I had no idea all that I was setting in motion and how my life would change since writing the “Finding Yoga” post last year. I completed the YogaSpirit 200 hour Teacher Training classes and will finish up the remaining course requirements to earn my certificate by Spring 2019. What I learned from this training caused me to change my daily routine, diet, health treatment plan and career goals. I feel healthier now, both emotionally and physically, than I have since my twenties. What now? My goal is still the same – to help others find pain relief and improve their quality of life on all levels! Here’s what I learned so far.
Most of what I eat, use for medicine, personal care and to clean my home with are plants or plant based products.
Through Ayurveda, I found the best plants for me to eat to balance my health. I estimate that 85% of my diet is vegetables cooked in lots of healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil and ghee. About 10% is protein and half of that comes from plants as well, through nuts and seeds. Fruit and grains make up the rest. To learn more about Ayurveda and find your personal diet plan try Joyfulbelly.com. Herbs and spices play a big role in a healthy diet too and help you achieve nutritional balance.
Besides being a primary food source, did you know that many plants have powerful medicinal properties like antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, analgesic/anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, expectorant, mucolytic (dissolves mucus) and antiseptic? I just fought through a fever, swollen tonsils and tummy issues using an Ayurveda diet and essential oils from Young Living.
One of the most difficult changes for me over the past year has been to make time for personal care. The practice of Yoga for me today is at minimum, a three hour daily commitment. I did not think I would reach this goal, but I did! I still struggle and get off track, but it doesn’t take long to feel the negative effects of neglecting my personal care. So what am I doing that takes 3 hours every day? Some of them are things most everyone does daily like bathing, brushing your teeth and getting some exercise.
First, to get the most out of my time, I started going to bed and getting up at the same time, even on weekends. I try to be in bed by 9 pm and up by 5 am. This helps set my circadian rhythm and allows me to feel refreshed at 5 am every day to get up and going! I found that I don’t need much more than 7 hours of sleep to feel my best. When I feel refreshed and start my day early, I am able to tackle the rest.
So here’s how the three hour personal care breaks down for me:
- Saucha (45 minutes) – this is one of the yoga Niyamas and includes bathing and oral hygiene, drinking warm tea made with fresh ginger, lime and chlorophyll, and massaging oils into my skin
- Sadhana (90 minutes) – this includes asana (practicing yoga poses), dhyana (meditation) and pranayama (breathing exercises)
- Light Cardio (45 minutes) – for me, this is walking – preferably outside
After changing my diet with Ayurveda and adjusting my daily routine to include those 3 hours of personal care, I lost the remaining 20 pounds that I gained after my stroke. Because these pounds were not lost from a traditional diet, but from permanent lifestyle changes, I don’t have to work hard to keep this weight off or deprive myself of calories. This is my new normal!!!
One year ago today I was taking opioid medications daily and had begun preparations for a spinal cord stimulator to be surgically implanted and help relieve my pain from sacroiliitis, scoliosis, cervical spinal stenosis, and fibromyalgia. Today – yoga, meditation, and essential oils have replaced all 12 prescription pharmaceuticals I was taking for pain, IBS, and other inflammation symptoms.
And, this year I replaced my pain specialist with a naturopathic doctor!
Finally, the people that I met on my natural wellness journey have added a whole new level of joy to my life. These new friendships and role models give me strength and encouragement to pursue a career in natural health and wellness so that I can help others through my training and experiences.
A special Thank You to my 2018 Om Yoga Teacher Training classmates, Young Living “Jump In” business builder group, and Soulshack Sisters. 🕉