In My Practice, we share personal routines that create wellness and happiness from spiritual teachers, yogis, nutritionists, and more, in hopes to inspire your own healthy rituals.
Mas Vidal is yoga teacher, mystic and practitioner of Ayurveda, as well as the director of Dancing Shiva Yoga Ayurveda, an international non-profit educational organization based in southern California. His teachings are based on the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self Realization Fellowship. Mas is also featured in the triumphant film “Awake, The Life Of Yogananda”. His first book Sun, Moon and Earth will be released in 2016 and he continues to offer many certification programs throughout the US, Asia and India.
“My practice is basically my lifestyle. I try to stay connected to nature, integrate various yoga exercises and techniques and ayurvedic wellness rituals into my entire day. My daily practice embraces a unified approach of both yoga and Ayurveda, the sister sciences from India. The whole idea is about feeling connected to the energies within us and outside of us as they exist in nature. This means time outdoors and time inside.
The most sacred part of my practice takes place in the early morning between 4:30-5:30am. I honor the rising sun and the stillness that exists by practicing meditation. Before I sit down, I wake up my energy with some warm spiced chai, gentle physical exercises to increase blood flow then I recite some Sanskrit mantras – enjoying a deep stillness that culminates in prayer. Prayer brings me gratitude and compassion throughout the day.
I then go for a walk in my garden or do a hike to connect with nature’s elements. I find this to be very powerful and yet so easy to do. Once I am back from my walk, I eat my breakfast or drink a healthy fruit blended juice. Depending on the day, season and what is on my schedule I try to adapt my diet and activities accordingly so that my doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) and the elements stay in balance.
My morning time is vital for writing and reflecting, as the mind is fresh it’s good to do this before emails and other worldly things. Focusing is very important and this sometimes requires solitude, so I try to create moments throughout the day that will allow me to be alone. I like to have at least one meal alone or time to work – it brings me clarity, understanding and peace of mind.
In the afternoon, I like to exercise by including a balance of cardiovascular exercise such as biking, hiking or swimming and then a variety of yoga postures combined with specialized breathing techniques called pranayama. Afterwards, I wash up and apply calming essential oils like spikenard, lavender or jasmine to ground me during the vata time of the day (2-6pm) so I can begin to wind down for the evening.
The end of my day includes a bowl of vegetable or mung bean soup. As the night advances I enjoy reading because the night represents internalization and reading for me is best done in the evening to withdraw the senses and begin to relax the nervous system. I end my day with meditation and prayer to fully clear my mind before going into a deep and restful sleep. To me, my practice represents a balance of connecting to my inner self and also taking moments to recognize the beauty that exists outside of us.”
Do you have a practice you’d like to share? Comment below or email us at [email protected].