Thanks so much for your well-wishes about our recent move up to Buffalo. I am so grateful for this community and the ability to connect, no matter how close or far away we live from each other.
Back in January, I was working with my Ayurveda teacher Myra. I told her about our move and how excited we were for it as a family. She said to me – “yes, I know that you’re excited about this change, but even good change can cause imbalance.” I had to pause and take that in – it was a big wake-up call for me.
I had created a binary distinction between “good” and “bad” change. In my mind, “bad” change, like losing your job, would provoke vata dosha. This excess vata could cause constipation, indecision, and dryness in the body. “Good” change, I believed, could be navigated without friction or issues. If you just felt good about the change, I didn’t think it could have ill effects.
But in truth, all change and movement is ruled by vata dosha, no matter what labels or value judgments you place on it. And change and movement doesn’t occur in a vacuum – the energy of movement has to move somewhere.
Both yoga and modern physics recognize that all actions, good and bad, create a reaction. In yoga, this reaction is an “energetic residue” that remains present after an action has occurred. This energetic residue can be called a samskara – our action creates a pattern that we’re likely to repeat again. This energetic residue also has a karmic effect – our action will create reverberations that can influence what we experience in the future.
These samskaras and karmas aren’t dependent on our feelings about the actions, they’re dependent on the energy of the action. So whether I’m moving because I lost a job or moving because I found a new place I’m really excited to live in, it will have the energetic residue of movement that gets repeated in the body.
These energetic residues stick around until they are accounted for and fully processed by the body. Emily and Amelia Nagoski talk about the importance of processing in their book “Burnout”. Many of us rely on time to heal/resolve stressors, but just “waiting it out” doesn’t make the stress actually resolve. We need to fully process the stressor in order to release it. As we complete the stress cycle, we make room for other emotions and experiences.
Ayurveda talks about it in a similar way. One of the pillars of Ayurveda is dinacharya, your daily routine. Ayurveda focuses so much on these daily rituals and practices because they’re ways to release the accumulated energetic residues and set the stage for more positive actions and energies in the rest of the day. Breathing practices, yoga asana, your diet, and other practices can make a huge difference because they provide an energetic reset.
These practices were a critical part of my moving plan. No matter how much was shifting or up in the air during this move, I was (and still am) committed to daily abhyanga, morning meditation, and other practices that calm vata dosha and help process the energy of our move.
Ayurveda also stresses the importance of practices to refresh and reset the energy seasonally, so that each new cycle that we enter is done with a clean slate that we can build positive action and energy on top of.
The Spring is one of those important times for energetic resets and refreshers. Different religious traditions throughout the world have Spring celebrations of refreshment and renewal, from Easter and Passover to Holi and Nowruz. We use them to clear off the old and start anew.
Take a moment to check in. How are you feeling this Spring? Do you feel like you’ve shaken off the quiet hibernation of late winter, or do you still feel the energetic hustle and bustle of the winter holidays?
Now is the perfect time to make sure those energetic residues are processed and cleared. On April 17th, I’ll be hosting a Spring Refresh workshop to do exactly that. We’ll explore simple Ayurvedic self-care rituals that help you to generate more energy and health in your body and mind, as well as a yoga practice to create balance in your body this Spring. AND – if you register by April 12th, I’ll send you a special kapha-balancing tea home-blended by me! Learn more and register here.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,