A Memory of Perfect Health
by Anna Velychko
We all have a memory of perfect health. Our body feels and reacts in specific ways in response to the food and drinks we intake. The reactions may manifest in fluctuating energy levels, shifting moods, physical reactions, and so on. So where does the fluctuation come from? On the subtlest level, our cells interlinked, creating a fascinating network. The network consists of various tissues and fluids, allowing for transporting of the nutrients, neural information, and energy. Aforementioned elements constitute a baseline, which becomes our reference point of perfect health. A subtle change of one element would be enough to create a shift in the whole cellular network. Little by little, our body and mind begin to accustom to the new alteration. Soon this alteration would create a new norm – a new meaning of the health and balance.
Since many of us identify with the body we live in, we begin creating a new meaning-making about ourselves depending on how we feel in our body. New patterns and habits would then define who we are to ourselves and to the world around. Just like the interconnected cells in our body, we too are little particles of the world and its elements. Thus, during the times when we feel off-balance, it is intuitive to come back to our natural rhythm. Increasing healthy routines, instead of rejecting the harmful habits, would allow the body to organize itself naturally. Ayurveda shines some light into how to naturally attune to the elements within ourselves and the ones of nature. There are considered to be three body types or doshas, according to Ayurveda:
· Vata – air and space
· Pitta – earth and water
· Kapha – fire and water
While one of the doshas could be predominant, there is no clear-cut type that defines someone. Just like everything in life, doshas are constantly changing depending on the seasons, our life events, and other factors. The attunement to our body and mind each moment is the key. As a go-getter society, we learned how to suppress our natural urges and became less connected to our bodily needs. We paint a perfect image of the future. The thought that we finally can sleep as much as we want, spend more time with people we love, eat healthier, meditate, and exercise… A horizontal perception of the time that creates an illusion that “one perfect day, everything is going to work out.” Our health and longevity start now – a vertical understanding of the time. The way we treat ourselves now determines how we are going to care for ourselves in the future. Thus, the way of living is one of the major constituents to perfect health.
The other two are sleep and food. One of the most useful ways I learned to go about these two is by being attuned to the element of sun, or Agni. For example, when it comes to sleep, synchronizing our circadian rhythm to the sun. One of the practices is waking up before the sunrise and going to bed with the sundown. We have different schedules and work demands, and for many of us, this practice might not work out. What we can try instead, is creating a steady routine with a specific time we wake up and go to sleep, ideally sleep between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Melatonin, which we naturally produce when we sleep, is supreme in a sense that it affects the thyroid, hormones, and many other vital organs. Hence, the lack of sleep will most likely manifest in an array of bodily stress and illnesses.
Similarly to the sleeping cycle, Agni is helpful concerning food. A few things worth mentioning:
· Regulation – the sun’s intensity fluctuates naturally, so does our digestion. It is nice to remind ourselves about pacing ourselves when we eat. Shifting on the extremes of the spectrum – overeating or starvation – is the primary cause of disease. The biggest meal is advised to take place when the sun is the strongest, during the lunchtime. During the nighttime, it is time for our body to detox and rest.
· Resting – eat only after the previous food has been fully digested, so that the hunger (Agni) could activate naturally. Snacks could prevent our metabolic system from re-establishing itself naturally. If we consume more than our body is asking for, the sugar will transform into fat, which then impacts the energy levels. For instance, one could experience the energetic ups and downs or feel sluggish or melancholic.
· Rituals – regulation and resting create rituals. It is vital to have regular meals and create daily intake routine. Similarly to sleep, eating rituals would assist in creating a steady and balanced rhythm, preventing the body from stressful rapid fluctuations. Rituals can also include: giving appreciation to food before we eat it, scraping the tongue before bed and in the morning, having a glass of water in the morning, and doing a self oil massage. Coconut (summer season) or sesame (winter time) oil could be used for the massage to nourish our nervous system, increase blood circulation, create a protective layer from the electromagnetic field, and simply tune into the moment.
Paying attention to the now is to remember how perfect health feels like for each of us.