It’s been a big year for the science of integrative modalities this year.  So, yours truly has been sharing scientific studies with my yoga teacher colleagues at Kripalu –  they say “Wow!” and “Awesome.”
What’s old is new again (am I getting old or is this a repeating theme in life)? My teacher says life is a spiral and I continue to see the evidence that she’s right.  I have so much enjoyed learning the ancient science of Ayurveda, and how my brilliant colleagues are applying that beautiful nature-based system to modern health care.
Here are the top trends, the memes I see on the rise:

1. Epigenetic

The yogis and yoginis are feeling prescient when we see the smattering of studies on yoga, meditation, mindfulness and that, in small studies, these modalities appear to change gene expression. Quickly. Impressively. Check it out.
Meditation changes gene expression.

2. Ayurveda

We’re at the beginning of a upward curve in the popularity of  Ayurveda, and we’ll be hearing more about it as this system is viewed through a modern lens. The bookshelf of Ayurveda is exploding and we’re finding our intellectual leaders busy busy busy. Friend and colleague Hilary Garivaltis is traveling the country setting up Aurveda schools for yoga centers, and attendance at Kripalu’s really wonderful School of Ayurveda has more than doubled in the past couple years. Come to Kripalu and learn about this ancient traditional system that was the original integrative medicine.
Kripalu School of Ayurveda

3. Integration

The body knows. The body remembers. Can’t say it any more simply than that. Our bodies are the record of our lives (including our ancestors). All of what we do, think and believe is woven into the soft tissue of our fascia.  If we spend our lives thinking we are not good enough (and I think this has somewhere somehow been programmed into us…Tom Kenyon says our creator did it!) in the end we in fact are not. Bummer!  Yet the same person can focus on appreciating who they get to be, and a whole other body, whole other “resting face” are created. There are times when I’ve been rolling in the angst, when I can feel a tightness in my face as a drift off to sleep. That’s an indicator! I can soften and open as I age, or get bitter, brittle and hard. It’s not up to anyone else but me.
To learn what your body knows, do any body-mind practice regularly. Show up for it every day, or very nearly every day. It is showing up for yourself. My recommendation is predictable – come to Kripalu. For almost any program – follow what pings for you.

4. Herbs and Botanicals

Our ancestors, and not too too many generations back, had a wide array of botanical wisdom at their fingertips. We’ve outsourced that to our local pharmacy. But if you look around, people in every corner of the country are foraging, taking herb walks with the local herbalists, and checking out the botanicals in their own back yard. Please don’t wait to get a degree, but use your senses and good sense and a editable plant guide to find your way to better health. (Do be aware of the plants in your region that can, as my teacher says, heal you dead).
Get herbal and learn about learning more at Mountain Rose Herbal. OR study with Pam Montgomery or my friend Brittany at Thyme Herbal in Northampton, MA.

5. Eating for a Better Planet

How does the Atkn diet square with the fact that many environmentalists say we are past the global tipping point? Isn’t the meat-based version of Paleo in that same sink-the-earth boat? From Eco-Atkins to grass-fed local to values vegan, the choices we make about what we eat impact more than ourselves. There is more opportunity than ever to be a food activist – beginning at your own table.
Sustainable table is one place to start.
What are your top trends in nutrition now? Fascinated to hear!