A place of Harmony Balance and Health

This blog has grown from its base in Ayurveda into a more expansive view of health, wellbeing and spirituality. Mind, body and spirit are explored using Ayurveda, Yoga and Energetic Healing. I hope that you find my posts helpful on your journey.
More information can be found on my new website Harmony Balance Health

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grounding in a Vata World


Life today is busy, busy, busy!  We push ourselves more then any time in the history of the planet. We juggle time to fit in as much as possible. Often our idea of resting and relaxing is watching TV and using the internet at the same time. Multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning. We jump from one web page to another, have multiple applications open on our computers and live with our phones in our hands. Stillness, peace and tranquility are things that we long for but often what we don't have time for.

Such a lifestyle can lead to vata imbalances, regardless of your dosha. If you live a life that has little down time and you are constantly on the go then you could end up with excess vata. Some of the more common signs that you have become imbalanced are; constipation, insomnia, anxiety, fluctuations in weight, restlessness, dryness of skin, joints or hair and digestive problems.

So what can we do? How can we stop constantly running around? It's not that hard when you stop and think about it, but therein lies the problem - stopping! We find it so hard to stop. And when we do, we are rarely present. For some reason we find it unacceptable to stop and do nothing. We must fill up every waking moment with some task. How often have you watched something on TV that you weren't interested in or whiled away the hours on the Internet doing nothing in particular? Quite a lot I'd say for most people. Or how often do you make your break a real break where you don't do anything? How often do you truly do nothing? When did it become so hard to treat yourself to some time out? It really is some of the most enjoyable medicine you will ever have the pleasure of taking. And once you get a taste of it and discover how beneficial such simple pleasures are, you will find that all your stresses are not so big. They may still be there but the stress in your body will have reduced making life a whole lot easier to deal with.

So here are some ideas for you to ground yourself in the busy, rajasic world we live in.
  • Stop and do nothing.  This does not mean watching TV or surfing the net, this means doing nothing! See what stillness really is. Go sit in a park, in the forest, at the beach and just be still. Your mind will probably fight you at first but over time you will learn to tame it.
  • This leads to meditation. Once you are able to stop and your mind gets comfortable with the idea of not having to do something then you can try meditation. It's a great way to give your mind a rest and let it have some time out from the constant thinking it is subjected to day after day. 
  • Baths. Fill up the tub with warm water, add some oils (check here for some oils especially for anxiety and worry), light some candles, put on some music (or not) and put a do not disturb sign on the door! Lay back and let the warmth and aroma do the work.
  • Do something that puts you in a reflective mood. Journal, write down your thoughts. Draw, paint or whatever works for you.
  • Go for a walk in nature.
  • Do yoga, tai chi or some form of slow meditative activity that will help you to slow down and come into your body and ground.
  • Learn pranayama and use your breath to bring stillness to your mind and nervous system.
  • Treat yourself to a massage and make self massage a part of your life.
  • Eat food that is grounding. This means warm and moist. Grains, legumes, root vegetables and dairy are all good. Stay away from cold, dry, light food. If you want a more specific list of vata pacifying foods check here
  • Do things that keep in in once place and do not require a lot of effort.
  • And always be gentle with yourself.
Pay attention to what you are doing and when you find yourself rushing around make the effort to take a break. Over time you will notice more often when you are not taking time out and it will become second nature.

Good luck