every trip Ive taken through India has introduced me to a new interest. At first I saw each of them as different, new experiences. First yoga, then Buddhism, then the Indian and Tibetan cultures and finally Ayurveda. And now my perspective has changed…I have seen that actually, they are all just different versions of the same lessons. Each medium has taught me something about myself, the kind of environment I want to surround myself with and the diversity the world has to offer. Ive learnt what it means to stay true to myself, to be a kind, patient and compassionate person and most importantly to not judge others who are different from myself (which is everyone, essentially!)
After studying a little bit from what all these teachings had to offer, I realized (slowly…Im not the quickest learner!) that they were all in fact preaching the same message. Their goals were all the same…inner peace, kindness, health. I also realized these messages were right in front of me all along…in our diverse Canadian culture, in the spirituality of Judaism and in my own family. For some reason, these lessons spoke to me from another medium, another world. Buddhists would
Ayurvedic oil massage
We practiced with 2 people giving the massage, synchronized...4 hands feels like 20!
say I must have been a Dharma practitioner in a past life, to have found it and for it to have had such an impact on me in this one. Maybe thats true. I don’t think ill ever know! But whatever the reason, I am grateful to have finally opened up to these teachings.
The past 2 and a half months brought me to exploring Ayurvedic medicine with a young doctor, passionate about the benefits of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. I had some exposure to it each year I traveled in India and have slowly implemented little bits and pieces of the practice into my life ever since. This year the time came to go beyond the basics and learn its origins up to its premium benefits so that I could not only improve my diet a little, but also regain the health I had pre-Crohns.
For the past 3 years I have slowly reduced my dose of western meds that kept me stable for 10 years. A lifetime of immune-suppressant drugs just seemed too long for me, so with a goal of medicine-free health, I started the long journey of reducing the dose. Today marks the 10th
A stronger, localized massage technique for specific problems...in this case lower back pain
of healthy living without medicine. And I attribute much of that success to the help of Ayurveda. It not only gave me the optimism of healthy living again, but also the tools to meditation practice, it wasn’t too challenging too understand and implement an Ayurvedic lifestyle as well. It definitely helped to have the peaceful, Himalayas as my backdrop!
And over the past 2 months, I was lucky enough to have the time and support to practice what I was learning. I went to classes everyday and came home to review what I had learnt and figure out how much at a time I could put into practice. An ayurvedic lifestyle can be quite extensive…from a 30 minute dental care schedule, to a daily self massage! It all leads towards optimum health, but is much more time and time/energy consuming than popping a couple pills!! The most important thing I learnt was how much emphasis Ayurveda puts on placing responsibility back on the patient. It guides well, but essentially just ells you what you need to do. My western doctor tells me what he needs to do to get me healthy and gives me hardly any responsibility or control…rarely
Didn't manage to escape snow this year...it was still winter when I arrived in the Himalayas in mid February
even giving me diet guidelines or restrictions. Aruveda told me what kind of sleep schedule to have, how early to wake up, what foods to eat, what kind of exercise is appropriate for my body… it even goes so far as to say what fragrances are best for me, what colors to wear, what climate is ideal for living , and which seasons to be most strict and most relaxed in order to reduce stress levels and live at optimal health. Its quite overwhelming when taken all at once but as I slowly implemented one step at a time, it became easier to do things like wake up as early as recommended (I wake up at 6 am now with no alarm….can you believe it!!!), swish sesame oil around in my mouth every morning (yuck!) and eat at the times my metabolism is most fired up and accepting of food.
It all amounted to my weight increasing (which for me is a challenge!), to my strength growing (I can hike up a mountain now without running out of breath or my legs burning!) and to my appetite increasing to that of an almost grown child…I am rarely seen these
Another Indian birthday!
Thomas found delicious chocolate/banana cake...a nice break from my Ayurvedic diet!!
days carrying around my staple crackers or munching on sweets, because these days I eat regular portions at meal times, and graduated to only snacking on fruits when I need it.
Its been amazing to see personal results already…mid studying. It made it all seem real, not just some abstract ideas that could one day be helpful.
The most exciting part that I could take home with me and share….relaxing oil massage and natural, Ayurvedic facials!! Every time ive practiced on myself or my friends, all of our skin has radiates. The facials are meant to prevent or even eliminate wrinkles and on my drier than dry skin, it really nourishes it to the point of looking younger!
It surprises me everyday that Ayurveda excites me so much!! And I look forward to spreading my knowledge around Montreal….and to the day where I can cover everyones face in natural papaya masks (ok, ok or just the basic clay/herb masks if fruit on your face is not your thing!)
Today I made my own capsules…just to try it out and to know that when I run out of the store-bought ones in Montreal or Italy, I can
reproduce them myself. Making my own medicine turned out to actually be fun. And so simple…just some herbs mixed with honey and ghee!! Is it weird that that is what excites me these days?!!
So that’s my latest adventure in this fabulous country I love to call my home.
And in exactly a month, I will be back to your home (or the Laurentians, more precisely) to share it with you in person.
Tot: 2.897s; Tpl: 0.069s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0463s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb