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Our Next Chapter – A Letter from Amal Karl, CEO

The Integration of Mind, Body & Spirit

The year of 2020 will certainly go down in the books as one to remember. As I reflect on the year, I realise that those of you that have joined our journey more recently may not be aware of the story behind the company, so I will take this opportunity to briefly look back.   After receiving an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and support from healthcare practitioners on the quality of supplements that FxMed (NaturalMeds sister company), was sourcing since 1999, I set out to bring a similar offering of efficacious, research-backed supplements and education for health store retailers and pharmacies. So we teamed up with Nordic Naturals® in 2004, to bring their premium fish oils to New Zealanders, thus significantly raising the bar on retail supplements available in the market. This marked the beginnings of NaturalMeds, which has now grown to represent 15 leading nutraceutical brands, but remains a family-owned business comprising of a passionate and dedicated team with a shared vision. Looking ahead, it feels like a befitting time to add another dimension to our company chapter. As natural health retailers, you view your customers as a whole being, instead of a conglomerate of parts. Yoga, if understood at a deeper level, can help us connect these dots – for overall health and healing. The word yoga means ‘to unite’, and refers to the fusion of mind, body and spirit. Besides the well-known benefits of yoga, ranging from healing hip and back pain, supporting pregnancy and labour, and improving overall stress management, growing research demonstrates benefits such as improving cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes, promoting healthy mood and even longevity.

Yoga is Everywhere

Many of us incorporate yoga into our lives by attending classes at our local gym or studio, practicing breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness. But there is so much more to yoga, and if we treat it solely as a practice, then we are not realising its true power.   For me, yoga is a lifestyle or way of life – a system in its entirety to realise, and live to our full potential. If we start to incorporate yogic teachings into our daily lives, then we can experience more than the physical benefits of asanas or the management of stress and anxiety. When yoga becomes a lifestyle, it can help to improve and control our perceptions, interactions, mind, feelings, actions and behaviour.   Yoga offers us a pathway to manage the mind and help with our spiritual development. It helps us to develop the inner traits of equanimity and resilience, and rather than being so reactive, we can be in a place of calm, even when times are uncertain. The current pandemic has also highlighted our interconnectedness as a society, and the importance for us to be compassionate, kind and helpful towards one another – values which we tend to lose in the daily busyness of our lives, but are some of the founding principles for a true yoga practitioner. I personally began my yoga journey eight years ago, when I visited the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY), India. Founded in 1964, BSY is a premier institute for teaching yoga through its university programs, projects, medical research conducted in association with prestigious hospitals, and the immense amount of literature and resources generated through its Yoga Publications Trust. Over this time, our family has been fortunate to make a connection with BSY, as also Swami Nirajananda Saraswati – disciple of Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Sivananda Saraswati. We are delighted to share this wealth of wisdom that they have to offer, translated from ancient Indian scriptures (Vedas) with commentaries that make it relevant for the 21st century.   I have selected five titles that NaturalMeds will initially offer from BSY that I think will deepen your understanding of the art and science of yoga (refer to the brochure for more info). All proceeds will be donated back to BSY to support their untiring efforts through their community outreach programs, to provide basic life amenities to thousands of villagers, including food, clothing, healthcare and education for children. This supports our company objectives of giving back to the needy in our society, and as Swamiji says, ‘Be good, Do good’.  We trust that you will find reading these books a rewarding experience and hope they will support you in your personal yoga journey.  After a year of up and downs, we send our best wishes for a restful and joyous festive season with your loved ones. Yours in health and always in gratitude for your continued support, Amal Karl, CEO  

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