I had heard of Hilaria Baldwin from her Instagram where she put herself in yoga poses allover the place. (And by allover the place I mean she literally stopped, dropped and yoga’ed everywhere!) I never realized she was the owner of Yoga Vida (and still teaches regularly!), which is located right near me, and I certainly didn’t know her teachings went so deep into the mind body connection. She is my kind of woman!
When I learned of her new book, The Living Clearly Method based on 5 principles for a fit body, healthy mind and joyful life, I had to read it.
Basically, she sets forth a method for tuning into the body, your ultimate intelligence, and tempering the mind from getting in the way as it likes to do through overthinking and toxic self talk. It’s a yoga book, for sure. But she goes beyond yoga which is why I think this book will appeal to so many.
The Living Clearly Method starts with listening to yourself and creating connection through yoga, but that’s just the beginning. I use postures to contact the innate awareness, or inner guidance, that can get muffled or silenced in the overwhelming noises of everyday life, and amplify its voice. Then I show you how to take this connection to your outer experience where it will guide you to make better choices in three key areas: the way you respond to life as it comes at you, the way you feed your body, and the way you move it through exercise.
Broken down into just two parts – The Five Principles (perspective, breathing, grounding, balance and letting go) and Food and Fitness, she simplifies the process by offering real life examples matched with specific exercises (both physical and mental) and recipes (for food and fitness) to create a life of health and happiness.
The yoga poses and exercises in the first four principle chapters are designed to prepare you for this final step (letting go) on the path to Living Clearly by encouraging your mind to get out of the driver’s seat and give your body permission to take the lead. By experiencing each principle physically you are able to imprint its essence into your being.
If you’re new to yoga, or not sure about it, this book makes a great introduction. She keeps the instruction accessible and really explains why yoga is good for everybody.
The stretching, strengthening, and balancing that you do in the average yoga class is a single aspect of a complex philosophical system that’s really, really old and carries some timeless wisdom.
But according to her method, your yoga practice should be supplemented with cardio and toning. At the end of the book, she offers suggestions on how to bring the yoga into a regular workout like spinning and swimming. She also has a section called Found-Moments Exercises where she gives examples of how to get your fitness on in ordinary activities such as cleaning, cooking and watching tv.
I love the idea of her Exercise Reflection where you take a few moments for stillness after your workout.
This moment of reflection is when all the hard work integrates and becomes part of you.
Because it’s by making your practices a part of you that you transform into the person you’re meant to be.
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