On our 2018 Journey, I arrived in Costa Rica a bit travel-weary. I set my alarm clock to wake up bright and early, afraid my travel fatigue might make me sleep through my first yoga class with our group.
Alice told me setting an alarm would not be necessary. I thought she was crazy. She assured me that I would wake up with more than enough time—in Costa Rica, you somehow rise with the sun, sometimes even just a bit before, with little effort.
I set my alarm just in case that first night. Lo and behold, just as Alice had said, I found myself waking from a peaceful slumber just as the sun was rising. Not only did I have more than enough time to prepare to teach, but I had time to meditate on the rising sun over the ocean. What a glorious way to start the day. I remember feeling a sense of peace and calm throughout the day, and easily fell asleep that night.
The Science of Ayurveda
This seeming miracle of me waking up with the sun and easily falling asleep before 10pm reminded me of what I learned years ago about the daily rhythmic clock of nature in Ayurveda. Have you heard of Ayurveda? It’s called the sister science of Yoga!
The science of Ayurveda (which translates to the wisdom of life) is a highly detailed but also quite comprehensible 5,000-year-old system from India. It is considered the first holistic wellness practice, taking into account the many areas that contribute to one’s health and wholebeing. I love the Ayurvedic definition of health:
Health is a continuous and participatory process that embraces all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social, and universal.
I’m especially struck by the first few words….that health is continuous, meaning it’s an ever-unfolding experience and practice in our lives, and that it’s participatory. You are an active and vital part of your healing and wholebeing.
We’re so often misled to believe that the wisdom we need to know how to care for ourselves is held by someone else, some other, outside expert. Ayurveda invites us back in to listen deeply to what our body and mind already know, to really hear and feel our own innate wisdom and connection to our bodies. Ayurveda recognizes that we are intricately connected with nature because after all, we’re made of the same five elements.
The Rhythms of Nature
Our bodies resonate with rhythms, just like nature. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for your routine, day-to-day functions that help your body’s system to thrive: most vital being digestion, elimination, and sleep. Your body already knows, though an innate intelligence, how to thrive, but sometimes we fall out of balance. When you build healthy habits that align with the natural rhythms of your body and the day, you create an almost “superpower” environment for your body to thrive.
In Costa Rica, the sun comes up at about 6 am and sets around 6 pm. Without effort, you fall into the natural rhythms of the light, sounds, smells, and comfortable temperatures. It’s as if your body experiences a reset.
How Can You Help Your Rhythms?
What would that feel like for you? I’d love to have you experience that on our upcoming Wholebeing Journey. Maybe you’ve been watching as we’ve been talking about this Journey? Maybe you’re not quite feeling like you can “justify” a trip like this for yourself.
We get it. It is an investment. But what if your one, already beautiful life might have more to offer you and others? What more might feeling even more energized and inspired allow you to contribute to the larger community that you live and work in?
Self-care is never only about self. When you thrive, the others you serve do to. And there has never been a time where we’ve need to cultivate what we care about and take action more than now.
I hope you’ll take that leap of courage and say yes to join me and the three other skilled Wholebeing Guides, Alice, Jack, and Marco for a week of immersing yourself in the rhythm of nature, the rhythm of healthy habits and the rhythm of regular, nourishing meals on our Wholebeing Journey in May.
Together we’ll learn how to reset, realign, and refocus…so you can find the rhythm to thrive on every level in Costa Rica and when you return home.