“The body isn’t the foundation of your health. The body is the physical manifestation of the sum of your life experiences. The key is to remember that how our minds feel as we go about our day—how relaxed, happy, and fulfilled we are—gets translated into the physiology of the body.” – Dr. Lissa Rankin, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific proof that you can heal yourself

As a child I was never particularly into sports, my physical activities consisted of playing on the beach and dance classes. It wasn’t until I moved to Amsterdam for college at 19, that some time after I would be introduced to climbing. And, finally, I had found it!

When I started climbing I was able to, for the first time really, truly, fully aware, feel the link between the body and mind. From injuries to accomplishments, I was tuning into my body in a way I had not done before.

Having finally, for the first time been introduced to a completely new sport, not found on my tiny island made a world of difference. It wasn’t that I didn’t have it in me, I just hadn’t found ‘the one’. This, of course, jump-started an interest in other physical activities and I found myself re-discovering Yoga. Focus, balance and strength, the perfect match to my climbing! Staying active and nourishing the body with what it asked for had never been so intriguing!

This really solidified the force of that ‘mind, body connection’ for me. I wanted to know more, learn more, and do more, not only for the physical benefits (which in and of itself are also great!) but for the way it made my soul feel, for the way it helped my mind connect with my body. Any other physical and aesthetic result turned into a bonus.

“Mind & body are too intimately related to be seen as separate entities.” – Deepak Chopra | Rudolph Tanzi

A while back, I stumbled upon this book called “Mind over medicine” by Dr. Lissa Rankin. I was so intrigued by this physician who describes herself as “I doctor not just bodies, but souls.” Once I read the book cover to cover, I was not disappointed. It was a far cry from the usual ‘abracadabra, fairy sparkle dust’ that has become a stigma of the ‘new age’ segment. Findings were backed up by research and evidence. Everything from the placebo effect to the way cells in a petri dish react, evolve and change based on environment and not solely on genetics and DNA.

“What about the person who smokes, drinks, eats pasta and pepperoni pizza, and lives to be 100 because his life is so full of love, vitality, and purpose that he doesn’t want to leave it? I had a sneaking suspicion that there is a lot more to optimal health than we think.” – Dr. Lissa Rankin, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific proof that you can heal yourself

I’ve come to realize, that one of the most important things when it comes to ‘health’, is listening to your own body. Being in tune with all dimensions of yourself so you can determine and customize according to your individual needs, and not based on ‘whatever it is, that whoever it is’ is saying you should do. What works for one, doesn’t for the other.

Whether you choose to live a vegan, vegetarian, meat eating, gluten-free, fat-free, carb-free, whatever-lifestyle, that decision should come from you, from your core, from what you feel that your body and soul truly need, otherwise, chances are, it probably won’t be a sustainable lifestyle anyways.

In realizing my own body & mind connection, I have come to find a true passion in helping others find theirs. Whether through teaching yoga, coaching, or writing. Remaining a lifetime student with the constant need to learn more, and delving deeper into this pool of knowledge, has proved to be beyond inspiring.

It is with love and gratitude that I share with you, in this ‘Body & Mind: Practice & Preach’ section, my thoughts, tips, and teachings!

Love & Light,

Note: Curious about my journey to discovering climbing and yoga? Check out the blogposts! ‘Discovering Climbing‘ and ‘Discovering Yoga‘!