I start each morning with… a glass of hot water with chopped turmeric, slice of lime and dash of black pepper and most mornings, some form of yoga practice, depending on time.
Everyday, without exception, I... move my body. After all that’s what we were born to do. I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and recently took the leap to train as a yoga teacher and have loved every moment of the journey (well almost!). If I am away or can't manage to get on my mat during the day I will take a walk or move my body by walking or jogging (albeit rather slowly now!).
As I grow older I… am drawn closer to Nature – in every way from choosing more fresh, local seasonal produce, to spending time outdoors (having 2 dogs helps!) and living more in tune with her cycles. Living in Asia for close to 20 years I immersed myself in the timeless benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in fact my first book QI! Chinese Secrets of Health, Beauty & Vitality, is based on this. Home in Ireland now, I am learning more about our own equally powerful Celtic wisdom and am living more in tune with the seasons. My yoga practice really helps ground me so I can reap nourishment from the earth and open up on both physical and emotional levels, in sync with nature’s rhythms.
Every evening I… take a few minutes to completely remove dirt and grime from my face. Much like the Slow Ageing philosophy, I do this as early as possible allowing my skin enough time to repair and recover through the night (when skin recovery happens!). I also try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. My children are older now so that part has become easier.
Yoga has helped me… listen to my body and that ‘little me’ inside of me. I take life a little slower and don’t feel guilty for doing so.
Besides being comfortable saying NO and no longer really caring what other people might think about me, one of the reasons I enjoy growing older… is that I have become kinder to myself and to my skin: harsh doesn’t work for me anymore. I have reduced the amount of acid-based product and only use pure, gentle and nourishing skincare that is kinder to my skin and to the greater world - and it works!"
If I was to sit with my younger self - that vibrant young woman with big dreams and the world at her feet - she has made many mistakes (haven’t we all?), but aspects of her life might have been easier and happier if she carried some of these words on her journey:
- Wake up with a renewed sense of curiosity as we never know what every new day might bring;
- Don’t listen to that voice of ‘NO’ that continually strives to put you down;
- We are wired for doing - let’s reframe it to be wired for being more often - you will have time to do all the things you want to!
- End the blame. We all slip up every once in a while;
- Move your body - find something that works for you. I wish I started yoga when I was your age - I didn’t but have made up for it and it continues to weave its magic every time I’m on the mat;
- Try a gong bath and meditation. You will become hooked and mark my words they are one of the latest trends!
- Find your #HappyPlace - it need not be some exotic destination - just a little corner of your home, a walk on the beach, a coffee with a close friend or a little time on your mat;
- Don’t diet, don’t count calories and ditch the scales: we are more than numbers staring up from the scales. However insignificant, these little numbers have the power to instantly transform our body confidence. Set health and fitness goals that will help you be stronger and feel better about yourself;
- Be kind to yourself: you are amazing so nourish your body and mind as you would your best friend when he/she needs you most. Life really is too short to spend another minute hating any part of yourself.
Kate O’Brien is a journalist and qualified dietitian and yoga teacher with a post-graduate diploma in Cosmetic Science. She has written 8 books including Your Middle Years (2016) and GLOW:Your complete four-week plan to healthy radiant skin (2018). Kate lives in Dublin with her husband and 3 children.