Get In Touch With Your Inner Guru

What is your inner guru? As you may have guessed, your inner guru is your own wisdom, accessed by turning inwards. The wisdom of the inner guru comes to us in many ways. Perhaps you mention to a friend that you’ve been grappling with a decision and soon after you say this, the answer becomes clear. Maybe you are a creative type and your ideas seem to pop-up out of nowhere. If you are a parent, partner or business owner, perhaps your inner guru shines through most brightly when you suddenly discover new ways to meet the needs of all who depend on you.

The inner guru is evident when you find yourself making decisions with greater and greater ease - and everything works out. Or, things don’t work out but you don’t get very upset about it. As we become wiser with the help of our inner guru, not only do we feel more clear about which direction is the best one for us but we meet the less-than-perfect situations in life with more patience and grace.

Ayurveda grew out of the desire to contact the wisdom of the inner guru. It was developed by people like you and I who wanted answers to the most difficult questions we face in life: who am I? How should I live? How can I find meaning and fulfillment? After thousands of years of inquiry and experimentation, this body of knowledge has been made available to us. Ayurveda offers a host of practices for reconnecting with our inner guru.

The first step in rediscovering the voice within is detoxifying the body — gently and safely. Ayurveda proposes that toxins in our bodies prevent the free and clear flow of biological intelligence. When our body doesn’t function properly we experience indigestion, restlessness, indecision, fatigue, emotional turbulence and other physical and psychological discomforts that prevent clear thinking. So, Ayurveda says that we must, first, optimize digestion, which allows detoxification to happen naturally. We can alter our diet, exercise routine or daily regimen; take herbs, meditate or do yoga. Ayurveda meets you where you’re at and says, “What are you willing to change right now? Let’s make a plan that is realistic for you.”

If you find yourself excited about this possibility, find out how Ayurveda can help you. Are you ready to reconnect with your inner guru?

What Is Mindfulness, Really? Practices for Daily Life

I recently said to a friend, as I watched him eat very quickly (as he always does), “You’re really not interested in mindful eating, are you?” He replied, “I don’t get mindful eating,”. “Respectfully,” I said, “if you don’t get mindful eating, I’m not sure you understand mindfulness at all.” “Maybe not,” he said.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment. I drink water and I know that I am drinking the water. Drinking the water is what is happening.”

How often in a day, do you know what is going on in the present moment? How often are you aware of the movement of your breath? The sensation in your spine? The distant sound of a bird or a car driving by? To be mindful is to be engaged in the practice of noticing what is happening right now.

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Waking Up: A Chance to Begin Anew

How do you feel when you’re first waking up? Are you excited for a new day? Do you feel like you’re starting anew? Or do you dread getting out of bed? Or maybe it depends which day of the week it is? Take a moment right now and close your eyes and think about the last time you felt excitement for life as you were waking up.

Waking up happens every morning. It’s a unique moment in our day, transitioning from sleep to waking life. In that moment we have a potent opportunity to shift our perspective and set the tone for our day.

My Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad, suggests that as we wake up we can rub our hands together to make them warm (if they’re not already) and then softly rub our face, neck and torso for a gently invigorating start to our day.

I met a man once, in India, who said that, every morning as he’s waking up, he looks at the palms of his hands and thanks God for another day.

As a yoga teacher, I use the idea of waking up to help my students access a “starting anew” feeling...

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Does the Early Bird Really Catch the Worm?

I’ve always been a morning person. I used to practically leap out of bed in the morning. I’d throw the covers off, swing my legs over the edge and hit the ground running.

Ayurveda suggests that, to optimize energy, waking just before sunrise is ideal for Pitta types; waking well before sunrise is best for Kapha but Vata can sleep later due to their hyper-mobile nature. They need more rest and stillness, since they are so mentally and physically active when awake.

I’m Pitta predominant and I’ve always enjoyed waking early after about 7 hours of sleep. This is exactly what Ayurveda suggests is a good amount of sleep for my type so, lucky me! I seem to be right on track.

Waking really early does have its cons, though. I’m often negotiating earlier dinner dates with friends so that I can be finished dinner by 7pm and home and in bed by 10:30pm. In the summer, when the days are longer, I sometimes wake as early as 4:30 or 5am and then find myself ready to be done the day by 5pm, when many friends are just getting off work and wanting to go out and do something active after sitting at a desk all day.

Since my early riser lifestyle occasionally puts me out of sync with others, I started to wonder if this schedule really does work best for me or if it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into. Would I actually function worse (or better) if I went to bed later and/or slept longer?

So, I did an experiment and started staying up later…

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