The cooling temperatures and blustery winds of late autumn and early winter can aggravate our vata dosha and leave us feeling scattered, forgetful, or more worried or anxious than usual. If this is how you are feeling try this 5 minute practice….
(if you want to find out more about the three dosha energies look back through blog posts and you will find a questionnaire “Discover your Dosha”)
Sit yourself down on a chair or on the floor, and make sure your body is comfortable with a nice long back, against a wall if that helps you or with the back of the chair for support
Notice the breath as it streams in and out through your nostrils (if they are clear)
Summon up in your mind the image of a lake, in the midst of a storm, the wind howling, dark storm clouds unleashing torrents of rain, the sky cracked open by jags of lighting and the air alive with the rumble of thunder. The surface of the water is being beaten by the rain and the wind, it is difficult to see anything clearly in the midst of the storm. Just as suddenly as it came, the storm abates, the wind drops, the rain ceases, the clouds clear, and the sun shines brightly in the sky. Observe the surface of the water as it stills. Above the lake is a clear winter sky, bright blue, with just a few wisps of clouds.
Imagine yourself looking at the surface of the lake and see the sky perfectly reflected by the water. Contemplate the lake and its quality of reflectivity.
Notice how the water reflects only what is there, it does not edit anything out, or add anything in. If a bird flies overhead, the lake will show the journey of the bird, but once the bird is out of sight, the water shows no trace.
Notice how the water is also translucent, and that you can focus your eyes to see past the reflective surface down into the depths of the water. You can see fish swimming past, weeds waving in the current, you can see the rocks and silt at the very bottom of the lake.
Your mind has these same qualities of reflectivity and translucence when it is calm, but it loses these qualities when it is turbulent, just as the surface of the lake changed with the passing of the storm. Imagine your mind to be as translucent and reflective as the lake, absolutely calm, so that you can simply reflect on what arises without judging or comparing, and without editing out anything through aversion or denial. Take a deep breath in and see yourself as the water of the lake; breathing out, reflect.
How do you feel?