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Motivation: Part 2

Today's blog post contains ideas to help motivate you according to your "dosha", or personal constitution. But first, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the "doshas" and the lens through which Ayurveda views the universe, laws of nature and how they relate to our own well-being. Ayurveda literally means “knowledge of life”. Ayurveda is India's 5000 year old tradition of medicine. This system teaches humans how to live in balance with nature. Ayurveda recognizes that all things are made up of the five elements of nature—earth, water, fire, air, and ether (space). Every substance, every cell, contains all five of these elements. That said, in a given substance, one or two elements are typically predominant over the others. The same can be said for our individual constitutions. According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas (bodily humors): Vata, Pitta and Kapha made up of the 5 elements. The doshas serve as energetic forces of nature and they help us to understand ourselves and our relationship to the world around us. Each dosha governs various seasons, bodily systems and times of day, and each is associated with various qualities. The doshas perform crucial functions in the physical body as well as crucial tasks in Nature. They present their qualities during certain times of day, seasons of the year and they manifest in the changing seasons of life. Vata is made of Wind (Air) and Ether and is responsible for movement. It is dry, rough, cold, mobile and subtle. Pitta is made of Fire and Water and governs digestion and transformation. It is oily, sharp, hot, penetrating, liquid and spreading. Kapha is made of Earth and Water and provides structure and stability. It is heavy, slow, thick, smooth, stable and sticky. The three doshas express themselves in our physical, mental and emotional proclivities. From Banyan Botanicals: "Ayurveda is a remarkably individualized system of medicine. The tradition is rooted in the idea that each of us is born with a completely personal blueprint for optimum health. From birth onward, it is this reference point—your constitution—that, in many ways, defines who you are. No two constitutions are exactly alike; therefore, no two human beings can have precisely the same expression of ideal health." Therefore, an assessment of your individualized constitution and your current state of balance are helpful in supporting understanding your personalized journey towards optimal health. According to Ayurveda, like increases like and opposites balance. When any one of the doshas is aggravated, we can generally promote a return to balance by reducing the influence of that dosha’s qualities, while favoring their opposites. If you are interested in learning more about doshas, I invite you to try the quiz on Dr. Douillard's site: (I find this one to be pretty accurate) You can also read more about the Doshas at (They also have a dosha quiz) OR, talk to a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine to determine your personal doshic blueprint as well as your current state of balance or imbalance. For our purposes in today's blog post of motivating yourself to achieve your goals, you may see yourself in one (or more) of the following categories: When Vata is out of balance, or if Vata is your primary constitution - you may feel scattered and unable to concentrate. It is helpful to ground yourself and cultivate mental clarity and a clear focus to be able to achieve your goals. You may need to set time aside to establish clear goals for yourself regarding what you want to achieve and how you will go doing it. The meditation I posted last week can help with this. Taking time to clear your mind through meditation on a daily basis, or by journaling. I think it's important to follow up and write things down, b/c Vatas can have the best intentions, but then forget what it is they set out to do. When Kapha is out of balance - we can get stuck in apathy and general laziness or lack of desire. This is the time when we need to light a fire under our "arse" so to speak. The Tapas practice I posted last week can with help this! Spend some time figuring out what it is that lights YOUR inner fire. Creating a vision board might be helpful for Kaphas so they can daily remind themselves of the end goal of what they are trying to achieve. Pittas are probably best at the motivation game. Pittas are about transformation. They ARE fired up and generally like challenges and regimen, but they can sometimes be too hard on themselves if they don't accomplish their goals in the time they have alotted themselves, or they get disgusted and lose interest if they don't see change quickly enough. When Pitta is out of balance, they can be impatient and angry with themselves or others. Pittas need to be a little easier on themselves and take time to renew and refresh. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day. Take a time out - do some restorative yoga, or incorporate a yoga nidra into your day, and you may feel refreshed to start again. I hope these tips are helpful, and would love to hear your feedback! Namaste!

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