We are in the midst of preparing a bollywood dance for my sisters wedding. As each of us approached the dance floor it dawned on me that I could use this metaphor to explain what moving does to us in terms of Ayurveda and the doshas. What did I observe in each of us? Each one of us slowly slipped into a freer part of ourselves and a few even mentioned that time and space became irrelevant. Walls began tumbling down as our self-esteem had its chance to shine leaving our doubts and insecurities at the door. The body becomes completely uninhibited. We lose ourselves in the act of being creative and expressing. My 16-month-old daughter was elated as the music was playing only uttering the word “none” as the music stopped.
What does dance do to our beings? Well let’s back up. Any kind of movement is related to vata dosha. Doshas are material substances in the body. Vata is comprised of air and space elements predominantly. Its physiologic function is that of movement. When movement halts or becomes directionless vata goes out of balance. Vata dosha is responsible for our daily bowel movements. It’s in the word. The bowels move naturally because vata is in its proper order. Constipation sets in if vata is out of balance. For one reason or another the downward movement of vata halts. Anxiety or racing thoughts is another example of increased vata dosha; too much air element floating around trying so hard to catch the next thought.
It’s important to remember our bodies require a certain amount of movement daily. We all crave movement. Whether we are stuck behind a desk, or behind a wheel or in a meeting or most frequently stuck in our own minds. This movement through dance or any other form of exercise frees us maybe because of the distraction but more so because the movement which is air element frees us from the stable cold nature of the opposite of vata which is kapha-predominantly earth element.
As long as we move at the right times of the day we keep vata in balance. The right time of day would be during kapha time which is 6-10am. If we partake in dance or exercise late at night we disrupt the stable forces of nature. As long as we dance with nature’s rhythms we can keep our internal rhythms in check.
Grab a hold of your partner in life “your health” and remember to ask yourself. “What am I doing to keep my doshas in balance?”