Root to Rise This Spring

I’m so excited to be partnering with Bottom Line Yoga (BLY) for this blog post! Not only is BLY the place where I practice yoga, but it’s become a loving, supportive community for me, too. This spring, BLY is highlighting different blog posts along the theme of “Root to Rise.” While I am not trained as a yoga teacher, and sometimes yoga terms can be confusing to me, “root to rise” is an idea I feel a deep connection with. Basically, you are creating a solid foundation with a pose, or with your practice as a whole, and allowing growth from there. I like to apply the idea of “root to rise” with any goal setting in my life – it’s slow and steady change that you build on to make long lasting improvements.


I’m not going to eat only greens, for example, but if I add one green smoothie or one green salad to my diet one day a week, then 2 days a week, and so on, I will eventually feel the incredible effects of additional nutrition. Or, I really want to get up into “Crow” pose, so I’ve been attempting it every day for the past few months and now I can stay up for a few seconds! It may not be perfect, but I have my hands planted firmly on the ground and have established a solid foundation that allow my arms to grow stronger, the pose to gain more leverage, and my feet to stay up in the air.

With eating disorder recovery, small, specific and manageable changes are so important – you cannot rush these crucial edits to the way you cope with stress or to your relationship with food or your body. These habits are deeply ingrained, so it’s going to take a little while to replace behaviors with positive coping mechanisms. Lean on your circle of family, friends and professionals as you make the powerful decision to leave ED behind. You are choosing life, health and happiness! ED is not a foundation – it means destruction.

As you explore the ways in your life where your foundation could use a little work (and that’s okay!), I wanted to share with you a few things that have made a huge impact on my overall health and wellbeing over the past 3 months. Imagine: You can make incredible lifestyle changes and feel happier in just a few short months. It is possible!

  • Therapy – This is my #1 way to effect overall change in your life. Talk to someone who is not a spouse, not a relative, not a friend – a total unbiased third party who can shed light on your habits and the ways you communicate. Talking to someone not only helps me in my eating disorder recovery, but it helps me treat my husband in a kinder, softer way (I tend to be a little rigid and Type A).
  • Yoga – I have incorporated yoga into my schedule two or three times per week. Restorative yoga every Friday has been life changing for me. It’s a great way to slow down, stretch out, breathe deeply and let the stresses of the week fall away. And you don’t have to use yoga just in a class – even 5 minutes of “Legs Up The Wall” or “Downward-Facing Dog” can help shift energy during your work day.
  • Green Smoothies – Using Emilie Maynor Living’s Smoothie Challenges, I now have a green smoothie *most* mornings. It’s not perfect, but I now understand how to add hemp seeds, organic honey, almond butter, cilantro and other ingredients to a smoothie to give myself an extra burst of energy! My skin has even become clearer.
  • Essential Oils – I am in no way an expert in using essential oils, but two have become a vital part of my day-to-day life. In the morning, I use grapefruit essential oil (my favorite is from Whole Foods). Grapefruit and other citrus can help fight depression, boost energy and help with body image. This should not replace antidepressants if you are taking them! I use this oil in addition to medications prescribed by my psychologist. The other oil I love is Release Essential Oil by Young Living. It’s great for bedtime to help calm your mind and nerves. You can also use a lavender essential oil to help ease you into sleep.
  • Acupuncture – While I’m new to this one, I felt deep effects from my first appointment. I’m using acupuncture to help treat anxiety and insomnia, but speak to an expert about your specific ailment and how acupuncture can help.

I’m wishing all of you a peaceful spring full of positive change! If you’re in the Chicago area, please check out Bottom Line Yoga's schedule. Namaste!


Nicole Stephani is BLY's very own Work Trade team member.  She is a writer and the founder of Body Boop, a blog on eating disorder recovery and positive body image in Chicago, IL.