Sites We Love: Sonima

People who define wellness as doing those activities that feel good and support vitality will enjoy the health site Sonima.

The site’s slogan is “Live fit, live free,” and it perfectly encapsulates its mission of making wellness accessible and practical.

Many people think of fitness as chiseled abs, green smoothies, and marathons, but true wellness is a state of being that involves activating your highest potential for wellness.

People living with chronic pain may feel frustrated when society’s definition of wellness seems to exclude you by nature of having a chronic condition.

But never fear, by considering wellness as a more relative condition rather than absolute, you can achieve peace of mind, a level of physical fitness that’s right for you, and a feeling of being whole. Sonima defines fitness as:

“Doing what you can do, each day, to reduce the limits on your bodies and minds. It’s about achieving physical and mental freedom one step at a time.”

Who is behind Sonima?

Founder Sonia Jones decided to take her passion for wellness to the next level in 2011 by teaming up with Salima Ruffin to create the Sonima Foundation, which helps underserved schools access health and wellness programs.

The website emerged from the Sonima Foundation and features articles on topics including yoga and meditation, physical fitness, recipes, and educational videos.

How can Sonima help me feel better?

The site’s array of content includes mouth-watering recipes, yoga videos, health news, and articles with Sonima’s trademark, practical wellness advice, such as improving sleep hygiene when the typical recommendations don’t fit your lifestyle.

Best-in-field experts share their top tips

Some wellness sites feature articles from people without top credentials in their field, but Sonima gravitates toward the most renowned leaders so the information you get is top-notch.

Featured experts include mind-body medicine expert Dr. Deepak Chopra, who has meditations on the site, yoga teacher R. Sharath Jois, whose grandfather is Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the father of Ashtanga yoga, and Pete Egoscue, a pain and anatomy expert.

How does this site help people manage chronic pain?

Incorporating as many wellness practices as possible into your life helps to reduce pain in many ways. Often, it starts with bolstering the foundations.

Implementing Sonima’s practical tips on sleep hygiene, for example, will help you feel more rested and possibly in less pain. The array of beautifully photographed, inspiring recipes will help you fuel your body and make it a climate more conducive to feeling good than feeling pain.

Sonima also offers an entire fitness section devoted to reducing pain. Resources include a selection of exercises designed to reduce the risk of knee injuries and articles like this one, discussing the importance of the little known, but influential psoas muscle.

This psoas muscle is integral to a strong core, running from the lumbar spine all the way through the pelvis and attaching to the upper thigh. It helps to stabilize the spine and encourage proper body alignment.

This muscle is also connected to the stress response, and pain in this area may be related to emotional trauma, according to Sonima.

This is just a small selection of the insightful, helpful articles available on the site that could give pieces of essential information to change your experience of wellness.

Keep in mind that implementation is the most important, and the most difficult, part. It’s wonderful to learn new information, but the critical step is taking what you learned and applying it to your life to enhance it.

What other types of information will I find on Sonima?

The website is divided into several sections: yoga, fitness, food, meditation, and videos.

Within each of those categories, you’ll find subcategories. For example, the yoga section includes full-length classes, tutorials for specific poses, and inspiration, such as ways of incorporating yoga philosophy into real life.

The article “What ‘Drishti’ Can Teach Us in Yoga and Life,” for example, talks about yoga’s concept of drishti, which means gaze or point of focus, and how changing our viewpoint in life can help us feel more peaceful.

The fitness section includes workouts and the aforementioned section on pain and healing, the food section includes recipes, nutrition tips, and cooking videos, and the meditation section features guided meditations and inspiration for mindful living.

In the mindful living section, check out the article “The 5 Aspects Of Life That Contribute To True Happiness,” that talks about the importance of key aspects: spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, and rational.

This holistic approach to happiness is much deeper and more well-rounded than what the article calls “outdated notions of psychology” that attribute happiness only to the thoughts that we think.

You’ll also find practical approaches to potentially taboo topics that people don’t like to talk about, but that still influence mental health and wellness. The article, “How To Overcome Jealousy And Truly Be Happy For Others,” for example discusses how it’s natural to feel envy when hearing about others’ joy, and how feeling that we’re flawed because of this natural feeling only compounds the problem.

To cultivate joy for others’ happiness, we can try practices like seeing the bigger picture, and understanding that the joyous one has also experienced hardships and barriers to happiness, Sonima recommends. When we see other people through a more complete lens of compassion, creating the feeling of happiness becomes easier.

What makes Sonima special?

Tips like these may not normally fall into the category of what you might consider wellness, but adopting a holistic view of health mirrors the Arizona Pain philosophy that managing pain requires paying attention to a host of lifestyle factors.

Sonima is special in that it takes holistic wellness and incorporates Buddhist principles and yoga philosophy with modern medicine and practical health tips. Many other sites focus on science-driven information without offering an Eastern perspective or they emphasize the New Age side of alternative health while skimping on time-tested philosophical perspectives.

With Sonima, you get them all.

Have you visited Sonima? What is your favorite wellness site or blogger?

Image by Mike Vance via Flickr