Mind & Spirit | 30 September 2015Connecting with Yourself on a Higher Level Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When does being healthy become being obsessed with a healthy diet? Jordan Younger talks about her struggles with finding this balance in her life and her Orthorexia diagnosis in her new book, Breaking Vegan. Her tips for overcoming these struggles and finding this balance in life lie in giving all aspects of your life the attention they deserve. Learn to connect with yourself on a higher level to help find that balance we all strive for! Learn more about Orthorexia from Jordan HERE! I don’t consider myself a religious person, but I do consider myself a spiritual person. My years of yoga and exploring the practices of karma and ahimsa (nonviolence) have brought me far closer to my spiritual self than my years in the temple studying for my Bat Mitzvah. I will always feel a connection to my Jewish heritage for communal and ancestral purposes, but as far as feeling the power of something beyond myself, I turn to yoga and meditation. I’m willing to bet it has something to do with my extreme personality and my innate desire to practice rigorous exercise (type O blood, baby) and exert enough energy to exhaust myself before I can rest, but I feel closest to my spiritual self after working my body to the extreme in a hot yoga class or HIIT training session. After I channel my energy into movement, I can sit still, breathe, and turn inward. It took me a long time to realize that the end of a yoga class served as a meditation practice for me. I knew that by the end of a class I had usually worked myself up to a state of raw emotion and a feeling of blissful peace with the universe, but I thought it was just the endorphins and the sweat talking. Being on the yoga mat helps me get out of my head for an hour and fifteen minutes, and that is a beautiful thing for an emotional loony tune like me. Once we can get out of our heads, we can lock into our minds without the noise of our everyday life. We can ponder the deeper meaning of things that plague us, and usually the answers we’re seeking so desperately will start to come to us with ease. Yoga and meditation don’t work for everyone, but I am sharing my journey with them here because I do believe they work well for people with a tendency toward extremes. A simple bubble bath or back massage (although those are heavenly too!) isn’t always going to cut it for us. A deep, inviting, spiritual practice with the vastly important quality of unhinging our minds from the everyday craziness can work wonders on the soul. A truly balanced individual can channel an energy that is outside of their own body to deal with times of stress and even extreme happiness. It doesn’t have to be as hippie-dippie as the meditation you might be imagining. You can even listen to a meditation podcast if that sounds like it would be up your alley. Plus, if you do, I’m willing to bet you’ll sleep better too! Find your yoga, whatever that may be! And for reference, yoga isn’t just that bendy practice that requires major upper-body strength and an abundance of Lululemon clothing. This is what yoga is: “Yoga is the restraint of the modifications of the mind stuff.” — YS 1.2 from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Try that one out on yourself next time you feel overwhelmed. Let me know how it goes. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Finding balance in life is a goal many of us strive to achieve. Whether it’s through a healthy diet, exercise regimen, state of mind, relationship, or other activity (or all of the above), we spend our days trying to be, and become, our best selves. But what happens when all that focus starts to dominate our lives? When our desire for “perfect health” trumps everything else, perhaps without us even realizing it? What happens when our solution starts becoming the problem? These are questions that author and popular blogger Jordan Younger faced when she decided that her extreme, plant-based, vegan lifestyle just wasn’t working in favor of her health anymore–and questions that you may be facing too. In Breaking Vegan, Jordan reveals how veganism and obsessive “healthy” dieting eventually led her to a diagnosis of orthorexia, or a focus on healthy food that involves other emotional factors and ultimately becomes dysfunctional, even dangerous. In candid detail, Jordan shares what it was like to leave veganism (and experience a vicious backlash from the vegan community that once embraced her) and how she ultimately found her way to recovery. In addition to this, Jordan outlines an “anti-diet,” whole-foods-based eating plan featuring more than 25 recipes to help inspire others to find similar balance in their own lives. Breaking Vegan is about tolerance and forgiveness. And ultimately, forging one’s own path toward happiness. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.