With tapas, the Yogic practice of discipline, you can experience deep change in your life.
The word discipline might not sound like a lot of fun, but if you think of it as a daily commitment to honor your desire to live a fulfilling life then you can see how discipline could become your greatest ally.
It really comes down to how you want to feel in life.
We talk a lot about sattva here at Hale Pule. In fact, from our point of view, the goal of the practices of Ayurveda and Yoga is to increase sattva in the mind. Why is this?
By Myra Lewin
Brahmacharya is the practice of energy management.
It involves getting to know your body and your mind - knowing when to put your foot on the gas and when to ease off. And sometimes it’s about letting yourself park the car and go for a stroll down a country lane.
When you describe yourself - how much of what you say is true? The story you tell about yourself - where does it come from? Is it from what other people say? Maybe your parents always described you in a certain way - oh Julia, she’s so daring. Scotty! What a clown. And maybe these labels given by others became your identity.
Truth tastes sweet.
By Myra Lewin
Why do you seek transformation?
What does transformation mean, really? Transformation implies deep change. Real change. Change that feels true and lasting. Transformation is about letting go of what you don’t need and creating space for the new. It’s about redefinition, renewal and regeneration. Transformation is inherent in the process of creation and destruction, and that’s why we’re here in this life - to continually open ourselves up to new experiences that we can enjoy and grow from.
About to take flight for the holidays?
The ability to travel long distances at high speed is a gift, however it can cause imbalance in our system if we donʻt take action to counter the movement.
Although Ayurveda preceded the airplane by a few thousand years, its healing principles can certainly be applied to recovering from air travel. We simply need to consider the elements, the qualities and the doshas.
Intuition and intellect, feminine and masculine, moon and sun, night and day. Throughout the universe, pairs of opposing qualities combine in a dynamic dance. Ayurveda recognizes the value of this interplay of opposites in the environment and within our being. In fact, the idea that the opposite brings balance is a central principle in Ayurvedic healing. We can apply this concept to our diet, to our activities and perhaps most important of all, to how we manage our energy.
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.
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
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
Love is simple, yet it has become a bit of a riddle: We seek it, but we already are it. And as soon as we see how much we have, we easily attract more.
Of course I am talking about real love, which is an expression of the divine within. Every relationship you have with another person is a representation of your relationship with the God of your heart, so it’s important to cultivate that connection with tender commitment. We are love. Once you recognize that, you will be able to share your love unselfishly with another.
When people come to Hale Pule Ayurveda and Yoga trainings, they often ask how we can make our food so delicious when it is prepared so simply. We say that our secret ingredient is sattva.
Sattva, or balance and harmony, is a principle in nature and all parts of life. It is the energy of sweetness in life, bringing us closer to the divine. When you cultivate this quality in your kitchen, the food you make will be much more than a delicious meal -- it will be an adventure in healing.
It’s not the aim of Yoga to make life complex. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Many of the yamas and niyamas ask us to strip away the unflattering accessories of life that don’t serve us. What is left is the simplicity of being. The same simplicity should guide your approach to asana.
When people begin a Yoga asana practice, many think that progress means that they will be able to tackle what are mislabeled as advanced poses. But Yoga has no levels -- these are only creations of the modern times that build the lower ego and fuel competition. Different poses challenge us at different times, and all are important. Some days, the most advanced pose you can do is one that asks you to be still in a world that constantly moves.
Ayurveda offers the foundation to reclaim your natural state of health. Working with the concept of “food as medicine”, each bite offers an opportunity to rediscover what it means to be in connection with your body. And by making the commitment to cooking at home, your path to true health will become clear and simple because you are in charge of what and how you eat.
Setting up an Ayurvedic kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, you can clear clutter by giving away complicated gadgets to make room for the simple tools that cooks have used for centuries to lovingly prepare meals.
We’ve compiled a list of the essentials that every Ayurvedic kitchen should have. Once you have these items, all you need to bring a sattvic diet into your life are fresh vegetables and a little love.
When you sit down to meditate or eat a freshly cooked Ayurvedic meal, you can feel a sense of peace come over your whole being. That feeling has a word – sattva. It means balance and harmony representing the light, and can act as a guide for every aspect of your life.
Sattva is a quality you can cultivate every day, in everything you do. This March, we’re offering 31 ways you can bring in this light of consciousness every day for the entire month. These tips and activities are all simple ways to breed more sattva within you, and many of them will take less than five minutes. Taking on these sattvic actions will bring forth a shift in the way you relate to yourself and the world around you, a change that will last much longer than 31 days.