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Age Of Vata: Hasten Slowly!
A wise Ayurvedic Practitioner came to our Yoga Center to talk on Ayurveda. While enlightening the audience, he casually mentioned, ‘This is an age of aggravated Vata, creating unrest everywhere.”
“How true it is!” I thought.
Vata means “Vayu” or ‘”Air” or “Movement.”
It is the characteristic of “Vata” to move. While we need gentle Vata to survive, aggravated Vata can cause disturbance in our internal and external world.
In today’s age this Vata is moving with such a force causing superstorms like Sandy on the east cost of the US or Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Vata aggravates Pitta or Fire.
Look around. We are experiencing extreme dry weather and raging wild fires in many parts of the world.
As in the environment, there is a raging fire of anger in many hearts too. We are an angry society. Even a simple joke can create rage and political unrest in many parts of the world!
I have seen the trend in Yoga moving towards flowing, physically challenging Yoga or “Hot Yoga” which can aggravate the Pitta. People wonder why they don’t feel calm after this Yoga practice.
The usually calm Earth and Water or Kapha is also affected by this uncontrolled Vata.
We are experiencing strong movement in the earth’s body causing devastating frequent earthquakes. The oceans are crossing the boundaries by this moving earth, causing massive Tsunamis. Even the usually calm minds of Yogis are experiencing wavering faith and doubts!
This Vata moves our mind so quickly that we are unaware of these changes within and around us.
Wise Yogis gave the remedy for this moving Vata by saying,
“Chale Vate Chalam chittam, Nichale nichalam bhavet”
“As long as the air (breath) moves, so does the mind. Once the air or breath is controlled or steadied, the mind becomes steady.”
So hasten slowly!
Calm this constantly moving Vata (in the body) by controlling the breath and moving the body with gentle asanas. Then let go of all the movement. Calm the body and mind with meditation.
Eat the food that is nourishing for the body and mind. Choose the food that will cultivate love in our hearts. Food that will raise our vibrations, our awareness and help steady the mind.
This heightened awareness will help us notice the suffering around us.
We can start, right now, by taking a deep slow breath in, and now breathing out with long, slow, control.
There…you have just calmed Vata. Keep breathing.