What does it mean to Be Well?
Wellness or Health is more than the absence of disease. It is the most dynamic state of your being, expressed by being firmly established in your Self physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In Sanskrit we call this Swastha. Dynamic means that to be, and stay, healthy we must seamlessly create a new equilibrium with our environment whenever it changes. Being healthy, established in ones Self, allows you to easily adapt to all the changes you face day-to-day and moment-to-moment. It allows you to “roll with the punches”.
“Health is an integration of my mind, emotions, soul, spirit, physical body,
and purpose in life.”
Last month we agreed that everything is comprised of the Five Elements in nature: Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether or Space. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of mind-body medicine that dates back to the period of the Vedas. In Sanskrit, Ayus translates to “life” and Veda to “knowledge”. The system is based on the idea that these five elements give rise to the three Doshas or body/mind types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha in turn is a pairing of two elements: Vata is Air & Space, Pitta is Fire & Water, and Kapha is Water & Earth.
Ayurveda is the world's oldest recorded healing system.
Each person is born with a unique combination of all three doshas, but generally one dosha is predominant, sometimes two are predominant, and very rarely are all three equal. Each dosha has specific activities & structures in the body & mind and makes us who we are. It is your genetic hand that you were dealt at the time of conception and cannot be changed, just like you cannot change your eye color. Any deviation from the natural constitution at birth can lead to illness or disease.
Ayurveda views illness or disease as a symptom of a doshic imbalance and seeks to treat not only the current condition, but to bring the doshas back to their natural balance. Its goal is to achieve health (Swastha) by working toward balance and harmony, not fighting disease. Prevention is emphasized over cure. And to be “healthy”, harmony must exist between your purpose for being, your thoughts, your feelings, and your physical actions. And if one of these is out of balance, they all are. Ayurveda asks you to make a shift in your definition of health. We typically think that if we have no symptoms and disease is absent then we are healthy. Ayurveda instead defines health as a state of Swastha, meaning established in the Self.
So, what does it mean, to you, to Be Well? Are you truly well? Are you in a state of Swastha? Do you feel harmony between your mental, emotional, energetic, and physical bodies? And if not, what can you do to find that balance? To roll with the changes of life and adapt to maintain equilibrium.
To be your Healthy Self, one must Heal Thy Self.
Join me this month at Pacific Yew Yoga on Sunday, February 24th from 12-5pm
to explore the Science of Life: Ayurveda.
Heal Thy Self