Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle may be the newest member of the British royal family, but she’s no stranger to the spotlight. “My dad was a lighting director and director of photography for Married … with Children,” Meghan has said. “Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set … I will always find my light.”
In 2011, Meghan found the national spotlight on the hit TV series Suits, but the California native knew she “wanted more.” Mission accomplished: Five years later, she met Prince Harry. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love,” the 37-year-old said. “I’m still the same person.”
How does the leading lady turned royal highness stay so naturally grounded? Her mother deserves some of the credit. “My mom was a yoga instructor, so that practice is in my blood,” Meghan said. “It’s sort of my thing … as much for my head as my body.”
As a celebrity, Meghan understands the importance of looking good for the camera, but her definition of feeling good is entirely different. “Being in shape just means feeling confident,” she’s said. “Being happy with your size and being kind to yourself … that’s part of being in shape, too.” Meghan achieves mental and physical harmony in several ways. She’s a big believer in meditation, though she doesn’t sit still or go inward in a traditional sense.
“Running has always been my form of moving meditation,” she said. “I need it as much to clear my head as for keeping in shape.” Typically, runners have better overall mental health. Medical studies have proven that running releases endorphins that can act as natural painkillers. It also improves sleep, which also helps relieve anxiety and reduce stress.
“My health, my state of mind, the feeling you have after a workout,” Meghan said. “It’s all about the balance… It’s crazy how it trickles into everything in your life.”
Now that she’s royalty, Meghan tends to keep her workouts indoors. Fortunately, she has quite a few healthy interests. “I love an intense vinyasa class,” she said of the perpetual motion yoga process. “Breathing slowly and mindfully.”
Meghan’s also a huge fan of Pilates. “It’s hands-down the best thing you could do for your body,” the duchess has said. “Your body changes immediately.” Whether or not you go to a gym, Meghan advises perspiring tension away. “Sit in an infrared sauna,” she’s suggested. “Sweat out all the toxins.”
Unlike conventional saunas that use hot rocks and water to produce steam, infrared saunas use special heat lamps that mimic the curative properties of sunlight. Some benefits can include healthier skin, muscle and joint relief and better circulation.
Meghan’s also a big supporter of acupuncture and cupping; both natural Chinese therapies that stimulate the flow of “chi,” or energy, within the body. Acupuncture uses tiny needles inserted into the skin. Cupping uses cups that provide suction against the skin. “I used to have debilitating migraines,” she admitted. “Acupuncture and Eastern medicine absolutely changed my life.”
Both methods have been scientifically proven to naturally ease or eliminate many common complaints, often with just a few one-hour sessions. The ancient techniques access pathways that trigger the brain to “turn off” the pain.
Even though her personal standards are fit for a king, the duchess knows it’s best to have a dependable entourage. “Surround yourself with people who live a healthy lifestyle,” she’s said. “It rubs off.”