We live in a state of constant stress, where sleep deprivation is the norm and if you’re not burnt out, you’re not trying hard enough. The relentless competition is daunting and draining, yet we continue to push ourselves. It is no wonder that illness is rampant and anxiety disorders are at an all-time high. It is important to notice the symptoms that your body is taking strain before it begins to break down.
Something needs to change…
In the practice of Ayurveda, students learn to take notice of their bodies. Through meditation and mindfulness, it is possible to become aware of how the body is feeling and where there is tension and strain. The teachings include knowledge of the imbalances within the three doshas: Pitta, Vata and Kapha. In this way, you are hyper-aware when your body is in a state of stress – it will tell you!
Western medicine tends to place an emphasis on curing the symptoms of an imbalance. We will take a pill for a headache. We take an antacid for heartburn. We never really consider what the underlying cause is of the imbalance. Your body may present a headache because it is dehydrated, and therefore we need to readdress our fluid intake. Your body may be averse to certain spices or foods, resulting in heartburn, and these foods need to be taken out of your diet. Every sign of dis-ease in your body needs to be addressed as it is an indication of an imbalance. The underlying cause needs to be dealt with.
We also need to understand that emotions are a sign of imbalance in the body. According to Vata, if we are anxious or depressed, we may have an imbalance in movement – either too much or too little. If we are feeling angry, irritable or jealous, we may have a problem with digestion or nutrition as expressed by the Pitta dosha. If we have problems with greed and envy, the Kapha dosha may be out of balance in terms of the immunity in the body. These are a few examples of imbalances, but it is clear that we need to look at every aspect of our life in order to truly feel well.
Tips to balance the body:
1. Take time out in the day to note how you are feeling – note emotions, sensations and any bodily pain. Remember that ever the smallest discomfort can be a sign of something. Notice if you are more snappy than usual. Notice if you have feelings of anxiety or unease. Notice if your joints feel tight. These could all indicate that some part of your life is not in balance.
2. Consider what may be causing slight or severe imbalances in your life. Have you recently added or taken away something in your diet? Have you taken up or taken away any forms of physical exercise? Are you spending the right amount of time: at work, on relationships, resting?
3. Make small changes to your life to try and create more balance. Take notice of the effect on your emotional and physical wellbeing. The imbalances could get better or they could worsen. Working with your body is an endless journey and you need to learn how to maintain balance.
A personal note
I recently experienced terrible heartburn. As this is very uncommon for me, I was quite alarmed. It was suggested that I take bicarbonate of soda or an antacid. Both of these may have helped me in the short-term, but I was highly aware of the fact that’s something in my body was out of balance. I tried eliminating a few things, until I found that removing lemon from my water has completely solved the problem. It may not make sense as lemon is alkaline, but it was simply my body telling me that I was out of balance.
Take time to listen when your body speaks to you. The more you practice listening, the better you will get at understanding the signs and the more your body will speak.
Have a great day,
Lots of light and love xx