Have you ever wondered why some yoga poses leave you feeling calm and balanced, while others make you feel less grounded than you were before class? Or why sometimes a restorative class can feel more energizing than go-to vinyasa class with that perfect playlist?
Ayurveda—India’s ancient holistic health system—offers some insight into this mystery, as well as some useful tips on how to know ahead of time what you’re in for when you step onto your mat. In fact, in our world of information overload and people being an “expert” on seemingly everything but themselves, the person-specific nature of this 5,000-year-old philosophy feels as pertinent as ever.
At one point or another, nearly everyone I work with mentions the challenges of mindful eating. From busy schedules and on-the-go "meals" to technological distractions to the awkwardness of eating with others as we seemingly take five minutes for each bite, eating mindfully can be a difficult practice. And yet, it is one that most people who are interested in meditation, yoga—any form of holistic heath and body awareness—want to develop.
Around the world people have written stories about fantastical beings and happenings that have amazed and inspired us for thousands of years. The ancient myths from Egypt, Greece, India and indigenous cultures across the globe tell the stories of gods, goddesses, angels, archangels, fairies, spirit guides and star beings who lived fantastical lives. These stories about unseen magic hold within them the ancient archetypes which we experience in our life's journey, opening us up to perceiving more of the magic already around us everyday.
Rituals are actions steeped in life purpose and passion. They are ceremonies big and small that reminds us of a larger reality; they invoke a visceral understanding of universal paradigms like unity, connectivity, reverence and awe. In this way, rituals are our lifeline to the divine.
Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word that translates to “the science of life,” originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It's a practice that believes everything in the universe is connected and that health is achieved by understanding our uniqueness while staying in alignment with the rhythm of the nature.
There are a few simple things we can all do to apply this wisdom to our daily lives. The beauty of Ayurveda is that the small tweaks make a big difference. It's not about doing everything at once rather trying a few things over time.
If you've looked into meditation within the past five or six years, you've likely noticed that there appear to be many types with differing instructions, focus, posture, etc. I, too, have observed this and have been approached by an increasing number of people wanting to know how to choose what's best for them. So what's the deal?
If waking up ready for the day is a foreign concept, midday crashes a regular occurrence and restlessness at bedtime a trend, it may be time to reset your clock. According to Ayurveda one of the keys to good health is living in tune with nature's cycles. This literally and energetically means rising and setting with the sun. It's a tall ask to do this nowadays, but there are more easeful ways to align your system more closely with the cycles of nature, like establishing morning and nighttime rituals known as dinacharya (dina - day, charya - routine).
It's funny to imagine our lives as something we spend a lot of time avoiding, because it seems like that would be impossible to do. Our lives consist of everything we engage in, from showering to sleeping, but also a lot of busy work that distracts us and keeps us from looking at our lives. Experiencing our life from the inside means taking time each day to simply be alone and quiet in l. Many of us are so out of practice that it's almost unnerving to have a moment to ourselves. As a result, we may have stopped trying to carve out that time to take a seat at the center of our lives.