AYURVEDA IN THE TIME OF CORONA
When we think about the doshas, we tend to consider them in terms of our own health or the wellbeing of those we’re treating. There’s way more to them than that though. There are thousands of years of nuanced thinking packed into a model that with its five elements and three doshas is simple on the surface, and contains more the closer you look.
Let’s consider that the corona epidemic is happening during the time of year linked to kappa. Being associated with air and hence respiration, an airborne virus that affects people with pre-existing respiratory conditions gives some pointers about supporting people with a kappa dosha. Prone to stuckness and stagnation in forms such as mucus, dealing with those issues through diet and exercise makes sense within the Ayurvedic model.
Practically then, starting the day with turmeric and ginger, and then doing stretching or yoga before breakfast, are great ways to connect with flow rather than stasis. And avoiding dairy to cut down on the possibility of congestion will help too.
Getting up early will get you started with the sun’s energy, and there’s no better way to enter the day. Meditation or silence are real helpers too. Sometimes people think they’re the same, but they’re not. Meditation is about observing the mind to connect with that which is greater. Silence is…silence.
Sometimes one helps the other, but they don’t have to. Chanting, such as used in the Hindu tradition, is one way they can be linked: a repeated mantra whether spoken aloud or within can help still the mind, and in turn allow something else to come through, in whatever form that takes.
It’s in those moments that change can happen, and at this point we can see it taking place. Again, its manifestations can be understood in terms of the doshas. In relating to air, kappa connects with the fact that the Himalayas are visible properly for the first time in decades, and that the notoriously smoggy skies over Los Angeles are now clear. That’s all to do with easy flow rather than the kind of stuckness and stagnation that can occur when kappa manifests in negative ways.
The micro level and macro reality are woven together. Doing what’s in tune with your dosha will resonate more powerfully than other options. If you’re vata, then grounding exercises are great to counterbalance your natural tendency to unconstrained movement. For pittas, vulnerable to anger and stress about what you can’t control, then postures which open up the chest, or allow you to experience childlike vulnerability, will be medicine for you.
Open up to seeing doshas in different forms and at different scales and as well as benefiting your immune system you’ll increasingly become part of the solution our planet needs. These are ideas discussed in a recent conversation with Elena Bensonoff, the vibrant founder of Wholistic Inc. She’s a Functional Medicine pioneer and Quantum Energy Expert, and someone I value highly. I’ll be speaking with Elena again soon, as the first of a series of energised conversations coming up, on Monday 25 May 2020.