June 14, 2011
Last week I took my car in for what I thought was going to be a $30 oil change. My brother- who knows and cares a lot more about cars then I do- is always encouraging me to stay on top of the car maintenance and upkeep.
It is something I know is a good idea but never seems to be a top priority. In fact, it never even reaches my ‘to do list’. Nevertheless I did heed the call as I was making a longer journey and I couldn’t actually remember the last time I had the oil changed.
When I went to pick the car up I was given a piece of paper with an estimate of over $700 of work that needed to be done- apparently a ‘safety issue’ that needed to be taken care of immediately. Considering I was leaving the country the next day I felt pressured and didn’t want to be foolish by not getting the work done. Besides, what did I know about cars? I certainly didn’t want to be away from home and have my car break down, have my breaks fail or be in an accident.
So many people treat their health the same way I treat my car… they wait until something is broken and needs to be fixed or has to be, due to an emergency. Our health care system does not propagate health prevention or the empowerment of knowledge for maintenance of a healthy mind and body. Rarely does it even acknowledge the direct relationship between the mind and body.
Our thoughts become our biology. We are what we think. The Yogis and Ayurvedic Vaidyas (Doctors) have known this for thousands of years: hence all of the practices, techniques and systems which make up Yoga and Ayurveda, all with the aim of balancing the individual.
Prevention is the most powerful and impactful way that we can be healthy. It’s so practical, so logical, not allowing the dis-ease process to even start! But why is this not even on our ‘to do list’? Why is it easier to carry on doing the same old things that we know aren’t helping us live our most vital and balanced life? Why are we waiting until the maintenance light comes on in our body in the form of illness and disease before taking action?
Sure, we all have the excuses of time and money as reasons not to invest in our health and well being. On my journey I was forced to pay attention and take care of myself despite having little funds available to me at the time. The truth is that investing in prevention and maintaining good health costs less in the long run. Otherwise we end up sick and have to take more and more time off of work, costing us time and money, thieving away our enjoyment of life and adding strain to our relationships.
We all know when we are in need of a tune up. We feel ourselves spiraling out of balance as stress rises and the pressures of life seem too much. At these times we find ourselves too busy to go to a yoga class or to receive a massage or even eat well and get to bed at a decent hour. But this is the irony of the situation and the deep shift that needs to occur is to heed the call. Our health or disease is created by what we are doing on a daily bases. So, day to day, examine the foods, experiences, relationships and routines that are adding to your experience of health, wellness and balance and those that are not.
Just as our cars need to be refueled, maintained, washed and tuned-up, so do we. This body is the car we get to drive around while we are here and our mind is in the driver seat. Both the car and driver need to be in good health and balance to make the journey of life as enjoyable, safe, easy and fun as possible.
Madhuri Phillips is a certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (CAS), Pancha Karma Specialist (PKS), and Ayurvedic Body Therapist receiving certification from the California College of Ayurveda as well as having done advanced study with world renowned, Dr. Vasant Lad. Madhuri has been a head faculty member of the Langara College Yoga Teacher Training Program since its inception in 2008 and is currently the co-organizer of the Vancouver Ayurveda Meet-Up Group. She is a registered Senior Yoga Teacher with YogaBC and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with Yoga Alliance. Madhuri has shared her knowledge and wisdom with students across Canada, in England and in India for more than a decade. www.madhuriayurvedayoga.com