Charlotte Watts is a Nutritional Therapist with over 10 years’ experience, Yoga Teacher since 2006 with nearly 20 years’ practice. She also has personal experience of the issues that she teaches on and writes about. Having been plagued by health problems all her life, she discovered the importance of dietary and lifestyle changes for herself and how these can profoundly affect your outlook and motivation. Her passion for yoga and nutrition gave rise to the desire to share what she was learning through her teaching and writing.
I believe that nutrition is one of the most important foundations for health and enjoyment of life, but that alone it cannot create an optimally functioning body. My own practices and teaching of yoga, movement, mindfulness, meditation and breath techniques have shown myself and countless clients that a holistic approach to well being is necessary to find balance and resilience. Charlotte Watts
The De-Stress Effect is packed with insightful and life-changing information about stress, its effects and how to bring about lasting lifestyle changes. It contains mindfulness and yoga content, a whole new chapter on food cravings, weaving in the latest neuroscience and expanding out to creating a fully holistic system.
The fast pace of modern life and the constant pressure we find ourselves living under can keep us locked into patterns of giving in to food cravings, negative habits and self-criticism and to keeping our minds and bodies on constant alert. Charlotte Watts’ aim is to offer a resource that takes the reader through a transformative process to find new relationships with their body, food and health attitudes. This new revolution in eating, exercise and relaxation has the potential return the individual to vibrant health by gently bringing balance back to body and life.
In this book, Charlotte Watts sheds light on the connection between the gut and the brain, explaining the links between stress, trauma and digestive issues and demonstrating how yoga with its focus on stilling the mind can have profound effects on conditions such as IBS, IBD, acid reflux, colitis, diverticulitis and more.
Digestive issues are widespread and prove difficult to address through mainstream medicine. However, this volume provides yoga, movement and medical professionals with a solid understanding of the digestive system in relation to breath, mindfulness, posture, anatomy, movement, stress and trauma. The book is fully illustrated with clear diagrams and instructions, making it accessible to anyone with an interest in this area. Discover how breath awareness allows the breath to drop into the belly and diaphragm, which is essential for good digestive function.
Yogamatters took this opportunity to find out more about Charlotte Watts, what brought her to writing in the first place and the motivation behind her work.
How did you come to write your first book ‘The De-Stress Effect’?
I had been trying to find ways to meld nutrition and yoga since I came to both in my twenties to help me recover from chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, IBS, migraines and insomnia. This lead me to come to understand how much the type of psycho-social stress we face in the modern world plays in mental and physical health issues. The thread of mindfulness allowed me to join what we eat and how we move, especially in terms of our relationships with our bodies and food, and tendencies for racing minds and sugar cravings.
What feedback have you had about how that book has helped/affected individuals?
Responses have been great and what I hoped from the book – that they have found understanding of why they may intend to do one thing health-wise, but then find themselves compulsively locked into cycles of craving and behaviour. Our conditionings from a young age can have us treading the same patterns over and over again. I’m so happy that it has truly helped people to unravel the stress loops and anxiety they have experienced long-term and find calm and peace in the way they want to live – as well as relief from stress-related symptoms!
What led you to write about Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health?
This book is the culmination of both my yoga and nutrition work, with such an interest in the gut microbiome, the gut-brain axis, the enteric nervous system (‘second brain’ in the gut) and the amazing fact that our gut and neural (nervous system) tissue develop together in the womb. Yoga is the perfect expression for exploring and changing how these communications can become derailed and lead to digestive issues. This book reflects my own journey with digestion; that a journey into our gut is an amazing route into our relationship with the world around us and all about our deeper sense of safety.
Who is this book aimed at?
Although this book was predominantly written for yoga teachers and experienced practitioners, there is a wealth of information for those wanting deeper knowledge of how the aspects such as movement, breath, posture, stress, trauma, fascia, interoception and proprioception affect the digestive system. I find it fascinating how aspects of yoga philosophy mirror our growing understanding of gut feelings and responses – I think the body psychotherapy content the book explores will be of great interest to anyone who can recognise that our health is bound up in our development from childhood.
Do you have any ideas for your next writing project yet?
Yes, there is a project that has been in development for a while now… but also I have another book out 20th December 2018 – ‘Good Mood Food’, all about how what we eat affects mood, motivation and how we cope with stress. I do love writing books!