By Sonja Semion
The first thing I did was quit coffee. Then I moved out garlic and onions, and stopped eating microwaved leftovers for lunch. I turned my sporadic meditation practice into a daily one. Stopped reading or working during meals. Then I tried abhyanga. As I stood in the morning light of my bathroom, covered in a sheen of oil, I felt a strength and grounding that I had not experienced in a long time. The frustration I had been experiencing, from the sense that I was standing behind a wall that separated me from my true self, was beginning to fall away. This is how I began my journey with Ayurveda.
By Myra Lewin
I speak with a lot of people about the value of a daily meditation practice. Much of the time I get an initial response of, “I just can’t turn off my head.” My response: This is exactly the reason you need meditation. From this place, you can begin to connect with your heart.
When temperatures rise outside, pitta can heat up inside, causing irritability, excess sweating and anger, among other symptoms. What "food as medicine" should you reach for to find balance? The answer is in the Ayurvedic concept of virya, the warming and cooling effects of foods.
We often use the phrase, “body, mind and spirit” when we talk about Yoga. This is because the practice of Yoga – both in asana and as a guide for daily living – cannot be limited to just one level of existence. Yoga allows us to see that every experience we have affects all three levels of being. To deny any one of these is to deny our full essence as human beings.
When we talk about spirit, we are referring to the subtle body – the energetic level of being. Few people these days are aware of this body, which is made up of the aura and chakras, but we all experience life through it regardless. If you want to connect to your subtle body, try ustrasana, or camel pose, preparation. This gentle, yet energizing, backbend can be an introduction to the full expression of ustrasana or a way to open up the front of your spine to prepare for other backbends. It’s also a beneficial pose by itself. As you lengthen and open your spine, you activate the seven main chakras, the energy centers that start at the base of your spine continuing to the top of your head. As these centers of energy open, you can release old patterns and create space for clarity in your subtle body.
If you decided that you wanted a garden, you would take several steps before planting the seeds. You would select the right spot where the sun will best nourish the plants. You would amend the soil so it is rich with life-giving nutrients. You would draw up a plan for planting so that your zucchini doesn’t overtake your oregano. With this beautiful foundation laid, you would plant your seeds and soon relish in abundant growth.
Ayurveda asks us to see our bodies as one with nature. So when it comes to bringing a baby into life, give your body, mind and spirit the same attention you would your garden.