April 27, 2019
I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of information currently available about wellbeing. So this blog-come-rant-come-educational essay aims to tell some of the frank truth about wellbeing trends. This includes all the scaremongering, the fads, the trends and the countless amounts of misrepresented and appropriated information about various different traditions that have become silo therapies some of which may work, but are really only truly effective in the context in which they were designed – which includes the combined elements of their theories, which should be considered.
If you’re really serious about your health and wellbeing – this extends beyond losing weight and being less tired – then you need to look at your life as a whole, not just food and fitness. Yes, food is at the core for the prevention of so many illnesses and fitness contributes to the prevention of a host of ailments however, the foods that are right for YOU, the exercises that are right for YOU are going to be different person to person. You see it’s not just the simple equation of eat healthy + exercise = good wellbeing, it’s knowing which of these work for YOU and also a bunch of other things that we need to regularly keep in check that contribute to our overall wellbeing which makes it more realistic to achieve our goals. And that’s the crucial bit right there, REALISTIC TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS. One size does not fit all, otherwise we’d all be perfectly balanced by now! We all have a different starting point.
Here are 3 examples of what I’m talking about:
Turmeric lattes, Avocados, Blueberries, Leafy greens, Quinoa etc etc etc – these are all popular foods at the moment, promoted for their varying different health benefits. Do they work? Kind of. Turmeric latte for example is a medicinal treatment for when you’re poorly in Ayurveda. That’s how we’ve always used it. For the benefits of turmeric to really have an affect, you need to eat it every day in your diet, that doesn’t mean just drink it, that means, eat it in your food. Indians have done this forever, it is a part of the heritage and science. Turmeric used in lattes at your local artisan coffee shop, may not be pure turmeric. The amount you consume within that latte, may just add the colour yellow to your drink. What I’m saying here is that the latte element is a fad, appropriating ancient science – know the context in which you consume such things. With the others.. Health coaches, Nutritionists, anyone who makes a living from nutrition will all recommend fresh, organic and most importantly IN SEASON. That’s how we get the best nutrients from food. Also, please start reading up on the beast that is the food industry.
Yoga, Breath-work, Meditation, Mindfulness – It all comes from the same place – Ayurvedic-living. If these work for you, then great, I’m happy for you. But are you really experiencing the true benefits? Could it just be placebo affects that are supported by the information you consume online, in books, in magazines – those cookies on your devices and mics on your technology? Don’t do anything that doesn’t make you feel comfortable. Learn contextually how these therapies work and understand their origins to truly gain the full benefits of them. When you respect your teachings, you will gain a lot more from the practices. Also, this is probably my biggest bugbear – STOP the elitist behaviour you have towards anything ancient. That in itself is the absolute misunderstanding and ignorance of the wisdom and you’re being offensive by alienating people.
Side note: Mate, you’re not a Yogi. You’re a practitioner/student of yoga positions – there’s also a difference between being a student of Yoga and being a person who goes to a class and stretches their body and enjoys a 5 minute snooze in śavāsana thinks that they’ve found enlightenment, every Tuesday at 6.30pm. Keep it real folks, no judgement. Just facts and respect.
Stop judging everyone else – I find it incredible that so many ‘wellbeing-shamers’ exist and not only in the general population but actually even in the media that’s trying to communicate the benefits of managing your wellbeing. Some articles I’ve been reading of late are really misplaced. There’s a tone of judgement and elitism throughout like there’s a wellbeing club open only to those who wear Lululemon matching outfits, workout at lunchtimes, run for fun, and are Vegan. Calm the f*** down.