Treat them like a flowerWith the passing days, the awareness of my body as well as my mental state has grown to levels I have never experienced before. It’s safe to say that since I’ve started the Ayurveda and Healing Training Program, I’ve grasped the idea that life isn’t as complex as it’s made out to be. That diet, nutrition, and daily activities are not complicated. That I hold power to change and heal myself because the intelligent vessel called the physical body is telling me what it needs and when it’s out of balance. All I have to do is listen. Having acquired extensive knowledge of health and fitness through personal training, I felt that I had a good understanding of what “healthy” was and figured that I was in the best “shape” of my life. But it isn’t about being in shape and being the type of “healthy” that the media portrays. If anything, I was more out of balance than ever before while trying to stick to strict fitness programs and diets that were not serving my physical and mental constitution. The weather shifted, and quite abruptly at that. The cold, dry air had me feeling slow and fragile. The wind has more of a dominant presence, creating movement and lightness in the environment. Now is the time marked by transition. The trees are becoming brittle and dry as each leaf departs from the branch it once thrived upon. There’s a lightness to this season causing expansive chatter within the mind but also spikes and increase in creativity. It’s official. We have now entered Vata Season.
Through Ayurveda, we learn that like qualities increase like qualities while opposites balance. During each Dosha’s season, it’s imperative to be mindful of your physical, spiritual, and emotional bodies, especially if you identify with that same Dosha. Vata individuals during Vata season need to be extra aware since they can become out of balance quite easily due to the fact that they exhibit the same qualities of that season. But each individual embodies Vata qualities as well. Being hyper aware of what your body is telling you according to the season is a sure sign of if you’re balanced or imbalanced.My headaches have been increasing while my thoughts, scattered and mostly mind-numbing, seem to have created a slightly disorganized chaos. I’ve noticed how many thoughts I’ve been having and how swiftly they dart around leaving me in a state of haziness with heightened anxiety. If you’ve been there, which I guarantee we all have, at least once or twice, then you know how difficult it is to try and combat that frame of mind. This cold, dry weather has left my body feeling brittle and dehydrated. From my skin, to my bones, to my internal organs and bodily processes, everything seems so inanimate. By implementing simple changes in daily activities and nutrition, this airiness of the intellect will start to dissipate and become more grounded and I’ll be able to nourish my body with a purer mind. Learning that some of the qualities of Vata are mobility, light, cold, dry, and rough, I needed to start to produce ideas of how I can balance out those qualities. A couple of months ago, I took on the challenge of teaching a Tejas Hold class. Essentially, it’s a yoga class based on holding poses for longer periods of time to build strength and endurance. In my own practice I never hold poses. I free flow at a faster pace to the beat of the music I choose to play that day. I knew teaching this type of class would challenge me, but I also knew it was much needed. If you count a good, even, smooth inhale and exhale for three full rounds, that’s a long time to be in one pose! The first couple of times I did this, I stood there and thought about how I’m not at all interested in this slower paced practice. I had to figure out how I could keep myself interested so I could better guide people through the same experience. Little did I know, that a fast-paced flow that I was so used to was only increasing the airy mobile quality that had become more prevalent within myself. I needed to keep myself grounded, to really root down and bring a demise to my racing thoughts and my anxiety. Holding poses became the perfect practice to balance my Vata. While in these poses, I connected with the earth. Through my breathwork, I calmed my body, I calmed my mind. I allowed myself to feel the energies pulling from the earth. I closed my eyes and felt how rooted I was from whatever part of my body that encountered the surface. By the end of a full practice, I laid in savasana, allowing myself to melt closer to the earth. I’ve never felt more stable, more grounded than in that moment. I never knew what being grounded meant until adapting a Yogic and Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Aside from my extremely earth bonding experience, I decided to change up my diet according to how I’m feeling in the moment. During this Vata season, I’ve been consuming more root vegetables and cooked meals. The root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots help me remain grounded when practice is not available. The hot, cooked meals have been warming the iciness within, what feels like, my most delicate framework.The last practice I have adopted is Abhyanga. Abhyanga is a self-massage using warm oils. This self-massage is such a beautiful practice because you are able to wind down and relax, take care of your body, lubricate the joints, increase blood circulation, and much more. You connect with yourself on a deeper more intimate level. I remember the time in my life when I suffered from body image issues. If you told me back then, that I would, in the future, see myself and my body in a more positive light, I would have disagreed completely. Through yoga and Ayurveda, I learned how important it is to love yourself. To treat yourself with respect and compassion. I’ve seen my mindset shift to this accepting and more loving attitude toward myself and my body. It’s said that you should treat Vata people like a flower. They’re delicate and highly sensitive. Vata requires a great amount of patience, gentleness, and nurturing. Since Vata season is upon us, be sure to understand where the Vata manifests within your own life and be soft with yourself. Be nurturing, be kind, and be patient. You’re a beautiful flower and you should be treated as one.