Hello, my name is Ryan Hall and I am the owner of Vital Origins. I thought I would take some time to let you know a little bit about me and how I've come to be passionate about health and nutrition.
I grew up in a small town in Missouri. Healthy living wasn't exactly something I was exposed to, and things in life didn't come easy. However, my grandma, Alice, was my saving grace. I spent a lot of time at m grandma's, as my mother worked a lot to support us. My grandma cooked every meal, she had a garden, and a heart of care I have yet to see a rival to.
When I was 22 I left the little town I grew up in and moved to Santa Fe New Mexico. With it having the word Mexico in it, I didn't expect snow. I was wrong. I had never seen a mountain before, or the ocean. Now I lived on a mountain, and was soon to see both oceans.
Leaving home was the best thing I had ever done, and still one of the top 5. All of a sudden I was getting to travel and meet new and interesting people, see tons of breath taking art and scenery. There is something about New Mexico. They don't call it the land of enchantment for nothing.
While in New Mexico I began to trail run and started to become aware of the food I was putting into my body. I tried an experiment. I ate only organic food for a month and had no McDonalds or anything like that. I wanted to see if there was anything to it. There was. After that month I went and had a delicious green chile double cheeseburger from McDonalds. It was yummy, but I felt like poo.
I still had no idea about nutrition. I thought eating organic food most of the time was good, but I still stuffed my face with lots of processed food stuffs.
Also, while in NM I began to practice meditation and yoga. I had always heard the whispers of an unknown source. Now I started to try and figure out the language it spoke. I have been a practitioner ever since. The practice of meditation has been indispensable in my life, yoga too (they aren't really different things though, more on that later). These practices have helped me slow down and be with the movements of my life in a more genuine way. They have also helped me to learn a lot about myself. They have been a crucial tool in "coming home" in any place. Life can be crazy and difficult. Without the practices of mediation and yoga I would hate to think about where I'd be.
From Santa Fe I made my way to Boulder, CO and Naropa University. I had been having dreams of Naropa since I was 20 or so. I never thought I'd get to go. I was expelled from high school, got a GED, and attended a community college. I never thought I'd go to college. I was proud of myself for making it to the local community college. So when I got to go to Naropa I was stoked. While at Naropa I studied A LOT of yoga, buddhist meditation/psychology, as well as, contemplative traditions (the sect of traditions that engage in practices to discover the Truth). While at Naropa I received a 1000hr yoga teacher training certificate and took Jukai with the Rinzai Zen sangha, Hollow Bones under Junpo Denis Kelly Roshi. I had the great fortune of spending years of my life with some of the greatest teachers on the planet when it come to meditation and the practical application of realization to one's life and the world.
In my final semester I had a class with a gentleman named Eric Dorninger. It was an nutrition class disguised as an anatomy class. I was blown away about the amount of knowledge that he had about the way the human body works and the way food and lifestyle can impact it in a positive or negative way. This changed everything for me. I had been accepted to the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco where I had planned to study in great depth Hinduism and Sanskrit (I want to be able to read the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali in their original language). But, I hadn't the means to live in San Fran. I left Boulder and eventually made my way to Charlottesville, VA. The whole time I was pursuing a deeper understanding of physiology, nutrition and wellness in general. I had made many modifications to my diet and lifestyle. Getting rid of processed foods was super powerful for me. I began to experience a level of energy and mental clarity I didn't know what to do with.
I could hear the whispers in my heart directing me to cultivate a deeper understanding of the power of nutrition and lifestyle to manage dis-ease and create thriving. I could see a huge gap in "healthcare" where the knowledge of nutrition and lifestyle management could have world changing implications. I wanted to serve in a way that could heal that gap and the people that suffer because of it.
After searching through every nutrition program in the country there was one I kept coming back to. The Clinical Human Nutrition and Integrative Health Master's program from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. It has been another one of the top 5 decisions I have ever made. The program is cutting edge. Not rooted in the old outdated dogma and data of the past, and has afforded me to study, again, with some of the greatest teachers and practitioners in the world today. It has had exceedingly positive impacts in my and my families life as we have applied the gleanings from my education. It has been most powerful in helping to make sense and gain clarity to the truth of nutrition and the effects it has on the body. One reason I pursued this education was to gain insight to be able to sift through the overwhelming BS that is out there regarding appropriate human nutrition.
I, and Vital Origins, are here to ceaselessly bring the cutting edge of science and ancient wisdom to aid in healing from dis-ease and creating a well rounded lifestyle that supports your thriving. After all, we aren't just made to feel okay. We are built to passionately thrive in this world and our lives. Consider this your invitation.