Growing asparagus is a practice in faith.
Two years ago, we planted 2,000 asparagus plants on our own Durga Farms, where Hale Pule gets the freshest veggies on Kauai. This spring we finally started to harvest.
That’s right – two years from planting to harvest. We were told it was difficult to grow asparagus here. But because we had faith, we can now harvest asparagus for the next 15-20 years without replanting. So, as the asparagus spears have begun poking out of the dirt, we’ve been exploring many ways to eat the abundant asparagus that we and others will enjoy for years to come.
Close your eyes and take a moment to recall a time when you had a complete knowing that all is well. Maybe it was in front of a camp fire, or a peaceful sunset, just laughing about something. Or a really special time, such as a birth. If you can't remember a time, imagine what a time like this would feel like. This feeling is what Step 3 can bring to our lives. Let’s call it spiritual wellness or connection.
We recently had a retreat where we all went to a deeper level in recovery from addiction in the light of Yoga and Ayurveda. We talked about the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, and particularly about the first two limbs, the yamas and niyamas. They are, in their essence, how we behave in the world and how we treat ourselves. One of the niyamas is samtosha, most often defined as contentment. I like to think of it in terms of acceptance and connection that come with the surrender of Step 3: Made a decision (acceptance) to turn our will and life over to the care of God (willingness to let our higher power run the show instead of the limiting ego, or ahamkara) as we understand God.
Our breath is one of our greatest teachers in Yoga. When you find yourself in a challenging asana, tune in to your breath. Is it short or long? Quick or steady? Has it stopped entirely?
Ujjayi breath, a central part of Yoga asana practice, is an even inhale and exhale through the nose with a slightly contracted throat so that the breath is audible (like the sound of the ocean). Ujjayi breath focuses and strengthens the mind while creating internal heat to purify the body. When we push ourselves too far or practice without mindfulness, the breath becomes labored, uneven or quick. That is our cue to back up, reset our intention and come back to the essence of our Yoga practice – to master the mind so that we can gain freedom from it.
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