These three books will help you get back on track as New Year's Resolutions flag.
Sunday’s screen time notification got you down? If the amount of time your eyeballs have been glued to a screen has gone up drastically since March 2020, you’re not alone. But all that doomscrolling and blue light isn’t healthy, as any mental health professional and eye doctor will tell you. Instead of your phone or computer, pick up a book at the end of your next workday, and bust the quarantine rust with a self-improvement topic. These Sarasota wellness professionals have a few recommendations to get you started on bettering yourself with books.
Liana Sheintel Bryant, yoga instructor
Bryant is the owner of Rosemary Court Yoga and has been teaching since the early 2000s. Her top recommendation is “Living Your Yoga” by Judith Lasater, and it’s not just for yogis.
“It brings yoga philosophy into everyday life and takes the principles of yoga beyond the mat,” Bryant said. “It takes the concept of trying to clear your mind and trying techniques you can use in everyday life and talks about how you relate to yourself, self judgment, how you relate to others, compassion and how you relate to the world at large.”
Each day (chapter) starts out with a quote from Lasater’s practices over the years — March 23 is “Healthy things are sometimes painful, but not all painful things are healthy” — followed by practices both yogic and practical to incorporate into your day. For example, on a day focused on compassion, Lasater suggests going out to volunteer in your community or trying a challenging yoga pose to focus on compassion to yourself. It’s a short, digestible bit of reading every day that guides you towards a more centered life.
“It’s good and well rounded for somebody who’s just beginning a yoga practice,” she said.
Further reading: "Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit" by Donna Farhi. This book focuses more on poses and the correct alignment, but Bryant said she can’t imagine any yoga book that doesn’t touch on the calming philosophies of the practice.
Bonni London, nutritionist
London is a nutritionist who runs London Wellness. She works with clients to change diets to lose weight, get healthier or address health problems. A lot of her work comes down to changing her clients’ habits; thus, she recommends “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones” by James Clear.
“It’s like a cheat sheet I give to people,” London said. “Something works differently for everyone, and it takes different things to get people to change.”
London recommends this one to anyone, not just those trying to change their eating habits. She likes to turn back to the book to help her as she works to become a better writer. The No. 1 nugget, she says, is that you must set your system up for success. In her case, that means mindfully reading and beginning to think of herself as a writer, rather than someone who would like to be a writer.
“I am a crazy reading person,” London said. “I probably read a book every week and a half. If I recommend a book, that means I think it’s over the top because I read so much.”
Further reading: London also recommends “Why We Get Sick,” “The Circadian Code,” “Eat Smarter,” “Sacred Cow” and “Healthy Deviant,” all of which focus on health via nutrition.
Lisa Baskfield, CBD consultant and pilates instructor
Baskfield owns and runs Nature’s Gem CBD and teaches pilates out of her Longboat Key storefront. She is hands on with her customers and, as an athlete herself, works with them to find the best treatment plan for woes including neuropathy, joint inflammation and common athlete injuries, such as plantar fasciitis. When she was down and out with a stress fracture, she found the group Another Mother Runner, which is a support group for women who want to continue as athletes as they age and become mothers.
“Going from a runner to nothing, my road to recovery was really because of those ladies,” Baskfield said. “They’re good inspiration for other women, [and] they kind of run the whole gamut.”
Baskfield oftens works with older clients on Longboat Key, and her CBD company sponsors an elite runner who is a mother, so the ideas dovetail well. She enjoys the idea of helping people restart after time away from fitness, which might describe many tired locals at the tail end of the pandemic.
Further reading: Baskfield actually recommends trying a podcast when you don’t have a book in your hand. While navigating Sarasota traffic, she puts on podcasts by Steven Cabral, such as “The Cabral Concept,” which tackles health-related aging, weight loss and wellness questions. Baskfield has a few episodes she recommends to clients to get them inspired.