A Yogi’s Herbal Cabinet

I am sure you’re always hearing about the benefits of yoga and perhaps wondering how to embody your yoga practice off of the mat a little more. The ritual of coming back to yourself and being with your breath brings insight and clarity. You may be noticing changes physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. These changes may wake up parts of yourself that feel more easily celebrated and some parts of yourself that you feel uncomfortable with and unsure about. You may also be noticing patterns.

I have been practicing yoga now for over 15 years. I have witnessed how I process stress and how it reflects from the corners of my being, where I grip, I borrow, where I feel weak, where I feel strong, and how I flow or resist with change. All the time, my yoga practice is showing me where my work is and how I can be more compassionate towards myself. This self compassion also ripples out into all of our relationships. I have been privileged to take this growth into rounding out through other aspects of my life. I wish to share both my experience and knowledge passed down to me through my teachers.

I work with herbalism; plants as medicine. I am well aware that what I put into my body has the ability to become asana as well. Pausing with a cup of tea, breathing, and feeling what I am drinking, is just like asana. My professional herbal education encourages experiential learning as students are asked to listen to the subtle energies of the body while sipping tea or tasting a drop of tincture.

Yoga prepped me to experience the subtleties of herbal medicine and herbal medicine has influenced how I practice yoga. It has come full circle. I thoroughly enjoy bridging these ways of life together to invite balance into my life. Both practices require listening to and tending to my body, mind, and soul.

A lot of our imbalances most likely did not happen overnight. These imbalances were created by some patterns over time, conscious or unconscious. To get to the root of the imbalance means working to replace the pattern in our lifestyle. The study and practice of yoga and herbalism has given me a deeper awareness of how to work with these imbalances to prevent further illness and come back into homeostasis.

Discovering my real needs, I have learned about what is tender and needs support. We all have a go-to weakness, when we feel stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, on the edge. Our immune system gets compromised and we come down by our achilles heel. Plant medicine, like yoga, can be used to regulate the nervous system, the emotional field, the biological reactions. They can help us rest better and find healing. Herbal medicine can be worked with as a preventative and long-term ally holistically. It is as profound as savasana. It is a valuable tool to integration and harmony if used informatively and respectfully.

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