Finding Balance

Last November I was sick and could feel an imbalance in many areas of my life. I had heard about Ayurveda, often referred to as “Yoga’s Sister Science” but didn’t know much about it. Or know anyone accessible to me that did.
So, I spent an entire weekend online – researching the ancient practices of Ayurveda. I was blown away at the possibilities that simple shifts in diet and daily maintenance could make.

I realized that I was already practicing Ayurveda.
– go to sleep by 10PM
– wake up by 6AM
– eliminate alcohol from diet
– use a neti pot to cleanse nasal passages
– practice yoga daily

I made these simple additions:
– drink warm lemon water each morning
– scrap tongue each morning
– add yogurt to diet (I had been following a vegan diet)
– eliminate sweets (pastries, etc.) from diet

With the additional Ayurvedic adjustments I was able to listen to my body, cure myself, and become my highest and best teacher – A lesson that I have learned from Yoga.

Excited about the new door I opened, and eager to know more, I scoured social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest) for articles, advice, and recipes. On Twitter, I found and began following what seemed to be the Ayurveda authority: Maharishi Ayurveda (@MAPIcom). (I had no idea of the role that the Maharishi would eventually play in my path)

Then, I asked a great friend of mine, who practices Ayurveda, questions. lots of questions. When she couldn’t answer all of my questions she became the link for me to Dr. Jim Davis. I met Dr. Davis over dinner at a lovely local Indian food restaurant. Minutes after we met, he gave me my first official Ayurvedic lesson:

– avoid cold beverages
I ordered my first “water with no ice”! Our dinner seemed like me most natural meeting, as if we were “meant” to cross paths. I learned that Dr. Davis was an alumni and soon to be professor at the Maharshi Ayurveda University. It all seemed to make sense at the pieces fell into place.
Dr. Davis was gracious and kind in answering my many many questions. He agreed to consult me the next time he was in town.

I spent the next 2 months thinking about the many things Dr. Davis taught me in the short amount of time we spent together.

Towards the end of April, I met Dr. Davis for a 2-hour Ayurvedic Consultation.
He started off our consultation by asking the simple question:

“So Val, what are your concerns with your life?”
I needed clarification for what seemed like an massive question to answer. I asked, “well, what do you mean?, physically? emotionally? spiritually?”
Dr. Davis answered simply “yes.” “All of that.”

I cleared my throat and began to answer. I naturally told Dr. Davis of where I had been and where I was currently in my life. He nodded and genuinely listened to everything I said. He was compassionate, interested, and easy to talk to.

I told him of my past experiences, my current concerns, and my goals. He read my pulse and then wrote an Ayurvedic prescription for me. This included:
– foods to “avoid or reduce”
– foods to “favor”
– churnas and teas
– increase meditation practice
– and a few simple recipes from paneer, yogurt, lassi, to dahl
– ayurvedic herbal supplements (from Maharishi Ayurveda)

Now, a year and a half later, I feel clearer in my path. With things released that were no longer serving me, I’ve cultivated awareness of myself into my life. It feels strange to write, but, through this process I’ve learned to befriend myself, to be my best friend, my eternal companion, conscious, aware, and dedicated to my path.

“Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.” — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

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