Irish Teen Invents Life-Saving Sleeping Bag For The Homeless.

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Credit: Emily Duffy/The Journal.ie

When we see homeless people on the streets, we think of all the possibly ways we could help them and one teenager from Ireland has done just that.

15 year-old Emily Duffy from Ireland has invented a rain and fireproof sleeping bag to the homeless, not only that, she is also hiring homeless people to manufacture them. After living rough for a day on Dublin’s streets, experiencing a homeless life to raise money for charity, Emily knew she had to do something.

Duffy’s invention, dubbed “Duffily Bags,” have a highly reflective, fire retardant and waterproof shell. Velcro straps replace the usual zippers, allowing the user to get in and out more easily. The bags are currently being produced by former homeless people now earning 10 euros an hour at the Mendicity Institution – a homeless service centre in Dublin.

I hope Emily’s invention and story serves as inspiration that we can all play our part in helping the homeless in our community. What did you think of Emily’s invention? Watch the video of how the sleeping bag works below:

Credit: The Journel.ie/Youtube

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Isn’t Yoga Just Stretching?

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Credit: Play Mile High

Many people attending yoga classes today do so for the physical benefits. Often the additional effects of calming the mind and tuning the inner processes of the body are an added bonus. This differs greatly from how yoga students in Eastern cultures practice yoga; as a way of life not just an hourly class for three times a week. The popularity and growth of yoga in the UK has moved along at a rapid pace with new studios and styles of classes appearing. There’s something for everyone’s tastes and personal preferences from sweating it all out in a hot power class to soothing and unwinding in a gentle restorative class.

Stretching or calisthenics may look similar to yoga on the surface but delving deeper below the initial impressions and appearances there is a great difference. Calisthenics are an aerobic workout of stretches and movements, such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, using only one’s body weight for resistance, designed to challenge the cardiovascular system and burn energy to build strength and flexibility. Routines are often used as a warm up before any sporting activity. The movements are performed in a rhythmical way, often to music, with a smooth transition between each move. They are designed to get the body warmed up and the heart rate increased ready for intense, high energy sport or exercise.

Whilst yoga increases muscular strength and flexibility the practice doesn’t stop with the physical effects. Yoga (meaning to join together or union) aims to integrate the body, mind and spirit using physical postures, the breath and the mind. Yoga goes beyond purely burning calories and toning the body. Yoga is a philosophy, a spiritual path and moral and ethical framework. Yoga is an examination of the self or soul. The philosophy behind yoga explains human existence in terms of energy – physical energy in the body from cellular processes, mental energy that is sensory, emotional and intelligence and spiritual energy or prana that is distributed throughout the body and connects the physical to the mental and mental to the spiritual.

The practice of yoga allows the body to fine tune its performance and for the physiological systems to function correctly. Yoga postures (asana) and breathing practices (pranayama) allow the body to open up in certain ways, sending blood, energy and other fluids are sent to the muscles and organs. Asana and pranayama are the foundations of yoga that link the body to the mind and the soul. They work together to provide a basis for providing the body what it needs perform at its best. Both of these practices are seen as a foundation to prepare the body and mind for meditation and moving closer to connecting with the soul and your true self.

A regular yoga practice has many health benefits for both body and mind such as reduced blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reduced body fat, improved cognitive function, better mood regulation and emotional stability, increased flexibility and a better ability to manage chronic pain. These benefits pave the way for good health, improved emotional wellbeing and that sense of wanting to delve in to something a little deeper. That spiritual, soulful side of yoga that has a way of working its way in to your practice and daily activities. As one of the most influential yoga teachers, BKS Iyengar once stated ” Yoga is a light that once lit, will never dim.”

Words by Jacqueline Coleman

Spring Horoscopes 2016.

Written In The Stars

What does spring have in store for you?

We all hope that we will have a better future, will our financial situation be better? Will we find our true love? Will it be the year that we get our dream job? Zest For Life has predictions for each zodiac sign for the next few months as winter ends and spring begins.

aries

As we move from winter to spring, you will go through a variety of changes in different aspects of your life Aries. In February, everything will develop in the best possible way, especially in terms of business and career. The first twenty days of February will be a great time to experiment with something new and by the end of the month, everything will fall into place. The stars also recommend that you recall what passion is Aries. Don’t suppress your emotions, feel what you want to feel, open up your heart, if you succeed with this in February, you will find out what happiness can feel like. If you don’t, fate will give you another chance to find love later on in the year. You will definitely experience some positive vibes in March, especially with your finances. When we reach April, you will put career aspirations to one side and focus on your relationships. Show love to everyone you care about and possibly search for a new love or friendship to add to your life. Expect a lot of changes good and bad in your life over the next few months, embrace them, remember that Arians love to be first.

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You will come across a number of tricky situations in February Taurus, if you deal with these problems alone, the balance in your life will eventually be restored, however, if you drag other people down with you, these situations could do more harm than good. Despite the strong negative vibes coming your way, you will experience some great memories during the month of February with those you are closest to. Whether it’s a significant other or a friend, hold them close and be thankful for them. This year will also be the perfect time to resolve underlying issues in your relationships and move forward. It’s important for you to focus on the present during February, wait until March begins to start making plans for the future. People will see you differently this year, in the first few months of 2016, you will be more confident and you will learn to be happy with yourself, flaws and all. March will be the month of money, your top priority will be to secure your finances, to prepare for the next phase of your life.

gemin
The beginning of the year might not be the most dynamic and positive time for you Gemini, but don’t lose hope! Things will get better as spring begins. In February, make sure you find some time to yourself, focus on you, your inner world and your deepest feelings. You know there are unsolved problems in your life at the moment, all you have to do is think things through for a while and you will know what to do when we reach the second week of March. You are searching for intellectual stimulation at the moment, it has been a long time, when this desire is filled you will be the happiest person on the planet. March will be the month that everything changes, career opportunities, money and love will all be positive during this time. Spring will be the season of success for you Gemini, take your time and enjoy the new direction that your life is going in. March is the time to not only stretch your mind but your social life, make plans with your close friends and family members.

cancer
The first few months of 2016 will be the perfect time to achieve all of your goals. You need to learn to harmonize your emotions and doubt, believe in your own abilities and you will succeed. February will be an especially exciting time, there will be no time to relax in front of the TV if you want to make things happen. March will be a positive month, changes might happen out of your control, don’t look to see the problem, the universe has a way of telling you what you need and when. Put away your fears and start seeing life from a whole new perspective. You no longer want to be a caterpillar in 2016 Cancer, you have an inner desire to have freedom, you will turn into a beautiful butterfly when the time is right. A career change could be on the horizon, apply for positions that have a great interest to you. As spring approaches, you will have a sudden wanderlust to go to new places and meet new people, February would be the perfect time to plan a trip.

leo
A person from your past will make an appearance in February, possibly March. The problem is Leo, this person is afraid to tell you how he or she really feels, be patient with them. You will have the opportunity to make your decision, depending on the situation. You might choose to try again and see where this new relationship takes you, spring is a chance to try something new. If you decide to pass on the relationship, spend lots of quiet time by yourself and figure out exactly what you want. Your positive energy will increase as you become more passionate about what you are doing. February is a month that you need to focus on your health, start exercising more and choose healthier foods options, you will soon feel better. March will be the month that you need to pay close attention to your finances Leo, you often make decisions quickly with money, think twice and ask yourself if you really need it or you just want it.

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Excerpt from the first issue of Zest For Life Magazine. Click Read More to view the full article…