Funny isn’t it, that when you go to the doctor you’re putting your body, that YOU feed, water and take care of day in, day out, into the hands of a stranger who, over the course of 15 minutes, diagnoses a few symptoms, runs a few tests, tells you what is wrong, and then prescribes medicine to fix it? Who is the expert here? I’m not saying doctors don’t have their value, of course they do. But I’m not referring to serious illnesses – I’m talking about your average cold, flu, chest infection, digestive issues, migraines etc.
If something is wrong with my body I generally know deep down why. OK I may need a bit of guidance in terms of out how to fix it but if I’m honest, a quick review of the weeks or months leading up to feeling ‘off’ and I can generally figure out where I’ve gone wrong. I may just not want to admit it.
I definitely knew in the past when too much partying, eating the wrong foods, drinking too much coffee, skipping practice, lack of sleep, or whatever over-indulgence, lack of motivation or stress in my life had led to an imbalance over time and left me feeling terrible. That doesn’t mean I changed my habits straight away, but once you start tuning into your body’s messages they can be pretty hard to ignore. I really believe that listening to your own body is the most valuable skill in determining what you need to do, not just to overcome sickness but to continuously feel great, vibrant, energetic – truly healthy.
How? The simplest and most effective way I’ve found is through a food & yoga diary. Simply writing down, each day for at least a week to a month, not just what you eat and drink but how you feel immediately after each meal or snack, how it affects your sleep, your digestion, how you feel in practice the next morning and what you practice each day. Seeing patterns can really help pinpoint what might be working / not working for you. If the diary leaves you suspecting a food allergy / intolerance the next step could be an elimination diet – but more on this later. The key is to start noticing the foods and activities that leave you feeling drained and to start replacing them with more of those that leave you feeling energized. Try it!