Saturday, January 18, 2020

Our Human Condition



Today I paid over 50% more for Tupelo Honey at the farmers market. When I was told the price, which had gone up, to what I at first thought was a ridiculous increase, instead of reacting, I paused, and then asked, why is there such a big price jump? What happened since the last time I bought this? What’s the world coming to with this? When she explained the rarity and difficulty they were having in harvesting this plant in Tallahasse and all that went into being able to bring it to the market, I was moved by their commitment to do it anyway, and I also thought, if we don’t support it and buy it, it will no longer be available, and for the relatively small amount of additional cost, we will all lose out on having a superior, health promoting product available. 

I see superior products being squeezed out of the market and inferior cheaper variations being accepted by the mainstream masses, and some of these are not health promoting and even health depleting.

As a small business owner in a small town I hear people repeatedly squawk at the price of things, without understanding the cost of delivering it and if you don’t value and support it, it will at some point, not be sustainable or available for you. If you are inclined to squawk at a price for something valuable and the money you spend on cheap, insignificant things that you prioritize instead, by doing so, they continue to make more of that. What you spend money on, is what will be available and next time you squawk, perhaps ask some different types of questions about what went into making that service available to you and how it can be beneficial to have around and are you coming into right relationship with it, to use it properly in order for it to have the best outcome for you, since you may also not realize the true purpose and how it all works without de-conditioning yourself, investing, surrendering and realizing you are on the outside looking in, rather than going in. You may be coming into relationship with something, using it in a wrong way due to conditioned ways of thinking and being that got you sick in the first place.

Ultimately, healing is an inside job, and when people are sick or not balanced, it’s hard for them to see clearly the way to healing. I often see them start searching outside of themselves, even to strangers on facebook and google, non educated, impersonal, mixing and matching and drawing their own conclusions from their conditioned mind and body. This is like the blind leading the blind and for many people they wander this way for years, if not their whole life, since getting skillful and truly supportive healing is beyond what they are ready to understand and embrace, often due to their conditioning, which is what got them in the state they are in, in the first place, how can it get them out of it?

Realize, Human nature is, people don’t like being told what to do and don’t like being told who they are and so then the ego will go out of its way to take a stand and block the relationship needed for healing. Many people are sick because they have not accepted themselves for who they are. They don’t accept their human condition and are looking to healers or others to make them beyond human, and so they go to healers who don’t heal humans, but treat diseases. They identify with and become their disease and want someone to get rid of it. This is an illusion, when the root cause of the disease is coming from not accepting ones human condition, so they become like an animal in over running, we have to run like a deer, rather than like a human who is not designed to run like a deer, over exercising, over efforting to become something that they’re not, they over work, over achieve, over exercise, over spend, over drink, over eat, over think, over spiritualize, over analyze, etc, and become imbalanced and lost to what it is to be a human being. 

Realize, the true nature of a Human being is not wanting to be a human being, and we are rebellious, not content with our identity and think just being a human being is a waste of time. 

That’s how we get into trouble, valuing things that we think will improve us, though that pattern is the actual problem, and not valuing those who recognize the root cause of disease and try to help others decondtion and get well by creating the opportunities for them to wake up, for their self realization of their own self sabotage and free them to reach their potential by realizing who they truly are and that the trendy diets, exercise programs, fads, trends, medications and hoopla are often making you all worse off by hiding the truth until you  just can’t avoid it any longer! But even then, people keep looking in the wrong places, even valuing doctors who may offer a form of relaxation practice, but don’t actually believe self realization is possible, when the goal of contempletive practices is not relaxation, that is the side benefit, with the goal being self realization, to know who you are is important to come into right relationships with life, healing and knowing anything valuable, and this is part of the definition of health and why contemplative work with someone who has reached that state, which is available to everyone, is part of a holistic healing program, along with the physical work.

Humans are the only species that don’t accept themselves as they are and life as it is. That’s how people organize into groups, running groups, exercise groups, cults and pseudo spiritual communities, and join all sorts of things that give them something to aspire to, since they aren’t happy with who they are. 

We have to be doing and achieving 24/7 and in the process are making a mess of ourselves and our planet, but that’s what most people think we are here to do. Start asking some new questions, shift your relationship to life, learn how to shift yourself and gain new awareness at the cellular level through deep relaxation and focus, and put your energy and your attention on higher values than you ever did before or we all are going to suffer from the loss of superior, health promoting resources and what it really means to live an extraordinary life that comes from knowing life beyond ordinary perception.

Getting started requires some faith in the fact that you will heal and the right person or wisdom to help you see where to be willful and where to surrender. We often get this backwards, and to continue on, in order to make an impact, requires conviction and conviction comes w hen you are convinced of something or someone's value, so taking a hard look at your values, which is sometimes difficult to see through conditioned values, beliefs and perceptions, and that is why the first limb of yoga focuses on them. They provide the foundation of integrity that most practitioners slosh over if even address at all and are important for any physical and energetic practices to help you to know who you are and to keep you focused to continue with the appropriate effort, attitude, relationships and faith, even when you don't see what the next step may be yet.

To get there, as Martin Luther King said, " Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the stair case." and "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." 




Monday, December 23, 2019

The CBD ( Cannabidiol) Craze Is Here


From billboards to bodegas, everywhere you look and every store you enter is peddling CBD - the penetrating cannabis oil that promises healing and pain alleviation to a litany of bodily ailments.

Notwithstanding the newness of the fad, truth is that the power of CBD has been known for over 5,000 years. We have long known of the power of pure oil - it is after all what gave rise to the original CBD-

2,000 years ago: Chanukkah Banishes Darkness! And 5,000 years ago: Consciousness & Bodywork Banishes Disease!!
In its spiritual formulation (from which the physical evolved) oil is the essential power of faith - a power so potent, that has the capacity to penetrate every fiber of our being, bringing healing to a litany of spiritual ailments, like self-doubt, anxiety, stress, cynicism, nihilism, depression, narcissism, etc. and being massaged with oil invokes feelings of love.
On the physical level, oil is used for healing the body, where it has the power to balance the nervous system, aid in circulation, lymphatic drainage, brain health, detoxification, rejuvenation and healing the skin. Ayurvedic bodywork is designed to balance the body and mind, rejuvenating the senses and nervous system, core components to gain and maintain clarity and health.
The seven-branched Menorah in the Temple, represents the seven human emotions – (the mind) the part of us that when left unchecked, makes us most vulnerable to the ailments and disease. Lighting the oil - igniting the essential faith within, or heating the oil and using it as body treatments brought emotional and physical healing and ease of being.
With its light emanating from the Temple and out to the world, The Menorah also brought cosmic healing - keeping the world aligned with its Creator-
We can think of our body as the temple, and when we are aligned we shine, and can also see it as a metaphor for being enlightened to our own nature in order to live our dharma or higher purpose, which is a component of optimal health.
The Greeks sought to undermine the alignment between man and faith and the world and G-d. By breaking the seals of the Temple oil supply, rendering them spiritually impure, they sought to repackage the oil as no longer spiritual, but cultural. This we can see in today’s market of pseudo products that are not pure, they do not hold the same frequency and healing potential when they are made cheaply with greed rather than love and passion for their purpose. The same is true for their application and use.
The Maccabees relentlessly searched for oil that had not been sanitized by the Greeks. And when they found it and lit it and it burned for eight days, they declared (the following year), that the world must know the power of pure oil/faith and that Chanukkah Banishes Darkness as well as the teachings of Ayurveda that come from the ancient seers who also knew the potency and abilities of pure oils and Consciousness & Bodywork Banishes Disease, a strong component of our human experience to help us raise to our highest potential.
For thousands of years that pure oil has continued to shed its light, offering hope and healing to broken souls and peace and meaning to a broken world. No force of darkness has been able to vanquish its light, no resistance has been able to obstruct its penetrating power.
May the power of Chanukkah and the season of light, including Christmas, Kwanza, Solstice and all those who look beyond themselves to Banish Darkness this year, banish the last vestiges of the remaining darkness in the world and usher in the era of global healing, peace and redemption and may we embrace it’s healing wonders in all areas of our lives.
This article is inspired by Rabbi Ruvi New’s recent article on CBD: The Real Story and adapted by Chaya to include the synergistic uses and metaphors in Ayurveda and her practice. If we look into ancient history, we can see the relevance and importance of pure oil for lighting the flame of attention and the fire of good health and at ChayaVeda we use only the finest oils, products, treatment protocols and health education methods to help our clients find freedom, feel better and live their purpose.
       Happy Holidays from all of us at ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts
To learn more contact Chaya or join our Transformative Wellness Challenge 2020 or schedule a wellness service, oil massage and/or shirodhara treatment.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Who Are You When You’re Strong?




We often get caught up in thinking about what’s not working or what needs improving in our lives, especially when we face difficulties.

Today is an invitation to look within for hidden treasures and discover the amazing gifts we already have.

Signature strengths refer to those strengths that are organic to us. We each have capabilities that enable us to move through life from a place of health. We all know someone who is authentically generous, compassionate, courageous or loyal, or is an appreciator of beauty. Each of these is a strength,  and each of us possesses core sustaining strengths that are an important foundation to healthy change. We just have to remember them and actually use them, either when we seek positive change or when life throws us challenges.

Take a few breaths and then take a moment to choose one or two words that describe your strengths that ring true to you about yourself. Some examples could be kindness, optimism, creativity, faithfulness, playfulness, determination, etc.

How Do You Respond To Life?

Resiliency is when we can sustain healthy transformations from leaning on our strengths in moments of stress. We can choose our actions and ways of being based upon our natural tendencies and the capacities that can move us forward. This doesn’t mean that we are not vulnerable, and often, we are often raw and exposed under stress, but what it means is that we won’t waste time punishing ourselves for who we are not, or ruminating about the gifts we don’t have. We take the moment of rawness as an opportunity to use the strengths we do have, while being open to what the moment has to teach us about growth.

Our energy follows our attention, so if we put our attention towards our strengths, we develop them and move forward with this as our new normal.

The next step is learning how to apply your knowledge of your strength.

Once you’ve identified your strengths, when a difficult or uncomfortable moment comes, center yourself and take out your list. Choose one of your strengths. Just one and apply that strength to your daily life for the next week, even if you only do it for a moment.
No matter what life brings, remember that you have more than one strength to bring to the table and you can apply it in the present moment, becoming the change we seek.
Who can we become when life pulls the rug out from under us? Our fullest selves, gifted with the qualities that enable us to rise. We simply must remember what they are and choose to go toward them.

As you practice focusing on your strengths, you may have your own insights into your own behavior and how to handle difficult and uncomfortable situations authentically, according to your nature. This is a peak experience, providing you with not only insight and stress reduction, but also improved energy levels, focus, productivity, happiness, professional attitudes and relationships with a new and authentic response to life.





Friday, October 25, 2019

Celebrating of National Ayurveda Day With Education and Gifts For You















National Ayurveda Day is celebrated every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras), the first day that marks the festival of Diwali, the festival of lights. 
This year Ayurveda Day is celebrated around the world on October 25th to promote and preserve the health science of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is one of the most ancient and well documented systems of medicine equally relevant in modern times, with its holistic approach for both healthy individuals, and for those with health conditions, that remains unparalleled.

Ayurveda embodies the principles of natural and sustainable living and this day is aimed to promote the UN-WHO's (United Nations World Health Organization) Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), by raising awareness about the strong role that Ayurveda can play in the realization of SDG 3.

25 countries have committed to host this event including USA, France, Italy, UK, Finland, Poland, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bahrain, and India.

Prevention of disease and promotion of health is the main aim of Ayurveda and known for its wisdom practices for rejuvenation and longevity and the objectives of Ayurveda Day are to further promote Ayurveda into mainstream awareness, focus on its strengths and unique treatment principles that reduce the burden of disease and related morbidity and mortality, and exploring the potential of Ayurveda to contribute towards National health policy & National health programs, creating a sense of awareness in today's generation and promoting Ayurvedic principles of healing in society.

The logo for the National Ayurveda Day (pictured above) has the following elements and meaning:
The silhouette of Dhanwantari in the center represents the "knower" of medicine. The five petals symbolize "Pancha Mahabhuta", the 5 great elements that make up us and our universe and the three circles beneath signify how these elements are organized into "Vata, Ptta, Kapha", the combinations of the elements that are also known as the biological humors or genetic formations that govern the function of us and our world, that are the fundamental principles of Ayurveda. The oval leaf encircling the elements depicts the essence of healing through Nature based on these fundamental principles.

The National Dhanwantari Ayurveda Award will be announced as well.

In recognition of this global event, and to contribute to raising awareness, we’d like to invite you to join our Wellness Challenge either on line or in person with a $10 gift coupon towards your next Ayurvedic Consultation or service by mentioning “Ayurveda Day” when booking good through November 22, 2019.

We are also offering free 10 minute orientations about ChayaVeda throughout the month of November.

If you would like more information please contact us.
Happy Ayurveda Day!!



Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Yogic Inspiration For World Mental Health Day



The state called yoga is a slowing of the fluctuations of the mind, and is the first thing discussed in the traditional practice, a holistic program for mental health that considers the close relationship between the senses, mind and heart. What we allow entrance to our mind through our senses creates desires, restlessness and often unfulfilled desires that create the mind’s activity of preference, clinging or aversion, derailing us from our true purpose and goals, and robing us of the precious space in our hearts needed to interact with life with authentic kindness. 

When the space in our heart is free our mind is free and when our heart is closed, our mind is left vulnerable to unhealthy distraction and actions that create a ripple of karmic action through our lives and the lives of those around us.

Notice that spontaneous kindness emerges in the act of letting go of your personal desires. Today, choose to be authentically kind, notice how it feels and the effect you can produce with your conscious act of letting go of yourself for a moment.

At ChayaVeda we teach the science of breath and practice breathing exercises that are calming, purifying and nourishing to our minds and hearts and contribute spontaneous kindness making the world a healthier and happier place.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October is Healthy Lung Month; Breathe As If Your Life Depends On It!



Many books have been written about the science of breath from the yogic perspective and it is a main focus in the origins and most authoritative and respected works, such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, The Hatha Yoga Pratipika and The Siva Samhita and their subsequent interpretations. I have read and studied them and with some of the world’s leading authorities over the last 26 years have experienced this science and its profound life interplay and it's my life’s work to carry on the legacy of educating the future yogis and leaders of our world, and to carry on the wisdom to sincere students who are ready and interested in knowing the truth and awakening to their true self and what that even truly means beyond trendy lingo and generational gaps of time, which are illusory as well.

The lungs and the nervous system:

“The lungs are placed in a recess so sacred and hidden that nature would seem to have specially withdrawn this part of both from the eyes and from the intellect: for, beyond the wish, it has not yet been granted to anyone to fit a window to the breast and redeem from darkness the profounder secrets of nature. For of all of the parts of the body, the lungs alone, as if shrinking from observation, cease from their movement and collapse at once on the first entrance of light and self-revelation. Hence such an ignorance of respiration and a sort of holy wonder. Still let me draw near to the inmost vitals, and concerning so obscure a matter, make at least a guess”. John Mayow, (1674), Proctor’s A History of Breathing Physiology.


Breathing usually happens from the edge of our awareness, but will and volition are always at our disposal. Just as we can choose how many times to chew a bite of food or adjust our stride when we are walking up a hill, so can we choose the manner in which we breathe.

Most of the time, however, we run on “automatic pilot”, allowing input from internal organs and sensory overload to manage the rate and depth of our breathing. Yogis emphasize choice, and have discovered the value of regulating respiration consciously.
Yoga and Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology are not an erroneous mystical idea, they are clear and accurate scientific and spiritual systems and those who study and practice them, it their entirety, find that they reveal more about the internal functioning of the human body than any modern scientific experiment or explanation.

The mind, breath and nervous system interplay within a dynamic feedback loop that controls all functions of the body and mind. This energy network corresponds to the nervous system and is called the nadis. Energy is absorbed and flows through the nadis. The nasal passages have more nerve endings than the mouth, consequently more prāna, our life force, is absorbed during nasal breathing which also has a balancing effect on the nervous system.

The system of Hatha Yoga is composed of postures and breathing, and is based on balancing and increasing the flow of prana, in the physical and subtle bodies.  Prāna exists in all things, and is abundant in air, food, sunlight and water, and expressed through the breath. The key to understanding prāna and energy is breath. One who has strong lungs and good breathing capacity usually has abundant energy.

It is true, however, that the ancient descriptions of nadis and chakras bear a remarkable resemblance to modern anatomical descriptions of nerves and plexuses, respectively. Some scientists have tried to establish a correspondence between the two systems, but the assumption behind such an attempt is that the nerves and plexuses belong to the physical body, while the nadis and chakras belong to subtle body. In other words, they are the subtle counterparts of the nerves and plexuses. The currents of prana flowing through the nadis are the subtle counterparts of the nerve impulses.

The yogis did not dissect the physical body in order to learn about its subtle crosscurrents. Dissecting the physical body to look for subtle energies would be futile. They discovered the network of nadis and chakras by mapping the flow of prana through this network, and they developed this mapping ability through introspective experimentation.

This mirrors the differences in eastern and western thoughts and values. The east values direct vision of truths and pure reasoning, with a comprehensive and holistic approach, verses the west which values the intellectual pursuit of the mind and thinking, compartmentalizing and fragmatizing information.

Bapuji, Swami Kripalu states, "though it is correct that true realization is attained by actual practice, even so, in the beginning, correct knowledge is needed. After arriving at the truth, one should review his previous ideas. If one was mistaken in the past, these errors will be banished by new understanding. If it carries the truth, then both the mind and heart will be highly pleased."

The Yogi understands the relationship and interplay between the body, breath, nerves, mind, prana, and the universe, as all part of a continuum, and he does not set up artificial distinctions and borders between them.

In western thinking, however, there is great tendency for compartmentalization. For instance, the sciences of physiology and psychology have maintained their separate identities. Only in recent times have scientists admitted the psychosomatic origins of disease. Western medicine has now come to recognize the beneficial health giving and invigorating effects of correct voluntary respiration. It is not only acting on the lungs, but the metabolism of the whole human body, mind and consciousness.

According to Yoga and Ayurveda, disease manifests when there is an imbalance in the flow of prana because it keeps us stuck, separate, and ignorant, and allows for the accumulation of toxins, the results of undigested food and experiences, and doesn’t allow the light of clarity to shine. Equilibrium is impossible without the balanced and uninhibited flow of prana, it is the link between the layers of who we are, enabling us to be integrated, within ourselves and then with the world and beyond, thereby integrating different levels of our being into a functional whole.

With increased awareness and control of the subtle aspects of breathing, and appropriate posture sequencing, along with Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, we can affect deep physical and psychological changes, opening new avenues of being to the conscious mind, providing  powerful tools in the pursuit of truly holistic health, personal growth and ultimate joy.

At some point, every human, will face a time when they will need a strong, healthy nervous system. They will need mental clarity and the back up of spiritual strength to handle the fast pace of change and the challenges of the world. The rapid advances in technology, psychology, and sociology will be huge. The chaos of information in the fast paced computer age will make it difficult for people to cope with their day-to-day lives. The body, mind and spirit will have to be organized to meet these natural human phenomena.

We can say with confidence, the way to do this is through the study and practice of Yoga and Ayurveda, whereby the body, mind, and spirit can be integrated and enhanced and we can awaken and live our highest purpose for ourselves and our world.


Get started with us Thursday, October 10th, 5:30pm-7:00pm, at our Breathing IntoSpontaneous Calm Workshop or at one of our immersion, certification programs that begin October 18th or 25th or a personal consultation or class at ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts Studio.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

September; Pain Awareness Month



We help people resolve pain issues all year long, but I just saw September was dedicated to pain awareness and a good time to announce the new law coming into effect in 2020, requiring physicians to educate their patients on alternate methods of pain reduction, that include massage therapy, yoga therapy and Ayurveda as options for reducing and often eliminating pain.

Pain receptors called neurons are on one end of nerve cells and on the other end is an axon, which connects to the spinal cord. When the pain receptor is activated, it sends a signal through the nerve, and subsequently through peripheral nerves, up the spine and neck to the brain via synapses between each neuron, eventually landing at the thalamus in the brain, which is a sorting station that sends the signals to the appropriate part of the brain. Signals are sent to the somatosensory cortex (responsible for physical sensation), the frontal cortex (in charge of thinking), and the limbic system (linked to emotions).

It seems there are several factors that affect how a person experiences pain.
In addition to the gate control theory of the thalamus are differences in emotional and psychological state; memories of previous pain; upbringing; expectations of and attitudes towards pain; beliefs and values; age; sex; and social and cultural influences.

Hence the experience of pain differs from person to person.

From the Ayurvedic viewpoint, vata (ether and air) are responsible for movement, and thereby govern the nervous system and the sensory pathway. When there is either an injury or an excess or irregularity of vata in the system, the nervous system will activate more, affecting pain level and perception.

Chronic pain can persist for months or even years after an initial injury and can be difficult to treat. People with chronic pain may experience sleeplessness, anxiety and depression, all of which are vata disorders and can compound the problem. 

However, support and help are available, often in the form of a multidisciplinary approach and with skillful integration of body/mind and contemplative practices of Ayurveda, massage and Yoga Therapy, where we work holistically, from the level of the brain, nervous system, mind and emotions, to the physical body and all aspects of a person’s daily routine and life.

This is accomplished with a combination of massage and bodywork modalities, yoga therapy tools and techniques such as appropriate movement, breathing, yoga nidra; a specific form of guided imagery that promotes very deep relaxation and integration of the brain and the nervous system and incorporating appropriate diet, herbal support and daily and season routines all prescribed according to the person’s Ayurvedic doshic condition and assessment.

By utilizing these methods, we can reduce the root causes of pain and its perception, whether they are of a pitta- inflammatory, kapha- accumulated toxins, or vata-dryness, movement and/or sensory impressions and nervous system conductivity and bring a person back to balance. 

The practices of shirodhara and yoga nidra are important for neuroplasticity and integration of the brain and nervous system, and change conditioned patterns in order to create a new normal without pain. The use of specific types of oils and appropriate styles of application or massage are best for calming the nervous system, for vata or pitta imbalances and dry, lymphatic drainage with silk gloves and/or powders work best for kapha imbalances.

These are therapeutically combined into a personalized treatment plan or panchakarma program for optimum results, (see previous blog or visit).