It’s been over two months since the ‘end of the world’ and I’m optimistic that the time and space it takes to adjust to the ‘after life’ will open up more time and space for exercise. Even if it’s a jaunt through the mall in chic heels, start somewhere. Feeling good, after all, is exercise for the soul.
We’re spoiled with options for activity on the West Coast, so there’s really no excuse to like nothing. Even the most sedentary person feels better from a little heart steam. If boot camp at 6 a.m. every weekday fills your soul, then by all means, fill your boots. Gym junkies seem to enjoy Zumba, spinning and kettle bells, so try one of those. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, the sciences of yoga (ayurveda and astrology) can help anyone understand what the body truly wants and needs—outdoor adventure enthusiasts and competitive athletes accounted for. Like Rumi said, “whatever purifies you is the right path.” Whatever you do, find an activity you like and stick to it.
In ayurvedic medicine, three constitutions or doshas make up the human body: vata, pitta and kapha. One is typically predominant throughout your life, but we’re generally a combination of all three. Each dosha rules a season, and you may notice that your urges and natural tendencies shift throughout the year. As a pitta-kapha-vata, I can eat hearty in the summer and winter months, yet I have to be mindful of what I eat in the spring and fall. Astrology encourages me to avoid alcohol, sugar and competitive activity (all resonant advice) and instead maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Meditation and mind-body exercises like yoga and tai chi help with balance and harmony. Incidentally I find yoga so effective that I teach it.
VATA, the principle of movement, can be translated as bodily air and governs catabolism. Vata people tend to be “skinny”
PITTA, the principle of heat-energy, can be translated as bodily fire and governs metabolism. Pitta people are slender, delicate and gingery
KAPHA, the principle of resistance, can
be translated as bodily water and governs anabolism. Kapha people have well-developed bodies and tend towards carrying excess weight
I genuinely believe yoga will change the world for the better, but walking counts and is in fact a form of moving meditation. Do you have a pooch? Walk it, or start up a side business and walk a bunch of them. Meditation helps tremendously with weight loss if you can wrap your restless mind around it, and walking helps with restlessness.
Buddah says, “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” When the mind is strong and clear, we get what we want. With exercise, we ground ourselves and burn away excess energy to open up space for harmony and happiness. The colour red helps with grounding, so why not throw on a pair of sparkling ruby red Louboutin’s and exercise your sexy in the streets. That way you can get your meditation in, and maybe your shopping, too.
By: Jill Lang – NICHE Magazine Spring 2013