Have you ever come across a message in a book that resonates with you so deeply that it seeps into your daily consciousness beckoning you to go down a path? For me, that book is The Path of Practice by Bri. Maya Tiwari. Maya Tiwari’s Great-Grandparents migrated to Guyana from India in 1875. It was a grueling and isolating journey that over time caused much suffering and obliterated their rich ancient Vedic culture. Bri. Maya Tiwari was born in Guyana in 1952 into that broken culture and a tense social environment. Even though it wasn’t talked about, she intuitively felt the suffering of those who came before her. Eventually, racial conflicts escalated between the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese. Maya Tiwari’s family fled in several directions and Maya ended up in NYC at the tender age of 15. By the age of 18 she became a famous fashion designer with a boutique on Madison Ave. Crazy, huh?
Side note: She introduced stretch clothing into the world of high fashion and was considered the “High Priestess of Stretch Clothing.” What’s not to love?
Path of Practice is not about the wonderful invention of stretch clothing (although the subject is worthy of its own book), it’s about igniting your inner medicine through finding wholeness by reconnecting with the earthly and cosmic web that we’re all a part of.
As you can imagine once in NYC she lived a fast-paced life full of parties and demanding obligations. And then….at 23 years old she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Cancer soon spread to her lungs, kidneys, stomach and small intestines. After enduring 12 major surgeries, including a hysterectomy, and several devastating rounds of radiation, her doctors told her that they were out of options and she had, at the most, two months to live. Her physicians recommended that she stay in their care while they administered heavy doses of morphine to make her comfortable until the day she died. She went against her doctor’s orders and left the hospital to live alone in a snowy cabin in the woods. Without the drug induced stupor of morphine, she lived simply, ate simply, cried a lot, prayed, meditated, honored the natural ebb and flow of the light and dark and her internal clock. By Spring, she emerged knowing she was free of cancer. That was in 1977, 38 years ago. Today she’s an Internationally renowned teacher and founder of Wise Earth School of Ayurveda.
Her story and message inspired me so much that I flew to the East Coast to take the Wise Earth training in Women’s Health. That was in 2010. I must admit, I’m not implementing all that I learned but the core messages have weaved into my daily practices and have become much more prevalent in my consciousness recently.
Like many of the things I have learned from my spiritual teachers, I have taken the underlying message and expressed the practice in my own way. The core lesson I took away from the experience is to align your innate rhythm with that of nature and the cosmos (the universe seen as a well-ordered whole).
I’ll admit, it’s not an easy task while living in a 40 plus hour work week “cycle” constructed by us humans. We live in a culture where our natural cycles seem to be more of a hindrance, something to be manipulated so that we can fit into that box and get shit done. I think that is why the book is in my daily consciousness lately, I feel a calling to find a better way.
By the way, I’m working on an online course that will incorporate some Wise Earth principles for reproductive and digestive health. If you are interested in being notified when the class is released make sure you sign up on my Alignment Monkey Troop email list.
“Sadhana is a Sanskrit word whose root, sadh, means to reclaim that which is divine in us, our power to heal, serve, rejoice, and uplift the spirit. Sadhana practices encompass all our daily activities, from the simple to the sublime-from cooking a meal to exploring your inner self through meditation. The goal of sadhana is to enable you to recover your natural rhythms and realign your inner life and daily habits with the cycles of the universe. When you begin to live and move with the rhythms of nature, your mind becomes more lucid and more peaceful and your health improves. Your entire life becomes easier.” Bri. Maya Tiwari in The Path of Practice.