I’m Not Picking on “Old” People!

Last week, I told the story about how I helped two of my martial
arts students who were in their forties and fifties go from being
“tight as a drum” – as in not able to touch their toes, only able
to kick to about hip height, and massively frustrated with their
lack of flexibility – to being able to kick easily to the head.

This transformation occurred within about three weeks’ time of
focused stretching. Each guy would spend about 15 minutes or so
with me after class, three times per week. And each made the
commitment to stretch on their own, for a few minutes, on at least
one or two other days.

Not a lot of time required. Just some consistent effort applied
with some basic information, so they were stretching in an optimal

I received a number of emails expressing interest in how exactly
I did this. I also received a number of orders for the Dynamic
Flexibility program (go to the Best Breathing Exercises website
for more information on my program, “Dynamic Flexibility: The
Secret To Healthy, Pain-Free Joints, Limber Muscles and Maximum
Mobility” —

Funny, but a few of the emails asked me to “lay off the old guys”,
as one dear reader put it.

They objected – in a half-joking way – to my picking on people in
their forties or fifties who are tight and inflexible.

Methinks I hit a nerve here!

Well, let me reassure you that I was NOT picking on “old guys”,
or “old gals”, for that matter.

I have worked with enough students and clients and friends over
the years to understand the challenge of coaxing tight muscles
and squeaky joints into loose, fluid, relaxed motion.

Not to mention, I myself am well into that forties / fifties
demographic, so I would never poke fun at us older and wiser

Here’s the funny thing: the tightest and least flexible I
have been in my life was actually in my early twenties.

Yes, my twenties!

Due to an accident when I was in college, in which I was hit by
a car (the score of that one was Car 1, Pedestrian 0), I suffered
from a back injury and ongoing sciatica and muscle spasms that
no amount of massage, treatment, or meds could eliminate.

I vividly recall roadtripping with my then husband to visit his
mom, and suffering through most of the six hour trip in pain. Any
time I was sitting, whether in the car, at work, or watching TV,
I had to move and reposition every couple of minutes. I just
could never get comfortable.

And forget touching my toes. I had to sit down to put on my
socks or tie my shoes, or even to wash my feet in the shower.

For me, the salvation came from stretching: stretching in a
specific way, leveraging techniques and an approach that I learned
when I started training in the martial arts again.

Stretching the way I learned and advocate and teach in my
program, “Dynamic Flexibility”, is an easy, straightforward,
yet radically effective way to improve your flexibility and
range of motion.

No matter how tight you may be today, or how much pain or
discomfort you suffer from due to tight muscles or creaky joints,
you CAN achieve surprisingly quick results from a basic
routine of stretching and flexibility exercises.

And the good news is, you only have to devote a few minutes
a day on a consistent basis to achieve real results.

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. Stretching and flexibility means more than maintaining a certan
range of motion, or the ability to bend down and pick up
something. It means resiliency. It means motion. It means acting –
and FEELING – younger and more energetic, in everything you do.

It can even impact your thinking. Yes, having a more flexible
and supple body helps you develop greater flexibility and
creativity in your thinking! And being more flexible and open is
a surefire way to accelerate your results in the work that you do.

I share my method of improving flexibility and joint health
through my program, “Dynamic Flexibility: The Secret To Healthy,
Pain-Free Joints, Limber Muscles and Maximum Mobility”.

Check out this life-enhancing program right now at:

In this special program, I home in on the most productive,
results-producing flexibility exercises. I show you how to use
dynamic, natural movements to improve your flexibility and
the health of your joints in only minutes…so you are limber,
loose and injury-proof.

I also show you how your breathing and emotional state can
influence your flexibility…and how to leverage both to
radically increase your flexibility and feeling of wellbeing
within minutes.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014


From Tight As A Drum to Kicking People in the Head

When I used to teach martial arts, I was always struck by how tight
people are.

Many adults, even those in good shape, could barely do the basic
stretches which were part of our regular warmups…let alone move
into the more radical stretches, such as splits and bridges.

Some people are naturally more flexible, other less so. Most of
us are in the middle.

However, flexibility is not only an attribute, it’s also a
learned skill. Yes, even if you are as tight as a drum, you can
make enormous strides in your flexibility if you will just put
in a little time and effort.

Most people think of flexibility and stretching as the few
minutes of warm up or cool down activity they do before and
after a workout. They may spend 45 minutes to an hour or more
working out….but less than 5 or 10 minutes stretching.

I think this is a big mistake.

Stretching – in the right way – is wonderful preparation for any
workout or training. Not only does it help prepare your body
for activity. It also prepares your mind and spirit for the
training to come. It helps you reset mentally and put aside any
pressures, rushing or problems of the day so you can focus on
your workout.

Stretching as part of your closing ritual or routine is equally
important. It’s easy to omit or cut short, especially if you’re
in a hurry or have only a set time to complete your workout. But
don’t shortchange yourself! Stretching now, when your muscles and
joints are warm and tired, is the best time to stretch!

Not only is it easier to reach into each stretch, it’s also an
ideal way to conclude your workout, bring down your heart rate,
focus on your breathing, and relax.

Adding a few more minutes of stretching at the conclusion of
your workouts can make a significant difference in your overall
flexibility as well as your ability to recover, AND in an
amazingly short period of time.

I saw this enough times in the training hall to know it to be

At the beginning of each class, we would take the students
through a series of dynamic and static exercises to help loosen
them up, as well strengthen certain areas. Then we would move
into the main portion of the class.

We usually left it to the students to stretch after class. But
I noticed that most students would take off after class. Even
those who stayed to work on specific techniques, sparring or
forms would often end their post-class workout without doing
any stretching.

At one point, I decided to conduct an experiment. I started
working with a couple of students – one guy in his forties,
the other in his fifties – and each as tight as a drum.

They both had difficulty with many of the stretches, found
stretching to be uncomfortable and even painful, and could not
get their kicks up any higher than hip height – a situation
which was causing them immense frustration. In fact, one of
them was thinking of quitting.

Basically, I told them to stop worrying about how they did or
how they looked doing the in-class stretching. In effect, I told
them to do the movements and go as far as they could to help
warm up their bodies, but not to worry about how far they
stretched or whether they were making progress.

This helped take the pressure off and move them away from the
“stretching has to be painful” mindset.

More importantly, I had them stay for about 15 minutes after
each class and stretch with me. I took them through part of
the post-workout routine I usually did.

As we stretched together, I was able to see where they needed
the most help and make corrections to their position, their
pace, even their facial expressions (very important!).

I helped them with physical and mental techniques or “tricks”
which can help increase your flexibility immediately,
without any straining or discomfort. (I discuss some of these
in my book, <em>”Dynamic Flexibility: The Secret To Healthy,
Pain-Free Joints, Limber Muscles and Maximum Mobility

I have to say – even though I’m bragging a bit on myself –
their results were outstanding!

After just three weeks of regular, post-class stretching
(we averaged three times per week, plus I had them stretch
at least one other time on their own), each guy’s flexibility
had skyrocketed! I’d say they easily increased their
range of motion by 300 to 500%, depending on the particular

Instead of fighting the stretch with reflex tension, resulting
in pain and discomfort, they each were learning how to relax
and let go, to let their muscles and connective structures move
more naturally into the stretched position.

And they actually began to enjoy their stretching sessions.

What’s more, their leg and hip flexibility and strength
improved so much that their kicks got higher. One guy was
now able to do roundhouse kicks to head level – a goal
he had set for himself by the time he reached Black Belt
(he was a green belt at the time).

Imagine his glee as he “surprised” his fellow students
during sparring by sneaking in a few kicks to the head.

Mr. “Tight As A Drum” became “Mr. Gumby”. (Well, not quite,
but you get the picture.)

Based on this little experiment, I became a real champion
of stretching as the closing component of your workouts.
I continue to encourage people to do it today.

Even if I have just a limited amount of time to train, I will
shorten the other activity in my workout to allow for some
stretching at the end.

When I skip this or blow it off, I can really tell a

In addition to improved physical flexibility, there’s another
reason why this is very important.

I’ll share this with you in my next tip.

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

Are You Focusing Enough on This Critical Area?

I live in the beautiful Hill Country of Central Texas. (Notice how
I capitalized those terms? That’s how special Central Texans think
this area is.) Our little community on the shores of Lake Travis
is blessed with lots of woodlands and natural beauty.

Along with our healthy habitat comes a plethora of flora and fauna
that never cease to fascinate and entertain.

For example, one of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen –
and I’ve been to some places like Costa Rica that seem to have
invented beautiful flowers – is the yellow flower on the prickly
pear cactus.

And one of the cutest animals I have ever encountered is the
baby aramadillo that meandered into our back yard one time. Poor
little guy just wanted to dig in the mulch. He dug in, held on
and made little baby grunting noises as we tried to pick him up
and move him to a safer area outside of our back yard (where our
dogs and cats roam).

We also have a very healthy deer population. Many towns and suburbs
are overrun with deer, and I know this can be a topic of
contention for many people who have seen their shrubs and flowers
get eaten, seemingly overnight.

Our yard borders on a well-trod deer path. We have kept the lot
next to our main yard wooded and in a natural state, so the
deer can traverse the area between our neighborhood streets
in safety. So we see quite a few deer moving through our yard.

Yet imagine my surprise when I went out to get the papers one
Saturday morning a few weeks ago, and I saw a baby fawn deposited
on our front lawn, not 15 feet from our front door!

Baby fawn in our front yard

Baby Fawn in Our Front Yard

We’ve seen baby fawns before, including last year when one was
lying under a tree just on the other side of our street. No,
the mama deers are not bad mothers. Apparently they leave the
fawns so mama can go forage and eat. The fawns know instinctively
to stay still and not move. In most cases they are well
camouflaged. And these newborns lack any kind of scent, so they
are actually safer without mom because coyotes and other potential
predators can’t smell them.

However, right smack in the middle of our front yard seemed
kind of nuts! The fawn definitely was visible.

We resisted the temptation to pick the little thing up and hide
it someplace better. We looked out and checked on it a few
times. Eventually mama deer came back and took the fawn along
with her, down the deer trail.

I’m happy to report that mom and baby are doing great! We see
them every morning and every evening as they make their way
along the deer path. They’ve been joined by a few other does
and fawns too, and we enjoy watching their antics as they
learn the ropes.

As I watch the fawns jumping and leaping, bounding and running,
I’m struck with how powerful they are. That kind of power –
to be able to start on a dime, jump and bound with great force,
and accelerate quickly – demonstrates the tremendous potential
energy they store in their muscles and tendons.

Same thing with our pets. We have two dogs and two cats. (And
they all get along just fine.) Our dogs tend to want to nap
and lay around, in particular they like to lay on their dog
bed here in my office and hang out while I am working.

Our cats are, well….cats! Which means they also lay around
and nap quite a bit.

But rouse any of one of these puppies or cats with something
interesting, like the rabbit that runs through our yard (the
dogs’ current obsession), or a bird or butterfly flitting
by (the cats, of course)….and they fire into action.

In a heartbeat, they can go from resting to full sprint.

Young children demonstrate the same capability. My son and
his friends can go from zero to 60 in an instant – from
laying around reading to sprinting into the back yard with
their nerf guns, ready to attack “the enemy” in their pretend

They can stop on a dime. They can sit and stretch and hop
without any warm up at all.

The key to this type of flexible power and quick starting
ability is in all of us.

It’s dictated in large part by how flexible we are.

We see this unhindered flexibility in young children. We can
continue to cultivate is as young adults. But then….

It seems to go away. As we get older, we lose our flexibility,
as well as our ability to start fast and accelerate quickly
without a warm up – AND without pulling a muscle or putting
oour backs out.

Our muscles and tendons get tighter. Our joints get tight or
even painful. Our backs ache.

This loss of physical flexibility is echoed in a loss of
mental flexibility and emotional resilience. In fact,
many bodyworkers and energy practitioners have linked
cognitive challenges and moodiness to a lack of flexibility.

Of course, these are unwanted results. I think you probably
agree that you would rather maintain flexibility of both
body and mind. But how best to reclaim your god-given
flexible power?

On the positive side, even if you’ve lost that youthful
flexibility you once enjoyed, you can still get it back. The
human body has amazing regenerative powers.

And improving your flexibility results in a number of
positive side effects, including mental and emotional

Dogs and cats, children and fawns actually stretch all the
time. And they stretch in a particular way.

It makes sense to consider this as you work on your own

I think flexibility is one of the most important areas you
should focus on, especially as you get older. But most people
don’t understand how important this is…or how best to
get started.

I’ll devote my next few tips to addressing this important

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

I Want To Send This To You – and It’s On Me

Best Breathing Exercises logo

The Best Breathing Exercises Letter

There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo out there about breathing and energy
exercises, about “secret” techniques and methods, about how you
have to study and practice for a long time before you get to the
really good stuff.

The reality is this: you can pick up quite a bit of technique and
skill by starting at a basic level, practicing and experiencing
at that level, then building from there.

It’s similar to teaching any new skill to anyone, from music to
martial arts to macrame.

First, you provide a basic foundation of knowledge, initial skills,
and a few key techniques.

You then have the student practice these, over and over, so they
actually experience them and therefore learn them. The experience
part is critical. Just reading about something won’t make you good
at it, or allow you to understand it.

Actually DOING THE THING, even if it’s at a basic level, pushes you
forward toward competency and, eventually, skilfulness.

At the same time, an instructor will work to ensure their student is
progressing in increments or steps that make sense: steps that
challenge the student just a little to keep it interesting, but
don’t overwhelm so much that the student gives up.

I know from experience teaching martial arts and breathing exercises
that too much time spent in explanation is boring.You have to
explain the basics, then let the student work with it and practice.

Once they have some experience, you then add the next layer of
explanation, detail or complexity.

Move the performance level and knowledge base up, step by step….
and you have a winning formula for progress and learning.

(And, as one of my favorite martial arts instructors always says,
“Repetition, repetition, repetition – plus enthusiasm – is the key
to success in all your endeavours.”)

I can teach and explain quite a number of wonderful exercises to
you in these email tips. However, because of the length at which
I have to keep these (so you will actually read them), I sometimes
struggle with how much detail to include.

How best to resolve this?

Well, for one thing, I have created a number of information
products which go into greater depth on specific areas of
breathing, energy cultivation, stress management, and flexibility.
(Visit http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com/products.html to
see a complete listing.)

Here’s another thing I used to do: early on, when I first started
the Best Breathing Exercises website, I published a short, two to
four page newsletter that I sent out each month to my customers.

Yes, a PRINT newsletter which I mailed out.

I know I know, not common in this day of digital everything. But
I tried it out anyways.

And I was pleasantly surprised at the response. My customers
loved it!

They loved that I could devote more space to really digging into
a specific topic, or even cover off a couple of topics, in more
detail than I usually can through a blog post.

And I loved being able to share even more information, insights
and inspiration with my customers.

I eventually stopped doing the print letter. Not sure why, now
that I think of it.

But, I’ve decided to start up me ol’ letter again. And you,
my friend, are the beneficiary.

As I said, the “Best Breathing Exercises Letter” will be written
for you and mailed to you each month.

It’s like a letter I would write to a good friend, one who wants
to learn more about improving health and energy levels,
transforming stress, being more focused and confident, and
becoming more resilient.

And, because it’s a print newsletter, I don’t have to edit
myself at all, like I sometimes do when posting online. So I can tell
you what I really think!

So, how do you get on my list?

Here’s the deal:

I initially planned on including only customers in my newsletter mailings.

However, I’ve got a lot of devoted readers of my blog, and I would
love for you to also benefit from the newsletter.

Therefore, I have also decided to open up this new version of the “Best
Breathing Exercises Letter”
to readers of this blog.

If you’ve been reading for a long time, or for just a few days,
and would like to receive the “Best Breathing Exercises Letter”,
simply give me your mailing address and you will be good to go.

Here is the link to provide your current mailing information:


(A number of folks have already signed up – if you have already
input your mailing address information, you do not have to do
it again – I’ve got it!)

Only sign up if you are truly interested in receiving and
reading the Letter. I want people who will actually USE and
therefore BENEFIT FROM the information I will be providing.

And I want to hear back from you, including your recommendations
for additional topics you would like me to cover.

I’m betting you are one of those people, Dear Reader. You want
even more information, insights and inspiration to help you live
the full, active, joyful life you deserve! So don’t delay –
take two minutes to type in your mailing information at

Thanks for your support!

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. Yes, you too can receive and benefit from even more breathing
and energy exercises and instruction, and deeper insights
into the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of
abundant energy, health and fitness – by signing up for my FREE
monthly print newsletter, the “Best Breathing Exercises Letter”.

In the next few issues, I will be exploring the fascinating
psychological and metaphysical background which informs and
contributes to the effectiveness of breathing and visualization.
And I will share more details on several of the most productive,
yet easy to learn, exercises that I have enjoyed over the years.

To input or update your mailing address info, go to

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

It’s the Best Time of Year For This

In our modern, always-on society, we often lose track of natural
cycles which affect our health.

As we move into summer here in the U.S., I’d like to remind you
that now – late Spring / early Summer – is THE BEST time to lose
weight, if you have weight loss – or more specifically, fat
loss – as a health goal.

(Apologies to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere – I will write
something geared toward Fall and Winter for you soon.)

Anyhoo, right now your metabolism is at its peak and your body is
oriented toward shedding winter’s fat and bloat and leaning out.

The days are longer and brighter, which automatically improves
your mood and revs up your energy levels…so you feel more
motivated to engage in physical activities, such as heading
outside, exercising, doing yard work, swimming at pool or beach,
and so forth.

Seasonal fruits and veggies are bursting forth. Our garden is
doing awesome this year, with various sorts of peppers and
tomatoes already gracing our dinner table. At this time of year,
your body naturally craves more nutritious, water-rich fruits,
vegetables and juices – ideal for cleansing, healing and slimming

But here’s the deal: NOW is the time to take advantage of this
natural cycle and leverage it to lose weight. NOW is your
window of opportunity. So don’t delay!

Unfortunately, late summer is not so amenable to weight loss
and slimming down. In late summer, our bodies begin to move
into fat storage mode as we prepare for winter, and the cycle
pushes us to fatten up to help our energy stores last through
winter, when (at least theoretically) we will have less food,
and less fresh food, to eat.

Of course, that’s not really the case anymore for most of us.
But your body works based on 10,000 years plus of evolution.

It makes sense to ride the wave when you can, doesn’t it?

This means get busy now!

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. “I believe that if a person can maintain enthusiasm long
enough, it will produce anything!” (Frank Bettger)

Stoke your enthusiasm with the inspiration and the certainty that
come from knowing what to do, and how to do it, to successfully
reach your health and fitness goals. My Special Report, “Ten Universal Strategies for
Optimal Fitness” covers – in a concise, easy to understand, and easy to implement
way Рthe most important elements  of an efficient, effective and
ENJOYABLE approach to getting fitter and feeling healthier than
you ever imagined.

The information in this report will point you in the right
direction and show you exactly what to do to get maximum

If you’re intersted, you can pick up a¬†copy of my at

http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com/fitnessstrat.html and
ride the summer cycle to improved health, fitness and weight

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

Last Day of School – and My Son is Sad?!

Today is the last day of school in our town. The kids are going
nuts with excitement, as you might expect.

They’ve had a fun week: assemblies, end of school parties, field
day. I volunteered at field day to help run one of the stations
for the third, fourth and fifth graders. Not surprisingly, every
kid I spoke with was ready for summer.

I still vividly recall that feeling of relief, excitement and
anticipation that always came at the end of the school year,
especially during elementary school.

The promise of a long, hot, wide open summer with the freedom to
read what I wanted, play with my friends all day, spend some
relaxed time with my parents, and even a family trip or two to the
beach….ah, heaven!

I still get that feeling today, even though it’s been many many
years since I had a summer off.

As we drove to school this morning, I asked my son Miguel if he
was psyched that it’s the last day of school.

He said, “Yea. But I’m also sad.”

“why? I asked, a little surprised.

“Because I will miss Mrs. Olson”, who is his third grade teacher.

How sweet!

When we went into school to give Mrs. Olson her gift, I thanked
her for all of her work and kind attention this year. And I
shared with her what Miguel said.

I could tell she really appreciated it.

Miguel has really enjoyed being in her class this year. He has
struggled at times with math, but overall his love of learning,
reading, doing projects, and helping out in class have continued
to grow.

And when I look back and compare where Miguel was at the
beginning of the year with where he is now, I can’t help but be
impressed with the amount of progress made, knowledge learned,
and new skills mastered.

Mrs. Olson is known as a teacher who expects a lot from her
students and really pushes them. She employs a solid routine,
good structure, and makes sure the kids are working on the most
important things each day and week.

On the other hand, she is also a lot of fun. She lets the kids
do “read-ins”, when they bring in their blanket and favorite
books and read most of the day. She is kind and encouraging to
each of them, letting them know SHE knows they can do it.

And, as my son likes to remind me, “Mrs. Olson can do The Worm!”

(He is most impressed by that particular talent….)

I think Mrs. Olson’s approach to running her third grade class
provides a good example for each of us, in terms of how to
approach our own fitness and health regimen.

It’s a combination of five key factors:

(1) Have high expectations for yourself. No matter what your
age or present physical condition, you can make astounding
progress and enjoy significant results, if you put in a
consistent effort. So think big.

(2) Set a few key goals for yourself – goals that are personally
meaningful to you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many. And
while setting a general timeframe is good, don’t box yourself
into the “Must lose 20 pounds by X date” mentality.

(3) Make a plan, make a schedule for how you are going to
weave your health and fitness practices – including exercising;
breathing and energy exercises; meditation or prayer; taking
time to prepare and enjoy healthy meals; getting enough sleep,
etc. – into the fabric of your daily life. In other words, keep
a good routine.

(4) Hold yourself accountable. Keep track of how you’re doing.
BUT – see yourself with kind eyes. Don’t get too down on
yourself if you miss a workout, or eat crappy for a few days.
Picture your own inner “Mrs. Olson” giving you a little pat on
the back and saying, “You can do it!”

(5) Have fun! Enjoy what you’re doing. Enjoy the process. Just
as Miguel has been blessed with a love of reading and a love
for learning, you too should learn to embrace the process and
embrace this healthy lifestyle…And realize that this process
has merit in and of itself.

Here’s the deal: For most of us, the most difficult part is
the start.

Because, if you’re doing it right – and not falling victim to
some crash diet or weight loss gimmick – it will take a little
time before you see results.

Don’t get discouraged by slow results, or seeming lack of
progress up front. It’s been my experience that you will start
to FEEL better before you actually LOOK better in the mirror, or
on the scale.

To keep yourself motivated, consider this:

Weight lost quickly will just as quickly reappear. A sudden,
drastic decrease in calories will set off alarm bells in
your body and brain.

On the other hand, slow and steady weight loss ensures you are
losing fat, not lean mass, as well as bypassing your body’s
natural urge to compensate and cause you to pig out.

Also – fitness gains achieved quickly based on some crash course
in exercising can also disappear quickly – usually because you
are unable to sustain the effort or the time investment

On the other hand, slow and steady increase wins the race,
because, over time, you are building a foundation of aerobic
capacity and strength.

Positive expectations…slow and steady….good routine….
continual improvement, bit by bit….having some fun along
the way….

Not only a recipe for third grade. A recipe for life!

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. A good exercise routine can literally rocket launch you to
improved health and fitness, higher energy levels, better brain
and cognitive function, and enhanced productivity. Unfortunately,
many of the recommendations and conventional wisdom out there
are not very helpful, and can even be detrimental. Even worse,
they’ll have you spinning your wheels and getting no result.

Plus, there are so many fitness fads and gimmicks out there
today. What’s realand what’s BS? Where should you start?

I wrote my Special Report, “Ten Universal Strategies for
Optimal Fitness”, to help answer these questions. I cover – in
a concise, easy to understand, easy to implement way – the
most important elements of an efficient, effective and
ENJOYABLE approach to getting fitter and feeling healthier than
you ever imagined.

The information in this report will point you in the right
direction and show you exactly what to do to get maximum

The revised and improved version of the report is coming off
the presses in a few days. Claim your copy today at the (still)
low introductory price (plus access to a special bonus offer)
by clicking HERE.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

Tap Into This Secret Source of Strength

One of the most exciting discoveries of the last 200 years is that
each of us has the ability to change our life by changing our

Our attitudes of mind, our typical ways of thinking, our way of
looking at our life and our world….each of these impacts us
every day, in ways both obvious and unseen.

We live and operate in the physical world. Yet physical force or
effort is the lowest form of energy. Mental and spiritual forces
release the higher form of energy.

Your inner world of mind and spirit helps to drive and determine
your outer world of circumstances and results. If there’s some
aspect of your life that you would like to change or improve,
look to your inner world first.

A great way to do this is to sit still and be quiet for a few
minutes each day. Meditate, pray, or simply relax and let your
thoughts roam for a bit.

Release your worries, relax, and quietly think about what you
would like to bring into your life. You can think broadly
over various areas of your life….or you can focus on a
particular area that is vexing you, and picture the changes
and new reality you would like to have appear in that area.

We are all seeking “peace, sweet peace” as that old Christian
hymn says. We intuitively crave and seek peace of mind, because
we intuitively know that a peaceful state of mind leads more
easily to health, happiness, abundance, and spiritual growth.

Many people equate peace of mind with some ultimate or end
state of being – something we all aspire to, but never quite
attain, given our busy lives, the pressures of responsibilities,
the never ending quest for more.

Here’s a little secret: the people who are the most peaceful
are the most powerful.

In your peace lies your power.

In his book, “As A Man Thinketh”, James Allen writes about
the strength that comes with serenity:

“Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom…
self-control is strength; right thought is mastery; calmness
is power.”

You want to get into a calm, peaceful, serene state of mind,
particularly in times of stress and strain.

But wait a minute, Karen. When I’m stressed and strained is
exactly when I find it most difficult to become calm and

Ah yes, I know. I’ve been there! Just thinking you SHOULD
be calm and serene is a lot easier than actually BECOMING
calm and serene.

There’s an old saying, or story actually, in Chi Kung. A
student asks the Chi Kung master how often should she practice
in order to make progress. The master tells her she should
practice every day for 15 minutes.

But I lead a very busy life including work and other
responsibilities, says the student. What if I don’t have time
to practice every day?

“Ah,” says the master, “At times when you are very busy and
don’t have time, you should practice 45 minutes every day!”

In other words, the less time you have to focus on yourself,
to take a time out and get peaceful….the more you need to
TAKE the time and gift yourself with a few minutes of

Here’s where integration of your mental, emotional and physical
powers comes in. Combining breathing and energy exercises
with specific types of visualization, affirmations and
positive emotions can help you to master your emotional
state and carve out a zone of calmness, even in the midst
of chaos.

When your inner and outer selves begin to operate together in
a more organized and synchronous way, then you’ve really
started tapping into significant power.

The strength and mastery of your peaceful state of mind is
like a healing balm for the situation. It helps bring order
and right results.

Remember this: When you are in a peaceful state of mind, you
are the master of the situation, no matter how negative it

I often use the Prayer of Serenity as my cue to re-orient
my own thinking, focus and energy back to a more peaceful
and calm state.

Here is a way of interpreting that famous prayer, providing
additional meaning which I find quite helpful when I am
facing a particularly tough day or situation:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”
(calmness is power);

“Change the things I can” (Self-control is strength);

“And the wisdom to know the difference” (right thought leads
to mastery).

In such mastery is your strength and power for good.

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. You can receive and benefit from even more breathing and energy
exercises and instruction, and deeper insights into the physical,
psychological and spiritual dimensions of abundant energy, health
and fitness – by signing up for my FREE monthly print newsletter,
the “Best Breathing Exercises Letter”.

In the next few issues, I will be exploring the fascinating
psychological and metaphysical background which informs and
contributes to the effectiveness of breathing and visualization.
And I will share more details on several of the most productive,
yet easy to learn, exercises that I have enjoyed over the years.

To input or update your mailing address info, go to

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014