Yoga instructor Shiva Rea shares her healthy living tips.
Name: Shiva Rea
Claim to fame: Shiva Rea discovered yoga at age 14 and has since become one of the practice’s most visible teachers. She is credited with helping to develop Prana Flow Yoga, a form of vinyasa yoga rooted in prana, the universal source of breath and life-energy. Among her top-selling DVDs are Power Flow Energy, AM Energy, Daily Energy, More Daily Energy and the Creative Core series. Her latest DVD is Shiva Rea: Core Yoga, which offers seven practices that can be combined into a variety of workouts focused on core strength. Many of her DVD workouts feature a mix-and-match function she created called the “Yoga Matrix.”
Health philosophy: “My approach to health and vitality is through really loving what I’m engaged in,” says Shiva. “Enjoying any experience is so good for your immune system.”
Vitamins/supplements: Typically, a women’s multivitamin and a balanced diet suffices for Shiva. But last year she contracted malaria while volunteering in Kenya, so as part of an ongoing treatment, she also takes vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and CoQ.
Favorite workout: You might be surprised—it’s not just yoga, which she considers a lifestyle rather than a fitness regimen. Shiva also loves cycling, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking, martial arts and dance. “In the flow of a week, I like to do something outdoors every day,” she says.
Motivational trick: Get back to basics. “I have a simple practice that I like to go back to,” she says. “That really helps me because sometimes even as a yoga teacher I’ll have this idea I have to do this elaborate practice. But I’ve been putting so much of my creative juice into writing, that my practice has gotten more simple, and I like that. There something potent about it.”Secret weapon: music. “I’ve seen the science of how good music is for us,” she says. “Music really helps me get into the flow of whatever kind of practice I’m going to do.”
Favorite healthy dish: Vegetable soup. (“This is the way I get vegetables into my son!” she says.) She starts by sautéing leeks and organic shitake mushrooms, then adds in whatever vegetables she has on hand—carrots, broccoli, squash—and vegetable broth (homemade or a high-quality organic brand).
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