Published: 17:00 EDT, 4 January 2014 | Updated: 17:57 EDT, 4 January 2014>
I wrote my first column for this newspaper last January, inspired by a year of New York City life that had transformed my body.
Despite eating out in restaurants most nights, at 36 I found myself in the best shape ever. After all, working out is a way of life in Manhattan, where the city’s thrusting, competitive spirit means not having a six-pack is a sign you’ve seriously let yourself go, and where people spend as much on gym kit as on designer handbags.
I discovered FFFs – Fitness Friends Forever – to inspire me along the way; I kitted myself out in trendy Lululemon gear (the cult US line that launches in the UK this spring); I discovered online workouts that were tougher than any personal training session; and I even put myself on a ‘juice fast’ – the craze for surviving on cold-pressed greens for days at a time that’s still sweeping the city.
Healthy life: Fit in The City columnist Ruby Warrington has found a new and healthy lifestyle since moving to Manhattan
But one report in particular paved the way for the next phase of my New York fitness journey.
In June, I wrote about a class called IntenSati, my latest workout obsession, which combined a vigorous cardio workout with spoken affirmations and a mini sermon on the power of positive thinking from the programme’s creator, Patricia Moreno. In class, Patricia talked about how mind and body are one, and of the importance of practising positive self-talk – using phrases beginning with ‘I can’ and ‘I am’ – if we want to make our dreams a reality.
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It’s a message I started to hear everywhere as I began tapping into a whole other side to the city’s wellness scene – where I have found a more spiritual approach to health and fitness.
And once again, at the start of another year, I feel transformed. Feeling fit used to be all about the physical for me, but I now understand that true wellbeing – that is, a healthy and happy mind, body and soul – is about a holistic approach.
After discovering IntenSati, I wrote about what I described as my ‘yogic awakening’ – having embraced the ancient practice at a yoga festival in Vermont with very emotional results.
This showed me in no uncertain terms how the mind and body truly are linked, and since then I’ve been working on this side of my health as hard as I used to work on my abs.
Way to wellness: Ruby has found inner peace (stock image)
This has meant regular meditation, increasingly proven by scientists as a way to reduce stress and tackle a range of ailments, from insomnia to high blood pressure. It’s been a way to start listening to what my body really needs – from what workouts I do, to the food I eat.
This is one of the key messages in Deepak Chopra’s new book, What Are You Hungry For?, aimed at tackling the huge problem of weight control in the US.
He describes ‘awareness eating’, saying there is a groundswell of people choosing to eat less meat, and cut out sugar, dairy, gluten and processed foods – not because we’re turning into a population of anxious do-gooders, but because people are starting to realise that eating this way makes you feel better and that, once you feel better, it’s easier to make healthier choices in all areas of life.
It’s a message that the flower power brigade peddled 50 years ago, and which science and mainstream society are finally catching up with.
In New York, I’ve found myself surrounded by high achieving ‘type-A’ individuals who all embody the concept, believing that looking good and feeling good are intrinsically linked, and I’m happy to say I’ve fully embraced my inner hippie too.
As well as yoga and meditation, I follow a mainly vegan diet, have massively cut down on the amount of alcohol I drink, go for regular energy healing sessions and even visited a shaman to have my chakras realigned recently.
The results? I can honestly say I’ve never felt healthier or happier. My outlook on life is the most positive it’s been in years, which I can directly attribute to beginning to think of fitness as looking after every aspect of my overall wellbeing. I’ve even started my own website, thenuminous.net, which covers all areas of what I like to call ‘now age thinking’ when it comes to health and wellness. And I’m not alone.
A whole tribe of trendy wellness bloggers has emerged, with names such as Food Babe, Healthy Crush and Granola Glamour.
These sites are run by hip, switched-on New York women who might have been writing about fashion in another life, and through their eyes things like checking food labels for chemicals and whipping up raw, vegan, gluten-free desserts seem aspirational and cool.
It’s just another part of Deepak Chopra’s groundswell movement towards the holistic mind-body wellness approach that I believe will shape fitness in 2014.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2533752/Fit-In-The-City-Why-I-spiritual-journey-total-wellbeing.html1347