Life brings us big and small celebrations along the way. Some celebrations are landmark events where we may reach a goal, land that promotion, marry, rejoice in the arrival of a new child, or mark an anniversary. Other times we revel in the first bloom of our backyard rose bush, or a smile from a passer-by.
The ancient Indian healing science of Ayurveda can help us with daily rituals to celebrate the gift of each new day, and be in the present moment of self-empowerment.
Ayurveda (aye meaning “life” and veda meaning “knowledge”) teaches that health and well-being are the equivalent of balance, or what we call “homeostasis” in the West. Ayurveda seeks to have each person learn of their prakruti, or basic constitution. Our constitution is set at birth, and although we go through many changes during this lifetime, who we “are” remains who we are in this Karma. Ayurveda also helps us discover our dosha, or our body/mind/spirit personality. There are three Doshas, and we all have a bit of each in our Prakruti. However, we may find that one or two Doshas appear to be a bit stronger than others.
Here is a thumbnail sketch of each Dosha:
- Vata — light of body, constantly on the move, creative, nervous and ever-changing, Vata is ruled by the elements of Space and Air, thus, the skin is dry, the mind is quick to learn, but quick to forget, and focus and calm help to balance this Dosha.
- Pitta — medium of build, perhaps muscular, Pitta is ruled by Fire and Water, and ruled by metabolism, with a never-ending “pilot light.” Pitta is a natural-born leader, with a “never quit” attitude and a quick temper to self and others. Pitta runs hot in body, mind and spirit, so cooling and scheduled time off balance Pitta.
- Kapha — a larger build that can tend toward being overweight, with beautiful skin, and lustrous eyes and hair. Kapha is ruled by the elements of Earth and Water, Kapha adds calm and peace to any situation, and is the “steady eddy” of the Dosha world. Kapha can cling to people, places and things long after they have lost their benefit, so activity and stimulation can help to shake off some of Kapha’s sluggishness.
Several online Dosha “quizzes” are offered to help you get a more in-depth “read” on what Dosha(s) one leans toward, but having an idea of one’s Dosha can help us find daily rituals to enhance balance to celebrate the gift of our life and to be present in each moment of it.
There are hours of the day, seasons of the year, and nutritional/fitness guidelines that benefit each Dosha, but I would like to draw attention to the practice of abhyanga, or daily self-massage. Enjoy this easy-to-follow video on the basics of Abhyanga: Lifespa.com/ayurvedic-daily-home-oil-massage-abhyanga/
This daily ritual helps to stimulate lymph flow, soothe the skin, calm the mind and heighten the senses. It creates a regular time to meditate, and contemplate on how the day will proceed with intention and gratitude. After trying Abhyanga for even a few days in a row, you begin to look forward to it, and appreciate how this “you time” translates into “universe time,” as your Higher Self becomes One with our World and all that reside in it. Namasté.