In Ayurveda, health is more than the absence of disease or the management of symptoms; it involves many conditions present within the body. It is the balance of the Elements within (doshas), the senses all working optimally, the mind, body and spirit in harmony, optimal function of the tissues and waste systems of the body, channels (meridians et) unblocked and flowing with energy and the digestive fire or metabolic fire working normally.
Within the wisdom of the teachings, it is expressed that the mind and body have the intelligence to heal themselves, we just need to step out the way of blocking this or provide the correct environment for this to occur. Think of the ecosystems that surround us and the harmony and vitality that they provide for all that is contained within, and all that emanates from it. We are the microcosm of the macrocosm. So beginning to see yourself as an ecosystem you could begin this very process of restoring balance. Eradication of any and all negative influences you are ready to release will greater enable this process to begin. One small step at a time.
The season of fall is quite visual in its demonstration of clearing away of all that is at a weakened state or end of life cycle. It is immense movement of air to invite space and clearing and the opportunity for healthy new growth to occur in the spring. It is the season of Vata and can be environmentally stressful to our systems. In Ayurveda, the fall is an optimal time to do a personal cleanse to keep the body at a strengthened state throughout the windy, dry and cold months ahead, but also to allow for enhanced immunity which serves as our greatest defense against disease. A simple diet coupled with nourishing body treatments to destagnate the lymph and move toxins out of the body leave you feeling renewed, grounded and restored for the winter months and keep you resilient with the increased exposure to viruses and bacteria. Often recommended is a 3, 5 or 7 day cleanse coupled with daily Ayurvedic body work to reset the body onto a more stable growth pattern. Ashwagandha is a brilliant herb to embrace during this season to calm the nervous system which then supports our immunity, healthy sleep patterns and so much more.
Winter is a time of reflection and hibernation from our more active lives in the summer. As we go within, it may be easier to adopt a meditative practice to heighten your level of awareness, work on shifting perception and inviting the intimacy with oneself to be present. Mindful movement is also encouraged so consider adopting a practice that best suits your schedule and needs. Yin yoga (more restorative and elongated holds) is the most beneficial for the Vata season to allow a sense of grounding and sturdiness to be felt and developed within. The intention of yoga is ultimately to unite mind back with body but that has somehow gotten lost in our competitive and consumer based society of the West. Step beyond that as you land on your mat and stand deep into your self through this intimate exploration and connection.
I know within my own journey, time or distractions pull me away however each time I honour and gift myself this practice, I recognize almost immediately the bar on my vitality rises. I witness an increase in opportunity, I feel the gratitude and support first from myself and then from beyond me and that is such a gift. I recognize that my own wonderful ecosystem is thriving and the level of joy I experience is immeasurable. Fall in love with feeling good.