I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, nor did I give up a vice for Lent. It wouldn’t have been enough. I needed permanence, I needed a new path…I needed more.
Or was it actually less that I craved? It’s all down to perspective in the end; is your glass half-full or half empty?
My eyes were opened in stunning fashion a couple of years ago when I was introduced to Dru Yoga at a local prenatal yoga class in fear of having to endure another terrifying labour ending in surgery, as I did with my first and wanting to try anything, anything to help my body through it this time. I practised yoga weekly throughout my second and third trimester and in the end, was lucky enough to have a text-book, drug-free, natural birth. Though I will always be skeptical about the physiological role yoga played in this experience – I haven’t ever been able to forget about it. I have, since then sporadically kept up my yoga practice but have only recently begun to indulge in the wider ethos and lifestyle around yoga and wellness.
I never felt so alive and attuned, as when in a yoga session and the meditative phases allow my highly-strung, busy mind to slow and to clear. The wider lifestyle, I would suggest, is all part of the same ethos; wellness. Or if you are sensitive to the term, plainly; ‘being well’. I had already, for a number of years, been thoroughly adopting a ‘greener’ lifestyle through food and home product choices, visiting farm shops and markets as well as using British (largely) organic food companies like Abel and Cole to provide the majority of our grocery shopping. I am an avid re-cycler and re-user and enjoy experimenting with the use of homemade cleaning products for bath and home. I have recently embraced vegetarianism again, which is something I first did as a would-be activist youth wanting to save the world, but let slip as I grew ever-more occupied by pressing societal concerns that all teens experience; like peer-pressure and conformity and commercialism. Yuk. I let my true self go in order to conform and have it easy – eating meat was easy. Though it never did sit well with me and this time, I won’t look back. To compliment my diet and boost my nutritional intake, I have in the past few days begun consuming ‘green juice’ (recipes, product review and experience to follow!) and am already feeling the benefits. (Yes truly!)
I still have much to learn, and there are certain aspects of this wider lifestyle that I am yet to fully embrace. Meditation is one of them and is something that has had a profound affect on me when in a guided session with Alison or one of my countless audio apps but I have yet to perfect meditation at home (Something to do with two very loud and demanding children perhaps?!) The other one is positive mental attitude. As a mother with a high-pressure job, this aspect is my nemesis but also, for the aforementioned reasons exactly, the most valuable.
Here are my personal six-steps to wellness for 2014:
1. Meditate daily – starting each day with clarity and stillness.
2. Put down the smartphone – be present!
3. Practise yoga regularly.
4. Embrace a vegan diet – indulge as much as possible in non animal-derived products.
5. Juice daily! Juicing vastly increases the amount of vitamins, nutrients and those cancer-fighting phytochemicals you can take from raw superfoods such as kale.
6. Write/read/walk/observe/reflect – be creative and indulge in the things that make you happy!
What are your favourite wellness tips? Please do share any of your own super tips for a happy, healthy 2014!