Tell us a bit about your journey in the world thus far. Who are you, what drives you, and what are you proud of having accomplished?
I have been on a journey all through life although I never thought about it until more recently. I came into a family that was grateful to be in the US as my parents were from Russia and Northern Ireland. My father's side was all farmers and this is something I still feel connected to. We had enough growing up, but nothing extra. I moved from New York to Baltimore to east Tennessee in the south of the US. Spent most of my time outside, weather allowing. I didn’t like the cold weather but I loved the spring flowers. One of the notable events of my childhood was the janitor of my school taking a small group out regularly to look at the plants and he would tell us how they were used for curing ailments. It has always been important to me to be with plants. Touching them and letting them touch me in various ways. While in university I grew African violets and sold them to pay for food. After some years in the medical field and 10 years in the corporate world, I finally came to my calling in Ayurveda and Yoga. It made my living make sense. Today I enjoy sharing my experience with Ayurveda and Yoga and showing others the possibilities they can have in life. One of the more satisfying moments for me is to be with someone when they have that ah-ha moment. The light goes on and they see themselves as an expression of nature rather than separate from it.
* Above image & banner image captured by Jorge Atramiz
Talk us through your personal approach to herbal medicine and how you incorporate it into your daily life
I work with herbal medicines daily for my personal use and working with clients. When I was first acquainted with herbs I only knew the Western approach, what I’ll call the outside-in approach. I learned from a book that, have a symptom, try to fix it. Once Ayurveda came into my life I realised the holistic approach is natural and in alignment with our true nature. The principle of like qualities attracting like and the opposite qualities bringing balance is the basis of Ayurveda and the approach I employ. And this applies to everything in life. Not just the herbs. So this means looking at the qualities of the herbs and looking at the qualities of everything in life. Beyond the surface. Life is so much richer this way. The subtleties are there and the simplest of things are satisfying.
What is the most potent intention for your health/life in general, that you feel the herbs are supporting you in at the moment?
The herbs support me to move through the Vata time of life, the later years, with clarity, grace and some humility. They support me to take long flights, as I am on right now :), and feel well afterwards.
What does it mean to be Superhuman to you? (To us at SuperFeast it represents a state of activation, having a clear vision and the strength to execute it)
I never considered a word to describe it. Being in a state of activation means being in life for me. Living life. Not hanging out on the sidelines. I had a few moments of sitting on the sidelines early in my adult life. I needed a change of direction but couldn’t see the path and hesitated. Ayurveda found me and I was in shortly after my introduction. But it was some years later that I became willing to let it grow. At that time I was happily living on Maui, having an organic fig farm and a veggie stand, training Yoga teachers, in Ayurveda as well, one on one and windsurfing. There was a specific moment when I made the decision to allow Hale Pule to grow. That was right when the internet was starting and I was cynical about the idea of a website with personal information. I had no idea it would be anything like today. I had a clear vision for the mission and values but not for the details. Underneath Hale Pule’s various chapters, the essence has been there. I was raised with the approach that I would receive the most by giving. And that is my experience today.
What would you go back and tell your younger self when you are first embarking on a path of Ayurveda and Yoga?
Let go of that ego. You have been doing everything possible to lead a healthy life and don’t need more. Let go of the defensiveness and anger you carry. The divine is always present for you. It is the one unchanging feature of life.
What are the habits/practices/rituals that bring you back to yourself?
It is a priority to take care of my basic needs to be able to fulfil my life purpose: to live fully. Daily 15 minutes of mantra chanting, pranayama and meditation, all give me the time and space to stay connected to my eternal self. I eat regular meals and sleep at regular times. I touch trees or plants daily. And I smile and laugh daily.
What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone who is wanting to cultivate health and vitality?
Keep it simple and take baby steps. We are energetic beings and it is the simple things that allow us to keep our energy flowing so that we can experience life to its fullest.
What are you doing, small or large, in your daily life to help cultivate sovereignty of mind/body/spirit for yourself, your community or the planet?
I consider my sadhana, practices that connect me to my eternal self, to be one of the main steps I take daily for my sovereignty and that of others. What we at Hale Pule do on a daily basis is to show and educate our students and clients how they can live an empowered life to their fullest with the foundations of Ayurveda and Yoga. Most people don’t understand that they can be free from the trap of their minds. My goal is to give people the opportunity to appreciate the gift we have all been given in this life and how to work in harmony with ourselves and everyone and everything around us. This is freedom.
Connect with Hale Pule