POINT YOURSELF IN THE DIRECTION OF NATURE
Myra is the founder of Hale Pule Ayurveda and Yoga. She teaches about approaching asana with the long-term intention and building physical strength from the inside out using breath and alignment, which in turn strengthens the spirit. She lives in harmony, always celebrating life and nature by observing every sunrise and sunset with Agnihotra and the cycles of the moon and other celestial events like equinoxes and solstice. She appreciates every meal and deeply inspires us to live with purpose.
She also shares about her honouring practices when using her asana clothing, how she approaches her sacred space and Ayurvedic wisdom behind using essential oils. Plus a delicious recipe for her Balance Bowl.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us Myra, we are so grateful for you!
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the science of living. It gives us the tools we need to navigate this life with grace. It is a complete science that allows us to live in harmony with nature around us and inside of us as well. It encompasses all aspects of life so that we can see the holistic nature of it. That we are a part of everything in the universe and when we function in that light, we have different results. A very different approach than how most of us have been raised.
What does it mean to you personally?
Ayurveda made life make sense to me. I had worked in the medical field and dealt with modern medicine on many levels both personally and professionally. Coming to Ayurveda allowed me to expand my spiritual life in ways I could not have imagined. I was already practicing many aspects of Yoga, but combining it with Ayurveda allowed me to go deeper into my innermost self and carry the results into my life. I have tools to walk through the challenges of life and an unlimited capacity to discover.
In the last 3 ½ years I have moved a great deal. Planned and unplanned. Ayurveda and Yoga provided consistency and shelter, so that I could have a sense of home no matter where I was. And that continues today.
What Ayurveda and Yoga has meant to me has shifted through my life. In the beginning it was a solution to chronic pain and so called ‘incurable’ illness. When it gave me relief from that and new life, Ayurveda and Yoga became my purpose to share with others and be in service to spreading its wisdom. It allows us to have a full human experience and not just robotic skimming through life.
What does it mean to live an Ayurvedic lifestyle? And how does this relate to being in flow?
Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle means pointing yourself in the direction of nature. To understand and accept that we are ‘of’ nature and that this body we have been given is not all there is. That we are holistic beings meaning everything affects everything else. All aspects of the body are connected and that is connected to our mind, emotions, and spiritual being. It’s all meant to work together. And the body knows what to do. We just need to stop interfering by over using the mind to act on it. We’ve come to rely too much on the mind and not enough on our intuition and heart, both qualities of feminine energy.
To be in the flow of life includes the flow of the seasons of nature, called Ritucharya. The notion that the change of seasons has an effect on us because of the change in the elements. Makes sense right? So when we eat locally we respond to the changes in the environment and those adjustments in food for example, will create the best strength within us. So to be in the flow means moving away from dogma and responding in life to the continual change. In Ayurveda we apply the principles to the individual situation and person.
I have found that commitment and discipline breeds adaptability and flexibility when needed.
What are the basics of Ayurveda?
These five elements make up everything in Prakruti, which is the manifestation of nature. They are all required for life to continue. We don’t have to direct that function but we do need to stay out of the way and not interfere for it to happen optimally.
Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, the source where the wisdom of Ayurveda and Yoga was transcribed by the Rishis. Sanskrit has a vibration that carries the essence of that word and intrinsically communicates its meaning, a bit like onomatopoeia. That is one reason why chanting Sanskrit mantras or practising Bhakti Yoga rejuvenates us and brings healing! Say the Sanskrit words for each element out loud and allow its essence to permeate our psyche.
Earth - is the physical aspect of nature. Within humans it’s our bones and muscles for example.
Water - is the basis of all life, approximately 75% of a human being. And it must flow.
Fire - the heat that creates energy, light and heat. The ability to digest on the cellular level as well as the gross level.
Air - we breathe in order to create flow and it happens without our directing it.
Ether - space, the ethers, the unseen. It is the space that allows us to experience the other elements.
And how do these relate to doshas?
Dosha is a way of describing how the elements function within us. So it means that which is messed up. The dosha gives us a reference to describe a state of balance or imbalance.
Vata - Made up of air and ethers
Pitta - Made up of fire and water (primarily the acids in the body)
Kapha - Made up of earth and water
And the doshas assist to understand how the imbalance of the elements happen and how they affect each other.
How do you use essential oils?
The essential oil blends are best used to shift energy, the effects of the external environment and your internal environment. They can create a shift of energy. A vata essential oil blend would be particularly helpful if feeling scattered, anxious or ungrounded. The pitta blend would be particularly helpful when feeling irritated, controlling or overheated. And the kapha blend would be helpful if feeling a bit lethargic, withdrawn or sad. They can be used in a diffuser or just swiped in the palm of the hand, rub the two hands together and cover the nose and breath slowly. A simple method to shift your energy. The olfactory nerve in the nose/head is the most direct connection to the brain function.
How can we practise better sleep habits?
Let the evening be a time for letting go of information rather than taking in more content. Regular sleep and arising times. Leave out stimulants.
I like to end my evening with warm spiced milk. I sit on the steps and look up at the stars while I drink it. Milk has a cooling, soothing effect and nutmeg has a sedative quality.
I rub sesame oil on the soles of my feet and dab the fontanel of my head before bed which calms Vata dosha. Before I go to sleep, I do an EMF clearing which is helpful for the computer energy I’m around all day.
Can you please share some breath/yoga practices? What practices help women rest more wholly into their feminine?
Yoni Mudra for drawing in the senses, then it’s about the attitude with which we approach the practices. In the beginning we are just trying to do things ‘correctly’ but as soon as possible it’s important to recognise that we aren’t there to make things happen. And that surrendering into the moment, into the process of life is the purpose of the practice. To come to know ourselves inside.
Nadi shodhana very slowly and eventually with retentions.
Meditation with hand mudras such as prana, apana, shunya mudras
What is deep nourishment?
Deep nourishment feeds all aspects of us: body, mind, spirit. It means I am digesting life fully and living life rather than skimming through it. This happens when agni is working properly so that we are making ojas. So it’s not about vitamins and minerals. It’s about taking in prana, life force from the food and everything we expose ourselves to and digesting it. This is what gives us vitality and immunity.
What are your honouring practices? (self-expression/clothing as a sacred tool)
Use asana clothes for practices; your mat and those clothes build up a sacred energy that helps to drop into a place of stillness within.
Share about 5 am fire ceremony and agni hotra. *5 am from Shri Vasant and the vedas as well as the five-fold path. Agnihotra for honouring all of life. Energy exchange at sunrise and sunset.
Prayer before opening my eyes.
Honouring the planets of each day with the clothes you choose to wear with different colours for each day
What is ‘the feminine’ to you?
It is the intuitive heart-centered part of all of us. It has gentleness, juiciness, and creativity. It’s where intuition and love emanate from inside of us.
Would you like to follow and know more about Myra?
Visit her website
Heal your digestion and experience balance, clarity and vitality with her balance bowl
Everyday Ayurveda & Yoga podcast