Wellbeing experts Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillip have been promoting the benefits of self-care way before it became a wellness movement (on Instagram ‘#selfcare’ has been posted about 25.8 million times – and it's never felt more relevant). Their book, Self-care for the Real World, is a result of the women's twenty years of rich experience in yoga (Nadia is one of the UK’s most celebrated teachers with very high-profile clients) and health (Katia is a food pioneer, having opened her first raw food café over ten years ago, she now runs Triyoga’s innovative Nectar Café).
Sienna Miller calls the book “sane, smart and deeply wise”; Reese Witherspoon says it’s “a manual for everyone about real health from the inside out,” while Kate Moss says, “I want to give this book to everyone I know!”. Why? It’s packed with practical, yet transformational tips to incorporate into your everyday life. These health investments – from ways to minimise stress to maximise sleep – are underpinned by the belief that learning to love and respect yourself is the exact opposite of what is selfish.
Below, in an extract from the book, they explain how to start the day right and upgrade your mornings…
This is a long list, and we’re not suggesting that you try all of these at once! However, start making one of these suggestions a regular habit and you may find it will transform your whole day.
Switch your first drink
Before your morning tea or coffee, drink a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon in it, to rehydrate you, start your digestion and get your liver working.
Rise before the rest of your household
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier that the rest of your household gets up. You could use that time to have a longer shower than normal, or to take some exercise. You may discover this is your most productive time for making plans or being creative. By the time the rest of the house wakes up, you’ll be thinking, let’s do this!
Meditate for five minutes
Meditate for five to ten minutes. Just prop yourself up on your pillows so you’re upright (make sure you’re not so comfortable that you fall back asleep).
Try oil pulling
Try oil pulling with coconut oil; a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for oral health that’s even reputed to whiten teeth. It’s easy to do: when you wake up and go to the bathroom, just put a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and let it melt. Don’t put in too much at once or you may feel like gagging. Switch on the kettle and, in the time it takes to boil, swill the oil around your mouth, swishing it between your teeth. Then spit the oil into the bin (never down the sink as it will block the pipes).
Add greens to your routine
Add greens to your breakfast, whether it’s a side of spinach, avo on your toast, kale or spinach in your smoothie, asparagus to dip into your boiled egg or sprinkle a parsley or coriander on your scrambled eggs.
Try a twist
Do a twist to wake up your spine. Lie on your back and bring your right knee into your chest. Then cross your right knee over to the left side of your body, towards the floor. Hold the knee down with your left hand and extend your right arm out to the side, in line with your shoulder. Take three to five deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Move your body
Move for ten minutes. Whether it’s doing a few moves you remember from your yoga class, having a dance around the house or a walk around the block. You’ve got ten minutes, surely?
Self-care for the Real World is available now at Amazon.
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