This time of isolation can bring a lot of feelings and a lot of questions about what you should or shouldn't be doing to best care for yourself. The good news is, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all practice. What works best for you? Knowing your dosha can help you decide!
Self-care can be tricky. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, it implies pampering or indulgence; for others, it means a nifty list of "healthy things." Self-care is not something that is often taught or talked about in our culture as a whole.
One of the things that I love about Ayurveda, an ancient system of preventative medicine, is that it teaches you how to attune to your body and understand what you need when you need it, and even why your body is asking for it! Ayurveda teaches that while some universal practices are helpful for all humans, some particular things are unique to each person based on their constitution.
Self-care is a process that is unique to each individual.
This article by Lauren Gernady at Kripalu offers a beautiful outline of the doshas (primal energies), and what tendencies arise under stressful conditions.
In other words: based on your constitution or body/mind type, is your nervous system more likely to engage in a flight, fight, or freeze response? Understanding this can open the gateway to what self-care might look like for you. It helps gain clarity on how to best invest your time for the best possible outcome for you.
Given the stressful nature of living through the shared trauma of a global pandemic, knowing what can support your nervous system is handy information!
THE THREE DOSHAS:
Vata (air/space): light, tends toward anxiety, the primary response to stress is flight.
Pitta (fire/water): sharp, tends toward irritability, the primary response to stress is fight
Kapha (water/earth): stable, tends toward lethargy, the primary response to stress is to freeze
While great self-care for all of the doshas is always about a degree of consistency in daily routine, each of these body/mind types needs different elements within that routine to find balance.
Vata types will need practices that offer more grounding, soothing, and warmth to their light and cooler physiology.
Pitta types will need practices that will soften their edges while keeping them engaged. Slow and cooling practices will be soothing and helpful to prevent these types from burning out.
Kapha types benefit most from movement to wake up their physiology and keep stagnation and depression at bay. Kaphas need to break a sweat, although they might resist this at first!
This information and insight are also helpful in lifting the veil of shame that can wash over you in the sea of comparison that is washing over everything. Messages such as, "Write a book now," or "learn a new language," or Seeing one person engaging in lots of activity and thinking that you should be doing the same thing can spark feelings of shame and inadequacy. Understanding that your body type responds and benefit from a different kind of response to stress can be validating and even healing.
So what would be most helpful for you to care for yourself during quarantine? Check out the full article from Kripalu below.
by Lauren Gernady
Which dosha do you resonate with the most?
If you're interested becoming part of a community, amping up your self-care, learning more about Ayurveda, and developing daily rhythms to support you in your life, then the Awaken program may be the perfect fit for you!
If you're looking to get started exploring what self-care might look like for you, then check out Cracking the Self-Care Code, a self-guided mini course designed to offer you a foundation into developing your daily rhythm.