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).

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

"...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.

The Bhagavad Gita tells us that humans, as well as all other things in Nature, have a mixture of Sattwa, and its companions, Rajas and Tamas. These three Maha Gunas (qualities) determine our behavior, actions, thoughts and emotions.

Sattwa is clarity, light, purity and wakefulness. It is stability, essence, compassion and love. Sattwa is required for our mental and physical health, and is the path to personal evolution and spiritual maturity. 

Learning to sit….

1. Environment matters
Find a clean, quiet space in your home where you can sit undisturbed, away from the distractions and pressures of the external world.
The air should be clean, fresh and well ventilated but not breezy.

2. Cleanliness is a factor
Your face, hands and feet should feel clean and fresh, adding a certain respect and vibrancy to your practice. If you practice meditation in the morning, you will want to evacuate your bladder and bowels first.

Many people experience back pain, and for many reasons. The main cause of back pain is a lack of strength and/or flexibility. These 3 beginner yoga moves are designed to strengthen and increase flexibility in your spine.

Yoga isn’t solution for all back pain, more serious condition may need special care in addition to yoga, like a bulging disc. Which is when one of your intervertebral discs has weakened and lost its shape. If you suffer from a spinal condition proceed carefully.

Modern society is so super advanced - we can thank science & technology for so many inventions over the past 200 years! However, our personal and spiritual evolution, our ability to be content and fulfilled hasn’t growth past our ancestors from the Stone Age. We still exhibit anger, greed, jealousy, ego and insatiable desires. Our mind constantly spins with anger over past experiences, anxiety and fear over what may come to pass. We have lost sight of the beauty that exists, ever present, in the here and now.