According to Ayurveda, an ancient science and medical system that dates from India over 5,000 years ago, good health is dependent upon both your inner and outer environments.
When you visit a harmonious and clean place, you immediately feel the effects that the particular environment can have on your body and mind. The opposite environment, full of stress and pollution, will have an adverse affect on your well-being.
Ayurveda teaches that our inner environment, or the workings of our bodies from our respiration and circulation to our digestion, is like that of the world we inhabit. Therefore, what we bring in to our bodies—via foods, smells, noises, conversations—all play a part in our wellbeing.
Have you ever felt unsettled after an angry conversation or argument? Have you ever had difficulty digesting a particularly rich, or large, or greasy meal? How did you feel the next day when you woke up? Sometimes, are bodies are able to process or digest an overload of food, information, or stimulus. Yet other times, our bodies are unable to handle the extreme amount of toxicity that we are bringing inside. Imagine if you were to throw all of your trash out your window every day for a week into your back yard. Sure, at first glance in your home you wouldn’t see anything. But eventually you’d want to go outside, and the trash would at first be unsightly. Imagine what would happen if everyone in your building or on your block did this for an entire year, or ten years, or one hundred. We would have a huge mess on our hands, all of the plants previously living would be buried and dead, there would be rancid food and pest infestations, in other words, we’d be living in a toxic dump.
This is what happens when again and again we eat while watching TV. This is what happens when we eat processed food, eat while walking or working, when we overeat or binge or drink enough caffeine to keep an army awake.
Our bodies are diurnal, they take 24 hours to wake up, reboot, fuel, get things accomplished, turn the engines off, cool down, and recharge overnight. If your typical day starts with you checking your phone, email, or Facebook, and ends with you checking your phone, email, Facebook or watching television, then your brain and body are in “get things accomplished” mode from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep. And I’m guessing that you probably don’t get 8 hours of sleep either…
When we spend most of our day in “get things accomplished” mode and don’t allot enough time for rest, recharge and reboot, the process of digestion goes out of whack.
Our bodies’ energy gets diverted from digestion to handle all of the other responsibilities and stimulus it’s taking in. Rather than fully digesting, metabolizing, and absorbing food and eliminating waste, food gets stuck somewhere in the process. It doesn’t get digested and we feel heavy or lethargic, or it doesn’t get absorbed, and we feel low energy, or it doesn’t get properly eliminated so we get headaches, nausea, or constipation.
These symptoms are all signs of pollution in your body. Maybe it’s time for you to perform a little Earth day cleanup on your insides.
Fortunately, cleaning up and clearing out the buildup of unprocessed emotions and undigested food is a more manageable task than cleaning up a toxic waste dump. Ayurveda is more than a science or medical system, you could say it is a philosophy of living that provides you with common sense tools for cultivating good digestive health, healing from disease and maintaining energy and vitality.
If you’re ready to do an overhaul on your digestion, check out my upcoming Wellness Detox: it’s less than 3 weeks away! The Wellness Detox is a great way to familiarize yourself with the workings of your inner environment, to clear out the toxins using foods that nourish and support you, and to cultivate lasting habits for long-term wellness.