Archive for September, 2012
September 5th, 2012by Michelle Muttart
The fall and winter months often prove to be more difficult to handle for some and for others they sail through what they’ll often refer to as their ‘favorite time of year’. I fall into the first category often beginning to struggle sometime during the transition into fall.
For many years I wrestled with seasonal depression. Of course, in my younger, more naïve years I’d visit my family physician and start taking an anti-depressant. That never ended well. Once yoga philosophy came into my life and I learned about Ayurveda I realized that what was actually happening was an imbalance in the elements that composed my body.
When the transition out of Summer (Pitta) and into Fall (Vata) began I would usually have more fire energy in my body but it didn’t take long to swoop right into having too much air, the result was feeling cold, restless, anxious, indecisive, my body hurt, my stomach would swing from constipation or dysentery, I would feel irritated and loose my temper, I’d overeat or not eat enough, and soon I would be sleeping too much causing fatigue and ultimately depression.
Through an analysis I learned that my body is made of a lot of air with ether (Vata), equal fire with water (Pitta), and a smaller amount of water with Earth (Kapha pronounced Ka-Pa). More importantly, there were actions I could take to help improve how I felt.
What I now change or implement at the beginning of fall:
- Eat warm foods like soup, stews, and casseroles
- Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables especially rooted ones to help keep me grounded
- Not eating frozen, processed foods, or cooling foods like melons, cucumbers, or grapes
- Not using ice in my drinks and drinking more hot teas and warm water with lemon
- Doing yoga everyday and meditating more often
- Travelling to warmer climates whenever I can
- Eliminating things that cause me to move at a hectic pace, doing less and nurturing myself more
- Coconut oil massage and moisturizing with it daily, even eating it
- Adding more omega 3 to my diet
- Adding spices to my foods that help warm me from the inside out (in moderation)
- Soaking in the sunlight whenever I can
- Wearing warm clothing to ensure that I’m comfortable, opting for layers
Many things stimulate the Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The saying is true; “Like attracts like,” and I am no different. We all are naturally attracted to what speaks to us most, good or bad. To further understand the Doshas, I’ll tell you a little more about how they work in my life.
My Vata expresses by:
- Exploring mystical ideas
- Creative pursuits
- Having many pursuits
- Being somewhat thin and of low weight
- Having small teeth and eyes
- Loving change and travel
- Dry skin
- Exploring spirituality
- Loving warm weather and sunlight
- Sensitivities to noise
- Getting restless at times
- Joints that pop often
- Under stress my body hurts
- Loving to counsel or teach
My Pitta expresses equally by:
- Often striving for perfection
- Sometimes having digestive issues
- Having lots of moles
- Having owned my own business
- A slight athletic build
- Having equal proportions
- Color coordinating my closet
- Working well under pressure
- Sensitivities to heat
- Loving be next to the lake or ocean
- A love of learning
- Getting irritated at times
My Kapha expresses too by:
- Having blue eyes and blonde hair
- Having softness physically (no six-pack here, Kapha is a voluptuous creature!)
- Get melancholy at times
- Allergies in the spring
- Wanting to help others
- Not liking to be rushed by others
- Feeling a connection to nature
- Sensitivities to smells
- Cold, damp weather bothers me
You might see similar characteristics in each list and that in natural. We are all made of all three Doshas; it’s the amount of each one that varies for the individual. Once you realize what you are made of, you can learn to lean more to what really balances you and not just what feels best, because sometimes what seems right isn’t always. Sometimes we have to look at the whole picture.
I realized that some of the things causing chaos for me were things that ‘society’ said were normal. I pushed through for many years, but in yoga we are taught not to push but to look for the path of least resistance. I found that I couldn’t participate in the normal and remain balanced. I had to make some major lifestyle adjustments in order to honor my family and myself more.
One of the things I chose to do was to take my children out of public school and bring them home. I realized several years ago that the change into the school year made the pace of which our family flowed turn into a type of stress vortex! Between the schedule, work, homework, and sports we were all tapped out by the end of the day and there was no time for any of us to nourish ourselves. Sometimes it would be weeks before we had a chance to balance.
Not finding time for balance results in dis-ease; so some major changes had to be made. The result has been rewarding. It wasn’t easy, however, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor now. Each change we make brings us closer to where we need to be, a place of perfect health and peace. A place where our spirit can remain connected with those closest to us, to others who need us, to ourselves, and most importantly, to our source.
Honor yourself this fall and make the changes big or small!
If you or a loved one are interested in having your own analysis, I will be scheduling appointments now through Oct. 1 for a discounted price of $55. Please see the services page for a detailed description.