Like many, I went through phases of feeling a bit shit. Whether it’s health related or a mental thing, life is a roller-coaster you can’t get off and the ups and downs you feel are all part of the ride.
For the last few months my health and wellbeing has been at the forefront of my mind. If you follow me on my Snapchat you will know about my #RebalancingMyself programme I’ve been doing for the last two months. The update on that is that my body is slowly but surely remolding itself as a response to my new 3 x a week exercise regime and more conscious eating habits (when I say conscious I mean I’m finally forcing myself to cut out the foods that my body reacts badly to). However, becoming “rebalanced” isn’t all exercise and diet; there is another side to my programme and that’s the rebalancing of my mind, my emotional wellbeing and my psyche.
To say I’m stressed 90% would be totally accurate, thanks. In fact, I’m secretly almost proud of the fact I am STRESSED, like it was directly comparable to being busy and successful. All successful people are stressed out right? Wrong!
A few months ago I met Katie Brindle, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and founder of HAYO’U, a series of mini rituals you can ease into your life to help eliminate stress and illness. Katie believes that 95% of illness has its roots in stress: including a number of really common ailments such as digestion problems, headaches, fatigue and anxiety. I suffer from all of the above ☹ so was keen to hear about how I can take control of these ailments.
What is the Hayo’u Method?
My health has never been one of my strong points. I often joke that had I been born in the Victorian times, with lack of advances in medicines we have today, I never would have made it past the age of 5. I was riddled with tonsillitis as a child and am of course so thankful that we have antibiotics and amazing surgical methods when we need them. However, Chinese Medicine takes a deeper, more core focused method of curing our bodily ailments.
When I first meet Katie she tells me of stories from her travels all over China learning from the Chinese masters. She speaks about Monks living in the monasteries who have relied on daily rituals to cleanse the body of pathogens in order to keep them fit and fighting. Some live ’til they’re 150 years old! We don’t all have time to swan around a monastery beating our chests and ommhhhhing though. This is where the Hayo’u method comes into play for modern women like myself (and maybe you) where tax on the body is high. It takes the fundamental core actions of Chinese Rituals and breaks them down in their most simplistic and shortened forms (only 1 minute long). By sparing only a few minutes a day you can help realign, cleanse and make your body and psyche a more balanced and happy place.
How it worked for me
My first meeting with Katie as quite strange, but in a good way! If there’s one thing that really gets me going it’s learning all about something entirely new that could potentially change my life. Haha. Katie explained how her daily rituals would combat stress and illness by exorcising them rather than suppressing them like many western medicines do. It was a lot to take in but easy enough to put in to action.
My Morning Rituals – I basically wake up, pull myself out of bed and do the following:
1 minute “Shake”
1 minute of “Drumming”
20 seconds of “Twisting”
Do I sound mad yet…?
In the middle of the day I go some place quiet or I sit at my desk if I’m feeling bold and do a minute of the “Smiling Breath” technique.
Watch Katie do the techniques here.
I’m pleased to say that the Hayo’u method has been part of my life for 5 weeks now. This in itself is an achievement for me because I am THAT GIRL who tries every faddy regime going and always gets bored and gives up. The first few weeks were tough; a week after starting these rituals my body began breaking down a little and I was ill, exhausted and constantly headachy, which lasted 2 weeks. I spoke with Katie about how ill I felt and she told me my body was having a mild healing crisis and was now exorcising all the pathogens that western medicine has oppressed for years. Basically: held toxicity. It might sound weird to someone who hasn’t experienced the benefit of Chinese medicine before but I am already a convert to Chinese acupuncture, so I persevered!
Without the Hay0’u rituals I don’t think I would have been able to stick to such a rigorous exercise programme and stripped back (read: not fun) diet plan my trainer has had me on. It’s been mentally and physically tough and I’ve often wanted to give up, but using the morning wake up rituals for energy and positivity, as well as the smiling breath to re-centre myself in the day, I feel more focused and strong.
Is it for you?
My favourite ritual is the Morning Ritual. Honestly, if you aren’t a morning person than this is so for you. I find it so hard to extract myself from bed and rarely wake up restful and energised. These rather odd and morning rituals woke me up better than a litre of coffee would. Every morning my body feels instantly energised and fluid, stiffness and lethargy are eradicated within a few minutes.
Have you ever felt like mediation is something you’d love to get down with but don’t have a clue how to? Or you’ve tried but can’t focus for long enough? This is where the Smiling Breath really helped; by switching off only momentarily in the loo or at my desk on a quiet day allowed my brain and organs to recharge quickly and efficiently.
This post is in collaboration with The Hayo’u Method but all thoughts and results are from my own experience.