In my early 20s I became fascinated with Ayurveda. My mother was sick and western medicine gave us conflicting rules for her care. I knew there were alternative ways of healing her; I have no idea how I knew, I just knew.
I don’t know what intrigued me about holistic healing. I didn’t have friends into it; I wasn’t exposed to it in college and my family, though hippie-esque, had never mentioned herbs nor alternative healing.
I remember taking a few unsuccessful yoga classes offered at my corporate job in the late 90s. I was obese then, nearing 200 pounds. I had various health problems as a result of being overweight. My heart fluttered though an EKG showed no abnormality, I had acid reflux, and hypothyroidism. I had always been a thin and active child—Corporate America fattens more than just your wallet.
Some poses proved difficult because of my oversized core. I had a decade-old shoulder injury from a bicycle accident limiting movement in my left arm. I knew yoga could help me lose the weight and regain a full range of motion. In the 90s, we believed yoga was a “great new exercise tool for weight loss.” Boy, have we learned the real benefits since then!
Any pose requiring me to “fold” myself, place any body weight on my shoulders, or fully extend both of my arms was beyond my limitations. It felt hopeless, but I continued.
As I began lifestyle changes of jogging, dieting, lifting weights, Tae Bo, and practicing yoga, the weight came off. I didn’t know yoga and Ayurveda were sister sciences, despite following them both at the same time. The death of my grandfather, both parents and a divorce sidetracked those philosophies for nearly a decade.
On my father’s incarnation day (birthday), December 29, 2005, I enrolled for post-grad studies. My focus was Holistic Wellness which covered
- human development,
- anatomy and physiology,
- psychospiritual health,
- the politics behind diseases,
- men and women’s health,
- energy techniques and
- holistic fitness
Eastern medicine and their philosophies are part of the core learning materials. Lo-and-behold, here comes Ayurveda again. “Ah yes! I remember this stuff! It worked great for me years ago but my goddess, is it difficult to understand and implement!”
I kept learning, despite how complicated it seemed. Here are a few of the easier points I always loved about Ayurveda:
- It’s an ancient philosophy considering the body, mind, and soul of each individual when performing evaluations. There’s no one-size-fits-all mentality. We’re honored as the individuals we are.
- Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga, dating back 5,000 years. There’s something to be said for medicine that’s stood the test of time.
- Ayurveda is about learning to care for ourselves while also caring for Nature. Eco-friendly is not a claim you’ll read about in this philosophy. Yet being in tune with nature invariably helps Her heal.
- You don’t have to be an expert to take away great value. I still have a lot to discover—yet I’m able to regain the balance of life by asking the correct questions. I know which questions.
- If you take away nothing else, here’s the most important message: to become more in tune with nature, you must become in tune with yourself.
- Neither Ayurveda not yoga are religions. They are spiritual philosophies practiced by any race, creed, gender, or age.
To be clear, I’m not a certified practitioner. My intention is never to diagnose conditions nor prescribe treatment. However, my research and experience has afforded me the gift of translating the complicated components of both Eastern and Western medicine, so I can offer guidance.
After all, the answer is already within you, correct? Doctors, mentors, coaches, practitioners… we’re all there to teach you to tap into your inner practitioner. No one knows what’s best for you except YOU.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink…” I say you can, as long as you make that horse see the value in the water.
How would your life feel if you knew the value of living to your fullest potential and actually drank the water?
I assisted a close friend during her studies at the California College of Ayurveda in 2011, learning as apprentices do (trading lessons for labor). We offered workshops that combined our various knowledge and teaching skills, offered private Abhyanga massages, and created basic herbal salves.
I taught Ayurveda and plant-powered nutrition to yoga students as part of their teacher training curriculum in 2013. I designed my line of Ayurvedic massage oils, chakra sprays, and aura roll-ons around the same time, to complement their practice and my own.
In 2014, I enrolled in a modified yoga teacher training requiring 108 of the 200 hours for a teaching certification. I was looking for a deeper awareness in my own practice and an understanding between the sciences of yoga and Ayurveda. It was more than I ever could have imagined.
I became heavily immersed in the yoga world, incorporating the 8-fold limb into my daily life. I taught various courses with yoga instructors: meditation, chakra-balancing, plant-based challenges, and classes geared towards child nutrition.
Outside of the yoga world, I teach Ayurveda and chakra therapy to patrons in a specialized niche. They were recently diagnosed with an illness or were in remission. In either scenario, there’s one underlying theme… taking care of themselves has become a priority.
Ayurveda teaches us to pay attention to the natural cues surrounding us and within us at all times.
As it did for me, Ayurveda gave my students the power to take control of their lives and live in congruence with their needs—not the needs of their family, friends, or physicians. They learned to find the balance between western and eastern medicine. It’s a gift I wish I could have given my own family.
My goal is simple: To Empower you to understand your own Body, Mind, and Spirit better, working with Nature, not against her. I challenge you to incorporate pieces of information I’ll share with you over the next few days.
I know Ayurveda seems complicated, foreign (Ok, it is!), and out of reach for our way of living (it’s not!). Fear not. I’ll be guiding you through the basics I’ve obtained over the last 20 years. I promise it will make your journey much easier and more tangible!
A super important note: PLEASE post questions and comments below! Share this with your network and see if your friends or family have questions, too. Your questions and comments will help this community grow!
P.S. I’ve never returned to the weight I was in the late 90s… I’ve consistently lost weight as I’ve aged, despite the theory of our “aging metabolism and body.” I’ve also maintained a normal range of motion in my shoulder because of my yoga immersion of ’14.
P.S.S. It’s only ethical (and also a legal requirement) to remind you that nothing I will teach you has been approved by the FDA and should not replace care by your physician. Before you embark on this journey, please consult with your physician to ensure it’s safe for you. Sometimes yoga and Ayurveda can cause harm if not followed properly. As with any health routine, your medication may need adjusting—not doing so with proper guidance can be dangerous.