By Myra Lewin
Health is found in a place between extremes. It is a place of not too much, not too little. It looks like eating enough simple food, getting enough movement in your body, devoting enough time to spiritual development and spending enough time with positive community. What is “enough” depends entirely on your unique needs – there is no other guide than the one within to identify your limits.
Finding your place of balance is easier when you cultivate a regular meditation practice. Think of it as a training ground for your mind, a way to experience your stillness to allow your inner voice to speak. Follow your breath consciously and do nothing but be. With a regular practice, it soon becomes easier to make choices that lead to greater balance in all areas of your life.
When I first began to meditate, my hips were so tight that I had to sit on a stack of cushions several feet high. Now I sit comfortably on just a mat. If you are uncomfortable in meditation, remember that it is possible to restore the suppleness in the ligaments of your body and have ease in seated meditation. Try incorporating butterfly pose for 1 to 5 minutes into your daily practice. Over time, the pose will restore the ease of movement in the ligaments in your pelvis and make sitting in meditation more comfortable – even enjoyable.
Practicing moderation is especially important to calm pitta dosha. When imbalanced, the fire element will push to extremes with aggressive exercise, spicy foods, harsh detoxes, and by over consuming certain foods. Learn to cultivate balance by making small changes, such as staying out of the midday sun during the hottest months of the year and exercising moderation with pitta-increasing foods, like yogurt. Take a look at this recipe for yogurt lassi as a place to start. Once you experience how moderation feels with small changes, you’ll be ready to identify other places in your life where you can exercise the same kind of discernment.
Most people spend their entire lives on one side or the other of extremes, and they pay for it through disruptive symptoms and disease. But you don’t have to be most people. The wisdom of Ayurveda tells us that longevity and good health come from doing what is right for you at the time. The more you practice moderation with your unique constitution, the clearer the benefit becomes. And the clearer the benefit is, the more you will practice.