USING ADAPTOGENS TO ENHANCE YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICES

 Intuition + Flow Elixir, Selenite, Sage

Intuition + Flow Elixir, Selenite, Sage

My health/wellness journey, like many women, began out of the desire to look good. I didn't love my body and being someone who is incredibly result driven, I decided to shift my diet and see what would happen. I instantly saw changes in the way I looked and it propelled me to continue. My obsessive personality developed an eating disorder and after that, I have spent years repairing my relationship with food and my body. I now work with women to do the same. I share this because my initial relationship with food and what I consumed was purely motivated by the fear of being fat and the desire to be thin...sound familiar? But through the work I have done with myself, I have unlocked a much deeper and more intimate relationship with food that is integrated into my spirituality. The way I eat and what I choose to consume is directly influenced by my connection to Source. 

 Lunar + Bliss, Selenite, Rose Quartz 

Lunar + Bliss, Selenite, Rose Quartz 

Since I was a child I was always more spiritually curious than anyone I grew up with. I was without a doubt on a quest for deeper truth. However, being raised in a Christian family, I only had access to so much. Throughout the years of living on my own, I began to expose myself to so many different avenues to connect deeper to myself and the universe. My life changed when I became a practitioner of Vedic Meditation, which is a twice a day, non-negotiable meditation practice, designed to effortlessly take you into transcendence. This practice opened up all other practices in a new and expanded way. Asana, kundalini and breath work were truly activated through this inherently simple and innocent meditation practice. Not only that, but I watch as it naturally creates more innocence and simplicity within me. Ultimately, removing any rigid or obsessive behaviors that were still lingering within my system. My food choices became even more free, while simultaneously being nothing but intuitive. 

When you're out of your head and moving from a place of innocence, you're no longer able to make food choices based around how you look, how many calories something is or all of the other conditioning we've received. Even after overcoming my disordered eating, I was still overthinking things like sugar, wheat, eating too late at night, etc. But today, I eat to nourish and feed my mind, to elevate my spirit and to energize my body. The things that I choose to consume are serving me on multiple spectrums, beyond just the physical. And this is where adaptogens come into play. The way I like to describe adaptogens is that they are the ingestible form of meditation. Not to ever take the place of a consistent meditation practice, however, many of the results that they offer resemble that off a meditation. For this reason, I find that they compliment one another, and I have found them to be a valuable tool in enhancing my connections to Spirit. 

It is said that humans, on average, are accessing anywhere from 2-10% of our brain capacity. In addition to that, what we are able to perceive is only a very small fraction of what actually exists. When our minds are cluttered and our energy channels are blocked, which is simply a result of our accumulation of stress, we cut off our connection to deeper spiritual experience. We lose touch of our intuition, our hearts (aka our spiritual brains) become closed off and we forget who we really are. We become bound to our physical body, we develop separation amongst each other and we mistakenly search outside of ourselves for meaning. 

Adaptogenic herbs work to decrease accumulated stress within the system. As they work to peel back the layers of stress, they naturally begin to balance neurotransmitters and hormones. They nourish the brain, they have an uplifting effect on the spirit and they increase physical stamina and energy. In addition, they create what we call adaptation energy within the system, which is crucial for propelling spiritually. 

 INTUITION + FLOW ELIXIR, SELENITE, AMETHYST

INTUITION + FLOW ELIXIR, SELENITE, AMETHYST

We often have the misunderstanding that in order to have a deep spiritual experience we have to do all sorts of things to attain such states. However, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spoke extensively about the most spiritual experience one could have being as simple as the absence of stress. That's it. When stress is removed, that is our most natural and innocent state. 

I believe each of us has the capacity to tap into this. And not only that, but we do not need anything external to create this baseline of bliss consciousness within our system. That said, I believe we have been blessed with the option to utilize aspects of nature to assist us along the way. This is why I choose to use adaptogens. Adaptogens enhance my ability to calm my mind + nervous system in order to have a deeper experience. They work to ground me and reduce any angst I may be carrying around from my day. They balance me in a very subtle, yet profound way. My guru, Yashoda Devi Ma, always talks about how as we dive deeper into our practice, there becomes no difference between life and our meditation. Everything becomes the meditation. The more time that goes by, the more that this becomes my truth. And in that sense, as spiritual beings, everything we do is "spiritual." There is no separation. Being able to show up as my highest, most refined Self, to the evolution in every moment is what is most important to me. And in order to do that, there is no space for me to be weighed down by my stress. 

 BEAUTY + BRAINS ELIXIR, SELENITE, AMETHYST

BEAUTY + BRAINS ELIXIR, SELENITE, AMETHYST

So how would one go about incorporating adaptogens into their spiritual practices?

Let me start by saying that nothing is black and white and there is no "right" or "wrong" approach. For me, my meditation practices are done on an empty stomach, so I do not eat or drink anything prior to (apart from water and herbal teas). But as I mentioned before, there doesn't need to be separation between our life and our practices. Each moment is our practice. Each moment is an opportunity for evolution. If we're clouded by our stress and our crazy minds, we cut off our connection to Source. The way I see it, infusing things like adaptogens, breath, sage, palo santo, mantras, etc. throughout the day is the way to go.  Anything we can do to raise our vibration and clear away irrelevancy. 

I went ahead and shared some of the ways that I tend to incorporate adaptogenic herbs into my own practices + rituals below. Keep in mind there is some crossover. Always connect to your intuition and follow what feels natural. <3 

SPECIFIC ADAPTOGENS FOR SPECIFIC PRACTICES:

Dropping in prior to a meditation practice:

ashwagandha, holy basil, gotu kola, reishi, rose

By Erika Elizabeth elixir: Lunar + Bliss

Prior to a kundalini practice, extended breath work or any practice intended to move/open up your energy:

chaga, cacao, schisandra berry, gotu kola

By Erika Elizabeth elixir: Intuition + Flow

For grounding/nourishing after kirtan, chanting or a kundalini practice (or any practices that have the potential to raise your energy):

rose, shatavari, reishi

By Erika Elizabeth elixir: Lunar + Bliss

For new moon rituals and intention setting:

rose, holy basil, chaga, cacao, moringa, maca

By Erika Elizabeth elixir: Intuition + Flow 

For full moon rituals and releasing what no longer serves:

amla, turmeric, moringa, reishi, gotu kola

By Erika Elizabeth elixir: Detox + Synergy or Beauty + Brains

OTHER SPECIFIC ELIXIR APPLICATIONS: 

Heart chakra opening/ritual/meditation: Lunar + Bliss Elixir

Third eye or crown chakra activation/meditation/kriya: Intuition + Flow Elixir

Sacral chakra activation + nourishment: Detox + Synergy

Post meditation nourishment/alkalizing: Beauty + Brains