By Shannon Wianecki
I love traveling, but I also love maintaining a balanced, sattvic routine. Over time, I’ve developed a packing list that makes hopping a plane, train, ship or subway a nourishing, rather than depleting, experience.
Commitment to continuing my meditation and asana practice on the road. I learned to connect to my innermost self (and calm vata dosha) by establishing a routine: waking at the same time each morning, meditating for a set time, practicing asana and starting my day with a strong spiritual foundation. I do an abbreviated version of this while traveling.
By Myra Lewin
Everything we do in life takes us toward our state of balance or away from it. Which direction are you headed right now?
Ayurveda and Yoga teach that each bite of food, every thought, conversation and everything in your environment impacts all parts of your being. Though that may sound daunting, there is actually great freedom in this reality since it means you have the ability to make different choices to get different results.
Every bite you take can be a building block for health – especially when your meals include foods that increase ojas.
Ojas is an energy and a substance in your body that is responsible for vitality and immunity. Just like a bank account, you spend ojas through stress, lack of sleep or not eating properly. But replenishing ojas is as simple as adding foods that increase it to your meals (including high-quality fats – like ghee – almonds, and dates). Along with balancing agni and getting adequate rest, foods that increase ojas will help you feel and look as healthy as you are meant to be.
At the beginning of each Hale Pule Yoga teacher training, we take photos of the students upon arrival. At the end of the training we take a second picture. After one month of immersion in the teachings of Yoga, the differences are striking. They see how their posture changes as they break through limiting patterns in other areas of their life. For instance, a forward head position can signal fear and distrust (on the lookout for danger), or slouched shoulders can be a sign of insecurity or self-judgment, which is tamas, darkness and inertia. As the students clear fear and distrust by pointing rajas (activity) toward sattva (light), their energy flows and alignment becomes more natural. This is a good reminder of how Yoga affects every aspect of life.
One of the beautiful aspects of Yoga asana is that regular, sattvic practice allows us to live free of pain or discomfort. That freedom applies to all forms of being – as pain in the body is connected to mental, emotional or spiritual pain.
One area in which people often experience the connection between body and emotion is in the hips. If you live from fear more than love, prana in your hip joints becomes stagnant, leading to tension and tightness that can diminish your range of movement and ability to enjoy life. Poses like baddha konasana, or bound angle pose, allow both physical and emotional release in the hips by inviting prana to flow freely and sweep away pain and stuck emotions.
Step 8 begins the practice of satya, honesty, and Step 9 moves this into action with amends. This process starts first on the inside before moving to the outside. When you start recovery, you realize your behavior in the past was not your best. As your mind clears, you see better ways. With these realizations, many have the desire to start making amends right away. You can do some of this through living amends, which is just changing your ways on a moment-to-moment basis. But before you begin to make formal amends, wait until you have wholeheartedly worked each of the steps up to nine, and be sure you do make amends with the right attitude and approach.
How many times have you held back a yawn, a sneeze or tears? Did you ever imagine that such a seemingly harmless action could contribute to illness and imbalance? That was the case for one student who came through a Hale Pule Yoga teacher training.
This student arrived with nervous energy, a sign of high vata dosha, physical weakness and complaints of chronic headaches. Through the first week of the training, whenever she felt the urge to sneeze, she stifled it, letting out only a tiny squeak. We encouraged her to let the sneeze out, but she had great resistance to doing this as she had followed this pattern all of her life, believing she should not disrupt the people around her. In fact, she was disrupting her own body.
By Judy Safford
Most of my married life thrived and survived on drama. I used to tell my story to anyone who walked slow enough. Did I ask them first? No! Did I feel better? No! Did it help the situation? No! Some of the listeners commiserated with me and some backed off when they saw me coming. My late husband was bipolar and undiagnosed all of our 23 years of marriage. Approximately every two years he would experience a five-month psychotic episode, which was horrific for him, me, our relatives and children. One day a therapist remarked that perhaps the reason I was baffled at what to do was because I got some needs met through his illness. Those words haunted me for years.