By Myra Lewin
I used to race cars, and fix them too. When I was about 14, back in east Tennessee, you could often find me at the garage, hanging with the mechanics, or riding the rolling hills. At that time, being behind the wheel or under the hood felt like freedom to me. I loved being a part of the action - hugging the curves of the road, leading the pack. I was small, young, plenty reckless, and clearly pretty in touch with my masculine energy.
A student came to one of our recent Yoga and Ayurveda teacher trainings wearing a corset. It was meant to prevent back pain from a slipped disc, an injury that had occurred (and healed) many years before. She had become so accustomed to the idea that she would be in pain without this support that she never questioned whether or not this was actually true.
A few weeks ago in our post about a kapha-balancing diet, we shared how kapha is the dosha with the fewest diseases associated. Kapha’s earth and water elements are stable by nature and less prone to go out of balance than vata’s air or pitta’s fire. This is why people with dominant kapha in their constitutions tend to live long, healthy lives. However, one factor can easily aggravate kapha, and it is quite common in our modern lifestyle: sedentary living.
By Myra Lewin
People often come to Yoga and Ayurveda seeking big changes in their lives, but the most profound changes that can happen are usually found on the subtle, energetic level.
Even if you don’t notice the energetic parts of life, they are part of everything you experience. This is why we say in Ayurveda that everything you do has an imprint on your health and well-being. Because we are only taught to notice the physical aspects of life, they can obscure our view of the energy of a situation. But the subtle level is always working and influencing how you feel and act. If you only give attention to the cause and effect at the surface level, you’ll never see the whole picture of life.
By Myra Lewin
You can be in fear or faith, but never both at once. One represents resistance, and the other is flow. From moment to moment, we make decisions about the direction we choose. What we practice is what we experience.
I witnessed this in my own life some time ago. For many years, I worked in a corporate environment, all the while knowing that I wanted to own my own business. About halfway through my corporate career, I had an opportunity to branch out on my own. Choosing to branch out required faith, but even though it was dream I’d been waiting for, I let fear of leaving a steady paycheck win at that moment and remained in the corporate world.
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.
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 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.
By Myra Lewin
The idea that purusha, or divine consciousness, exists within you can be challenging to wrap your head around at first. Understanding and, more importantly, experiencing that it is embedded in every aspect of your being can require some time.
If you have struggled to recognize the divine within, perhaps it is easier to consider it in terms of creative energy. Think about a time when you were immersed in a project that you truly enjoyed. The “flow” you experienced allowed you to enjoy simply being in that moment with no attachment to the outcome. That leads to vitality and bliss, a sign that you are connected to purusha.
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.