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It's been awhile; how are you all feeling now that we are in the heart of the Spring season and creeping closer to Summer?
I was just back in North Dakota visiting family for a few days and it was MUCHO cold; like 38 degrees in the morning cold! Chicagoans, East Coasters, what's it been like in your neck of the woods? Fellow West Coasters: how has Spring felt for you?
I got to thinking about where our Modern Yogi Wisdom conversation on Ayurveda, Understanding our systems as elements, and the dynamic practice of allowing those elements to balance. I'd hoped to make this a video, but my computer felt otherwise (it kept disconnecting me!). Maybe we'll do a follow up video convo :).
I'd been feeling pretty balanced before leaving, but then a few plane rides across the country (MASSIVE AIR/SPACE= VATA!!) and a rapid shift in climate (about 20 degrees cooler and much more MOISTURE- Cold, Damp= KAPHA!) left me with some chest congestion and draining sinuses (Kapha) and achy, cracking, stiff joints, along with increased anxiety and broken sleep (Vata).
And the question that arose for me was: "When you notice MORE THAN ONE element out of balance, WHICH ONE do you balance FIRST?"
From what I've read and learned in Ayurveda and Eastern elemental theories, we often START with the most SUBTLE element: air, space, VATA.
Because, the subtler elements are more DYNAMIC; it is easier for them to slide in and out of balance quickly. And because Vata is the energy of MOVEMENT, it can excite/deplete other elements, making them appear imbalanced in their own right. So, one way to begin working with your system to create balance is to balance Vata, first.
Well, let's think about the qualities of Vata: light, mobile, dry, cold, quick.
So to balance this energy, we can intentionally draw in opposing qualities. We can SLOW DOWN our pace and REST MORE. We can layer our bodies, ESPECIALLY our feet and heads (socks and hats/headbands/scarves) to keep them warm. We can do activities that bring warmth into the body, but in a slow, steady way: walking, "slow flow" yoga, tai chi, qi gong. We can drink our water and other beverages at room temperature or warmer. We can decrease raw, frozen, chilled foods and increase warm, cooked foods and add in a bit of oil: olive, sunflower, coconut, ghee/butte (if dairy is tolerated) to lubricate the dry/popping/aching joints.
Do this intentionally for a few days and notice how your system responds; what new messages is it sending you?
I hope you find this LOONNG post helpful, and PLEASE feel free to comment and share any insights or questions that arise.
With so much love to each of you!!
P.S. Awesome photo cred goes to Eat Taste Heal <3