5 Ayurvedic Life Hacks We All Need
What is the greatest health challenge of the 21st century? According to Ayurveda, it is our Aggravated Vata Dosha. Keeping Vata dosha in balance is rudimentary to Ayurvedic health.
The three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are biological energies found throughout the physical and emotional body. The three dosha’s govern all of the physical and mental processes for every living being. Keeping our three dosha’s in balance is rudimentary to Ayurvedic health. Vata dosha, just like the Pitta and Kapha dosha are present in all of us in varying degrees. Understanding how each dosha behaves, both in and out of balance, is our guidance system to knowing which areas in our lives need tweaking. Keeping your own unique doshic constitution in perfect balance is the only way to a state of perfect health if you are to follow an ayurvedic lifestyle. When a dosha is out of balance, or in an aggravated state, it can affect both out physical and mental bodies.
So, what are the signs of aggravated Vata on the mind?
- Poor short-term memory
- Peak-and crash energy cycles
- Multi-tasking exhaustion
- Changeable, unreliable moods
- Lack of focus
Sound familiar? That’s because we are living in the Vata aggravated century. It’s important to note that as disturbing as these conditions are, they are also the catalysts for so many serious health issues including hormonal and immune system disturbances. Aggravated Vata Dosha can cause more bodily imbalances and long-term health issues than any other Dosha.
Lets check out some of the causes of the Vata aggravated mind:
According to Ayurveda, in a nutshell, we are living out of harmony with nature. How often do you watch the sunset/sunrise, observe the moon or the tides, learn about a new plant or get your feet or fingers in the soil? If you are lucky you can say your life includes these grounding practices, but the majority of people living in cities can go months, even years without this essential connection. Now add to that we are all plugged in 24/7. We are hyper-stimulated by mass media (and social-media) overload. Even within our modern technological-based lives, everything keeps changing or upgrading, and quickly. Change is the ultimate Vata disturbance. So, are you ready to unplug, log-out and start a daily commute to country life? For some this may not be possible, therefore, Vata pacifying awareness practices, both in diet and treatments are now essential to all of us. A balanced Vata dosha is fundamental to a thriving life of physical and emotional balance, free of all disease and suffering.
5 easy ways to keep your Vata IN CHECK
You’ve heard this before, but the facts and stats just keep piling up. There is now indisputable scientific evidence showing that just one meditation session is enough to enhance the expression of genes directly involved in energy metabolism, insulin secretion and the reduction of stress and inflammation in the body. Ironically, the Vata aggravated person, who is most in need of a meditation practice, can also have the most resistance towards it because what they really want to do is just THINK MORE. Poor time management is another Vata challenge due to poor focus, so they often use the excuse of ‘no time’. Think of it this way: any time spent on your meditation practice is paid back to you ten fold through increased productivity and energy gained. Meditating for just 15 minutes a day can make dramatic shifts, so go for 20 and reap the rewards.
2- Get Outside
Get outside means every day, every season, whatever the weather, just get out there and look around. Ayurveda teaches that we feed ourselves nutritionally through all our five senses. This simply means that you are taking in what you see, touch, smell and hear and that your food provides just 1/5th of your nutrition. So, even if you live in the middle of a bustling city, you can still notice the light reflecting off the trees, or the ever-changing flora and fauna that you co-exist within your city. Getting fresh oxygen, moving the body and staying mindfully aware of your surroundings can be extremely remedial to the over-active Vata mind.
Heat is extremely pacifying to a Vata person who often suffers from cold extremities and chills no matter what season it is. Often being cold, even just a slight chill can act as an internal stressor on the body and can cause the mind also to react. In a nutshell, heat pacifies and cold stimulates. A hot water bottle is excellent too. Any time of year a hot water bottle pressed against your tummy; lower back or shoulders can be extremely emotionally and physically comforting. In the colder months, use your hot water bottle in the car, on your lap at the office and of course on the sofa and in bed. This simple and free practice can have a lovely pacifying effect on the nervous system.
Restorative yoga is quite possibly the most under-rated yoga class at your local yoga studio. There is a misconception that comes from the ingrained idea in our culture that real results in life come from more effort and that anything requiring little to no effort has little to no results. This misconception is especially true in yoga. Taking it easy does not mean you are lazy; you are PRO-ACTIVELY resetting your nervous system. For many people, especially women, keeping the nervous system in check will bring greater long-term benefits than vigorous exercise. Get your feet up the wall and your blanket on.
5- Flower essences
There are many excellent herbal therapies and practices that can pacify Vata, but many can take up to three months of usage to see fundamental changes. The impatient Vata mind want results, and they want them now. For immediate results this there is nothing better than Flower essences, which work instantaneously. The original Bach Flower Remedies are the most well known and have remained an honoured and accredited alternative health therapy for almost one hundred years. Flower remedies work by quickly altering our emotional state, moving us beyond negative emotions such as worry, fear, indecision, insecurity, etc. Once we can restore our emotional equilibrium, the body returns to the state of repair and self-healing.
My favourite Bach flower remedied for restoring Vata imbalances:
Beech: for intolerance of people, places and things.
Vervain: for extreme mental upset, anxiety or anguish.
Olive: for exhaustion following mental or physical effort
Elm: for when overwhelmed of stressed caused by too much responsibility
Many practitioners who work with flower remedies will make you a personalised blend for your specific emotional upset. The small bottles fit in your purse, tastes like brandy and work immediately, what’s not to love?