Rasayana, or rejuvenation, is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that restores the body’s vitality to its fullest capacity. From Sanskrit it translates to Path (āyana) of essence (rasa). Rasa, or juice , is the vital fluid that we extract from the food we eat. It brings nourishment, it carries off toxins and it enhances our immunity; It looks a lot like what modern physiology calls lymph and plasma. So Rasayana is the way to restore and maintain the fluids, the juiciness in our bodies. It restores our health and vitality, and in that way, our youth.
In Ayurveda we spend a lot of time focused on how different we are from one another — how unique we are both in constitution and experience. But we're all also in the same boat and remembering this may just allow us to find inspiration and support where we once otherwise saw little reference or connection. Then we begin to see that we just have different paddles, each navigating our way down (or up) a different river.
Ashwagandha has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs used in the West. With its dual capacity to energize and calm at the same time, it has become the go-to supplement to promote physical and emotional well-being.
Have you ever wondered what actually accounts for differences in people? Why some people are hyperactive and fast-moving and others exude grace and stillness? Why some people can eat a five-course meal with ease and others can barely finish a salad without feeling digestive distress? Genetics offers some insight, but what about the characteristics and idiosyncrasies that make every person unique? Ayurveda answers these questions through the doshas, three energetic archetype govern our physical and mental processes, and accordingly, account for the differences in our nature.
The first spiritual text my dad gave was this copy of The Bhagavad Gita. It was at a time when I was struggling with my relationship and my purpose & place, and all far from home. Since that time a copy of The Gita has been something we both keep close by, but we haven't really talked about with one another in great detail. So this past week when he was here, I asked him what it means to him—what he gets out of studying it.
Let's take a moment to first get clear on what meditation really is. The term "meditation" can refer to any process that leads you to an inner state of relaxed awareness. There needn't be any big mystery or drama about the process itself, and there's really no right or wrong way of doing it. There are simply different techniques that can be used as tools to help you focus and quiet your mind.
Ayurveda is a system of living that treats each of us as a complex, unique being with specific needs regarding diet, exercise, herbs, essential oils, self-care habits and lifestyle choices. It is an ancient, time-tested science that recognizes that as the conditions of our life change, we're healthiest when we make tiny shifts in our habits to stay in balance. Ayurveda is a daily experience of conscious living, of noticing and catching imbalances before they become disease, and permission to truly listen to our own inner teacher.
Recently, I have spoken to a few different people about yoga teacher training — how to choose one, what to expect, etc — and with a few more inquiries popping up over the weekend, I thought it'd be useful to share some thoughts more widely here...
Like Varuna water is an incredible teacher, showing us how to move with grace, ease and determination. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what's familiar. It does not waste energy resisting, but flows onward with resolve. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance.
Since personal evolution is most often a slow and gradual process, it can be difficult to recognize the scope of the changes taking place in our lives. Yet to continue to seek the path of growth and inquiry, it's important that we regularly acknowledge our ongoing growth and the subtle transformation that has already occurred as a reminder of our capacity to change.