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Living in Rhythm

How to optimize and manage health by living in tune with Nature and it's rhythms....The magic of living wisely.


I can't believe we are in August already, time is flying and it's time to start preparing for Natures' transition into a new season...Fall Equinox! In Ayurveda, the change of seasons are an important time in one's spiritual, wellness and health journey! It is the time for reflection of the previous season, intention setting for the upcoming season, and the time to CLEANSE and prepare for what's to come! Whether this cleansing be

Fall, leaves, wellness

your house or your body (even though they both do and should reflect and represent one another "A clean house is a clean mind and body" -Shi), it is common to have some sort of tradition or ritual that takes place during this transition. Ayurveda has a specific ritual set in place for this upcoming change in season from Summer to Fall as this is one of the ways we remain in sync with Nature.


Let's talk about it!


 

You should find this read useful if...


  • You struggle with achieving balance and flow in your life

  • Are looking for ways to improve all areas of your health (spiritual, mental, emotional and physical)

  • Looking to embark on a journey of holistic living

  • Looking to begin a new, fresh season in your life

  • Want to learn how to find stillness while in motion with the changes in seasons (weather wise and life wise)

  • Looking at the picture below causes any type of sensation somewhere in the body or mind
















"Swasthavritta"

To achieve, maintain and preserve health and prevent disease. This is the goal of Swasthavritta. The body is a medium or tool for action and enjoyment in all areas of life and we have to maintain its' optimum state to achieve this.



This is based on the food we eat (Āhara), our sleep (Nidra) and Celibacy (Brahmacharya)- The 3 pillars of life which our strength, stamina and harmony are dependent. Our actions must be right, regular and truthful.


*Brahmacharya (Celibacy)- this is not referring to the traditional Western definition of Celibacy or as defined by certain religions, in Yoga it is more so meaning when a person can control his body and mind through ascetic means- for a single person it means sexual energy management which may mean celibacy depending on the persons personality type and for married it means marital fidelity.



Basic principles of daily and seasonal routines


Everything we do has a characteristic and quality to it from the way we eat, sleep, work and enjoy ourselves, these qualities can be broken down into the elements- Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Ether


  • Earth- has heavy, static, hard, dense

  • Air- Rough, dry, light, mobile, cold

  • Ether- Subtle, soft, clear, smooth, expanding

  • Fire- Hot, sharp

  • Water- Flowing, wet, dull, soft, cloudy

Achieving balance is done through daily, nightly and seasonal routine, but is not an overnight process. It takes work, which is why BlooLotus offers 1:1 programs and guided services to assist and guide one in implementing these lifestyle changes in a practical and manageable way.


Change can feel overwhelming and scary for most. My goal in offering 1:1 coaching styled programs and guided cleanses is to relieve one of that worry, fear and overwhelm offering guidance, structure, ease, accountability and support throughout your journey.


Each routine category (daily, nightly and seasonal) has a science and philosophy behind it but for today we will only be talking about seasonal. The best way to start is to ask yourself questions about how you lead your life…


  1. Do I have a consistent bedtime?

  2. Do I rise the same time daily?

  3. Do I eat my meals around the same time? Do I skip meals? Resist hunger? Or eat past full?

  4. What activities do I participate in most often?

  5. Do I take time to observe my emotional and physical state before I eat?


No seriously, take some time and jot some notes down on nearby paper or on your phone and answer some of these questions!



Ritucharya- Seasonal routines


W are born through Nature, maintained through Nature and in order to reach our highest human potential we must continue to remain in sync with Nature which means adjusting our lifestyle accordingly per season!


“Change is the only constant factor in one’s life”

Contemplate:

1. Are you living in flow, adapting to the changes and flowing with them or do you live in resistance with the idea that things must remain the same?


2. Are you constantly seeking a specific desired OUTCOME or are you open what flows and comes into fruition from your actions? This means, do you…can you carry out your actions without attachment to a specific predetermined outcome? Can you flow, taking action on your inspirations without NEEDING to know the outcome or have the perfect plan?


The inability to flow or find balance creates a feeling of constantly fighting or battling something, your only fight is your resistance to change…welcoming the new seasons as they arise by accepting what they bring and adapting or adjusting accordingly!



The whole year is divided into two parts by the two solstices. The time between winter and summer solstice (Adana) and the time between summer and winter solstice (Visarga)

  • Adana- The accumulation period- heating in Nature, sun predominate because heat is increasing during this time (Pitta) with hot and dry qualities. This is the period of breaking down, catabolism and creates more energy which is why we become more active, the immune system becomes weak during this time because the dhatus (tissues) are being depleted (broken down).


  • Visarga- The releasing period- is cooling, moon predominate (kapha) and this is the building phase which is why most tend to gain weight, even the squirrels and our pets look more plump around this time, the strength of all living beings increase during this time because the tissues are building up, immunity increases and disease incidence is lower during this time.


Ayurvedic Seasonal routines are traditionally performed during Spring and Fall as a way to prepare the mind and body for a seasonal transition in which we change how we eat and live according to that season. We typically do not do this, and that is one of

the most common causes for disease and illness which stems from a weakened immune system and mental-emotional imbalances (as a result of living against Nature).



So when should we start making seasonal changes, and how?


"Ritusandhi"

The period at which one season transitions into the next season, kind of like the point at which two runners in a relay pass the baton.


Ritusandhi represents the period between two seasons, starting exactly 8 days before the end of the previous season and ending 8 days after the beginning of the following season, so lasting about 15 days.


Wondering where's the connection between the changing seasons and our health?


  • Our bodies have become accustom to the food and weather we experienced during the previous season, and as we enter the new season we should begin to change the foods we eat. Continuing to take in the same foods from previous season is another factor known to weaken the immune system and contribute to poor general health. It is not that the foods themselves are weakening your immune system, it’s that the qualities they produce in the body when taken in at the wrong time causes certain events to take place which are known to negatively affect and weaken the immune system.


  • Adapting our lifestyle and diet helps prevent the doshas (the energies that govern the functions of the mind and body) from accumulating, aggravating and causing disease.

For example: As the seasons begin to change, the doshas of the approaching season start to accumulate..eating hot foods in the Spring causes accumulation of fire (Pitta), eating cold foods in the late summer begin to accumulate air and ether (Vata) and eating heavy foods in the winter begins to accumulate Earth (Kapha)



  • Changes to the diet and lifestyle should be done moderately, with foods appropriate for the coming seasons added slowly to the diet. Within 2 weeks we should be eating a diet that is in accordance with the new season


  • So, one of the best ways to honor and practice Ritusandhi is by performing a seasonal Ayurvedic tradition cleanse during this time, a popular routine performed by those who live according to Ayurvedic principles. We are approaching the Fall Equinox and this would be a good time to start planning for the upcoming transition.


Why do a cleanse?


  • As the temp begins to cool, the body starts preparing to release the excess fire and water elements built up over the summer (think hot, humid), and the dry fall winds of Fall can kindle and stir up the fire element causing compromised immunity, inflammation, acidic digestion, skin problems, allergies and a short temper.


  • A Fall cleanse is a way of assisting your body in the natural release of the hot, sharp and oily qualities to prepare you for the dry, rough and cool qualities of Autumn.



A Fall cleanse can:

  • Bolster the immune system during cold and flu season

  • Improve digestion and metabolism through purification

  • Rejuvenate the nervous system

  • Remove accumulated toxins that create sluggishness and heaviness in the mind and body

  • Address and correct common imbalances such as poor digestion, poor appetite, poor elimination, allergies, skin/hair imbalances, poor sleep, weight gain

  • Improve clarity and focus

  • Renews energy and improved sleep



Signs that you may need to cleanse:


o Popping, cracking joints

o Bloating

o Constipation, Gas

o Dry skin

o White coat on your tongue

o Lack of energy, feeling of heaviness

o Dull mind

o Lethargy

o Bad taste in the mouth or excessive saliva in the mouth

o Fatigue

o Feeling blocked or “off”

o Pain in the lower back and sides



Causes of the above signs/symptoms


o Overeating, eating when full, emotional eating (snacking, boredom)

o Eating before previous meal is digested

o Eating ignoring indigestion

o Eating heavy, dense, gas producing foods

o Eating uncooked or half cooked foods

o Eating excessively sweet, sour and salty foods

o Sleeping immediately after meals or eating before bed

o Drinking a lot of water during meals

o Resisting natural urges



The above actions and habits weaken the digestive system...and when that happens undigested food accumulates, turning into toxins which then aggravate the tissues of the body.

When this aggravation and accumulation goes unaddressed for long periods of time it begins to affect the subtle channels of the body and mind, causing blockages and obstruction in various channels in the body and spreading to the channels of the mind. This obstruction blocks the flow of Prana (Life Force), and affects the functioning of certain body systems which is what produces malfunctioning and invi