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Kiss My Asana at Devanadi

Kiss My Asana Yogathon w/Mind Body Solutions

Devanadi is proud to be a 2016 Participating Studio in the Mind Body Solutions’ Kiss My Asana event. Kiss My Asana is a four-week yoga challenge during February 2016. It’s an opportunity to do what you love (yoga!) while raising awareness and resources for an important non-profit working to provide hope and healing to thousands around the world.

If you have joined Kiss My Asana and received your Passport, here are the classes at Devanadi during February that your Passport is valid for:
• Mondays, Feb 15 & 22 | 9:30-11:30am | Shakti, Bhakti & Pranayama w/Tanya Boigenzahn
• Tuesdays, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, & 29 | 9:30-10:45am | Slow Flow Vinyasa w/Lil Almstrom
• Tuesdays, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, & 29 | 11:15-12:30pm | Beginning Yoga w/Lil Almstrom
• Thursdays, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 | 6:00-7:15pm | Yoga for Ages 50+ w/Laurie LoPesio
• Fridays, Feb 5, 12, 19 | 9:30-11:00am | Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra w/Chanti Tacoronte-Perez
• Saturdays, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 | 1:30-3:00pm | Kundalini Yoga for Women w/Nicole Nardone
See our Yoga Courses page to read descriptions

How does the Kiss My Asana Yogathon work?
It’s simple. Commit to increasing your yoga practice by ANY amount for the month of April. For example, increase your once-a-week practice to two, maybe three times a week. Or perhaps you simply “up” the number of minutes from 60 to 90 each week. Maybe you’ve never tried yoga and simply committing to ONE PRACTICE is just your speed. The choice is yours – use your imagination! Your practice can happen at a studio, a community center, at home…wherever you put your mat or chair!

Simply COMMIT. You will FEEL the benefits of yoga and help us SHARE the work of Mind Body Solutions.

Their goal is to raise $75,000 to help fund our Adaptive Yoga Program. Let’s open yoga to everyone. Participate or sponsor a yogi! Join us and help transform lives in simple, effective and profound ways.


The KMA Studio Passport! Your passport to FREE Yoga Classes throughout the Twin Cities! Thank you to these amazing and generous studios. Go visit them in April!





I first read the book, “The Four Agreements” well over 10 years ago. Even at that time, I was struck by how such a small book could pack such a big punch and it had a strong impact on me. I was a few years into my own healing and self discovery journey and this realization that there was this collective dream in which we were living was a fairly new one for me and one that I was having a hard time wrapping my head around in any real way. It is, after all, a pretty deep concept – this one of “real”.

I tried to implement each of the four agreements with varying success. It was difficult to overlay these new agreements on top of my old ones and I ultimately forgot about them. Many years later, I returned to “The Four Agreements”. Because my yoga practice had deepened significantly, I read the book with new eyes and therefore was able to understand so much more about it. My yoga practice taught me that I had to release what no longer served me so that I would have room for new things. That definitely applied to my experience with “The Four Agreements”. I better understood that the reason it didn’t fully stick the first time around was that I was trying to overlay these new agreements on top of my old ones and that wasn’t going to work. There was no space available so even though I tried, I wasn’t able to be truly successful. Once I was able to let go of some of my old agreements and do the work necessary to allow that letting go to happen fully, then I had the space to make some new agreements. Not only that, but I found that in closely examining my old agreements, I was able to see where they were in direct conflict with “The Four Agreements” and it made even more sense to me why I wasn’t able to successfully integrate them the first time. Once I did the background work, not only was there space in my life for the new agreements, I found that my Being lined up around “The Four Agreements” in a way that it didn’t before.

As I have read through “The Four Agreements” and “The Fifth Agreement” most recently, alongside the “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” and “The Bhagavad Gita”, I can see how closely related they all are and how the Yoga Sutras and the Gita provide the depth and the framework for awareness, letting go, and creating lasting change that are so necessary if you want to truly integrate “The Four Agreements” and “The Fifth Agreement” into your life. Join me for this 12 week series as we explore the depths of our being, identifying the roots of our old agreements, pinpointing what no longer serves us, and creating an environment and the energy needed to let go of those things so that your are open and free to integrate these new, positive and life-sustaining agreements into your life. Doing this work will make the difference between reading a great book with some good ideas, and taking in these teachings and integrating them into your life creating lasting transformation and change.


Wednesdays | Sep 23, 2015 – Dec 16, 2015
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Level: Beginner and up
Format: 12 week session

Join Krista for a COMPLIMENTARY session of this course on Wednesday, September 16 7:30-9pm.  Sign up under Drop-In Class Tab. Limited space.


About Krista:
Krista took her first yoga class in high school over 20 years ago and, as a dancer, she fell inkrista_boos love with the flow and precision that the postures required. Her practice became more regular after the birth of her first child and became more steady and dedicated from there. After the birth of her twins in 2007, yoga became a refuge for her. She found herself coming to the mat for much more than just a physical practice; she needed the calm that her practice provided in order to cope with the craziness of mothering 4 boys and all of the other stressors and busy-ness of life. She credits her yoga practice with keeping her sane through those long days and nights when sleep was a distant memory and everyone needed her every moment of the day. Krista completed her 230 hour training at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis in 2010 and has also studied with teachers such as Seane Corn, Gary Kraftsow, Rod Stryker, and more. She keeps her own practice a priority which in turn, makes her an inspired and creative teacher. Krista’s focus on adapting postures for different levels make her classes available to a wide range of students. She loves teaching a combination of flow and traditional Hatha styles and weaves a theme into each one of her thoughtfully created classes which also often include pranayama and meditation. Teaching Yoga Nidra is one of her favorite things. She loves the healing and deeply nourishing aspects of Yoga Nidra and teaches it regularly to students of all ages.

Krista is also a Food and Wellness coach. She believes that food is medicine and is the foundation of any kind of healing. As such, she works with people to create personalized nutrition plans to support them in their lives and journey. When she’s not teaching or practicing yoga, seeing Food and Wellness Coaching clients, and homeschooling her 4 boys, she can be found knitting, reading, cooking, and hanging out with her wonderful husband and family. You can find out more about Krista at

Chakra Painting as Healing Art. Why study the chakra’s and their architecture?

The symbolic representation of the Chakras are everywhere! As tapestries they hang in wellness centers, in your local yoga studio, and maybe you have seen them creating a pattern on the wall of your therapist’s office. Even if you don’t know what they are you identify them as the rainbow of lotuses illustrated as being somewhere in the human spine. Artists have depicted their fantastic array of colors with glitter, sequins, and embellishments. To some degree, the artists got it right––the chakra system is at its core a contemplation on beauty. On the other hand, the Chakra system has more profound meaning, compared to the spiraling open of consciousness represented as a system of unfolding lotuses. It is a system of subtle and archetypal weaving of energy which when explored grants one the opportunity to become more observant in one’s own life.

Observation, contemplation, creativity, and self awareness when done consistently is sadhana, a practice. Harish Johari (a tantric master and sacred artist) says that “the fruit of yogic practice (sadhana) is the ability to rise above afflictions and to transcend the cognitive faculties, the perceptual world, and the attachment to the body and the senses. It provides the mind with habitual one-pointedness, undivided attention, perpetual peace, change in behavioral patterns, and finally, enlightenment.” Therefore, engaging in a practice via the chakra system, supports spiritual growth and can provide clarity to align to dharma, your soul’s purpose.

My own engagement with sacred art came at a time when I was empty—making “art” had plateaued. Creative stagnation settled in, and I was unable to move into the regular, effortless rhythm of creation I was used to. However, the pain of not fulfilling my own purpose was too great, eventually impelling me to embark on a journey to find a solution. This pilgrimage led me to a yantra painting, a different way of creating. This disciplined practice merged beauty, mantra, image, archetype, energy, ritual and deep reverence.

DSC_2924 - Version 2

Through the process of making a yantra, creativity again nourished my soul. When creating in this manner I have the potential to connect with the archetypal realm. Creating art that has been excavated by ancient rishis or seers via meditation is like tapping back into that source of divinity. Peter Machard describes how the practice of sacred art can lead one towards“real knowledge of truth through intuitive understanding…thus art becomes a means for educating and healing people emotionally.” Forming a relationship with this internal system of energy and integrating various modalities of creativity, supports the journey of creatively healing––connecting to a greater source to empower our unique mission in the world.


Yantra Wisdom Painting Training: Chakra MandalasMuladhara Chakra 1

Nov 13-15
9-5pm daily
$195 Early Bird ($185 Devanadi TT grads)
$245 After Aug 31 ($235 Devanadi TT grads)



Yoga Basics: The Building Blocks of Personal Alignment
Mondays 11:15-12:45pm

ParaYoga® for Strength & Stability
Tuesdays 5:45-7:15pm
Thursdays 9:30-11am

Restorative & Yoga Nidra
Fridays 6:30-8:00 pm

ParaYoga® Mela
Tanya, Chanti, & Ben | Fridays 9:30-11:00am
Suggested Donation $10-$15

Nepal Relief Donation Class

May 9th | 4:30pm – 5:45pm
Join with members of the Devanadi Sangha/Community to come together, practice, and raise money for the victims of the recent Nepal earthquakes.

Come for a special practice sharing our love of asana and yoga with a focus on metta (loving kindness) and karuna (compassion).

All levels and all students welcome! Bring a yoga mat if you have one and a blanket to sit on.



Some 5,489 people were confirmed dead as of Thursday morning as a result of the massive earthquake, with another 11,440 injured, Nepal’s National Emergency Coordination Center told CNN. Officials have warned the death toll is expected to rise.

Nineteen of the deaths occurred on Mount Everest, where the tremors set off deadly avalanches, the Nepal Mountaineering Association said.

Two neighboring countries, India and China, have reported totals of 72 and 25 deaths from the quake, respectively.

The frequent downpours in Nepal have made it harder for emergency workers to help the injured.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta was at an army field hospital in Kathmandu when the heavens opened Tuesday.

“The rain has arrived, and in many cases, this is the worst-case scenario,” he said. “This is what they were hoping wouldn’t happen.”

Gupta said it was “kind of remarkable what they’ve been able to do” at the makeshift hospital. Over three days, the medical staff there had treated 617 patients and saved 586 of them.

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)Half a million tents are urgently needed for the huge number of people forced from their homes by Nepal’s devastating earthquake, a government minister said Wednesday.

Minendra Rijal, Nepal’s minister of information and communications, said relief operations were underway but that much more needs to be done.

“Life is returning to normal, but it will be some time to be completely normal,” he said. “We have still not been able to properly manage to provide relief.”

Rijal wasn’t able to put a precise number on those made homeless by Saturday’s devastating quake, but he said the government had so far provided more than 4,700 tents and 22,000 tarpaulins to those in need of shelter.

Aircraft loaded with tents are expected from India and Thailand in the next day, he said, with another 100,000 tents expected from Pakistan.

Two UNICEF flights arrived Wednesday with supplies such as water-purification tablets, family hygiene kits and tents and tarps.

UNICEF Regional Communication Advisor Jean-Jacques Simon said the supplies “are desperately needed by those living in camps, and other areas in Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Valley and in hard-to-reach remote areas, where UNICEF plans to distribute the items as soon as possible.”

Map of Nepal earthquake epicenter and aftershock locations

The United Nations has said the quake has affected 8 million people across 39 districts.

Rijal said 21 helicopters, including seven provided by India, were helping in the rescue and relief efforts, with 866 people rescued by air and a little more than 1,000 rescued using land transport.

As rescue workers seek to reach people who desperately need help, the weather is making things worse.

Heavy rain has intensified the hardships for the countless Nepalis who are sleeping out in the open because their homes were destroyed or they don’t feel safe inside buildings amid continuing aftershocks.

At Tundhikal Park, known now as Tent City, the crowds are thinning, but it’s not necessarily a sign of improvement.

On Wednesday, some had enough of sleeping huddled in a tent and were readying to return to their houses. That’s the correct term — houses; they were no longer homes, no longer places of sanctuary.

U.S. President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Wednesday to express condolences, the White House said. This is the first time Obama has spoken with the Prime Minister since Saturday’s first earthquake.

Obama and he talked about disaster response efforts and Obama pledged that the United States “will do all that it can to help the people of Nepal in their time of need,” the White House said.

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Pancha Karma: 5 Days of Ayurvedic Healing… and a Lotta Ghee!

I’m sitting on an airplane right now after assisting my teacher for a 5 day retreat at the Himalayan Institute, several dear yogi friends in seats nearby, Good Samaritan Essential Oils wafting over my area, and I write you… at the start of the New Year, recalling a magically healing time I had just this past November in which I simply cannot wait to tell you more about!

As many of you know, 2014 was a trying year of getting unstuck in this sattvic yogini’s life. The universe had decided to help me shift out of what was not working and into a lifestyle much more nourishing (and so it is… by the way! I’m loving my life these days!). Along with getting unstuck – meaning seeing what I needed to do and doing it – I finally felt relieved and safe enough to relax.

However, with that arose some deep physical “stuff” that must have been just waiting for a time to come out. I found that by fall this year I had acquired asthma, chronic coughing, wheezing with hardly any exertion, and finally, waking up in the middle of the night gasping for breath. On top of that, my immune system was fired up working tirelessly at SOMETHING and revving my skin into panic. I was burning up! Ironically, I was very happy and relieved in light of all this, but I needed help!

So upon the suggestion of one of my besties, Melissa Farris (owner of Veriditas Botanicals organic essential oil company), I agreed to, at one of my busiest times of the year, to halt EVERYTHING and book a week doing Pancha Karma at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With a little help from my wonderful subs, and my ex and family caring for River, off we went with only a couple weeks to prep.
In case you didn’t know, Pancha Karma is the term for Five Actions, or cleansing therapies, used in Ayurvedic Medicine.

Ayurveda, the 5000 year old Indian health science that is sisters with yoga, means “study of life” and aims to help bring the long, lost parts of ourselves, be it mental, emotional or physical, back home for optimal living in harmony with nature and the planet. It usually involves being away from the day-to-day stimulus triggers in our lives (i.e. wi-fi access, work), eating a mono-diet of kitchari (a mung bean/dal, rice and veggie dish), and getting a bunch of body treatments done daily to help the body/mind detox and let go of whatever it can’t digest and make space for good nourishment to come in.


The Ayurvedic Institute is founded by Ayurvedic master, Dr. Vasant Lad, who wrote, among other things, The Ayurvedic Textbook Vol. 1, a book we use in our 340hr TT and our Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Training at Devanadi. I first heard about his place years ago via a friend whose father went there for a month of healing for a chronic issue (it helped).

Now was our turn to go. They’ve been doing Pancha Karma there for years and know their stuff. Our pre-cleanse consisted of ridding all the slack in our diets: sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy, etc. Anything that was hard to digest… throw it out! We ate kitchari as much as possible. Halfway through the week, we started the day with up to 4 Tbsp of warm ghee in the AM before eating, and ended the week doing a castor oil flush – especially fun as I had to do mine in Fargo on a teaching weekend out of town while in my hotel room. Not sexy. Then off we flew to sunny NM and checked in. We were greeted with the warm, wonderful Suzanna.

Suzanna and me – I’ve got a killer headache in this photo, btw

and guided to the KITCHARI BUFFET (yes!) with a lovely selection of spices, cilantro, coconut flakes and yes, more ghee, to doctor it up. Heaven! Then off to rest and bed, ready to start Pancha Karma in the AM.

Pancha Karma
Day 1 began with a private consultation with Dr. Ed Danaher to help assess our imbalanced doshas and help guide our healing journey. I learned I had too much pitta (fire/intensity) and too much vata (air/mobility)… imagine that! My week was going to be about slowing down, cooling off and just plain, ol’ rest. ‘Nuf said.

After that, I was escorted to the 4-handed Abhyanga treatment. Abhyanga is a massage with warm, sesame oil done by 2 people at the same time in both coordinating and complimentary motions. It’s light, soothing, calming and so-so-nourishing. They even put oil in your ears! This helps one feel safe, cared for, and warms and loosens the tissues so that your body and can continue to let go in a kind and loving way.

Swedana: This treatment came immediately after the Abhyanga. Simply sit in a “sweat box” and let the steam help push the toxins released from the massage into the waste channels and remind them to move DOWN and OUT, not up and into my skin, lungs and head! Hot, but interesting… for my pitta.

Click the photo to see a video and explanation of Shirodhara

Shirodhara: This therapy is my favorite, and here’s why. Imagine you’ve been stressed out or tired or just want nurturance (that’s pretty much everyone, right?) and along comes a therapy where you simply lay on a cozy table with warm blankets and have a kind therapist administer the application of warm sesame oil to the space on your forehead just above your eyebrows. The oil moves smoothly and evenly down your head towards your crown, through your hair, and eventually drops as a smooth stream into a warming pan underneath. It’s simply divine. The depth of relaxation here (it’s an hour long therapy) is profound, and of all the therapies, I feel that this one was the most useful. Each day, I would wake with layers of deep stress “lifted” off me, each time feeling more and more serene.


Add-On Therapies for my constitutional imbalances, Dr. Ed prescribed several other therapies for me:

Click the photo to see a video of Netra Basti

Netra Basti: Basti, meaning “bladder” or “container,” is a form of healing that places a ring of dough made from chick pea flour or wheat, around an area of the body holding warm oil to help extract toxins from that area. Netra refers to the eyes. Here the practice helps to clear excess “pitta” from the head and eyes and help in seeing clearly: physically, mentally and emotionally. I actually had a HUGE migraine when having this kriya performed, and it was clear within a half hour after the treatment was finished! Here’s a short video clip of Melissa receiving Netra Basti.



hrid_bastiHrid Basti: Hrid means “heart”
This practice was completed on my last day doing Pancha Karma. This time the basti was placed over my heart to help pull out any excess sadness, grief and overall heartbreak. They placed several drops of rose and tulsi essential oil on the skin first and then warm sesame oil. I was surprised but so happy to come out of this treatment feeling exceptionally lighter, happier, and forgiving of myself and others. So needed!


institute_buildingEffects of Pancha Karma
After the above therapies, which took about two hours, we’d shower (lather the oily hair first before getting it wet!!!), get ready and eat a nice bowl of kitchari. The add-on treatments were done in the afternoon. They we did daily bastis (internal cleanses) at our guest house, rested and went to sleep.
I found myself extremely exhausted after Day 1. So much so that I had to nap the entire afternoon AND went to bed at 8:30pm that night. I did suffer from extreme migraines as the toxins rushed to leave my system, but I suppose my foray into the land of double espressos the week before wasn’t considered “good timing.” Hey, at least it wasn’t something worse… But by the end, I was FILLED with goodness, energy and overall positive well being. I felt as though I had taken a huge journey, but arrived safely, and will all my luggage intact.

I’m also happy to report now 45 days later, as suggested by the wonderful team at the Ayurvedic Institute, that my asthma symptoms left on day 2 of Pancha Karma (I was officially cleared of the diagnosis on Dec 29), and my skin is almost completely cleared!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Let us know if you have questions (link to: contact page online) or want to learn more!

Blessings, health and love!

P.S. Need a Boost?
Devanadi is the home to our Ayurvedic Clinic with a host of Ayurvedic Yoga Specialists ready to work with you!
Also learn more about how Ayurveda can help you at one of Kaia Roberts’ upcoming Intro to Ayurveda workshops.

Devanadi’s Wellness Festival

Feb 21 | 6-9pm | FREE

Come one and all to our fabulous evening to help you get a little R&R and learn more about how you can help feel healthier and more grounded in 2015! All are welcome and invite your family and friends. This is a kid-friendly event.

Event Includes:
• Meet and greet with our wellness practitioners: Ayurvedic Yoga Specialists, Thai Yoga Bodyworkers, Reiki Practitioners, Yoga Therapists and more!
• Thai Yoga Bodywork mini-sessions – oh yeah!
• Ayurvedic Pulse readings & tongue diagnosis
• Chakra Readings – are you balanced?
• Chai-making Demo at 6:30pm (and yes, you get to drink it!) w/Chantelle
• Ghee-making Demo at 7:30pm w/Kaia
• Healthy, yummy snacks
• Exploring the 6 tastes of Ayurvedic Cooking and more w/Kaia
• Tea Ceremony served Eastern Style (ongoing) with Amanda
• Yoga for Kids 20-minute classes at 6:10pm, 7:10pm and 8:10pm (while the parents get some healing!)
• Yoga Therapy for Low Back Health 20-minutes classes at 6:40pm and 7:40pm w/Laurie
• Organic, homemade, and healthy body and beauty care products from local company, Chantelle’s Butta (and she does Ayurveda at Devanadi!)
• Raffle
+ more… We are dreaming and thinking up wonderful add-ons for you and will soon list a schedule of events!


FREE Online Yoga Tutorials & Classes w/Tanya!

Some of you know I’ve been out to the Himalayan Institute many times to study with my teachers. I’ve also been going this year to help build their online content in a series of intermediate and advanced online video tutorials for students and teachers. is the second largest online yoga magazine after Yoga Journal, by the way… and more will come! So far there are 5 online posts. We’ll be posting 1 a month for you to enjoy! So happy and grateful to be a part of Yoga International’s online video forum!

Please share with your friends and yoga students!
And LET ME KNOW what else you would like to see… there will be more!

About the latest tutorialtanya_side_angle_video

Parshvakonasana is a challenging pose to teach and practice, because it is asymmetrical.  If the pelvis and low back are out of alignment, they can torque, often resulting in inflammation or injury. Learn what not to do and how to get into and out of the pose safely with these helpful alignment tips and suggestions.

See More Videos

Join Tanya at the Common Grounds Yoga & Music Festival

Join Tanya (and MC Yogi!) NEXT weekend (I’m teaching Friday at 11am-12:30pm) at the fabulous Common Grounds Yoga & Music Festival! She will be doing a workshop on The Four Desires through the eyes of asana. Come with something in your vision you want to see manifest! To save $25 off tickets, enter “TANYA” when signing up! Click here to learn more or buy tickets.

How Does Ayurveda Help Us to Practice Smarter, Rather Than Harder?

– Kaia Roberts, AYS, RYT-200

Ayurveda carries the knowledge for life in your body. As you are. Right now.

Ayurveda is the sister science to Yoga as well as the ancient system of health and wellness in India. In Sanskrit “ayur” means life and “veda” generally translates as knowledge, so the teachings of Ayurveda impart wisdom for life. Most importantly, this wisdom is for everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, what your practice looks like, or the challenges you currently face. We yoga practitioners are in the happy position to be familiar with some concepts used in Ayurveda, as they are often intertwined with yogic teachings. However, Ayurveda provides us an opportunity to expand our practice beyond our yoga mat or meditation seat and out into the world. Using the language of the five elements, or tanmatras, of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether, Ayurveda provides us with a way of talking about life on every level. So, the question then becomes how do we bring this information back onto our mat to enhance our yoga practice. How does Ayurveda help us to practice smarter?

Efficiency: The daily routine practices recommended by Ayurveda, such as neti (cleansing the nasal passages with warm salt water) and tongue scraping, work to rid the body of undigested material (a.k.a. ama) that can gum up the works and lead to disease. Once cleaned out, all levels of body and mind work with greater clarity and efficiency. With less noise in the body and mind we are better able to hear the subtle messages of our practice. We are able to get more out of doing less.

Longevity: The Ayurvedic self-massage practice of abhyanga encourage us to nurture the body, while cultivating a deep sense of acceptance and love of self. Even the cleansing and purification techniques of Ayurveda are much gentler than those of the yogic tradition, mostly due to the fact that they are for we “householder” yogis who need the energy to stay active in our daily world. When we respect and accept our body we are able to play gently with our limits in our practice, without pushing or straining it into pain and injury. These are the habits that allow for a long, healthy practice over a lifetime.

Svadhyaya (self-study): The concept of Prakriti, or individual constitution, stands at the center of any set of recommendations or course of treatment. Each of us has a unique balance-point of the five elements, described in Ayurveda by the doshas of Vata (air & ether), Pitta (fire & water), and Kapha (earth & water). It is through an understanding of our individual balance-point that we can measure our Vikruti, or imbalance. We can begin to ask questions like “where am I today in relation to my balance?” or “how can I keep myself closer to balance as I face this difficult situation?”. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali highlight svadhyaya, inquiry into the nature of the self, as one of the keys to the practice of yoga. Ayurveda provides a framework for self-study by recognizing that each of us comes to our practice, and the world at large, from a unique perspective.

Compassion: This same framework gives us a greater context for living out in the world and encountering other people. Ayurveda uses the language of the tanmatras to explain the root causes of certain behaviors, imbalances and disorders. We are then able to see why, for example, one friend reacts to us with anger, while another friend makes promises they don’t keep, and yet another always seems distracted. It can be easier to respond with equanimity to harsh or non-virtuous acts if we can keep in mind the humanity and unique perspective of the person we are engaged with. Moreover, we may be better able to empathize with that person’s situation and provide compassion, acceptance, or even support. Greeting the outer world with compassion and harmony creates ripples into the inner world. If you are not knocked out of balance by outside factors throughout your day, you come to your yoga mat or your meditation seat ready to move into peace and stillness. You’ll find less distraction and a greater sensitivity to the subtle aspects of body, mind, and the breath that connects them.

Discipline: Ayurveda shows us a whole new way of looking at life, down to the calendar and the clock. It then asks most of us to make changes to our habits and stick to them in order to reap the benefits. Going back to the concept of individual constitution, change can be easy for some of us, harder for others, and a perpetual cycle for those who have trouble committing to a given task for very long. Discipline is the magic that makes the positive habit changes stick, and Ayurveda allows us to start small. Through our daily self-care routine, what Ayurveda calls dinacharya, we can begin with a couple small things that we commit to doing each day. This might be using a tongue scraper or neti-pot each morning, or maybe something else that gets us closer to reaching a specific personal goal. Once we have assimilated these initial tasks into our routine, we can add others. Eventually the idea of doing some combination of yoga asana, pranayama and meditation each day begins to seem within reach. We are able to build regularity and consistency which, Patanjali explains in the Yoga Sutras, is directly related to the strength of a practice. The more disciplined we are, the stronger our yoga practice becomes.

Allow me to speak to this last point from my own personal experience, as discipline was something I struggled with until I began studying Ayurveda and learned about my own constitution and imbalances. With a better understanding of what my tools were and what I was up against, I undertook the task of rearranging my schedule in the hope that it would allow me to be more successful. I began with my tongue scraper every morning, the benefits of which I felt within the first few days. Then I added the neti-pot in the shower, which was another quick win as I’ve always had sinus trouble. Once I started to feel better, the hits just kept on coming! Nasya oil, to nourish the nasal passages, was a natural next step. Then I added chywanprash as a yummy way to build resilience, and triphala for digestive support. Soon I had created enough space in my life to allow a daily practice to grow by eliminating old, stale habits and by building energy and vitality through my dinacharya. I’ve heard said that in yoga every day of your practice is the first day of your practice. The same is true in cultivating an Ayurvedic daily self-care routine, but tongue scraping takes less than 30 seconds and then you’ve checked the first box for the day and you’re off and running.

In her book Absolute Beauty, Pratima Raichur explains that an Ayurvedic lifestyle, “means having the clarity and energy to attain all your goals and still have the longevity to enjoy your success.” The wisdom of Ayurveda encourages us to recognize our strengths as well as accept our weaknesses in order to come to our practice with greater insight. It leads us to practice smarter, putting into our endeavor only as much time and energy as is necessary to achieve our desired result. Together, the sister sciences of Ayurveda and yoga allow us to strengthen our compassion and connection with the outer world, while deepening our understanding of our own inner world.

If you are interested in beginning or continuing your journey into Ayurveda, please join Devanadi Yoga for any of our education opportunities including individualized Ayurvedic Yoga Private sessions, Intro to Ayurveda workshops, and deeper study through the Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist program.

Kaia Roberts is an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist and RYT-200. She is available at kaia.roberts(at) for questions or to schedule Ayurvedic Yoga Private sessions.