CURE Q&A: RAJ BARKER
We recently chatted with health coach and yoga teacher Raj Barker to learn how she is coping during this difficult time in the world. Raj is a teacher of Yoga and The Class by Taryn Toomey and a Health Coach at The Well with an obsession for all things nutrition and wellbeing. She's Australian born and raised, now residing in The East Village, New York.
What's a nourishing snack that's keeping you sane right now?
Simple Mills Almond Crackers with Hummus.
What's a non-nourishing snack that's keeping you cozy right now?
Where do I begin? Most regularly, chocolate. Not the gourmet dark chocolate, but fully processed milk chocolate. Because Quarantine!
What's something (or someone) that unexpectedly inspired you recently?
Mario Selerno, a Brooklyn landlord who owns 18 apartment buildings. He cancelled rent for the month of April for all his tenants with the intention of alleviating stress. He told his tenants, "look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.” What a HERO!
How have your days changed?
All my jobs required face-to-face contact until now. My classes at The Class are now being streamed online from a room void of students with just myself and a camera. My health coaching sessions have also shifted from face-to-face to Zoom, as have my yoga and meditation offerings.
Share your best work from home tip.
Maintain a schedule. Try and rise at the same time every day and create some non-negotiables that you can adhere to every day. Eg: Morning matcha, consume 5 servings of vegetables throughout the day, take a 30 minute walk, and try to shower daily.
How do you stay moving while staying home?
I've been streaming classes that my friends and colleagues have been teaching. My main go-to's have been: @theclass @thesaltdrop with @cjfrogozo and yoga via @lindsayjoytyson from her different platforms.
The most fulfilling meal you've cooked for yourself.
Roasted veggies (sweet potato, cauliflower, and broccoli) tossed in salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast coupled with a seared piece of wild-caught salmon and half an avocado. Delish!
Tips for staying connected.
This app called MarcoPolo as well as weekly Zoom check-ins and FaceTime with family and friends have been a game-changer. My boyfriend is a nurse, so I have been quarantined from him but we have been Facetiming every night and watching Netflix through their new Netflix party feature which is also weirdly fun.
The best stretching or breathing exercise for stress and anxiety.
@thewell offers an IG Live guided meditation everyday at 10:30am. Even if I haven't been able to make the actual Live, it stays up for 24 hours so checking in with that has been super grounding. I also rely on yoga more than I ever have before (and before was a lot). For me, being guided by a teacher allows me to disengage from my thoughts. I have been loving the streams from Sky Ting and my friend @lindsayjoytyson 's offerings.
The strangest internet black hole you've gone on since this began.
Definitely on Instagram and definitely something to do with animals. Probably concerning otters. They are a sure fire way to lift any mood! I highly recommend @otter.page for a good time!
Photo Credit: @jaimiebaird for @theclass