Yoga and Ayurveda: A Perfect Partnership? An Interview with Insiya and Eoin Finn

In January 2018 Eoin Finn and Insiya Rasiwala-Finn will be leading a Blissology Yoga Retreat to Goa, India that also incorporates Ayurveda practices. This 7-night retreat on the shores of serene Morjim beach in Goa will help you find true health, balance, and profound healing. We asked the Retreat Leaders about Blissology and what draws them to both Goa and Ayurveda.

SEJ: What is Blissology yoga and how is it different from other yoga practices?

Eoin and Insiya: There is a still place within, a source of infinite joy, love and bliss. When we are in touch with this still place within, life ceases to be merely about us and we feel deeply connected to the well being of our body/mind, our personal relationships, our community and nature. Blissology is about deepening our awareness of this place so we can be a positive force in the world.

Blissology Eoin Finn
Blissology founder Eoin Finn with Insiya Rasiwala-Finn

Blissology was founded [by yogi, surfer and blissologist Eoin Finn] in 1999. It is a yoga system exploring strategies for bringing more joy, awe, love and bliss into our lives. Blissology is about mining for the source of love inside of all of us that is especially evident when we are quiet and present in Nature.

A Blissology Yoga class strikes the perfect balance between our ego drive and the infinitely kind and wise side of ourselves so that we treat our bodies, our communities and nature more sustainably and with more reverence.

We aim to make the world a better place by bringing more awe, joy and bliss into the world. Celebrating the interconnection of our minds, bodies, and hearts everywhere and asking what do we have to offer to Nature and Community and what does Nature and Community have to offer us.

Blissology retreats
Blissology yoga classes include time to meditate and connect

The type of yoga we practice is alignment based vinyasa yoga, which is about linking the asanas with our breath in an intelligent, sustainable way. We also adapt the practice to the seasons, the fitness level and needs of students and aim to tune in energetically to what we need in the yoga practice. Each Blissology class is a ritual with time to meditate and connect. In a nutshell you will feel alive, awake and relaxed after a Blissology practice. As Eoin often jokes: “Do not operate heavy machinery after class.” :-)

SEJ: Why did you want to offer a retreat in Goa, India – what makes Goa so perfect for this kind of retreat?

Eoin & Insiya: We have wanted to offer a retreat in India since some time and decided that Goa, where Insiya [Rasiwala-Finn – wife of Blissology Founder Eoin] spent many holidays while growing up in Bombay, would be an ideal landing spot in India. Goa, despite its popularity boasts relatively quiet beaches, a gentler landing to the chaos and bustle of India and the opportunity to practice yoga amidst the fresh breezes of the Arabian Sea. We also love Goa because it symbolizes the creative coalescing of so many aspects of Indian history with its Portuguese heritage blended in with the culture and spice of India. We are excited to visit local temples, the spice farms and experience a traditional puja or fire ceremony as well.

markets in Goa
The Saturday evening flea market in Goa, India

SEJ: What draws you to Ayurveda and how does it impact your own everyday lives?

Insiya: Ayurveda is a deeply holistic system of healing that is intelligent, intuitive and practical. I cannot imagine living life without following Ayurvedic principles as it offers insights that help us navigate all aspects of life, from the small to the large. To offer a specific example, when we live with Ayurvedic insights, we live more in rhythm with the natural cycles of nature, each day as well as every season. Some of us do this intuitively. E.g. we crave warm soups and stews in the winter, and raw greens and salads in the summer. This is a great example of eating what your body naturally craves according to a season. I personally follow specific Ayurvedic practices daily, which include waking up early in rhythm with the sunlight, taking the time to practice meditation or yoga in the early morning, to set a clear and focused tone for my day and not snacking all day, so I can give my stomach a rest between meal times.

SEJ: What benefits can people expect from learning more about Ayurveda and applying Ayurvedic principles to their lives?

Insiya: My goal from this retreat is to offer students a series of daily practices that they can begin to include into their everyday lives beyond the retreat. There is a rhythm to each day, says Ayurveda, and if we want to live a more balanced, vital and happy life, we must live in balance with these natural rhythms. An example includes eating our larger meal during midday, when our digestive fire is strongest (because the sun’s heat or fire is also at its peak). Every day, we will begin our days following some Ayurvedic cleansing rituals such as tongue scraping, jala neti to cleanse the nostrils and thus the brain; and abhyanga or oil massage.

Ayurvedic medicine and food
Ayurveda teaches to eat a larger meal around midday when the digestive fire is strongest

SEJ: How do Yoga and Ayurveda work together? What can participants expect from this combination of practices as well as the other proposes activities on this retreat?

Eoin & Insiya: Yoga is prescribed as daily medicine to live an Ayurvedic lifestyle; i.e. to live a life where you are attuned to nature. When we practice yoga with this awareness, it becomes a method by which we can find more balance, more relaxation, more stillness – whatever we really need opens up to us. We will also be sharing insights into understanding students’ unique constitutions on this retreat, so they can begin to practice with more of an understanding of how the yoga practice can best serve them.

paradise beach in goa
Aptly named Paradise Beach in Goa, India

With respect to the other activities offered on retreat, we will have a cleansing, healing ritual called a puja, where a priest will lead us through traditional Sanskrit chants and a fire ceremony to help us to experience more clarity and focus in our lives; we will also visit a local temple together and possibly visit some spice farms.

SEJ: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about this retreat?

Insiya: Only that both Eoin and I are continuously delighted by the incredible tribe of people our Blissology retreats attract from all over the world. 

If you’d like to join Eoin and Insiya on this Blissology Yoga Retreat you can read full retreat itinerary details and book your spot at Sacred Earth Journeys.