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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Exclusive: Finding Your Bliss With Eoin Finn

Lizzie Pereira |
April 25, 2014 | 2:18 p.m. PDT

Health and Wellness Editor

Courtesy of Eoin Finn.
Courtesy of Eoin Finn.
Bliss. The word has a way of rolling off the tongue in a smooth, refreshing manner, doesn’t it? But truly finding a state of bliss in the chaos of everyday life can feel nearly impossible with the onslaught of stress that can often seem relentlessly overwhelming. Whether it be work, relationships, money, whatever plagues you, over 50 percent of Americans feel the strain. So how are we supposed to achieve a state of physical, mental and emotional wellness? According to renowned yogi, Eoin Finn, the answer is surprisingly simple: nature. Finn spends up to 15 hours a day outside. But even a quick fifteen minutes spent in open air has been proven to better your physical, mental and spiritual health. Neon Tommy caught up with Finn to talk his powerful relationship with Mother Nature, as well words of wisdom to leading a balanced and happy life. 

Neon Tommy: So how would you describe your relationship with nature? 

Eoin Finn: Having in intimate relationship with Nature is the best thing we can do for our health and happiness. There is a rhythm and intelligence to nature that informs our heart. When we take the time to get present in nature it is like the fire in our heart is ignited by the beauty we see. We are filled with awe and gratitude. The mundane becomes miraculous.

NT: How important is it to have a connection to our earth?

EF: The ultimate message of yoga is the same as what ecology teaches us: All things are connected.  

The more we feel these interconnections between our own bodies and Nature, the less we get trapped in our egos. The ego hardens the line between ourselves and others; Love by contrast blurs these lines. I believe that you will love life more by consciously taking time during every yoga practice to consider the processes of nature in effect in our bodies.

For example, every second breath comes from plankton in the ocean. We are so dependent on it and it’s beautiful. The body is made largely of salt water. When we sweat in yoga it comes and goes from the ocean. Even our blood is made of salt water. You can replace up to half of your blood with saline in emergencies. The energy from the music on your iPhone you are listening too comes from the Sun. There are so many lines to be blurred. It’s really the cornerstone again for gratitude and happiness.

NT: Do you follow any specific type of diet in conjunction with your yoga practice? 

EF: Diet is very important. I believe in what we call “high-prana food.” My food philosophy is what I call the "party like it's 1899 diet!" In 1899 we didn't have chemicals or pesticides on an apple. We just had apples and didn't need such a thing as "organic apples." If there are no chemicals between me and my food and animals are treated with reverence, it's good for me. 

NT: What kinds of food do you typically enjoy?

EF: I eat a lot of vegetarian food (not vegan as for my personal body type milk and yogurt are a straight up “superfoods”) but I am not 100% vegan. I probably eat meat 3 or 4 times per week and I pray to the animal before eating it always. The rest of my diet is mostly made of very green and tasty plant-based foods, I always need a healthy supply of kale and arugula in the fridge, … and then there’s always my favorite, dark chocolate!  

Courtesy of Eoin Finn.
Courtesy of Eoin Finn.
NT: What have you found to be the most positive benefit from yoga?

EF: The most positive benefit of yoga to me is that I’ve felt the degree to which happiness can be accessed by changing our physiology.  At the very center of our being is a place that is very joyous and kind. Stress, tension and worry obscure our connection to it. Every stressful or negative thought causes something to change in our cellular tissues. 

Our mind is not just our brain. The mind and body connection is way more holistic than that.  Often we try and eliminate negative thought patterns using the mind. This sometimes works sometimes and often doesn’t because it’s the mind that got us into a rut in the first place. 

I’ve found yoga to be 100% effective to release the “issues in our tissues.” It’s amazing but by even our second sun salutation, there is a voice in our head that says, “I used to be stressed about something but I can’t quite remember what right now…”

Then by the end of the yoga practice when we really relax, we realize that trying to find happiness and love is like biting our own teeth. You can’t chase the thing you are made of. 

SEE ALSO: The Health Benefits of Yoga

NT: What would be your advice to people who may be in a rut right now in terms of health and happiness?

EF: This is related to the previous question: Change your body and your mind will follow. When we feel better physically it is incredible how much changes. I would prefer people go to yoga because of the exercise and relaxation component. It’s the ten minutes to de-stimulate ourselves that makes the yoga practice different from other endorphin releasing activities like jogging. Then make a commitment to doing this daily. Find a friend to keep you accountable to taking this time to get healthy and share the experience with them.  

Then I would say that daily “Nature Appreciation Moments” are key. To do this you need to relax and get quiet in the presence of something beautiful in nature. Find a tree in a park that you love, a beach, a forest. Then try not to busy yourself. Just relax and be. Only a few minutes will really synchronize your whole body with the wisdom of the natural world.  You will feel awe for things that used to feel mundane.  There will be a joy and a gratitude that will propel you through your days. I call it the “transmission of the beautiful!”

To learn more about Eoin Finn and ways to find your bliss, check out his website here.  

Reach Health and Wellness Editor Lizzie Pereira here, and on Twitter here



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