Letter From the Publishers, September 2019
Kendra & Jacqueline, Co-Publishers
Our vitality is evidence that we are maintaining a healthy and vibrant life. As late summer breezes take us into the brilliant colors of fall, I find myself pondering the ebb and flow of this lifeforce and considering how to bring back balance when life’s daily demands, losses and prolonged stress throw us off center. A state of balance is not a once-and-done achievement. It requires life-long ongoing assessment, starting with intentional slowing down and tuning in to ourselves, allowing the messages our body sends us to become evident, guiding us to what we need.
Sometimes these messages are uncomfortable––showing up in the form of pain, fatigue, emotional or spiritual discomfort––so we ignore, push down or reject them rather than embrace them, even though they are intended to help us restore ourselves to health. Instead, we could choose to see the discomfort as an invitation to hold ourselves tenderly, look closely and believe that our worth requires attention, action and commitment to rebalance our health and wellness. We may choose to access help from those who have expertise or perhaps we begin our journey to restoration by talking with a friend or loved one who has our best interests at heart.
Tuning into awareness is something learned, and like any new skill, must be practiced. We need not feel shame for what we do not know; we simply must be open to learning and relearning again and again, with a beginner’s heart. For me, like many others, yoga has been a teacher of these lessons and skills––its very nature teaches us to tune in to the breath, and in doing so, we tune into our body. Over time, we tune into our whole selves which in turn leads to our increased ability to tune into others, creating greater empathy and connection.
Themes of awareness, connection and restoration, and the tools to help us maintain our balance are found in the pages of this month’s issue. There is guidance to help us nurture our most vital selves, reducing the effects of stress which we know chips away at our wellbeing and may lead to premature aging and illness. In “Age-Defying Bodywork: How to Turn Back the Clock,” writer Marlaina Donato explains how fortifying the nervous system through massage, acupuncture and reflexology is critical to combating age-accelerating stress hormones like cortisol—and has been embraced by the medical mainstream. Donato also suggests in “The Power of Yoga: Tapping Into the Life Force” that yoga’s contribution to mind-body fitness is a reliable defense against age-related loss of mobility, heart disease and depression.
The mind-body connection is at the heart of Kula Kamala Foundation’s founder Sudha Allit’s contribution of “Wisdom Unfolding: Approaching Pain, Hunger and Awareness Through Yoga” and also in the recipes she shares to complement writer April Thompson’s “Ayurvedic Cooking: Ancient System Restores Balance.” In Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest systems, food is medicine; the menu is seasonal and local, and timing and preparation are critical to rebalancing health.
As we seek to rebalance and realign, connect with others and ourselves, may we remember that there is companionship in this community of like-minded seekers, and support for the journey can be found in our pages. Truly we are not alone.
Let’s be mindful of making connections this fall, opening to the possibilities of new companions and deepening relationships that help us feel good, live simply and laugh more.
-Jacqueline and Kendra
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
― Fred Rogers
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