The outside world hosts an environment full of wonder and beauty, but sometimes it challenges us to find connection and maintain our equilibrium. If you live in a big city or an area that is highly populated, the swarm of high energy can have an effect.
One of my favorite practices is that of creating sacred space that feeds the heart and soul. The inability to control what happens outside of ourselves creates the opportunity to build upon what happens within ourselves. Focusing on our health and happiness gives new eyes to our perspective when looking outward. Focusing on our personal space and environment offers a container for peace and well being.
The energetic relationship of color
Colors have a subtle effect on our emotions. Colors are energy interacting with our own energy. Sattvic colors such as green, sky blue, soft orange, gold, violet and white are calming and harmonizing.These colors increase consciousness and sooth the heart and spirit.Brown and Black are considered to be Tamasic colors that connect us with darker energies. They can be very grounding and increase strength. Some sects of monks use their black robes as symbol of separation from the material world and ordinary desires.When used properly, the color brown can counteract conditions of excess lightness and instability which is good for Vata.Yellow and Red are considered Rajasic colors that are stimulating and sometimes too aggressive for the already hot and energized qualities of Pitta.
The Fabric of our Lives
As our society moved forward on the idea that quantity and cost efficiency was a priority, the materials we use in everyday life began to change. Plastic became a substitute material for things that were once made of wood, leather, bone, clay, tin, copper etc. The use of artificial fabrics sudden allow for us to have more while paying less. Everything from the houses we live in, to the items it holds and the clothing we wear has become in large part a manufacturing of unnatural fabrics. It is important to remember that our own subtle energies interact with the energies around us. It is healing and beneficial to be connected to materials that link us to the natural world. Invite nature into your home. Also, a wonderful ritual to have if their are children in the home is a nature space. In our home, that means a table with fresh wildflowers, a bowl of stones from our local creek, a unique piece of driftwood, and a cosy wool blanket.
Organization and Cleanliness
One day while sitting at home, I looked around me. I realized I had been collecting things that I had either been given or had collected on my own. Many of them I carried with me for years without even questioning my need for them or my love of them. I felt compelled that day to let go of everything I owned which did not serve a purpose, whether that purpose by functional or just function for my own enjoyment. I made a dozen trips to the Goodwill. I literally cleared out everything that was of no use in my life. Let the question be, "Do I need you or do I love you?" Even if its a pile of old books your questioning, the question makes it very simple. Your personal space should always make you feel connected to yourself and be the world that you crave.
The sense of smell influences emotions, memories, desires and creativity. Aromas can provoke the production of hormones the control physical and psychological functions. Ayurveda understands that aromas can influence our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states.
For Vata the following essential oils can be very healing: amber, anise, basil, bergamot, camphor, cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, coriander, frankincense, geranium, finer, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, sweet orange, tangerine, thyme, vanilla, vetiver and ylang ylang.
For Pitta: birch, brahmi, chamomile, champa, calry sage, corianger, fennel, geranium, jasmine, jatamansi, lavender, lemon, lime, madarin, myrtle, neroli, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, spearmint, tangerine, tea tree, vanilla, wintergreen, yarrow, and ylang ylang.
For Kapha: angelica, anise, basil, bay, bergamot, birch, camphor, cardamom, cedarwood, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, fir, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, marjoram, neroli, myrrh, myrtle, petitgrain, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, sweet orange, tea tree, wintergreen, yarrow.
Fill your beautiful sacred space with only the colors that interact best with your energy, with the things you love and need, and with the fragrances that balance your constitution and inspire you!
Megan Fleming for Marin Ayurveda