By Myra Lewin
People often ask what kind of Yoga we practice and teach at Hale Pule. The answer is not as easy as the question appears. While there are certain ways we teach the practices here, what we most like to impart is that Yoga is much more than doing the practices the “right way.” Yoga is a direct path to the God within. The practices are how you connect with this universe inside. How you do the practices matters, but consistency in your approach is what matters most.
When students come here to study, they have usually worked with many different teachers and styles. For some students, what we teach aligns what they have learned into a central channel of wisdom that they use for their personal and professional benefit. For others, what we teach challenges everything they know.
Ayurveda offers each of us the opportunity to become our own healers. To step into this role is a journey, one that requires a commitment to learning the unique functions of your mind and body.
The doshas -- vata, pitta and kapha -- are one of the foundational tools that Ayurveda offers to go within and find out why you feel, act and look the way you do. The doshas are profoundly important to understanding your body and mind, but they are often oversimplified and misunderstood.
Beyond the dosha quiz
A person’s first experience with Ayurveda is often marked by taking a dosha quiz. The results usually include lists of foods and activities to avoid for your dosha (or products to buy). But living according to a black-and-white list is opposite of what Ayurveda teaches.
By Nicole Matthiesen
I lived for many years with a lot of uncertainty about food. I didn’t know what the outcome of any given meal would be. Would I experience constipation? Diarrhea? Severe abdominal pain that would leave me unable to eat for a week? Or would this time be fine, as it sometimes inexplicably was?
As a student in Hale Pule’s 600-hour Ayurvedic health counselor program, I know now that the issues I was experiencing (what the doctors called Irritable Bowel Syndrome) were a direct result of my highly stressful career as a litigation consultant and my choice to push my health aside to meet demands and deadlines.
It’s a Hale Pule routine to take photos of guests and students when they arrive. We do it again before they leave. Whether they stay for four months, four weeks, or four days, the changes are striking.
People experience physical changes (some look so different that it’s difficult to believe it’s the same person), but more often the shift is in the energy they carry in the after picture. These are people who are more connected to who they really are. That’s what makes Ayurveda more than just a diet -- it is a roadmap to self-realization.
Take a look at our gallery of before and after photos to see what it looks like when the spirit shines through.
By Myra Lewin
I recently found an old box filled with photographs of my life. I found headshots from my time as a corporate executive, pictures of me at holiday parties and a few childhood photos from the black-and-white days. I also found this photo below, taken just after I had left the corporate world and set out to build my life upon healing.
By Jenny Smith
My life is so quiet these days that I can often hear the sound of my own heartbeat. I never imagined I would be so grateful to be that still.
I have always had an incredible amount of energy running through my body. I have spent most of my life trying to figure out how to dispel it and get rid of the anxiety it produced. I did power Yoga and fast-paced exercise, and jumped into musical theatre, where I projected my energy outward by singing, dancing and acting. I thought that if I maintained a life of “go, go, go” I would be able to outrun the feeling that I could never sit still.
By Dhokela Yzeiraj
I learned about Hale Pule through a friend who had spent a month on Durga Farms and came back completely different. She talked about bringing consciousness and sacredness to our food consumption – an idea that was quite foreign to me. I was in college at the time, and the dining halls at our school were a place where my mind was more caught up on the social scene and wanting to fit in, rather than taking the time to consider how my food affected me. She shared the knowledge of light from Hale Pule and inspired me to want to know more. I considered applying to become a farmer on Durga Farms, but my insecurity of not being good enough and my pride of being too good got in the way.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “let go” and wondered how, exactly, that is supposed to happen?
Most people understand that they bring the effects of past experiences into present life. Many see the effects of these experiences getting in the way of the life they want to live. But without a way to release, they struggle to let go of old ideas and impressions.
By Joanne Cooper
I have always had issues with digestion. As a teenager, I had two bleeding ulcers. For most of my life, I experienced burning indigestion and often could not even lie down to sleep at night because of acid reflux. By the time I reached my early 40s, I began to see significant consequence from the way I was eating and living. I realized that I needed to change my lifestyle in order to enjoy good health.
I began studying Yoga at a local studio as a way to connect more consciously with my body. One of my teachers had a background in Ayurveda which she wove into her weekly asana classes. I was intrigued with the idea that people are inherently connected to, and are meant to live in harmony with, nature. When my teacher announced that she was hosting a workshop at her studio with an Ayurvedic doctor from India, I eagerly signed up.
By Myra Lewin
I didn’t start studying Ayurveda and Yoga with the intention of creating a learning community like Hale Pule Ayurveda and Yoga. I began this work to find a path to my own healing.
I was just 30 years old when I found myself wrestling with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. I made the choice to find another direction for healing than the one Western medicine was offering me. I came upon a path to health, as well as a path to Self, through Ayurveda and Yoga.