“Health is balanced constitution, balanced digestion and metabolism, balanced tissues, proper movement of wastes, balance in the mind and senses in one who is seated in her Self….” -Sushruta Samhita
I memorized this sutra in sanskrit when I was in ayurveda school. When I first learned the meaning, I loved that last part best: being situated in one’s Self is a key component of health. Svastha (pronounced “swahsTa”)” is the sanskrit word that means “to be established in oneself.” In our yoga practice we intentionally invoke our presence and our capacity to be with ourselves as we breathe and move and sense. You know that feeling at the end of a good yoga session when your mind is settled, your heart is awake and you can’t quite remember what you were all worked up about when you came in? That transformation is a kind of svastha and is probably a big part of what keeps us coming back to the mat.
The eastern healing arts and our western esoteric traditions acknowledge the life of the spirit and understand that if we are not at peace with ourselves, there is going to be disharmony in the system. Disharmony in any system affects all systems. Just like a misalignment in a yoga pose affects the whole body, a disconnection from our Essential Self, ripples through all the layers of the Self causing “dis-ease.”
Here is a simple practice for getting back to svastha: Take a seat for 5 – 20 minutes. Turn off your phone–find a quiet space–a natural setting is ideal. Set a timer and close your eyes. Feel the breath as it flows through your nostrils. As you breathe in, silently say “so” as you breathe out, silently say, ‘hum” “So-Hum”–’I am That.’ If your mind wanders, return to your breath; return to ‘So Ham.’ Sit and gently focus on your breath/sound until your timer goes off. Rest for a minute afterwards.
Have you been feeling out of sorts, lately? Let’s talk. I’ve arranged some times during the afternoons for free 30 minute strategy sessions. Go HERE to make an appointment. I’d love to talk with you.