Tuesday, November 23, 2010

mind on overdrive: vata imbalance

It happened again... I could not turn my thoughts off last night, despite often-used strategies of listmaking, breathing exercises, putting my legs up the wall, etc. Finally at 2 or so in the morning I felt a grumbling in my stomach, and went to the kitchen for a mug of almond milk. Went back into my bedroom, and I did the worst thing of all: I turned on my computer.

Well, I figured that if I was going to be up, I might as well do something. So I did two things: looked at recipes, and read about Ayurveda. The first thing led me to this wild rice recipe, and to this other recipe for wild rice rissoles (trust the French to make everything sound elegant) and to another recipe for raisin and spice squares. Mmmm.... fall cooking.

But back to Ayurveda. I've been reading quite a bit (the little I can do in my minimal spare time) to inform myself about my current state of imbalance. My search led me to take this dosha quiz. Your dosha is your mind-body state. You may have a clear dominant dosha, or a combination. Your dosha can also change depending on your current life circumstances. There are three types: vata, pitta, and kapha. Take this quiz here to find out. It may or may not be as good as actually going to a trained Ayurveda specialist, but it was, after all, 2 in the morning.

And these were my results:

It's starting to make sense to me.

The only thing I completely disagree with is the part about appetite: "often miss meals." Not this vata. ;-)

Most of it sounds pretty accurate, I'd say... especially the qualities of a balanced vs imbalanced vata. On good days my creativity flows freely... on imbalanced days, overplanning, overthinking, insomnia and anxiety definitely kick in.

So now what? Ayurveda, being a holistic, integrative system, also recommends daily life choices that keep your dosha in balance: food choices, exercise choices, and other daily routines. For my dosha, warming foods were recommended (cooked grains or oatmeal with warming spices like cinnamon; chai with cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon; warm soups and stews.... all of which I love). Grounding exercise choices, such as yoga and moderate walking, were also recommended. Balancing poses, especially, provide a feeling of integration from the top of head, all the way through the body, and down to the feet. No wonder I love dancer pose and balancing sequences. More below from the website:

Needless to say, all of the above would be beneficial for anybody, I think.

This is certainly just the tip of the iceberg... there's so much more to learn. It definitely makes for interesting reading at 2 in the morning.

Thoughts on Ayurveda?

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Sharon Tessandori said...

I love that you were up late doing an ayurveda quiz! Well not so happy that you were up late, but....

Ayurveda is wonderfully fascinating and inspiring to me! So simple, yet so complex. I'm just a beginning student of it but I'm quite smitten. ;)

PS - I'm pretty equal pitta kapha.

Mia said...

I am really wanting to read more on Ayurveda! Any suggestions for beginning reading? Something with substance, yet easy to read? (after reading for school, I welcome anything that's easy to read)

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