Simplified, there are two possible causes of disease according to Ayurveda.
1. Foreign organisms
The first is bacteria, parasites and viruses – foreign organisms entering the system.
A strong immune system is the warrior that will defend more effectively against these intruders. A daily Ayurvedic lifestyle helps us prevent getting ill. And in case we do get ill, Ayurveda offers treatment options for healing and alleviating symptoms.
2. Dosha imbalances
The second cause sees disease as the result of our Doshas getting out of balance due to improper lifestyle choices. The food we eat, the exercise we (don’t) do, the work we do, our relationships, spiritual life, … If our lifestyle choices don’t support our Doshas, we WILL get ill. If there is no alignment with your unique Dosha pattern, it’s only a matter of time before there is a breakdown of some sort.
This can take a long time. The body knows perfectly well how to deal with a few nights of insomnia, stress, overeating or eating foods that are not good for us. But when we are consistent in our evils, slowly but surely the body will start to go into imbalance.
Oh, we think we can get away with it… especially when we’re younger! But a bad habit maintained over time can create a big impact. And then suddenly when we’re in our thirties or older, we start getting symptoms that seem to come out of nowhere.
If the imbalances are not addressed and treated at the root, the body’s signals will get stronger and stronger, until we -finally- have to listen.
I should know.
My low point
I always prided myself on my ability to withstand stress, be at the top of my game when I was under pressure (of course! It’s the body’s way to survive). I relished the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle. Until my body just couldn’t deal with it anymore and sugar imbalances, hormone imbalances, weight gain and adrenal fatigue made sure there were days – weeks – where I could barely get out of bed.
I hope you never find yourself in that position. Also, in many cases it can be avoided. If you are on the verge of burnout, or already in burnout, or have any other chronic symptoms that just won’t go away, it’s your body screaming at you for help. Something is not working. Something is not in alignment.
The body’s momentum
The body is always in a certain momentum: either moving towards health, or moving towards disease. It’s a complex system of food, stress, hormones and sleep that is playing out. Chronic stress leads to bad sleep and bad food choices, which leads to low energy and hormone imbalances, which creates more stress and so on. This is an example of negative momentum your body can be in.
That’s why it takes such a long time to heal with Ayurveda. After all, it took us so long to get to this low point, so we shouldn’t expect to heal quickly. Adding some Ayurvedic supplements like Triphala or Ashwagandha to your arsenal of supplements won’t make a big difference if the root cause of the problem is not addressed.
Unfortunately, patience is not a given. Especially if you identify as an A-type personality, ambitious woman, go-getter! (As you know, women with a lot of Pitta energy!)
Turning the tide
Sometimes, pushing harder is counter productive. In fact, it’s probably the exact pattern that got you into this situation in the first place. It’s definitely a lesson I’ve had to learn again and again (and am still learning. My writings are often a bit of me taking my own medicine…)
The good news is that with the right support, sometimes it’s amazing how quickly the body starts to bounce back. Just a few changes for good will turn the body’s momentum to healing. You can make the momentum of your body work for you, or against you.
Sometimes it’s hard to see where we’re going wrong, and what we need to change first. It’s also those first steps that are hardest to make, when you’re not yet sure of the impact they will have.
If you need help with that, consider joining my 1:1 Ayurvedic Coaching programme. I have helped yoga teachers and body workers (amongst others) – whom you would expect to have great awareness of their bodies, improve their lifestyle so that they have more energy to do their sacred work.
(I’m not pointing fingers, I’m not perfect either and I seek help with other practitioners too. Most people I know have a blind spot for themselves; I certainly do.)
Heal with Ayurveda
I noticed that often, more time is needed to turn the momentum, and heal with Ayurveda. Ayurvedic Coaching is not something extra you fit into your already busy lifestyle.
It’s working in-depth and it might mean a complete overhaul of your beliefs and habits. That’s why the new programme will be 3 months, so that I can help you implement and embody the Ayurvedic lifestyle that’s ideal for you. More info on the new programme here.