Yoga and meditation have been a life-long journey for me. I share a little bit about my path to health and happiness and offer tips on boosting your own…
Have you ever had a deep sense of knowing when something is right? I felt like this about natural remedies from a young age. Now I know it was my intuition and that I listen more to my body and heart than to my mind. I was labelled a free spirit! In those days, this wasn’t seen as a compliment. It has taken age and wisdom to be at one with myself and learn to love me!
Meditation has helped too, by listening and connecting to my body’s energy. Healing must come from within. Pills and pharmaceutical drugs can help, and be necessary, but for how long do we take them expecting a better outcome? A pill can be a sticking plaster. But eventually, the plaster comes away and we’re left feeling disempowered and frustrated. This is where learning to know yourself, your body and how to heal from within is so empowering and wholesome.
Connecting with nature
Looking at a flower, a tree or spending time in nature has a soothing effect on our whole being. The wisdom that went into creating nature’s gifts is the same intelligence and wisdom that created us.
From a young age I understood this. I may not have been able to voice it eloquently, but I was using my intuition. This taught me to listen to my inner guide and carved out my path as a healer using natural remedies.
I wasn’t always so connected.
Like most people I went through a rebellious phase. At one stage I used to smoke, had a terrible diet and never exercised. And I paid for it! I was always tired, and my outlook wasn’t so rosy. At the time, I had been living in California, and was looking to find work in the health food sector. I was waitressing, with long hours and lots of standing.
It was in the early 1990s that I visited a homeopath for the first time with a minor health problem. I was asked many questions about my past physical and emotional life. That night I took my first homeopathic remedy.
When I woke the next morning and the problem had gone. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to learn more and to be able to share this kind of health coaching knowledge with the world! So, I stopped working in restaurants – I was maître d’ at Le Caprice and The Ivy – and the rest is history.
I immersed myself in the wisdom of plants and healing through many beautiful books. These included The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood and The Bach Flower Remedies by Julian Barnard. And I went on to study aromatherapy, learning how to apply oils for health and wellbeing.
Learning to connect with my breath and body
When I was 21, I attended my first yoga class. It was wondrful to learn about how my body and breath connected. How a yoga pose did so much more than stretch. And how our minds are so much more than our thoughts. The seeds of what I am today are intrinsically woven by this experience.
It was many years later that I got the opportunity to become a yoga teacher. Looking back, I think life opens a lot of doors. Teaching yoga is a great joy. And a great privilege. My yoga students teach me so much. It makes me strive to improve myself and to stay inspired. There is always more to learn, and to share. I don’t think we ever stop learning.
Meditation has also shown me so much about who I am and I have a daily mantra practice. When I did my teacher training and studied meditation at the Chopra Center, I was given a unique mantra. Mantra is a vehicle used to calm the mind. My mantra is based on the time, date and place of my birth. I still remember receiving it. It was like slipping on an old, worn comfortable shoe. I never miss a day practicing meditation. And it’s not always easy.
Life challenges us in many ways – and it still does this even if you’re a meditator! But it provides a stable and secure ground to be less reactive and more responsive to life. It also helps build compassion and love. This helps us engage in life from a heart-centred and balanced focus.
I continue to teach yoga and meditation through practice and experience. I’m always listening to podcasts and following what other teachers are doing. Years on, meditation and yoga continue to amaze and inspire me.
My 7 tips to a healthy and fulfilled life…
Know you are unique. Follow your heart, trust your intuition and listen…
- Eat sensibly and for your body type. I really like the Ayurvedic health system. You can do a simple quiz on Ayurvedic body type to get you started and learn the foods in season. They mirror the rhythm of life. Nature provides what we need for health. Think berries in September to help heed off colds and cooling salads in the summer.
- Take time to prepare food, and see it as a joyful activity. And remember …a little of what you fancy will not cause harm!
- Find a way to move your body that you enjoy, and make it a habit. Try new things and have an open mind.
- Choose to think positive thoughts. Every time you think a negative thought turn it around. Practicing this will reward you with many wonderful gifts. Have a sunny outlook and the sun will shine on you.
- Take time to find stillness. Balance your busy life with periods of quiet. Have conscious breaks from social media and get over any guilt feeling of doing nothing.
- Be creative. Whatever your passion we are all creative beings. Do what you love, and your life will be enriched.
- Cultivate compassion. Be grateful for what you have and practice spending time in nature to sooth your soul.