Lately -- ok, mostly for months, since we got back from Bali, and even maybe beforehand -- I've been feeling like I have no routine, like I'm just running between things, like I'm on this treadmill of alternating run-like-hell or punch-stop-and-do-nothing. I've also been feeling bored, anxious, bummed-out, not all the time, but enough of the time that it's a nuisance. For a little while, I contemplated the idea that perhaps I was depressed, post-cancer trauma or something. And I've been eating like shit, just not taking care of myself. AND I'm back to my insomniac, migraineur ways.
At the same time, I feel I should interject that I've also done some fucking great stuff lately, had a lot of fun, learned great things, made new friends and new big commitments, so it's not like it's been this continuous dismal blah for ages. It's just that all of the good has been layered over this sense of unease that I haven't been able to shake.
And duh, it was only reading an article in Yoga Journal, of all places (not a fan generally of that magazine at all, so not their target, except that since it's become a parade of Anusara All Stars every month, I keep finding myself picking it up, oh look, there's Kenny, there's KK, there's Laura...) that I realized that, double-duh, my freakin' vata is totally out of whack. Yes, my vata is deranged. I'd link you the article here, but YJ's website is retarded -- part of their plot to force you to buy the issue that's on the stands, grrr -- so I can't.
So obvious, right? "If your vata is acutely increased, it can cause problems. You may experience typical vata symptoms like anxiety [check], constipation [TMI], and insomnia [check, check]... A pitta person with vata derangement might become more hotheaded [check]." Other common symptoms include agitation, fear, intestinal disturbances, and difficulty focusing.
Yep, that's me lately. Not surprisingly, the problem I have is with the solution.
The yogic approach to countering vata derangement involves slowing down, being more mindful, breathing smoothly and deeply, and learning to ground... Do less. This means cutting back on scheduled commitments, minimizing multi-tasking (and exposure to vata-producing technology like computers and television, particularly right before bed), and making time for daily relaxation. It's also important to stick to a regular bedtime and to get enough sleep each night to feel rested. This may be difficult at first. Excess vata often results in insomnia. But sticking to a regular bedtime and implementing some other changes that support relaxation should help.
It's ironic, right: people probably assume because I am devoted to yoga that I know how to chill, but the opposite is still true. I still have trouble with the slow-down, with the mindfulness, with the breathing. I still enjoy the multi-tasking and my so-called vata-producing technology, which allows me, just incidentally, to express and indulge so many aspects of my self. BUT I also know that it is precisely this slow-down that I need, especially if I want to get my groove back, i.e., establish a new routine.
Which I really, really do.
So I'm focusing on my damn vata derangement starting today by grounding myself. By this I mean that I am imposing a no-fly on myself so that I can GET grounded. I can't think of any other way to start. And I'm going to do my Teacher Training homework more diligently, and develop my home practice, and eat better, and go to sleep when I need to. And there's lots more, but if I list it all here, my vata is going to blow. Instead, I'm putting on my shoes and going for a long walk in the autumn woods with my dog, slowing it down and establishing a simpler, sustainable rhythm, one I can keep with my own two feet.