Lately, in my day-to-day life, I have been feeling like I barely have time to breathe. Between teaching yoga classes, seeing private clients, working in my business, leading teacher trainings, taking trainings, maintaining relationships, and finding time for self-care, I am barely keeping up.
Because I have a pitta-dominant prakriti (constitution), and I’m in my pitta stage of life, and because we are now entering the pitta season (Summer), I have to be cautious not to induce an extreme pitta imbalance event. A pitta imbalance can lead to inflamed rashes, inflammation in the joints, migraines, loose stools and frequent movements, burn-out, and frustration, irritability and impatience (i.e., angry driver). It’s happened before and believe me it’s not pleasant.
Actually an extreme pitta imbalance event (as I called it) is what brought me to Ayurveda. Over the years I have learned the warning signs of when I’m headed for trouble and have learned how to prevent severe occurrences. Knowing my prakriti and learning a number of pitta-balancing principles I created a set of Ayurveda-based core practices to help me achieve and maintain a balanced state of well-being.
They are Digest, Rest, Connect, Meditate and Move.
Creating Core Practices
Maintaining a balanced and healthy state of Agni (digestive fire) is my first core practice. When I’m busy I don’t always make the best food choices and skipping meals for this pitta girl is not an option. That means I have to stock up and plan ahead. One of the biggest factors for me in maintaining my healthy digestion is to sit down and eat my meals. Also adhering to the basic pitta diet recommendations and eating dark leafy greens every day is essential. If I don’t get my greens in my energy goes down and cravings for sugar go up. I know my a healthy mind begins with a healthy gut.
I love naps. On my busiest work day I teach my first class at 6:30 am and my last at 6:30 pm. In between I have other responsibilities and work to do. If I’m not well rested I get cranky, run-down and overwhelmed. In addition to getting 7 – 8 hours of solid sleep each night on my longer days I take naps. In the summertime I take an afternoon snooze in my newly acquired hammock. Twenty minutes is usually enough to recharge.
If I don’t stay centered and grounded it is easy for me to feel disconnected and that’s way connection is one of my core practices. Making a conscious effort to stay connected to my husband, friends and myself is the key to keeping stress at bay. This means scheduling and spending quality time with my husband and friends. I make sure I set boundaries around the time I spend on the computer and on social media in the evenings that way I am fully present when hanging out with friends and family. Spending time in nature daily is also essential for keeping me grounded, centered and connected. Since I was a kid nature has been my sacred place and spending time outdoors plays an important role in maintaining my optimal wellness.
Even though I have had a daily meditation practice for more than 4 years I still struggle with finding stillness among the near constant chatter of my mind. Through my committed practice I have learned to connect with a deeper sense of self. I make better more soulful and purposeful choices and I am able to move from a deeper place gratitude and ease. Over time, a daily meditation practice can truly re-set your system and re-train your brain, helping to improve your response to daily life stressors and to more challenging circumstances.
Exercise has always been a key factor in my health and happiness. Now maybe more so since I rely on my body for my career. When I am busy and overwhelmed the first thing I do is cut back on my exercise when it’s probably what I need most. I am not talking about marathon training just committing to some movement daily. I walk, do yoga, hike, bike, circuit train and swim. I know that when I don’t get my movement in I feel more tired, toxic, uncomfortable in my body, and am more prone to injury. The key is to be consistent and make sure your are doing something you enjoy!
Create a set of core principles of your own. Post them somewhere you can see them and commit to incorporating them into your life. You will be amazed by your results!
Wishing you Vibrant Living,