One of the secrets to finding more free time in your day is to create space - physical space and head space! Start with when you eat dinner. Eating dinner before the sun goes down fits in with how your body was designed to function best. Ayurveda teaches us to design a daily routine for ourselves based on natural principles called Dinacharya.
My family benefits when I follow Ayurvedic Dinacharya, especially eating early lighter dinners. It's a key habit for us and so much rolls on from there. Me eating early sometimes means we don't all eat together. Yet I find I'm more available for the later eaters because I'm relaxed with dishes done after a one pot meal and the whole evening is available to enjoy in connection and winding down from the day.
Stop feeling like you're trying everything but going in circles & not getting consistent health results. Make your next step work!
Do you ever procrastinate about showing up for your own well-being?
"I know, I just don't do it enough." is a phrase I hear from lots of frustrated people. It's a horrible feeling being stuck on a plateau and dabbling, trying to find ways to feel better in your body.
Topical creams, trending superfoods and nutrient supplements are ways which can help you feel relief from uncomfortable symptoms. Although you won't get completely or consistently well until you address the underlying causes of dis-ease and the daily habits that lead to it! Looking outward for remedies is almost 'shiny object' syndrome. It distracts you and keeps you from looking closer to home, to what you already know but might not want to admit to yourself just yet!
You do know what makes you feel good. Do more of that!
There are hundreds of remedies and treatments that can help you feel better. Rather than take on more and fall into overwhelm from the massive choice, simplify, make space for change and do more of what you already know makes you feel better. Crowd out the things that make you feel horrible with the food, exercise, delightful moments barefoot in nature grounding yourself and anything else that leaves you feeling good in your body, mind and space.
I hope you're reading this feeling refreshed after the end of year holidays - a great time to connect with family and friends and focus more on what feels fun to you. This kind of 'break' during a Seasonal Solstice can be a great refresher for your perspective. You get to decide what you want to keep and what needs a change!
I'm not talking New Years resolutions as we know them. I'm referring to an opportunity to harness the forces of Nature and the space a holiday allows to reflect on what's serving you well and change what's not! Reflection is potential - the next step is to choose at that moment that you want to shift into feeling better in your body.
Now's the time to get clear on the way forward for yourself.
Ditch the Vata Pitta Kapha Dosha approach, pass by the Panchmahabhuta and use the 20 gunas as the best way in self-care.
The Dosha's are the most popular used terms from Ayurveda but they are a categorizing system and have been misapplied as energetics themselves. It all began thousands of years ago when the science of Ayurveda was taken from an oral tradition and written down in the Vedas.
Ayurveda was changed and adapted over time in different regions of India and into Tibet.
Ayurveda was 'cleaned up' to make it more civilized! It was systematized into a science and pruned from what appeared to be a pagan type ritual based way to a healthy body-mind-environment. According to Dr Rama Prasad Ayurveda was marketed to make it more appealing and in the process the Doshas became sellable concepts which have seriously stuck!
The Doshas were not intended by the RIshis to be the main approach of Ayurveda, but rather a way to talk about all things dry, rough, hot, slow etc. We do ourselves a disservice and easily become confused when we label ourselves with them constitutionally. We bump into their limitations constantly and this approach doesn't take into account the natural flexibility our bodies have to adjust during a day, or the way we present Vikruti needs.
But what about my Doshic constitution (Prakruti)?
V P K are umbrella terms. Go beyond them to where Ayurveda is practical and can answer your health questions.
The Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are labels or categories, not energetics themselves. These terms have been misrepresented and although commonly used can be a limiting way to approach your health. You'll get far more insight into what you need right now to be healthy if you apply the factors the Doshas refer to like the five elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) to your situation. The six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent). Or even better the 20 properties (gunas) - eg: light, heavy, liquid, solid, hot, cold. The gunas are things we understand and considering them makes for sustainable self-care.
For those new to Ayurveda: the 5 elements combine to become what're called 3 Doshas (V P K) when within our bodies, or that of a plant or animal, and they have logical properties called gunas. It's tricky to know what the elements 'fire' or 'earth' mean sometimes and the terms V P K are equally vague when we need instant understanding of what to eat for our next meal that will help us feel better!
Ayurveda is an amazing relief when we first encounter it because it makes sense through all the health fads and confusing information out there. For us to use Ayurvedic health science successfully at home is possible and practical when we take the right approach - not too general and with just the right amount of science where it meets our experience. It's important to view yourself as a changing being within your surrounds and to recognise you know what makes you feel good and what leaves you feeling crappy. You know these things!
A problem has arisen where we've become fixated on the terms V P K and it's limited the ability for us to tap into the very common sense and personable approach that the founders of Ayurveda intended we have. Our intuition is a vital communication between our physical, mental, breath body and our bliss.
When you complete a Dosha questionnaire to determine your body type, you're subjective. The result is likely your presenting health situation, what we call your Vikruti, rather than your well, balanced constitution (Prakruti). It takes time and experienced perspective to see under the layers of your presenting health situation to confidently assess your constitution. You already know how to be you! You know when you feel great and on reflection what food, exercise, attitude brought you there.
We want to know what to do when we feel off, bad and not good in our body.
Knowing your your body type can be helpful as you tend to your current health needs. It's good to consider your Prakruti while you address your Vikruti. But it can become very confusing and mislead you if you label your situation with a blanket V P K because there's a naturally occurring blend of everything that V P K refer to in your system. You're a wonderfully complex mix and you alter slightly every day depending on external influences like the weather and what you eat. Knowing what to do when a symptom or food type presents as dual Dosha (eg: VP) is simplified by using the 20 gunas to work out what we need or what effect it will have on our body. Like increases like - simple!
Your health needs are best met at any given moment by asking yourself how you feel right now. You know if you feel hot or cold, dry and light or damp and heavy. Once you recognize that, it becomes simple to recognize the property, called guna, in your food. Then you can reduce what you have too much of and regain balance through self-care. Trust yourself, try something and observe the response. If you're seriously unwell please see your health practitioner.
Daily self-care habits are absolutely key to feeling good in your body because no-one can have that level of connection with you, except you. When you pay attention to your needs and wants, you start to feel safer and open enough for outside help to reach your core.
I turned fifty one last week and know that aging gracefully comes from feeling good in our bodies and living from that place. To feel good within ourselves we have to be courageous enough to pay attention to what we really need and want. How do we know what we really need?
You want to avoid over doing it and that feeling of being driven or pulled by the bustle of life. Through soothing connecting oil massage even once a week you can build your immunity, get a sense of streamlining your activities towards health supporting ones, and avoid burn out and mucous. Self oil massage is a remarkably simple habit with profound effects that come from Ayurveda's understanding of Vata's energetics of movement, Pitta's burning action, and Kapha's stuck congestion potential.
I know it can be difficult to think we have a choice in how our day pans out but I know we do and I'd love you to experience that first hand detoxing with us in October. But until then please give yourself a weekly self oil massage at least and eat Ghee or Coconut oil every day to start cleaning and nourishing your whole system simultaneously and begin to feel better in your body in 4-7 days.
DINACHARYA Daily Habit
Decide to include at least 1 Tbsp Ghee or Coconut oil in your meals a day.
Ayurvedic Ghee is made with cultured butter. Probiotic benefits to gut health come from the lactic acid working on the milk before it's turned to butter. Most store bought butter is made from simple cream. Pasteurization disables the milks ability to produce its own bacteria so many cultured butters are made by adding curd back into cream - that's fine and your body will thank you for making your Ghee with organic cultured butter.
Here's our Ghee video recipe as promised - make your own Ghee in 15 mins for half the cost of store bought ghee. BUBBLE FOAM BUBBLE your way to wellness from the inside out!
Take care and enjoy yourself, it's important!
Lesley - Founder, Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner
New Blog every second Sunday
The AyurB team and health professionals from our community. If you'd like to write a Blog post contact Jess.
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