Friday, April 29, 2011

ayurveda intensive - day 1

My first day of the Ayurveda intensive was phenomenal! I.Loved.It.

Here are some notes that I took today on philosophy:

Ayurveda is about being one with the environment. You are after all made up of the same elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether). Dis-ease occurs when you move away from the environment. Ayurveda gives us the knowledge in following daily, nightly, and seasonal routines that promote living in harmony with the environment promote health and balance. If you don't do so and find yourself ill Ayurveda provides other ways of dealing and healing.

We awaken purusha (our divine Self) by looking inward, gaining knowledge, and waking up our awareness. Doing so helps us to move a step ahead on the fab path to blissfulness. **Love this**

Three components to know in treating a dis-ease:
1. Cause
2. Symptoms
3. Treatment

Ram our teacher gave a super quick and practical example of this. For example say someone has a cold. The cause is he/she has been eating lotsa ice cream in the middle of the night (cause). They have nasal congestion (symptom). The treatment is stop eating ice cream in the middle of the night (Ram was super funny might I add). If they refuse then at least wash the ice cream down with some hot ginger tea (treatment). Of course this was the light version of it but you can get the gist, right?

"Everything is right. Everything is wrong. Be open to all of it." Ram shared this bit o' wisdom and I loved it. A great reminder to not bo too attached to any certain way.

Ayurveda says the biggie reason for dis-ease is forgetting your true Self. He presented this little method in how that actually happens:
1. We get caught up in life's daily dramas.
2. We then perform all the actions that give us pleasure (which is usually not the best for us).
3. Those actions build more desires so one is never fully satisfied.
4. Frustration/anger/fear/anxiety/stress builds up.
5. Dis-ease is a result. And there is scientific proof of this.

Take a good look at the desires you have. Many make you physically satisfied but lead to mental/emotional suffering.

Yoga is union of body, mind, and soul. There are four ways/practices to achieve this through:
1. Bhakti Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through devotion.
2. Karma Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through selfless service.
3. Raja Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through practice. (This is where asana, the poses come in. But only a lil sliver of the whole yoga pie)
4. Jnana Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through knowledge.

We chatted about different philosophies including Sankhya, Nyaya, Mimasa, and Vedanta. They all share the same goal, which is enlightenment. Ram used the popular phrase that (again) I love...many paths, one truth. He used the analogy of us all traveling to Nevada City. Some of us took planes, some cars, some bikes, etc. But it all led to the same place. We all arrived in the way we needed to, the way most comfortable for us. Same thing with philosophy and spirituality.

This made me also think about the different styles of yoga and how sometimes we as teachers and students get so attached to "our" way. Thinking it's the best and blah, blah, blah. Many paths. One truth. A great reminder.

Every action you take has karmic implications (so yes there is more to it than just "bad karma"). Selfish actions are the actions you take that serve the ego. Selfless actions are the actions you take that serve your highest Self and the greater good. In taking actions ask "Is it coming form selfishness or selflessness?"

Let yourself feel bliss*full, but don't get too attached to it.

The four goals of life (this is soooo good!):
1. Kama- pleasure, things that serve the senses and bring pleasure.
2. Artha - prosperity. Once you've taken care of yourself help take care of others. This is the highest form of artha.
3. Dharma - your duty/purpose. We have different duties/dharmas (worker, mom, wife, community, etc.) Always doing more for your job, giving too much time thus taking from the other areas of your life is not healthy dharma. This is a workaholic. (Hmmm. Note to Self.)
4. Moksha - spiritual freedom

The 3 pursuits of life:
1. To live.
2. to earn money.
3. To do virtuous acts.

Ayurveda considers proper management of food, sleep/rest, and sexual energy the three pillars of health.

The part of me that loves numbers and systems loves this about Ayurveda and Yoga. We got lotsa numbers involved!

I was going to includes notes on psychology (what we reviewed during the later part of the day), but that might too much ayurveda blogging for the day!

Enjoy your day dear yoga hearts. I'm so relishing this time in Cali. Woke up at 4:00 PST this morning. Read and reviewed notes for 90 minutes (and drank hot lemon water, yip for new habits!), did yoga/pranayama for about 30 minutes, and showered. Now I've transitioned into my cute lil kitchen, burning a peppermint candle I picked up yesterday, made a cuppa coffee, will do some work and leisurely get ready for my day beginning at 9:00.

PS - I snapped the pic above yesterday morning. I walked to a nearby place to get a green juice for breakfast. I was drooling (I mean looking) at all the yumminess and had to smile when I saw the Ayurveda staple of kichari. Gotta love CA for this reason.

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