In the ancient texts, cause and effect is called Karma- Vipaka
Karma describes the way our daily experiences unfold.
“From intention springs the deed, from the deed springs the habits. From the habits grow the character, from character develops destiny.”
A good way to begin to understand the connection between karma and our physiology is by observing our habit patterns.
In Ayurveda, health is defined as a state when all the physical systems and functions, and the soul and mind are harmoniously balanced and at ease.
Disease, therefore, means creating imbalances that reverse the flow of ease.
Ayurveda names three main causes of disease:
Prajnaparadha means ‘’offence against wisdom’’
Slowly and prematurely sinking our ship by making careless choices. We know that if we habitually overeat, we’ll gain too much weight. We know that if we don’t take time to stop, drop and sit we start to become unproductive, tired and stressed. We know that if we don’t exercise our bodies, we eventually get weak, stiff and stagnant.
Asatmendriyartha Sam Yoga ‘’Improper use of the sense organs’’
Yoga and Ayurveda recommend that we show our eyes, ears, nose, taste buds and skin some respect if we want them to last a lifetime. Both ancient sciences hold a beautiful obsession with 5 sense organs, and rightly so, it is through them that our inner universe perceives our outer universe. When we habitually disrespect our sense organs, we risk wearing them out prematurely.
Parinama- Living out of sync with natures Rhythm.
Nature works through rhythms in time. When our habits are out of alignment with the day/night, monthly (lunar), seasonal and time of life time rhythms we don’t get very far, our natural rhythm of ageing and decay picks up pace, our bodies shift from ease to dis-ease and we get old before our time.
My Health Personal Evolution
As a young woman in my 20s and 30s I worked as a manager for a big international company in the UK. I loved my job but i burned the candle at both ends for many years. Friends who’ve heard me speak about my journey to Ayurvedic living jokingly refer to these as the ‘snickers years’. I was sinking my ship by putting poor quality fuel in my body and relying on stimulants like chocolate, caffeine and alcohol to keep me going.
I suffered with allergies, asthma, fluid retention, weight fluctuations, hair loss, hormone imbalance, skin conditions and mood swings. I was chronically sleep deprived, stressed and constipated.
Each year my body was reacting to my negligent choices in new ways and the more I ignored her, the louder she yelled.
My habits were so out of alignment, I didn’t notice the connection between my lifestyle and my poor health. I simply medicated my symptoms and accepted them as a part of my identity.
Fast forward Two decades and now I’m calling the shots with my health, most of the time anyway……. (Mama menopause can be an unpredictable force right ladies?) Thankfully, we humans are designed to get smarter as we age, so by refining our habits as we grow older, we can chart a different course for our health. Now in my early 50s, I’m stronger and way more resilient than I was my 20s and 30s.
I learned how to manage lifes ups and downs through Yoga and Meditation and thanks to my Ayurvedic training, I have automated self-care habits that create a more connected, awake and aligned way of living.
These are my top 5 non- negotiable, daily habits for optimizing healthy ageing:
- Eat a light, easy to digest dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed
- Be in bed, ready for 8 hours quality sleep, by 9.30-10pm at least 5 nights per week.
- Drink 1-2 pints of warm/tea temperature water on waking to rehydrate and flush your inner toilet..
- Put more plants on your plate
- Move your body for 20 minutes, first thing in the morning, every day.
I still sometimes notice the residue of those neglectful years in my sensitive constitution, but I have so much to be thankful for. What’s happening in my life and in my body today is a direct consequence of my actions and my habits right now and I couldn’t feel happier or healthier.
‘’Causality is what connects one process with another process or state, where the first is partly responsible for the second, and the second is partly dependent on the first.
This is cause and effect, the law of karma.