Natural Wellness

“The body is your temple.  Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”~ B.K.S. Iyengar 

Natural wellness. Sounds simple, right? So why is the supplements section of any Whole Foods so bewildering? Which vitamin? What mineral? Chelated or not? What herb do I need? Is homeopathy for me? Does it work?

I spent most of my 20’s beset with chronic fatigue, pain, and bouts of serious depression. For years I couldn’t walk more than a mile without needing to lie down. My yoga practice was a refuge. I had to be gentle. Even more so when I started training to be a teacher and doing advanced asana. I slowed down. I spent a lot of time in bed. I saw Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. I studied Ayurveda. All of it helped.

When, in my early thirties, I got pregnant for the first time I was in the best shape of my life. My health was stronger than it had been in more than a decade. When I miscarried it was yoga and Ayurveda that helped me regain the strength to manage another pregnancy, and acupuncture that helped keep the torrential morning sickness at bay.

Today, as I get ever closer to 40, my health is good. Not perfect. It fluctuates just like everything else. I take conventional pharmaceuticals on a daily basis to manage my thyroid and my mood disorder. I get acupuncture and take Ayurvedic supplements as I try to heal my gluten intolerance. It all works together. Just like nature.

Nature ebbs and flows. Nature communicates.

So here are my 5 Basic Strategies for Natural Wellness.

  1. Start the day with prayer, meditation, and breathing. 5 minutes is better than no minutes.
  2. Get Into Hot Water. Drink 24 – 36oz of hot water first thing in the morning, before any coffee, tea, juice, or food. It hydrates, it soothes, it helps you poop. And we all need to poop.
  3. Learn to love oil. Rub it on your body in the shower. Swish it between your teeth. Coconut, almond, and sesame (in winter, it’s pretty thick) work well. Your skin will feel soft. Your lymphatic fluid will flow with greater ease. Your dentist will remark on the health of your gums.
  4. Eat seasonally. Blueberries are meant for summer. Winter squash for winter.
  5. End your day with prayer, meditation, and breathing. Go to bed when you’re tired. Turn off your screens 30 minutes before bed. Avoid e-mail. Ditto for social media.

I’m not a doctor. None of this is intended to diagnose or treat illness. These are just time tested (really time tested), simple practices and easy rhythms that can bolster anyone, anytime. But as Lavar Burton said, “Don’t just take my word for it.”

For more on Natural Wellness, check out these past blog posts. Or Download my Rhythms of Balance PDF.

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