mucus.

Take an OTC med

Hit the pharmacy to find a med that treats your specific aches and pains. A pain reliever like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can provide relief from fever and body aches, says Czaja. For a cough, look for a product that contains dextromethorphan, a suppressant that can temporarily stop cough symptoms. For congestion, look for guaifenesin, an expectorant that can help dislodge mucus. Pseudoephedrine is a very effective decongestant (it helps unplug stuffy noses by constricting blood vessels).

Pick the right natural remedy

If you feel symptoms coming on, zinc or Cold-fX (a supplement that contains ginseng) could help shorten symptoms, research shows. Your body needs the mineral zinc to produce germ-fighting white blood cells, but don’t overdo it. More than 50 mg a day can actually backfire and suppress your immune system.

Ginseng bolsters levels of white blood cells and crucial immune system proteins called interleukins. Other remedies, like echinacea, Airborne, and—as previously mentioned—vitamin C, are not as effective as these, research shows.

Sip some chicken soup

This cold remedy has been used for centuries—with good reason. Cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking, is chemically similar to a common bronchitis drug. The soup thins mucus and calms the symptoms of a stuffed-up nose and wracking cough. A study published in Chest found that even most supermarket brands helped block inflammatory cells, leading to reduced cold symptoms.

Have a steamy moment

"Inhaling warm, moist air can help thin out and loosen mucus," says Czaja. Make a mini steam bath by leaning your head over a bowl of hot water, being careful not to scald yourself. Or indulge in an extra-long shower.

Cover your mouth

Cough and sneeze into a tissue, then toss it. If you don’t have one handy, use your shirtsleeve. As many as 19,500 flu viruses can be expelled in a single cough, so this is the best way to avoid spreading the infection around your house or workplace. If you expel thick, green mucus, you probably have a bacterial infection in your airways (in addition to your cold or flu virus). Call your doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the secondary infection.

Call in sick

If you have the flu or a bad cold, take time off to recover at home. You could infect someone who has a weaker immune system than you and may develop much more serious symptoms. "And if you get stressed while you have the flu, your symptoms can get worse," says Philip Tierno, PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University. Unfortunately, you’re contagious until you’ve been free of fever without medication for 24 hours.

Keep your distance from new germs

Once you're on the mend, reduce your chances of catching another bug by avoiding contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu. Not possible? The next best thing is to wash your hands constantly and thoroughly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you're not close to a sink.

In case of emergency

If you have any of the following signs and symptoms, which could indicate a serious case or complications, call your doctor:

•Fever above 101.5 F

•Shaking chills

•A cough with phlegm that doesn't improve or gets worse

•Bloody mucus or phlegm

•Shortness of breath with normal daily activities

•Chest pain when you breathe or talk

•Inability to keep down food or liquids

Via Prevention Magazine

Heidi Klum: Her Allure Photo Shoot

Before Klum's years as one of Victoria's Secret's best-known models, she says, "I never did fashion shows—not in Paris or Berlin or even in New York City. I tried, but no one would book me." That includes her Project Runway cohost, Michael Kors, who, as she recalls it, saw her in his clothes when she was 20 and said, "Thanks, but no thanks." Here, Klum poses in a lycra-and-leather swimsuit by Lenny.
"I was too curvy and too busty and a little too short," she says of her early days as a model. "And I was a little bit self-conscious about it. But I was by no means heavy, I just—well, you have hips and boobs, and that's it. Haute couture, you don't really see girls with big boobs. And I always wanted first to be a model. So I had to say, 'OK, you're going to find other things to do in this industry, or it's maybe not my industry.'" Here, Klum wears a brass-and-crystal bracelet by Hervé Van der Straeten.
Klum married Seal in 2005 and had a seemingly perfect marriage until this January, when the couple announced their separation. "It's hard, just like for other couples," says Klum. "People go through our trash cans. It's crazy. And you know, we have four kids; they have to go to school." Gilded brass necklace by Herve Van Der Straeten.
Klum, who had no qualms about posing nude, is just as uninhibited in conversation. She explained the importance of gay men in her life: "They are like this kaleidoscope of interesting thoughts and opinions. They teach you so many things about men that are useful." "Like what?" our reporter asked. Klum paused, and then made the universal tounge-moving-rapidly-in-cheek motion that signifies blowies. She explained what she's learned (off the record, of course), and our reporter said she discovered two things: 1) Everything sounds authoritative when said in a German accent, and 2) Seal was a lucky guy. Here, the supermodel poses in a Charles Albert necklace.
Allure creative director Paul Cavaco wanted to capture Klum as a 1970s Vogue girl, so she needed an era-appropriate tan. Makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen used a giant sponge to cover Klum in makeup two shades darker than her skin tone. "I wanted her to really glow," she said. Here, Klum poses in a Hervé Léger by Max Azria swimsuit.
Hairstylist Serge Normant amplified Klum's "natural glamour" with loose, sexy waves. After working volumizer through her wet hair, he blow-dried it and wrapped sections around a one-inch curling iron. He set those sections in hairpins. When he took them out, he used his hands to shake through her waves and smoothed a dry oil over the top for extra shine. "I didn't use too many products because I wanted the hair to move." Here, Normant and Klum playfully pose with a wig on set.
Reiss-Andersen wanted Klum to look like "a healthy beach girl." First, she traced dark brown eye pencil along Klum's upper and lower lash lines, then swept gold eye shadow across her lids. Next, she blended a terra-cotta cream blush onto Klum's cheeks, forehead, chin, and the tip of her nose. She brushed some of the gold eye shadow onto her cheekbones, then lined and filled Klum's lips with a glossy pink pencil to draw attention to her best feature: "When she smiles for the camera, it's as real as a smile gets." Here, Klum poses in a Tom Ford dress.
Klum swears she's never had any cosmetic surgery—even Botox. "Ask me again when I'm 65, but...I'm proud to be able to say, in this day and age, I haven't done anything," Klum says. "Everyone has a view of what's pretty and what's not pretty, and [surgery] just doesn't look pretty to me. Especially when I see it on really young girls. I don't want to name names, but it's like, Wow, I remember you five years ago, looking to me so beautiful, and now it's like... who is this person? And I know girls half my age who do it. What are they gonna do at 40 or 50, when the s-h-i-t really hits the fan?"
When the topic of Seal comes up, Klum says, "You know, I wouldn't change anything. If I had to go back in time and say, 'I should have changed this or that...' No. I don't resent anything that ever happened. Things just turn out the way they turn out.... I'm still in the eye of the storm now, and it's all a little bit crazy. But sometimes you have to be apart in order to figure it out."
Via Allure

6 Major Health Problems Caused By Lack Of Sleep

How skimping on sleep hurts your health

Cardiovascular Disease

In a 2010 study published in the journal Sleep, researchers at the West Virginia University School of Medicine reviewed data from 30,397 people who had participated in the 2005 National Health Interview Study. They discovered that those sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night were at increased risk of heart disease. In particular, women under 60 who sleep 5 hours or fewer a night have twice the risk for developing heart disease.


According to a study in the journal Diabetes in 2011, University of Chicago and Northwestern University researchers found that when people with type 2 diabetes slept poorly at night, they had a 9 percent higher fasting glucose level, a 30 percent higher fasting insulin level, and a 43 percent higher insulin resistance level. Diabetics with insomnia fared even worse—their fasting glucose levels were 23 percent higher, their fasting insulin levels were 48 percent higher, and their insulin resistance levels were 82 percent higher than diabetics who didn’t have insomnia.

Breast Cancer

Researchers at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan, studied data from nearly 24,000 women ages 40 to 79, and learned that those who slept fewer than 6 hours a night had a 62 percent higher risk for breast cancer, while those who slept more than 9 hours a night had a 28 percent lower risk.

Urinary Problems

In findings presented at the May 2011 meeting of the American Urological Association, researchers at the New England Research Institute in Watertown, MA, reviewed data from 4,145 middle-aged men and women and here’s what they discovered:

Five years of sleeping restlessly or too little (fewer than 5 hours a night) can increase by 80 to 90 percent a woman’s risk of needing to wake at night to urinate (nocturia) or of becoming incontinent. A whopping 42 percent of the women classified themselves as restless sleepers, compared with 34 percent of the men. The researchers theorize that sleeping poorly causes inflammation, which in turn can lead to urinary problems.

Colon Cancer

In a study of 1,240 people published in 2011, Case Western University researchers found that those who slept fewer than 6 hours a night were 47 percent more likely to have colorectal polyps, which can become cancerous, than people who clocked at least 7 hours of sleep.


A 10-year study of some 16,000 people by researchers at the University of Copenhagen connected the dots between a lack of sleep and an increased risk of mortality. It turns out that the men who reported sleeping badly, especially those under 45, had twice the risk for death than men who reported sleeping well. And men who had three or more sleep disturbances a night had a suicide risk five times higher than men whose sleep was undisturbed. Though sleep disturbances didn’t affect women’s mortality, both women and men who reported sleep disturbances were more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes.

Via Prevention Magazine

MATTHEW JOHNSTONE presents his charming 16-step guide in achieving inner peace

Over a 24-hour period we can process up to 70,000 thoughts, even as we sleep. Each day contains 86,400 seconds, so that equates to a different thought every 1.2 seconds, your brain never stops!

Left unchecked, this incessant chatter can turn to the dark side and become an chorus of self-criticism and blame. Negative thinking can become much more dominant than the positive and supportive kind.

These thoughts tend to become stuck and repetitive — leading to anxiety, depression and burn-out. Only by freeing ourselves from them can we grow calmer, more focused, more present and happier.

Meditation has been proven to ease stress, improve metabolism, reduce pain, lower blood pressure and enhance brain function. And all you need to do is . .. nothing. Any time is great.

Find a firm but comfortable chair and a blanket to keep warm. Sit in the quietest room in the house and make your space as snug and peaceful as possible. Keep a soft light on to stop yourself nodding off.

Your posture should be upright and symmetrical. Think of a Buckingham Palace guard — alert but relaxed. Put your hands on your lap and keep your chin up.

For best results, ‘hush-proof’ your surroundings. Take your landline phone off the hook, turn off your computer and mobile, and banish your family from the room. You can even wear earplugs.

Find a spot on the wall in front of you. Take six deep breathes,soften your focus and close your eyes. Focus on the sounds outside the room. Next, bring your focus to the sounds within the room.

Now, listen to the sounds inside your body — your breath and heartbeat. This is where your attention should be, within yourself. Don’t think, just focus on your breath.

Keep thinking about your breath. Imagine your nose as a lighthouse from which you take all your bearings. If you feel you’re losing your focus, concentrate once more on your breath. Just keep breathing in and out, nice and slow and steady.

It is a well-known fact that smiling helps release endorphins (the brain’s natural relaxant), so as you relax picture yourself with a gentle smile. You’ll probably find by doing this you will have one during the meditation.

Your thoughts will naturally bubble to the surface. The most important thing is not to get upset with yourself. Thoughts during meditation can be the mind’s way of releasing stress. But there is still great benefit in sitting quietly.

Do not pursue these thoughts, judge them or reject them. Simply acknowledge them, then let them go.

Each time you breathe, think of your feet growing roots into the floor. This thought anchors you and keeps you centred.
After 20 minutes gradually bring your awareness back into the room. When you’re ready, take a few deep breaths, fill the lungs and gently open your eyes.

Before you get up, sit for a minute. Think about how peaceful you feel in this moment. Most of all, feel proud — you’ve managed to meditate.

Extracted from Quiet The Mind, by Matthew Johnstone (Robinson).

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