The new year is a time of detoxes, crash diets, and makeup-for-the-holidays resolutions. But what if this year we take a more sustainable approach to nourishing body and mind? After all, it’s the small habit changes that have the most powerful impact on our overall, long-term health.
Today we speak with nutritionist and founder of Nao Wellness, Nikki Ostrower, about her favorite way to cleanse body and mind.
Splendid Spoon: Hi Nikki! What are your go-to methods to cleanse body and mind?
Nikki Ostrower: I love to use an infrared sauna! I recently opened a wellness center with two infrared saunas so that more people can enjoy their benefits. I don’t get to go everyday, but I use it as often as I can. It helps clear toxins and always leaves me feeling lighter.
I also practice Kundalini yoga a few times a week. I enjoy the mantras and mudras [a mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture. — Ed.], which clear and balance the chakras [chakras are the centers of spiritual power in the human body. — Ed.] before you meditate. The overall combination of movement, breathing, meditation, and chanting brings a beautiful spiritual and physical balance. When I can’t get to class, I do simple breathing and grounding exercises at home. These practices have amazing benefits, like balancing the chakras, oxygenating the body, decreasing fear and anxiety, boosting energy, and improving mood. Even a simple five minute meditation makes a big difference on your health!
SS: What’s the difference between a regular sauna and an infrared sauna?
NO: Regular saunas, like those typically used in Scandinavian countries, are dry saunas. They heat the air and the body. Some ill people, who could greatly benefit from sauna, can’t tolerate that level or form of heat.
Infrared saunas emit, you’ve guessed it, infrared light energy. We all know what this feels like: when you feel warmth from the sun on a winter’s day, that’s the infrared light. In infrared saunas, the infrared waves only heat the body, not the air. This makes it a more comfortable experience, which everyone can enjoy and benefit from.
SS: How long should we use an infrared sauna for? And how often?
NO: That depends on why you’re using the sauna. If you’re looking for general cleansing benefits, I recommend once or twice a week. However, if you have health challenges to resolve, I recommend five 30 minute sessions every week.
SS: That’s a long time to be in the sauna!
NO: It’s so relaxing: you won’t realize how much time has passed. I sometimes go with a friend: it’s an amazing time to connect and catch up (much better than over too much wine), cleanse your body, and feel like a million bucks afterwards.
SS: Can infrared saunas help fight the winter blues?
NO: Absolutely. Infrared saunas help release the happy chemicals in our brain. This is super important to keep us grounded during these cold winter months.
SS: What change are you making in 2018 that will help cleanse your life?
NO: I’m focusing on taking more time to disconnect from technology and be present to the greatness that surrounds me.