By Renee’ Fulkerson
I realized my truth of health and wellness is the practice of health and wellness – physical fitness, movement, and inner peace. Health is not merely the absence of illness or injury. It is the complete package addressing body, mind, and spirit. Including but not limited to exercise, quality rest, eating real food, staying hydrated, contemplation or reflection, and focusing on being in the moment. Gratitude, relationship, and community also play a role in health and wellness. But it is not only what I believe regarding health and wellness that is valuable but how I apply this in everyday life that keeps me healthy.
We all can agree exercise comes in many forms and, thank goodness for that. Prioritize your movement in your life now. When starting a YogAlign practice, I encourage folks to start where they are and not compare where they have been or tirelessly try to perfect where they are going. Realistic expectations keep us inspired and coming back to the practice.
I am the first to admit I have had popcorn for dinner on more than one occasion. I am also the first to admit my body, mind, and spirit were not thrilled. Eating real food is necessary to gain strength, stamina, and mental clarity food is fuel. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and moderate serving sizes will help maintain a healthy body weight.
It is also necessary to hydrate and stay hydrated because when you lack hydration, the body does not have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Headaches and muscle cramps can be your body’s way of telling you you need more water in your daily life. YogAlign classes encourage and create space to drink water during practice.
Quality rest in this day and age with everything moving so quickly and needing to be available 24-7 is beyond challenging. But mandatory when it comes to health and wellness. Practice your coping mechanisms now. Good rest can improve your mental health, concentration, and ability to cope with day-to-day stresses. Strengthen your immune system and maybe even put you in a better mood. At the end of a physical YogAlign practice, we leave time for savasana or resting pose by taking a moment to contemplate and reflect on the effects. It feels good to move through the body, especially if you have been sitting or inactive during most of the day. Then we can sink into a more peaceful place and recharge.
Get, stay and be in the moment now. Letting go of any thoughts, ideas, or worries at that moment, we have created a space for choice. We can decide if we want to pick them back up or not at the end of class.
Calling in gratitude for the way our bodies carry us through everyday life. We can Acknowledge how we wake up in the morning our, brain and body know what to do. During YogAlign Practice, when we have aligned the spine in natural curves, the body connects naturally as a continuum. We feel relaxed, balanced, secure, and peaceful. Cultivate stable, long-term relationships now. And we can take the positive effects and peacefulness into our community into our relationships. We all know the way we feel affects everyone around us. Healthy habits, healthy boundaries, and respect for ourselves and others create favorable conditions for healthy, happy relationships. These relationships may lead to our communities practicing health and wellness not just for themselves but for everyone around them.
The practice of health and wellness does not stop when we step off our yoga mat. But continues and is just getting started.