Another purely informational (and perchance inspirational, I say with utmost humility) post: the frequent, and sometimes daily, habits of a yogini/yoga teacher/holistic nutrition student. These are just what I can come up with off the top of my head and are not prescriptions by any means. They are simply details of the life I lead. A life that is ever-evolving, growing in passion daily and changing with the more that I learn (and I’m only at the beginning of my learning journey!). I am not making lifestyle recommendations for you, with this post, but simply relaying daily habits that I have. Okay, I think I’ve reiterated my disclaimer enough times so, if you’re still reading, let’s get on with it shall we 😉
Habits of this yoga teacher and holistic wellness advocate include, but are not limited to:
- I eat a plant based diet
- I start every morning with warm lemon water (often with apple cider vinegar)
- I take raw organic honey with cinnamon medicinally
- I cook with water and broth instead of oil
- I consume little to no oil, which leads me to…
- I prefer to eat whole plant fats rather than the extracted oil forms (i.e.: avocado, nuts, olives, seeds, etc.) – see Engine 2 Diet and “Health Starts Here” programs for more details on this approach to nutrition (I do use coconut oil on occasion!)
- I eat raw garlic
- I drink between 2 and 4 liters of water each day
- I don’t use the microwave if I can help it
- I use a reusable water bottle everyday, and also a thermos for my tea
- When my immune system needs a boost, I concoct a restorative health tonic with fresh squeezed lemon, fresh grated ginger, cinnamon, 1/2t turmeric powder, 1/2t cayenne, 2T Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water.
- I enjoy a green smoothie per day. The ingredients vary greatly but are usually plucked in random combinations from the following list of superfoods:
- Leafies (spinach and kale are my favorite, but I also love collards, chard and dandelion greens), cucumber, ginger root, celery, beet, carrot, parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon, green apple, pear, frozen banana, fresh or frozen berries, filtered water, coconut water, almond milk, chlorella powder, hemp seeds, goji berries, oats, flaxseeds, vegan raw protein powder, cacao, cacao nibs, raw vanilla bean powder, mesquite powder, maca powder, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds or almond butter (no this doesn’t all go into one single smoothie either!).
- I often concoct what I call a green “juice” but it is really whole plant juice. Including the fiber. Made in my vitamix 🙂 my favorite combo is 1/2 a lemon skinned but with pith, one peeled cucumber, handful of spinach, cilantro or parsley and filtered water. Another good one was inspired by Vegetarian Times and had blueberries and beets. I like to add lemon and cucumber to that and it is SO refreshing!
- I don’t adhere to a particular label because of the negative energy I feel around labels. I simply say I follow a plant based diet and lead holistic lifestyle.
- I believe wholeheartedly in the placebo effect. The mind can, and will, heal the body. Let it happen.
- MINIMIZING STRESS!!!!!!!!!!! (I could fill the rest of this blog post with exclamation points to stress the importance of this; pun intended). I have always struggled with stress reduction, and consequently have come to rely heavily on my yoga practice, meditation practice and holistic lifestyle to sooth my inherently anxious nature.
- Some stress relief tactics I enjoy are:
- Outdoor Meditation: mediation anywhere is profoundly soothing. It allows one to connect with one’s inherent nature, one’s Highest Truth and one’s true Self. I have found in my own practice, though, that meditating out in nature (often just my backyard!) is healing in a different way. I find the rustling of leaves, the gentle movement of air, the fluctuations of mother nature around me to be both calming and also a mild distraction that serves as a challenge to dive deeper into my consciousness during meditation. Nature always just calms me also which leads me to my next stress-reducer:
- Hiking/Walking in Nature: just being out under the canopy of trees, near water, in the sunshine, whatever the terrain may be, I always feel more myself when I’m connecting with mother earth. Vitamin D is also powerful in supporting a healthy state of mind, therefore a potent tool in de-stressing.
- Journaling: I’ve kept a journal since I was old enough to write, and I’ve kept most of them, too. I find this deeply personal level of honesty refreshing. It is a place where I can express my truest thoughts without anyone responding, judging or hearing. It is simply for my eyes and my eyes alone. I once had a boyfriend who would always ask to read my journal. I never let him. He was always miffed about that. But the truth of it my journal has always been my sacred space to express anything my heart desires in completely and totally unfiltered terms. What a gift! I highly recommend journaling as a means to stress reduction and simply making this life more pleasant. It’s always reflective to write down how one’s feeling and have the power to look back on it days, months or even years later. It’s like a time capsule of this life; beautiful.
- Pranayama: the breath has powerful healing capacity. I like to practice Viniyoga breathing techniques I have learned from my teacher Mynx Inatsugu, but there are many styles of Pranayama that I practice and enjoy. For some more very basic pranayama information, I’ve provided these two articles:
- Cooking: healthful creating and experimenting in my kitchen is immensely cathartic. For one, I cannot focus on whatever my mind wants to obsess over if I’m measuring, managing temperatures, chopping, dicing, boiling…I like to make healthy treats to share with loved ones and experiment with new ideas, creating recipes when I’m stressed. It always soothes me to get lost in my passion, barefoot in my kitchen.
- Essential Oil and Epsom Salt Baths: I have always been a bubble bath girl, but nothing sucks toxins and stress from the body like an epsom salt and essential oil bath. I like to dry body brush before my bath, use lavender and eucalyptus in the bath (lighting candles and/or incense usually too) and then I massage myself with sesame or coconut oil post bath and dab clary sage onto my pressure points. Clary sage is a balancing essential oil that proves very calming for me personally.
- YOGA: I’ve saved my favorite for my favorite number, seven 😉
Clearly, as a yogini and yoga instructor, yoga is on my stress reduction list. The practice, in any capacity, connects one’s body and soul in a way that nothing else quite can (except perhaps one’s pranayama and meditation practices). The mind simply needn’t come along. The mind is quiet during practice. Again, the style I am drawn to depends on my mood/needs and the time of day/year/what-have-you. Sometimes a challenging vinyasa flow is what I need and sometimes I need a deeply restorative practice. It just depends. Either way I know I can find sukha (ease, happiness) within my practice, always.
- I treat food as medicine. I live by the famous Hippocrates quote, “Let food be thy medicine.” Healthy, fresh and organic when possible food is my biggest financial expenditure (save for obvious things like rent). My mom even tells me I should be more frugal in the grocery shopping department and shop at cheaper grocers and live out of my pantry. The thing is, I do live out of my pantry and I shop smart! I buy in bulk, using my own recycled containers, and these bulk items last me a long time. The pricier expense is on fresh, organic produce. That I understand looking at and thinking, “Jeez, cut back on that!” But as a holistic wellness advocate, fresh fruits and veggies are my business, my treat and my fuel. I also stock my freezer with organic frozen fruits and veggies, and rely heavily on them especially when my fresh lot is running low. The way I see it is this: I can shop less (for frivolous items, I have everything I need, and that’s the truth) so as to make room in my budget to buy the high quality food my body deservers. I believe that if everyone thought this way and voted with their dollar then organics and high quality produce and food wouldn’t be so expensive. If we demand that quality, and if it is the only option available, the price will inevitably lessen without the conventional, often toxic counterpart to be compared to. I say that completely without judgement, please believe me. I’m more than aware that many, many people cannot afford produce at all much less fresh and organic produce. I am abundantly grateful to have access to the food I enjoy on a daily basis. I just want to strive towards making it more readily available to the average American.
- I use organic, holistic skincare and DIY any and all beauty products/regimens I am able (hello baking soda exfoliator, raw organic honey mask, apple cider vinegar toner and olive oil brown sugar body scrub!).
- I use (and adore!) my neti pot nearly everyday.
- I use nontoxic cleaning products in my home.
- I’ve “greened” my lifestyle completely and have switched to natural versions of nearly everything (beauty products, cleaning products, food products, etc.). I do struggle, however, in not wanting to communicate any semblance of superiority to those who don’t live similarly (like my very own dear and beloved family!!!). I would never even dream of looking down on anyone for their choices. I am, however, passionate about doing my part to promote holistic health in my own body as well as for the environment.
- I drink filtered water.
- I recycle (that one ought to go without saying).
- I rarely eat out. I do adore healthy restaurants and seek them out when I’m travelling but, for the most part, my family and friends and I prefer to cook together. That way we know we are providing ourselves with a healthy, fresh meal and we are spending less than we would out at a restaurant and getting exactly what we want.
- I bathe in gratitude everyday. This very moment, writing this very article. I am breathing. My heart is beating. The sun is shining. I hear birds singing through the open window. Gratitude.
- I walk. When stressed, when feeling cooped up, when visiting with my mom or a girlfriend, after dinner…I enjoy a nice stroll to stretch my legs whenever the occasion arises.
- I realize I’m perfectly imperfect. Take what you will from that one; we are human, we make mistakes, we think we know what is right and then a year (or five minutes!) later we’ve changed our mind. That’s life. I do the best I can with the understanding that my ideal of what “the best I can” means will evolve.
As always, I funnel love, light and abundance out to you all. I appreciate so very much your readership, constant support and beneficial energy. Now that I’ve replied to two requests on my blog, I will get back to writing about the more interesting stuff 😉
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