The amazing Candace Moore of Yoga by Candace was in Dubai recently for XYoga. Viki Shah talks to her about her own healing story, her journey with Lyme Disease and the GAPS diet, her yoga guidance, and much more!
HOW DID YOGA HAPPEN TO YOU?
My mom took me to Kripalu, a world-renowned yoga centre in Massachusetts in the US, when I was 15 years old. I pretended I didn’t like it because I was just a bratty teenager but I actually loved it so much that from there on I developed a really strong love of yoga and began practicing then. Later in life, I was a school teacher and I would go to yoga to get my mind right and to have a good physical practice as well.
WHAT, ACCORDING TO YOU LED TO YOUR COMPLETE HEALING?
I think it was a combination of a bunch of different things. It was important to be an advocate for myself and always question what the doctor was telling me and making sure that we were working together for healing. If something didn’t feel right I wasn’t scared to ask a 2nd opinion from somebody else. I think it’s really nice to have a collaborative effort with a number of different people – it’s your body after all! What is important to me when it comes to healing is to have hope; I think if you are not in a great mind set and you are feeling depressed, you are feeling down, and you just feeling hopeless, that affects you physically for sure but when you are hopeful and when you have faith and you believe in yourself and you surround yourself with really great people that positively.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE GAPS DIET?
The Gaps Diet was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell- Mcbride who wrote this book called Guts and Psychology Syndrome which is GAPS and it’s a healing and sealing diet for a short term – maximum two years. It helps to heal the gut lining from Leaky gut syndrome. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system and the brain. When you have a leaky gut syndrome different things can pop up, it can be anxiety, mild depression, joint issues, so the idea is when you heal and seal the gut lining through the diet these symptoms often go away or at least decrease greatly. When I went to my doctor I had 22 symptoms and when I finished with the GAPS diet I had one symptom left! So, I completely credit the diet for those improvements. It also affected things that I didn’t consider were symptoms of Lyme disease. For example, I always had seasonal depression every winter; I would get very sad, very down and once I started the GAPS diet I never once got it again in winter. There is a lot of research out there that says there’s a very strong connection between the brain and the gut so when you can heal and support the gut you can also heal what’s going on mentally as well.
IS IT A TOUGH DIET TO DO?
No, it’s delicious and easy to make. There are lots of broths, a lot of well cooked food because that’s easier for your system to digest, and there are meat products. I had been a vegetarian and vegan on and off for about 13 years and I was really ill and willing to do anything, so I gave it a try. It wasn’t easy to switch over to eating meat products but I do credit it with where I am today, I feel healthier today than I felt before I got Lyme disease.
DURING THE STRUGGLE WITH LYME DID YOU EVER FEEL LIKE GIVING UP? AND WHAT MADE YOU CONTINUE?
I did. In my book Namaslay I write about this one time in my struggle with Lyme disease where I was so profoundly depressed I remember crying in the bath tub. I didn’t want to die but I didn’t want to exist anymore. I felt like there was no hope because Lyme disease affects everybody differently and my doctors couldn’t tell me when or if I would get better. That not knowing really got to me at a certain point. I was profoundly depressed and in addition to surrounding myself with good people, having a good team of doctors and trying to restore my faith in myself, in the idea that I will get better also, I also worked with a psychologist because I think I just needed some sort of outlet and somebody who was not a part of this situation to help me move forward. One of the other things I did was keep a journal, and I think that was really helpful to me to just write down everything I was feeling because as soon as it was out of me and onto the paper then I felt like I could separate myself from the pain and sadness I was experiencing.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST HOPE?
I would give them a big hug and tell them that you are never ever alone, there’s always somebody out there who either have been where you are or who feels your pain, I would encourage them to seek out support and help so that you know they don’t feel that sensation of being alone.
AND WHY NAMASLAY?
It is a word originating from Namaste meaning the light in me honors the light in you, but also the word slay. Sometimes I think we play too small and the idea of Namaslay is to be bigger, to step into your power. Every single one of us has something that we bring to the table, I do, you do, she does, everybody brings something to the table and so that slay part is about owning that. Just being very strong but mindful and loving as well.
CAN YOU GIVE US TIPS TO EAT HEALTHY WHILE ON THE MOVE?
What I try to do is pick foods that are similar to what I eat at home if possible, and then just have it in my mind that if there isn’t anything similar, it’s okay. One little meal on the road that you are not used to eating is not going to hurt you or kill you. Mentally, if you are not in a good spot about it, it might affect you physically, so it’s better to just say I did the best I could and I let that be enough.
Can you tell us the 10 ways to Namaslay? There are specific Namaslay commandments in my book.
10 NAMASLAY COMMANDMENTS:
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
- GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.
- CONTINUE TO LEARN.
- GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.
- DO THE LITTLE THINGS.
- MANIFEST GRATITUDE.
- BE A HELL YEAH PERSON.
- TAP INTO YOUR GREATNESS.
- DEFY YOUR LIMITS.
- TAKE NO SHIT.
For more exciting articles grab your own copy of May-June YogaLife Magazine 2018