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.
By Myra Lewin
A new year, a new you?
How many emails landed in your inbox this month offering you a path to a better version of yourself? A new year carries the energy of a fresh slate, a page turn, a new chapter or maybe even a whole new book. In modern culture, a new year is viewed as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and invite a brighter future.
But think back to last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Were you able to sustain the inspired momentum of the new year or did motivation give way to old habits and disappointment? Have you found yourself repeating certain types of experiences and relationships year after year?
By Lisa Åkesson Stryker
I used to burn everything I touched in the kitchen. My vata/pitta constitution was far from balanced, and I rarely could keep my attention on what I was cooking long enough for it to be somewhat edible. After many disasters I started to doubt that I had inherited my grandmother’s finesse in the kitchen. Food and cooking has always been a huge passion of mine, so I kept experimenting, hoping one day things would change.
Finally, I made a conscious decision: I really wanted to get comfortable in the kitchen. I decided to stop eating out and started buying groceries and looking up different recipes that inspired me. I still botched my meals for a good while, but with baby steps I started walking in the right direction. I gradually felt more and more comfortable, and after a few months I knew a handful of meals I could cook really well.
By Myra Lewin
Ayurveda and Yoga offer a wealth of information about how to live a better life. Yet students who attend our trainings are often surprised to hear me tell them that I don’t expect them to change everything the minute they return home. Rather than trying to completely overhaul their lives overnight, I suggest they pick 2 to 3 changes they are willing to commit to. When those are comfortable, add a few more. This kind of steady walk toward greater health and well-being is how the practices were meant to be experienced.
Transitioning to Ayurveda and Yoga
The purpose of Ayurveda and Yoga is to allow us to remember our true selves, but this uncovering happens when it is sustained over months and years, not days.
By Nicole Lonero
Yoga and Ayurveda provide a series of guidelines to help us measure our growth and direction on the often windy and unforeseeable path of self-discovery. In the eight limbs of Yoga, the niyamas are those guidelines: the moral codes that help us launch the principals of Yoga off our mats and into our lives.
Tapas is the code identified with discipline or austerity –purification through discipline. Focus, discipline and commitment create a purifying heat, a fiery blaze that burns away impurities and distractions from our lives so that we can experience true union.
Recently I have been looking back to February 2016, when I found myself on my mat in the bright, spacious yoga room at Hale Pule’s Yoga teacher training. In that expansive month-long opportunity, I learned to look ahead.
Landing with a thump in my plank pose, I hear Myra say, “Look ahead.” “Look ahead when you jump back.” Later when I jumped forward to meet myself at the top of the mat, I noticed how I clung to the image of my feet, following them compulsively to meet my hands, as if they might not be there if I didn't strain my neck to ensure they were moving.
By Nafisseh Soroudi
I have a cousin who regularly goes to India to do panchakarma. As a long-timer New Yorker, she says this practice is what keeps her sane. I was intrigued by her experience but had not considered it for myself until I began to experience some digestive and emotional issues that I wanted to get to the heart of.
I found Hale Pule’s program and was attracted to Myra Lewin’s wisdom. I wanted to learn from her and heal my body at the same time. I signed up for panchakarma with these priorities.
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 Susan Barozzi
I first came to Hale Pule in the spring of 2016. Before that, I had spent many years being told by various practitioners that I was allergic to many of the foods I was eating, or that I was prone to candida overgrowth and had parasites with no apparent symptoms. I had also been plagued with low blood sugar issues and was told to eat snacks every hour or two to keep my blood sugar up. Being one of the “sensitive types” I found I was easily overwhelmed by life’s challenges and had a tendency to worry about things more than I would have liked. I decided that I was ready for a new story. I wanted to heal my relationship with food.
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.
By Robin Stamp
It gets easier the moment my feet hit the floor. In the dim light before sunrise, I can feel the grounding energy running through the souls of my feet. I immediately feel more connected. Waking with the natural rhythm is the heartbeat of my day, guiding me and giving me the energy I need to thrive.
It didn't used to be this way. For most of my life I was a nighthawk. My time to shine was between happy hour and 2:00 a.m. I lived on debates fueled by alcohol, spicy food and politics. This is when I thought I was at my best. I sacrificed my mornings for this time; I never took a meeting before 10:00 a.m. I sacrificed the middle of my day too, finding myself in need of a nap after lunch pretty much every day. I thought I was supposed to live this way, because everyone else around me was. And this way of living didn’t seem to be broken. I was successful in my work in politics, I served my community by sitting on the school board and was on my way to fulfilling my dream of going to law school.
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.
It was New Year’s Eve. I was in a strange house in Maui. My teacher, whom I had met in person just two days before when I arrived from Canada, slept a few rooms away. It was late and the house was silent. I lay in bed, feeling like I was going to jump out of my skin. Tomorrow, January 1, 2010, I would begin my first silent retreat at Hale Pule. This was my opportunity, as a Yoga student and teacher, to become a yogini – to embrace the practices of Yoga and Ayurveda as the foundation for my life. But that would mean letting go, and in the darkness of that room, that felt very scary to me. My mind raced: “Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to take this direction with your life?”
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.