3 Ancient Ayurvedic Rituals to Rock Your Mornings

(Originally published in “Popular Lately” on MindBodyGreen.com)

Beginning the day in an inspiring and invigorating way profoundly impacts your overall health. Ayurveda, the ancient art and science of life from India, recognizes the power and potential that early morning practices provide us to truly take our health and lives into our own hands.

Because Ayurveda has changed my life in countless ways, and made me into a passionate student, teacher, and practitioner of this great knowledge system, I am delighted to share my three favorite Ayurvedic morning rituals to truly rock your mornings.  Continue reading

Advertisements

5 Ayurveda-Inspired Ways to Truly Love Ourselves

(As published in “Featured Today Highlight” and “Popular Lately” on Elephant Journal)

Too many people these days tell us the importance of “self-love.”

But, what does this really mean, anyway? And how does one really do this, in a practical, day-to-day way?

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health promotion and disease prevention, has many wonderful insights for the meaning and practice of self-love.

My Ayurveda teacher, Acharya Shunya, once taught about how Ayurveda explores three primary relationships in life. One is our relationships with objects, including our car, clothes, computers, phones, televisions and teddy bears. Another primary relationship we all have are those with other people. This is where family members, friends, partners, colleagues and acquaintances come into the picture. Then, there is a third relationship Ayurveda teaches us about the importance of cultivating. This is the relationship we have with our own higher self.

Developing a strong foundation of a relationship with our higher self is critical not only to our spiritual journey, but to the prevention of many diseases, as Ayurveda recognizes the role that adverse relationships play in the creation of health problems of all kinds.

Many of us, sadly, never even become aware of the possibilities associated with nurturing this third relationship. Or, we may hear about how important it is to “love ourselves,” but no one really tells us how to do this.

Like so many of us, from a young age, I, too, was conditioned to believe that everything I sought, everything worth having, exists outside of myself. So I spent exorbitant amounts of time, energy and resources trying to manifest love, safety, health, and happiness from some socially acceptable external source, whether that was my work, achievements, relationships or even through giving and service.

Developing a “designer relationship,” as Acharya Shunya would say, with our own Self is really exciting, because, in doing so, we not only prevent all sorts of imbalances; we actually get to learn to fill ourselves up with what really matters.

I have found that, in mindfully cultivating a relationship with my own higher self, I am no longer so hungry for the approval, love and attention of others. My ongoing studies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with Acharya Shunya have revealed to me that my own higher Self is the eternal source of all the love, safety, happiness, health and hope I seek in my life.

Here is my personal list of the top five practices that help me connect to those higher aspects of my own being:  Continue reading

The Power of Resolution: 3 Healthy Habits to Cultivate in the New Year

(As published in “Staff Picks” & “Popular Lately” on Elephant Journal)

The New Year is always an exciting invitation for transformation and new beginnings.

In Sanskrit, the word “Sankalpa” means “resolve or intention,” and “Shakti” is power.” Sankalpa Shakti is, therefore, the power of resolution—which can be utilized at any moment we are seeking a more mindful approach to the unfolding of our lives.

Oftentimes, at the start of a new year, we are full of excitement at the prospect of setting often more generic resolutions, such as exercising more or eating healthier food, only to quickly discard these intentions. I myself have gone through that experience of setting generic resolutions that have soon fallen to the wayside.

I’ve learned that, for a Sankalpa to really have power, it must be thoughtfully contemplated first—as it really must come from that deepest space within ourselves, from the quiet voice of the soul, which often speaks in a whisper, when we are silent enough to listen to and heed its inner knowings.  Continue reading

5 Life-Changing Lessons from Ayurveda

(As published in “Popular Lately” and “Featured Today” Highlight on Elephant Journal)

While Ayurveda has widely been restricted to the very elite or reduced to simply being about doshas (an Ayurvedic concept that roughly translates as fundamental constituents of the body), there is a lot more to Ayurveda than may initially meet the modern eye.

Deriving from the root Sanskrit words “Ayush,” meaning “life,” and “Veda,” meaning “knowledge or study of,” Ayurveda is a full system of healing that literally means “the knowledge or study of life.”

Yes, it is really that expansive.

Ayurveda touches upon each and every aspect of how to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life, from how to best manage digestive disorders, to what kind of daily and seasonal routines to adopt, to relationship guidance—it even provides insights on how to attain spiritual enlightenment!

Understanding, living by, and now teaching Ayurveda has made me appreciate its depth and profundity in more ways than words can express. These five lessons from this great science have been particularly life-changing for me, and I am thus happy to share them with you.  Continue reading

5 Ayurvedic Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

(As published in the “Popular Lately” section of Elephant Journal)

I recently met an accomplished, Indian-born, western-trained Gastroenterologist at a graduation party I attended for my sister.

After sharing a little about how amazing it has been for me, as an American-born Indian, to not only discover, but have the opportunity to study Ayurveda, she was keenly interested to learn more.

“I work with the GI tract. We have so many complex procedures we take our patients through, but I so often find myself reminiscing back to my childhood days and all the simple, yet powerful solutions my grandmother used to possess to treat so many digestive ailments,” she confided.

Indeed, one of the most incredible discoveries for me from Ayurveda is how many tools it provides us to take our health into our own hands.  Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: