I was just having a moment of brain fog. More than a moment actually. So I came to the bedroom, to my computer, and turned on some Brahms. I wonder how I ever liked Tchaikovsky, and I can't fathom how I ever felt apathetic about Brahms...
But this post is not about that. This post is about brain fog, and Fall, and overwhelm, and total disorganization, and agitation.
It's about Vata vitiation.
As you can read in my prior post, I've been struggling with the feelings that I get around this time of year. But now that I've been studying Ayurveda for over a year and I am officially an Ayurvedic Health Educator, I relate these feelings to the doshas: their overabundance within or disappearance from my being.
For most of the past year I have identified closely with Pitta dosha (read abou it here), but in the last month or two of study, during which I visited an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, I have started to identify with Vata dosha. I will dive deeper into what Vata dosha is all about in another post, but know that when this dosha is out of balance, or vitiated, the typical manifestations are anxiety, fear, agitation, hyperactivity, insomnia, chronic low energy, and overwhelm.
I have come to realize that I have two doshas that are equally prominent: Pitta and Vata. I am really feeling the Vata right now, not surprisingly, since with the coming of Fall comes an increase in Vata dosha. These Fall Feelings are really just aggravated Vata dosha.
Thanks to my studies, I now have better tools and awareness to deal with these feelings of indecisiveness, emotional sensitivity, restlessness, and anxiety. This is where the Brahms comes in. I am not usually capable of listening to classical music passively. When I listen to an intense piece of Brahms I am brought back into focus pretty immediately. That fuzziness leaves and an alertness and focus sets in. By the time I am done with the song, I am ready to engage in whatever activity was giving me trouble in the first place.
There are other things that help too. Not binge watching endless hours of Netflix, for example. Even a little bit of screen time can be really overwhelming when Vata is aggravated. It's a lot of stimulation when you think about it - artificial light, and characters moving across the screen, and endless sounds filled with dramatic flair! It is far more difficult for me to fall asleep on the nights I watch television than it is on nights that I don’t. (Whoah, and look at this about reading a book vs. reading digitally!)
Finding your grounding helps too. Despite being a total cynic about almost everything I totally believe in the chakras and the power of the gaze. Just sitting, connecting your seat to the ground, focusing on the muladhara chakra and breathing slowly can do wonders for bringing the hyperactivity caused by Vata down. Bringing your gaze down in yoga class instead of up – same thing. It brings the energy from the ether down to the Earth.
And slowing down. My partner and I were walking our dog last night, and I asked him to slow down because I could tell the fast walking was waking me up and bringing me into a space of too much activity before bedtime. I am a fast walker and tend to get really annoyed when people aren't keeping up with me, but when I actually slow down to stay with them I usually feel a lot less agitated.
And so I’m just hoping these simple solutions will help me have a more grounded and less agitated Fall. Despite wanting to hold on to Summer and sun, I want to enjoy Fall. We all know it leads to Winter, and it is hard to ignore the impending rain and gloom, but I have to say that the Earth knows how to die. Each year rather than slowly withering into Winter, into death and decay, it goes out with a bang. With bursts of color and wind and activity and lightness. With the right amount of grounding and attention we can totally get swept up into this wonderful time without necessarily blowing away.