Tantra, it might surprise some, is a science. One of the meanings of the word tantra is “treatise,” and that accurately describes it as a massive body of knowledge. Tantra doesn’t ask you to spend endless hours and years studying books on the subject. Rather, it is by its very nature practical. Tantra means that when you do a certain thing (an action or practice), it spontaneously gives rise to a higher level of awareness or a greater sense of freedom. When you do a tantric technique, it automatically produces a positive effect, a spontaneous effect, regardless of your beliefs. That is, by nature, what makes it tantric.

Most of us have been asked our astrological sign. This most often means our Sun sign. Have you ever been asked “What is your Star?”

Chances are if you go to India or meet someone who has a knowledge of Jyotish or Vedic astrology that they could ask you this question. They are asking not only what sign your Moon is in, but also the nakshatra or lunar mansion which is specific to the fixed star system within the ecliptic (path of the sun and other planets from the perspective of the Earth).

Breakfast is an important opportunity to set the tone of our day and nourish our senses and tissues, yet we usually don’t make time, or choose easy and quick over simple and healthy. Try an option that's easy, quick AND healthy!

As a yoga and mindfulness teacher, my ultimate mission is to help others help themselves. I often tell my students that they have to take care of themselves in order to take care of others. This sentiment is echoed by both the airline safety videos (“Secure your mask before helping others”) and thought leaders such as the Dalai Llama.

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others… If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not capable of developing compassion for others.” —Dalai Lama

I'm only in week 2 of my online "Mindful Communication" course given by Mindful Schools, and I already feel a shift in how I'm communicating with my family and co-workers. The foundation of the course is built on the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) technique founded by the late Marshall Rosenberg PhD, who also founded the Center for Non-Violent Communication.

Click here to watch a short video of Dr. Rosenberg to understand his work.

What Really Matters

Six years ago, I went to visit a friend from college who was teaching English in Kyoto, Japan.

A day or so after I arrived, she took me to an outdoor market in the city.  Wandering together through stalls of artwork, antiques, handicrafts and food, I was drawn to a table where a woman was selling daifuku, sweet rice cakes filled with red bean paste.

As my friend spoke Japanese and I did not, she kindly did the work of ordering one for me.

"...first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
Matthew 7:5

Among the very few biblical quotes that are imprinted in my mind is this one. It is one that has been re-surfacing for me a lot lately...

The life science of Ayurveda explains that we are born perfect creations, with a unique balance of space, air, fire, water, and earth – the 5 basic elements of all things. This is our Prakruti. Then life happens, - the food we eat, coupled with our activities and environment skew that perfect balance. This is our Vikruti. Imbalance leads to illness, and when we can’t curb the illness, it can lead to chronic disease that we are taught to live with, such as arthritis, allergies, thyroid problems and inflammation.

A lot of what I do professionally centers around the concept of self-care. In particular, how to empower those I teach to take care of themselves. Everyone's self-care routing is as unique as their fingerprints. Even if two people need the same thing, the way they approach it and their reasons for doing it can be miles apart. There is a lot of dialogue around the why, what and how we should take care of ourselves - sleep hygiene, meditation, diet - but I feel there can be a lack of follow up.

As I stepped into this tremendously hot room barefooted, I was carrying the stress and concerns of my world on my shoulders. My ministry & nonprofit initiatives were looking faint, business goals seem to have invited me into the galaxy in order for me to reach them, my finances moved out of my bank account home to reside in the accounts of bill collectors, and it seemed as if the world had slowly chewed me up, and spit me out like sunflower seeds.