If you have an opportunity, I'd love to hear from you regarding whether or not you would be interested in taking a Yoga Class taught by me, either in person or online. I'm particularly contemplating online classes, so I'm wondering if there is any value there for you. Thanks so much for you time! ~ Ashley
When my daughter Isabella was born late last year, I spent almost every single moment carrying her in my arms. Lifting her. Setting her down. Holding her. Giving her alllll my love. That of course, hasn't changed. However, as a result of all that original activity and because I was unaware of the excess weight I was putting onto my thumbs and the tendons that help them to function, I ended up with a relentless injury called De Quervain's tendinosis, which has yet to heal to this day (she's ten 1/2 months old).
As a result of this injury, I have had to discontinue my advanced power yoga practice as well as my other interest -- Muay Thai -- which means no more handstands, jump backs, side planks, punching bags... things like that. At first, I felt depressed at the state my body was in. Although I understood that I needed to be patient with my body as it recovered from having made and delivered a baby girl, I was depressed and frustrated that I wasn't able to care for my body the way I was used to caring for it - via hardcore daily Yoga and Muay Thai. I also wasn't able to care for my family the way I truly wanted to - I felt like an invalid. In the mornings I would wake to find my hands stiff and in pain. By the end of the day, after cleaning and cooking, caring for Isabella, etc... I could hardly move them. Mentally, I thought that I had no more energy to give to a yoga practice. I also found that my ego disliked the idea of doing any yoga practice that wasn't the usual intense, cardio-activating practice I was accustomed. It was a negative spiral for a while.
Finally though, and only after my first 8-hour sleep in months 6 months haha, I went to my mat with discipline and an internal mantra/repetitive thought:
It doesn't matter that I can't do push-ups right now. It doesn't matter that my body no longer feels as limber. I am going to start moving now and I will figure this out.
In the absence of the norm, I found myself becoming more creative with my yoga flows. I became acquainted with new poses, old poses, different parts of my body and especially my breath and thought patterns. I created yoga practices for myself which did not need to include my hands on the floor. I started "teaching in my mind" as if I were teaching other students who happened to have the same type of injury as myself - hands, wrists, or otherwise. As a result, I began to heal. Not only my hands (which are getting there with the help of a therapist) but my mind and soul too.
I realize now that I was being harsh with myself, literally inflexible and unbending. I was so used to a certain "Ashley" and certain "Yoga style" that I had been unwilling to accept my limitations, body, or self. How sad is that? How much time, I wonder, did I waste not practicing yoga simply because I couldn't do what I wanted? How silly!?
After meditating and reflecting on it all, I've forgiven myself and I am now ready to finally share what I have learned from this whole experience. And here it is:
Beginner's Yoga is just as amazing as Advanced Yoga because Yoga is about learning to accept the present limits of your current body - to embrace, move in it, grow with it, love it.
So, when and if you decide to begin a Yoga practice, whether you are advanced or new to Yoga, the key is to accept and love your body and your practice, no matter what it looks like or feels like. ❤ ~ Ashley
I WANT TO SHARE with you here a few resources that I have either recently come across or have been an avid user/follower of now for years. For example, meet Laruga Glaser! She is a beautiful, talented, and super-flexible/inspirational yogini. Was she born that way? I don't know. What I do know is that she has been a yogini for many, many years. Which means, that her beautiful practice is a complete and total result of what? HER PRACTICE. It's hers. Not yours. Not mine. Hers. And yet, although I will probably never be able to do all the poses that she does, no matter how much effort and energy I put into my practice, I can still admire her. I can still try to emulate her in my own ways, in my own practice - by practicing often and with discipline. And so can you!
The following video is of Laruga teaching Ashtanga Yoga. For more about Ashtanga yoga, consider reading one of my previous blogs such as "What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga". However, for now, consider watching the flow for at least the first 10-15 minutes. It may seem repetitive - because it is. That is one of the defining factors of Ashtanga Yoga. Within those repetition, your mind is given an opportunity to stop jumping from one thing to another - your practice becomes a moving meditation.
Purple Valley Ashtanga Yoga. (2018, March 19). Led Primary Series with Laruga Glaser. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SefpsUfI7y4&t=384s
I PRACTICED with the above video yesterday while Isabella was playing with a Tibetan singing bowl next to me (video below). :) Even though I have studied at the K.PATTABHI JOIS ASHTANGA YOGA SHALA, I don't usually practice Ashtanga Yoga as my main practice, so I too had to look up at the video some... and you may have to look up sometimes as well. NO WORRIES! Oh, and you'll also notice the use of numbers (though you may not have known they were numbers) said in a strange language. That language is Sanskrit. No worries again! You don't have to learn Sanskrit to practice yoga, but you will eventually learn some words such as CHATURANGA! haha as a by-product of your practice. Yoga is Sanskrit too --> योग ;)
After viewing the video, maybe you decide that you love it, or maybe you think Ashtanga isn't for you. That's totally okay! But please don't turn your back on it too quickly... or any type of yoga, really. My advice before you give up on a yoga style is to:
In this video, you can hear Laruga counting out the asanas :) You might also notice me modifying poses because it hurts my injured hands. Modifications are totally fine! Please don’t ever feel ashamed to modify your poses like I do, or by using a block or a strap. We were all beginners once.
OTHER YOGA BLOGS
kinolorber. (2019, March 4). Iyengar: The Man, Yoga, and the Student's Journey - Official Trailer. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvqQwr8xfgc&feature=youtu.be
Hi Readers & Yogis,
Lately, I've received some requests from lovely people interested in learning how to begin a yoga practice - particularly, how to begin when you have had no experience before. I wanted to let those that were interested know that soon I will be posting 10 minute videos to help guide you into your own Yoga practice. In them, you'll learn how simple it is to begin a yoga practice and how wonderful the benefits really are.
Take a moment and view the above presentation for a quick peek at what I am talking about :) Namaste Everyone! ~ Ashley
It has been a long while since I have written in this yoga blog and it feels really good to be back. I hadn't written here because I had to spend most of my time and energy creating and successfully running my first yoga studio YogaWasi, which meant that I put most of my blog writing skills into that blog, although... I really missed having the freedom to write more personally, like I did here. To share more of myself as a wanderer versus as a "business owner".
Having my own yoga studio was an amazing and fulfilling experience here in Cusco, Peru, but, as some of you may have heard, I recently sold it in order to be free to go to the USA to have my first child, a little girl. Yeah, I am having a little girl!
After she is born, I intend to move to London with her kind and loving father and we will start a new life there together. So, as you can see, there have been so many changes over the past few years and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all.
Despite all the changes, moving around, etc... One thing that hasn't changed is my love for yoga principles, philosophy, and practice. When I first started this blog it was with the intention of inspiring and sharing. I have missed studying yoga in depth and so I hope that now that I have a bit more free time, I am going to pick it up again and share what I learn here.
Here are my intentions with this blog and therefore what you can expect to find here if you decide to subscribe to the blog or visit it in the future:
So, if you'd like to read about any of those things, please subscribe to the blog by clicking on the button/link below. I have no idea how often I will write, but I promise to only include high-quality and useful information. If you know of someone else who might be interested in the above topics too, feel free to share the link with them.
Oh! And please comment! I would love to hear from you, hear what is going on in your life, thoughts, cares, interests etc. If you have a question about yoga or ayurveda, etc, then ask! I'll research and research until I find the answer. If you'd like to see a video about pilates or something else, simply request it in the comments section :)
Love to you,
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
The following are aspects that Pattabhi Jois emphasizes as the main components of Ashtanga Yoga.
Vinyasa: Vinyasa means breathing and movement system. For each movement, there is one breath. For example, in Surya Namskar there are nine vinyasas. The first vinyasa is inhaling while raising your arms over your head, and putting your hands together; the second is exhaling while bending forward, placing your hands next to your feet, etc. In this way all asanas are assigned a certain number of vinyasas.
The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood. Thick blood is dirty and causes disease in the body. The heat created from yoga cleans the blood and makes it thin, so that it may circulate freely. The combination of the asanas with movement and breath make the blood circulate freely around all the joints, taking away body pains. When there is a lack of circulation, pain occurs. The heated blood also moves through all the internal organs removing impurities and disease, which are brought out of the body by the sweat that occurs during practice.
Sweat is an important by product of vinyasa, because it is only through sweat that disease leaves the body and purification occurs. In the same way that gold is melted in a pot to remove its impurities, by the virtue of the dirt rising to the surface as the gold boils, and the dirt then being removed, yoga boils the blood and brings all our toxins to the surface, which is removed through sweat. If the method of vinyasa is followed, the body becomes healthy and strong, and pure like gold.
After the body is purified, it is possible to purify the nervous system, and then the sense organs. These first steps are very difficult and require many years of practice. The sense organs are always looking outside, and the body is always giving into laziness.
However, through determination and diligent practice, these can be controlled. After this is accomplished, mind control comes automatically. Vinyasa creates the foundation for this to occur.
Tristhana: This means the three places of attention or action: posture, breathing system and looking place. These three are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other.
Asanas purify, strengthen and give flexibility to the body. Breathing is rechaka and puraka, which means inhale and exhale. Both the inhale and exhale should be steady and even, the length of the inhale should be the same length as the exhale. Breathing in this manner purifies the nervous system. Dristhi is the place where you look while in the asana. There are nine dristhis: the nose, between the eyebrows, navel, thumb, hands, feet, up, right side and left side. Dristhi purifies and stabilizes the functioning of the mind.
For cleaning the body internally two factors are necessary, air and fire. The place of fire in our bodies is four inches below the navel. This is the standing place of our life force. In order for fire to burn, air is necessary, hence the necessity of the breath. If you stoke a fire with a blower, evenness is required so that the flame is not smothered out, or blown out of control.
The same method stands for the breath. Long even breaths will strengthen our internal fire, increasing heat in the body, which in turn heats the blood for physical purification, and burns away impurities in the nervous system as well. Long even breathing increases the internal fire and strengthens the nervous system in a controlled manner and at an even pace. When this fire is strengthened, our digestion, health and life span all increase. Uneven inhalation and exhalation, or breathing too rapidly, will imbalance the beating of the heart, throwing off both the physical body and autonomic nervous system.
An important component of the breathing system is mula and uddiyana bandha. These are the anal and lower abdominal locks, which seal in energy, give lightness, strength and health to the body, and help to build a strong internal fire. Without bandhas, breathing will not be correct, and the asanas will give no benefit. When mula bandha is perfect, mind control is automatic.
The six poisons: A vital aspect of internal purification that Pattabhi Jois teaches relates to the six poisons that surround the spiritual heart. In the yoga shastra it is said that God dwells in our heart in the form of light, but this light is covered by six poisons: kama, krodha, moha, lobha, matsarya, and mada. These are desire, anger, delusion, greed, envy and sloth. When yoga practice is sustained with great diligence and dedication over a long period of time, the heat generated from it burns away these poisons, and the light of our inner nature shines forth.
This forms the practical and philosophic basis of Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, whether young, old, very old, healthy or sick. Even so, the way in which a young person is taught will differ in manner from the way in which an old or sick person will be taught. Therefore, each student must be considered as an individual and taught at a pace that is suitable for their situation in life.
All students commence their instruction in the same manner in which on the first day of class they are taught Surya Namaskar A, followed by Padmasana and deep breathing, and a few minutes of rest to conclude their first day of practice. The next day after Surya Namaskar A has been performed, Surya Namaskar B is taught, and one then again concludes in the same method as the previous day, with Padmasana, deep breathing, and rest. After both of the Surya Namaskar have been learned correctly, each of the various asanas are added one by one. When one asana is correct, the next one is taught. Depending on the age and ability of the student, it can take anywhere upwards of 3 months to learn the primary series.
The format of the practice always remains the same; one always begins practice with Surya Namaskar, concludes with Padmasana and rest, and the various asanas gradually fill the space between these two poles. Learning yoga in this traditional manner benefits the student on many levels. It is possible for one to gain independence and confidence in their sadhana (spiritual practice), as well, something truly becomes one’s own when they learn it by heart. It is through the daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga that we draw it into ourselves, understand it, and become proficient in its methods, thereby reaping its wide range of benefits. For this to be accomplished, a slow, dedicated and patient approach is best.
Vinyasa means careful linking of breath and movement. The Surya Namaskar and each of the successive asanas are comprised of a particular number of vinyasas. Vinyasa creates heat in the body, which warms the blood. The warmed blood passes through the muscles, nerves, internal organs and glands, removes toxins from them, and carries them out through the sweat. This is how the process of purification begins. It is important that the student does not rush ahead doing too many asanas, and allows the body to be gradually purified. If one rushes ahead quickly, it is possible for sickness to occur, rather than purification. It is important that the teacher checks to ensure that the position of the body and the movement of breath are correct in each asana before moving the student forward so that one may reap the proper benefit of Ashtanga Yoga.
Because of the difficult nature of remembering and mastering the various vinyasas, on Fridays and Sundays, group guided classes are taught, in which all the vinyasas are counted out loud and all students follow along together accordingly.
The method of Yoga taught at KPJAYI is that which the ancient Sage Vamana in his text called “Yoga Korunta” has told. Although many books on Yoga have been written, Vamana is the only one who has delineated a complete practical method. In the 1920’s, the Yogi and Sanskrit Scholar, T. Krishnamacharya traveled to Calcutta where he transcribed and recorded the Yoga Korunta, which was written on palm leaves and was in a bad state of decay, having been partially eaten by ants. Later, Krishnamacharya passed on these teachings to the late Pattabhi Jois, whose school continues to teach this method today.
"Success comes to him who is engaged in the practice. How can one get success without practice; for by merely reading books on Yoga, one can never get success."
( Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Verse 67)
The following is a list of tentative definitions of Yoga Therapy by the International Association of Yoga Therapy:
Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the philosophy and practice of Yoga.
~ What is Yoga Therapy? - An IAYT Definition
Yoga therapy is a self-empowering process, where the care-seeker, with the help of the Yoga therapist, implements a personalized and evolving Yoga practice, that not only addresses the illness in a multi-dimensional manner, but also aims to alleviate his/her suffering in a progressive, non-invasive and complementary manner. Depending upon the nature of the illness, Yoga therapy can not only be preventive or curative, but also serve a means to manage the illness, or facilitate healing in the person at all levels.
~ TKV Desikachar & Kausthub Desikacha
Yoga therapy, derived from the Yoga tradition of Patanjali and the Ayurvedic system of health care refers to the adaptation and application of Yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing health challenges at any level manage their condition, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality, and improve attitude.
~ Gary Kraftsow - American Viniyoga Institute
Yoga therapy is that facet of the ancient science of Yoga that focuses on health and wellness at all levels of the person: physical, psychological, and spiritual. Yoga therapy focuses on the path of Yoga as a healing journey that brings balance to the body and mind through an experiential understanding of the primary intention of Yoga: awakening of Spirit, our essential nature.
~ Joseph LePage, M.A. - Integrative Yoga Therapy (U.S.A.)
Yoga therapy adapts the practice of Yoga to the needs of people with specific or persistent health problems not usually addressed in a group class.
~ Larry Payne, Ph.D - Samata Yoga Center (U.S.A.)
Yoga therapy is the adaptation of yoga practices for people with health challenges. Yoga therapists prescribe specific regimens of postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to suit individual needs. Medical research shows that Yoga therapy is among the most effective complementary therapies for several common ailments. The challenges may be an illness, a temporary condition like pregnancy or childbirth, or a chronic condition associated with old age or infirmity.
~ Robin Monro, Ph.D - Yoga Biomedical Trust (England)
Yoga comprises a wide range of mind/body practices, from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation. Yoga therapy tailors these to the health needs of the individual. It helps to promote all-round positive health, as well as assisting particular medical conditions. The therapy is particularly appropriate for many chronic conditions that persist despite conventional medical treatment.
~ Marie Quail - Yoga Therapy and Training Center (Ireland)
(Yoga therapy is) the use of the techniques of Yoga to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
~ Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D.
Yoga therapy consists of the application of yogic principles, methods, and techniques to specific human ailments. In its ideal application, Yoga therapy is preventive in nature, as is Yoga itself, but it is also restorative in many instances, palliative in others, and curative in many others.
~ Art Brownstein, M.D.
Yoga therapy may be defined as the application of yogic principles to a particular person with the objective of achieving a particular spiritual, psychological, or physiological goal. The means employed are comprised of intelligently conceived steps that include but are not limited to the components of Ashtanga Yoga, which includes the educational teachings of yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Also included are the application of meditation, textual study, spiritual or psychological counseling, chanting, imagery, prayer, and ritual to meet the needs of the individual. Yoga therapy respects individual differences in age, culture, religion, philosophy, occupation, and mental and physical health. The knowledgeable and competent yogi or yogini applies Yoga Therapy according to the period, the place, and the practitioner's age, strength, and activities.
~ Richard Miller, Ph.D
Yoga therapy is of modern coinage and represents a first effort to integrate traditional yogic concepts and techniques with Western medical and psychological knowledge. Whereas traditional Yoga is primarily concerned with personal transcendence on the part of a "normal" or healthy individual, Yoga therapy aims at the holistic treatment of various kinds of psychological or somatic dysfunctions ranging from back problems to emotional distress. Both approaches, however, share an understanding of the human being as an integrated body-mind system, which can function optimally only when there is a state of dynamic balance.
~ Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
What if religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water -- the rivers, lakes, and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the center of our being?
~ Ganga White - Founder of the White Lotus Foundation.
Ayurveda is the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature. It is an ancient natural wisdom of health and healing, a science of life. The aims and objectives of this science are to maintain the health of a healthy person and to heal the disease of an unhealthy person. Both prevention (maintenance of good health) and healing are carried out by entirely natural means.
According to Ayurveda, health is a perfect state of balance among the body's three fundamental energies, or doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and an equally vital balance among body, mind, and the soul or consciousness.
Ayurveda is a profound science of living that encompasses the whole of life and relates the life of the individual to the life of the universe. It is a holistic system of healing in the truest sense. Body, mind, and consciousness are in constant interaction and relationship with other people and the environment. In working to create health, Ayurveda takes into consideration these different levels of life and their interconnectedness.
As a science of self-healing, Ayurveda encompasses diet and nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, rest and relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, and medicinal herbs, along with cleansing and rejuvenation programs for healing body, mind, and spirit. Numerous adjunct therapies such as sound, color, and aromatherapy may also be employed. The purpose of this blog is to acquaint you with these natural methods, so you can make the lifestyle choices and learn the self-healing modalities that are right for you in order to create, maintain, or restore health and balance.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means, “the science of life and longevity.” According to this science, every individual is both a creation of cosmic energies and a unique phenomenon, a unique personality. Ayurveda teaches that we all have a constitution, which is our individual psychobiological makeup. From the moment of conception, this individual constitution is created by the universal energies of Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
These five elements combine into the three fundamental energies, or doshas. Ether and air constitute vata, which is the energy of movement, fire and water constitute pitta, the principle of digestion or metabolism, the transformation of matter into energy; and water and earth make up kapha, the energy of structure and lubrication. When the male sperm and the female egg join at the time of fertilization, the vata-pitta-kapha factors from the parents’ bodies that are most active and predominant at that moment, due to the season, the time, the emotional state, and the quality of their relationship, form a new individual with a particular constellation of qualities.
In modern terms we speak of this blueprint of the individual as our inherited genetic code; form ancient times Ayurveda has called it our prakruti or individual constitution, a constant factor that does not change throughout life. It is our own unique pattern of energy, our combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics and predispositions.
Though the underlying structure of our prakruti remains a fixed reality, our home base or essential individuality, it is constantly bombarded by numerous forces. Changes in age and in our external environment, alternating heat and cold as the seasons pass, our endlessly shifting thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and the quality and quantity of the food we eat continuously affect us. Unhealthy diet, excess stress, insufficient rest or exercise, and repressed emotions all disturb our doshic balance. Depending on the type of changes and the individual’s underlying constitution, various ailments may develop:
· Some individuals experience an increase or aggravation of kapha, leading to conditions such as colds, congestion, sneezing, and allergic manifestations, as well as attachment, greed, and possessiveness.
· A pitta individual may become highly critical, angry, or perfectionistic, or may develop physical symptoms such as acid indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, dysentery, hives, rash or acne.
· Vata imbalances may manifest as constipation, abdominal distention, sciatica, arthritis, or insomnia, along with psychological symptoms such as fear, anxiety, and insecurity .
All these illnesses and conditions, in addition to the countless others that lead to human suffering, are due to alterations in the body’s inner ecology. These upset the individual’s balance, creating subtle biochemical changes that ultimately lead to disease. This is why the Ayurvedic system of medicine speaks of the need for healing for every individual in every walk of life.
As the internal and external conditions of our lives change, if we are going to remain healthy we need to constantly adjust in order to maintain equilibrium. Some of this adjusting takes place automatically due to the beautiful wisdom and intelligence with which our bodies have been designed. But much demands conscious choice.
To maintain health and balance, we have to juggle with the three doshas, taking action to increase or decrease vata, pitta, or kapha as conditions demand. This requires moment-to-moment awareness, moment-to-moment healing.
Thus healing – healthy, balances, conscious living in the fullness of the present moment – is really a way of life. Ayurveda is not a passive form of therapy but rather asks each individual to take responsibility for his or her own daily living. Through our diet, our relationships, our job, our numerous responsibilities, and our daily life as a whole, we can take simple actions for prevention, self-healing, wholeness, and growth toward fulfillment.
According to Ayurveda, our life has a purpose. Simply stated, that purpose is to know or realize the Creator (Cosmic Consciousness) and to understand our relationship with That, which will entirely influence our daily living. This great purpose is to be achieved by balancing four fundamental aspects of life: dharma, which is duty or right action; artha,material success or wealth; kama, positive desire; and moksha, spiritual liberation. These are called the four purusharthas,the four great aims or achievements in the life of any individual.
The foundation of all these facets of life is health. To maintain dharma and to carry out our duties and responsibilities to ourselves and others, we must be healthy. Likewise, in order to create affluence and achieve success in action, good health is indispensable. To have creative, positive desire, we need a healthy mind and consciousness, a healthy body, and healthy perception. (Desire – kama – is sometimes translated as sex and refers to progeny and family life, but it is really the positive energy or force of desire that generates and propels any creative work.) And moksha or spiritual liberation is nothing but perfect harmony of body, mind, and consciousness or soul. Thus the whole possibility of achievement and fulfillment in life rests on good health.
In the six years that I have been practicing yoga and studying Ayurveda, I have repeatedly observed that lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and daily routine, can be a potent source of healing as well as a cause of disease. Many health problems seem intertwined with the stresses of daily life, family and relationship problems, and worries about job and money. Others are directly connected to eating the wrong kinds of food or getting too much or too little exercise.
I have also grown more and more aware that illness provides us with an invitation for self-transformation, an opportunity to change our way of thinking, feeling, eating, and in general caring for ourselves and our lives. It never ceases to amaze and delight me how quickly and powerfully life can be set on the right track and balance restored simply through a proper diet, herbal medicines, meditation, an appropriate exercise program, and other purely natural means.
The remedies and notes in my Ayurveda Studies come from my own personal experience and studies, based on principles and practices developed over centuries. The tradition of Ayurveda extends back over more than five thousand years of continuous daily practice, from ancient times to the present day. It is not a recently developed system of “alternative healing” but an enduring science of life that has never lost its integrity and essential nature. You can imagine how much wisdom it contains and how much practical knowledge it has accumulated over a span of five millennia!
About three thousand years ago (around 900 B.C.), the long oral tradition of Ayurveda took new form when three great scholars – Charaka, Sushruta, and Vagbhata – wrote down the principles of this ancient wisdom. Their textbooks are still used by students, practitioners, and teachers in Ayurvedic medical schools and colleges throughout India.
In a profound sense, Ayurveda is the mother of all healing systems. From its eight principal branches (pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, ophthalmology, geriatrics, otolaryngology, toxicology, general medicine, and surgery) have come the main branches of medicine as it is practiced today, as well as many modern healing modalities, including massage, diet and nutritional counseling, herbal remedies, plastic surgery, psychiatry, polarity therapy, kinesiology, shiatsu, acupressure and acupuncture, color and gem therapy, and meditation. All these have roots in Ayurvedic philosophy and practice.
The great sage-physician Charaka, one of the founders of Ayurvedic medicine, said, “A physician, though well versed in the knowledge and treatment of disease, who does not enter into the heart of the patient with the virtue of light and love, will not be able to heal the patient.” To the best of my ability, as I continue my own self-education and as I share with you what I have learned, I will follow this advice and I would urge you to follow it in using this knowledge to help others and to heal yourself.
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this section of my website with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being.
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley