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The Benefit of Staying Put

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I must say though, in a world that continues to cause really intense physical and emotional anguish, I am so grateful for the opportunity to show up three times a week for three hours a day to talk about the artful science of Āyurveda in the 30h course.

I wanted to share something we discussed today. In class, we covered the nuanced process of how the qualities (guṇas) of doṣas adjust/are affected by the seasons (ṛtus). From this place, we examined why it is important for us to experience all the seasons where we live (and even better where we are from! Though I wonder….is this even possible anymore the way modern life goes?!) 

Sera's goofy headshot

The reason for this is because each season naturally provokes the increase of one doṣa, aggravates the qualities of another, and assuages the third. Thus, by experiencing every season, a person will be less likely to suffer from doṣas that have increased their presence in the body because there is always a season following, to calm it – at least somewhat.

For example, in summer (Grīṣma) Vāta is increasing (caya), but because it is hot in summer, it keeps Vāta at bay because hotness is exactly contrary to the major vehicle of Vāta – coldness (śitatva). However, when rainy season (Varśā) comes, the cold comes and so all of the qualities of Vāta that increased in the summer (dryness, lightness, roughness) now have a vehicle to express and so in rainy season, Vāta becomes prakopa (aggravated). Then, the fall comes (Śarad), which is known by its warmth and moisture – both qualities that calm Vāta – and so Vāta is temporarily eased simply by time. Therefore, by simply staying in this one place for all these seasons, Vāta has gone through its own natural progression of increase and decrease. This process applies as well to Pitta and Kapha relative to the seasons that do this same for them. 

I have noticed this to be true in my own life as this is the first year I have not traveled to SE Asia for the entire winter and instead stayed put. Since Pitta tends to accumulate in the Summer and Rainy Season, be provoked in Rainy Season and Fall, and is assuaged in Winter, the years I have skipped winter where I live, my issues relating to Pitta are often worse. Whereas this year, because I stayed at home and am experiencing the winter where I live, my symptoms are less….Interesting, no!?

Sera face in hand

A little lamp of learning is helping me so much in these dark times. Being in school, teaching this knowledge, and examining my own experience are the activities that for me, are keeping me sane, hopeful, and connected to purposeful action.

Have you experienced any little gifts from staying put?

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