How It Can Inform and Deepen Your Yoga Practice
Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences. Yoga addresses all facets of our health and offers us a way of life that is in harmony with our truth. Ayur means life, while veda means knowledge or the study of; this “science of life” can support your yogic practices and all aspects of your well-being.
Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health which has passed the test of time for thousands of years – it can be considered the birth of healing practices. Many ancient healing philosophies borrowed from ayurveda, including those of Tibet, Greece, and China. Many modern practices also have their roots in ayurveda, such as reiki, homeopathy, and herbology. Ayurveda’s tenets can be followed during any point in history and in any circumstance despite what remedies are available or not - they appeal to our common sense and emphasize the need for balance as a state of health; this largely explains how the healing science has survived so long and continues to inform us today.
Ayurveda has given us the ability to describe virtually any matter by means of 20 qualities, or gunas. They are organized into 10 pairs of opposites:
These qualities can describe and categorize the elements, foods, seasons, medicines, times of the day, phases of life, and processes in the body. We all physically consist of the elements. We breathe air (air), there is fire in the body that keeps its temperature level and acids that break apart food (fiery water), our bones and tissues are made of minerals and absorbed matter (earth), and most of our cells are empty space (ether).
Here are the five elements described by the gunas:
Ether/Space: light, cold, subtle, clear, soft, smooth
Air: mobile, dry, cold, subtle, hard, clear
Fire: Hot, sharp, spreading, dry, light
Water: Liquid, heavy, dull (it has a dulling effect), cold, static, smooth
Earth: Heavy, static, gross, rough, dull, hard
We are all made of these elements, yet we are different from one another. We do not all use energy the same, which is where ayurvedic “types” appear. There are three main “types” of energy use in the body, which are called doshas. There is vata (ether and air), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth. Pronounced, kappa) doshas. Some people have a lighter body frame, tend to be cold, and/or like to do many things at a time (vata dominant), others have more fire in the body – warmer skin tone, penetrating eyes, strong digestion and perhaps a propensity towards anger or irritation (pitta dominant), and others still tend to be of denser build, even temper, and soft, kind features (kapha dominant). All three energetic types are present in the body, but one or two usually dominate your physicality and overall character. There are various questionnaires available to help identify your dosha/constitution, although the best idea would be to have a professional help you.
How does any of that help at all? If you know how you are – physically, mentally, and emotionally, you can help yourself stay in balance. If you know what qualities (what gunas) you tend to accumulate or deplete, you’ll have a better understanding of what activities and responses are most helpful to you. A basic principle of Ayurveda is that opposites heal – like qualities aggravate like qualities. Here are a few obvious examples to help illustrate this: if you have a headache, feel irate, or have a sour/acidic feeling inside the body – what use is a rigorous yoga practice to you? The body is trying to tell you there is excess pitta accumulating and that you should apply the opposite qualities to come back into balance. Take it easy on the exercise, stay away from people who throw you off – in other words, cool down! On the other hand, if you feel stuck to your bed, heavy, down, or cloudy, a faster paced and challenging yoga practice may do you better.
These are all simple ways that elementary Ayurveda can help you immensely! Use the list of gunas to inform your yoga practice and to decide what activities to conquer each day. There is so much more that Ayurveda offers if you’re interested in continuing your research. Every food, for example, has a particular effect on the body (heating, cooling, sweet, etc.). If you have excess pitta, you may think that any cold food will do to help balance you internally – nope! Many meats, yogurt, tomatoes, and oranges actually have a heating effect on the body – aggravating your already pitta aggravated state. Better choices would be melons, minty water, or oatmeal, which are all cooling.
A few well organized and reputable resources are:
The Ayurvedic Institute’s website – based largely on Dr. Vasant Lad’s expertise in the field.
Good overview and very clear recipe/ingredient lists for each dosha or guna.
This shows the different paces and qualities of practicing yoga for vata, pitta, and kapha types.
“According to Ayurvedic principles, by understanding oneself, by identifying one’s own constitution, and by recognizing sources of doshic aggravation, one can not only follow the proper guidelines to cleanse, purify, and prevent disease, but also uplift oneself into a realm of awareness previously unknown.” – Dr. Vasant Lad M.A.Sc.
- Jessi Hughes
Journey to the Heart on the Loudoun Wine Trail
Yoga on the Wine Trail at Hiddencroft Vineyards
Meet the wine maker, also the owner, in his beautiful open air barn, tasting house, and vineyard deep in the heart of Loudoun County, Virginia. Rich with history, you can feel the strength of spirit here. It is with heart, love, and passion his wines are aged and hand crafted to perfection. This wine matches our practice, carefully combined to engage the deepest
human sense of smell, touch, taste, giving and energy that surrounds the dedication to what we love. This Natarajasana, Prana sequenced practice is a beautiful barn dance with the wind blowing through our bodies…
There are those moments when we get in our own way blocking us from seeing, feeling, doing, saying, and breathing. There are those moments when we get out of our own way unblocking us to see, do, say, breath, love, grow, give, create, live, smile, spread our feathers and FLY riding the breath of the universe…
Erin started students in a bound meditaion with Mexican blankets to prop up the back and allow the ribs and lungs to open in Supta Baddha Konasana. Breathing openly, fresh air lets the mind freely re
lease thoughts while beginning to remove gravity from shoulders in a reclined and relaxed meditation. We all rise to the sound sounds of the singing bowl making the path led by vineyard staff through the apple orchard to the vineyards, row after row of lush vines. Deep in the summer, the heat and humidity fills our lungs while travelling slowly through the grapes, soaking up the sunshine.
Yoga – Heart Opening Practice
♣ Chakra: The Forth Chakra, the Anahata Chakra, is physically positioned at the heart region. Traditionally, this Chakra is represented as a green flower with twelve petals which match the vrittis of lust, fraud, indecision, repentance, hope, anxiety, longing, impartiality, arrogance, incompetence, discrimination and defiance.
♣ Element: Air
♣ Color: Green
♣ Animal: Antelope (deer)
♣ Body Parts: Heart, Skin, Lungs, Thymus, Blood, Lymph, Immune System
♣ Planet: Venus
♣ Focus: “When energy is not flowing freely from the heart there is a disruption of love, balance, harmony, peace, brotherhood, hope, growth or healing. When blocked there can be an inability to express or share any deep emotions including joy, fear, sadness or serenity. This Chakra is fed by finding your passion and following your heart. Having faith, find ways to express yourself and practicing appreciation, balancing giving and receiving ,and forgiveness of yourself or others.”
We return to our mats for a heart opening practice with Lara that begins in Utthita Balasana (extended child’s pose). When the knees are apart, allowing the rib cage to sink deeper, the arms are extended forward to help length in the spine and begin opening shoulders and chest. Our peak asanas, stages, or modifications are reached through poses placed in sequences to repeat, build, and open the heart, chest, and shoulders allowing for absolute freedom of breath and body movement. Natarajasana (King Dancer or Lord of the Dance), Urdva Danurasana (upward bow), Ustrasana (camel), and Salabhasana (locust) is the family of asanas.
Opening dedication is mind and body opening wave through hearts center. Making our way through Moon Salutations breathing in the warm summer air to progressive sequence including balance. As the birds fly through the barn doors each inhale and rise to Tadasana brings the gaze upward. Visual movement through air allows each moment to be present.
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anais Nin
Wine at Hiddencroft Vineyards
Hiddencroft is located in the far corner of Lovettsville, Virginia. From our Purcellville Yoga Studio on East Main Street, a short drive down 287 taking a left turn down a scenic dirt road seems like a journey back in time. We sampled a large tasting menu with the winemaker and owner. Our light fare lunch was provided by South Street Under in Leesburg, Virginia and the carefully prepared selections were paired with wine following the tasting.
Clyde ages his wine between 22 and 42 months! The blueberry and cherry fruit wines were not something many of our yogis have tried before. Such a nice treat captured in the bottles of Grandma’s Love Potion ties up the knot of love with blueberries – absolutely delicious! The Sweet Cherry was purchased by many this time around to enjoy with cool desserts of the summer. We sold almost 30 bottles of wine to our yogis returning to their homes to share with their family & friends.
The Wine Selection
Here are the wines offered by Hiddencroft. A “hidden gem” tucked far out of the way of highway noise, clutter of visual distractions, and full of warmth to share. Walking through the path to the 1830′s tasting house feels like passing through time to a unique piece of history now captured and enjoyed with the wonderful wine country we are so lucky to call home. We are all grateful for the hospitality and custom vineyard tour during our meditation walk. Yoga and Wine in Loudoun County & Yoga on the Wine Trail is so pleased to have experienced the heart of the people that create wine here on a farm now cherished for generations past, present, and future. Cheers!
Chambourcin Rose (2011) – $19Wine
Flavors of strawberries and tart summer plums. Lovely mauve color. Dry and crisp. Excellent served as an aperitif or wine cocktail.
Traminette (2011) – $18 (Dry)
Traminette (2011) –
$18On Sale for $15! (1.5% res. sugar)
Two versions available: one dry and crisp; the other semi-sweet. A nose of old fashioned roses and honeysuckle. Ap
ple at the mid-palate and a spicy tingle on the finish. Excellent when served with spicy, ethnic cuisine.
Vidal Blanc (2010) – $20 (1.5% res. sugar)
Subtle notes of pineapple and grapefruit. Excellent with grilled chicken, ribs, seafood and tropical salsas.
Chambourcin (2009) – $23 Released December 2012
Cabernet Franc (N/V) – $23 Released December 2012
Cellar aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 3 and 1/2 years. This blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot is a great balance of fruit, oak and tannins that will blossom in your cellar for years to come.
Dutchman’s Creek Blend – $23
Our red blend displays a complex palate with a smooth finish. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tannat have been blended for a great balance of fruit, oak and tannan. The perfect wine to complement your favorite dish of beef, lamb or wild game.
Tannat (2008) – $40
Barrel-aged for 42 months. This wine has a firm tannic structure, dense purple-red-color, a nose of tobacco, smoke, ripe berries, and a long angular finish. Enjoy it now or lay it down in your cellar to be enjoyed in 5-7 years.
Sweet Cherry (2011) –
$23On Sale for $20! (750ml)
Grandma’s Love Potion – $24 (500ml) Our 2011 Vintage!
The dictionary defines love potion as “a magic drink supposed to arouse passion for a certain person in the one who drinks it.” While we make no such claim, we are certain you will passionately enjoy this unique wine with pate, game, or port, and for dessert with ice cream, creme brulee, and bread pudding or plum pudding with hard sauce.
This charming winery was started in 2008 by Clyde and Terry Housel. Please visit them at http://www.hiddencroftvineyards.com/- browse the current calendar of events, future summer wine & music in the barn, and learn about the family owned and operated farm.
Please feel free to leave comments to our post. We enjoy hearing your experience and love for both yoga and wine! LoveLocalLoudoun
Namaste & Cheers!
Yoga on the Wine Trail Yogis
“My body may be 64, but my spirit is still in its 30′s….”
Written by a Yoga 4 Life and This Body student, Michelle Wirrell. Michelle attends Gentle, Beginner and Hatha classes in Purcellville, Virginia.
“After years of suffering from mental, physical, emotional abuse, and unbelievable stress in my life, my body began to breakdown. From the age of 40, three knee surgeries on both knees, a tumor removed from my arm, the aortic valve in my heart replaced and an aortic aneurysm repaired, a brain tumor, years of debilitating migraines, the large colon rupturing and then avoiding death by 12 hours. But the final push into despair happened in an elevator accident which left me in unbearable pain for 7 years. Between the pain and the constant state of prescription drugs to keep me sedated, I finally gave up.
After 7 years of being a zombie I fought to grab hold of my life again. I had the doctors wean me off of drugs and fought to overcome the pain and slowly regain my life.
In November 2011, I decided to take a yoga class, something I had been wanting to do since the 70′s. I took an Integral Hatha Yoga Beginners class [with Christie Haran] and my life was transformed.
I started going to yoga classes 4-6 times a week and began meditating again. I asked God what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. You know the saying “Ask and you shall receive.” Well, He’s had me on a fast track ever since. I was given specific directions as to what He wants me to do with the rest of my time here on earth.
Seven months after starting yoga classes [at This Body Yoga, now Yoga 4 Life], I started the Basic Hatha TT (Teacher Training) at Yogaville (Satchidananda Ashram, Buckingham, VA) and I am now a Hatha Yoga teacher. I walked into my first class with a metal knee brace on, my body hurting every where, and the toes on my left foot hadn’t bent in 24 years. Also, I have a 70% hearing loss in both ears and wear two hearing aides. After my TT, 30 days later, I no longer wore the brace, my body no longer hurt all the time, my toes were bending, and I was doing positions (asanas) I never thought I would ever do. My body may be 64, but my spirit is still in its 30′s.
Never say never or I can’t. I’m here to tell you that if I can overcome all my obstacles, anyone can. I have been through so much in my lifetime, but it was all for my reason for being here; to help others in the same situations. To let them know there is a better life for them. To show them how to obtain it and to give them the courage to never give up.
To fellow Yoga Instructors: You will meet students in your class with similar problems. Treat them with love and compassion. Encourage them and share my story with them.
Love, Peace, Joy and the Light of God and the Universe. Namaste”
♥ Namaste from all of us at Yoga 4 Life
A huge Thank you to Michelle for sharing her challenges, passion, and love for life
YOGA 4 LIFE & THIS BODY
The Main Street Studio will be open from 4-8:30 with two practices: 4:30 Hatha and 6pm Vinyasa.
We will have the boutique open for Holiday Shopping with light appetizers and refreshments after each class! Happiness Hour until 8:30 enjoying Loudoun County wines, merriment with fellow yogis, and personal wellness helpers to answer questions.
Please bring a friend to either practice and your friend practices free! If your friend signs up for a package, you get your class free that night!
Open to all! Brandy Greenwell will be providing ultra premium health and wellness products. Everything from baby products to results driven anti-ageing for men and women, aromassentials to a purifying detox line, shampoo to cosmetics, to vegan protein shakes, vitamins and dietary supplements. All of the products are botanical, not tested on animals and made without toxic ingredients like parabens and others that are ban from skincare outside the US. The company has been green since inception and just received carbon neutral status. I’d be happy to introduce anyone to the pure, safe, and beneficial products.
- AT: 850 B Main Street; Purcellville, Virginia 20132
- When: November 30th
Time to be U – Time to be Happy!
Yoga & Wellness Open Studio
& Happiness Hour
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
Wed November 21, 2012
- 9:00 am Flow – Beginner Jessi Hughes Main Street STUDIO
- 10:30 am Gentle Christie Haran Main Street STUDIO
- 1:00 pm Flow Yoga Carolyn Connell Main Street STUDIO
- 5:00 pm Hatha 2 Christie Haran Main Street STUDIO
- 6:30 pm Vinyasa/Prana Flow Erin Dewey Nursery Avenue STUDIO
Fri November 23, 2012
- 7:30 am All Level Yoga Lawrie Vick Main Street STUDIO
- 8:30 am Pilates Brandy Greenwell Nursery Avenue STUDIO
- 9:15 am Hatha Lawrie Vick Main Street STUDIO
- 9:30 am Vinyasa/Prana Flow Lara Ward Nursery Avenue STUDIO
See everybody this weekend plus FREE Community Class followed by a Flow this Saturday!! Sunday we are all candle lit to relaxxxxxxxx! It will be a nice treat after the feast and holiday shopping!
- Namaste & Happy Thanksgiving
from all of us at Yoga 4 Life
Journey with Yoga on the Wine Trail…
A day, event, moment, week, or year is not a stage set up by a shining sun, ideal weather, or another. Movement, choice, acceptance, and trusting the universe to let us find ourselves when we let go is where we not just find life, but come alive…
See clearly, hear with acceptance, flow with connection, sing by vibration and move with evolved rhythm.
“See” shines the Sun, for the light bleeds colors into your world.
“Feel,” whispers the Moon,“my energy is near and dear.”
“Speak,” sings the birds, “our songs create waves upon which you can dance.”
“Fly,” buzz the bees, “hope is to continue on our flight to help, give, and grow.”
“Breath,” blows the wind, “into the rhythm of time that leads you to your destiny.”
“Flow,” water beckons, “let go, wash it new; ride my current of collected drops and dew.”
Our July journey on the wine trail is a cozy day of introspection. The clouds in the gray skies claim and capture heat from the sun allowing a peaceful entry to meet together not only in body, but ourselves in mind. The mats quietly go down one at a time until the space is completely filled. Closed eyes for meditation, we create space in the room, body, and self.
The quiet entry to the vineyard and calm canvas painted sky is the backdrop release in the vines. Dispersed throughout the rows, some take the path alone. Sweeping through the vines in the freedom of moving meditation or finding peace in the slow rhythm of walking one foot in front of the other – simplicity.
The cool drizzle and gentle blades of grass give way to our bare feet and rise again as each pass slowly letting go to enjoy the deep red grapes hanging gracefully below the leaves that nourish them. The roots below offer strength and a sturdy foundation of life flowing into the ground into a world only they can see. In our practice, it is that place of sacred self that we meet to heal and connect. Like the center of the earth, getting there is a process of entering layers and sometimes shedding them to the pureness of who we are and where our true soul energy lives.
The slow and steady walk onto our mat begins with linking to that soul center as we find our rhthym with breath and body loosing space, time, temperature with journey through asanas…loosing connection to everything and everyone around us allows the space for true self to rise up and then out to make deeper and truer connections with all souls.
“Dance the dance, sing the song…our shadows may may look similar but voice, touch, tone, and spirits are their own. It is that beautiful moment when they flock together, flow, and harmonize… IdentifyInterlinkInhale to riSE…”
Our practice focus is the Solar Plexus Chakra, Manipura or Third Chakra, and the Root Chakra, Muladhara or First Chakra. The combination is one of combining Fire and Earth elements. Fire is not only heat energy but light as well and the grounding element of Earth replants roots of self.
The heat fills the room as we flow through Moon Salutations (Chandra Namaskara) and a Dancing Warrior heart opening sequences. The three wave flow is based on crafting an intelligent sequence to peak asanas (poses) allow the body to open fully. The kramas (stages) to Parsva Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and variations as the main peak asana(pose). The following sequences all lead to working on the navel region through twisting and opening asanas such as Salabhasana (Locust), visiting Uttanasana between sequences, Supta Virasana, and Dhanurasana. Working on balance and twisting the upper region we grew through twisted lunges within Chandra Namaskara and the evolution to a revolved variation of Anjaneyasana – Revolved, Standing Crescent Lunge Chandrasana.
The journey is not over but our asana practice ends in a Savasana with Tribal Winds, a Native American selection, with flutes, power animals, and soft words. Surrounded by foggy windows and the sweet singing crystal singing bowl that vibrates through the air and right into the core of our being to quiet and calm every last movement of mind. Savasana assists visit each of our students with hand blended chakra oils from Blue Moon that have simmered in stones and crystals. The reading follows and reflects directly on our earth connection, growth, giving and sharing…now we drink wine!
Fabbioli is known well not just for the fabulous wine, but also for their tastings as food and wine pairings. Our tasting was a really fun and energetic presentation by vineyard staff at our own tasting bar. The room still filled with the flowers hand selected for their color relation to the chakras, we tasted and enjoyed the changes that occurred when food was introduced. My favorite is the pear wine with ginger cookie and the Raspberry Merlot paired with locally made chocolate. The detailed description and very thorough presentation of the wine’s own journey to the bottle was so well presented; like taking a food and wine class.
2011 Rosa Luna
Rose’ is a wonderful new summer favorite. Many vineyards are creating them dry which also makes this a nice, crisp, and chilled summer selection. I have really enjoyed tasting the different variations throughout the county this summer. This one is 100% Sangiovese grapes, fermented in stainless steel preserving a crisp acidity with flavors of summer peaches. Their food and wine suggestion is to pair with poultry, white fleshy fish and herb based rubs and sauces.
Light Fare lunch is presented and each student selects their favorite wine to enjoy with fruit, mini hand made sandwiches, and delicious desserts prepared and delivered by South Street Under in Leesburg, Virginia. Please visit their location downtown below Tuscarora Mill or website at: http://www.southstreetunder.com/.
As you well know, our mission is to support local agriculture, business, and farms right here in Loudoun County, Virginia. We were honored to be invited to this vineyard and even more so because Fabbioli Cellars and Yoga 4 Life/Yoga on the Wine Trail’s philosophy is very much lined up – Doug says it best…
“One of my little catch-phrases has been “Get the train going down the track and decorate it while it is moving.” With that is mind; we have started to define the ideals we make in business. Some of these ideals should be obvious for any business and are as follows: good quality products, sound business practices, and the building of great relationships. However an ideal that makes Fabbioli Cellars unique is that this business will continually strive to do a little more for the community, the youth and the Earth. So this brings me to the last of the three “E”s: economics. Some may question the economics point, but I want to make it clear that that is what makes things function. A strong rural economy will slow down land sales to developers and maintain our green community.”
Taking it back to where we began, time after time and it is still the right start…that is what leads you forward, sideways – North, South, East and West – always coming back to center.
Fabbioli Cellars has over 20 years of winemaking experience, their award-winning wines have earned medals at some of the country’s most prestigious competitions, including double gold at the Indy International Wine Competition. The experience of ”Real People, Earth Friendly, Fabulous Wines” is just the beginning of the hospitality you will enjoy stepping into the tasting room. They offer food and wine classes and many others. They are open DAILY from 11-5pm and can be found down Rt. 15 past Leesburg going North towards Lucketts off of the beautiful country, dirt path by turning right onto Limestone School Road. http://www.fabbioliwines.com/
Their wines can be found around the region. The link to the list can be found at their website here: http://www.fabbioliwines.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=71.
Our journey has continued throughout the summer and into the fall. Kim Sullivan is a Wine Passionist who helps to coordinate our Yoga on the Wine Trail events. We welcome you to join us at the following vineyards coming up soon.
All Photographs from this day can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.412783768758020.88989.252543858115346&type=3
“Human giving and trust is the greatest gift of freedom, carefully placing your feet on the earth and a path to be proud of…”
When: October 20, 2012 9:15 am – 12:30 pm
Where: 868 Estate Vineyards
14001 Harpers Ferry Road
Neersville, VA 20132
When: November 10, 2012 9:15 am – 12:30 pm
16804 Hamilton Station Road
Hamilton, VA 20158
Photos by: L. Ward & Kassia Lee Photography
Fabbioli Cellars, Leesburg Virginia in beautiful Loudoun County