June 17, 2011

Another MUST-READ: Be Here Now by: Ram Dass

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:24 pm by DivineShantiYoga

So, I have been in love with the stories and books of Ram Dass, and this one is no exception. He has led an extraordinary life, now in his 70’s, he shares his most intimate experiences during his spiritual transformation. Once a Harvard psychology professor, he sought out a spiritual answer for where the mind goes during trips on psychedelic drugs, that science couldn’t give him.

He found his answers through deep meditation, shed his Western attachments while spending time in India, and returned to the U.S. to share what he had learned.

In this book, he shares how he was able to connect experiences and stories in his life to being life’s teachings in one way or another. He delves deeply into the heart of his guru, the purity of love, and the beauty of our relationships with one another.

The pages are also adorned with pictures of his experiences, mostly taken in the 1960’s and 70’s, which help you visualize his words.

I had been telling my husband how much I was enjoying this book while I was reading it, and without my knowing, he was so intrigued that he purchased the audio book to listen to on his commute to work. When he was about 3/4 of the way through it, he came home talking non-stop about how awesome the book was! He was glad to take a look at my printed copy though to see the pictures too. This book is surely an experience to share.

June 6, 2011

Relief for Muscle Aches

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:34 am by DivineShantiYoga

Whether you’ve sweated through a power yoga class, or slowly invited strain to your body by doing yard work or caring for the kids, your muscle aches may be giving you important information. This is your bodies way of telling you it needs a little TLC. If your habit to take care of pain is to down a couple of pain relievers, why not try an alternative approach instead?

Ayurveda offers several natural means of relief. According to Ayurvedic principles, muscle cramps and spasms are a sign of excess vata energy. Vata qualities are cool, rough, and dry, so you can pacify vata-exacerbated muscle tension with moist heat. That means comfort can be as close as a hot water towel wrap or a bath.

While it’s not recommended for an acute strain or sprain (for which ice is a better choice), consider this more targeted Ayurvedic aid for sore muscles: Gently rub pain-relieving massage oil into the muscle, and wrap with a hot, moist towel. Mahanarayan oil is best, which is a blend of muscle-soothing herbs (including turmeric, fennel, camphor, and clove), but any massage oil will do. The oil penetrates the skin to loosen taut muscle fibers, while the heat from the towel encourages muscle release.

Regular professional massage should not be viewed as a “luxury” for the body, but rather a physical necessity for keeping the body healthy. Most massage therapists offer a hot stone variety of massage to also aid in releasing deep muscle strains. Treat your body well and schedule monthly massages as part of your health routine.