Archives for posts with tag: wellness

Always up for a new “experiment”, I got excited when a friend of mine (who happens to be an extremely knowledgable and awesome wellness coach) offered to send me a sample of coffee and tea. On Facebook, she’d been posting about the wonders of mushrooms for quite some time. Sadly, mushrooms are one of those “vegetarian’s best friend” items that I just can’t get behind, taste-wise. However, I am always curious when someone I respect gets excited about something. She’s been really jazzed about the medicinal and healing properties of mushrooms for a while. I have to report, the coffee (I think it was part instant coffee and part mushroom powder, doesn’t sound very good but the taste was okay) was awesome! I drank a cup and I felt very alert, but in a very clean way (if that makes sense). Not jittery at all. I might be sold on this product:

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I’m interested in learning more about these magical mushrooms (not the “I’ve been following Phish since ’94, man” kind). Supposedly they are the next “big thing” on the wellness horizon. You heard it here first!

Another experiment I am conducting has to do with essential oils. Basically everyone at the yoga studio where I teach has been going on about these damn oils for months. I was extremely skeptical and hesitant, but I finally, tentatively, jumped on the bandwagon. I teach a restorative yoga class and I think I will be able to use some aromatherapy for some of my students who really struggle with stress and anxiety. I still have some doubts, but I will be sure to report back on my success or failure!

As the title of this blog would suggest, I am a born skeptic. Although I have an adventurous streak that leads me to try just about anything, I remain firmly planted in reality and sometimes wonder if I’ve gone off the deep end when I try these things (I get especially nervous when I catch a whiff of a pyramid scheme). The wellness world gets weird very quickly. I’m trying to stay out of the deep end, but the nature of teaching yoga lends itself naturally to homeopathic and holistic health. Lately I’ve been struggling to strike a balance. I’m off to Vancouver for vacation later this week, that should keep my inner scientist/skeptic busy for bit.

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As the title of this blog would suggest, I am not one to blindly jump on any bandwagon. 2013 ushered in some straight-up weird trends in wellness. While many of them piqued my interest, I couldn’t commit to trying all of them. Some of them couldn’t deliver enough promised benefit for the cost/time investment (hello, oil pulling). Others, however, warranted at least a go.  Here are some of the weird trends I gave a whirl in 2013:

1) Warm lemon water in the morning.  This is pretty low in the cost/time department, especially when you consider the (alleged) benefits: jump-starting your metabolism and balancing the pH levels in your stomach.

2) Tumeric! The list of benefits for this spice is long enough to entice me to find ways to incorporate it into everyday recipes.

3) Dried beans over canned.  I’ve read enough warnings by now to become wary of canned goods. Some things, like tomatoes, I just use too frequently to abandon cans altogether. But when possible, I have switched to buying fresh or dried items.

4) Tongue scraping. It sounds gross and gags me about half of the time. But I do think I have fresher breath and better overall oral hygiene thanks to the extra sixty seconds I devote to this every morning.

5) No processed foods! Well, not “no” processed foods. I’m certainly not churning my own butter or beekeeping, but I have cut back drastically on the amount of processed food I rely on. Hummus? I can make that! Bread? I can make that, too. I am very fortunate to have the luxuries of time and (a little) money to devote to exploring new ways to detach myself from the middle aisles of the grocery store.

So, what weird habits should I incorporate for 2014? There are so many to choose from!  If I took all of Mindbodygreen’s advice, it would take me about two hours to get out the door every morning (pre-shower dry brushing the skin, pre-tooth brushing oil pulling, meditating, yoga, affirmations, lemon water [before or after oil pulling??], green smoothie, packing organic lunch in mason jars, am I missing anything??), so I have to be selective. 

I think I will try to do at least one juice fast. I have a juicer and surely I could find three days when my boss is traveling and I could endure the eye rolls and head shaking of the Skeptical Boyfriend. 

I am trying to ramp up my meditation practice! The more experience I accumulate teaching yoga, the more I realize the importance of having a strong home yoga and meditation practice. 

Neti pot! This was part of my daily practice while in India, but I haven’t done it since and I miss it.  I think it will help with my allergy issues. 

I have other ideas, but none I’m willing to commit to writing.  Next weekend, I will be at a restorative yoga training! I hope to write about my experiences with that.  Until then, I hope 2014 is treating everyone well! Stay weird,

SY

I’m not sure how it started.  Looking back, I think perhaps Upworthy was the gateway drug.  Interesting, feel-good (or feel-righteous-outrage) content started popping up in my Facebook feed. When I started teaching yoga, I added Doyouyoga for the yoga-centric articles and occasional videos.  Then Facebook started suggesting pages – “Hey, Skeptical Yogi! I smell what you’re cooking, and I think it’s wellness! Lots of wellness! Why don’t you also like Elephant Journal? Oh, also Mindbodygreen. And don’t forget Yoga Journal!”

Click.  Click. Liked. Liked!

Soon, my Facebook feed became a barrage of wellness information. “Hemp seeds are the new flax seeds!” 

“Top fifteen reasons why you should already be on a juice fast!” 

“Kale! Eat more kale!”

At first, I felt a twisted sense of obligation to click through.  As a yoga instructor, and someone with a personal interest in this amorphous “wellness” collection of interests (trend? Should I not call it a trend?) I felt that by not reading whatever article popped up, I was missing out. Also, they frequently piqued my curiosity! What ARE the top eight nutrients my diet is missing? Pray tell, what health benefits will I reap from mindfulness meditation? What’s that? A step-by-step guide to tadasana?? Yes, please!!

It can be an awful lot of information to absorb. Add to that the fact that many of these wellness sites recycle the same articles and reword the same lists. And some send out updates several times an hour (I’m looking at you, Elephant Journal).  It got overwhelming. As a new yoga instructor, I was already feeling overwhelmed. I overthought every class, spent hours on YouTube, and agonized over every pose. The last thing I needed was my Facebook feed screaming at me, “Hey! You forgot something!” 

So, I started weeding out. I “unliked” one afternoon until logging onto Facebook no longer felt like a endless wellness magazine. I kept the ones who have quality content, and who don’t bug the sh!t out of me with endless posts. I’ll post soon about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the wellness sites!