We’ve developed an incredible foundational knowledge of the building blocks of life, the mind/body characteristics of the three doshas, and the empowered choice-making that is available to us through this ancient system of health and healing. Now it’s time to explore exactly how to apply Ayurvedic principles and practices in real time.
Ayurveda teaches that we have exclusive, 24/7 access to five distinct Gateways to Healing—also known as our five senses.
Everything we see, smell, hear, taste and touch carries a unique vibration, creates a unique imprint within the world and within our own physiology. Therefore, each thing becomes an opportunity for inviting balance or imbalance. Yum or yuck. Harmony or discord.
We can consciously choose to expose ourselves to sensory experiences that will not only promote balance and harmony overall, but help to temper an overactive dosha and its corresponding stress response.
Just as our doshic imprint is divided into two categories, so, too, are the five senses. Draw an imaginary line across your face. Below the nose, yet above the mouth.
Everything above the line—sight, sound, smell—will affect and influence our state of MIND.
What’s left below the line—taste and touch—will affect and influence our state of BODY.
Recall from previous articles the “warning signs” of excessive Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. If we are experiencing these stress responses in the body or the mind, we have an excessive accumulation of the two elements that make up that dosha and it is creating dis-ease. We say that dosha is aggravated.
How do we balance and pacify this excess? The key is in the opposites!
Let’s focus this week on the sense of Sight. All that we take in through our miraculous eyes has the ability to ground, soothe, or invigorate us. By intentionally selecting colors, imagery, and visualization, we can create more wellbeing through all that we see and perceive.
VATA // Mind Imbalance
Excess Space + Air creates a stress response of Anxiousness, Overwhelm, Worry, Fear. What did I do wrong?
Temper with qualities of Fire, Water + Earth to influence effects that are Grounding, Calming, Warming, Comforting.
Healing Vata through SIGHT
- Colors: earthy greens, browns, saturated/muted jewel tones such as ruby, amethyst, and jade
- Imagery: mighty mountains, large and ancient trees, grassy hillsides
- Visual Gratitude: When you look at the world around you, recognize that everything is here to help you
PITTA // Mind Imbalance
Excess Fire + Water creates a stress response of Irritability, Impatience, Short Temper, Aggression. What did YOU do wrong?
Temper with qualities of Space, Air + Earth to influence effects that are Soothing, Cooling, Cooperative, Heartening.
Healing Pitta through SIGHT
- Colors: white, grays, blues, cool blue-ish shades of green and purple
- Imagery: anything water-related—rivers, lakes, oceans, ponds, waterfalls, rain
- Visual Gratitude: When you look at the world around you, see that everything has its own unique purpose and talents
KAPHA // Mind Imbalance
Excess Water + Earth creates a stress response of Withdrawal, Complacency, Neediness, Denial. Nothing is wrong.
Temper with qualities of Space, Air + Fire to influence effects that are Invigorating, Uplifting, Enlivening, Motivating.
Healing Kapha through SIGHT
- Colors: lively reds, oranges, yellows and pinks ranging on the bright end of the spectrum
- Imagery: expansive skyscapes especially during colorful sunset + sunrise, fires, candlelight, volcanoes
- Visual Gratitude: When you look at the world around you, recognize this fleeting miracle of life that should be seized and not squandered.
Ready to get started? You can harness the power of healing through Sight right away.
- Change the background on your phone to one of the imageries recommended for your dosha.
- Commit to wearing a dosha-pacifying color every day of the week.
- Post a written note that you can see easily throughout the day: “I AM _______________.” Fill in the blank with a dosha-specific “tempering word,” such as grounded, soothed, uplifted, etc.
- Is there a space in your home/work in which you tend to recognize the dosha stress response arises frequently? Paint a wall with a dosha-pacifying color, or incorporate it through artwork, textiles, décor.