Back to the Basics: Introduction

Quite some time ago, I was introduced to ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, by wonderful teachers in the Denver-Boulder area.  But then life took over, and both my yoga and ayurveda practices suffered.  While asana stayed in my life much of the time, pranayama, meditation and ayurveda took a back seat, sometimes not even visible in the rear view mirror.  Rekindling these practices was a key reason for enrolling in the Axis Yoga Teacher Training program.

My prakruti, or inherent natural state, has consistently been classified as pitta dominant, and this was again confirmed by the questionnaire Beth Sanchez included in her YTTP materials: V2/P3/K2.  Pitta personality traits show up quite consistently, including a tendency toward anger (when stressed), perfectionism and successful when focused.  And I have many of the typical Pitta physical traits, such as medium build, smaller eyes, yellowish skin and teeth tones, and a metabolism that runs ‘hot’ making it very uncomfortable to be in temperatures over 85 degrees.  Even so, in my history, I have also been disposed to being vata-provoked at the emotional level (in terms of feeling personally ungrounded or indecisive), and being kapha-provoked in the form of weight gain.  So, there was a definite question as to what to focus on for the personal experiment and what dosha to pacify.

Just as the ayurveda module in the Axis Yoga Teacher Training Program started, an important professional opportunity came up in my legal practice.   I ended up spending almost every waking minute to hone my lawyer brain and skills for this engagement and then needed to play catch up on the ayurveda module.  So, when we needed to start our personal experiment, I grew weary thinking about the past 10 days and my ongoing tendency to extremes.  At first it made sense to keep the experiment simple, something like daily sadhana and abhyanga, self massage.  However, after receiving Beth’s input and catching up with the reading, I realized that such a limited experiment was at odds with my intention for this program.