Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,
As the Christmas season arrives, some of us embrace it, and some of us have mixed feelings – feeling detached from the tradition, what it has become commercially, and what it may symbolise spiritually – yet, wanting to feel part of the greater community and our loved ones for whom Christmas has deep meaning. This post is mostly for you, with some tips on how to survive the Christmas season with grace. Once, I read in my favourite translation of the Sutras that “everyone speaks about God, no matter what they are talking about, it's all God”. This helped me greatly at the time to connect with someone I loved dearly, yet felt I had nothing in common with. It is not intended to be a religious statement, but one that unifies – reminding us that underneath everything, we are one, we are interconnected. The same molecules run through all of us, the same mystery, the same life force. Whether we call it God, Nature, Truth or even Hughie doesn't matter. To put it in a modern context, it was like having a translator mechanism in my head – whatever I heard got translated into something that had meaning for me. For example, Jesus – whose birth is celebrated at Christmas, was known as the light and the way. These words are also frequently used in yogic traditions. The light is the light of truth, that removes all ignorance and sets us free. The way (one of the meanings of yoga is “the way”) is the path that takes us to that state of illumined understanding, where we experience bliss, and it is heavenly (pun intended!!) So when someone says to us “Merry Christmas” our inner translator can tell us “may you find the light within you” or “may you find the place of peace within”. It is a way to be in our own truth, without having to deny anyone else's. When we live with and love people whose outlook is different to ours, we need to find ways to co-exist in harmony and be a constant expression of love. Simultaneously, you can also ask yourself how can I be the expression of love, of light in this moment. Too often we think this has to be a grand gesture, or life changing action – it doesn't. It can be as simple as listening with a smile while your garrulous aunty or grandma tells one of her long stories; it can be helping in the kitchen, serving with grace; it can be taking time out to help someone less fortunate; it can be to remain loving no matter what. As with everything in yoga, your actions will either take you towards or away from the ultimate state of awareness. Let that be your guide. Oh, and for those who love it? Go for it, be as fully present to the joy of being with family and celebration as you possibly can! Love, peace and blessings to all <3
Classical Ayurveda is a unique and truly complete health modality that expands on your practice of yoga to incorporate health techniques using everything around us - including the seasons! We are interconnected with the world around us and are in flux with the world’s cycles and universal laws. It is now summer time . The element of fire is naturally high in summer and Ayurveda says the taste dominant in the environment is pungent which possess the qualities of heating and sharpness. This pungency affects our body and mind. We become hot, easily irritated and can experience more Pitta type problems such as skin problems. Pungent is also a depleting taste, which means our energy reserves are lower. It is important that we modify our lifestyles and diets to balance the element of fire in our bodies to help us achieve balance, great health and feel our best.
Some general summer time tips you can start to implement now:
Take it easy! Slow down and conserve your energy levels. Don’t do marathon runs in the hot sun or overwork in your yoga practice! Enjoy yoga & exercise without pushing your self too hard, and enjoy beautiful early morning walks or swims; in the cooling rainforest is the best.
Avoid anything too hot and pungent in taste. Reduce your chilli and pepper intake and incorporate cooling foods such as coconut, coconut water, cardamom, coriander and leafy greens. Don’t be mistaken, we still need cooked warm foods to support the metabolism as our appetite reduces in Summer (the digestive fire disperses to the skin’s surface in an attempt to cool the body). Yes, eat the festive foods and enjoy it with others! But just limit it to a very small handful and take the time to enjoy and taste it The body is actually very forgiving, it is when the pattern is repeated over and over that the excess creates problems.
Lastly, use time off during the festive season for enjoying, learning and taking care of yourself. When we take the time to care for ourselves such as reading enlightening books, meditating, swimming and giving ourselves coconut self massages (or receiving one !) we are less inclined to fall into the trap of overindulgence with bad foods and sabotaging activities such as binge drinking.
We CAN live Ayurvedically AND live within society with our families & the community at the same time. But so amazingly, with more beauty, ease & better health, while incidentally positively influencing our loved ones around us too!
Together, Yoga and Ayurveda provide a complete system of health care. From acute problems to chronic disease, including infections, menopause, low immunity, infertility, allergies, to anxiety. Explore classical Ayurveda and start experiencing the benefits. Santosha offers a full range of classical and organic body and mind therapies, diet & lifestyle consultations, practitioner health consultations, education, products, cleanses and more! Visit us at Ayurveda Santosha House Currumbin! Check out www.ayurvedasantosha.com or call 0415051478.