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This would sound like a reasonable statement...if I were in my early twenties. But I'm not. I am what I would call "middle-aged". I'm forty-five and a yoga teacher. This seems to be the rub, for most of us yoga teachers and fitness mavens alike. We are desperately trying to master our bodies - whether it's trying to be thin, trying to achieve impressive yoga poses, or just trying to heal. The latter being the most important part - healing. Healing and feeling your best, every single day. So why is it so hard? Why is it so hard to navigate our way to an ideal "healthy" self?
If you are reading this and you are not a yoga teacher, let me tell you a little secret - We yoga teachers feel incredibly self-conscious, embarrassed, and for some I would probably even say ashamed. Especially when we have issues going on with our bodies that we can't fix, identify, or change. Sometimes, these feelings spiral to even deeper thoughts of inadequacy because we want to be authentic, we want to practice what we preach, and we want to be the one who has the answers.
A year ago, in lieu of trying to self-diagnose some said embarrassing malady, I stumbled upon a promotion on one of my favorite websites for delicious recipes and Ayurvedic information - Joyful Belly. They were advertising a forty-week program, a 500-hour certification for a Master's in Ayurvedic Digestion and Nutrition. Wow, I thought, how lucky are these people that are going to spend the next year traveling through their entire digestive system, discussing and learning about how everything works! Then the next few weeks this ad kept revealing itself to me, it kept showing up whenever I was on my computer. Each time I thought, "Wow, lucky people!" Finally, that little voice inside whispered, "This can be you!" So I did it. I sent in my application.
Waiting for acceptance is always hard. I was waiting to find out if I was accepted into the program. There's something very interesting about "the waiting". The waiting reveals your true feelings, whether you really want it or not. And oh boy I really did! I love to be a student. I love to learn most anything when it comes to yoga and Ayurveda. And Ayurveda is one of the main perspectives of this program. It's the clinical assessment and philosophy through which we would be looking at digestive disorders in the body. Ayurveda, an over 5,000 year old holistic approach to health and well being, believes that all disease is rooted in a misguided appetite. That's profound, because appetite can refer to everything that we are hungry for.... Everything!
So yes, I was indeed accepted into the masters program at the Joyful Belly Institute. The next forty weeks my new classmates and I, under the guidance and with the wisdom of our beloved teacher John Immel, wandered through the entire path of the digestive system, from the mouth all the way down.
What did I learn? I learn a lot! I learned how:
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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