Autumn is very much upon us and it is time to ground and balance ‘vata’, the biological humour that dominates movement within our body. If left unsettled too much vata can leave us feeling scatty, anxious and easily upset by trivial events. The windy days of autumn that are gathering strength can induce a sense of feeling exposed, less stable, emotionally and physically. The element of Air is predominant around and within us. The vata winds of change fill us with tremendous possibility and potential but it can also disturb our digestion, nervous system, how relaxed we are and how our body manages its fluid content. Symptoms of arthritis and sciatica can be aggravated and lung and intestinal disorders can manifest. Keeping vata balanced prior to the onset of winter can be beneficial in helping to prevent malaise in your body.
Generally your body is quite efficient and does a good job at maintaining health and eliminating what we don’t need through our digestion but occasionally when it is disrupted and working under par it accumulates harmful toxins, known in Ayurveda as ‘ama’. An autumn detox targeted at pacifying the vata dosha can help prevent ill health and calm down stressy ‘vata’ opening us up to new adventures and contentment.
In the midst of this very British summer there does not seem to be any let up yet on the pollen count. In fact, it seems that more and more people are discovering that they have hay fever for the first time. In Ayurveda, an hay fever allergy, which has similar symptoms as a cold, suggests a Pitta-Kapha dosha imbalance with an accumulative build up of ama (toxins). Pitta is likely to be behind your itchy, red, sore eyes and scratchy throat. Kapha is influencing the amount of mucus congestion you are experiencing.
If you are looking at alternative ways to manage and relieve your symptoms then perhaps you might like to try some of the Ayurvedic home remedies mentioned below. Obviously these tips do not replace any advice or treatment your doctor may give you if you have gone down that path.
Bija mantra sound therapy
In Vedic healing traditions, the Bija mantras are mono-syllable seed sounds that, when said aloud, activate the energy of the chakras and consequently purify and balance the mind and body allowing for a more harmonious way to be. Every part of our body functions at a specific rhythm and pulse and when you speak the bija mantras, this resonates with the energy of the associated chakra, helping you rejuvenate and tune in to your own instinctive awareness of your body and its healing needs.
BIJA MANTRAS - CHAKRA MEDITATION
Above the physical confines of the body
Sound: Silent OM
Invisible halo, thousand petalled lotus flower, white
Seat of seeing, intuition, perception
Emotions, compassion, love
Seat of the ego, sense of self, will, power, assertiveness
Sexual energy centre, desire
Sit comfortably for a seated meditation. Close the eyes. Rest the backs of the hands on the lap or legs. Allow yourself to be comfortable and let your mind become calm using whichever technique works best for you.
Repeat the bija mantra seed sounds repeatedly for a few minutes whilst focusing on each chakra starting from Muladhara and working up through the chakras to Sasahara. End by sounding out all the names of the bija seed sounds from lam to silent OM, three times.
Sit in silent meditation to complete the practice.
Alternatively repeat each seed sound three times and then run through all the bija mantras three times in succession.
"When consciousness is released from the thousands of mental, vital, physical vibrations in which is lies buried, there is joy" Sri Aurobindo
Optimistic I know to start thinking about hot balmy summer days, but if the recent weather has anything to by then surely there is a strong chance we will be blessed with more sunshine to come?
Ayurveda believes that our essential health and well-being is influenced by the biological nature that we are born with. Our birth nature "Vata, Pitta or Kapha" relates to the five elements, air, space, fire, water and earth and depending on the proportions we are assigned with these are affected differently by the seasons, diet, lifestyle, life experiences, age and much more. In Ayurvedic terms summer is the season when the Pitta dosha dominates. The primary element for the pitta dosha is fire (this is tempered too with a little bit of water to keep it under control). So it stands to reason that when the temperature rises so does the pitta heat. For anyone whose biological predisposition is towards pitta then summer can be an aggravating factor to the dosha. When balanced the pitta dosha allows for creativity, inspiration, happy playfulness, entrepreneurial ventures, focus, perception and dynamic charisma. We are able to absorb and digest fully through our eyes, the pitta sense organ and see life and the world with renewed and joyous wonder. If unsettled then we find we can be irritable, contentious, jealous, angry, lack compassion, reckless, stuck and aggressive. Frustrations rise! Any imbalance may manifest in ailments such as skin rashes, excessive sweating and digestive issues such as acidity and burning sensations in the throat and stomach. We definitely start to feel the need to cool down. There are fortunately Ayurvedic lifestyle choices that we can make to keep pitta content that don't just involve ice cream .....
IN A NUTSHELL
YOGA AND AYURVEDA RETREAT DAY, 24 APRIL 2016
Pregnancy is a unique and wonderful experience that deserves special attention. Pre-natal yoga can be the perfect antidote to modern day stresses and ailments affecting mums to be. Nourishing and relaxing for the body and mind, it can empower you to relieve and enjoy the sensations and feelings pregnancy and labour can bring. It nurtures you safely and lovingly in poses, breath techniques, mantras and visualisations that will help you to create a beautiful experience true to you. It guides us to surrender in to being comfortable with whatever arises and to be at peace with ourselves. A happy mummy equals a happy baby.
FLOWING GRACEFULLY INTO AUTUMN WITH AYURVEDA
As we move into autumn, the nights begin to draw in around us and we begin to notice the ebb of the summer heat. The weather becomes reliably more unpredictable and changeable. Dry winds alternate with wet blustery days which intersperse with the odd glorious day of sunshine. The ancient holistic system of health, Ayurveda, believes that the evolving external environment brings about changes in our personal internal space too. Autumn sees the move from “pitta” the fiery, hot dosha towards “vata” dosha. Doshas in Ayurveda are considered to govern our nature and they are affected by seasonal changes, amongst many other things.