Understanding Self Sabotage and How to Overcome it

By Nirmala Raniga “Sometimes we go through phases where a clear vision of our dharma or purpose seems to elude us. Or we might encounter roadblocks, whether internal or external, that seem to prevent us from fully living that purpose once we identify it. These obstacles, however, don’t have to be permanent for us. Because of who we truly are—infinite potential—we can learn to move through all that hinders us from living our dharma.” – Deepak Chopra Many individuals who struggle with addiction are also known to be victims of self-sabotage- a destructive behaviour…

A Father’s Love: The Foundations of Life

by Nirmala Raniga “It is a wise father that knows his own child” – William Shakespeare As we celebrate Father’s Day to honor the fathers in our lives, it is also a good time to recognize those individuals who hold a fatherly role in our lives as well as our own inner father. The responsibilities of fatherhood vary by culture, but from a human evolutionary standpoint, fathers take on the role of supporting life as protectors and providers of many of the foundational needs of life. Furthermore, fathers often also…

Asana Practice: The Third Limb of Yoga

By Nirmala Raniga “You don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.” — Dr. Deepak Chopra When most people think of yoga, asanas or yoga poses come to mind. But, as we’re learning through our exploration of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which are basic practices for wellbeing that help us live fuller, healthier lives. In understanding the Eight Limbs of Yoga, we can appreciate that…

“The 8 Limbs of Yoga- Practicing the Niyamas for Spiritual Wellbeing”

This week, we’re continuing our discussion on yoga philosophy— specifically the Eight Limbs of Yoga— in honor of the second annual International Day of Yoga this June. In simple terms, The Eight Limbs of Yoga are eight important steps of a yoga practice that help us live fuller, happier lives. The Eight Limbs were created as universal guidelines by Maharishi Patanjali, who is considered the “father of Yoga”. Patanjali compiled the 195 Yoga Sutras (or primary Yoga talking points) that serve as the foundation of Yoga. Today, we’ll learn about the…

Celebrating the Divine Mother

There is a beautiful chant in praise of mothers from Devi Mahatmyam: Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Maatr-Ruupenna Samsthitaa Namas-Tasyai         Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Mother, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again. The month of May honours all Earth mothers and the Divine Mother, Goddess Shakti. In Hinduism, Shakti gives birth and nurtures new life. She is an embodiment of love, nourishment, nurturing, compassion, and creativity. Each of the major female deities…

Laughter for Health and Wellbeing

by Nirmala Raniga Human beings are social creatures. It is in our nature to connect with other people and form cooperative communities. One way we connect with others is through laughter. Forging relationships through lighthearted conversation and play is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and is important for our overall wellbeing. Robert Frost said: “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” Laughter is a way to help mitigate stress and alleviate pain. In fact, laughter is the foundation of a healing technique known as laughter, or…

Moving from Kapha to Pitta Season

According to Ayurveda, over 5,000-year-old Indian system of healing, there are three types of doshas, or mind-body types. These are Vata, a mind-body type consisting of air and space; Kapha, a cold, wet, and heavy mind-body type that is composed of earth and water; and Pitta, made up of fire and water. (To learn more about doshas, please take this Dosha Quiz.) Just as the human mind-body can be predominantly one, or even more than one dosha, so too can Nature. For example, the seasons reflect all three doshas. Right…

The Social and Interpersonal Issues of Addiction

by Nirmala Raniga Family and friends of those who struggle with drugs or alcohol know that addiction can be a debilitating condition that has far reaching effects, impacting everyone involved in a myriad of ways. Addiction can, and very often does, affect an individual’s personality and mood, which can damage marriages, friendships, employment, and other valuable relationships. People who live or work with an addicted individual may often wonder how that person will behave on any given day, feel shame because of their erratic behavior, or worry that the individual’s…

Recovering from Fentanyl Addiction

By Nirmala Raniga When considering addiction, alcohol or illegal substances such as heroin often come to mind. However, many people who struggle with drug abuse are addicted to substances that were once prescribed to them legally for pain management following surgery, injury or accident. Fentanyl is one such substance. Fentanyl (first synthesized in 1960) is an opioid analgesic, similar to, but roughly 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and 40 to 50 times more powerful than pharmaceutical grade heroin. As mentioned, many patients are prescribed Fentanyl for help…

Forgiveness of the Self and Others

by Nirmala Raniga Learning to forgive is a fact of human existence. In the New Testament, Jesus was betrayed by his friend and disciple, Judas Iscariot, for 30 pieces of silver. The Apostle Peter also denied Jesus following The Last Supper. Nevertheless, as Jesus was on the cross, He asked God to forgive those involved, saying “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (English Standard Version, Luke 23:34) In our own lives, we often learn about the value of forgiving others when we start to explore ways…