You probably won’t believe it but I discovered Ayurveda with this book! Few years ago, I was already practicing yoga when I discovered this book:
‘Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body’ by Kate Hudson. I knew it was going to be all about wellness and I was already in love. But I was also curious to discover how this beautiful actress manages to keep such a healthy and strong body, like everyone else I guess. And how surprised I was when I started to read and discovered that her lifestyle was all linked to Ayurveda, yoga and meditation among other things! If you ever feel a bit lost in this world of ancient Indian wisdom that is Ayurveda, heard it everywhere but don’t really know what it is and how it works, this is an amazing way to get introduced to it, slowly but surely!
Now I will reveal you some details about the author’s life and how she came to write this book, my impressions while reading the book and the 3 takeaways and how to implement some of the tips in your lifestyle!
Notes about the author
Kate Hudson is an American actress, singer, author and fashion designer. She became famous for her performance in the film Almost Famous (2000), for which she won a Golden Globe. But she played in a lot of movies too ever since.
She co-founded the fitness brand, Fabletics. In 2016, she released her first book, ‘Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body’, and in 2017, she released her second book, ‘Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition’ (that I absolutely need to read too!).
She wrote this book when she realized that she finally found a good lifestyle recipe to slowing down and feel well by connecting to her body rather than thinking: what should I eat? How should I workout? Finally feeling at peace with herself, she decided that she could share with everyone some useful tips. As she says, she is asked almost everyday how is she staying in shape and happy? And how everything is perfect in her life? And truth is: it is not always beautiful and happy, like everyone else! And nothing happens in a click! It takes time, motivation and a good knowledge of yourself.
My impressions and 3 takeaways
What I loved about this book is her easy way to approach things and her test-and-learn philosophy. After her second kid was born, she realized that she had to take care of herself in a more holistic way (mind-body-spirit) rather than focusing on the body or the mind or the spirit. And it is known that when you change your lifestyle or your mindset for example, it has a ripple effect on everything else in your life. So it is more efficient to treat oneself as a whole.
Second thing that I love: the practice of checking-in that she talks about. Questions like: How are you feeling? Are you hungry? Are you happy? Are you sad… are part of the process to knowing yourself better. And these days we often forget to ask ourselves these questions or just take a break to just be and feel what our body or mind or spirit is craving. I am personally trying to do it more and more since I read this book and this is truly mind-blowing. I have come to understand than most of my eating habits for example were timed with the clock our society tells me to eat. In France, for example, I was often not hungry at night but as I was used to eat (and pretty late actually compared to what Ayurveda is recommending), I was eating and quite a lot! And now, I’m trying to ask myself the question: am I eating that because I want to make my parents/friends/boyfriend happy or am I eating because I’m hungry? Of course, it is not working all the time. Like if a friend offers me to order a chocolate cake (or anything involving chocolate), I got a hard time saying no. So checking-in with yourself and trying to be present and conscious of how you are behaving naturally and how you are thinking is a very powerful tool to know yourself better.
Thirdly, if you love tests (Cosmopolitan actual readers or former readers, I see you xD), you are going to love her book! There are indeed multiple tests to help you on the way of self-discovery.
Now here are my 3 takeaways fro her book:
- Cultivate an intuitive relationship with your body
- Eat well (few examples: local products, less sugar, remove the ‘bad’ foods, good balance of alkaline vs acidic foods…)
- Awaken your body with movement you love
How to implement them in your lifestyle?
Actually, the fourth pillar of health as she says, is, I think, the best way to implement the 3 other pillars that I talked about in the takeaways: the Miracle of Mindfulness.
If you press pause regularly in your most repetitive habits like brushing your teeth or doing the laundry for example, you will notice that you get lost easily in your thoughts. And because of this, you are not really living the present moment. And being aware of your habits and press pause multiple times in the days is one of the best ways to check-in and to have a more connected relationship with your body, eat well and when your body needs it and be present in your workouts. It also allows you to be aware of your thoughts. When you press pause, you can also suddenly realize that you were having a bad conversation with yourself: lowering your self-esteem for example. When you catch you up at the right moment, you can correct your mindset and think positively again. Choosing love over fear like Melissa Ambrosini would say.
To start in mindfulness, you can try it by yourself with apps (Insight Timer is my favorite) that often offers guided or unguided meditations but I would recommend to start with a teacher first. Check if there is one in your area and try it once a week for a while then add one more sessions each week, and one more, and one more…A teacher can help you understand better the benefits of the practice, help you finding tools to practice it a bit everyday…
If you are really stressed out, you can even check for a MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). I did one 2 years ago when I was completely falling apart in my former job, overwhelmed by stress. And it literally changed my life. I will talk more about it in another article but for now tell me all about your meditating experience!
Have you ever tried? Do you feel afraid to try? Or are you already meditating on a regular basis? How did it help you on the path to knowing yourself better and be more connected to your body?
If you want to read more about my yogi journey, head here!