Peace and blessings, beloved hearts! I am feeling blessed as I put my pen to paper to share my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with you about living a healthy, wealthy life. In my previous post Health is W.E.A.L.T.H.S: Practicing Self-Care, Maintaining Wellness, I discussed the basic keys to wellness with the acronym W.E.A.L.T.H.S. (water, exercise, air, light, thinking happy thoughts, healthy foods, and sleep). Let’s further explore this concept with some holistic health tips that can be incorporated into your daily life to revitalize the mind, body and soul.
Water Therapy: Break Fast with Water
Start your day off with water. One to two cups of warm tea or room temperature water upon rising will cleanse the bowels, energize your body, and clear your mind. Water enhanced with fresh lemon juice is a simple and easy body cleanser that you can drink daily to decrease mucus and stimulate the digestive system.
Exercise: Yoga Therapy – Mountain Pose
We will start off with the foundation of all standing yoga poses: The Mountain Pose. Even though this is a simple pose, many people still lack proper alignment. In the words of Master Hip hopper KRS-ONE, “stand upright, not uptight.” Do you stand firm through the stormy weathers of life or do you slouch and mope?
The first thing I teach my students in yoga class is how to stand. Begin by holding the intention of Ankh Udja Seneb (life, health, and prosperity). Mountain is the basic pose for alignment. From an energetic perspective, this pose activates both the root and brow chakra.
Stand with the feet hip-width apart. From the crown through the spinal cord are the points of alignment for this pose. Root yourself into the floor by engaging your feet. The four corners of the feet are grounded, use your imagination to root yourself into the earth. The weight should be evenly distributed between both feet. There is a softening at the knee (or a slight flexion of the knee), as well as a lifting of the quadriceps femoris (the thigh muscles) into the pelvis.
Slightly lift from the crown of the head, aligning it with the torso. The rib cage is knitted, or slightly drawn towards the spine, deepening respiration. The shoulder blades are relaxed after breathing up, back, and down toward the earth. The chin is parallel to the earth. The sacrum is released down. The pelvic floor is lifted and aligned with the torso and head. The vertebral column is in its naturally curved position. The body is now in perfect balance. Bring the hands to your heart-center and allow yourself to relax and receive the medicine from this simple pose.
Air: Breath Awareness
Bring your awareness to your breath as air flows into your body. Breathing is your most precious possession; it is powerful and magical because it connects you to your mind and body – the conscious and unconscious.
Proper breathing nourishes your body, reduces stress (which induces relaxation), and opens the way for healing.
Place the hands gently over the naval area. As you breathe in, allow your belly to expand, and while breathing in, the belly goes in. Feel the movement of your hands as you breathe in and out, slow and deep, expanding and contracting. As you breathe correctly, notice the stillness of your thoughts and the awareness of the life force energy that flows through you completely.
Continue inhaling and exhaling, deep and slow, and with calm and ease – no pressure or control, just awareness. Allow each breath to bring you to the present moment. Fill your belly and lungs with your healing breath. Imagine the breath flowing in and out of your body as a shimmery electronic healing presence. Consciously send breath to those parts of you that may be in need of healing.
Light: Vitamin D
The best form of light besides lightness of the heart is soaking in rays from our shining star, the Sun. According to the Vegetarian Cooking School Cookbook by Danny & Charise Vierra, “Every living thing in our world is dependent on sunlight. Without sunlight nothing would live.”
The following discoveries show the benefits derived from the sun:
- It lowers blood sugar and blood pressure.
- It lowers cholesterol by converting it to vitamin D.
- It utilizes calcium and phosphorus.
- It increases red and white blood cells.
- It strengthens the immune system.
- It calms the nerves and increases adrenaline.
- It destroys germs on the skin and reverses jaundice.
- It increases circulation.
- It helps eliminate pesticides and other chemicals from the system.
Sunlight is by far the best form of Vitamin D you can receive. Any opportunity that you get to bask in the sun, please do. Small amounts of vitamin D are said to be in dandelion greens, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, vegetable oils, and herbs such as alfalfa, horsetail, nettle, and parsley.
For those of you who may be concerned about sunburn, take a look at this recipe for natural sunscreen.
- 3 tbsp. organic sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. organic avocado oil
- 1 tbsp. organic jojoba oil
- 1 tbsp. organic almond oil
- 1 tbsp. organic, unrefined shea butter
- 2 tbsp. raw cocoa butter
- 1 tsp. organic beeswax
- 1 tsp. soy-lecithin liquid
- 2 tbsp. aloe vera gel
- 2 tbsp. rose water (I prefer lavender water)
- 1/2 tsp. borax powder* (used as an emulsifier)
- 20 drops unrefined carrot seed oil
- 3-5 drops coconut fragrance oil (optional)
Thinking Happy Thoughts
Negative thinking leads to negative living. We’ve heard this many times, but repetition is the best teacher, so I will say it again, “Thoughts are power.” How you decide to wield this power is up to you. There is a stream of well being that flows, and positive thinking puts you in alignment with this stream, so focus your attention on what brings joy and you will experience more joy.
Affirmation: Consistent adherence to the laws of health are absolutely necessary for spiritual development and success in life. Every cell in my body knows how to be well.
Healthy Food: Immune Builders
A few of the best foods to consume to prevent colds and to nourish and protect the body during the harsh winter months are: spirulina, blackstrap molasses, ginger, apples, lemon and other citrus fruits, apples, raw greens (kale, spinach, baby greens), steel cut oatmeal, cayenne, onions, garlic, quinoa. Prepave your way to a healthier lifestyle with high quality organic or sustainably grown fruits & vegetables. Check out Circle 77 for more details on my non-profit organization’s food buying club.
Many people are suffering from lack of sleep. Sleep is the greatest rejuvenator! It restores strength to your muscles, nerves, and brain. During sleep the body repairs, re-energizes, and prepares for renewed activity. One hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight, so make an effort to go to bed before 10 o’clock.
Peaks in melatonin, the body’s natural healing hormone, take place between hours nine and 12PM. If you suffer from insomnia, a soothing salt bath, relaxing stretches, and prayer or meditation can help you. Lastly, eat before sunset so that your body will have time for food digestion, and to prevent interference with your sleep. Sweet Dreams!
Systar Roni Auset is a licensed yoga instructor, healthy living practitioner, holistic educator, and master joyologist! Her aim is to improve her community’s quality of life by promoting a healthy lifestyle. By offering educational workshops, health oriented events, youth productions, and training programs, Systar Roni teaches and encourages holistic health as a way to empower people to make choices that will positively impact their own health and that of their peers, families, and communities. Using the latest information about nutrition and natural living, as well as sharing knowledge about the benefits of physical activity and meditation, she intends to be a strong source of vitality within the community. If you would like to schedule a workshop/yoga class, participate in the Circle 77 buying club, or support her work with youth, please visit The Children Shall Lead Them Productions.