In Ayurveda, illness and disease tendencies can be in opportunity to understand yourself more fully and get in-touch with what is and what is not benefiting you. Below are our self-accessing steps so you can restore balance to your health!
Step 1: The first step in staying healthy is noticing what your tendencies for illness or disease are. This can be physically, emotionally, or mentally. Are you prone to anger, acne, rashes, or infections? Are you prone to anxiety, constipation, or spaciness? Are you prone to lethargy, carrying weight, or colds and congestion? We suggest taking 5-10 minutes journaling about your health tendencies. Free write for a few minutes and don’t try to come up with any conclusions or judgments about them.
This could look like: Low energy after eating Not feeling motivated Frequent colds S.A.D. (Seasonal affective disorder) Sleeping too much or irregularly Sitting all day- Hunched over spine
No matter what your list looks like, remember these are most likely common experiences.
Step 2: The second step in staying healthy is growing your awareness of potential causes of disease. Whether you have low energy, digestive issues, gas and flatulence, or acne, they can all show you what your tendencies are and how you can prevent them. However, first we need to look at our habits and tendencies that we know go against our health. Ayurveda believes that we have a deep intelligence to know what is benefiting us or not. The term in Ayurveda is “Prajnaparadha”. It is translated as crime against wisdom in Sanskrit. Ayurveda believes this is root cause of all disease. We suggest taking 5-10 minutes to write down a list of lifestyle and food habits you don’t think are benefiting you.
This could look like: Eating irregularly- too little and then too much Going to bed at irregular hours or staying up really late Stress from job Eating while driving or on the go Not exercising or walking much
Again, do this without judgment or shame. We all have aspects on our life that aren’t “healthy” and we don’t need to strive for “perfect health”. The goal of this exercise is just to reflect on areas of your life. Things like “stress from job” can’t necessarily be changed easily, but we can create ways to help support your health when dealing with stress.
Step 3: The third step is coming up with a few strategies to modify the things you can change in your life. From the list above, pick one or two areas of your life that you could focus on supporting or modifying. Take a few minutes to write down some ideas.
This could look like: Eating irregularly- Meal prep and pack a lunch. Eating while driving or busy- Take time for one of your meals to just sit with your food, even if just for five minutes. Not exercising- Try incorporating walking for 10 -15 minutes.
Step 4: The fourth step is looking at factors that you can’t avoid or control (like weather) and how you could make action to modify them. Think about or write down a list of things you can’t control in your life and actions to modify the causes. If you know it’s winter and you get sick often, modify this by bundling up in more clothing, focusing on nutrition, or washing your hands more, etc. Another example could be you know your job is very stressful, so for a few minutes a day focus on your breath, meditate in the morning, or don’t check you emails first thing in the morning, etc.
Step 5: The fifth step is noticing when you become out of balance and how you can restore your health. The main method for doing this is by applying the opposite quality or qualities. If you’re cold, have some warm soup, have a warm drink, or take a bath. If you’re upset or spun-out, sit and meditate for a few minutes to calm your mind. If you sit all day, do some yoga to bring your spine back to neutral and maybe try a few back-bending yoga poses.
This principle seems so simple that people often overlook it. With any of your tendencies, doing the opposite quality can be a very powerful and effective way to stay healthy. If you apply it, you can restore balance to your health.