7 Simple Steps to a Healthier Life!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
― Hippocrates
 

When you are in relationship you can either lift each other up, or pull each other down. Making a commitment to your own health is not only self-care, but is caring for your relationship. Now that you are in the middle of January, this can be a boost to stay on track with your goals.  This is a re-post of a blog from January 2012

This is conversation with Cheyenne Mendel, Licensed Acupuncturist, Executive and long time friend. 

cheyenne and candes whole foods

Candess: We are into the New Year and many people are making changes in their diet to increase their health. What are some of the most important changes you suggest can do for their health in the coming year?

Cheyenne: 

1. Drink good quality Water!

Chances are if you say, “I don’t like water,” you don’t have a good clean source. The very best investment you can make for your health “HANDS DOWN” is hydration. Your body cannot release toxins without it.

All organs need water. The lungs use one quart of water at sea level just to breathe. Your body need much more at higher elevations. When it is freezing you can see your breath. Some people don’t ever even drink that much. Some people say “I drink coffee…lots of water in that.” Have you ever tried washing your clothes or wiping your counters with coffee? You can also get water by eating water filled foods like raw fruits and vegetables.

2. Avoid the offenders! 

Avoid the foods that become “goo and glue” in your body. These are sugar, high fat, and refined carbs.

Anything in a box or with plastic on it has been processed in some way. I am currently in California and finally made it to the ever-famous Trader Joes. The problem with this store even though it is pretty cool, is that most of the vegetables are processed in some way. The vegetables are wrapped in petroleum based plastic materials.

Make sure you are not hungry when you shop because you will end up eating whatever you buy.  Whether you make a healthy or crappy lunch for work, when lunchtime rolls around you are hungry and you will eat whatever is there. When you eat healthy it is like giving your cells a high paying job vs. minimum wage or a slave labor job.

If eating healthy is too overwhelming then simply avoid the bad stuff. If that is too much, then start small. If you eat sugar all day long then start by avoiding sugar in the morning. Don’t destroy your whole day with an assault on your pancreas first thing in the morning. Avoid the offenders! Nature abhors a vacuum and the healthy food will creep in.

3. Consciously interact with Dr. Nature 20 min a day!

Dr. Nature has many curing aspects such as fresh air, sunshine, rest, movement/exercise or a combination of these. Try a walk and a quick catnap or a cat rest if you can’t do naps. Today people are so exhausted and over stimulated from technology that rest is a higher priority for a body. You know how to do this. Notice how your thinking and feeling changes as your begin to walk in nature.

4. Contribute to others!

Being an acupuncturist for two decades with 10,000 patient contacts, I can say the unhappiest people I encountered in my practice and in life were people that focused entirely on themselves. It is difficult, almost impossible to be happy when you are not healthy, but of being happy is contributing to another person in some way.

Take 10 -15 minutes a day to contribute to someone else. The opportunity or challenge I am offer is to do something that brings you joy.  Write and mail a card of appreciation, make someone’s bed, clean the employee break room for 10 minutes, pick up trash around your neighborhood, or bag your own groceries to help a busy clerk.  Sharing a kind word or listening deeply to someone can make you happy by giving.

There are stories about random acts of kindness like the story of people paying the lay away bills for people at K Mart. People who use lay-away are typically very poor or they would simply purchase the items in the first place. You can send a loving thought and prayer for a homeless person rather than sending out a thought like “get a job.”  (One I have been working on.)

5. Forgive others!

Forgiveness is for YOU and your freedom. If you are offended or “go to your bed in wrath” or are thinking about what so and so said or did to you, then you are sowing strong seeds of ill health. Try forgiving on a small scale and you will understand the truth of how forgiving contributes to your health. Ten minutes of prayer or mediation can really help in this area. 

6. Spend 15 min a day on your Essence Self!

Just like how you are instructed in an airplane, if there is a need, an oxygen mask will appear and you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first; it is important to care for yourself first. We all have family or friend situations that we respond to either in a positive or negative way.

It is important to take time to spend with your Essence Self and to put energy into your own “coffer” and not wait for someone else to fill you up.

In an emergency situation, I recently moved to California to manage one of my husband’s businesses. It is a small complex of studios which I am selling. The first 20 minutes in the unit I unplugged and removed the television. I have lived without a TV in my home for 20 years. My 18-year-old daughter has grown up without TV.

Instead of watching TV, I walk on the beach, read, write old fashioned cards, people watch, sit and zone out and have more time to make special “qi” (life force) filled meals for myself. I have more energy to pick out really healthy food and the list goes on and on. Spend 15 minutes a day with your Essence Self and see what you need to create and what you need to let go of this year.

Candess:  My thanks to Cheyenne for sharing this with us. She is most healthy and pure person I know and I love her continued support of mine and other’s physical, mental and spiritual health. She has contributed to tens of thousands of people in her lifetime!

7. Step 7 is for the reader. As you read this, there is something you know that you need to do that will be helpful to raise your level of health for the New Year!

 


7 Simple Steps for a Healthy New Year!

This is conversation with Cheyenne Mendel, Licensed Acupuncturist, Executive and long time friend. 

Candess: We have a New Year ahead of us and many people are making changes in their lives to increase their health. What are some of the most important changes you suggest to do for their health in the coming year?

Cheyenne: 

1. Drink good quality Water!

Chances are if you say, “I don’t like water,” you don’t have a good clean source. The very best investment you can make for your health “HANDS DOWN” is hydration. Your body cannot release toxins without it.

All organs need water. The lungs use one quart of water at sea level just to breathe. Your body need much more at higher elevations. When it is freezing you can see your breath. Some people don’t ever even drink that much. Some people say “I drink coffee…lots of water in that.” Have you ever tried washing your clothes or wiping your counters with coffee? You can also get water by eating water filled foods like raw fruits and vegetables.

2. Avoid the offenders!

Avoid the foods that become “goo and glue” in your body. These are sugar, high fat, and refined carbs.

Anything in a box or with plastic on it has been processed in some way. I am currently in California and finally made it to the ever-famous Trader Joes. The problem with this store even though it is pretty cool, is that most of the vegetables are processed in some way. The vegetables are wrapped in petroleum based plastic materials.

Make sure you are not hungry when you shop because you will end up eating whatever you buy.  Whether you make a healthy or crappy lunch for work, when lunchtime rolls around you are hungry and you will eat whatever is there. When you eat healthy it is like giving your cells a high paying job vs. minimum wage or a slave labor job.

If eating healthy is too overwhelming then simply avoid the bad stuff. If that is too much, then start small. If you eat sugar all day long then start by avoiding sugar in the morning. Don’t destroy your whole day with an assault on your pancreas first thing in the morning. Avoid the offenders! Nature abhors a vacuum and the healthy food will creep in.

3. Consciously interact with Dr. Nature 20 min a day!

Dr. Nature has many curing aspects such as fresh air, sunshine, rest, movement/exercise or a combination of these. Try a walk and a quick catnap or a cat rest if you can’t do naps. Today people are so exhausted and over stimulated from technology that rest is a higher priority for a body. You know how to do this. Notice how your thinking and feeling changes as your begin to walk in nature.

4. Contribute to others!

Being an acupuncturist for two decades with 10,000 patient contacts, I can say the unhappiest people I encountered in my practice and in life were people that focused entirely on themselves. It is difficult, almost impossible to be happy when you are not healthy, but of being happy is contributing to another person in some way.

Take 10 -15 minutes a day to contribute to someone else. The opportunity or challenge I am offered is to do something that brings you joy.  Write and mail a card of appreciation, make someone’s bed, clean the employee break room for 10 minutes, pick up trash around your neighborhood, or bag your own groceries to help a busy clerk.  Sharing a kind word or listening deeply to someone can make you happy by giving.

There are stories about random acts of kindness like the story of people paying the lay away bills for people at K Mart. People who use lay-away are typically very poor or they would simply purchase the items in the first place. You can send a loving thought and prayer for a homeless person rather than sending out a thought like “get a job.”  (One I have been working on.)

5. Forgive others!

Forgiveness is for YOU and your freedom. If you are offended or “go to your bed in wrath” or are thinking about what so and so said or did to you, then you are sowing strong seeds of ill health. Try forgiving on a small scale and you will understand the truth of how forgiving contributes to your health. Ten minutes of prayer or mediation can really help in this area.

6. Spend 15 min a day on your Essence Self!

Just like how you are instructed in an airplane, if there is a need, an oxygen mask will appear and you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first; it is important to care for yourself first. We all have family or friend situations that we respond to either in a positive or negative way.

It is important to take time to spend with your Essence Self and to put energy into your own “coffer” and not wait for someone else to fill you up.

In an emergency situation, I recently moved to California to manage one of my husband’s businesses. It is a small complex of studios which I am selling. The first 20 minutes in the unit I unplugged and removed the television. I have lived without a TV in my home for 20 years. My 18-year-old daughter has grown up without TV.

Instead of watching TV, I walk on the beach, read, write old fashioned cards, people watch, sit and zone out and have more time to make special “qi” (life force) filled meals for myself. I have more energy to pick out really healthy food and the list goes on and on. Spend 15 minutes a day with your Essence Self and see what you need to create and what you need to let go of this year.

Candess:  My thanks to Cheyenne for sharing this with us. She is the most healthy and pure person I know and I love her continued support of mine and other’s physical, mental and spiritual health. She has contributed to tens of thousands of people in her lifetime!

7. Step 7 is for the reader. As you read this, there is something you know that you need to do that will be helpful to raise your level of health for the New Year!


Interview with Swami Samayananda Part 3

This inteview was conducted at the Yashodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada on the beautiful Kootenay Lake.This is part 3 of 3 parts.

(Some sections have been edited for grammar.)

Candess:  When you are talking about that, some of the yogas like the Divine Light Invocation is one of the tools I have been using here and there are so many tools. It has been incredible. What is one of your favorite tools?

Swami Samayananda: For me, one of my favorites is Mantra. I have had a mantra practice since early 1980s. I also do my practice with a harmonium, which I like. There is that whole practice of having an instrument. I tend to be restless by nature so it gives my hands something to do. Also, singing has been a big part of my life. To be able to channel all of that into the mantra and to have a practice like that that doesn’t get old, it just keeps getting deeper and deeper and it feels to me like a dear friend. It is where I go each day and it offers me tremendous support.

Candess:  I love the Satsang. The chanting and the mantra is so beautiful. I have a book coming out in January that is called 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: The Gift of Pain. What way would you say that one of the Yoga practices would be helpful in self-healing?



Swami Samayananda:  Swami Radha wrote a book called The Yoga of Healing.  In it, there are several chapters. Some I remember are working with the Light. It is a small book and at the end of each chapter it has four practices you can do. The first one is on the Light and the Divine Light Invocation is one practice. There is also a section on breath. We know that connection with breath and our own healing and when we get anxious, the breath shortens, shortens, and shortens. That is not healthy for the body. Working with breath is healthy and calming for the body. Also, Hatha Yoga, especially when it I approached from more than the physical. What is my body saying to me as I am going into the pose and doing the pose. Mantra, absolutely for sure. Especially the Hari Om mantra is a healing mantra. Using mantra is healing as well. Relaxation is very healing. Those are a few.

Candess: That is great! One of the reasons I came her is to rest. I had been pushing myself too hard. We had a whole day on learning to rest. I learned so many tools that I would not have known before. It’s been very helpful.

If someone wanted to go on retreat here, what would be the best way for them to find out about the programs?

Swami Samayananda:  The best way would be to go to our website and just take a look at what we offer. There is a whole range from weekend workshops to 3 day retreats, 4 day retreats, 10 day retreats like you are on now, to our 3 month Yoga Development Course. There is just about something for everybody. Our basic retreats really introduce people to the practices we offer here, Swami Radha’s teachings. There are some specific ones, like we have one coming up called the Inner Life of Asanas which is a way of going deeper with the Hatha Yoga practice. We had one this summer not too long ago called Facing Change, Exploring Options, so there are lots of different ways for people to come and be here. People can also come on private retreat and join with us for a couple hours in Karma Yoga so they feel connected in the community. The rest of the times, they can enjoy the prayer rooms. It is beautiful as you said. The trails, the lake, the Temple, the library are all available for people when they are here.

Candess: I went to the Temple the other night and I could just feel Swami Radha there. I thought, this must be her favorite place.

Swami Samayananda: – It is.

Candess:  It was so clear to me. It was so beautiful there.

Swami Samayananda: – She said when she died, that is where she would go.

Candess:  I have another guide that I work with and I was connecting with this guide, but Swami Radha was right there, so I thought OKAY!

Is there anything else that would be helpful for people to know about being a Swami or your life path or being here at the Ashram.

Swami Samayananda: I think one thing that is important for people to know about coming here is it is a time of renewing, learning some practices, some tools as you said to take away. There is no dogma in yoga. There is not doctrine. It is not a religion. I think it is really important. We are an Ashram; it is a spiritual community, so we have people who come who are Buddhist, who are Christian, who practice in the Jewish faith, Muslims, and people who have no particular tradition that they follow but are open to that spiritual dimension and they just want to take a step further. I think that is often a relief.

When people come, we do have imagery around. Imagery and symbolism whether we know it or not is very important to us. We live it anyway and symbols are there simply as a symbol that is reflecting some in ourselves so sometimes for some people, and part because of our Christian Judaic background in the West, images can be a little off-putting; but they are so beautiful and the have so much to say to us if we open them up and take them apart.  I think the biggest thing is it is a beautiful place to be, to heal, to renew, to gain perspective and then take what is meaningful back out; bridge it back out to your life, back home, family, friends, work, whatever. Often people will come back and get a little bit more and take it back, back and forth. That is what I did for years.

Candess:  That is wonderful! It took me probably to day eight until I started feeling myself again, so it was such a wonderful place to renew and relax. Thank you so much.

Swami Samayananda: Namaste

The end. . .