Updated: May 18
Introduction to MindBody Wellness
I wanted to share an overview of my journey and introduce you to some of the mindbody practices that saved my life.
The cool part is that even if you feel your life isn’t in danger, this community and the practices that you will learn can help you to live the life you REALLY want in a way that can bring you and the ones you love happiness, health, and peace.
We will be going into all the major components of MindBody Health and Fitness. These include Tai Chi, Nutrition, Yoga, Meditation, Physical Therapy, Fitness, and Mindfulness.
This blog and the programs associated with it are like no other. You can find all the resources you need for complete MindBody Healing and Fitness all in one place.
You can pick and choose which practices work for you or follow the whole system to heal yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
I wanted to begin with the mindbody practice that I started with and still do everyday.
Here is why Meditation is so important to me:
Although my drinking was a problem for me in the Marines it got even worse when I got out. It got to the point that I had to go to rehab!
I was really open to change at that point because I had hit rock bottom. I wanted SO much in life and wanted to change but I didn’t have the tools I needed to make those changes.
I felt really down on myself and helpless. I felt like I let everyone down including myself!
My Call to Action
Then something happened that changed my life forever…
While I was in the treatment program, one of the counselors was offering a meditation session for anyone who was interested, as long as we weren’t just planning on going there to sleep.
I had read about meditation and thought that it might help me.
That day was my first meditation session and I haven’t missed a day since… and also haven’t had a drink since! Now, sometimes I only have time to sit and take a few breaths… other days I have 20 minutes to meditate.
A great resource to learn meditation is the “Insight Timer App”. You can download it on your phone and bring it with you wherever go. There’s tons of free guided meditations and other programs to get you started.
For more info on Insight Timer: CLICK HERE
2. TAI CHI
Tai Chi has become one of my favorite mindful movement practices. It helps me reduce stress and improves my strength, flexibility, and balance.
Here are some more details about Tai Chi:
Tai Chi, also known as Tai Chi Chuan, is an ancient Chinese martial art and meditative practice that embodies the principles of harmony, balance, and flow. It combines slow, graceful movements with deep breathing and mental focus, promoting physical health, mental relaxation, and spiritual well-being. Tai Chi emphasizes the integration of mind and body, aiming to cultivate internal energy (Qi) and cultivate a sense of mindfulness, flexibility, and inner calm. Through its gentle and fluid movements, Tai Chi promotes improved posture, flexibility, strength, and coordination while reducing stress, enhancing relaxation, and promoting a sense of overall vitality.
The best way to learn about Tai Chi is to try it out for yourself. Here's a free class that will get you started...
My first experience with MindBody Health practices was actually with yoga. I was working out all the time and wanted to get more flexible.
I had mentioned to my sister that I was interested in yoga and that it might help with my flexibility. I didn’t know it at the time but it would become the foundation of my whole adult life!
Anyways, my sister ended up giving me a power yoga dvd for Christmas that year. It was Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga for Strength and Flexibility.
I started to feel inner peace during the first session! It was actually really hard and I couldn’t even get through the whole video but I felt amazing after.
I became so enthusiastic about yoga that I went to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts and took the month-long yoga teacher training immersion! This changed my life forever in so many ways. The best thing was that I actually met the woman there that would later become my wife!
For more info about Kripalu, visit their website: CLICK HERE
4. PHYSICAL THERAPY
I always wanted to help people in some way but had no idea what I wanted to do with my life as it got closer to graduation from high school. As I mentioned above, I decided to join the Marines.
While I was in the service, I got kind of obsessed with weight lifting. I wanted to get big and strong but I was also very interested in the science of exercise and nutrition. I started to read every magazine I could on health and fitness.
Later, as I went through the exercise physiology program at UMass Lowell, I began reading more peer reviewed journals with info that was backed up with evidence.
Anyways, I did really well as an undergrad and got right into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UMass Lowell. This was a very tough program.
I felt like I weathered it pretty well but even with my experience with the Marines and being in a combat zone, it still was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life!
In future posts, I will share a lot of the knowledge I learned so far from being a PT (physical therapist) and provide insights and programs that can help you heal your pain and your suffering.
Although I will always recommend seeing a PT to get an evaluation, there are a lot of things you can do to feel self-empowered, especially if you do not have access to a good PT.
While I was an undergrad at UMass Lowell, I got to intern with the Div. I and Div. II athletes. Here is where I got experience training as a strength and conditioning coach.
I worked with the volleyball, soccer, field hockey, basketball, and baseball teams. I learned how to work with groups of motivated athletes. I also got to work one on one with many of them. It was amazing to see the hard work and dedication they put into their training. They were determined to excel. It wasn’t too long before the whole UMass Lowell Athletic Program was elevated to Div. I status!
Within these posts, I will be providing the latest information on how to incorporate western exercise science with eastern mindbody practices to help you reach your goals in the most efficient way possible.
I will include future posts about how to safely start a fitness routine to maximize your strength, lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and prevent injuries!
Another program I studied at UMass Lowell was nutrition. I actually minored in it and completed the certificate program from the university in nutrition.
I always had a passion for nutrition ever since my dad died. He was 59 years old. I was convinced that the main reason he died was from “lifestyle diseases.” Its what actually propelled me in to the health and wellness field. I was determined to make it past 59 years old.
I started to pay attention to how I ate much more closely when I was in the Marines. I wanted to “bulk” up and get really big muscles. It was mostly for aesthetics but it also helped me score points on the physical fitness tests which we were required to pass every year to stay in the service.
I tried to follow a lot of the “bodybuilding” nutrition plans. I did build a lot of muscle but my biomarkers were off quite a bit.
(For more on biomarkers, check out this pubmed article: CLICK HERE)
I was eating a ton of protein to build muscle mass but very little vegetables. It wasn’t until I did my own diet diary for a week that I realized I needed to change my diet.
I went on a 24 hour fast and had nothing except for water. To break the fast, the first thing I ate was HUGE salad! It was amazing. I craved salad for years after that experience. It totally reset my whole system!
Anyways, the next big change was when my wife moved in with me. She has gluten intolerance and some other food sensitivities. I wanted to make sure she was safe but also wanted to see what happened when I went on a gluten-free diet.
After 30 days of no gluten, I didn’t notice much until I ate the remaining bread that was left over in the fridge. I didn’t want to waste it so thought I would just finish it off and then go back to gluten free.
I noticed that I felt pretty crappy after eating the bread. I felt bloated, sluggish, and uncomfortable.
I realized it was probably better for my own health if I stayed away from gluten and I have been gluten-free ever since!
More about gluten-free diet visit Dr. Thomas O’Bryan’s website: CLICK HERE)
Next was the paleo diet. I was never really a strict paleo eater but instead tended to lean in a “paleo-like” direction. I was still sensitive to eggs at the time so it was hard to eat only paleo as much of the recipes I found used eggs a lot.
Check out the website of the founders of the “Paleo Diet:” CLICK HERE
Finally, I decided I wanted to completely kick my carb cravings and lose a few unwanted pounds from my waist. I noticed that the keto diet was becoming more popular. I did some research and decided to give it a go.
I was amazed at the quick results I got! I lost almost 10 pounds within the first month and a half. But, better yet, I no longer craved carbs!
No more chips as soon as I walked in the door from work. No more crackers the minute I felt the slightest twinge of hunger. I felt amazing. And I still do!
I also noticed that I could tolerated eggs again with no issue! I was so happy to finally experience the changes I was looking for.
I will go more into the keto diet in future posts but for now, you can visit this website to find out more: CLICK HERE
Finally, I consider mindfulness as the foundation of all my current practices. Mindfulness is one thing you can never have too much of. With it, you can make skillful choices to liberate yourself from the chains of conditioning. Without it, you increase your suffering exponentially.
Although I have been practicing mindfulness and other forms of meditation for over 10+ years, I still consider myself a student with much to learn.
However, my practice has helped me become so much more skillful in every choice I make.
From work to relationships to health and wellness, mindfulness is the glue that can end suffering in all aspects of life.
My goal is not only to share specific mindfulness practices with you, but also to infuse mindfulness in all the material that you see.
I believe this will help you to not only reach your goals and solve a lot of your problems, but also to change your relationship with the events of your life and reduce your suffering so you can live with ease!
I’ve learned from so many great teachers but here is a great podcast to start infusing your life with mindfulness: CLICK HERE
Also, if you haven’t already, join our free Facebook™ group called "Begin with Breath Tai Chi and Therapy" to start learning tai chi and yoga the fun and easy way while building strength, flexibility, and balance. Just tap the link below to request to join...
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