Yoga, Ayurveda, and ME!
The word ‘yoga’ means to unite. Yoga helps to unify and bring harmony to my body, mind and soul.
The word ‘ayurveda’ means life science. Ayurveda teaches me about myself. The goal of Ayurvedic treatments and lifestyle is to:
Eliminate impurities (both physical and mental),
Reduce symptoms of disease,
Increase resistance to disease,
Reduce worry, stress, and anxiety,
Increase harmony in our day-to-day lives.
In the world we live in today, the above two concepts are so challenging.
We compete, we compare, and we judge. Not only others, but ourselves most of all.
We’ve been taught to compete
The philosophies of yoga and ayurveda go against everything we have been taught in school. In school, we are compared with others on every level. Who is the smartest, the most well-behaved, the best dressed, the most popular.
True happiness and true freedom comes from acceptance. Accepting who you are and accepting others for who they are. No judgement, no competitiveness, and a whole-hearted belief that we are all one and the same.
That’s true freedom to me, and I’ll be honest with you - the search for it has been difficult.
Like I said, we weren’t taught how to do this in school, so we have to search out other ways to find that happiness and freedom.
Your body can’t hide the truth
Throughout my life, I have been so damn hard on myself, and that has caused me a lot of suffering.
Maybe I’m even being hard on myself right now for thinking that I should have been different!
But one thing I can tell you is that I know the body doesn’t lie. And how do I know that? Let me be honest with you.
For the last five years, I have had sores on my body that just won’t go away. During my darkest days, they get worse. For me, that’s a glaringly obvious and undeniable truth that demonstrates the link between body and mind.
And you know what? I feel lucky to have had those sores. I feel lucky to have seen something external on me that shoved my illness right before my eyes, so I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
At first I didn’t want to label it an illness, I’m a yoga teacher for God’s sake! I have to look like I’ve got this all together! But deep down, I knew that’s what it was. And I tried so hard to push it away.
Although I’m a firm believer that life is a journey towards self-love, I still struggled so hard to get to that place. There were so many moments that I spent in the bath, scratching at the sores on my leg, hoping they would go away. Denying my pain and trying to hide it. Hoping some miracle would happen and I’d be cured, my worries would be gone, my sores would be healed.
But deep down I knew the work had to be done. The sores wouldn’t heal unless I tried to heal myself from the inside, and I knew that meant taking the journey towards self-love. The journey I so strongly advocated and believed in, yet couldn’t bring myself to practice on my own self.
I will leave you with this note
My intimate relationships have caused me the most suffering in life.
I have been unable to maintain my independence and find myself attaching to my partner, and that has been the biggest cause of suffering for me. When I do this, I lose my sense of self.
I read this passage out in my yoga classes sometimes, and I’d like to share it with you and end this blog on a positive note, to get you thinking:
One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, superiority, lies, false pride, and ego.
The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith”.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied:
“Whichever one you feed”.