Tag Archives: nature
Mother Nature. Earlier this week my daughter was fussing. She was fussing fussing fussing, which is not really like her. I looked at my husband and my Ayurvedic brain kicked in…fussing or pain = vata. I said, “Let’s give her a little bath!” Sure enough, 5 seconds after we put her in the warm water, she stopped fussing. She even started cooing as she enjoyed her little time in the tub. Then! I gave her a little massage with a very light bit of almond oil. Still cooing – yeah! The cherry on top was when I put her in the moby wrap and took her for a walk outside. Fussiness cured! Saweeeet! New mom high five!
Let me tell you why this worked. Mother Nature nurtures us!! Remember, we are made of the same 5 things nature is: space, air, fire, water, earth. I chose the warm bath and warm oil massage so that I could balance her vata immediately. Using my Ayurvedic tools, I know that one of the fastest ways to calm vata is through the skin, so warm water and soothing touch was just what she needed. Note: Probably, the massage should have come first but I don’t think she would have tolerated a massage at that point. Water was instant and it totally worked.
Also. Nature nurtures (yes I said it again)!! I cannot stress enough, how important it is to get outside EVERY single day. Even in the winter, bundle up (vatas, put those hand warmers in your mittens and boots) and take a walk. Step on the snow and listen to it crunch or slush. Better yet (and my favorite), step on paper thin ice with the toe of your shoe so that it sounds like breaking glass. LOVE that!
In the summer, open the windows, sniff the air even if it’s hot. Take a walk in the early morning or enjoy a calm walk in the moonlight. You can enjoy the outdoors in any season, so don’t get caught up in the world of computers and tvs! Those are not nature and are opposite of what we need. Getting outside in nature brings our body back “home” because it’s familiar and it’s comfortable because it’s part of us. When we put ourselves into nature, stresses, worries, concerns, and any negative emotions melt. We start to take in prana and suddenly feel a bit more balanced. Our whole bodies relax with a sense of ease. Heck, we might even think of great ideas as our minds open up! Creativity, invigoration, calm, balance, serenity, peace, motivation…all these positive emotions begin to invade our body-minds as we float in harmony with the prana and nature we are taking in.
There is a reason it’s called Mother Nature. It takes care of us, just like a mom should. So, please please please next time you have any neggypoo emotions or fussiness, take it outside. :) It’s free, it’s abundant and it’s all for you to use as much as you want. We would be silly not to take advantage of something so embracing, loving and healing. Mother Nature indeed. Namasté.
In our very smart world, we are discovering how we can defy nature to make it more convenient for us. You know, like those contact lenses that you can wear all day, all night while sleeping, and not change them for a month. Then just pop in a new pair and we’re off and running for another month. That way we don’t have to be bothered for 45 seconds each night to take them out! Nifty.
Or how about that crafty pill that allows women to get their periods only four times a year? Jeez, afterall it’s just not a “pleasant” thing to have monthly so if we can have it less than that, isn’t that a great thing?
Ayurveda (and I) would say, “Heck no! You are insulting nature!” Our bodies are given all its parts and functions for a reason. When we put synthetic materials into our bodies for a matter of convenience, we are suppressing (sometimes even reversing!) the natural urges and processes of the body. This is so damaging to our health because we not only go against nature, but we also introduce a foreign, synthetic substance to the system. This can shock the system, cause infections and even worse cause the body to rely soley on the substance until the body part stops functioning. Scary!!
For me, I have had hypothyroidism since I was a teen. I am on levothyroxin and I take a pill daily. I have not checked yet to see if I can still correct the problem naturally (yoga poses, herbs, etc.,) or if my body is completely reliant on the pill. Eventually my thyroid will say, “I have no job anymore, so I’ll just stop working.”
Now, I’m not saying don’t wear contacts or enjoy modern conveniences. I am trying to open our eyes to the understanding that just because something is new and more convenient does not necessarily mean it’s still healthy. We know this. Look at fast food. Lovely. On the flip side, how many times have we skipped a meal even though we were starving because we didn’t have time to stop and eat?
Let us start to be mindful of what might be “taking it too far” with modern conveniences. Our bodies deserver our time, our love and our honor. Substituting nature for a “quick fix” is a sure fire way to insult and cause more imbalances in the body. So as much as we can, let’s go with nature. Pluck out the contacts and maybe wear the glasses a day or two. And if you are blessed to have a period every month, then by golly let it be so – and be thankful.
Let’s take the time to nurture our body inside and out so we can remain little beings harmoniously in flux with nature.
Alrighty. Let’s talk about the Ayurvedic daily routine! We know doshas rule our bodies, but they also rule nature and the universe in the way of time and space. Remember, macrocosm vs. microcosm. We are tiny bits of this big nature that surrounds us, so when we go in accordance with nature, we will function at our best. This daily routine will help guide you as to which energies (doshas) govern which times of day. Doshas rule certain times of day, seasons, and stages of life, so once we know what energies are strongest at specific times, we can go with the flow of those energies to achieve overall balance.
See the chart above. Study it for a sec. Ok, now I’ll go into detail about the Ayurvedic daily routine.
Let’s start at 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. Vata Time: The body prepares itself to wake and start moving. Dreams start happening, there is movement in the bowels preparing for elimination, and the mind is closest to the higher self. It is best to wake 1 hour to 1/2 hour before sunrise so that you rise with the vata energy of movement. You will be surprised how energized you feel the rest of the day. Once sunrise hits, kapha period starts and you could have a groggy start to your day. So wake up, go to the bathroom (vata is responsible for elimination), drink water, and do your yoga and/or meditation. You could also exercise at this time of day because you will get moving easily.
6 a.m. – 10 a.m. Kapha Time: The energy of kapha is slow and steady. Eat a light breakfast around 7 or 7:30, just enough to tide you over til lunch. Your agni is weak from the night’s rest so you have to rekindle it. Kapha time is a great time to get the mundane tasks out of the way, cause kapha follows. Think about it, when you get to work, you’re not really creative or ready for any heavy strategy are you? Wouldn’t it be nice to just follow a simple task list, right when you get in, to get a bunch of thing done? That’s kapha.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Pitta Time: Get ready to strategize, make new goals, organize, and analyze! This is pitta time and thoughts, perceptions, discriminations, and intellect are at their peak. Have strategic meetings now, when people are their sharpest and ready for a challenge. Noon is also when agni is strongest (because agni and pitta relate to the sun and sun is strongest around noon) so eat lunch at noon and make it your biggest meal.
2 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Vata Time: At about 2 or 3, you are getting a little antsy…you might need a snack or you might feel a little bit chatty. Right? That’s vata wanting to move. You’re probably not really hungry, but you’re getting bored and your mind wants to wander. If you have afternoon meetings you might have a wandering mind and end up with doodles on your notes. This is a great time to create and innovate!! Creative work should be done at this time of day. And at the end of the work day, make a task list for the next morning. This will help your vata stay organized and your kapha will love to have a list when it gets in in the morning.
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Kapha Time: Relax! Have a light dinner. It’s kapha time so agni is not as strong. It’s time for family, relaxation, nurturing, and winding down. Get to bed by 10 so that you start sleeping in the slowness of kapha.
10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Pitta Time: If you’ve stayed up past 10 (yea, most of us do), do you feel like you get a “second wind” and your brain starts going and you start working out the days problems in your head? That’s pitta kicking back in. Pitta will digest all thoughts, perceptions, foods, and everything given to your mind and body from the entire day. Pitta is working hard to move all that stuff through the entire digestion process. If you stay awake past 10, you might have a hard time falling asleep because your body and mind is a processing machine!
2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. And back to Vata: Where it eliminates all the stuff that pitta digested…and gets ready to start a new day fresh with new choices, new challenges and a nice task list waiting on their desk.
Simply put, the Universe is made of 5 great elements (ether, air, fire, water earth) and so are we! From outer space all the way down to the reproduction of our tiny cells, it’s all made of the same ingredients.
On our first day of class, Dr. Apte showed us a cauliflower and said it was the Universe. Huh. Then she picked a piece off…still looked like cauliflower. Then another smaller piece, still looked like the big one, then smaller…then she said, “This is us.” There was no difference between that tiny piece of ‘flower or the big one.
That’s how we roll in Ayurveda. Macrocosm and Microcosm are the same. So, it makes sense that when we go in accordance with nature, it is best for our mental, physical and spiritual health. The doshas are in flux during certain stages of life, certain seasons, and certain times of day. Once we learn how nature works, we will know how we work. And from there, we can always be in charge of our own health. Empowering, hey?