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Dani Escobar on Heart-Centered Wellness & Devotional Practices

Dani Escobar, Ayurvedic women’s health practitioner, Ayurvedic postpartum doula, herbalist and Our Seva Motherhood Circle community member understands the subtleties that allow women and mothers to feel nourished during their most transformative years. With the ability to tune into the natural rhythms of nature and modern life, Dani shares a variety of potential practices to try as you return home to your sacred center. I’m hope you’re inspired by Dani’s heart-centered approach to women’s wellness <3

 


 

Q: In my humble opinion, there is no better combination than that of mother care and the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda — Can you share how you arrived at your certification as Ayurvedic Practitioner, and how that evolved to be in support of women and mothers?

My Ayurvedic journey began in Mysore, India, 2011, where I met my dear yoga teacher Sri. V Sheshadri, with whom I practiced and studied the science of Yoga continuously every year for two to three months. He introduced me to some Ayurvedic herbs, and he saw my interest in this divine science and my sincere intention to be of service. He was the one who encouraged me to start my studies at the Mysore Ayurveda Academy. 

In my self-healing journey, I was able to improve my digestion, slowly regulate my hormones, and gently heal emotional wounds that I have been carrying from my maternal line. This is a journey that I am still today, and Ayurveda and Yoga have shown me a beautiful path to nature and to love. 

As I continued to experience the healing benefits of Ayurveda, I had a deep desire in my heart to share it and be of service.

I believe that women require deep nourishment, and they are craving connection and sacred space.

This has led me to deepen my studies in women’s health and offer a sacred space to support women on their journey back to nature.  

Later on, I met a beautiful Ayurvedic Doctor in Pune, India, specialized in women’s health with whom I did my mentorship and masters study in Ayurvedic gynecology and obstetrics.

 

Q: For someone who is completely new to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, how would you describe the essence of the sometimes esoteric principle and practices?

Ayurveda is the science of life that offers us the tools to live in harmony with nature, our environment, our loved ones… with all of life!

 

Q: Tuning in to our internal balances and prioritizing daily self observation are important aspects of Ayurvedic protocols — Have you established any intuitive “tuning in” practices that have helped you align with the natural rhythms of the day/seasons?

Ayurveda is all about awareness. We are bringing our awareness to our day to day and deep self-observation. As we know, the elements are dancing in the environment and continually changing. Ayurveda teaches us to be sensitive to our environment. 

The practices that have helped me align with the natural rhythms of the day and seasons are the daily rituals (dinacharya) that Ayurveda suggests and the three pillars of health and well-being.

There is so much beauty in creating a daily sadhana (spiritual practice) and daily ritual to nourish and cleanse the senses and to bring clarity and stillness into the mind.

My daily rituals or routines that I have been practicing for a few years are:
Waking up before sunrise 4:45 am >  brushing teeth & tongue scraping > the practice of abhyanga + gandusha (oil pulling) > warm shower > nasya > pranayama, meditation, yoga asanas > nourishing breakfast > work > nourishing lunch > work > soup for dinner > shower + tongue scraping/brushing teeth > prayers/mantras > sleep by 9:30

These practices allow nature to be without us needing to change or disturbed it. We are amplifying nature’s wisdom and divine energy by following practices that connect us with sattva (energy of clarity, purity, awareness, love).

 

Q: What would you say to a new mama or anyone new to Ayurveda who feels these practices are out of reach, unsustainable or overwhelming? How can we reassure them that it’s a “take what feels good, leave the rest” approach?

First, I will tell mama that these are practices that have to be enjoyed, and their intention is not to be overwhelming but instead nourishing. If they are out of reach, we can always modify and adjust to whatever we can do on that day. But, most importantly, to remember that everything is a form of the divine, and when a mom gives birth to her baby, her dharma is to take care of and nourish her baby in loving service.

The act of surrendering to what is and the practice of seeing the divine in all situations is a very deep sadhana –
a meditation practice.

In the Bhagavad, Gita Krishna tells Arjuna, “Karma Yoga is discretion in action (skill in action), making a dharmic choice a Karma yogi is endowed with sameness of mind (the same in the presence of pleasure and pain) and gives up being motivated by the fruits of action.”

When we practice loving presence and awareness, we are building ojas, our immunity and vitality. I would tell a mama that the work that she is doing now is her current sadhana. It is her spiritual practice that can nourish her heart and all the cells of her body.

 

Q: I would love to hear your thoughts on the Ayurvedic perspective of the first 40 days postpartum and the depth of sacredness that can be experienced between the thinned veil of maiden and mother!

The 40 days after childbirth are so special in a mother’s life! 

Nature offers to the mother this time for her to rejuvenate all of her tissues. Imagine how incredible and essential it is. This sacred time is an opportunity for the mother to enhance her health and wellbeing for the years to come. It is such a unique and beautiful time that I profoundly believe that should be embraced with love, support, and nourishment. 

The sacred window is a time for mom to bond with her baby and experience the pure love and deep connection. Throughout this time, both mother and baby are so sensitive! And both mom and baby need to feel loved, supported, warm, and cozy. 

I believe that when the mother feels nourished and supported throughout this time, she can continually offer her highest self to her baby without depletion. But instead with awareness, patience, and fully connected to her intuition.

 

Q: Does Ayurveda offer any wisdom to the subtleties that are happening during this time – Maybe from the intuitive or spiritual side of things?

In Yoga and Ayurveda, it is believed that three energies hold the Universe. 

Creation, sustenance, and destruction – These energies are always present in our lives. Even in our bodies, the cells are created, sustained, and then destroyed. I believe that there is a higher intelligence that is trying to bring back nature to a balanced state. There has been so much abuse to mother nature, to animals, to the environment, to human beings that something needs to happen for a change to occur. I believe this is a time when nature is allowing us the space to reflect so we can create higher awareness, and hopefully, we can start to choose love in our day.

 

Q: In an ideal world, we’d move through our days with dedication to senses, infusing all the lovely Ayurvedic protocols. As mothers, I know many women feel these practices are no longer accessible while juggling little ones. If you could only do one thing in the morning and one thing in the evenings, where would you invest your time?

In the mornings, some type of body movement (yoga, low impact exercise, run, dance, etc.) will move prana and allow the lymphatic system and blood to purify. It will also help with the mind and emotions.

In the evening, abhyanga with gentleness and love.

And I would add to bring awareness to our day-to-day so the day can be our meditation, prayer, and sadhana.

 

Q: As modern women, it’s quite challenging to find stillness and time for reflection during the day — If you only had 5 minutes to indulge all 5 of your senses, what would you do?

Drink gently and with gratitude a warm cup of spicy chai 🙂

 

Q: Any go-to resources you’d like to share to inspire continued personal transformation or connection to our omnipresent wisdom within?

Yes!! www.ayurveda.com, My teacher Dr. Vasant Lad offers many educational videos with so much divine wisdom on Ayurveda, spirituality, pranayama, and so much more! He is just pure love!

 

In this video, Dani walks us through some of the essential elements to a well-balance dinacharya, or daily self-care ritual. Although this approach follows ancient Ayurvedic protocols, the recommended approach is experiment and then implement those practices that feel deeply nourishing. This is not an “all or nothing” approach to wellness, but rather a heart-centered approach that is guided by intuition.

 


 

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