Let's face it! Even if you meditate every day, you are still prone to bouts of unease. In moments like this, here are a few simple techniques to help you get back to focus.
Personal Bouts of Vata
For some time now I have been working on pacifying Pitta (fire), one of the three Ayurvedic Doshas. The other two being Vata (air) and Kapha (earth). It has been about a year or two, and I am finally starting to feel like I have a practice that helps me manage my Pitta (fire - anger). In my practice I set to be more preventative and in result feel less reactive. But with the summer session of yoga teacher training coming to a close, and a need for me to shift of gears, I feel as if I am being pulled more than one direction. Just when I was start feeling really good in my practice, Vata (spacey-ness) got in the way. Here are some simple techniques I chose this time to help me get back to focus.
One of my favorite breathing technique is chít Pranayama. I love it because of its simplicity. Without changing the breath, I observe the inhale coming in through the nostrils. Then I observe the exhale leaving the nostrils. This is a very simple technique, yet extremely effective. I practice this for as short as a few minutes to as long 30 minutes
The second technique I chose was body scanning. Body scanning is another simple techniqe that can be practiced by anyone. With kind attention, for a few minutes, I scan the front of the body from head to toe. Then, for another few minutes, I scan the back of the body from head to toe. As I do this, I take note of the sensation of ease that slowly starts to take over my body and mind as I continue with the scan. The more kind attention I bring to the body, the more at ease I feel, and therefore the more energy I have to cultivate for concentraiton.
The third thing I chose to incorporate this time around was the daily ingestion of Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb taken for various reason. I personally learned about it from Mandy Main during her Ayurvedic Series presentation at Healsci Yoga School during this year's Yoga Teacher Training program. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of horse,” to indicate its strength and vigor like a stallion.
Ashwagandha is one of Ayurveda's adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic means the herb has the capacity to modulate its activity based on the body's signaling. In other words, how the herb responds is determine by the body's need to resist physiological and psychological stress. Wow!
Ashwagandha contains qualities that strengthens the immune system, supports energy balance throughout the day, promotes restful sleep at night, and maintains proper nourishment for the fascial connective tissues. Above all it is considered one of the best Ayurvedic herds for pacifying Vata. Therefore, it can help us manage the spacey-ness of the mind, helping us get back to focus!
Get Back to Focus
Ok, now you try it! When you are feeling "spacey" lay down in a dark quiet room. Spend 3 to 5 minutes observing your breath. Observe the inhale coming in through the nostril, then observe the exhale leaving the nostrils. When you have completed chít pranayama, spend a few minutes scaning the body. Observe the front body for sensation. Then observe the back body for sensation. As you do this, notice the sensation of ease that blankets the body. The more at ease you become, the more energy you will have for focus! And if you want to incorporate Ayurvedic herbs into your diet, please contact Mandy Main.
For more information about Healsci's 300 and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, check out our Yoga Teacher Training page or contact us by clicking the "contact us" button below.