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Letter from Publisher

Peggy Malecki

As I write you this month, my office window is open to the sounds of late summer in my neighborhood. Cicadas continue to trill their up and down crescendo chorus (I hope you enjoyed our article in the August issue about local singing insects). A lawnmower somewhere down the block, cars in the distance, noisy chipmunks, cooing mourning doves and a few squawking blue jays round out the effect. I’m trying to take it all in before we start that turn toward autumn.

Yet as we transition into fall, I go back to the word vitality, which back in my January letter, I proposed as a personal word of inspiration and resolution that we strive for throughout the year. Vitality is now a key word for recharging our personal batteries for the coming colder seasons. This month, we’re focused on various ways we can use proven strategies like bodywork and yoga to be more proactive in our health, counter and perhaps prevent some of the negative effects of stress, aging and everyday challenges on our bodies. In our main feature, writer Marlaina Donato provides a comprehensive guide to help ward off inflammation and premature cell death in “Age-Defying Bodywork: How to Turn Back the Clock.” She explains how fortifying our nervous system through massage, acupuncture and reflexology is critical to combating age-accelerating stress hormones like cortisol—and has been embraced by the medical mainstream.

We also celebrate September as National Yoga Month with Donato’s take on “The Power of Yoga: Tapping Into the Life Force.” Another potent stress-buster, yoga’s contribution to mind-body fitness is proving to be a reliable defense against age-related loss of mobility, cardiovascular disease and depression. Yoga takes on many forms, and each has its benefits. Several local experts have contributed this month to our yoga feature. As you’ll learn, yoga principles can help to invigorate us when we wake up, guide busy moms through a hectic week and even improve our golf game! For those with physical and other challenges, adaptive yoga can bring great benefits as well.

Of course, what we choose to eat is also at the forefront of the mind-body connection, and we love to bring you new ways to eat healthy and enjoy the season’s local bounty. You may have noticed that in addition to the always enticing seasonal produce recipes we feature, we’ve recently added a gluten-free recipe section. This month, we also focus on Ayurvedic cooking, an ancient system wherein food is medicine; the menu is seasonal and local, and timing and preparation are critical to rebalancing our health.

How are you preparing for the upcoming change in seasons? What routines invigorate and nourish you? Please let us know via email at [email protected] or connect on Facebook @Natural Awakenings Chicago Magazine, and on Twitter and Instagram @NAChicago. While you’re there, please like, follow and share!

As always, I encourage you to get outside and enjoy our late summer in the Chicago area. It’s a great time to visit a local natural area to discover the late-season colors and watch the migration of birds through our area.

                  Onward to September!