Image by Jacob Lund

Yoga is so radical, it overturns everything you and I have accepted since we were children. We’ve been chugging along year after year based on completely hollow beliefs and assumptions. Some beliefs matter more than others. These are known as “core beliefs,” and when your core beliefs are wrong and misguided, trouble is always brewing—if not today, then in some worrisome future. To bring them closer to home, I’ll list the core beliefs we all take personally.

False core beliefs:

  • I don’t really matter. I am small, ordinary, and insignificant.
  • I deserve only so much love. At heart, I am probably unlovable. Life hasn’t been fair to me. That’s because life is unfair.
  • If I don’t look out for number one, no one else will.
  • There is much to fear in this world. Self-protection is very important.
  • If I show anyone that I am vulnerable, they will take advantage. I need to seem strong and independent.
  • The forces of nature are all-powerful. I will be fortunate if some natural disaster doesn’t befall me.
  • The universe is a vast, cold, empty void. The Earth and everyone on it are less than a speck of dust, a product of random events going back to the Big Bang.

These beliefs undermine everyone’s life. They are ingrained in us early on, and they have sunk so deep into our sense of self that they hardly deserve a second glance. If you accept the unreality that Yoga rejects, your core beliefs will seem completely logical. Look around you or listen to the 24-hour news cycle. Isn’t life unfair? Don’t each of us deserve only a limited amount of love? Isn’t the Earth a speck of dust floating in a cold, empty void?

Royal Yoga holds out an ideal life based on a new set of core beliefs. These are literally the opposite of the false core beliefs we have all been mistakenly living by.

True core beliefs:

  • Your existence is based on an infinite field of consciousness. It is your source.
  • Your true self has access to infinite possibilities.
  • At your source, you are connected to infinite love and bliss. Your true self is immune to fear, depression, aging, and death. You are always completely safe. There is nothing to worry about.
  • You have no need to project an image of strength and independence. You have no need to project any image at all.
  • The Earth and everything on it have a unique place in the tapestry of reality, woven by cosmic consciousness.

When people read these statements about an ideal life, they immediately assume they are merely someone else’s beliefs, like the beliefs that underlie organized religion. Many would say that the entire issue of spirituality rests upon belief alone.

It is impossible to accept Christianity unless you affirm the divinity of the resurrected Jesus, or so St. Paul declared in his letters to the early churches. It is impossible to accept Buddhism unless you affirm the Buddha’s enlightenment and the existence of Nirvana. In the same way, to accept Yoga, you must affirm your own infinite standing in creation. From the perspective of everyday life, this seems like too much to swallow.

But nothing about the ideal life is a belief akin to religious beliefs. What’s at stake is reality. Beliefs pertain to how you feel about reality. Yoga declares as a fact that every human being is embedded in a field of infinite potential. By squeezing our infinite potential down into small, manageable compartments, we are guilty only of being part of the mainstream of human beings.

But Yoga doesn’t care about the mainstream or about how you have lived in the past. In the worldview of Yoga, the infinite is always with us; in fact, it is our source. Nothing we do to squeeze our lives down to a manageable size has the slightest effect on reality, and the highest reality is what Royal Yoga is ultimately all about.



Besides the well-known symptoms—like constant thirst and a frequent need to urinate—here are less obvious symptoms that could be warning signs of diabetes.

Depending on what type of diabetes you have, it can take anywhere from weeks to years for symptoms to develop. While type 1 diabetes symptoms can appear in just a few weeks or months, symptoms of type 2 diabetes can take several years to develop.

While your symptoms may be typical, like increased thirst and urination, there are also more unusual symptoms of diabetes you may have, like gum disease and hearing changes. 

Receiving a diagnosis as soon as possible means that you can start managing your diabetes sooner, reducing the risks of complications. So because the unusual diabetes symptoms may be disease warning signs, it is important to know what they are.

Unusual Diabetes Symptoms

At the time of diagnosis, people may have the more classic symptoms of diabetes like fatigue, increased urination, and excessive thirst and hunger. But there are several other symptoms of diabetes that might be warning signs of the condition but that seem less obvious.


Periodontitis is a serious form of gum disease where the gums pull away from the tooth. This can cause teeth to loosen or fall out.

Periodontitis is two to three times more common in people with diabetes than in those without. The gum disease is not only more common, but it’s also likely to progress more quickly and be more severe among those with diabetes.

The relationship appears to be a two-way street: while diabetes can worsen periodontitis, periodontitis can be a risk factor for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), a defining factor of diabetes. In fact, periodontitis has been associated with higher A1C levels, which tell you your average blood sugar numbers over the past three months.

Chronic inflammation is the central feature in the progression of both diabetes and periodontal disease. People with diabetes and periodontitis have higher inflammatory markers.

The inflammation in diabetes may be a contributing factor as to why the bones that support your teeth are destroyed. That bone loss marks the most serious stage of periodontitis, when teeth can loosen or fall out.  

Skin Changes

Certain skin conditions can be the first sign that you have diabetes.

One example is acanthosis nigricans. This is a velvety, dark, often thick patch on the skin that commonly develops in the creases or folds of skin, such as the back of the neck, the axilla (where the arm connects to the shoulder), and the groin. These patches can also occur on the hands, feet, elbows, and knees.

An increase in insulin levels can cause acanthosis nigricans. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose (blood sugar) into cells for energy. Sometimes the cells resist the insulin and, in response, more insulin is produced. Increased insulin levels is an indication of insulin resistance, which is a precursor to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Other types of skin conditions that may be a warning sign of diabetes include:

  • Digital sclerosis: This appears as thick patches of skin that make the skin feel stiff. Most commonly, it develops on the back of the hand, but it can also be on the forehead, feet, and fingers. About a third of people with type 1 diabetes will have it.
  • Eruptive xanthomatosis: These bumps appear as firm, yellow, and pea-like. They have a red halo and can itch. They often appear on the feet, arms, buttocks, and back of hands. It is common among men with type 1 diabetes.  
  • Diabetic blisters: These are rare and look like a burn blister, but they usually don’t cause pain. The blisters can develop on the fingers, hands, toes, feet, and sometimes forearms. They clear up in a few weeks, typically without scarring.  
  • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum: These sores are usually large, deep, painful, and itchy. They start as a small raised red lump that can begin to appear like a shiny scar with a violet border. The condition—which is caused by blood vessel changes—is rare, with adult women with diabetes being the most likely to develop it.

Frequent Infections

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing infections.

This can include bacterial infections like those around the nails or those of the hair follicles, as well as boils and styes (when the glands of the eyelids are infected). Different bacteria can cause these infections, but the most common is Staphylococcus (Staph).
Fungal infections can also be more common. Most often, these infections are caused by a fungus called Candida, a type of yeast. These infections can present as jock itch, ringworm, vaginal yeast infection, and athlete’s foot.
Frequent infections may occur due to a combination of high blood sugar levels creating an environment for bacteria to grow and weakening immune response.
One of the most common sites for infection in diabetes is the urinary tract. This can be because diabetes impairs the immune system or because the diabetes has affected nerves to a degree where the bladder no longer completely empties.

Vision Changes

Certain vision changes can be a sign that your blood sugars are elevated. Excess sugar can damage the small vessels in the eye and cause changes in fluid, affecting vision clarity.

Some of the earliest vision changes can include blurry vision or having trouble reading or seeing objects that are far away. If not addressed, the vision changes can worsen and you might see dark, floating spots or streaks.

Hearing Changes

People with diabetes are also at increased risk of hearing loss. In fact, diabetes doubles your risk of hearing loss. This is due to nerve damage in your ears that high or low blood sugar can cause.

Long-term high blood sugar may damage small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. Long-term low blood sugar can damage the way nerve signals are sent from the inner ear to your brain.

Bed Wetting in Children 

Children who are already potty-trained and able to sleep through the night without accidents may start wetting the bed a couple times a week. This situation is known as nocturnal enuresis and could be a sign of an underlying condition like type 1 diabetes.

Nocturnal enuresis is actually a typical symptom of type 1 diabetes in children, but one that parents or caregivers might not automatically connect to a potential type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Because the onset of type 1 diabetes symptoms in youth can be sudden and, if not treated promptly, become a medical emergency, it is an important symptom to note.

The increase in urination is usually accompanied by increased thirst and hunger as well as weight loss.

A Quick Review

Increased thirst, hunger, and urination are some of the symptoms most commonly associated with diabetes. But there are many other symptoms that someone with diabetes can experience that you might not automatically tie to the disease. Some of the more unusual symptoms of diabetes include gum disease, dark patches of skin, and an increase in infections.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetes—especially if you are at higher risk for the disease—visit a healthcare provider to figure out what’s causing your symptoms. Early detection and treatment is important for improving your quality of life, reducing the risk of complications, and prolonging or preventing the progression of diabetes.


Graphic by mbg creative / Robert Waldinger

According to Robert Waldinger, M.D., quality relationships are the foundation of a longer, happier, healthier life. And he would know: The psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, Zen practitioner, and author of The Good Lifecurrently runs the longest study of adult life that’s ever been done. Yes, you read that right. Waldinger is the director of the 85-year long Harvard Study of Adult Development, where he investigates over 2,000 participants to answer the question, What makes a good life? (It turns out, your relationships play a pretty powerful role.)

Of course, creating and maintaining successful relationships is a lot easier said than done. In fact, Waldinger says we’re all a bit lacking when it comes to deep social connection—so on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, he offers a few tips to create genuine, long-lasting bonds. Find his advice below.

1. Don’t forget about casual companionship. 

Yes, deep relationships matter when it comes to your health—but those casual, everyday experiences may matter just as much. “We didn’t think they did, but people have begun to study this very systematically1,” Waldinger explains. “The people you might see every day but don’t really know that well or the people you might see once a week—[like] the cashier at the supermarket…When you exchange pleasant words with those people, you get little hits of happiness that turn out to be important for your sense that life is good.” 

That said, say hello to your neighbors. Chat with the coffee shop barista. Exchange words with the person who delivers your mail. These interactions may sound simple, but they have profound effects on your well-being. 

2. Frequent shared spaces. 

You hear it all the time: If you want to make friends, just put yourself out there! Waldinger encourages this literally: “If you put yourself in situations where you encounter the same people repeatedly, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation, and you’re more likely to continue those conversations or deepen them,” he says. Perhaps that’s another reason why community-based wellness centers have become so popular over the last year.

His advice goes hand-in-hand with finding a sense of purpose. If you engage in an activity you care deeply about—volunteering, gardening, a book club, or even a bowling league—you will likely meet people with those shared interests. “You have something in common, and you’re more likely to rub elbows over and over again,” he adds. “It doesn’t matter what it is. Just find something you love, and see if you can do it alongside other people.” 

3. Make online connections better. 

Online connection is better than no connection at all—you just have to figure out how to truly deepen those online relationships. See, technology allows you to be impersonal (it’s easy to pretend you’re just a floating head in cyberspace talking to another floating head on-screen). “Many of us have to figure out how to engineer a personal connection that would naturally happen [for example] in the office around the coffee machine,” says Waldinger. 

And in case you need a real-world example: “Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.,2 our U.S. Surgeon General, started something at his [virtual] staff meetings, where once a week one person takes five minutes to talk to the group about something in their personal life they’d like people to know about,” he explains. “It generates other conversations, because people know about each other’s lives. So that’s just one small way, but we want to try to build in more personal connection, even if it’s online.”

4. Nurture the relationships you have. 

“We take for granted that relationships will just take care of themselves,” Waldinger adds. Make no mistake: Even the deepest, longest relationships require some maintenance. “It turns out, friendships wither and die not because there’s anything wrong with the relationships, but just because they get neglected,” he adds. 

Consider this a sign to call your loved ones. Better yet: “Think of somebody you haven’t seen and kind of miss,” instructs Waldinger. “Take out your phone and just send them a little text saying, I was just thinking of you and wanted to say hi. Just do that and see what comes back. [It] takes you 30 seconds, and it’s a way to start that social fitness routine.” 

The takeaway. 

Don’t ignore the power of social connection when it comes to longevity. Plenty of experts (Waldinger included) believe purposeful relationships are paramount for a long and healthy life. So go ahead and share this episode with a friend—it might benefit your well-being.


%d bloggers like this: