In the last five weeks, I’ve been really really fortunate to have visited the peaks of the mountains in Colorado, the Chesapeake Bay near my hometown in Maryland, and to the Atlantic beaches in Rhode Island.
And, every time I go to one of these spaces - the mountains or the ocean - I always think, gosh it’s so hard for me to choose which one I love more. The mountains? Or the ocean? For me, living near the rolling sea or the peaked elevations is a jackpot situation. When in either one of these settings, my go-go-go personality relaxes immediately. I breathe deeply. My seemingly big, big problems feel much more manageable, though no less significant.
It has me thinking…am I beach person? Or a mountain person? And, then after a weekend studying Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy, I realized…wait, I’m both. I experience profound ease and inspiration in both places, because it’s not solely the water or the earth I’m connecting with. It’s the ether I love. Space. Expansiveness.
Are you scratching your head? Like, what is she talking about? Let’s keep talking about how important the elements are for your well-being.
In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, we recognize that nature is reflected within us…that, in fact, we have a lot more in common with nature than we realize in our modern lives. Nature is made up of the following elements and so are we:
And, within each of us, there are particular elements that we are primarily made up of (i.e. I am a fire and water type). This is called a dosha in Ayurveda, which translates loosely to constitution. Knowing our dosha allows us to understand dis-ease we’re prone to experiencing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Example: As a fiery dosha type, I am prone to inflammation in my body like heartburn, impaired digestion, and overworking myself when out of balance.
When we learn to know more about our unique make-ups and how these natural elements are reflected within, we can work to support our own sense of well-being that much better. This is an element of yoga therapy, and one I use strongly to support individuals. I even use it in group classes (if you’re a longtime student, you may notice I incorporate the seasons all the time).
What I love about Ayurveda is that it’s not a one size fits all program (i.e. this is why Paleo or Keto or FODMAP diets work for some people and not others, and why some people gravitate towards swimming and others tai chi for movement). We each have a slightly different formulation of these elements at any given time, and our bodies, minds, and hearts each need different modes of healing to bring balance. This is so FREEING. With Ayurveda, we learn to work with our bodies and minds and adjust in accordance with the seasons, how we feel (in all respects), and even during times of the day. But, it takes a little while to become fluent and re-learn how to live in this way (children can tap into this pretty innately). And, that is where a Yoga Therapy and/or Ayurvedic practitioner can help.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared many elements of Yoga Therapy:
And, now, I would like to propose an invitation. If any of this has resonated…If any of these messages have made you pause and think, yes, I think this might help my own health and wellbeing…If you have a curiosity about how we can work together, then let’s schedule a complimentary consultation.
In 20 minutes, we’ll talk either on the phone or WhatsApp, I’ll learn more about your needs, and you can ask all the questions to see if this type of therapy is really a fit for you. Just reply to this message and we’ll talk.
In the meantime, perhaps pause and think about which of these natural elements you are drawn to and why. How do you incorporate them into your life? How might getting in touch with one or two of the elements bring you balance?
P.S. Currently, I am seeing yoga therapy clients online via Zoom or WhatsApp (so we can see each other!). The beauty is that we can meet wherever is comfortable for you - your living room, bedroom, office, etc. All you’ll need is a yoga mat, and perhaps a few pillows (or yoga bolsters) and a blanket for your session. If you’re local to Rhode Island, we can meet in person. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about yoga therapy might be the therapy to support you and your healing.
P.P.S. Check out my Insta story for a sneak peek into my home yoga space (what you’ll see when we’re working together).