What lead you to Ayurveda and yoga? Was there an ah-ha moment?
For the past two years, I’ve been working on my Master of Health Administration and for most of that time, I was working full time with long commutes. As the months went on, I became more and more depleted and hard on myself. Thoughts of ‘I’m never going to get this all done’ and ‘I’m such a failure’ kept creeping in and I began putting my need for quiet time and self-care on the back burner because I had all these responsibilities. Put simply: I was burning out and needed to find a different way of living.
My husband had studied Ayurveda in the past and encouraged me to explore it. I found Nicole and that’s when I had my ah-ha moment! Even in the first session, she taught me a breathing exercise to do when I start to feel overwhelmed and I still practice it to this day.
How has Ayurveda and yoga affected your life? And/or what results have you experienced?
It’s affected my life in a number of ways. First and foremost, it’s a framework for leading a life that’s rooted in acceptance, personal growth, and giving gracious space to others. Practically speaking, I feel as if I have a kit full of tools to bring out at appropriate times. Feeling stressed at work? Alternate nostril breathing. Awesome things going on in your life? Quiet gratitude reflection. Feeling stuck? Mantras and mountain pose.
I’m also not exaggerating when I say that yoga saved my life. One day this past July, I was in Vienna, Austria and started to experience extreme abdominal pain. Like, really bad. I assumed it was my old GI issues coming back to haunt me so I got on the mat to do some yoga. Well, one pose REALLY didn’t agree with me and it was enough to make me seek medical attention. Turns out, I had appendicitis. When I went to the ER and told the doctor what I’d been doing when the pain got unbearable, he laughed and said, at their hospital, they use yoga as a diagnostic tool for appendicitis so, basically, I’d done his job for him.
Through my recovery from surgery, I also drew upon my yoga and Ayurveda knowledge. Primarily the permission to be kind to myself. The increased body awareness and ‘food as medicine’ also sped up my recovery and for that, I’m truly grateful!
When life gets busy, what are your core self-care practices?
The alternate nostril breathing is my go-to. It’s quick, easy, and costs nothing. When I’m able to carve out time, I cook vata-specific foods. Lighting candles and drinking tea in the morning while I’m getting ready is also a regular practice. I’m also a big fan of using scent to encourage a mood. Citrus for when I need motivation, lavender for relaxation, and sandalwood to warm up.
What would you say to someone considering Ayurvedic Health Coaching?
I’d say go for it! Ayurveda requires openness and curiosity but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already got those covered. Ayurvedic Health Coaching is a wonderful way to honor your own self and discover ways to live better…simply. All those simple exercises lead up to big changes.
What’s your favorite recipe? Include a picture if you want.
Chickpea Picatta! Recipe located here. It’s the perfect balance of warmth, bitter, sour, and sweet (especially when served with mashed potatoes) Plus, it’s vegan and can easily be made gluten free!
(Photo credit: The Post Punk Kitchen)