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.
A calling to Ayurveda
I felt called to study a holistic approach to healing and decided to attend a Thai Yoga Massage course in Montreal. In this six-week program, I learned about energy lines, asana and how to work with clients with an Ayurvedic lens. I returned to Maine to start my own bodywork and natural medicine practice, but my health quickly became depleted. I started to experience joint pain, headaches, constipation and a sense of hopelessness. I was giving too much to others without nourishing myself in return. I realized that I needed guidance and a teacher if I was to establish a firm foundation in the healing arts. Five years after I had first heard about Hale Pule, I finally applied to become a farmer at Durga Farms.
During the application process, I was pleased to learn that Durga Farms at Hale Pule was a community that was living Ayurveda in all aspects (physical, spiritual and mental). I felt relieved and grateful to go to a place that combines spiritual growth and land stewardship, one that would allow me to step out of my comfort zone to connect to more conscious living. I couldn’t wait to be a part of a focused program of living that allows me to connect to my body, the land and community.
I found all of those things to be true when I arrived on Kaua’i. Right after the first two weeks, I extended my initial three-month commitment to 11 months. This was the challenge I was looking for – an endeavor that asks all of me, not just the part that wants to look good.
Training in Ayurveda at Hale Pule
The healing arts are an art and I’ve been offered the opportunity to hone my craft this year. Outside of the time I’ve worked as a farmer, I’ve undergone the Ayurvedic chef certification and treatment training. Soon I’ll be taking Embracing Shakti, the women’s health certification, and attending the 200-hour Yoga teacher training in January. And during my time outside of farming, I’m also working through Hale Pule’s online Ayurvedic health counselor certification program.
I’ve learned during my time on the farm and in training with Hale Pule that everything I do in life is about my intention. I’ve also learned that one of my greatest challenges is my self-defeating and self-limiting attitude. This can get in the way of my ability to fully absorb the teachings, but the teachers don’t let it slip by! They provide support with energy management tools, guided meditation, Yoga and guidance to live the teachings every day. My fellow farmers teach me the value of authenticity and clear communication, while the land itself reminds me that there is always hope, no matter what happened in the past or what kind of unpredictable weather conditions show up.
Finding connection to Self with Ayurveda and Yoga
When I first arrived my senses were weak, but living Ayurveda each day – looking at the qualities in plants, people and the world around me – has strengthened them. Practicing Yoga helps me feel aligned in my body and gives me the courage to face fearful situations. I am able to clearly see how my physical state reflects my emotional state and how my mental state is responsible for both. I look at my reflection at times in the mirror and I still see the self-hate, despair, loathing and other dark qualities that consume me and keep me from loving my fellows and myself, but I now have the ability to work through them. I use mantra and prayer throughout the day, and I’m able to experience peace, acceptance and gratitude in any situation, no matter how yucky it feels.
Hale Pule means “House of Prayer” in Hawaiian, and I’m thankful to say that there is no other better place to experience a transformation from darkness to light, from untruth to truth, and from death to immortality.
Experience your own transformation! We are now accepting applications for Ayurvedic chef certification, Ayurvedic treatment training and 200-hour Yoga teacher training. Learn more about all our educational programs.