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

Ayurveda & Rakshanam: Protecting the Positive

Having officially discovered Ayurveda (the ancient Indian medical science and art of healing) as a 22 year old, and having grown up in mainstream American culture, I have definitely seen and been part of what I often think of as a “throw-away” society. In this modern society, which is  rapidly spreading all over the world, we constantly seek out the ‘latest and greatest,’ only to very quickly tire of our various toys. These ‘toys’ range from electronic gadgets, reflecting the most recent technological advances, to fad diets, to fashionable clothing, to designer watches and purses, to expensive vacations meant to relax us, but that only end up tiring us out even more, to relationships we pick up and then easily drop and replace for seemingly more interesting or otherwise attractive people. Reflecting on the biggest surprise from my studies of Ayurveda, I would have to say it has been the principle of “Svasthasya Svasthya Rakshanam.” “Svastha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “health,” and “protecting the health of the healthy” is the meaning of this phrase.  Continue reading