The things you do in any part of your life affect all parts of your life. This includes the choices you make about what to eat, what you do for entertainment, the company you keep -- each of these causes has an effect. So if you are trying to change the way you feel, you must look holistically at what you are doing to bring about the results you are getting.
The understanding that everything matters doesn’t have to overwhelm you; it can actually energize you because it gives you the tools to reach true health. The key is to take one step at a time to better health. The best place to start if you want to improve your overall health is by calming vata dosha.
Treat vata dosha first
If you get an Ayurvedic health consultation, the first step a practitioner will often take with you is calming vata dosha, regardless of your constitution. That is because when vata is imbalanced, it can quickly push pitta and kapha dosha out of balance. Sometimes calming vata is enough to make symptoms, regardless of their dosha origin, fall away.
Vata’s qualities are cold, light, mobile and dry. When vata is high, you’ll see many of these manifest as symptoms: a feeling of always being cold, dry skin, a worrisome or scattered mind. When your body and mind begin to reflect vata’s qualities, look to vata-calming diet and lifestyle changes.
A vata-calming lifestyle
We don’t talk much about lifestyle in modern society as a path to health, but it matters greatly. How you live and how you use your senses has a remarkable impact on how you feel. Sometimes very small changes, such as wearing a scarf over your head and neck on a windy day, will make a profound difference in calming vata and improving how you feel. But if a significant part of your lifestyle is contributing to high vata, such as a job that requires a lot of movement or travel, the healing that needs to happen is more long-term, and it will take internal work to reconnect to your priorities in life. Give yourself time and have patience as you work through the obstacles in your way of health. Take small steps and don’t try to tackle everything at once. Identify what is most important and start there.
Calming vata is a daily practice in awareness. At some points in your life, you may need to do more to bring grounding to vata. At other times, you will find that it is easier to stay in balance. Tune in -- to yourself and the changes in your environment -- and let this list be a guide for self-care for the rest of your life.
Ayurveda is called “the science of life” because its teachings show you how to live at your optimum state in all levels of being. Ayurveda doesn’t just work with your physical body -- your mind and connection to the God of your heart also undergo healing in an Ayurvedic treatment plan. Many of the recommendations above work in the subtle realms, so they may seem insignificant if you are used to Western medicine, but healing happens on all levels, even if you aren’t regularly aware of it. Be open and allow your being to heal on all levels.
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