Ayurveda is not only a healthcare system, a sick-care system, but also a preventative system. It shows us that Vata, Pitta, and Kapha predominant individuals are prone towards certain conditions. For instance, Vata (which governs the nervous system) predominant individuals are prone to the below-mentioned symptoms but also to anything that involves the nervous system. Pitta (which governs the endocrine and digestive system) predominant individuals are prone to inflammatory based conditions, and Kapha (which governs the immune system) predominant individuals are prone to lethargy, depression (melancholic type), heaviness, sluggish digestion, weight gain, water retention, and even conditions such as asthma and diabetes. With this all being said, it is understood under the axiom "like increases like and opposites cure" in Ayurveda that whatever the predominance of a particular dosha (biological humor; Vata/Pitta/Kapha) that individual will see an increase in symptoms during its appropriate season (even time of day, and phase of life.) Seasonally, Vata, begins in fall to early winter; Kapha, in late winter to early spring, and Pitta, in late spring to the end of summer.
Currently, it is Vata season and the time of year when the elements of air and space begin to infuse the atmosphere. Qualities such as cold, dry, and light fill our surroundings, and those individuals who have a predominance of these qualities are more likely to experience it than others.
Symptoms such as gas, bloating, dry orifices, increased constipation, dry skin, cold extremities, sleep disturbances extending as far as insomnia, and increased anxiety seem to show up the most during the upcoming months. This is why Ayurveda emphasizes the use of internal and external oleation, such as ghee, coconut oil, flax oil, and sesame; the increase of warm foods, such as soups, stews, milk decoctions, teas; spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, basil. black pepper, mustard seeds, turmeric, clove, and dry garlic can help increase heat in the blood.
Ayurveda also speaks highly of regularity and routines. This time of year can prove to be challenging with the onset of upcoming festivities into the new year. The momentum picks up and so much is happening that it is common for many individuals to fall ill during the holidays and after. The wear and tear, the crash and burn can only last for so long, until the candle burns from both ends and a condition develops that renders individuals debilitated, leaving them to re-evaluate how they got there and how to prevent it again.
The body is a historical system that relies upon regularity for its health! In order to maintain balanced health, while "life is happening", I have come to share that creating 5 Touchstones throughout the day can help keep regularity while during "life's happenings."
Touchstone #1 - WAKING UP around the same time each day, most of the week (most being 4-5 days.)
Touchstone #2 - Having BREAKFAST, whatever that is for your constitution, around the same time each day, most of the week (4-5 days.)
Touchstone #3 - Having LUNCH, around the same time each day, most of the week (4-5 days.)
Touchstone #4 - Having DINNER, around the same time each day, most of the week (4-5 days.)
Touchstone #5 - Head to SLEEP, around the same time each day, most of the week (4-5 days.)
The seasons happen around the same time each year. The sun and moon circle around the same rhythm. The sun rises and sets around the same time each day (even taking into consideration daylight savings adjustments), with the sun peaking around noon each day. Why wouldn't it be the case that by aligning with the natural cycles that the body can reorganize itself and make sense of the chaos that can cause health issues? Check HERE for the story of disease formation, for more food for thought.
The rest of life can happen, weaving in and out of these above listed pivotal points. It is important to have at least a little time (half hour or more) of me time; a time that is sacred just to be with yourself and minimal external distractions, so you can develop a deeper relationship with yourself and know yourself from the inside out. View this article HERE for daily rituals in depth, and see what you can take from it and start incorporating it into regular practice. I have seen many instances in my personal practice and within my patients that symptoms have minimized or even resolved simply by regulating, regimenting, and routinely following a day to day cycle. You couldn't imagine how the simplicity of such adjustments can make a huge impact on someone's health, but it is usually those little gestures that have the greatest influence. No? Try it and see. You're worth the investment. It may take a little time. Find the best flow for you and keep it up for a few months. It at least takes one month to notice some sort of change. If you'd like to read more about what to do for Vata season (this time of year) check HERE.
Therefore, as we progress into the upcoming months where you may be more challenged, take a step back and see what you can put in place to create an anchor each day, not to lose yourself to ill-health but to reclaim your joy within it.
DISCLAIMER: This information is meant for educational purposes only and not considered medical advice. Any changes in lifestyle should be reviewed with a qualified practitioner and/or primary care physician if you are currently under their care for specific conditions.