Ayurveda is often referred to as the sister science of yoga and offers much wisdom and guidance on how to manage eating habits for our own bio-individualistic nature.
Although many people begin to explore this ancient science with the intention of shifting their food or healing an ailment, they soon come to find that Ayurveda (like yoga) also offers a lens on how we live our day-to-day lives.
In short the three categories most often talked about in this Indian Medical System are Vatta (or the qualities of fall/winter), Pitta (or the characteristics of summer), and Kappa (the aspects of spring). In a sense each person is made up of a percentage of all three.
When you ask or answer the question 'what is your constitution' people usually report their two most dominant elements. I, for example, am a Vatta/Pitta. It means I am more dominant in my Vatta nature (airy, quick thinking, creative, fast) and secondary in my Pitta nature (passionate, fiery, dedicated, moving forward).
The part we are most dominant in is the one we tend to get imbalanced in. When it comes to stress it seems that all three concepts can visit us and wreck havoc in different ways.
Initially I had always labeled the stress process a Vatta experience as many people get ungrounded and phased when life begins to overwhelm. But after having a conversation with my friend Katie about Ayurveda & Stress I realized all three Ayurvedic qualities come into play.
- When stress first hits it is very much a Vatta experience. We begin to spin stories in the mind, feel inundated, and feel our foundation destabilizing. If we don't address the root and cause the process tends to evolve.
- From feeling out of control the fire turns up, Pitta stress arrives as we get angry about our situation. We might blame ourselves, others, the world at large. The fire amplifies as we can't believe this situation is happening to us, injustice and frustration, a sense of wanting to explode. Again here if we don't address the root and cause the process flows on.
- Eventually the fire burns out, the mind is exhausted of being in anxiety spinning tales, the body is spent from its preparatory posturing of potentially entering the battlefield; the stress has nocked us out. The desire here is often to crawl under the covers, avoid the world and pretend that by not addressing the root and cause it will all go away.
Sadly, the vicious cycle continues and after time in the Kappa stage of stress we might return back to the others. How long you stay in each part of the cycle is going to vary.
The first element is always awareness. Next time stress hits, begin to notice what part of the cycle you find yourself in.
Once you are aware contemplate how you can address the source to get yourself off the spinning Merry-Go-Round.