Living a Life of Balance - Ayurveda for the Soul with Maria Garre 

In a high pressure society driven by over-achievement, trying to find a life of balance and living at peace with ourselves can become a challenge. We often want to be the best version of ourselves, but trying to juggle it all can lead to us to crash and burn.

On this pathway to perfectionism, we can find it is paved with habitual tendencies and 'rituals' – they can either be beneficial to our well-being or, whether we are conscious of it or not, may not be serving us purposefully and contribute to an inability to reach a sattvic (balanced) place. Finding a ‘life of balance’ allows us to live our lives peacefully and should be the goal of practice. The starting point to help attain this is with a bit of svadhyaya (self-study).

Ayurveda is an effective science to turn to as it promotes the consciousness of becoming more self-aware and provides us with an ability to dissect our prakruti (individual's unique constitution), discovering what way we sway more (dosha wise). Once we can see common themes occurring, we are then able to implement practices (self- care, eating, physical, mental activity and so on) to help achieve balance.

Maria Garre, is a great example of this. She is the founder and director of the The New Mexico School of Yoga, who has woven together over 20 years of experience in biomedical sciences, philosophy, yoga and ayurveda to deliver practical and inspirational information that is accessible to all. She is a sought after teacher, educator and innovator that guides practitioners worldwide through lead training courses and retreats. Her Live in Balance courses and wellness consultations are transformational programmes inspired by her 15+ years of study with core teachers, Vasant Lad and Shiva Rea

In this feature, Maria shares a few words about why balance is the goal to achieve, and her own experience along the path. 

"The path of balance, the middle way, is what I teach. Like most, I struggle with balance every day. In a world that seems to be filled with extreme living and over-achievement, the middle is often not revered, and labeled as average. No one wants to be average because we all want to be excellent. Yet, much to my surprise, I discovered that the pursuit of excellence is the very road that leads to pain, suffering, and burnout. It creates a discord between being and doing. It seems to be the antithesis of peace, which ultimately is what we all desire but struggle to find. My desire to live in balance has become my life’s practice. It is the barometer that allows me to check in and acknowledge when I have swayed to the wrong side of the spectrum. It is easy to get caught up in the doing, the getting things done to accomplish the many tasks we list for ourselves. In the complexity of modern life, it is easy to become imbalanced, which can often lead to irritation, fear, anxiety, or illness. When I do too much, overextend myself, and lose sight of the delicate equilibrium between work, play, and rest, I am not happy. There is no peace. I’ve adopted a model within Ayurveda that helps me check in. This model suggests that life is like a tripod between the mind, the body, and the soul. It teaches that life is a delicate dance between these three equal prongs. Following this parable helps me live in a way that supports what I do physically, mentally, and spiritually. It brings awareness to each day and the ways in which I fill my day, from the moment I open my eyes to the evening’s surrender into sleep. I can plan and organize each day and each week in a way that does not deplete, but rather nourishes my mind, body, and soul. I have a non-negotiable attitude regarding the practices I need to do in order to support this tripod of life. This attitude and commitment has offered me the opportunity to pause around my to-do list. It’s easy to become caught in the “It’s an emergency! This MUST happen today!” about everything. Technology tends to push this sense of immediacy upon us." 

-Maria Garre

Read the full article in Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine: Issue 11.  

Discover your Dosha

Before we can start to live in balance, we first need to find out where our imbalances lie.

Becoming more familiar with your doshais key to becoming more familiar with yourself. It helps provide signals as to what dietary requirements work best (or don't), what areas you need to address when your energy is unstable, and other root causes that initiate habitual patterns and reactions. Appropriate practices and rituals can then start to become a way of introducing more balance.

Download the PRAKRUTI SELF-ASSESMENT courtesy of Maria here and find out what your predominant dosha is.

Where do we go from here?

Maria is joining Yogacampus to run a 5-day Ayurvedic Yoga immersion to help evolve your understanding of how each dosha and sub-dosha can inform sequencing, class design and self-healing. Throughout this immersion, the western, physical view of the body will be weaved alongside yoga and Ayurveda’s energetic and elemental view.

If you are looking to integrate Ayurvedic principles to the practice of yoga, learn more about teaching doshic practices upon principles that explore basic anatomy of each sub-type, alongside daily morning practices for pranayama, namaskars, asana techniques and mudra meditations to harmonise the inner and outer self, then this is the training for you.

This course also counts towards credit hours for Shiva Rea’s Samudra School of Living Yoga Prana Vinyasa Flow Certification program.

Applying Doshic Anatomy to Yoga Practices will run from Saturday 15th to Wednesday 19th September 2018.