Our health is influenced moment to moment by the choices that we make: the food and drinks that we place in our bodies, our sleep habits, our daily routines, our movement patterns and the thoughts and emotions that we entertain. We can all think of certain people who seem to be able to eat whatever they want, live from one coffee to the next, get little sleep and never exercise and still seem immune to the effects of these behaviors. Most of us, however, do not fit into this category. It is also true that some health problems necessitate the help of a medical doctor and western medicine–but why not do what we can to improve our lives?
Ayurvedic principles help us to cultivate self–awareness so that we can participate more consciously in who we are and in who we are becoming day–to–day. We learn to tune in to the effects of our actions, find the strength to do away with habits and attitudes that have an adverse effect on our health and adopt new ways of being.
I have been the grateful recipient of help from Ayurvedic practitioners and educators and have a deep desire to continue learning as well as to pass along the wisdom of my guides. My teacher, Patricia Layton, explains that the role of an Ayurvedic practitioner is to pickup a person who is resting on one bank of a river and row them to a more beautiful and vibrant side of the river.
Ayurveda is an intelligent solution to the healthcare problems we face in the United States. Lasting health is not earned through snapping one’s fingers waiting for the government to reform or relying on magic bullets to fix our problems. It is the result of personal education, dedication and discipline. As more and more of us learn how to balance ourselves through diet, lifestyle, proper stress management and spiritual healing we can make the world a more healthy, loving, compassionate and peaceful place in which to live.
“Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world. Every individual must change his own life if he wants to live in a peaceful world. The world cannot become peaceful unless and until you yourself begin to work toward peace.” —Paramahansa Yogananda