Adepts and practitioners of ayurveda are very aware of the cycles of life, from birth to death. They know how to help you be beautiful for life. They know the importance of knowing the self, of touch, exercise, of belonging, of expressing emotions and talents, and that showing gratitude (including to trees, animals, stones, planets, clouds, spirits) contributes to beauty and wellness.
The most important aspect of all the so called traditional or alternative medicines is that individuals takes responsibility for their own beauty, wellness and cure. The practitioner was and remains an observer, a guide and a partner who shares her or his knowledge and intuition with you. Clear, ongoing communication is therefore a key element in that relationship. This is quite different from so many modern medical systems where the doctor is left to decide and do everything and the patient, willingly or not, abandons his of her self-knowledge, power of discrimination and choice.
1. If you do not already know your ayurvedic constitution, take the test here.
2. Reflect on what you know about your physical self. Start with the physical body:
Nature of space (Vata): Provides containment. All holes, hollow places, like the arteries and veins, lungs, heart, bladder, vocal system and ear system.
Nature of air (Vata): Gives movement and inspiration. Breathing, blinking and opening of the eyelids, speed.
Nature of fire (Pitta): Governs transformation and glow. Skin, eyesight, digestion.
Nature of water (Kapha): Provides moisture, flow and cleansing. Saliva, blood, tears, urine, perspiration, and secretions.
Earthly nature (Kapha): Ensures structure and solidity. Bones, teeth, flesh, excretion, all body hair.
Identifying where your challenges are and which system is associated to which element, determine which of your elements are in balance and those that aren’t. Be a neutral observer, not a biased judge.
Note: A dosha is NOT a disbalance, but the dosha can become out of balance. For example, a person with a Pitta constitution can have a disbalance of Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
Once you find out which of your elements is out of balance, chose one of the three recipes below and make the oil mix best suited for your needs and massage your whole body every day for 7 days. After the seven days, re-assess to measure the difference. Write your insights in your journal.
– For Pitta dosha or disbalance (hot, quick, average weight, passionate):
¼ cup organic coconut oil, 4 drops of your choice of peppermint, geranium or fennel essential oil
– For Kapha dosha or disbalance (moist, cold, heavy, caring):
½ cup of grapeseed OR rice oats oil, 4 drops of your choice of grapefruit, bergamot, juniper or thyme essential oil.
Evaluate how this simple massage contributed to your wellbeing. Write your insights in your journal.
Note: If you have a dual dosha (eg, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha), use the oil mix appropriate for the season (eg. Vata-Pitta will use Pitta (fire) oil during summer unless the Vata dosha is clearly out of balance; Kapha-Pitta will use Kapha (water-earth) oil during the fall season unless Pitta is clearly out of balance)
4. Assess subjectively the state of your dosha (feeling totally out of balance = 0 and feeling perfectly well = 10) and follow the appropriate lifestyle step for one week
– For Vata dosha or disbalance:
Adopt a daily routine with regular times for eating and sleeping.
– For Pitta dosha or disbalance:
Observe yourself in various circumstances and do nothing rather than controlling them and people; keep this up for 7 days in a row.
– For Kapha dosha or disbalance:
Enjoy an energetic routine, keep moving.
By end of the 7th day, compare your score between before and after.
THE CYCLES OF TIME
The doshas also exert their influence upon us. Each four-hour time period is dominated by one dosha, and thus we are influenced by the qualities of that dosha. In other words, there’s a Vata, Pitta and Kapha time of day and a Aata, Pitta and Kapha time of life. Understanding this allows you to choose activities, food choices, etc. that will support the dominant energy inside and around you at that time.
The Times of Day
If you awaken during KAPHA time, which is between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, the qualities of kapha will increase within you. This is why ayurveda recommends getting up earlier than 6 am and taking a light breakfast. The Kapha cycle returns at night, again between 6 pm and 10 pm. Going to bed around 9:30 pm will ensure the most restful sleep.
PITTA time begins at 10:00 am and continues until 2:00 pm. It governs the time of productivity, when the sun is highest in the sky and there is more heat in the natural world. This explains why lunch should be your main meal since digestion is a fiery process. Studying at Pitta time in the evening is great, but trying to fall asleep at that time of night can be challenging.
VATA time begins around 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm. The naturally light, etheric qualities of this time of day allows creativity and expansive thinking to peak, making it a great time to engage in creative pursuits and problem solving. However, it is the most delicate of the doshas, and the most likely to become imbalanced as it is the dosha of movement. By keeping it pacified at this time of day, it’s creative gifts can manifest and imbalances be avoided. That is why meditation around 4 am is recommended.
The Times of Life
Childhood, generally from 0 to 15, is the time when the KAPHY cycle is at its peak; puberty and young adulthood are governed by the Pitta cycle from 15 to 55; for women menopause is considered a Pitta-Vata time; and older years are governed by Vata. With what you have learned, use your deductive mind to explain why.
For additional information on ayurveda and balancing your Earth bodies, sign up for the course Practical Awakening, read more. It is offered in class in Ottawa or live on Skype.
To learn about essential oils and aromatherapy, sign up for the course Aromatherapy for Beauty and Health (1) and (2). It is offered in class or live on Skype. Read More.