Sunday 9th- Treatment 2

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“Don’t say I don’t like you, say I love you but you must go now. I no longer have any need for you in my life.”- Manjot

 

 

A common theme in my world lately has been the idea and practice of letting go. I have issues letting go of things that no longer serve me. In a previous post “Life Lessons” I briefly wrote about how difficult it is for me to let go of thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me. I identified that this is an area that I struggle with and one that I need to continue to work on.

In life, I find we hold on onto A LOT; mostly unnecessarily so. We hold on to feelings of anger, sadness, happiness, regret. We hold on to things. We hold on to the idea of things. We hold on to dreams. We hold on to certain ideals. We hold on to people. For me I hold onto thoughts and feelings for way too long.

Manjot teaches that there are no negatives, just experiences and that every experience teaches us something. The trick is to know when the lesson has been learnt and when to let go. When you view the world as just a series of experiences, you must be thankful for what it has taught you and move on.

Manjot is teaching me the steps of moving on by peeling away past layers of myself, my thoughts, feelings, my hurts, limiting beliefs that no longer serve me, and anything else that needs to be cleared. In doing so, she is helping me step more fully into the person I’m here to be in this life.

What steps do you think you can take to let go and step forward? How does it make you feel when you let go of these things that you cling to? I’d love to hear about it, let me know!

Om, Shanti.

P.S. Click here if you would like to read about Treatment 3. Otherwise click on the next button below to read a story that relates to my 2nd treatment.

 

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This, too, shall pass

During this journey, I would like to share some of my favourite stories with you.

Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, “Is there a mantra which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time – in every joy, every sorrow, every defeat, and every victory- one answer for all questions? Something which can help me when none of you is able to advise me? Tell me, is there any mantra?”

All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the King and gave him a ring with words engraved into it, with a condition that the King was not to read it out of curiosity. Only if, in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way out, only then he can read it. The King wore the ring without reading the engraving.

Sometime later, the neighbours attacked the kingdom. The King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. The King fled on his horse and the enemies followed him. The King found himself standing at the mouth of a deep ditch. If he jumped into it, there would be no way out. The sound of the enemy horses were approaching fast and the King became restless. There was nowhere else to go.

The King remembered his ring and about the engraving.  He decided to read the message.

“This, too, shall pass.”

The King read it again and again until something struck him. Yes! This, too, will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom; I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all its pleasures are gone. I am trying to flee from my enemies. But just as those days of luxuries have gone, this time of danger will pass, too. Calm came over the King.  He remained still and silent. The King looked around at the place where he was standing and realized how beautiful it was. He had never known that such a beautiful place existed in his Kingdom.

The revelation of the ring’s message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about his pursuing enemies. After a while, he realized that the noise of galloping horses had receded and that his enemies had lost him.

The King gathered himself and reorganized his shambled forces and fought again. He defeated the enemy and reclaimed his empire. When he returned to the city after the victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing and everyone was in a festive mood.  Flowers rained down upon the King from every house, from every terrace as he trotted by. People were dancing and singing. In this moment the King thought to himself, “I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings. It is not easy to defeat me.” In all of the celebration an ego emerged in the King.

Then a ray of sunlight caught the King’s ring and sharply flashed into his eye reminding him of its message, “This, too, shall pass.”

He lowered his gaze and his valiant expression changed to one of humility. He realized, again, that if this, too, is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours. The victory was not yours. You are just a player. Everything passes by. We are witnesses of all of this. We are the beholders.

Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes. And Life?

 This, too, shall pass

–       Author Unknown

I really like the moral of this story. It resonates with me and my life. After reading this story, allow yourself some time for reflection. Does this story resonate with you and your life?

Like the king, we are moved by the smallest things. The silliest event, or person, can make us miserable in a flick of a switch. However, the truth is, the moment we realize that all will pass, we will approach life differently. We won’t be as attached to the results and instead just enjoy the moment.

Looking back in my life, there have been many things that I didn’t like when they happened but they all passed and what was left was a teaching, a lesson and an experience. I learnt something about myself and have shaped who I am today.

What events/ experiences have shaped your life?

Namaste,

Natalie

P.S. This story directly links to my previous post (Thursday 6th- Treatment 1).

Thursday 6th- Treatment 1

OMG! I am in heaven I thought to myself as I lay on the massage table. Manjot lathers on loads of warm oil and then uses a pouch of dried herbs to massage the oil into my back and shoulders. It is absolutely divine!

I lay on the massage table for about an hour and a half as Manjot and I chatted away about life and other issues that had surfaced after my consultation.

The session flowed between pure bliss and deep thought and self-discovery. Manjot questioning opened-up repressed thoughts, feelings, and emotions that bubbled up during the session. There were moments of pain when she pressed and massaged certain areas of my body and then there were times of absolute relaxation.

During the periods of pain and uncomfortable self-discovery I thought of the story that was shared with me at a yoga retreat earlier this year: This too will pass and during both the painful pressing and prodding (both physically and mentally) and the pleasurable relaxation I reminded myself that this too will pass. Nothing is forever. In fact, it was Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, who is quoted as saying “Change is the only constant in life.”

Every thought, feeling, emotion and situation in life is temporary. Life’s ebbs and flows can be viewed in two ways: “I deserve this/ I don’t deserve this” or “This too shall pass”. In essence, this means not to judge the situations that you may find yourself in, whether it is pleasant, unpleasant, joyous, sad or disappointing. By uttering these words to yourself, you will realise that every feeling, emotion, thought or situation in life is temporary. Once you realise that, you will feel acceptance. You will not resist and instead will accept whatever you may be facing in your life with the knowledge and reassurance that this feeling, emotion, thought, person or situation will not be there forever. I honestly wish that I knew this earlier in life as I may not have been carrying these unhelpful thoughts and feelings around for so long.

After the treatment, I felt amazing- happier, warmer and more grounded than I have in a long time.

Namaste,

Natalie

Click here if you want to read about Treatment 2. Otherwise hit the next button below to read a story that relates to my experience today.

Pinda Sweda

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Pinda Sweda is a type of Ayurvedic massage which is done with warm medicated herbal oils and herb bags. A combination of herbs, depending on the client’s body type as well as health condition are tied in a linen cloth to make a small bag which is then dipped in warm oils and massaged in to the body.

 

The benefits of the treatment

  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Increases the circulation
  • Improves lymphatic drainage
  • Soothes nerves
  • Helps to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness of the muscles
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Improves skin texture
  • Provides colour and complexion of the skin
  • Reduces pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Removes metabolic wastes (working like a mini detox)
  • Releases stress
  • Reduces stress
  • Induces good sleep
  • Brings complete relaxation to body as well as mind
  • Strengthens and rejuvenates the bones, muscles and nerves
  • Strengthens the tissues

Used to treat:

It is highly recommended for allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, back pain, cervical spondylitis, depression, diabetes, endometriosis, fatigue, fibroids, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulders, gout, hormonal imbalances, infertility, joint stiffness, lumber spondylitis, menopause, muscle and joints pain, neck pain and stiffness, paralysis, PCOS, psoriasis, sciatica, sleep problems, sprains and cramps, stress, swelling, thyroid issues, etc.

According to Manjot it can also be a very effective tool for emotional clearing, energy body healing and spiritual progress IF the client is open and receptive.

That leads me to the question: How open and receptive to new things are you? Food for thought.

Namaste,

Natalie

P.S. This post is part of my Ayurveda series, if you found this post interesting, please check out some of my other posts in this series: Being healthy in AyurvedaOil Pulling and Tongue Scraping, Abhyanga & Skin Brushing, and Shirodhara.

Wednesday 5th- The Consultation

Manjot warmly welcomed me into her small but cosy office. We sat down opposite each other and she looked at me. She had kind shiny brown eyes and long black hair. She stared at me intensely.

One thing you should know about me is that I don’t often make eye contact with anyone, not because I am rude or because I don’t listen to others, it’s just that I actually find it easier to listen to others without all of the other distractions caused by making eye contact. So, when we made eye contact out of nowhere it really hit me, her eyes held mine captive, as if she was staring straight into my soul and I couldn’t do anything to avoid it. Her eyes were intense and searching. Then just as quickly as I was ensnared, the feeling of my soul being examined was gone. She smiled at me warmly and approvingly (had I passed a test?) and I immediately (though I’m not sure why), felt at ease.

We talked about how tired I was all the time despite getting a good night’s sleep every night and how it was a struggle to get out of bed. We discussed how I am always intensely cold, how this has worsened in recent years and how it is beginning to affect my life negatively. I told her about my tight, tense, sore shoulders and neck and how they sometimes caused headaches and even migraines.

I walked into this session knowing without a doubt that I was a 100% Pitta, so when Manjot told me that I am a Vata-Pitta type and that my Vata was imbalanced, I was shocked. But after some research, I do agree that I am predominately Vata.

It seemed that my immense drive had pushed me through the term when perhaps I should have been slowing down and because I did not listen to my body it had forced me to breaking-point by shutting itself down and leaving me cold, tired and suffering from headaches and migraines.

Manjot created a treatment plan specifically designed for me by taking into account my unique physical and emotional makeup, my primary life force, and the balance between these elements.

To achieve this, I am happy to say that Manjot has recommended 5 massage treatments, called Pinda Sweda (if you are interested in reading more about this treatment please read my Blog on ‘Pinda Sweda’), with essential herbs and warm oil to treat my health issues along with 1 Reiki treatment. I have a feeling that they are going to work!

Stay tuned to see how the 5 sessions unfold.

 

Namaste,

Natalie.

 

What are the Doshas?

According to Ayurveda, being healthy does not mean absence of disease.  The wisdom of this Science of Life (Ayurveda) says for an individual to be called “healthy” it needs to take into account each and every individual’s unique personality, habits, and emotions. Who we are- our unique personality and our mental and physical characteristics make us totally special and unique. To the trained Ayurveda practitioner “who we are” can be read like a “blueprint” to lead us to good health and vitality.

What is this blueprint made up of?

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Each one of us is made up of the combination of these three Doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas to be dominant, with third one to be passive. This makes up our unique blueprint or prakriti (constitution) in accordance with Ayurvedic principles. Each Dosha controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick- and the health issues you develop- are linked to the balance (or imbalance) of your Doshas.

The Doshas:

Ayurveda states that there are three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Doshas are your body type, which includes your metabolic constitution, your personality, and your physical characteristics.  By understanding what makes us unique, we can make better decisions as to how they relate to our diet, lifestyle, and mental health.

The Doshas are found throughout the human body and mind. They govern all physical and mental process and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfilment.

The Doshas derive from the Five Elements and their related properties.

Vata is composed of Space and Air and is said to have all of the features listed below:

vata

Pitta of Fire and Water and is said to have all of the features listed below:

pitta

Kapha of Earth and Water and is said to have all of the features listed below:

kapha

So, I bet you are now dying to find out what Dosha you are! There are many online tests out there that can give you an idea of what your Dosha is but for those really serious (or simply curious) about Ayurveda, I recommend seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner.

 

For those who wish to take an online quiz to determine their Dosha/s I recommend: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/

Once you have figured out your constitution you can see which one/s (if any) of your Doshas are out of balance by clicking on the following link:

https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/vikriti-quiz/

 

Enjoy learning more about yourself!

 

Namaste, Natalie

P.S. If you’d like to read my first blog in this series of posts, please click on the following link: My Ayurvedic Journey.

 

My Ayurvedic Journey

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I’m not going to pretend that I am an expert in Ayurveda. The information that I am presenting to you throughout this series of Blogs is knowledge that I have gained from my own research (websites, online articles, books, Ayurveda cookbooks, talking to others in the know and speaking with my Ayurveda practitioner). Studying Ayurveda can take up to 5 years, so while I feel like I have a good basic understanding of the practice, there is so much that I don’t know. My purpose for my Blogs is to ignite interest, instil curiosity and hopefully inspire others to look deeper into their own lives, especially their health and wellbeing through yoga, meditation and healthy lifestyle practices and maybe even be curious enough to go out and try Ayurveda.

For the next few Blogs (this will probably end up being about a 15 part series) I am going to focus on my Ayurvedic Journey that I started during my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) and have recently become more serious about. I hope you enjoy reading about my Ayurvedic Journey and are inspired to also look deeper into this ancient natural medicine system!

What ignited my interest in Ayurveda?

During my YTT Amanda introduced us to Ayurveda. Of course this was only the briefest of introductions as there is so much to learn and know about Ayurveda that we could not cover everything in a 200 hour YTT course!

Immediately I was fascinated by this approach to health as it sits well within my beliefs around health and wellbeing- take care of yourself and prevent illness and disease, simple right? However, without the knowledge, it is sometimes difficult to know just how to look after yourself effectively and with so much information and misinformation out there about what you should and shouldn’t be doing, how does one know what is best for them?

Listen to your body

After my accident, I became highly in tune with my body. What it could do, how far I could push it, what it needed and so forth. But sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes when our bodies and minds are out of balance, they can trick us into thinking that certain foods or behaviours are what we need when really they aren’t. So while this is an important first step, it is sometimes not enough.

What is Ayurveda and why am I writing about it in my yoga journey?

During our YTT Amanda told us that Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole body) healing systems that was developed thousands of years ago in India. Unlike Western medicine, its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. Ayurveda does this by focusing on the prevention of diseases before they can occur in the body. Of course if you are sick, Ayurveda is there to help you too as treatments can be geared toward specific health problems.

Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit which it is why it marries so well with yogic philosophy.

Time to see an expert

After an amazing 5 weeks in Thailand doing my YTT I had to return to Melbourne and go back to work. This term was difficult with my husband getting sick and hospitalised for 2 weeks and work stresses mounting up with new responsibilities and a total change in routine, I felt like I had spent 10 weeks treading water. So at the beginning of the school holidays I decided that I would go and see an Ayurvedic practitioner to shed some light on some of my health issues and bring some balance into my life again.

Wish me luck!