Myra Lewin of Hale Pule is an Author, Yoga Therapist, and Ayurvedic Practitioner that constantly steals my heart and soul with an incredibly wise, simplistic approach to living a balance and full life. Her down-to-earth teachings, paired with the ancient science of Yoga & Ayurveda, offer Myra the perfect playground to inspire women to move intuitively; with the sustainability and the required grace of our roles as mothers and caregivers.
In this conversation, Myra and I sit down to talk about how the wisdom of nature can support the ebbs and flows of a demanding modern life. She provides insights into natural rhythms, lifestyle practices we can lean into, and offers the grace and permission to explore your own personal inner landscape with intention and devotion. I hope you enjoy this conversation, as it has re-inspired me to keep my personal practice simple and to follow the rhythms within, down the beautiful path of least resistance. Enjoy!
Q: Welcome Myra! It’s so good to have the opportunity to connect. Would you mind sharing how your own personal practice and connection to inner wisdom has influenced the mission behind your sacred space, Hale Pule?
When I came to Ayurveda and Yoga I had already been through quite a bit of experience in life and done many things that could be considered successful on the outside and I was miserable inside. My practices gave me tools to feel better and to develop a deeper sense of life. My practices helped me to see more of the gift of human life and being a woman. My personal practice is just that. It is personal and it is meant to be that for each of us. Being willing to step into the unknown on a daily basis and even moment by moment is what allowed me to see that more people need exposure to this as a way of living.
Getting to know our inner world is the most important thing to have fulfilled living. Not to analyze or evaluate, but to recognize how our inner world is creating the outer experience. It not only brings meaning to life but also creates this view of the expansive possibilities in life that are too vast to describe… As women we are so amazingly powerful in the most beautiful ways when we come to peace with that and fully express ourselves.
Q: As a long-time follower of your work, I’ve always appreciated your ability to bring the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to the modern women in a way that feels approachable and sustainable. With ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, what do you think is the underlying message that allows it to be so adaptable for the changing times…especially when it comes to women’s health and wellness?
Ayurveda is the science of living that gives us principles to live by. It is an unchanging science, a ‘shashwat’ science in Sanskrit. It is holistic, as we are, which means everything affects everything else. Ayurveda assists us to see that we are an expression of nature rather than separate from it. We are part of it and need not be in conflict with it. In fact I find being in awe of it to be pleasing and enlightening. Living in harmony with nature is a natural way of being for women. The fact that we are designed to create by virtue of our body is incredibly powerful and we have forgotten that. It’s also important to realize that we are meant to feel well.
The tools of Ayurveda and Yoga empower us to take charge of our lives and live fully rather than just following the commercialization of life created from imbalance in society and the human condition.
Simplicity is what is natural for humans, particularly women. We have become caught up in our intellect and complicated life with a linear approach to living. It’s time to let go and live the expanse that life has to offer. With Ayurveda we can see the immense healing power we have and Yoga allows us to deepen our experience of our inner world so that we can have a full and true expression of ourselves.
Q: Let’s chat about rhythms and routines…For a mother who is brand new to the wisdom of Ayurveda and yoga, what aspects of daily routine (or family rhythm) do you feel are easily influenced and brought into balance by the observation of nature’s rhythms?
The most impactful first step to recognize and implement is the power of consistency in a schedule for eating and sleeping for everyone in the family. We feel the best when the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and the ethers or space are in appropriate amounts within us. Also called the ‘doshas’. When these are out of balance then we have symptoms and problems. Following nature’s rhythms daily and seasonally allows us to realize that we aren’t going to feel exactly the same all the time and that we need to be flexible in our response to changes in life. For example when autumn comes it is time to go inward a little more and not go out and do more.. Each of the seasons has messages for us in our living. Winter is meant to be a more inward time, whereas the spring is when growth is bursting forth. It’s a great time to start new things. Think about the cycle through a year. It is there to serve us in wellness when we follow it.
Q: We’ve all been navigating unprecedented times this past year or so, where our bodies, hearts and minds have been challenged and stressed to new levels. When it comes to sustained immunity and overall vitality, what do you feel are the most impactful personal practices to aid in building robust immunity in our hearts and homes?
I already mentioned consistency, but I also think of it as keeping priorities clear and not getting distracted by “too many things to do” as I hear so often from clients and students. We live in a world of innumerable distractions and this is where the practices of Ayurveda and Yoga are so valuable. We must take care of our inner world on all levels, mentally, physically, and spiritually. If this isn’t happening we make poor choices in the outer world that detract from our immunity and vitality such as eating too fast, not sleeping enough, taking on tasks that later result in resentment, or just doing too much.
Learning about agni, the digestive capacity, and how to care for it is the most powerful thing a person can do for themselves. This is the capacity to digest food and life. Ayurveda and Yoga give us what we need to not just “manage” life or “manage” diseases, but to reverse the disease process and continually unfold more and more of ourselves for an incredibly vibrant life.
When we have a personal practice and teach our children to come to know and work with their inner world, then everyone has more courage and enthusiasm to be in life.
This is effectively supporting and strengthening agni, the energy available to digest food and life, and this is the main component that feeds our ojas, which is our vitality, immunity, and blissfulness. The gift of life we have been given is almost beyond description when we look at it in totality, body, mind and spirit, and see the harmony that is there for us.
Q: As a mother, having a strong connection to the wisdom that runs within is so incredibly important, but it’s often challenging to navigate the abundance of conflicting information and opinions. How does building a relationship to self reconnect us with our heart’s deepest desires and ultimately make motherhood an embodied experience guided by the heart?
The most empowering piece of this is to see the holistic nature of our being and the capacity to move energy, transform and heal on all levels as we come to have a relationship with our inner worlds. This is when we discover that love is just who we are. That we all have a darkness that allows us to recognize the light in us. Acceptance and forgiveness has brought me great peace in my journey and I have seen it in so many others. The wisdom that flows within us flows in all of life. We just need to ride the river downstream and trust the process of life rather than getting caught up in our heads and try to paddle upstream. Less is better on the outside. Simplicity is the key to good living and experiencing life on a deeper level. Children can help us relearn this if we don’t push them into too many things. Less is better.
Q: I think we can all agree that bliss and awe are found in the present moment, where we are not longing for the future or attached to the past. What are your favorite ways to connect with the present moment?
Connecting with an animal or another person in the simplest things, observing something in nature or just a giggle at ourselves over something we were taking too seriously.
Q: Would you like to share your personal perspective on the delicate balance of effort and grace and how this balance contributes to the feelings of contentment and flow?
Effort is something that has a broad spectrum of meaning. Taking action, even when I think I don’t want to, but am willing to, really becomes effortless for me. It means I have let go of resistance to what I am doing. I think of effort meaning I have resistance to something and am not totally committed. The word ‘try’ for me also means lack of commitment. So if I have that feeling I do something else and don’t commit. When I have let go inside, most anything can come with grace. When I first started making videos for Ayurveda and Yoga it was torture for me. I had all kinds of resistance and so it was a huge effort, taking much too long and quite draining. When I decided to let go of that deep seated worry about what others would think, then I could be real and at ease. So much easier and much more enjoyable.
Q: The motherhood role requires the unyielding call to be in the role of selfless service, often tending to others needs and desires above their own. I view this role as sacred service and the platform in which I experiment with my own call towards personal practice. What does the role of service mean to you as a caregiver of self and community?
Service is my willingness to give. Not the idea or saying I will do something, but actually doing it freely. We have to take care of our basic needs or we get sick so it’s important to recognize that point. And life is not all or nothing. It is a continual dance. An example for myself is living in a timezone that is different from many of my students and clients. I used to never want to work at night and now I get to sometimes. I realized that if I manage my energy well through the days and take care of my basic needs well with Ayurveda and Yoga, then I can feel well in the evening and do what I love. Once a week we have a meeting that asks me to shorten my early morning sadhana, spiritual practices. I made a conscious agreement to do this because it’s important to me and the team at Hale Pule. Being flexible doesn’t mean giving up everything. We all need to learn to say ‘no’ sometimes. This is easy stuff I deal with. When children need us, we need to respond. But do they need to run around to five activities each week? Perhaps not. Consider that more is not better in life and when children do too much their nervous systems are overstimulated and this causes imbalance in the mind and body. Ayurveda gives us clear guidance on this.
Q: Any “must-read/must-see” resources you’d like to share to inspire a deeper connection with self, inner wisdom or the teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga?
There are many beautiful resources available. The interpretations of Yoga from Eknath Easwaran are easily read and understandable by most. I particularly like his interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Good to focus in one area and then spend time and energy putting it into practice on a daily basis.
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