How Yoga Helped Me Overcome My Chronic Thyroid Disorder
My journey with thyroid disease began when I was 16 years old. I had red bumps on my arms and legs and battled with a sluggishness that never went away—a feeling that only worsened when I came down with mono. During my senior year of high school, I was constantly exhausted and had to miss out on things a healthy teenager would attend without a second thought, like homecoming. Doctors diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and said a dose of Synthroid each morning would relieve all my symptoms. I was put on the birth control pill at the ripe age of 18 to balance my hormones, help me lose weight, and clear my skin.
Fast-forward to college, when I was constantly dealing with sinus infections and sore throats. The health center had a prescription Z-pack for me waiting whenever I visited—a quick fix for the congestion, puffiness, brain fog, and body aches. Wherever I went, I had a steady supply of meds like Lactase, Ex-lax, and Pepto, to ease the bloating, constipation, and post-meal nausea I experienced daily.
I graduated with honors in biomedical engineering and landed a swanky desk job at a prestigious investment bank in New York City. I often experienced vertigo when staring at my computer and starting getting daily migraines, for which I took Excedrin. I’d also pop a Zyrtec with my Synthroid before my cereal and milk each morning to clear my stuffy, runny nose. Even with all of that, I still felt awful. I went to some of the best endocrinologists in New York and was told over and over that the symptoms I was feeling were “normal” for those with hypothyroidism.
Finally, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroiditis, the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. My own immune system was destroying my thyroid cells. This “attack and destroy” can cause wild symptom swings from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid and back. If this continued, it would lead to a lifelong dependence on thyroid hormone medication.
I’d had enough. I thought to myself, I studied biomedical engineering. Why can’t I figure this out? Turns out, I could…but in an unexpected place.
DISCOVERING THE HEALING POWER OF YOGA
On a particularly stressful day at the office, I slipped out on my lunch break to a yoga studio I passed every day. For some reason on this day, I felt called to check it out. I was used to taking intense (and very draining) Spinning and bootcamp classes to numb my pain and lose weight, so I thought this would be a nice break. Little did I know it’d be so much more.
As I moved my body mindfully while moving through asana (postures), the mental cloudiness I’d always felt magically lifted. I became introspective. I’d stand in tree pose and think, why am I always nauseous and dizzy after eating? In twists, why do I experience sharp stomach pains after certain meals and have to unbutton my pants at my desk? I’d move into downward dog and think, why are my migraines worse on certain days? Why do I feel puffy and foggy on some days, while other days light and graceful in yoga class?
Each time I returned to my yoga mat, I not only felt a new sense of clarity and balance but also felt safe, comforted, and loved — feelings I had been lacking in my life—and I realized that this practice allowed me to connect with myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to elsewhere.
The journey to self-healing starts with a single step—which often is outside our comfort zone—and a commitment to feeling radiant and healthy.
One of my teachers at the studio, Donnalynn Civello, was especially inspirational. I joined Donnalynn’s cooking and nutritional classes, as well, and began seeing patterns between my symptoms and food choices: I would often get headaches after eating prepared, microwaveable meals or bagels and pizza. Paralyzing stomach pains flared up if I ate anything with dairy, gluten, or soy.
At home, I began experimenting with blending soups and smoothies. I started spiraling vegetables and creating creamy sauces with nuts and seeds. I knew I was on a path to healing because I felt entirely different: I felt alive and free in my body and mind.
I’ve continued to study yoga and clean up my microbiome, now understanding how important both are for sustained well-being. I’ve learned how to manage my symptoms—not only through yoga but through meditation, breathwork, and holistic lifestyle rituals including energy work, essential oils, and herbal tonics.
HEALING MYSELF, THEN HEALING OTHERS
In the last few years, I have recently discovered the power of Kundalini yoga practice and have since incorporated a daily Kundalini sadhana—or daily morning practice—into my life. It has become a life-changing component of my signature Thyroid.Yoga™ program. I’ve witnessed hundreds of clients notice a new, powerful ability to magnetize opportunities into their lives and heal their bodies on a mitochondrial level.
We are all in some way asleep and need to awaken to our true selves. Often, we are called to awaken suddenly. An awakening call can come as a form of disease/dis-ease, accident, or heartbreak. Such a call often comes as pain. However, the touch that brings awakening, the touch from our soul speaking to us, is one that often brings us to a deep spiritual practice.
The journey to self-healing is not easy. In order to truly heal, we must engage in deep introspection on the emotional and energetics behind why our immune systems were weakened in the first place or why we held on to the stagnation in our glandular systems. This is the true yoga—so much more than doing bendy photos on your yoga mat!
When I think about it, I still can’t believe my healing started because I took a chance on a yoga class nearly seven years ago.
I never would have guessed that this yoga class would have inspired me to become my own inner healer and later to become a teacher to empower others to find this intuitive wisdom as well. The truth is, we have to start with a first step—which often is outside our comfort zone—and a commitment to feel radiant and healthy by integrating these practices into our lives every day with devotion to show up for ourselves.
The point you are at in life is exactly where we all start our yoga journey. A little hesitant and feeling unsure because you are unaware of what you are seeking and how yoga was going to help. Just be aware that you are setting yourself on a wonderful journey of self-compassion and self-awareness. I know it is a scary thought to place yourself in a full room of people that seem like professional yogis but the truth is you never know how far they are on their journey. One of the most challenging aspects of yoga isn’t about opening up the body, it is the opening of the mind. Become acceptable to change and willing to learn. For a moment here, allow yourself to feel like a child who knows nothing, starting from ground zero. Let go of all the ideas and misconceptions that may be holding you back. “I’m not that flexible” or “I’m too old to do yoga” or whatever it is that isn’t allowing you to unroll the mat.
Like you, I read quite a few blogs and articles trying to find a way to connect with my inner self. To find my purpose here, to do something more meaningful with my life at the same time prioritising my health. I strongly believe that most of us go through this phase of reflection only when we are surrounded by complete chaos. Be it the busy work lives, tiring parenting cycles, consuming relationships or traumatic situations but with time you will realise that this reflection can become a conscious way of life and not something incidental. Trust me when I say, I know exactly how you are feeling because this is exactly where I started my long-term relationship with yoga.
Now, you are going to go to that class, prepare your mind and let it prepare your body. Remember that you are dedicating this time of your life to your wellbeing and your fitness goals. And no! Fitness doesn’t always mean lifting weights or completing a marathon, yoga isn’t meant for only flexible bodies or for women and you don’t need the mountains or a vacation to feel free and connected. You will know the truth in these words once you’re pursuing your practice with dedication. The time you spend on the mat breathing slowly and letting go of the hurricane of thoughts in your head will start ruling your life off the mat.
Irrespective of our physical strengths and limitations, irrespective of our fears, self-doubts, and judgments, we can always be grateful for every moment that we interact with ourselves and with everyone around us. May your journey keep you challenged, inspired, humbled, and above all, the best possible version of yourself that you can be. I’m not your yoga instructor and I won’t be the girl who shows off her perfect headstand – I’m a friend, a fellow beginner like you who wants you to step out and discover the world on the mat!
One of the most interesting things about cooking and experimenting in the kitchen is that is all starts with specific guidelines and cooking instructions evolving to instinctive creativity. From putting together the ingredients to getting the processes right, it’s all too exciting to indulge. But, how do you feel when you are making a salad – Imagining a bowl full of leafy greens – raw or cooked with some basic vinaigrette or seasoning. Bored already? This stereotypical description of a salad isn’t inspiring and we know it. Now, think of a bouquet of flowers on a bright sunny day – there is no reason why your bowl of salad can’t look like it.
Check these interesting salad recipes out and tell us what you think:
1. APPLE WALNUT SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
This apple walnut salad is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. Sweet crisp apples tossed with nutty walnuts and salty feta in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. Gala apples bring the in it the mild and sweet flavour while feta adds the perfect amount of saltiness.
PREP TIME – 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME – 15 minutes
8 cups chopped red leaf lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used gala apple)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
¾ cup walnut halves, toasted
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl combine lettuce, apples, red onion, and walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients together and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
1. Chop and prep all the ingredients. In a large bowl add the broccoli florets, chopped kale, red onion, shredded carrots, chopped apple, dried cherries, and sunflower kernels.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper, and salt, until smooth.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until thoroughly coated. Then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Can be made up to 3 days ahead.
3. SOUTHWESTERN KALE POWER SALAD
From Kate’s kitchen, here is a salad made out of massaged kale, quinoa, spicy sweet potatoes and black beans served with a dollop of creamy avocado sauce, feta and pepitas for good measure. It’s a hearty, healthy, texture-rich, gluten-free, vegan salad that packs great for lunch, too!
– Quinoa and kale
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into very small, bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt
– Sweet potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into small, ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons salt
– Avocado sauce
2 avocados, sliced into long strips
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon ground coriander, optional
Salt, to taste
– Everything else
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
⅓ cup crumbled feta, omit for vegan/dairy-free salad
¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
2. To cook the sweet potatoes: In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and toss to coat, then add the cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine. Once the pan is sizzling, add a scant ¼ cup water, then cover the pan and reduce heat to low to avoid burning the contents. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3. Uncover the pan, raise the heat back to medium and cook until the excess moisture has evaporated and the sweet potatoes are caramelizing on the edges, about 3 to 7 minutes (add another little splash of olive oil if the potatoes start sticking to the pan). Set aside to cool.
4. To prepare the kale: Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chopped kale with salt and use your hands to “massage” it, which improves the flavor. Just grab handfuls of kale in your hands and scrunch it up in your palms. Repeat until the kale is darker green in color and more fragrant. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the kale and toss to coat.
5. To make the avocado sauce: Simply combine the ingredients as listed in a food processor or blender. Blend well and season with salt, to taste.
6. To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are turning lightly golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Once the quinoa has cooled down a bit, pour it into the bowl of kale and toss to combine. Divide the kale and quinoa mixture into four large salad bowls. Top with sweet potatoes, black beans, a big dollop of avocado sauce, and a sprinkle of feta and pepitas.
*This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for a few days. To keep the avocado sauce fresh, store it separately in a small bowl, with plastic wrap pressed against the top surface to prevent oxidation.
CHANGE IT UP:
Butternut squash or carrots would be good substitutions for the sweet potatoes.
It isn’t impossible to get your daily intake of micronutrients – vitamins that nourish our bodies and help keep us healthy from the food we eat everyday. All that is required is patience, planning and knowledge about the foods that will help you meet these daily requirements. With our busy schedules and numerous tasks we expect are bodies to delivery, it is only fair for us to feed them food that will enable them to keep at their best.
The interesting fact about Vitamins is the two types of vitamins: fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K which dissolve in fat and then there are water soluble vitamins like complex and C which dissolve in water. Here are some ways you can fulfil your required intake of various vitamins.
1. Vitamin A:
Essential for growth and development, Vitamin A is responsible for immune function, healthy eyes, reproduction and cellular communication.
Signs of deficiency: Skin problems, poor night vision, dry eyes, decrease in sensory abilities.
Natural source: Carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli and eggs.
The oil that runs and operates our bodies efficiently. Each of these vitamins holds immense benefits for the body, which can be absorbed through foods and supplements.
Signs of deficiency: Energy production, nervous system, immune system and iron absorption
Natural source: Beans, legumes, milk, cheese, fish, red meat, poultry and eggs.
3. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. A water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Signs of deficiency: Fatigue, bleeding gums, muscle aches, bleeding gums, collagen formation, impacts antioxidant function and iron absorption abilities.
Natural source: Raw fruits and vegetables like guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, green peppers, orange, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, parsley, pineapple, brussels sprouts, grapefruit, peas, cauliflower and mango.
4. Vitamin D:
Responsible for our bone health, Vitamin D encourages the absorption and metabolism of phosphorous and calcium. It is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3 also called the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight.
Signs of deficiency: Skeletal deformities and soft bones
Natural source: Cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, raw milk, caviar, eggs and mushrooms.
5. Vitamin E:
Comprising of eight different compounds, Vitamin E helps support antioxidants in the body. It can treat a range of problems of the heart and blood including blocked arteries, high blood pressure, hardened arteries in the leg, varicose veins, diabetes and related complications, and nerve including Alzheimer’s diseases and dementia.
Crucial for blood clotting and bone metabolism, Vitamin K is an essential vitamin required for protein modification. Recent studies suggest that vitamin K may play a role in treating osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s, and that consuming increased levels of vitamin K can help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, Anniversaries and more – Milestones and reminders of the year gone by. These occasions marking a moment of life transitions make us reflect back on the things we achieved and those we failed at. Some of us turn around to start afresh and make new commitments to our health, our bodies, work routines and lifestyle but how many times have these commitments changed us on the outside? And why haven’t we reflected on how kind we were this year or showing empathy to those around us? Hardly, right? Because deep inside we know these areas that need our focus but often get blurred with displaced priorities.
Our physical fitness is surely important and crucial for us to function but our spiritual health determines the extent to which we can allow the functioning. While you will build your muscles and tone your body through physical training don’t discount the power of spiritual fitness. Your mind achieves a sense of calm and balance when you allow it to have faith in a higher power. No, we are not saying religion or a prayer, that is the most common misconception. We are really just thinking of taking control of attitude, beliefs and practices that impact our healths. Thats true! Just as we have or physical fitness levels, we have our spiritual fitness levels too – they rule our energy levels, moods, concentration and the overall alignment of our bodies.
Here are some ways you can start your journey of spiritual fitness:
1. Declutter the negative:
This one is a task for you to do – Keep away from all that brings negativity to your mind. Look at it like this, the space in our minds is precious and limited. The thoughts, beliefs and opinions that we allow in, stay! Lessen the external chaos to bring internal calmness and stay balanced.
2. Know your spiritual side:
When we set ourselves on the spiritual quest, we overlook our personality or what defines spirituality for us. It is pretty much the same like our other preferences – no two people have the same personality and your spiritual practice is something for you to explore. Begin by creating a list of activities that make you happy or bring peace.
3. Build a community:
The people you surround yourself with make all the contribution in your spiritual growth. If you’re starting alone then find and connect with people who have a similar quest as yours. They will motivate your intentions and become a larger part of supporting spiritual growth.
4. Break the cycle:
Dedicate yourself to one daily and one weekly practice, something that reconnects you internally and breaks the on going chaos from you daily routine. Between family, work, routine and chores – there is enough to take your day away but allowing exclusive 30 minutes to yourself will bring back internal alignment.
These are some great simple ways to begin your journey so resolutions or no resolutions, make yourself a promise to gain spiritual strength!
Yoga and nutrition are two sides of the same coin and that leaves one incomplete without the other. Yogic wisdom comes from accepting the right nutrition for the body and conscious consumption of pure foods but we often miss one for the other. It also believes that our mind, body and soul are one, which cannot be separated. Our bodies achieve balance through our exercise, spirituality and by bringing about harmony in our surroundings – including the way we live, eat and also breath.
According to Ayurvedic principles, in order to achieve physical strength, a calm mind and good health – we must consume the purest forms of foods also known as sattvic foods in the Ayurvedic terminology. These foods are light, easily digestible and many of them grow above the ground adding beneficial effects on the body’s nervous and also digestive systems. Sattvic foods can help enhance your practice and promote a calm mind + a fit body with a balanced flow of energy between the two.
The following foods help promote holistic wellness and bring your mind, body and soul in alignment.
The Vedas call ghee the ‘first and the most essential of all foods‘.and ghee is a central element of the Vedic culture. It is sacred and a celebrated symbol of auspiciousness, nourishment and healing as well as an esteemed article of everyday use.
2. Sprouted whole grains
The prime source of nourishment whole sprouted grains are symbolic of health, happiness, and prosperity. You could consider adding oatmeal, barley or sprouted rice to your meals.
3. Fresh Organic Fruits
Most fruits like apples, bananas, berries, grapes, melons, oranges, peaches, and plums are considered especially sattvic. Organic fruits are also considered symbols of spirituality and generosity.
Your best alternate to white sugar, honey can be used in moderation as part of a pure diet.
5. Nuts and seeds
Make this a good night ritual – soak a handful of nuts and seeds overnight to remove their natural enzyme inhibitors, this makes them easier for your body to digest. Almonds, hemp seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds are all great choices.
Use a magic spell to identify the best of them “the smaller the better”. Smaller beans, such as mung beans, split peas, and lentils, are easier to digest and are beneficial for the body. Legumes combines with whole grains act as a complete protein source.
Herbs directly support the mind and are also often used in conjunction with meditation. Common sattvic herbs include:
Ashwagandha – To combat stress, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Bacopa – To reduce anxiety and improve memory formation.
Calamus – Used as a sedative and muscle relaxant.
Gotu kola – To enhance meditation.
Gingko – To balance many symptoms of dis-ease within the body, including issues with the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Saffron – To pacify all three doshas, and it is often used in cooking.
Tulsi – To help balance the body.
Yoga, nutrition and ayurveda are one in their composition. Yoga is food for the body while nutrition and ayurveda together heal the body internally through various foods. Together, yoga, meditation, nutrition, and herbal supplements can help ground the body and enlighten the mind.
The practice of yoga travels 5,000 years ago, in its developmental stages when it was regarded as an ancient Indian science of exercise and healing. It has since then believed to be one of the most holistic healing approach with many benefits for our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Today, practising yoga has gained popularity for its ability to provide instant gratification and long term transformation. There are two of the most essential objectives for all those who start their fitness journey. The reason we give up on our health, wellbeing or any aspect capable of improvement is monotony and stagnation. Most of us look for quick results and significant improvements which unfortunately isn’t possible in a natural organic scenario. Practically understood as a physical play of aasanas, one only feels the unity of their body, mind and breath from personal experience with yoga.
Of all the benefits of yoga, let’s discuss more about one of its key physical benefits – Flexibility. We all know that practising yoga loosens our muscles, gradually allowing our body to perform all asanas to perfection with practice and time. We assume the initial stiffness comes from the lack of exercise but actually it is far simpler – it is a lack of basic movement. Spending hours at your desk, watching television on the couch or looking down at your phone (text neck – Yes, they have a name for this modern spine ailment) – everything adds up. Our body’s huge vascular system works its complex network on tiny capillaries which are constantly affected by our movements. The tightness in your hamstrings indicates impaired circulation to your connective tissues while the stiffness in your neck could be due to the long hours you’re spending at your desk burning the midnight oil. No matter the case – move. Incase you’re busy and don’t have the time to dedicate to yoga, make it a routine to do some simple exercises without a mat. Find some here.
But for those of us who are setting themselves on their yoga journey, these simple yoga poses will help your flexibility and in no time will you be touching your toes or doing the asanas you once thought you couldn’t.
1. Cat and cow pose /Bitilasana:
A wonderful way to warm up, the cat and cow pose is a sequence that stretches the spine and prepares the body for activity.
2. Intense side stretch pose /Parsvottanasana:
A mix of a forward bend and balancing techniques, the intense side stretch pose opens up the shoulders and hips while stretching the hamstrings.
3. Plough pose /Halasana:
A challenging one, the plough pose is an inverted pose that has the ability to renew the entire body. Experts recommend this pose for mental and physical benefits.
These asanas provide the essential benefit of yoga, allowing you maximise your physical capabilities and improve your ability to stretch and bend.
As individuals, we’re inspired, motivated and full of energy but only without any distractions. We’re excited at the thought of a new startup, that long planned fitness class, the disciplined routines that make us better people but somewhere along the way, we lose focus and get lost in the clutter of life. We met a few such brilliant people and asked, “So how did you lose the inspiration?” and “Where did your motivation go?”. It’s amazing that a significant number of these people were still as inspired and motivated as they were when they started working towards their respective goals. It was the negativity along the journey of working towards them, that made them give up. We are so unaware of ourselves and our amazing capabilities that most of us need approvals without which we cannot action. Now, it is understandable if we seek opinions from friends and family, of course it feels great to know what your close ones think but sometimes we allow complete strangers to define our lives and our ways. That’s where the negativity comes in to influence our decisions and create a path we were never meant to take.
We’re not saying don’t listen to these people, instead listen very closely and only allow this to motivate you in working towards achieving your goals even harder. The truth is, that the last battle you will need to fight is the war in your head and here are some ways how:
1. Put the pen to paper:
Write down every negative thought you’re having and against it force yourself to note a positive idea combatting the negativity. This will help you not only look beyond what stands in front of you but also look at the better bigger picture.
2. Dedicate to yoga:
That’s right! You’re thinking what could yoga possibly have to do with the negativity around you. Everyone’s end goal is to be happy but happiness comes when we realise it not something to be achieved. It is not tied to a job, a better half, a friend or a tangible object – happiness is felt irrespective of these when you achieve inner peace. We’ll let the experts from Yoga Journal tell you all about the magical poses that fight fear and promote positive thinking, here.
3. Change the way you think:
Be positive! No, that’s not what we will tell you because that’s the last thing you want to hear from us, everyone has already told you that. Think beyond the situation and the obvious reaction, think like someone else – someone who inspires you. That mentor from college or a co-worker who seems to have it all figured out. How would they react? When you pull yourself out of the situation, you step in to realism and that’s where you find a balanced state of mind.
4. Keep going:
Some of us are self motivated but then there are others who will fly with just a little push. Whoever you believe you are, find your trigger and keep it close. On days you feel like giving up or times things didn’t work out your way – always have people, places or hobbies that help you unwind.
5. Also learn to let go:
Not your dreams but all that holds you from achieving them – people, thoughts, places, situations and constraints. Every single time you let go of such negativity, you make space for positive thoughts and ideas.
Always remember no amount of negativity can disturb your peace of mind unless you allow it to get inside your head. So let’s control our mind and let our mind control our actions.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”
– Winston Churchill
The entire universe is made up of energy and our bodies are no exception. Our body’s network is made up of various psychic centres or chakras that are responsible for all the functions of our body, its balance and imbalance. These chakras or energy centres allow cosmic energy to flow in our body and are also present in more than one dimension. One is their physical state, the other is their spiritual dimension. The way we feel, behave and act are in complete alignment with the state of our chakras. As energy centres, they provide energy to specific areas and functions of the body, also enabling the awakening of our higher consciousness. We cannot see these chakras through our naked eye but surely through meditation, we can feel their energy.
Human body has 114 chakras, but only seven of these are considered as the fundamental chakras. These chakras start at the base of our spine and go all way to the top of our head. For a balanced person, these seven chakras provide the right amount of energy to the body, mind and soul. However, an emotional trauma, stress, loss or an accident can cause blockage to the chakras which creates an imbalance in the body and mind.
Let’s a learn more about the seven chakras and also what each one of them can do.
The Seven Chakras
1. The Crown Chakra:
Located at the top of the head, it governs spirituality, enlightenment and consciousness. It is associated with the brain and the entire nervous system – transcendence of our limitations. It guides our communication with higher consciousness, ecstasy and also inner awareness.
2. The Third Eye Chakra:
Located on the forehead, between the eyebrows – it is the centre of intuition and foresight. The function of this chakra is driven by openness and also imagination. The third eye chakra is also associated with vision, intuition, wisdom and creativity.
3. The Throat Chakra:
Located at the centre of the neck, it is the passage of energy between the lower parts of the body and the head. The throat chakra is associated with the principle of expression and communication. Sound, an essential element of this chakra and also an important instrument of communication and expression.
4. The Heart Chakra:
Located behind the centre of the chest, the heart chakra makes us feel connected to the universe. It is also associated with the joy, capacity to love, experience unconditional love, appreciate beauty and experiencing deep meaningful relationships.
5. The Solar Plexus Chakra:
Located in the upper part of our belly, the solar plexus chakra provides brings motion to our thoughts to realise personal desires and intentions in the world. It is associated with expression of will, self esteem and intellectual abilities.
6. The Sacral Chakra:
Located three inches below the navel. the sacral chakra is the centre of our feelings and emotions. It is associated with emotions, feelings, relationships and creativity. This chakra helps bring flexibility in our lives due to the dominance of water element.
7. The Root Chakra:
Located at the base of the spine, the root chakra is based on the earth element. It is also associated with the feelings of security, survival and laying the foundation for expansion in our lives.
A Deeper Spiritual Cause
Our physical stresses are connected to a deeper spiritual cause, these chakras are their balancing wheels. Healing blocked chakras and opening their passage to allow energy to flow – balances the body, mind and soul.
Most of us overlook the connection between yoga and the right nutrition simply because we have never heard any specific dietary rules for yoga practitioners, only a guidance to consume natural foods in moderation. However, just like life – diet is an integral part of yoga. Following a well balanced diet provides all the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need for your body and mind to be strong and healthy. A yogis diet does not believe in counting calories instead it completely focuses on health improvement and reducing the need for medication by controlling the type of food and its quality.
The universe is classified to have one of these three properties, or gunas: rajas, tamas and sattva. Rajas is a state of energy or motion and rajasic foods include fried and spicy foods. Tamas is a state of inertia or inactivity and tamasic foods are heavy, low in nutritional value and lack vital energy. These include meats, junk food and fast food. Sattva is a state of balance, harmony and joy and sattvic foods are fresh, pure and high in nutrients like fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. All yogis aspire to reach a state of Sattva through their actions, thoughts, beliefs including the food.
What makes your diet the central chakra of yoga?
Yoga activates and works on each and every part of our body. Without providing the right food to our body, we will only make it difficult for it perform at its best. Let’s understand how this works.
– Body movements in yoga are practised through various postures that release the tension from our muscles without exerting them unlike activates that involve a high intensity work out. Our muscle tissues can withstand the stress without any injury only if they are well nourished and hydrated.
– Essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants protect and nourish our brain, enabling it to perform vital tasks. In yoga, our brains go through increased activity while reciting mantras, even though our bodies are at complete rest. Depriving the brain of the essential nutrients will eventually impact your brain functioning.
– Yoga involves various breathing techniques like slow or fast breathing, holding or suspension of breath. All of which are directly related to our nervous system. Vitamins B1, B6 and B12 are essential for a healthy nervous system without which simple breathing can seem like a task in your practice.
Find your match.
We all know our favourite foods and recipes but what troubles our body always remains an unsolved mystery. This mystery can only unfold through internal awareness which one gains from practicing yoga regularly. A great way to do this is to keep a food diary. Where you can write the food you eat and how you feel after. Something might taste great but makes you feel acidic, lethargic or causes sleeplessness will instantly pop up when you review your diary on a fortnightly cycle. While it may take a while to get used to the process and identity the food best suited for your gut, it sure is great way to plan a healthy meal – made just for YOU!
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