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

You Are What You Eat: 3 Ways Food Impacts Your Mood

(As published on Elephant Journal)

“You are what you eat.”

How often have we heard this phrase in regard to health, nutrition and wellness?

We read it in books. We hear it on TV. Maybe our own mothers remind us of this from time to time, too.

It might even make sense to us, on some level. And yet, what in the world does this phrase really mean, and how do we start to actually eat what we want to be?

Ayurveda, the ancient sister science of Yoga, holds the answers to this question and teaches us three potent ways that food can profoundly impact our mood.  Continue reading

Ayurveda for Body, Mind & Soul

The beauty of Ayurveda, especially in the traditional way we are blessed to learn this science at Vedika Global, is that it touches not only the body, but also the mind and soul, enabling the potential for profound personal transformation. At the level of the body, Ayurveda has taught me tremendous responsibility. At the mental level, I have learned from Ayurveda the importance of anchoring. For the soul, Ayurveda has provided the keys to liberation, and deeper connection with who I really am, beyond the body and mind.  Continue reading