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Yoga, Meditation, Healthy Recipes & Natural Lifestyle Tips

Three Ways to Prevent Sickness

Wai Lana, host of the long-running PBS series Wai Lana Yoga, shares tips on how to stay healthy naturally.

Getting sick is never fun. It not only makes us feel tired, achy, and sore, but also keeps us from doing the things we love. I have always felt that good habits are the foundation to good health. And, over the years, I’ve noticed that by practicing a yoga diet and lifestyle, I have far more energy and get sick less often.

Here are a few simple, effective ways to help keep yourself and your loved ones from getting sick:

Go to bed early

One of the most important things you can do to curb illness is to get enough rest. Studies show that cells regenerate themselves while we sleep. And although burning the candle at both ends is sometimes unavoidable, it can also weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to the latest bug going around school or the office. A busy schedule, heavy exercise, and even changes in the weather can sap our energy. That’s why it’s important to take care of ourselves and monitor how much sleep we’re getting. At the end of a tiring day, I like to get to bed an hour or two earlier. I find that a little extra sleep helps me feel relaxed, recharged, and more prepared for the next day.

Choose snacks wisely

The food we eat is the fuel our bodies need to function properly—down to the very last cell. So if our meals and snacks are nourishing, vital, and health-giving, our immune systems will grow strong and less prone to harmful bacteria, viruses, and disease. So skip the junky snack aisles next time you go grocery shopping. Opt for foods that make your body feel good, like fresh fruits, wholegrain breads, nut butters, and veggies and dip (a vegetarian egg-free mayonnaise mixed with a little mustard, honey, lemon juice, and salt makes a tasty, all-purpose vegetable dip).

Supplement your diet

When you consider that many of the foods sold in grocery stores today are over-processed, transported for long periods of time, and sprayed with chemicals and pesticides, it’s no surprise that many of them lack the vital nutrients we need to stay strong and resilient to infection. Drinking goji juice is one of my favorite ways to supplement my diet naturally with vitamins B, C, and E as well as beta-carotene. I often recommend drinking the juice from this ancient Chinese berry as a natural way to improve overall health, including eyesight and liver and kidney function. I am delighted to be able to add a pure goji juice to my line of supplements that contains no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Made from fresh berries—not reconstituted or powdered—goji juice tastes delicious and contains naturally-occurring essential fatty acids such as omega-6 and linoleic acid, which also help to regulate hormones.

Good Digestion Naturally

I love being active. Gardening, yoga, entertaining friends and family, and hiking in nature are some of the activities I like to do to unwind and have fun. In order to fit in as much as I c an, I follow a healthy, balanced lifestyle that promotes good digestion. The benefits are numerous. Overall vitality and energy, proper absorption of food, clear skin, and quick reflexes all improve with good digestion.

Unfortunately, poor digestion is far too common today. It is linked to a number of health problems, including fatigue, food allergies, poor immune function, peptic ulcers, obesity, and hypertension. But it can be rectified in most cases by sincerely adopting healthy habits. Once you begin to experience better digestion, you will also likely feel more relaxed, have more energy, and look radiant to boot!

Hydrate your body

Adequate hydration is essential to good digestion. Drinking pure water, herbal teas, and fresh juices will moisten the body, transport nutrients, and eliminate wastes. I find that mini fresh juice fasts every now and then give my digestion system a boost and help clear out toxins and wastes that accumulate from environmental pollutants.

Supplement your liquids

Mother Nature makes many wonderful supplements available to us. The juice of the noni fruit, for example, has long been valued by Polynesians as a powerful health and beauty tonic. I am pleased to offer a 100% pure, raw noni juice with no additives or fillers, made from sun-ripened, hand-picked fruits. Noni juice in its purest form like this not only stimulates digestion but can also boost the immune system, fight inflammation within the body, and curb bacteria and parasites from setting up camp inside your digestive tract.

Chew your food well

Make a difference at mealtime simply by sitting down, relaxing, and chewing each bite well. This will reduce the stress on your digestive tract, and your stomach will have more energy to digest the meal. Chewing releases saliva into the mouth, which contains digestive enzymes that will break down food particles further and promote nutrient absorption.

Find good sources of fiber

Nature’s most cleansing, detoxifying foods are usually rich in fiber, which keeps your digestive system humming. Look to fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes as ideal sources. If you have the option, choose locally-grown organic foods. They are fresher and free from pesticides and other toxins that can weaken digestion.

Doing Yoga with the Right Consciousness

In many yoga asana classes, it is very common for students to look at the person beside them to see how far the other is twisting and bending.  They think, “Oh that person twisted 10 inches.  I only twisted 2 inches.”

Wai Lana Meditation

Classes like this are always full of tension and may even result in injuries because of the competitive atmosphere.  One of the objectives of yoga asanas is to relieve you of tension and heal your body of minor ailments, not worsen your stress and cause you injury.

This is the reason why I always reiterate to all my students that doing yoga asanas is not a competition.  You simply need to go as far as your body can go, according to its own condition.  This means you need to feel and listen to your body.  In this way, you will be careful and sensitive and you will not push yourself beyond your limits.  After all, you are not doing yoga asanas to impress other people.  Rather, you are simply doing it for your own health.  This is the proper consciousness to be in.

Don’t worry if you can’t twist as far as the other person or if you can’t stand on your head like the person beside you.  It is irrelevant.  A broom stands on its head!

So don’t fall into this trap of competing against somebody else or looking at the other person.  Just do your yoga asanas in a way that is conducive to the health of the body, not damaging it.

If you practice your yoga asanas in this noncompetitive consciousness, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and peaceful after your asana session and you’ll save yourself from a whole barrage of injuries!


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