3 Ancient Practices to Embrace Your Soul Power

(Originally published as a “Popular Lately,” “Featured Today Spirituality Highlight,” “Popular Yoga,” “Popular Wellness,” and “Popular Spirituality” article on Elephant Journal)

We celebrated a beautiful Vedic festival called Makar Sankranti at Vedika Global on January 14th, 2016. This festival worships the Sun as it makes its northern ascent in the sky during the first six months of the year. It is considered an auspicious way to start your educational journey and to recommit to your health and spiritual goals for the year ahead.

So many traditional societies have revered the Sun for its magnificent qualities, including the ancient Egyptian, Aztec, Buddhist, Chinese, Christian, Baltic, and Greek cultures.

The Vedic Indian tradition honors the Sun as being the symbol of health, wealth, knowledge, inner power, and the illumination of your very soul.

I have always loved the Sun. 

Even before I encountered Ayurveda, the Sun was a huge source of inspiration to me. 

Sunrises and sunsets have always captivated my heart; it never ceases to amaze me how artistic the Sun is ~ every morning and evening, it creates a brand new art exhibition, totally free of charge and open to all.  Continue reading

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

How Ayurveda Inspires Mindful Eating

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

In a world where women are so often objectified, whether in the workplace, media, on the school bus, or the world wide web, one of the most powerful lessons from the ancient science of Ayurveda for me has been to see my body as my temple.  Continue reading