By Guest Author Nirja Ghosh
Ayurveda and its principles extend beyond consuming imported herbs in your salads and brewing teas. It asks you to look into your life, your mind, your surroundings and finally your diet in order to understand your suffering.
As Robert. E. Svoboda says, “Ayurveda welcomes and accepts pain, even while trying to relieve it, for Nature intends pain to be a multi-layered message to us. Underlying the immediate directive—stop using that body part!—lies a request to look into our lives and see what we are doing to create this misery.”
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Simply put, stop what you’re doing and reassess your life. When it comes to health issues as complex, depleting and tear inducing as chronic pain, it might always be a good idea to look into alternative therapies, especially if your current medication isn’t helping you well you would like it to.
Chronic pain can range from migraines, fibromyalgia to psychosomatic region specific pain, and according to Ayurveda, it is simply your Vata or wind element.
Vata and Pain
Every human being has a predominant constitution, that is, Vata, Pitta (heat element), or Kapha (cold element), and that makes your body more prone to chronic or sporadic pains, incessant heat induced issues like indigestion and acid reflux, and mucous membrane congestions and allergies, respectively.
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Chronic pain asks you to stop and look at your life and understand the cause of your imbalance, especially since vata disorders link directly to the nervous system. Get restless and anxious when you skip your meditation sessions? Been diagnosed with somatic or psychosomatic pains? Your Vata is off balance and your body and mind are asking for your help.
Know Your Prakriti Better
It’s always a good idea to read about your Prakriti (constitution) to better understand the tridoshas (three doshas) especially if you’re suffering from chronic pain.
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A little change in your diet, eating better and at consistent times every day, not skipping breakfast (can’t stress how important that is) and taking up some, any, form of calming musculoskeletal activity like hatha yoga will help tremendously. Vata disorders require consistence and routine, so give yourself that.
It is a tough shift in lifestyle and beliefs, especially when you aren’t from the part of Asia where ingesting turmeric is believed to heal everything from inflammation to broken skin.
But, an open mind and the will to believe in something outside of your comfort zone may just be what your body, mind and soul need.
I hope your suffering leaves you!
Nirja Ghosh is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher, originally from Mumbai, India, currently living and teaching yoga in Hamburg, Germany. Her interests range from Ashtanga asana practice to Ayurveda, animal welfare, street style, and trivia.