The Mind-Body Connection
Ayurveda as a science has a holistic, or 360 degree approach to health, and the cornerstone of this system is the mind-body connection. In Ayurveda it is recognised that every single aspect of our being is interconnected, everything from our emotions and digestion to our behaviours and dreams. As we adapt in every given moment to experiences we consume through our five senses, our bodies are always trying to restore us back into a state of equilibrium. It is recognised that that food we consume is just 1/5 of what we digest to create our overall health, vitality and immunity.
The 5 Senses
When we sleep at night our digestive fire (Agni) not only digest and absorbs nutrients from the food we eat, but it digests every single sensory experience from that day; every sight, touch, smell, sound and taste. The stimulation of external processes from our environments, nutrition, experiences, relationships and lifestyle choices in our day-day living provide the building blocks for our overall wellbeing. Essentiality forming our thoughts, behaviours and thinking patterns, the way we interact with our internal selves and external enviorment. Everything we consume through the senses will go through the process of digestion and be delicately absorbed by the sub-conscious mind. To live consciously and be mindful of what we choose to consume through our five senses, allows us to navigate our health with an expanded state of awareness.
If your digestive fire is weak not only are you unable to digest and assimilate nutrients from your food, but you are unable to digest all aspects of your life with strength and vigour. Low Agni causes you to feel mentally, physically and emotionally depleted, leading onto a path of accumulation of toxins (Ama) within the physiological and mental systems. These undigested toxins then begin to manifest in the mind and body as imbalance and disease. Imbalance can manifest in various forms through the doshas, everything from anxiety, depression and insomnia to acid-reflux, acne and fatigue. All firstly manifesting from the root of weak digestion and indigestible toxins. Low digestive fire and toxin accumulation can be caused by stress, trauma, poor lifestyle choices, processed foods and pollutants in our environments. When our fire is strong we are able to correctly assimilate nutrients, eliminate and detoxify waste, digest life experiences and manage stress with a clear and stable Sattvic state of mind.
At the core of Ayurveda is the deep understanding and awareness of the mind-body connection, and it is known that undigested emotions are more toxic than undigested foods. Unprocessed emotions cause heaviness, toxicity and dullness in the body. The suppression of basic core emotions such a fear, anger and sadness will first manifest as imbalance in the mind, and if left unseen too it will then progress further as disorder in the physical body through disease and rupture to the digestion. Awareness of emotional and mental health is vital in Ayurveda, each part of the mind and body holds its own unique intelligence and it is recognised that any imbalance in the physical body manifests in the mental body first. Your emotional wellbeing lays the foundation of how your physical body functions. The main principle of Ayurveda is to restore oneself into a state of equilibrium between the mind, body, emotions and soul, knowing that each intelligence was designed to work in harmony together. When in balanced unity you are able to experience true health, healing and homeostasis from within. This internal balance will reflect on the outside, as it is known that our external appearance is a mirror and direct reflection of our internal health. Restoring internal daily balance through conscious living will not only change the way you feel, but the way you interact with life- the way you speak, think behave and radiate the essence of health and vitality from within.