“Food is not just the food that we put in our mouths. It’s the food that we take in through all of the senses. Hence the importance of sense care every day. So the food that we take in through our eyes in terms of the media that we’re consuming, the things that we look around, what is our our space? How is it arranged? Do we have plants? Do we have beautiful colors or is it kind of cluttered and dirty? What are the sounds we’re listening to? Are we listening to angry voices all the time or are we listening to kind of soothing sounds? Do we hear cars in traffic and ambulances or do we hear, you know, the sound of trees blowing in the wind? How do we taste things? There’s a predominance of of certain tastes in our culture that can also lead to a lot of imbalances when we only limit our diet to a certain number of tastes and tastes can also mean how do we taste life? One of the the words for taste is, is rasa, which also means juice and kind of pleasure. And so how do we get the juiciness and pleasure out of the things that we’re doing, not only in the things that we’re eating, but, you know, how we move about the world and the activities we engage in; smell as well, you know? Are we keeping things clean and kind of fresh or are there things that are you know, rotting or becoming foul. It’s all things that we’re taking into our bodies, and if we’re feeding ourselves with those perhaps more negative foods, that’s going to affect our state of health as well. So a lot of what we look at when we’re considering an individual, including ourselves, who has a certain imbalance of any scale, sometimes small switches like that can be all you really need to to come back to a state of health.” — Guest, Jennifer Kurdyla
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In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, Ayurvedi Jennifer Kurdyla shares LOTS of information about the science of Ayurveda (it’s more than just the doshas!) and how all that we take in is affecting our lives — even the sounds around us.
If you’ve ever wondered about Ayurveda – the Science of Life, you will learn so much in this episode.
Don’t have a lot of time? Listen in at minute 22:00 about how Langhana (uplifting energy) and Brahmana (grounding energy) are at play with all that we are as a society experiencing.
In partnership with Three Jewels NYC, Mind Oasis is bringing Jennifer’s series, “Introduction to Ayurveda—A Yogic Journey Through the Five Elements” alive in July (now starting on July 25th!). Learn More
Jennifer Kurdyla is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, yoga teacher, and wellness educator in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the co-author of the forthcoming cookbook, Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women’s Wellness (Tiller Press, 2021). Find out more about her wellness offerings, recipes, and writing at benourished.me, or connect via Instagram @jenniferkurdyla.
Karuna: Hi, I’m Karuna. I’m the Founder and Executive Director for Mind Oasis. And my guest for Meditation Happy Hour today is Jennifer, and Jennifer, I’m going to have you say your last name.
Jennifer: Good morning, Karuna. It’s a pleasure to be here. And I’m Jennifer Kardyla.
Karuna: And Jennifer, where in the world are you?
Jennifer: I am calling today from New Jersey. I’m spending some time with my family. But normally I’m based in Brooklyn, New York.
Karuna: And did you grow up in New Jersey? I did, yes. I’m staying with with my mom and my sister right now. And so it’s interesting to be back in the family home. But I think that’s something that a lot of people are experiencing now during the pandemic especially. So it’s been a good change of pace and nice to be able to have somewhere else to kind of land during these times. I moved to New York soon after college. My first work was actually in publishing. So I did a course at Columbia for publishing and worked in publishing for about eight years full time. And in the end, you know, in the middle of that was transitioning to kind of yoga and mindfulness and all of that good stuff. But I love New York and I lived on the Upper West Side for many years and just moved to Brooklyn two Octobers ago now. So I’m coming up on my second anniversary there, which has been a great change of pace. I really love my neighborhood and I have a lot more space there. And so it’s been really good for my yoga practice and my offerings in many ways. So it was a good move.
Karuna: Very cool. And so tell me about your day so far. What have you done?
Jennifer: So it’s still pretty early here. It’s about 10:00. So like any good Ayurvedi, I woke up and did my sense care and all of that stuff. I went for a walk this morning. It’s been pretty hot here the last couple of days. So I tried to get out when it’s relatively cooler in the morning and help with some yard stuff that we had been working on in the morning and then just checked in on some work that I’m finishing up today. One of the projects I’m working on right now is actually a cookbook an Herbalism cookbook with a colleague of mine, Abby Rodriguez. And we have a call actually right after we’re finished speaking to finalize the manuscript for that. That’s due to come out in April 2021. So you all can be on the lookout for that. And it’s it’s really been a wonderful passion project to dive into, because as you probably know, and maybe the listeners are aware as well, that Ayurveda is very much rooted in food and diet. And being able to learn some of those principles from an Ayurvedic landscape has really shifted my relationship to food and my enjoyment of it and how I kind of share with family and friends.
Jennifer: And connecting with Abbie has also been a wonderful journey. We started working together back when I was still in publishing and I was trying to get her to write a cookbook that I could publish. And after I left my various publishing jobs, we just decided to write one together because it was you know, we were both in that space where we could be creative and support each other with our different skill sets. So we’ve been working on that for, it’s almost July now, so we started working on it really like last February. So a little bit over a year. And it’s been, you know, lots of ups and downs given the state of the world. But coming back to it has always been such a wonderful and nourishing experience. The title of the book is Root and Nourish. So it very much embodies that sensibility in the recipes, but also just the work on it itself. So it’s something that I’m really looking forward to coming out. And also to being able to finish and send off to our editor later today. That’ll be a good feeling.
Karuna: Wow. And so right smack dab at the middle of the year.
Jennifer: Yes. Yes.
Karuna: I want to go back to, you said that you started your day like any good Ayurvedi. You said a word and I’d love for you to explain what that practice is maybe and what it was – I’m sorry I missed the word.
Yes. So one of the main tenants of Ayurveda is this concept of dinacharya, which is the daily routine. And a lot of dinacharya has to do with sense care, which is, I think, what I said speaking earlier and sense care just really means that – it’s caring for your sense organs. So, you know, you scrape your tongue, you make sure that anything that was built up over the night that might be affecting your digestion or your sense of taste during the rest of the day. You kind of cleanse that off. You know, you wash your face, you spritz your eyes with rosewater, you can kind of clean your nose. I didn’t do that today. But that’s something that, you know, the neti pot is often used for that at different times of the year for different people. And then I do a light abhyanga and abhyanga is a self oil massage that is really nourishing for the skin. Helps with dryness, joint stuff, and digestion as well. Skin as as we know, even from a kind of from outside lens is our our biggest organ. And it’s something that we digest through. You know, if you’ve ever read about some of the more processed skin products that they have out there and, you know, thinking about the dangers of what you putting on your skin, do you want to put a lot of chemicals on your skin? And that’s actually getting into your body as well. So abhyanga is a great way to not only nourish the skin and kind of hydrate and moisturize, but help that cleansing process so that any stuff that we don’t want in there comes out.
Jennifer: So a lot of what happens in the morning with those self care rituals is to further the process of removing any excess waste that builds up during the night during our detoxification process. That happens in the evening while we’re sleeping. So that we are kind of fresh and clean for the rest of the day and that we can take and everything that we’re digesting, whether it’s food or people or information with our kind of full gusto.
Karuna: Cool. Very cool. And for people who are maybe new to the principles of Ayurveda, can you just tell us sort of what is Ayurveda from a very basic and then maybe to make it a little more interesting, what Ayurveda means to you and why it’s important to you.
Jennifer: So I can kind of answer both of those questions with the same idea. And it’s funny because Ayurveda is both extremely complex and rich and nuanced, but it’s extremely simple as well.
Jennifer: And basically, one of one of my teachers, Dr. John Doulliard, who is a wonderful teacher, especially on pulse, and he says that Ayurveda is coming to the truth of who you are. And that sounds pretty esoteric in a way, but also just very simple. And the idea is that when we are aligned with our true nature, which we can look at through a variety of different ways, through the qualities of how our bodies work, how our minds work, and how those two parts of us work together. And spirit, body, mind and spirit are the three kind of pillars of Ayurveda, how all of those qualities come together in a unique combination within each of us. Many people first come to Ayurveda through these dosha quizzes; dosha being our constitution. And there’s actually there’s two kinds of doshas. There’s our vikriti which is our current state. If we’re experiencing something like a cough or a cold or you’re feeling hot or angry, something like kind of in the moment based on something that’s going on in your day or the season or the time of your life, and then there’s the more stable kind of constant constitution that’s known as prakriti. And that’s something that is established at conception, according to you, Ayurvedic text. So the kind of interplay of those two is something that you can spend a whole life time trying to figure out for yourself, let alone when you’re working with people, as a practitioner. But that sense of actually knowing who you are and how to then achieve balance with those properties and those qualities, all of the doshas when you take the dosha quiz, there’s three main doshas.
Jennifer: And that’s one of the fundamental tenants of Ayurveda, that we understand health through is through these doshas. There’s Vata, which is comprised of two elements, the air element and the ether element, Pitta, which is fire and water, and Kapha, which is water and Earth. And the course that we’re doing through Mind Oasis will actually kind of go through all of those five elements as the organizing principle of how we’ll work through our yoga practice, understanding those five elements. So the doshas are a combination of elements. The elements are a combination of properties. There’s lots of lists and lots of kind of subcategories which can get kind of interesting when you’re trying to memorize Sanskrit. But they’re really very intuitive when you think about it. So those three categories, you know, they can manifest in very different ways, in different people. And, you know, there’s never really a perfect kind of textbook definition of what a Vata prakriti or a Pitta prakriti is.
Jennifer: And so when kind of the marketing people take over Ayurveda, it’s easy to kind of reduce things to that and say, like, oh, I’m so Vata or I’m so Pitta or I’m so Kapha. And, you know, there’s a truth to that. And there’s an importance and usefulness to think of things like that. But it’s really much more nuanced than not. And, you know, we can we all have all of the doshas in us in different combinations. And so to think of yourself as only one is really limiting the scope of who you are and the potential for who you are and the many things that we all have to offer. So while the doshas can tend us to come to an imbalance or a disease, more and more often, we can also look at the many positive sides of those doshas. And so sometimes in also within the kind of Western scope of thinking of system symptoms and diagnoses and problems that we need to fix and kind of do something about to get better or purify. It’s also leaving out the kind of beauty of being all of those doshas and having them change and come in ebbs and flows during different times of your life. So those are, I guess, kind of the main principles of how we look at Ayurveda. And when we’re thinking about a kind of Ayurvedic lifestyle, there are a lot of people who think of food first and foremost, which is right in many ways, as food is the first way that we kind of take care of the body in the sense that we need to feed ourselves in order to function.
Jennifer: And food is not just the food that we put in our mouths. It’s the food that we take in through all of the senses. Hence the importance of sense care every day. So the food that we take in through our eyes in terms of the media that we’re consuming, the things that we look around, what is our our space? How is it arranged? Do we have plants? Do we have beautiful colors or is it kind of cluttered and dirty? What are the sounds we’re listening to? Are we listening to angry voices all the time or are we listening to kind of soothing sounds? Do we hear cars in traffic and ambulances or do we hear, you know, the sound of trees blowing in the wind? How do we taste things? There’s a predominance of of certain tastes in our culture that can also lead to a lot of imbalances when we only limit our diet to a certain number of tastes and tastes can also mean how do we taste life? One of the the words for taste is, is rasa, which also means juice and kind of pleasure. And so how do we get the juiciness and pleasure out of the things that we’re doing, not only in the things that we’re eating, but, you know, how we move about the world and the activities we engage in; smell as well, you know? Are we keeping things clean and kind of fresh or are there things that are you know, rotting or becoming foul. It’s all things that we’re taking into our bodies, and if we’re feeding ourselves with those perhaps more negative foods, that’s going to affect our state of health as well. So a lot of what we look at when we’re considering an individual, including ourselves, who has a certain imbalance of any scale, sometimes small switches like that can be all you really need to to come back to a state of health. And it’s a hard pill to swallow. Pardon the pun, but it’s a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people when they first come to Ayurveda, including for myself, because looking at those bigger lifestyle things like how we live our lives, some of which are not so much in our control or seemingly not in our control. When we look at those things, it’s not always an easy fix. Like, oh, I can just, you know, move to the mountains and be around beautiful scenery all the time and not have loud cars and not have to take the subway every day. That would be great. And that might be what would be really wonderful for you, but it might not be possible. So being creative and kind of thinking of different ways to achieve some of what you need in that moment is some of the art of Ayurveda, which is the really fun part that I like.
Karuna: Yeah. Very cool. So before we talk about the course that you’re going to offer on Mind Oasis, tell me then what brought you to the science of Ayurveda? What led you to this wonderful — I just learned so much. It’s so interesting. I’ve taken plenty of or I’ve at least listened in on other Ayurveda courses that we’ve offered on Mind Oasis and they’ve all been awesome. And I love how each person has learned something different. And so like even for someone who has studied some Ayurveda, the way that you just presented it is different from ways that I’ve heard it in the past. So I love that. I love the idea of rasa, of the juiciness of life. So what brought you to Ayurveda?
Jennifer: Like many people in the West, I came to Ayurveda through yoga. So I was a yoga student and in a YTT program. And we had talked about Ayurveda in very, very small quantity in the course of our philosophy discussion. And at the time I was experiencing some pretty intense and chronic digestive problems that when I would go to a doctor, they would just kind of look at me with a strange expression like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And I actually had one one doctor tell me that, no, it’s probably just stress. and you you should just do more yoga. And I was like, I do yoga five days a week. You know how much more? That’s clearly not the the thing that’s going to help me. There needs to be something else. So after hearing this little bit about Ayurveda in our philosophy discussion, I was also at the time working on a wellness blog that one of the contributors wrote an article, an interview with a local practitioner. And it was one of those, you know, universe conspiring to bring things together moments where it’s like, oh, here we go. Like, here’s a person that I could go see. So it was really kind of an act of desperation, like looking to this person. I was like, you know, what could I lose by talking to somebody who has a different perspective on things? And from what I could glean on the Internet, because I was my kind of first go at things like, well, let me see if I can learn this myself and implement some things myself. I didn’t really get a sense of how I should tackle my specific circumstance almost as evidence of what I was saying before, that all of us have all of the doshas in us. As I was going through these quizzes and reading the descriptions, I felt a connection to all of the doshas. And I was like, well, which one? Which one am I? Which foods list should I abide to? So I was pretty confused.
Jennifer: And so I went to a practitioner and when she sat with me and we had a very long and through intake, which is a pretty standard thing for meeting with, I think any holistic practitioner really, but certainly with Ayurveda. And that in and of itself was a very different experience than I had ever had at any kind of doctor visit, because it was you know, she asked me about so many different things, not only about the symptoms that I was describing, but, you know, what is my day like? Like, when do I wake up? What do I do for work? How do I, you know, asking me questions about how I felt when I was eating, after I was eating the different kinds of foods and know the qualities of those foods, the timing of those foods, all of those different things that no one had really addressed before in such specificity. And she had an explanation for everything that I was experiencing. And it felt like such a relief. And she put me on a protocol that was pretty intense. I went to see her in July, and what I had to do was a lot of of basically, you know, hot water and cooked foods, which didn’t really go over so well when I was trying to go to, you know, barbecues and things like that where it was just salads. And, you know, that’s what I was, you know, used to eating and part of what was actually contributing to my specific situation. But after that, I felt so much better and almost all of my symptoms had gone away, which was fantastic. So I was hooked after that. But what really then kind of cemented everything for me was part of what we had talked about in our initial session was some of how I was actually going about my day, like my lifestyle and the nature of the work that I was doing.
Jennifer: And at the time, I didn’t really see too many problems with it. Like, there were certain things that were unsatisfying and, you know, causing some distress. But it wasn’t enough to make me feel like I needed to change anything drastic. So about a year later, though, you know, after all of the kind of physical problems that I was experiencing had fallen away, I really started to look at some of those those questions that I was having about the nature of my work and made some pretty big changes. And once I did that, you know, one of the first things I did was call my practitioner. And I was like, I did this thing that you kind of just hinted at very discretely and it felt so good and so in alignment with what I needed to do. And she was like, that’s fantastic. And, you know, I knew that that was really the root cause of of what you were experiencing. And a lot of what we talk about in Ayurveda when it comes to disease is getting at the root cause instead of just treating the symptoms. And at the same time, she was like, I couldn’t just tell you like, oh, your problem with your stomach is your job. It’s like, you know, that wouldn’t be a very accessible remedy at the time for me. But instead, you know, I came to it myself, which was exactly, you know, it was much better in that way. So that kind of alignment, was really amazing.
Jennifer: And it’s a story I tell to pretty much everybody that I meet when I when they talk about my Ayurvedic journey. And a lot of people have had similar similar circumstances and situation. So after that, you know, I just I continue to stick with the diet and lifestyle things, because even when I kind of veered off it in the slightest way, I would notice the symptoms come back. And I was like, OK, well, now I can now I know I can do these things and and revert back to feeling good again. And then it really started to dovetail a lot more with my yoga practice. In the meantime, I had become a 500-hour certified and that was teaching pretty regularly. I had, as I mentioned, I had shifted my job. So I was teaching, I guess, full time, part time in a sense that, you know, full time yoga is is not really full time income, perhaps. But I was teaching a lot and I was doing pretty vigorous practice, which I had a vigorous vinyasa practice, which I had been trained on and really loved for a long time. But I was noticing that was not really starting to feel great in my body in lots of different ways. So I started to think about Ayurveda and yoga as well, and how to think about those qualities that were affecting my digestion and other parts of my life, like how could that show up more in my yoga practice? And so that became a really interesting area of exploration that I’ve been really excited to share with my students, especially now during this pandemic, when we’ve all shifted to these virtual classes and the energy needs and people’s attention and you know what we have the space and time to do is so different from how it was before. You know, as I mentioned, I’m based in New York and so teaching at New York studios can sometimes have a certain quality, depending on which studios you land in. And there’s a bit of you know, there’s always a bit of competitiveness and kind of hustle to you know, everything that people do in New York. So, you know, running around between classes and trying to think of, like, you know, the greatest, most interesting creative sequencing and things like that and playlists and all of that. That’s all just part of the kind of buzz, I think, of the city, which is great. And I love it for many reasons. But, you know, when you kind of come inside in your house and you’re practicing alone in you’re like not snazzy yoga pants, you know, it’s a different experience and a different kind of practice. And so Ayurveda has really helped me in adjusting my own practice and how I practice yoga myself and also how I teach.
Jennifer: And really given me so many tools to deal with the instability of our time right now and how to kind of look forward and have hope for for what’s to come in. One of my favorite Ayurveda teachers and writers, Dr. Claudia Welch, described what’s happening right now is that, you know, we are as a society, we have been so outward with our energy, very external in everything that we do. And one of the kind of dichotomies of Ayurveda is thinking about qualities that are lightening and kind of uplifting, upregulating, energetic. And that’s called a Langhana. And qualities that are more grounding and heavying and quieting, And those are called Brahmana. And so we’re very Langhana society. The equivalent in Chinese medicine is yang and yin, and so we are very yang focused, and we’ve been so extreme in that energy that our word energy that we’ve actually swung in the completely opposite direction, that we’ve had to literally come inside and stay inside and be grounded like we’re not allowed to do more of that, you know. So it’s an interesting kind of lesson that I think we can learn from nature. And that’s one of the things that I’ve been really listening to and trying to share with my students in that way.
Karuna: Yeah cool, so your series on Mind Oasis is called Introduction to Ayurveda: A Yogic Journey Through the Five Elements. And we’re bringing this to Mind Oasis in partnership with Three Jewels, New York, which Hector Marcel is my beautiful teacher. So I’m very excited that we’re doing this in partnership. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the course? And usually I ask people to say, you know, how they’re qualified, but you’ve covered that for sure. And just what do you expect participants to experience in your course?
Jennifer: Sure. So I’m a teacher at Three Jewels. — a yoga teacher at Three Jewels, hence the connection. So, you know, it’s been a wonderful place to grow into teaching and have such a rich meditation background that a lot of studios. I feel like don’t necessarily incorporate into the classes. And that’s been a great foundation for me to introduce some of this Ayurveda into my teaching. So I’m very grateful to all of the support that that we’ve had through Three Jewels and excited for this partnership as well. But the course is going to be divided over five weeks. So it’s a five week series. And each week we’ll be focusing on a different element, which there are five elements, the great elements in Sanskrit. The word is mahabhutas And on each of those elements has certain qualities. And as I mentioned before, combinations of elements will create the doshas. So we’ll go through the elements kind of from the bottom up. The earth element, water, fire, air and ether or space and we’ll have about a one hour yoga practice where we’ll explore some of those the qualities of those elements in the movements that we do, the postures that we do. So, for instance, you know, the grounding the earth element will be very grounded, there will be some kind of restorative elements, but there will also be some a lot of like leg work, a lot of strength and kind of building and holding in a kind of similar or kind of parallel system, you could think of it as as the chakras as well. The chakras are actually a really nice layering when thinking about the elements and the doshas, too. So think about the root chakra in the earth sequence and the qualities of Earth. And so we’ll go through that with all of the elements. And I actually have right now on my Instagram and I’m happy to give you the the link as well that you can include with the notes to the podcast, a series of short videos kind of going through those elements and how to kind of setup a sequence.
Karuna: What’s your handle, your Instagram?
Jennifer: Yeah, it’s just @jenniferkardyla.
Jennifer: But that sequence, kind of that series goes through how you can incorporate all the elements into a well rounded yoga sequence, which is another kind of way to look at it. But we’ll be looking at those specific elements within each individual sequence. And then we’ll also have a short period, about 20, 25 minutes to have a bit of discussion, Q&A about what we experienced together. So there will be an interactive component. I might ask people to kind of journal a bit about what they’re experiencing before the practice and then after the practice to see how the energy has shifted within themselves, you know what they came in with, which is going to be different every single day for every single person, based on their constitution, based on the season. The season is another thing that we’re always looking at in Ayurveda, where they’re where they’re living. So the climate you know, the climate has certain qualities. You know, you’re in Colorado. Correct?
Jennifer: So, you know, you have a lot of air and ether, just already, so there’s a lot of that that’s going to be affecting you and how you come to the different, you know, the different practices.
Karuna: So I shared with you that I climb this 13000 foot mountain. It’s at Long’s peak. Long’s Peak is a 14er and this is a 13er that’s directly in front of Longs Peak. And as you got to the crest of the mountain, you could hear the wind on the other side. And so we actually took our little selfies and pictures on the one side because I knew that the moment that we crested that we were just going to be gobsmacked by wind. Where you had to actually hunker down to not get blown off the boulders. Right. So there are these mad wind tunnels that come through here. But the other interesting thing about Colorado is that you also have a ton of granite. Right. So you’re onlike all of this rock. And I’ve lived in Austin and in Austin, it’s a lot more water. There’s water everywhere that you can see. But there’s also water underground. There’s a massive, really important aquifer there. So it’s very interesting to move from the flow and the water and the warmth and the heat. To really pretty intense earth – kind of wind. If you’re listening to this, you can’t see my hands, but I’m sort of like separating between heaven and earth, you know.
Jennifer: You know, it’s what’s beautiful about that. I’m so glad they brought that up. It’s that, you know, all of the elements can balance each other. And that’s something else that we’ll explore a little bit in our sequences and talk about in the discussion. And nature herself has designed your location to have a sense of balance, because imagine if it was just all wind. You know, there would be no — it has to have those huge mountains, that huge rock, that stability in order to balance this other extreme that you have. So, you know, in other places where perhaps it’s a little bit more temperate, where there isn’t that extreme, you don’t necessarily have to have so much of those different elements.
Karuna: One or the other, right?
Jennifer: Exactly. Exactly. It’s like you’re on you have to be on the mountain in order to in order to stay grounded enough to not be blown away by the wind. So nature gives you that perfect example of that, and that’s Ayurveda. And, you know, once you start learning about that stuff, you just see it everywhere. And it’s endlessly fascinating. One of our our teachers in Ayurveda school was just like, you know, this is you signed up for a whole lifelong lens and, you know, your friends and family are just going to get annoyed every time that you start these things. But it really is a beautiful, beautiful way to experience the world because it has such a sense of intention and there’s a justification for things and a harmony that doesn’t need to be manufactured or kind of crafted. It’s just already there. If you’re awake to it and you’re attuned to it. So it’s something that, you know, I think to during this during these times is also a big reassurance that, you know, nature is going to get us back if we choose to listen.
Karuna: You know, it also reminds me of something else. Last summer, I got like a kind of a little obsessed around watching in nature for mandalas, and it sort of started honestly, we have massive pine cones here. And I started just looking at the pine cones and noticing what beautiful mandalas they were. And then I was like, well, wait a minute. When I look at the flowers, if you get all up close and personal with them, again, there’s just this really beautiful, very natural unfolding. And then, like, I was running, I’m a trail runner. And I noticed that when a tree would fall and you could see like the inside of the tree that each tree has this beautiful mandala. You know, inside of it. And so I’m just thinking through, like, how you know the different elements appear in nature and and how there is this opportunity for reflection, like a mirror of what’s going on.
Jennifer: Exactly. And one of the one of the other principles of Ayurveda, other many principles as you’re gathering is that, you know, we are a microcosm of the macrocosm. Everything that we have inside of us is just kind of smaller version of the whole universe. One of my teachers, Dr. Margaret Nickless, shared this wonderful idea that wasvreally helpful for when thinking about, you know, why we should take care of ourselves in this kind of detailed way. All of our individual imbalances and balances, you know both. You know, when we’re healthy and when we’re unhealthy doesn’t just affect us, it affects the whole universe. And when you think about the kind of gravitas of that, it can really, you know, lend somebody a bit of a push if they’re feeling unmotivated to make some of these changes big or small about their daily routine, because it could be a matter of, you know, just eating cooked foods instead of raw foods. That seems like, oh, my gosh, how could I possibly do that? Why are you asking me to do this thing, like I love my raw food? Like, how could you take this away or something as big as like, you know, quitting your job and moving to a different part of the country? You know, those kinds of things in the whole spectrum in between, you know, people will have different reactions to. But it’s really just a big ripple effect. And even in a small scale, you know, if you’re if you’re feeling kind of angry or agitated one day and that’s causing you to feel a certain way in your body, if you’re getting a migraine headache or you’re having some kind of, you know, digestive issue because of it, you have acid reflux because of that anger, that’s going to make you act a certain way towards your colleagues or your family. And then they’re going to get agitated. And then maybe, you know, you go out and like, you know, do something that, you know, doesn’t make sense because you’re just feeding that anger instead of doing…
Karuna: I think we call that hangry.
When you feed the hangar with, you know, spicy chips or like coffee, which, you know, who hasn’t done that. Me. Me, too. Oh, my gosh. I’m so irritated. Let me go have a big cup of coffee.
Jennifer: There’s you know, there’s that kind of ripple effect on things that, you know, if you if you catch it and you’re aware of it, you know, it can be reverted instantly or, you know, in a day. But if it’s continuing over time, over years and, you know, a lifetime decades, that can cause some big effects. And it’s never too late to start to change. And you could see, you know, shifts in how you feel and how you interact with people very quickly, surprisingly quickly. But it’s something that you have to be kind of onboard for. And you have to you know, it can be helpful to think about how a change that you make might affect you know, your partner, your boss, but also, you know, the trees, you know the universe around you. And, you know, that’s, I think, another lesson of of what we’re thinking about during this pandemic time is that, you know, if we’re all kind of making these shifts and even with, you know, the kind of activism that’s happening right now, how can our individual choices have repercussions for our society and the entire world? One of the things that I’ve loved to hear stories about is how, you know, with the reduction of travel and, you know, people doing all of these polluting things, nature has really come back to life in just these few short months. And so if you think about if we are able to sustain that at any scale, what could that do for, you know, climate change or just restoring natural habitats? You know, that to me is very exciting. And so I’m certainly willing to make sacrifices for that. And hopefully, you know, other people are on board for it, too.
Jennifer: But you know, we have to think about our ourselves as part of this bigger system and the bigger system as part of us. So that’s one of the beautiful, I think, visuals of what Ayurveda offers. In the course, you know, we’ll get into some of the more specifics about how how these elements show up not only in our bodies, but, you know, in food, seasonally. And talking about some of the other principles, we have a lot of cycles in our radar where there’s different parts of the day that align with different elements and different doshas, the different seasons of the year, different stages of life, you know, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, kind of older life, the wisdom years as we call them, and how the doshas affect all of those and what each individual can kind of glean a little bit from. So one of the things that people who who sign up will get access to, which I think is it will be a great supplement to how we work together in the group is a short consultation with me so that we can get a little bit more specific about what the individuals are working on. I think it doesn’t really matter so much when that happens in the course of the series, you know, before, during or after, because in any case, you’ll be able to experience the elements, you know, fresh and on that given day, as opposed to from a kind of prescriptive lens of like, oh, I’m this, so I should like this. That’s definitely not what we want to happen.
Karuna: You know, I think we even talked about that it makes more sense to do it after. In order to experience the five elements in a more holistic, organic way without that preconception.
Karuna: Even though I’ve been you know, when I did my dosha test, I was ninety eight percent, Pitta, you know. But, you know, was that, you know, that day or was that right? So it’s great. I love that. And so, you know, Jennifer, the subtitle of this podcast is Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna. And I don’t know, do you have tea or water?
Jennifer: I Do I have a little bit of my golden milk left from this morning.
Karuna: Wonderful. And I’m doing coffee this morning, with coconut milk. Yeah.
Jennifer: Good for your Pitta. Yeah. Coconut milk.
Karuna: We did the talk. And so I’ve been finishing my podcast with this question and you can tackle it however you like. And my question to you is, what is your truth?
Jennifer: My truth is Acceptance, I think. Acceptance of the given moment, acceptance of other people’s given moment, acceptance in the sense of not always having to have a plan or a solution or a remedy for something. Accepting what is working and what is not working and the lessons that those things are giving us. From an Ayurvedic perspective, when we think about, you know, a disease or a condition, that’s coming up. Of course, we never want to be sick and we don’t want people to be sick. And even from yoga, I’ve learned this many times myself, You know, when you get injured and you have to kind of change your practice or take a break, that can be a frustrating thing for many reasons. But there’s always a lesson there. There’s always a thing that you can learn from that will change in big and small ways how you go forward. And. And that idea of acceptance it’s been a huge part of my practice for the present moment and over my years of study. And it’s really been part of what I’ve taken from all of my Ayurvedic schooling and what I hope to share with people as they go along their own Ayurvedic journey. That there’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing to fix because everything is there. All of the wisdom that we have, all of the elements are here in us. We have the power to use our wisdom and use our logic and our intuition to shift the balance at any point. And also accepting that the beauty and the intuitive knowing of who we are is also something to really accept and take on with integrity and with hope and with pride. I think.
Karuna: Awesome. Thank you. Jennifer Kardyla, like the Armadilla.
Jennifer: Thank you so much, Karuna. It was so lovely to talk to you.
Karuna: Yeah. We’re so excited to host. So I’m gonna just say again. So the series is called Introduction to Ayurveda: A Yogic Journey Through the Five Elements. But as you just heard, this is going to be a very, very rich experience. And I’m very excited to bring it to Mind Oasis in partnership with the Three Jewels out of New York City. They are a wonderful nonprofit organization that offers yoga and meditation online. I think probably every day for many different sessions each day. And you can check them out at ThreeJewels.org and Mind Oasis is at MindOasis.org and under “yoga” is where you will find the series and it starts on the 11th of July.
Karuna: So, Jennifer, thank you so much. Super.
Jennifer: Thank you. I’m looking forward to meeting the folks who decide to join us. It’ll be a fun ride together. So looking forward to seeing you all.
Karuna: Awesome. Thank you so, so much.
Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of Meditation Happy Hour is the audio record.
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