Build on these five pillars for your foundations of wellbeing…

Join Times wellbeing guide, Lucy Parker, from Flow Tunbridge Wells, for the next six weeks as she helps you to build your own five wellbeing pillars to abide by for a happier, healthier you

In the first part of my new six-week feature, I’m going to discuss the five pillars you live your life by, and ask if you’ve ever even thought about it. According to the Sivananda School of Yoga, there is a model of five pillars, or principals of focus points that, when adhered to, can help you remain in an optional balanced state of holistic health. Sounds pretty cool eh? Well, honestly, it is!

So, over the following weeks, we’re going to focus on these five pillars one at a time to see if together we can construct a bespoke lifestyle map that will help you keep on an even keel and stay, happy, healthy, and steady, whatever the weather.

Now, if you were to be part of the Sivananda School of Yoga you would have a very particular lens through which you would view the following five pillars. You would also know what this particular yogic school was all about.

Let me help you out a little here. Sivananda Yoga began in India and was expanded globally by a devotee of Swami Sivananda in the late 1950s. Sivananda himself began his career as a dedicated physician running a hospital in Malaysia from 1913 to 1923. Later returning to India where he began a life as a monk before establishing an ashram where his teachings were shared and adopted by many followers,
he died in 1963.

One of the key premises of the Sivananda School is its focus on the five pillars that were taught to be of equal importance and, when balanced correctly, assure a healthy and fulfilled life.

It’s interesting to see that these five pillars have been adopted and adapted by many health and wellbeing companies, including our own NHS. There are the inevitable adjustments and alternations made to suit each audience’s particular needs and yet the principle of five and the premise of offering a set of guidelines for a healthy life remain. As we go through the pillars together week by week, I actively recommend that you make your own refinements, creating just the right recipe with the right balance of ingredients to suit your taste. The key point here is that five is the magic number and it’s for you to build your five and then adhere to them.

The pillars are:

1. Right exercise

2. Right breathing

3. Right thinking

4. Right nutrition

5. Right relaxation

Take a good hard look at this list and consider if you follow any of these seriously already, or if you have blind spots or weak links to your life support system. For example, how often do you stop to rest or focus on your breath? How regularly do you consciously consider what you eat and where the food you consume comes from? Do you meditate regularly to keep your mind healthy and strong, and do you do the same for your body?

My suggestion is to take a piece of paper and literally draw five pillars for yourself. Label them up and divide them each into 10 segments. Now give yourself a mark out of 10 for each pillar, for example giving a five for thinking, three for breathing and eight for exercise. Be honest with yourself and keep the piece of paper to reflect on both in six weeks, at the end of this feature, and then again in six months when it might be possible you’ve forgotten it, and equally possible you’ve boosted all five pillars up a notch or two!

Each week we will take a careful look into each of these five pillars individually to offer you some simple, quick and easy suggestions that you can adopt straight away to boost each one of your five pillars and strengthen your overall wellbeing for this year and beyond.

Remember, I’m here as your friendly local registered counsellor and coach and will be happy to welcome you to my Tunbridge Wells, Groombridge or online practice should you choose to work privately with me.

I also offer a free discovery call that can be booked via my website.

Lucy Parker, Coach, Counsellor, and Yoga Therapist

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter