Hi, I am Robyn.
Thank you for visiting my site!
I am a certified yoga instructor who has been teaching yoga for several years now. I have had my own struggles, triumphs and “ah-ha moments” about what it means to “be healthy” and “live a healthy life.”
This site is about helping people develop a healthy living practice through yoga, clean eating and self care. My passion is sharing information with people about how to use yoga, the natural healing qualities of food and self awareness to sustain a healthier lifestyle.
Healthy living does not mean being super skinny or really ripped with muscles and defined abs. I believe being healthy means being whole, balanced and full of life. It involves having a wellness and self care practice that is physically, emotionally and spiritually fulfilling.
This site provides information about healthy living. It specifically focuses on yoga, clean eating practices, the natural healing properties of food and self care. It also offers support to people as they develop a healthy lifestyle practice that is best for them. This site will offer tips, recipes, resources and encouragement for anyone looking to change their life and become healthier in a practical, sustainable way. Sometimes I will feature content about alternative healing modalities, self care practices, as well as information regarding the latest updates in the ‘food movement.’
Developing a healthy lifestyle is a journey worth taking with endless rewards.
As an African-American woman, I often hear scary statistics about the rising rates of preventative diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. I hear how these conditions disproportionately affects men and women in the African-American community. During my travels around the world whether it was Italy, France, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia or China; each place has taught me valuable lessons about how history, culture and spirituality affects our view on food, which can impact generations to come.
I want to help people break the cycle of unhealthy living whether it is in their own lives, in their families or communities. I want to inspire people to invest in creating a healthy lifestyle practice that is right for them.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that living a healthy lifestyle takes practice. It requires a balance of self-care for the body, mind and spirit.
Living a healthy sustainable lifestyle is not about being perfect. It is a constant practice in self-care and choosing what is best for your mind, body and spirit. Living healthy does not have a specific destination, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Healthy living is a journey in learning how to take the best care of yourself that you can in the moment. It is about striving to treat yourself well and make better choices in your life. Eventually, those positive choices start to add up and a healthy lifestyle emerges.
A Little Background
As a pseudo-over achiever, I was never the straight-A student, but I always did my best to excel in academics. I was raised in a household by two parents that were teachers and valued education and professional careers. During college and law school I studied, partied and worked. I rarely kept a routine exercise regimen. I did not have very much knowledge about nutrition. I did not look at being healthy as a practice. I did not understand the importance of emotional wellness and spiritual enrichment.
After I graduated college, I set my eyes on law school. I believed I wanted a career pursuing positions in the legal, political and business sectors. However, the year I graduated law school, my life changed.
Wake-Up Call #1
My 91 year-old grandfather became gravely ill. He had been on kidney dialysis for the last 8 years of his life. During the last year of his life, my family needed my help because my grandfather’s health started to quickly deteriorate. His body started rejecting the dialysis. For 9 months I helped support my grandfather and family as a caregiver. I was in and out of hospitals with my family, caring for him day to day, until he passed away.
During that time I started to become disturbed by some of the practices I was seeing in our country’s health care system. It seemed like there was a push towards prescription drugs and medication to solve issues. There was not much emphasis on nutrition and natural healing alternatives to prevent, treat or alleviate diseases and conditions. Healthy living had more to do with treating an issue instead prevention. I felt there was less of a focus on preventative care. Information was rarely recommended on how people could use food to help them heal.
After this rough time for my family, I started to take my health more seriously. Yes, I wanted to live a long time, but I also wanted to live a long life and feel good while living! But, how to develop a healthy lifestyle was something I needed help with because I was not sure how to do it.
Wake-Up Call #2: My Melt Down
Over the next 3 years, I continued to gravitate toward rewarding, yet stressful work environments. I was working in job situations where I was often expected to be “on call” in case my supervisors needed to reach me. I was working over 60 hours a week and sometimes close to 80 hours depending on the project. I had no idea the importance of work and play balance. I was putting so much into my work and serving my community that I was not exercising proper self care.
My work environment was not supporting my health. I started to either gain weight from poor diet and what felt like “no time to exercise”. Or, I lost weight from the stress of my work situations. Emotionally, I was spent, I felt like I was giving so much of my life away to work and advancing in careers, which were truly not my passions anymore. I was promoted within the organization I had been working for a few years, ironically to promote health care, yet I was unhealthy due to the stress. I knew I needed to make changes to my lifestyle because I was constantly burnt out and had a hard time saying “no” to people and situations in my life, which were not for my best and highest good.
Yoga and Meditation
I had a few months of downtime until my new position began. I decided to immerse myself in yoga in an effort to deepen my spiritual practice. During that time, I saw an opportunity to become a certified yoga instructor. I devoted 4 months to yoga teacher training and continued to teach yoga for 3 years. It was during my yoga teacher training when my life changed again. My yoga teacher training taught me about clean eating and gave me a new perspective on how food can impact your life –for good or for worse. I learned a great deal about how food impacts our emotions and how cultural habits and beliefs impacts our health. I learned the importance of having a supportive peer group with like-minded values to help me as I practiced a new way of living. I learned how food plays a much larger role in our lives than we know.
Food and Spirituality
As I became more connected with my inner spirit, the more my outside world began to change. I learned that the more connected I to that loving source inside of me, the more I began to connect with my body and ultimately the Earth. There were larger spiritual principles connected to food. My physical, mental and spiritual health was suffering due to the stress in my life.
My chiropractor use to encourage me to change jobs because of the toll it was having on me. I use to think he was joking, but he was serious. Eventually, I did quit my job, although I continually ignored that “little voice” inside me that suggested I quit 3-4 months prior to my melt down, which ultimately pushed me to quit. I don’t regret those lessons because it taught me the importance of work-play balance and to listen to my body. It also taught me that I needed to take my self-care more seriously and to start checking in with myself mentally and emotionally, in addition to physically.
I realized I needed to re-examine what I wanted to do with my life. Learning how to follow my curiosities and explore my interests became paramount to my life. So…I moved to the Bay area in California, something I had wanted to do for many years, but always made excuses for why “it is not the best time.” I wanted to live in a place, which supported a healthy lifestyle. I felt, California was the best place for me to learn and grow. I went there with an open heart and mind and learned a great deal about wellness. But, one of the most important things I learned in California was how much this journey is a true PRACTICE.
Developing a Healthy Lifestyle
I began to understand more and more the importance of eating fresh, organic produce (chemical free) consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. I gradually started making better choices, but again, “practice makes perfect” so when I was not practicing this lifestyle, I would fall back into habits that were not good for me. It truly took time and practice to understand how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. But, once I made the decision that I was willing to learn and be open to a better life, overtime each choice led me to positive results. As far as my diet, I wanted eating habits that were not as stringent as what is practiced in some of the deeper pockets of the yoga community. Many yogis strive to be strictly vegan. During that point in my life, I was not interested in choosing a vegan lifestyle (although I do not rule it out in the future). I started to develop a new relationship with food, especially the natural healing properties of food and I started checking in more with my body and listening to its needs.
Acupuncture and Nutrition
Once in California, I decided to look for an acupuncturist who was well versed in nutrition and other healing modalities. Over time I saw positive results working with my acupuncturist. I learned a great deal about clean eating. I participated in two seasonal cleanses, which helped me develop and sustain new lifestyle choices, as well as helping me form my own beliefs about wellness.
Over one year, I lost 40 pounds. I had more energy, I felt more positive and optimistic about life. I started to focus my time more towards my life’s path involving writing, travel and teaching. I rarely experienced some of the pain and discomfort I use to feel. I use to think “Oh, am just getting old…this is what happens when you age.” Instead I was just unaware and uninformed about the natural healing properties of food. I also did not understand that what we put in our bodies largely dictates the quality of our lives.
So, here I am on this journey, starting this website and sharing what I know about healthy living. I understand it is a practice, so I am constantly learning, sometimes by trial and error. But, either way, I get back up and keep moving forward. I am humbled by this journey and excited to share information with other people which helped me get to this point.
For updates, tips on clean eating and recipes, please sign up for my newsletter (take a peek below). Connect with me @ Robyn’s Healthy Living Facebook and Twitter to learn how to develop your own healthy lifestyle. Start today and take a step in the right direction towards health and wellness.
For Yoga, join me for a Yoga class @ The Yoga House – ATL. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! Thank you!