Monthly Archives: October 2012
Happy Friday! Recently I had an Ayurvedic interview for Well + Good NYC, on which workouts are best for your dosha(s). Lisa was super duper and many many thanks to her for getting the great word out about Ayurveda and how we can loop it into our modern lives. Yay! Check out the interview here. And in case you missed them, I have a couple other posts on exercise for your dosha and what to do when you are a vata craving exercise (because vatas need to slooooow down). Be healthy, live according to YOU, and have a super weekend! xoxo.
“Ayurveda, where do I start?!” Last week I got a question from Holly, a new reader, who just discovered Ayurveda. Her question? She has no idea where to start! Such an awesome question I thought I should answer so everyone else could reap the benefits too. That’s what it’s all about!
So let’s get to it.
1. You must first know who you are (for the most part) by taking the dosha test. Take the test according to who you are naturally, not necessarily as the person you are today! Over time we collect habits, traumas and life experiences that might alter our original doshic balance. Once we understand where we started, we can figure out if/how we are imbalanced today. Make sense? Don’t panic if you are a blend of two. However, if you measure even in all three doshas, take it again because being tri-doshic is super rare!
3. Pick good foods to eat. Sounds like what everybody says, all the time, but it’s just so important because our bodies are made of what we put in them! If you put junk food in them, you will feel and look like junk. Eat fruits and veggies (organic as often as possible!), healthy grains and fats. If you eat meat, make sure the animal lived a happy life (we consume and therefore become any negative emotions in that animal including fear, anxiety, depression, anger, distrust, etc.,). And that’s kind of it! No magic potion, just common sense. Eat good food.
4. Pick 1-3 things to change and start to live according to the daily routine. Stick with these changes for 2 weeks-1 month and then add 1-2 more changes. If you try to change too many things at once, you will fail. Start slowly and add one by one.
Honestly, if you do these three things, you will be SO far ahead. Awareness of who you are is huge! Add to that, knowing what to eat is huger! And hugest is following the rules of nature because we are a small piece of all encompassing nature! :)
A little match made in heaven: I received this email from one of my dear readers who was curious about inter-doshic relationships. Just as food, exercise and nature influence the doshas, people do to! Here is a sweet story about how a vata/pitta person and a kapha person form complete unity and balance each other. I’ve highlighted areas in orange italics to demonstrate why compliments attract :)
I’ve (vata/pitta) recently gained a very special friendship with someone who is pretty much kapha (everyone loves a kapha). She’s down-to-earth, happy, easygoing, curvy physique, etc. She’s all girly and about clothes and has perfect hair (kaphas love to look nice and have nice things). I’m older and a smaller person who prefers sportswear—I feel I’ve got my shoes covered because I have one pair brown and one pair black (pittas like comfy clothes and keep it simple so their mind can focus on more important things). So we walk along, rather quickly (vata/pitta making kapha move quickly – great!), and we talk about everything under the sun (talking and listening is therapy – tridoshic).
Her Kapha-like personality and my Vata/Pitta thing has made for a few interesting observations on my part. One day I was hovering in the ether, all anxious and stressed (vata problems) about something that, “wasn’t quite right” in my world. (vatas are the most intuitive) I was walking along, waving my arms, ranting and fussing (vata, vata, vata). She let it all play out and then just said something like, “People just sometimes don’t cooperate. Good thing we have you around to keep us all on track.” (kapha, always keeping the peace and giving an ego boost at the same time) Then gave me a big hug (kaphas give the best hugs), which, of course she is very good at, and I, of course, crave (vata is pacified by physical touch). I have to admit I chuckled to myself later when I recalled that episode (laughter is some amazing medicine – tridoshic).
This is proving to be a very great friendship for us, as she’s offered love and nurturing to me (kapha qualities), and I’ve been able to offer objective, realistic advice (pitta qualities) as well as keep her moving with regular exercise, and listen to stories of her past that she still grudges about (kaphas hold grudges if pushed far enough).
Thank you for sharing with us, dear reader! Sounds like a match made in Ayurvedic Heaven :) Anybody else have an example of someone who balances you? xoxo.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about time. Because I don’t have much. Note: Pittas always think about time. They are never late. They will do drive-bys to make sure they are not late. Don’t fault them, it’s just their nature.
Admittedly, I was spoiled in Los Angeles since my work was 1.4 miles from home (5 minutes there, 20 minutes back. Don’t ask, it’s LA traffic). I knew how good I had it, so I never took it for granted and was able to squeeze every last drop of time out of my morning including a work out, dog walk, journal writing, short meditation and a shower before leaving the house. And I got to the office at 8:00 a.m. Although I’m holding it together and have managed to keep some of my Ayurvedic habits in the San Francisco bay area, a lot has changed and even a shower is hard to come by *le stink.*
It takes me 1 hour in one direction to get to downtown San Francisco (car + BART train) from home, so that’s 2 hours a day that I’ve lost. Ok, I won’t be dramatic. I’ll be accurate and say I’ve lost 1 hour 35 minutes per day, since my commute was previously 25 minutes round trip. So, 1 hour 35 minutes x 5 days is…a lot of time. Math…anyway, that is family time, workout time, and HeyMonicaB posting time. Aiiee…strapped.
Since I am 1/2 pitta, I feel I must be efficient at all times and I started thinking how I could best utilize my time on BART. It came to me that it could be the perfect time to sit and write a blog post – or at least ideas and inspirations for posts! Bingo! But, there are some variables like grabbing the train that goes directly to my stop without having to transfer. Also, I don’t always get a seat. If I miss my first train, I will have to stand because the second train will have more people on it. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, those tend to be more busy and I might not get a seat on the first train either. *sigh*
So you can see, how I run like clockwork and a misstep can change the whole day causing me to run into traffic, miss a train, forget my lunch, or milk for my one cup of coffee ;) Right now, I am very much a human doing rather than a human BE-ing. There is no “be.” No be! Ya feel me? I know you do. I know you might have a similar (or worse) schedule than mine so what to do we do? Where do we find time and where can we just, be? What do you do? Since my derailment, I’ve adhered to changes 1-3, but I haven’t yet figured out what feels best with my blank time on BART…and it bugs me.
Look at that. Just by writing, I might have answered my own question. What if, instead of trying to squish in blog posts on the train…I just, be. Maybe that’s my “be” space. I don’t know what will work best, but I’ll keep you posted. And if I’m not posting, maybe it’s because I’m BE-ing. Love you!
While on the topic of moving, I couldn’t help but notice…mess. Like when you look in your closet and you think, “Yikes. That’s…a mess.” (pittas have no idea what I’m talking about right now. hehe.) But do you know the best part about a messy closet? The best part is that you SEE the mess! You know it needs to be cleaned and so you clean it!
Now, what if you had a messy closet but only very slightly cracked the door open, just enough to toss a rotten piece of clothing in there–and then you shut the door. In that closet would be dirty clothes and shoes all in a jumble…and you wouldn’t notice until you were completely out of clothes to wear. And as you opened the door, a mega-pile of stank clothes would fall on your head. And then, you would have stanky clothes and shoes laying all over the floor (to your surprise, but not really) and you are forced to clean it up. Plus now you are freezing because you have no clothes (that last sentence was just for dramatic effect).
The difference between these two scenarios is total awareness. In both cases, you will end up having to clean up your closet. In the first scenario, you will notice the messy closet before it gets too bad. And in the second scenario, you’ve not only got a mess on your hands but you have to clean immediately because you waited too long.
Friends, our health is the same as that closet. Ayurveda’s foundation is prevention. So let’s working on our health while we catch some of the warning signs (headache, insomnia, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart burn, etc.,) before it turns into something worse. Ignoring these “pesky” warning signs doesn’t make them go away, rather they will turn in to something much more serious later and then you’ll be in a pickle! So! Right now, start living, eating, and exercising according to your dosha(s). And if you are completely lost, then begin with the daily routine.
We all have a certain amount of mess in our minds, bodies, spirits, and closets ;). Learn to see it, own it, embrace it and start to clean it up. What are some stories of your physical or metaphorical closets? How did you embrace it and change it? :) xoxo!