Health and Wellness is a collaborative project that includes everything from the sacred, to the mundane activities of everyday life.
The main reason that New Year's resolutions, diet fads, and makeovers do not end up becoming the new norm for many people, is because the changes are predicated on removing something from one's life, instead of replacing it with something else.
The reason this has been so ineffective is because people do not like to let go of the foods, habits, and comforts that they have grown to love. We develop a fondness for things that are otherwise unhealthy because it brings some, even if just a little bit, of joy and pleasure to the fast-paced busyness of our lives. Ice cream, beer, sugar, binge-watching Netflix, and etc..are all just playing on the very same biological pleasure networks, that an intelligently constructed lifestyle plays on. These pleasures confer an important psycho-emotional benefit that helps attenuate the effect of the most corrosive substance in our life, stress. When these are removed, and not replaced by something else that offers similar pleasure responses, what is left is a noticeable void, which is essentially stressful to a person.
The art of a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable, is knowing how to replace a bad habit with a good one. Bad habits can come in many different forms, from the quality of the foods and snacks we indulge in, to the way we use our body, and even to the kind of shoes we wear. The reason that Yoga Therapy seeks to evaluate daily living habits, as a course of action for its prescriptions, is because they comprise most of anyone’s daily life. These habits are built around the daily needs of human life, such as eating, sleeping, socializing, hygiene, and physical movement. Since the basis of health is engaging the body and mind, in ways that optimize their function, upgrading the things that we repeat virtually every day, will improve a significant portion of our life.
As a person begins to experience better health, and more vitality, energy, and focus, old habits begin to lose their glamor/splendor. Healthy living implies better discernment between what actually feels good and what doesn’t. We become more sensitive to how different things in our environment affect us. The way that health and vitality is experienced by a person, is that bad habits which devitalize the body and mind, will begin to gradually fall away. This continuous and gradual improvement of one’s well-being eventually pushes dysfunctional habits out of our lives, without feeling forced or sacrificed.
By changing the quality of coffee/tea you drink, the food/supplements you take, or your bedtime routine, among others, you can greatly improve your life, and effectively not have to change all that much about it. You can still eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, brush your teeth in the morning, and do everything else you need to do, and still enhance the quality of your life.
When done correctly, a healthy lifestyle overhaul feels organic, seamless, and best of all, sustainable!
It can help you with desired results such as:
-Mental focus & clarity
- & more
In the list I have compiled below are some of my own favorite and tested products, that can assist you in your first steps toward a more simple and enjoyable life.
Although the list might seem extensive, I would encourage you to work through it at a pace that feels comfortable. I would recommend beginning with what takes less effort to implement into your routine. Footwear, personal hygiene products, foods & supplements, and personal ergonomics, are the areas where replacing one product, with another of more superior quality, can be made the easiest and most seamless.
For each category of products below, as well as the individual products themselves, I will explain my experience with it, and report on available scientific and rational findings that support their use.
Vibram is a company that has stayed true to its Italian tradition of offering the world footwear that is on the cutting edge of quality and performance.
-no socks necessary
-use talcum powder if perspiration is heavy
-machine wash with regular use
Vibram makes different styles of footwear, not just the FiveFingers. You can browse their entire selection that is available on Amazon and choose the right for look
This is another minimalist shoe company that has used all of the very same design concepts that allow the feet their full function, while offering versatility of styles to suit any occasion.
These minimalist shoes are offered in a variety of styles, and provide performance wherever it is needed. Xero shoes has implemented a lightweight, flexible, durable, and structurally accommodating technology.
The human foot is one of the most complex and sophisticated limbs of the body. Comprised of 25 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the foot and ankle complex have evolved to conform to the demands of terrain, with precision and sensitivity. Its function lies at the very root of how the forces of the ground translate through the rest of the skeleton.
The iconic podiatrist Dr. William Rossi, exposed the pathological effect that modern shoes exert on the feet, in his research. This lifetime of effect, oftentimes begins to impose structural changes in the anatomy of the foot, precipitating such dysfunctions as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammer toes, etc…
These changes have been mitigated and even reversed to a great degree,with proper maintenance.
The following list of products are easy, convenient, effective, and most of all, passive ways that foot health gains can be made.
The human foot evolved for thousands of years without the confining and debilitating architecture of modern shoes, imposed on them throughout the majority of daily activities. The design of most footwear is built around the prioritizing of aesthetics, rather than function, evolving the shape known as the narrow toe box.
Due to the extended periods of time that most people spend in shoes, and frequently from a very young and malleable age, the shape of the shoe begins to affect the inherent structure of the foot (image above), resulting in many dysfunctions throughout the entire body. One of the main injuries incurred by the standard architecture of shoes, is the reshaping of the toes, which are a part of the forefoot. This has dire consequences because some of the structures of the foot extend into the toes, and therefore affect its ability to perform adequately in response to the demands of any given terrain.
That is why one of the main imperatives in resurrecting the function of the foot, is to gradually unravel the confinement of the toes. One of the best products available now to help reverse these adverse effects of footwear are toe separators. By gradually applying the opposite force on the toes than what most shoes allow, toe separators can begin to restore the functional shape of the foot. Meant to be applied during sedentary periods, the toe separators can exert their effect without placing any conscious demands on the individual.
-gradually condition your feet to stay comfortable during extended periods of application
-the smaller sizes may be worn with shoes
-clean with regular soap and water
Toe separators are ideal for a restorative, gentle, and Yin style practice.