by Prashanti de Jager
In many cultures, including Yoga and Ayurveda, there is a saying, “Aim at nothing and you will hit it.” In fact, nothing is done in the Yoga world without first setting the sankalpa, the intention of what will be and how it will be accomplished. This is done to acknowledge, honor and harness our innate creativity - the weaving of the conscious will and our life force.
We are creative beings, and are constantly creating, whether it's creating the course of our day, a work of epic art, our highest form of couch potato, or the shape of our lives in the coming year! According to Ayurveda, it is our daily routines, dinacharyas, that hold the space for what shapes our lives.
Commit to what you can do with ease and steadiness and build on that! The Ayurvedic principle here is to protect agni, to take care of your digestive fire at all levels. The Three Bears is a key metaphor: Lock in to the Gold by giving your "Fire" not too little and not too much!
Wouldn’t it be a joy to look back next year at a list of accomplished resolutions? The ability to focus is critical to success, and herbs which enhance focus and mental acuity include Tulsi (Holy Basil), Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Shankpushpi. This is one reason that we call the formula containing these Joy!
Herbs that increase metabolism, re-organize optimal physiology and increase tone are key here! Tulsi (Holy Basil), Turmeric and Cyperus (in the Complete Flexibility Formula) are three potent thermogenic herbs that increase innate metabolism. Triphala and Arjuna (in the HeartGuard Formula) are some of the herb world’s greatest sources of toning astringents. When it comes to a deep re-organizing of physiology Kutki (in Immunity and in Liver Kidney Care) is one of the champs. Many people who yearn for a deep cleanse actually need a deep re-organizing and optimization of organ function as the lack of that is what is causing the need to cleanse in the first place.
Turmeric is the best herb I know to simultaneously build blood, clean blood and move blood. Exercise is about getting your body moving, and Turmeric is a bit like exercise in a capsule. I am not suggesting that two capsules of Turmeric are worth four laps in the pool, but it helps you to enjoy maximum benefit from what exercise you do accomplish. Also, Turmeric's anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity allows a person to go deeper into their exercise with less risk of injury. If you, like me, do not fully buy into the “No Pain No Gain” club, then try some Turmeric to optimize joint happiness.
There are many anti-stress adaptogens that will help with New Year's resolutions. For instance, Tulsi (Holy Basil) has anti-stress anxiolytic properties, so if keeping with a new regime, like the cessation of smoking, is stressing you out then Tulsi (Holy Basil) will help you adapt to it. Our Breathe Free formula supports respiratory tract health by promoting increased lung capacity and maintaining the normal function of the mucus membrane in the respiratory tract.
Ashwagandha and Shatavri are champs here as they build up your core energy to the point that you can choose what happens with your inner power: In and up as spiritual power, stabilized in body/mind as a deep systemic restorative, or down and out as sexual power! One Energy, three directions- your choice!
This is a fantastic New Year's resolution - to be accountable to your community and your planet and to give back, making your world a better place for all. Here it is not the specific herb but the source of the herbs that is important. Imagine if all the herbs that you bought to bolster your endurance, clear you mind, help you sleep deeply and live more fully all came from farmers who grew these herbs in organic and biodynamic ways that empowered the earth and the entire ecosystem in ways that promoted global sustainability!
You can do it! If you buy all your food and herbs from responsible sources then you are participating in market driven sustainability. And in fact, because global sustainability is not sustainable unless it is market driven sustainability, you are as key of a player in this scenario of true planetary wellness as the farmer is. As I said, you are more powerful than you believe.
We live in really powerful times and are much more powerful than we know. So choose your New Year's resolutions carefully. Create the shape of the life you want to live.
P.S. Check back soon as I will be describing herbs to attain your optimal weight.