When Vata elements (light, mobile, rough, dry, cold, hard) start to rise we can become imbalanced from our nature. This increased vata can cause us to act impulsively. This can be a problem.
When we talk about impulsivity, it often gets romanced into the idea of spontaneity. These are not the same—no really, they are not!
When we act impulsively we simply react to a thought without any awareness. The thought enters your mind to change the subject to tell a story you love. (cough, cough) The person speaking cannot finish their thought and this is disruptive. It might cause agitation in the other or be jolting. Spontaneous activity is unplanned, but not jolting and is generally a response to a thought. Impulsivity is a reaction to a thought.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand the “gunas” or (qualities of the doshas) in our behaviors. The major difference here is consciousness and elemental. The vata impulsivity is hard and light. The spontaneous response to your thought is light as well but soft.
Finding balance, understanding the “pause” between your impulse to act and taking action offers vata a chance to practice sattva… the quality of mind that offerces clarity, calm and balance.
When I think of this I think of taking a breath between my inital impulse to take action, or comment and then considering the thought again. Thus becoming spontaneous in action without the rub of impulsivity.
(Inhale) Impulsivity is reactive and (Exhale) Spontaneity is responsive.
So, the other day I was trying to find a word while teaching my 9am Psych 111 class. I was attempting to explain a concept with regard to memory. George Carlin would have chuckled…
I later recalled the word while I was walking my dogs, Tennessee and Bruticus. The word had NOTHING to do with my dogs, walking, or picking up after them. While walking my dogs I also remembered that I forgot to pay a bill.
What was happening to my thinking process can be explained via may theories: yoga psychology, neuroscience, learning theory… and Ayurvedic wisdom around digestion, assimilation and evacuation. I had ama in the mind.
Now we all get a little ama from time to time. Eating that popcorn at the movies with the “butter” (aka thick oil that is non-biodegradable), lunch at the computer, that peach-yogurt-protein and honey smoothie; all taxing to our Agni and over time can create poor digestion which leads to ama in our bodies.
Over time, the ama will continue to penetrate our physical body via the connective tissues like plasma and blood. This will spread the ama around and eventually the plasma in the synaptic cleft, between our dendrites and neurons, will be impacted.
WHAT? Yes, it is true.
There is good news. This takes time and if we are doing our dinacharya or daily cleansing, along with mostly living in relation to the Ayurvedic clock the likelihood of mental goo is low….but, there are always those months where we fall off the job. We “take some time off” from our practice so that ‘daily’ looks more like ‘a few days a week.’
Keep at it, and know that you will still loose a word here and there; especially the Vata-dominant folks. Those folks will, however, use that moment to creatively find a new word and/or song to fill the void. The pitta’s will go and study the word some more and find other ideas to broaden out the concept. The kapha’s will laugh at themselves and whistle.
Ahhh, mental goo be gone! What is the best remedy? Daily practice and joy.
What does EOC mean to us…it sounds like something I say to my children when I enter their rooms, “This looks like the edge of chaos!” It is not in fact the “EOC” it is simply a teenagers lack of interest in bending over and picking up yesterday’s jeans.
One way of understanding the EOC idea is from the world of neuroscience. More specifically the world of neuroscience and ayurveda. In the book, “Neuroanalysis” by Avi Peled, the concept of brain dynamics optimization looks at the “edge of chaos” and sees the health of being in this state.
The Vata-dominant folks reading this should be jumping for joy :), the Pitta’s want to know “why” and the Kapha’s are hoping for a recipe for a soothing tea :) actually all of us will find this idea supportive to our daily process in the physics of optimal brain function!
The idea of the edge of chaos is an elegant balance state between stability and instability. We function best at this state of optimal adaptation; we find it easier to both adapt to change and to becoming more steady. We can move in or out of an association between internal and external states of functioning. We can maximize the idea of complexity while keeping up with our connectivity!
When at the edge of chaos we are best able to move into a solution for one aspect of our rational problem solving while effecting other aspects of problem solving in a parallel manner. The decision we make to move in one direction supports the movement of all our elements into a useful direction or rhythm. We become harmonious; like beautiful jazz~
In ayurvedic terms, we are in a balanced state for our Prakruti; in alignment with our constitutional self and thus can move with ease in any and all directions without pulling ourselves out of balance!
I believe the word you’re looking for right now might be a word from that sage of simplicity, Andy Griffith: SHAZAM!!!
Do you use Gmail?
If you do, you will have noticed that Gmail changed it’s interface. Instead of having one inbox screen, you now have three inboxes separated into tabs. You have one tab called Primary, one called Social and one called Promotions. Email from firstname.lastname@example.org is likely landing in your Promotions tab. All you have to do to get these emails to show up in your Primary tab is just to drag and drop it from one tab to the other.
Here’s a tutorial:
What happens at this time of year is what I like to call the Seasonal Glitch. In ayurveda this is when we move from the season of Pitta (hot, moist, sharp, light) into the season of Vata (cold, dry, rough, mobile (constant movement), light and hard) or from summer into winter. The Glitch is the season of Autumn. The leaves express intense colors then become dry, rough, hard and blow away and we feel the chill of Vata.
This is my experience with so many things this time of year…often I have intense conversations that shift relationships, and help me understand more of my own process of communication. I notice the need to “burn off” the slough and old feelings that I am attached to via my memories. This does not mean I want to loose the memory, simply have less emotional charge around it and integrate the event, idea, relationship, object so that I can move with greater ease within my own heart.
I think that these communications are with another, the outer world. It is easier that way as I can blame or rationalize my experience so it is more tolerable, less distressing. The truth, I am now able to see a glimmer of, is that it is all inside me. I choose my responses and reactions and create my own blocks to integration. Sometimes I choose to accept, or reflect the conversations and I do not take on the projection from the other person or the event. When I have enough “mind space” this process is less painful or the concern, hurt or irritation does not last as long and I seem to move through a situation that once caused me emotional distress for weeks with more ease and less time spent on the issue.
I bring this up as I am hearing from many about the mix of emotional glitches occurring in our daily lives.The melancholy of what once was, or of missing the loved one as we mark time with the start of school, Halloween, Thanksgiving and religious holidays. We notice our vision of our life gets a trim this time of year as nature supports our natural impulse to “let the leaf fall from the tree”, allow us to more naturally release our grip on… our kids, our self identity, our relationships not founded on mutual respect, our physical memory of our loved one…we can love more fully when we allow ourselves to love and support from a broader vista. The vista of our eternal relationship with people through the idea of “spirit” or appreciating that those we strongly love can also cause us the most pain…both are intense and at the end of the day, or end of Autumn, we are expanded and can hold both sides of that idea. We can see the teachings of those “Glitch Communications” and feel that we are more fully expressed from the engagement.
Now, go get that rake and create some space so your love for who you are, for staying in the process can expand…and you can celebrate life with a little leaf pile jumping!
Join me in Dallas, TX on Sunday, January 12, 2014 for Sex & Stress: Women’s Health & Ayurveda
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Understanding sex hormones/stress hormones and their impact on health at various cycles in a woman’s life!
What are the doshas and how do they impact our hormonal balance and ease of daily living? Why should we care about standing on our heads or restorative yoga on a bolster? Why rub oil all over our bodies and take bitter tasting herbs? What is in it for us????
As Kathryn says; “Oh, sister! Enjoyment in your mind, ecstasy in your body and a free spirit… now, how does that sound? Come check out what the hoopla is all about!”
DETAILS & REGISTRATION
When: Sunday, January 12, 2014
Link to Register
Sammons Center for the Arts
3630 Harry Hines Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75219
Join me for:
Ayurvedic, Yogic and Psychological Approaches to Stress, Anxiety and Depression
New York Open Center
22 E. 30th St.
NY, NY 10016
10am to 5:30pm EST
The Himalayan Institute Certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Program has grown quite a lot over the past few years. We wanted to take a moment to explain how the program works.
This program works like this: In order to receive the certification, students must take all 4 units, be 200 Hour certified and complete the homework.
The logo for the program is a reminder of what’s required.
This program works like this: Students must participate in 10 case study phone calls. They must present two cases at two of the 10 calls. They must attend Continuing Education Workshops.
The logo for the program is a reminder of what’s required too.
Requirements: Once a student completes the AAYS program, they will be designated as Torchbearers. Kathryn Templeton will notify you directly of this status. Here’s the logo.
Students will be invited into this program based upon their dedication and commitment to the program, to ayurveda and to yoga. They will be invited based upon their ability to teach to large groups of people, and their grasp and understanding of the material.
Those in the Teacher Track are individuals who have completed the AYS and AAYS Programs. They are eligible to teach some units of the Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Training Program.
Today, the Late Summer and Autumn Recipe Stories eBook is released! This is more than a cookbook, it’s a resource for the season! This eBook contains 21 recipes and lots of seasonal guidelines: seasonally appropriate asana, lists for stocking your kitchen pantry and your bathroom cabinet, seasonal tips and tricks and more. It’s 38 useful pages that act as a seasonal guide to this specific time of year.
Here’s the cover of the eBook:
And here’s one of the recipes in the eBook (see below). This is how they are formatted in the eBook, they are lovely to look at and easy to print!
What makes the way recipes are presented special in this eBook is that they come with a recipe story. The reason it’s formatted like this is because most of us naturally collect recipes along with a story. Think about it…..what is the most recent recipe you asked for from a friend? I bet it came with a story. Or think about a favorite recipe you love to make at home and share with others….I bet you have a story to go along with it. Who taught you to make it? What does it remind you of?
Food is more than just ‘stuff you eat.’ It is nourishing for body, mind and spirit. And this is why this cookbook-for-the-season is called Recipe Stories.
Here’s another spread from the eBook so you can get a better idea of what’s included:
To celebrate the release of this first cookbook, we have a special!
Instead of the retail price of $14.99, you can grab it for $9.99 through Sunday, August 18, 2013! After Sunday, it goes back up to $14.99.
I wanted to share this photo with everyone, taken at Sound of Music Hill at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA June 9, 2013.
Pictured above you’ll see me, Rolf Sovik, Shari Friedrichson, Sandy Anderson, Dorothy Spence and the graduates of the YTT/AYS combo platter program. We started on this journey with this group 9 months ago and along the way we’ve had many births of awareness and even the birth of baby Bryn to Rachel! On the same day this photo was taken, we also graduated our Connecticut 500 hour YTT/AYS combo platter and several other students from the Connecticut, Miami, Dallas and Halifax sanghas. A special, beautiful day.