Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an incredible lecture by Dr. Claudia Welch, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Ayurvedic practitioner and author of the renown book Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness Through Ayurveda. 

Dr. Welch spoke to the ways in which most Western women constantly feel that what we do is "never enough" and that we have to constantly push ourselves to our edge. This constant pushing beyond what we actually want to be doing creates a context in which hormones go out of balance. Because nature always prioritizes survival over reproduction, our body reacts to this "never enough-ness" by producing a physiological stress response and pumping out high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. 

Furthermore, in order to produce this stress response, our body has to reduce the energy that goes towards production of essential sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone that nourish, build, and ground our body. Over time, this imbalance between yin and yang hormones drains our adrenal glands and puts our body into a state of depletion, leading leading to conditions such as menstrual irregularities, insomnia, anxiety. infertility, bone density loss, thyroid problems, etc. Sound familiar?

High cortisol levels also rob our body of vital nutrients and wreak havoc with digestion, which is why even the healthiest foods cannot be absorbed by a body that is in a state of stress. 

It's powerful to imagine that the root cause of dis-ease in our body is actually mostly coming from our mind!!!, which plays out a narrative of "never enough-ness". 

In other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE to have both a high stress lifestyle AND attain hormonal balance. So what can we do to start to bring more balance into our body, mind and spirit?

Dr. Welch supports the practice of reducing our level of busy-ness in order to actually live the life we want, which includes restful and nourishing activities such as spending time with girlfriends, practicing yoga, meditation, abhyanga (Ayurvedic warm oil massage), alternate-nostril breathing and the important practice of saying NO.

We also need to confront any shame/fear around slowing down and not being "productive". 

"The most important practice is spending time listening. There's a reason we're here and we keep not doing it. It's so bizarre that it takes courage to live the life we want to live"

 I hope these words from Dr. Welch help to inspire more room for slowing down, self-reflection and listening to the wisdom of your body and heart without judgment. Here's to living authentically and courageously. 

If you are interested in learning more on the topic of Ayurveda and Eating Disorders, I have posted an interview below with Dr. Claudia Welch and Chelsea Roff of Eat Breathe Thrive, a non-profit organization that prevents and helps individuals fully recover from disordered eating and negative body image through evidence-based programs that integrate yoga, community and service. 

Click HERE to listen. 

Here's a yummy recipe for a delicious morning smoothie or try this for an afternoon snack!

Ingredients (makes 2 smoothies):

  • 7 dates (soften dates by soaking in water for about one hour)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 medium bananas 
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 2 pinches cinnamon powder
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped

Blend ingredients and enjoy!

I feel very honored to have been interviewed for a Recovery Warriors podcast on yoga and eating disorder recovery.  Please listen by clicking the link below. 

https://www.recoverywarriors.com/anastasia-nevin/

"For Anastasia Nevin MS RD RYT yoga became a profound spiritual practice that helped her overcome an eating disorder and realize that we are not just a body, but we are spirits and we have souls. This appreciation and awareness awakened the calling to becoming a healer and a teacher. 

Full circle, Anastasia now helps others heal from their eating disorder by integrating nutrition therapy and yoga, the two things that helped her overcome her personal battle.  In this show, we talk all about yoga and the many deep lessons it can teach if you are willing to show up on the mat to learn"

I made this recipe a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with you because it is simple, delicious, and Vata-Soothing. In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, Vata dosha is the constitution associated with the Fall and a dry, light, airy, etherial, and irregular qualities. Grounding, warm, cooked and sweet foods like root veggies are balancing for Vata.  If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda, contact me for a consultation. 

To make the recipe, I bought a bag of sweet potatoes, rinses, boiled them and peeled the skin off. (you can also roast the sweet potato with coconut oil for a more toasty flavor). I then added 1 can of light coconut milk and minced fresh ginger into the sweet potatoes and blended with my immersion blender. Add salt to taste. I cut up some cilantro and crushed walnuts on top for garnish. Enjoy!

 

A while back, when I was feeling a bit dark, a dear friend of mine suggested making a list of the "little things" that bring me joy, and to somehow connect to one thing from this list per day. Here are some of the items that landed on mine:

sunflowers, marigolds, chai tea, mini pumpkins, huge earrings, bright red lipstick, pastel-colored vespa, Savasana massage, dancing to Latin/Gypsy music 'til sunrise, Moroccan lanterns, Goddess candles, incense, warm turquoise ocean, sushi, backbending

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Since then, I carry this list with me everywhere I go. It's a perfect and readily accessible reminder of the beauty and light we can tap into when we need a boost of inspiration. I invite you to make your own "little things" list without any filtering or judgment. You can use your creativity to make it your own through images, collage, music, etc.  This can be a great tool during recovery or simply during any challenging moments that arise.  Enjoy the process. 

Light and love,

Anastasia 

 

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AuthorAnastasia Nevin

Late Spring to Summer through an Ayurvedic lens is also known as Pitta season. The qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, spreading, oily, pungent, astringent, fast, and bright. Someone who has a lot of Pitta is usually charming, charismatic, ambitious, organized, competitive and courageous. In balance, they will have a strong appetite for food and life, good digestion, an athletic build, and warm body temperature.

Follow the link to Recovery Warriors  below to read the full article!

https://www.recoverywarriors.com/3-powerful-lessons-from-ayurveda/

 

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AuthorAnastasia Nevin

“Yoga is about creating harmony within oneself and to create that harmony while pregnant meant my practices had to honor as well as include the process my body was going through to make a newborn child.” -Sharmila Desai

Many avid yogis have practices that consist of headstands, arm balances, and leaving the mat happily drenched in sweat. For some, envisioning a time when the body cannot sustain this level of activity, such as during pregnancy, is daunting. When pregnant, a woman experiences a bevy of physical changes that require a different approach to practice. Knowing how to properly approach yoga during this time is essential for the health of both mother and child, but continued practice can also deliver deep physical and emotional benefits during a woman’s journey to motherhood.

Please continue reading the full article here 

Source: http://www.sonima.com/yoga/yoga-during-pre...
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AuthorAnastasia Nevin

Sometimes we don’t understand how much tension we carry inside until the moment we take the leap and surrender. I remember this moment for me, now almost a decade ago, soaked in sweat, lying in Savasana in a San Francisco room of 100 bright-eyed yogis, warm tears dripping off my face.

Please read the full article here

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AuthorAnastasia Nevin

 

Here's my latest post for Recovery Warriors!

You can link directly to the website here

As an eating disorder nutritionist, yoga therapist, and someone who is recovered, I believe that so much of recovery is about shifting out of our over-active mind and back into inhabiting and connecting to the wisdom of our body. Yoga is a spiritual practice that allows for this movement from Ego to Soul and Self. Even the simple practice of breathing into a mudra, a shape of our hands that calls upon a certain energy, can completely change how we feel. The sequence below is designed to help you practice making peace with yourself and your body by cultivating compassion and self-acceptance.