The way we talk to ourselves, the way I talk to myself in particular, has been on my mind a lot lately. EVERYTHING has been on my mind a lot lately, since I’ve been sitting still and letting the healing treatments of this Ayurvedic clinic Ayur Dara take their course.
I’ve been watching my thoughts, in between watching the menagerie of goats, chickens, stray dogs, crows and chipmunks in the jungle outside my cottage window (and the geckos and mosquitoes crawling inside on my window).
My thoughts tend to cycle. First, I wonder why I think I deserve to be still for two weeks, just focusing on my health. Other people work harder, my thoughts say. The staff here can’t afford these treatments. I’m not actually sick.
My thoughts want to convey the ideas that I am spoiled and that I should be accomplishing something. Write, my thoughts hiss, as I lie in the hammock, staring at the lagoon. Meditate, they practically scream as I take a post-lunch nap.
I should be chanting the Maja Mritynjaya mantra 108 times with the rudraksha-bead mala necklace I received after the holy Ganga Aarti Ceremony in Haridwar. I should work on my novel. I should plan the next leg of my travels.
I tell Dr. Subhash about these thoughts when we meet this morning, almost like I am confessing. I am supposed to be more peaceful. I am supposed to want to meditate. I have all these tools from yoga training now, to combat a restless mind.
“It is a Vata imbalance,” Dr. Subhash tells me. He doesn’t look condemning. He looks like a doctor diagnosing a treatable ailment. I am filled with hope.
I should take time here to explain the most basic fundamental structure of Ayurvedic Medicine. I stole this explanation from another travel blog because I’m excited to get to my mid-afternoon nap:
If yoga is the path to develop the mind and spirit, Ayurveda is the way to keep the body healthy so that each person could focus their energy on their higher purpose in life (dharma). Ayurveda offers a way for each person to balance their body, mind and spirit and tune it to the rhythms of the natural world.
There are several tools or lenses that Ayurveda uses to both diagnose and treat each person. According to Ayurveda, our bodies, just like the earth, are composed of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. When they say that, however, they do not mean these words in the limited sort of logs in a blazing pile, water in a riverbed way, but instead with a more expansive meaning. When they speak of air, they mean more the quality of air, such as movement, drying and separating things. When they speak of fire, they mean heat, metabolic processes, transformation. And when they speak of water, they mean lubrication and mediums.