As a yogi, certified naturopathic doctor, and deeply feminine goddess who dedicates at least part of her every day to spiritual growth, I want to share with you how an herb called kava has deeply transformed my yoga practice.
Kava is a blissful plant known for enhancing religious and spiritual rituals because of it's ability to bring great mental clarity. According to ancient texts, yogis have been using herbs to supplement their spiritual practice for millennia.
"Both kava and yoga bring a profound shift in consciousness that allows us to become more open to psychological, emotional, and subtle energetic states that aren't usually available to us in the grind of daily life." -Alana Kahaele, Teacher at Bloom Yoga, Oahu
I found a beautiful kava spray a few years ago, as I searched earnestly for a natural anxiety reliever. Once I found what I was looking for, which came in the form of a therapeutic-grade kava extract, I intuitively knew I could also use it to transform my daily sadhana, which revolves around a daily yoga and meditation practice. So, I started taking the kava spray before stepping on my sticky mat. And, boy did it make a difference!
1. Kava helps me stay committed to my daily practice
After a few sprays of kava, your mind is free of worries, and your body feels calm and peaceful. You’re not foggy headed or confused. Instead, you feel a clarity of thought, and an overall sense of well being. So when I found myself feeling restless and irritable, with absolutely no motivation to commit myself to a yoga session, kava eased my restless nature and helped me take that initial breath on my sticky mat.
2. My senses were heightened
Usually I am so focused on my asanas, I normally tune everything out. But after incorporating kava, I started paying attention to my surroundings a bit more: the sound of the music, the scent of essential oils diffusing, and the warm light coming through the window--they became part of my flow, part of my practice.
3. My movements have become more oceanic
Using kava has helped me feel more in sync with the music and my body, allowing me to move with more grace and flow. There’s a certain liquidity to my yoga practice that feels really, really good.
4. I felt the sensations of each pose deeply.
Kava made my yoga practice feel physically amazing because every pose elicited more sensation than usual. Each low-lunge twist felt more dynamic, cat/ cow was extra supple, and I felt every vertebrae stretch in chair pose. You can probably imagine just how liberating it felt to open my heart to the sky and surrender into camel pose at the end of practice.
5. Kava allowed me to flow intuitively
It's easy to get stuck in a loop of flows you've done a million times before. Using my trusty little kava before practice allowed me to be more in-tune with my current physical, mental, and emotional states, to give my body what it craved in each moment.