I spent most of January nursing my wounded thumb and not accomplishing much on this wellness journey. I did manage to make it to the Ayurveda practitioner late in the month. I had tried meeting with a practitioner twice before with not so great results. Both times I left feeling confused and uninspired. That lead me to purchase a few books on Ayurveda. I was sure I could figure it out. Well that didn’t last long. I was left confused, overwhelmed and quickly lost interest. I decided to give it one more shot and asked my favorite yoga teacher if she knew of a practitioner she would recommend. She excitedly had a name to share. I held on to the name for a while before I finally set up the appointment. This delay and all of my earlier unsuccessful attempts at making changes now makes a whole lot more sense to me. That January visit was such a different experience. I left inspired, excited and ready to stumble! Yes, I said stumble. After spending a few hours with this amazing Ayurveda man I had a much gentler approach to me, not to mention a little more understanding. This would truly be a journey. Unlike all the MANY things I have tried before there were no rules just suggestions based on my Dosha. I needed to start small, give it time to work and then readjust to meet my needs.
So the first step was to find out my Dosha. My Ayurveda practitioner, Larry, sent me a series of questions to help determine my dosha, much more in-depth than the ones I had seen before. I brought my answers to our first meeting. We spent a great deal of time talking about my tendencies and the problems I was having. It was laundry list; shingles, pain and numbness in muscles and joints, unexplained rashes, fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and congestions. I know it is ridiculous but I feel ashamed when I share these issues with people. Sometimes friends and doctors look at me like I am crazy. It leaves me feeling like it has to be my fault. If I had better willpower I could stick to the programs I have tried and I wouldn’t have all these issue, or worse yet it is just all in my head. But this time it was different. Larry was great. He listened with no judgment. He asked questions, took my pulse, looked at my eyes, tongue and fingernails.
Larry explained that in Ayurveda there are 3 doshas; Pitta, Kapha and Vata. Each dosha has different tendencies that when they become aggravated can lead to inflammation and illness. The doshas can be effected by the seasons, the foods we eat, and the habits we keep. Every person is born with an individual combination of these doshas. So the goal is to find out what my dosha was and what it is currently, to see what is aggravated in my system. I know it sounds far-fetched, but I chose this path and I was determined to give it my best shot. I needed to have 100% buy in and give it time to work. Larry used the information from my questionnaire, our conversation, and my physical appearance to determine my dosha. He explained that I am a Pitta-Vata and that both doshas were aggravated. Larry felt that my first priority was to calm the Vata.
Larry gave me several handouts and some words of advice. First and foremost be kind to myself. He explained that there are many aspects to Ayurveda and it will be easy to get overwhelmed, and based on my doshas I have tendencies to take on too much and burn myself out. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! 47 years of experience with myself said Larry knows his stuff! That was the first moment of many times I was left thinking, “This stuff sounds crazy, but it is makes sense!” Larry suggested I read over the suggestions and choose a few things that sound good to me and start there. He also told me that based on my imbalances I would benefit greatly from getting some routines and self-care into my day. I was to give the changes a month or two and then comeback to check in with Larry to make adjustments and maybe add a few more things if I am ready.
Ayurveda has suggestions on eating, sleeping, waking, meditation, self-care, etc. based on each dosha. When I got home I went over the handouts Larry had given me and start looking through the books I already had. I also started some Pintrest boards because there was just too much information to digest all at once. You can check out my Ayurveda, yoga and meditation boards if you click on my Pintrest link. While getting started I had several ding,ding,ding moments that motivated me to stay focused and start small. I decided that I would focus on my habits Sunday night through Friday morning. I would give myself some leeway when it came to weekends and travel. I also told myself that shit happens. If I get off course to let it go and just get back on track as soon as possible.
So here is my initial list:
- Start a morning routine.
- Get up at the same time everyday before 6:00. I went with 5:15
- Scrape my tongue, floss, brush and oil pull.
- Clear my nasal passages with a netty pot or navage.
- Take daily vitamins and herbs.
- B complex
- Omega Oil
- Elderberry Juice
- Start each morning with hot water, 2t. apple cider vinegar, and half a lemon.
- Take quiet time each morning for meditation and reading.
- Begin to make adjustments to food by increasing organic whole foods and consuming less processed foods.
So these are the things I am working on. I am making progress and am feeling less anxiety, less pain and more energy and adaptability to what life throws my way. It is a start and I am still excited:0)