What I most love about ayurveda is its focus on preventive care. From an ayurvedic POV, at the core of every imbalance, is prajnaparadha, or a crime against our own intelligence. Every time we engage in an activity or take in a substance that we know is not good for us, but we do it anyway, that is prajnaparadha. These little ways we betray ourselves throw us off balance. Eventually they add up and cause more serious illness.
So the question is: why would we intentionally go against our own body’s intelligence? What drives our prajnaparadha? I think the answer is stress. Stress throws our hormones out of whack; it drives us to reach for substances and activities to make us feel better—a sugary snack, another hit of caffeine, alcohol, mindless eating when we’re not hungry, staying up too late with media we don’t really care about, frittering our time away….yet much of what we reach for from an imbalanced state simply drives the imbalance deeper.
The big imbalance in our culture is a kind of driving busyness. So many of us regularly put out more energy than we actually have to give draining our reserves, which are our immunity, exhausting ourselves and making us sick. Unfortunately, this way of living is often felt as necessary in order to attend to the many demands of our daily life. Many of us who are in a cycle like this, don’t know any other way to live. So, if I were to give you the diet and lifestyle practices that ayurveda recommends for you, you might simply add another dozen things to your “to do” list. And while this would in fact be helpful a bit—it wouldn’t get to the root of the problem, which is how we are living.
Ayurveda—the science of life—is a path of self-healing. And self-healing is a path of slowing down and listening to the messages our body is relaying to us, discerning our level of imbalance, and bringing in more of the balancing activities and substances so that we can calm down and return to ourselves. The wisdom of Ayurveda supports us in returning to more natural rhythms, the same rhythms we observe in Nature in the cycles of the day, the season, the year that are reflected in our own biorhythms.
We learn early in ayurveda school that an underlying cause to most illness is an overactive and exhausted nervous system. Resting and learning to calm our minds are key to sustaining health. We know this from raising children—nap time, snack time, bed time: we introduce rhythm into their lives to help calm their immature nervous systems. Our nervous systems, though mature, are overstimulated and bombarded by electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, wifi and screen time. Even if we are not using these devices a lot, our family members are, our neighbors are, the cafe we are in has wifi, and so it is very hard to escape the effects of this electromagnetic onslaught. This weakens our energy field and makes us even more vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed because we are less energetically resilient. Unless we are living in a remote town, we are regularly navigating traffic and busyness all around us. It takes a big toll.
Bringing more healthy rhythm into our daily lives is the foundational practice even before we change what we are eating, or begin taking herbs or cleansing. This involves sleeping and waking at the same time; eating meals at regular times; exercising and meditating at regular times; regular down-time with loved ones, in Nature and with ourselves. So how do we do this? How do we begin to change the way we are living???
We begin where we are. This is important. We may be more or less in sync with these rhythms or we may be completely out of sync. Either way our work is the same: we commit to an action each week, and we consistently take that action. That may be getting up 15 minutes earlier so that you can have a morning routine. That might mean transitioning from a late night heavy dinner to a lighter, earlier dinner and a larger mid-day meal. That might mean drinking hot water with lemon in the morning first thing…It doesn’t matter what action you start with. Just keep on practicing and observe the effects. If you miss a day, observe the effects of not doing it. My teacher, Dr. Lad said again and again that ayurveda is all about expanding awareness. We can expand our awareness every moment.
This whole process is easier when we have support. I am now enrolling a wonderful group of women for my Sacred Daily Essentials course the begins October 11th. This 8 week journey into the healthy habits that will support you for the rest of your life consists of two in-person meetings and eight audio lessons you listen to on your own time. We meet on the phone most weeks to discuss the lesson of the week, to check in as a group, and to receive mentoring. Additionally I spend some one-on-one time with you giving you specific guidance around what you are working on. Written growth work will support your integration of the material as you pick your one weekly action to take and make these practices part of your daily life. All of this is recorded, so you can make this fit into your current rhythm, and benefit from the course and the group field, even if you can’t make the calls!
The awareness that will open up for you in the process is huge. You will make connections you have never made before. You will feel better. You will be on the road to better energy, more nourishing daily rhythms, and all of that will support you in all that you want to give to your family, work and creative life.
Are you ready to take better care of yourself?
Fill out an application here. No obligation for applying. I will send you a link to schedule a phone call and we will talk about your application, and see if the course is a good fit for you at this time.
Early-bird enrollment is running through Sept. 22nd, to receive $200 off the price of the course! A limited number of scholarships are available to those in need (ask me).