Moving, Mothering and Mindfulness: Self-care

When tasked with taking on a personal experiment in a field you know next to nothing about, it’s easy to become over-whelmed. After taking a close inventory of my current life status, and also the sage advice of former Axis yoga students and mentors I chose to play it safe rather than bite off more than I could chew. I guess now would be as good a time as any to admit that this is sort-of my M.O.- perhaps I have more kapha in me than Dr. Lad’s test suggested. I wound up choosing the large box on the end marked ‘self-care’ as the focus of my experiment and although choosing this topic wasn’t particularly noteworthy at the time, I’m excited to share that I’ve learned more about myself (and Ayurveda) in the last couple weeks than I really thought was possible. Most meaningful to me has been the mindfulness piece. I’m learning that mindfulness isn’t challenging because there are a million other things to think about at any given moment, but rather that mindfulness can be tough because the minute you really start paying attention, buried thoughts and patterns begin to come to light and you inevitably begin to shift a little bit. As a species we are of course in a constant state of evolution, only most of us aren’t tapped into it. Bringing awareness to the present can be murky– to say the least.

Prior to beginning this experiment, back when we were first asked to discover our doshas, I struggled. Some tests said I didn’t have a dominant dosha, others thought I had a dual dosha (vata-pitta) and still another said pitta was prominent with a healthy dose of vata to boot. Commence the overwhelming. Regardless of which dosha was primarily mine, it was clear that having just moved from Boston to Denver with my husband and young son, living with family in the interim and enrolling in a 200hr. yoga teacher training without even a bedroom door to close was throwing a snag into just about every corner of my life. Self-care made sense and sounded nice no matter my doshic tallies. About a week into my experiment (and a week into living in our new home) I was able to quiet the winds of change a bit and listen more closely to my inner self. I came to see that my prakriti is in fact primarily pitta with a smidge more vata than meets the eye, now I had something to work with; Hates the heat; hands, feet and nose are always cold: strive for warm. New altitude is dry and unseasonably hot: cooling oil to the rescue. Spent last 12 months working through new trauma only to bring up old trauma and is annoyed that it’s taking so long to feel better: welcome yoga, acupuncture and Ayurveda to the party. My self-diagnosis? The middle ground would be my sweet spot, which we all know can be much easier to acknowledge than experience.