Timeless Ayurveda: Healing Body, Mind and Spirit
May 28, 2020 12:59PM
By Kathy Katts
Ayurveda translates to ayur meaning life or longevity and veda meaning truth, science or knowledge. Ayurveda is the trinity that is made up of the connection between mind, body and spirit. It is the science of all consciousness within us and all living things. Dating back 5,000 years, this knowledge was the foundation of all life and healing. There was a time when all medicine and healing came from nature and our connection to the universal energies. Over thousands of years, this knowledge was lost as man became disconnected to truth and focused on pursuit of power. Now, this knowledge has been rediscovered. Now is the time for us to awaken and reconnect, not to a set of rules or guidelines, but to our own healer within.
Ayurveda tells us that the truth or knowledge of life is within us and among nature. Nature can be a powerful teacher, helping us understand these are not just concepts but are observable in the way life unfolds each day. The five elements of Ayurveda are space, air, fire, water and earth, natural forces observable by the human eye in the wind, sun, water and soil.
Within our bodies, space and air—referred to as vata dosha—are responsible
for movement, transportation and communication across all functions. Fire and water—referred to as pitta dosha—is connected to digestion, flow and transformation of both knowledge and food. Earth and water—known as kapha dosha—translate as the strength, stability and lubrication within us that provides immunity and a strong foundation.
Just as everything we see out in nature has a unique blueprint, so do we. Although we need each element within us to function, these elements and doshas have a different manifestation within every person. Ayurveda tells us that when we understand and honor those elements, growth becomes natural and quite effortless.
How do we begin understanding these elements in the simplest of ways? Use nature to guide the way. Vata dosha begins each day in the hours before 6am with the preparation of the rising sun. Those elements of space and air are light. We hear the birds communicate and when we rise with the sun, we feel light. This is the most wonderful time for meditation and prayer as we are easily connected to our higher selves during this cycle of the day.
Kapha dosha comes into nature during the hours after the sun rises until 10am. We can feel the day grounding, the earth beginning to settle into the day. When we rise with the sun in the vata hours, we are productive in the kapha hours. Eating light during this time will help keep energy and attention high, as the elements during this time are heavy, making it a perfect time to complete a to-do list you made the day before.
As 10am rolls in, the sun begins to rise high and ready for the peak of the day—and pitta dosha. Our minds and digestive fire are heightened and primed for the best work of the day between 10am and 2pm. This is the time for our most strategic work and our largest meal. The fire allows us to step into our work in tune with nature’s purpose. We can watch seedlings transform into flowers and buds into leaves, allowing us to transform information into knowledge and food into nutrients.
In the next three cycles the doshas repeat, returning to vata dosha from 2 to 6pm, making the day lighter again. This time of day is ideal for creativity or meditation. If you feel antsy during this time, walking in nature may help. If you feel tired from overworking in pitta time, take a break for meditation or a savasana rest. This short break, when we listen to what the body needs, is rejuvenating. As kapha dosha returns from 6 to 10pm, we take a lesson from the sun and begin to slow down our activity. Lighter eating is necessary as our digestive fire lowers with the sun. As the elements of kapha come in, we feel our bodies and minds slow and ground. Relaxation and time with family and friends support us.
The end of kapha time is the ideal cycle for us to put the body and mind to rest. Let go. When we go to sleep while grounded in kapha time, our body understands how to properly settle. As pitta returns at 10pm, it brings the fire. When we are awake and “doing” at this time, we go against nature. Our bodies and minds need us to sleep to transform everything absorbed throughout the day. If we choose to stay awake into pitta time, we will burn the midnight oil. This does not allow for the proper transformation the body, mind and soul need for healing and growth.
Staying in tune with nature can reveal to us the simplicity of life and the powerful force that exists to awaken us to the consciousness of healing. When we stay in alignment with these energies and elements of life, all will begin to flow in a beautiful harmony with the universe. May you discover this truth of life in all its glory.
Yoga and Ayurveda have been a part of Kathy Katts’ life for more than 20 years. Her passion is to support and guide her clients to harmony and balance in their lives through the modalities of Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, Reiki healing, life coaching and vedic astrology. For more information about Kathy, visit InnerSourceAyurveda.com.