by Sandra Radja
I was sitting at the hairdressers a few days ago and read a brief article on the blog called the Blonde Vegan (now called the Balanced Blonde). She had started eating meat because she had realised after being told by many friends that she didn't look so well. She had also realised she was becoming obsessed with her passion for all things vegan no matter what. And interestingly she started to receive angry notes about her transition. Her "fans" didn't approve of her need to move away from the fad. And now she has a time of explaining herself to others. I wish her well.
I found this interesting and, as usual, pondered on the idea within my own Ayurvedic world. I've been thinking about the framework we learn the Ayurvedic theory in. I was trained in North America and the school was forward thinking in terms of adapting the core principles to the local environment. I've had to do the same here. Spring in Central Victoria (Australia) is a windy hell.; it's the essence of a deranged Vata dosha. Yes we have the classic sinus congestion and spring allergies and mucho mucous but the core issues are not just Kapha, they are Vata driven as well - meaning along with the heavy and moist comes an increase in sensitivity/decrease in immunity from the changeable weather patterns.
So I had to modify my approach to the seasons. Picking up a blog on Ayurveda from across the world will only tell you so much; you will get the news localised and not necessarily appropriate for your situation in advising you of certain foods to eat, or herbs to start taking. For example, in the situation I had referenced on Springtime - unless the Kapha is really the strong predominant (and in this town of artists there is so much more Vata going on) then you need to take into account the Vata dosha before you run, jump and starve to get into that Summer bikini.
Dr Lad in his wonderful and simple "Ayurveda - The science of Self Healing" makes a subtle reference to the qualities as being the crux of Ayurvedic teachings. I held onto that thought since I read it many years ago and it applies more in my transition home to Australia than ever. The current qualities of November are light, dry, MOBILE, rough and sweet (shown in the flowers and colours and growth). There is the sticky mucous of Winter slightly warmed by the heat of the change in season but we cannot remove it forceably, as the diet fads tell you to , because the Spring time wind and changeable weather can make the organism feel unstable and erratic.
I have found a palliative approach the best in this season, meaning a mix between cleansing and nourishing at the same time. Chyavanprash is a great tonic to manage the respiratory issues and digestion. Triphala is also the mainstay for healthy elimination as well as immune support. Gentle regular walking. The movement pacifying Kapha and the regular pacifying Vata. Reduce the heavy foods, increase some greens. Rest and practise yoga nidra.
It's best to always come back to qualities. Then you can put Ayurveda in your back pocket and take it with you anywhere because you understand the core essence of the art. And don't get me wrong, I love the amount of wonderful blogs out there, but just like the Blonde vegan gone Balanced blonde, it's wise to use your common sense because getting attached to a philosophy rather than adaptation is kind of an anti-evolution.
We are dynamic above all else.