Where am I right now? In balance or off balance? Here is a simple way to keep in touch with your current Ayurvedic condition.
Observe your stools
Observe your tongue
Observe your energy level
Observe your mood
Run through your body for pain or tenderness
Observe your appetite
Observe the taste in your mouth
Your stools should be light tan colour, about the consistency of a ripe banana and should float. Hard, dry or dark stools show that your vata is off, while loose stools indicate a pitta imbalance. Oily stools could be a kapha problem.
Your tongue should be clean and pink after you use your tongue scraper. If it is coated, you have toxins in your system.
Moving on to more subtle observations; notice whether your energy level is consistent. If you feel unusually wired or have uneven energy, your vata may be disturbed. If your energy feels intense, perhaps you are pitta imbalanced. If you feel heavy and sluggish, this could be a manifestation of kapha or of toxins.
Now, notice your mood. Anxious, nervous or spaced out? It sounds as if you have a vata imbalance. Irritable or frustrated? Pitta may be too high. Feeling like sitting around watching TV and snacking? You could have a kapha imbalance.
Next, checking through your body for pain or tenderness, you might notice low back pain or achey joints, a signal that vata is imbalanced. If you feel tenderness in your upper abdomen or are experiencing heartburn, it's time to think about pitta. Tight chest or sinus pain? Maybe kapha is disturbed.
Considering appetite next, if you find you are skipping meals or forgetting to eat, this is another vata indication. On the other hand, if you are hungry all the time and craving sweets and starches, pitta is playing up. And if you have a low appetite, feel a bit nauseated, don't want breakfast and get sleepy after lunch, this is a good indication of a kapha imbalance.
Take a moment to notice the taste in your mouth. Bitter could be vata, sour taste could be pitta and sweet or salty taste in the mouth could signal kapha issues.
With this self-check under your belt, you're well on the way to taking charge of your daily wellbeing. Work with your ayurvedic doctor to develop self-care strategies to use amid the daily fluctuations of vikriti, your current imbalance.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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