Back To Basics

 In Yoga Classes

By Cheryl Hansen


I took a podBASICS class last weekend. Hip openers. And while my hips were definitely opened during the class, it was the idea of getting back to basics that really got me thinking. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all of the messages hitting us in the face at any given minute—from commercials touting fabulous skin, flat tummies and zero constipation, to the latest friend on Facebook building her team and pitching THE best get-thin product ever. Oh—and there’s the self-talk that seems to change course from minute to minute (self-talk can be fickle, can’t it?). Why does it have to be so complicated?


The answer, quite simply, is that it doesn’t. Just get back to the basics.


I took a nutrition class my freshman year in college (easily the most appealing science elective). The teacher, who was a native of India, said a good diet was really quite easy. His theory was that if you made a conscious effort to eat ALL of those foods your body needs—the vegetables, protein, healthy fats and good carbs—you wouldn’t have a lot of room for any “bad” stuff. “Go ahead!” he declared in his thick, beautiful accent. “Eat the Häagen-Dazs … AFTER you’ve eaten all that you’re supposed to eat. You’ll be lucky if you can eat three bites.”


I worked with a trainer some ten years later who advised me to avoid packaged food. She told me to eat an apple when I craved sugar—even if it meant eating three in an afternoon. In one simple suggestion, she not only gave me an alternative to the cookie I envisioned, she worked out an automatic waiting period to let that craving pass (as most do).


I have enlisted the help of a nutritionist whose first recommendation is to eat real food. No measuring portion sizes or pairing protein with fat (or is it carbs?)—though that may come. And, like my nutrition teacher, she didn’t even ban ice cream. She just said to get the real thing sans preservatives and a bunch of chemicals. She also told me to meditate—starting with five minutes a day.


Slow down. Get real. Breathe. It seems I really do have all that I need to be successful. There’s no magic pill, website or book that is going to cure me overnight, so it’s OK to stop looking and just start living like I’ve wanted to live since… well probably since signing up for that nutrition class in college.


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