“The body is constantly giving us signals about the state of our health and wellness. All there is to do is listen…” – Chara Caruthers
I’ve said this for years now. If we’re looking for the answer to what’s MOST authentically healthy for us, all we really need to do is listen to what our bodies are saying.
But there’s only one problem.
Most of us don’t have any idea what we’re looking or listening for.
Because we don’t really understand our body’s “language”. Most of us have never paid much attention to the subtleties of our physical experience. We usually only feel and respond to the highs and lows.
But in between there is a world of “chatter” a lot like “white noise”; a low dull hum in the background that we’ve lost track of or have learned to live with. And often amongst that “chatter” are the red flags that signal the start of imbalance.
What is imbalance…
Ayurveda says that our natural state is balance. It’s a state that comes from authentic and healthy interactions with our diet, exercise, environment, relationships, seasons, thoughts, karma, etc.
And it’s a delicate balance, that’s constantly being challenged by our own thoughts, feelings, and the people, environments and things we surround ourselves with. When any one or more of these factors is disturbed, it kicks off a chain of events that disturbs the balance of the whole.
These days, there are a lot of factors that contribute to our state of balance, which makes getting there pretty challenging. And has made imbalance more common than not.
But that doesn’t mean that finding balance is an impossible mission. It’s very possible, and entirely achievable.
Especially when you know what balance looks and feels like for you…
- Being “in the zone”, “dancing with life”
- Clarity (mental, physical, emotional)
- Feeling strong, light, energized and joyful
And perhaps even more important than knowing balance, is being able to read those signals your body gives you, that imbalance is lurking… ready to pounce.
Staring in the face of imbalance…
Imbalance can look and feel like something you experience every single day (which kinda means it can feel more like “nothing” than “something”). And because of that, we usually ignore it when it’s “whispering” and only ever actually hear it when it starts screaming.
So if you’re wondering if you’re living with imbalance right now, consider this super short list of very common signs of imbalance and how they may be showing up in your life…(or the life of someone you love):
- Bad breath – Is often a signal that our digestive system has been compromised in some way (which could be due to an imbalance in any of the doshas), or that we need to work on our oral hygiene. We often ignore it or chock it up to eating too many “stinky” foods, but it’s important to consider root causes and take steps to address them. Is bad breath a part of your occasional or everyday experience?
- Dull skin or hair – This can signal a number of potential imbalances from vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, to toxicity, to the need to include more quality oils in your diet and self care routine. This one in particular is one that we often attribute to ageing, the weather or activities like swimming and outdoor pursuits. But it’s important to see it as your body’s message that it needs something more than it’s getting. What’s the state of your skin and hair?
- Shallow, and sporadic breathing – They say the breath mirrors what’s going on in the mind and body. So then it follows that shallow, irregular breath is an indication of a mental, physical or emotional disturbance. Low quality breathing is something that many of us unconsciously live with every day, AND one of the reasons that yoga and pranayama (breath control) are such powerful tools for creating balance. So it’s important to ask yourself…How are you breathing?
- Cracking, aching, grinding or “noisy” joints – Many joint issues are associated with an increase of vata dosha. The qualities of dryness, space, and lightness often play a starring role in the cracking, popping or aching joints that many experience on a daily basis. Another sign of ageing, yes, but also a signal of imbalance that can be address with the right application of factors (including food, movement, herbs and attitude). Are your joints trying to tell you something?
And last but certainly not least…
- Fear, distraction, aggravation, anxiety – I’ve rolled these four common mental emotional experiences into a single “sign” because they are very often experienced together (in some combination)! Any one of these emotions is a daily experience for most folks, and can be responsible for imbalances like weight gain, hypertension, weakened immunity and a whole lot more. If you’re not familiar with how these emotions show up in your mind and body, the first vitally important step is to gain an understanding of that. What does fear, distraction, aggravation and anxiety look like for you?
The truth about imbalance… and what to do about it
These five signals of imbalance are some of the most common, but they are by far not the only ways that our bodies speak to us. There are at least as many “languages” and signals as there are individuals who experience them which points to one VERY important and vital task that each of us needs to embrace if we want to live long, happy lives. You ready for it…?
Yes, pay attention! Tune into your joy, confidence and “in the zone” moments. Feel and experience them as fully as you can. Dedicate their nuances to your mind and muscle memories and open yourself up to receive all the goodness they bring to you and those around you.
Without an intimate knowledge of what balance feels like, we all run the risk of losing connection to our best selves, and forgetting what’s possible when we make the choice to authentically feed and support our mind, body and soul.
Paying attention also sends the mind (and body) the much needed message that we are worthy of love, self care, health, wellness and everything else we want in life.
Ayurveda gives us tools for recognizing ourselves in our balanced and imbalanced states. It helps us see ourselves, and our relationship to the things around us with a clarity that makes imbalance, and the things that lead to it, stick out like a sore thumb. In doing that, it empowers us to take the steps we need to make imbalance more the exception than the rule.
So what does imbalance look and feel like in YOUR life? Are you ready to find out?
And more importantly, are you ready to discover the food, actions, thoughts and environments that will feed your greatness?
Join me for a 10 week adventure in Living Ayurveda! Find details for Back to Balance HERE!