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Wellness Warrior: Nadine McNeil Shares Her At-Home Health Rituals

To celebrate World Health Day (7 April), we caught up with Nadine McNeil, founder of the BadAsana Series, Bali-based yogi and all-around wellness guru for her healthy tips and tricks. Nama-stay at home!

Nadine McNeil is no stranger to moments of crisis. A global gallivanter who goes by the moniker Universal Empress online, she was the former UN Chief of Operations in the Central African Republic and UNICEF humanitarian who is now based in Bali as a yoga instructor and personal coach. 

Nadine discovered yoga in 2001 after facing the tragedies and fallout of 9/11, and as we find ourselves in the middle of another global upheaval, she answers our Q’s on her home wellness rituals, go-to online trainers and yoga routines to stay grounded during uncertain times.

What does your daily routine look like?

I follow the six basic yogic principles: proper breath, diet, rest, exercise, positive thinking, prayer and meditation. Upon rising each morning, I take 1000 mg of Vitamin C along with room temperature lime water. I practice intermittent fasting unofficially—simply because it’s not been intentional. By honouring the natural cycles of my body, food intake occurs between 1pm and 6pm daily. Throughout the day, I hydrate my body by consuming several glasses of warm water. I make sure to listen to the inner wisdom of my body and when she tells me she’s tired, I allow her to rest.

With more time at home how have you been staying active?

Ashtanghi Guru Pattabhi Jois, would often refer to the words from the Bhagavad Gita: practice and all is coming. Bali has not yet gone into complete lockdown so whenever I can, I take walks in nature which also helps to soothe my mind.

I move my body daily; through yoga, dancing, jumping on the trampoline or practicing my signature BadAsana Series that integrates yoga with light to medium weights intelligently throughout the practice. Occasionally, I may drop into an online class—there are so many incredible ones out there these days. 

On that, what online resources do you recommend for the home gurus? 

Of course, I’d recommend my very own 21-day reset program that offers different tiers of support [starting at open level yoga practice to personal coaching sessions].

The Yoga Barn is offering classes online via Facebook Live, and I also teach yoga classes and host a weekly women’s circles via Zoom and IG Live (check out one of the Vinyasa Yoga classes I taught recently).

If you’re new to meditation, the guided program offered by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey is perfect. For inspiration: I love tuning into Brene Brown on YouTube. Two of her books I recommend are: Braving the Wilderness and Dare to Lead. Both are super relevant during these times.

My personal coach Lisa Nichols also has a wealth of awe-inspiring material available on her YouTube channel and website—Motivating the Masses. She speaks powerfully to the topic of abundance, an essential one these days.  

Other than all the amazing online resources on hand now, how else have you been keeping your moods up? 

Vitamin D is super important. If you’re able to spend a few minutes in the sunshine daily, this will serve to elevate your mood. My meditations and prayers have become my cornerstones. I meditate for up to 20 minutes each night before bed and upon rising, I listen to an inspirational prayer and worship, followed by a guided meditation.  

Also, music! It’s the food of love. I listen to a whole range of music—everything from classical to gospel to Hindu chants to of course the music that flows in my Jamaican veins, reggae!

Are there any stand out products that you incorporate into your wellness routine?

Yes! Vitamin C, zinc, B-complex, acidophilus, a high-quality multivitamin, good quality coconut oil for skin and daily oil pulling. I also make a daily cocktail of garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, lime juice, oregano oil, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup or honey. After washing my hands, I apply two drops of Doterra’s On Guard essential oil into my palms and rub them together. 

What’s the first thing you’ll do once we make it through?

As soon as I can, I’ll visit my mother in Jamaica who is due to turn 80 in June. There are no words to describe the extent to which I’m missing her right now. 

Follow Nadine @universalempress on Instagram and check out her website for more yoga classes and wellness programs.

Need more insider tips? Get your hands on our Bali Guide

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