Rabu, 29 April 2015

Bicycle and Ayurveda: how it brings out the best in me

 It was one year ago when my friend introduce me to Ayurveda, a system of Hindu traditional medicine founded in India 5000 years ago. It was one of the oldest health science ever found, older than the invention of penicillin. 
I’m not a person who would easily agree with something un-logical. Although Ayurveda is mainly used by the Hindus and have strong relation to religious ritual and may sounds fairly superstitious, but the more I learned about Ayurveda the more I found Ayurveda logical and made sense. I was intrigued by the idea of Ayurveda, and it led me into researches from books and hundreds online articles about Ayurveda. Since then, I’ve learned and followed basic rules of living according to the science which I’ve applied to many of my routines and favorite activities. Surprisingly, it could explain so clearly the reasons why I love bicycling and how good it made me feel. It turned out that bicycle can brings the best in me, that may have been buried inside.

First, let me give you a brief explaining of Ayurveda before I get to that point. We will get to the bicycle part, I promise you. Bear with me.

According to Ayurveda, every things existed in the universe has its own Dosha. Dosha is element consisted in our body which forms a human being, the elements is grouped in three dosha: Kapha (earth & water), Vata (wind & space) and Pitta (fire & water). Every things included: activities, sounds, food, animal and of course, human.
Understanding the logic of Dosha and how to relate it with our body is not rocket science, very easy.

I will take Vata Dosha for example. What relate the most with wind characteristic? I’d say; movement, free, unpredictable, cold. Then a person with Vata Dosha dominance would have a thin body, light body weight and will remain skinny no matter how much food they eat. When balanced, a Vata person will be creative as they let their imagination freely, have good sense of art and will have no problem with dancing any other activities using body movements. But the downside, when imblanced a Vata person will most likely be moody, easy to change their mind and will experience many mood-swings. Sounds like ‘wind’ to you?

What I meant when I said “when balanced..”, is because Ayurveda key to an ideal healthy life is simple; to be balance. Ayurveda treat a disease or a sickness as an imbalance state of our body. So, if you are a Vata person, which means you already have many wind element in your body, then you are more likely to be sick when you ‘consume’ too many wind element from external. With ‘consume’, it is not only mean the food we consume only with one of our senses, but it is also means the experience, the activities, the weather which we consume with all our five senses, and affect not only our body but also our mind. So if you catch a cold, the cure is not only with taking medicine or going to the doctor, you can cuddle with your loved ones that can warm up your body and make the cold go away. And when imbalance, our body is not only produce sickness, but also brings out the bad habit and bad character such as; laziness, mood-swings, angry, jelousy, hatred, etc. As a wise man once said, Mens sana in corpore sano.

Everybody is unique, nobody are made the same. Everybody are made from different dominance elements. Me myself, have 2 dominance Dosha. I am both Pitta and Kapha person, which means my body constitution is made from fire, earth and water. To balance myself, I have to find a daily routine that contradict my dominance Dosha. Which in my case, cycling. Cycling requires a constant body movement and it also make you embrace the wind as you cycle. Perfect for me who needs more Vata in my body!

If you have read my blog, you may have read many ways of me provoking to start take bicycle into your daily commune and how good it feels to ride a bike. Since I learned Ayurveda and know myself better, I am now more certain that cycling is good for both my mind and body. It’s not only makes me healthier, but it also brings out the best in me.

I’ve been saying this many times, both in real life and in my blog, that I always felt confidence, brave and much much happier when riding a bike. And after riding, I always be more productive and the happiness after riding my bike stuck until the end of the day. Bicycle has been a cure to my bad days. But I’ve never been able to explain how riding a bike has made it all possible. “It just… Felt good!”, has always been my best answer. But now, I can explain it better. The downside of being a Pitta are; hot-headed, ambitious and selfish, and for Kapha; lazy, dependent and sluggish. If I’m being imbalance, those shoddy traits will ruin me. But when balance, a Pitta-Kapha person will be focus, determined, smart, well-organized, faithful and hold firm believe. Riding a bicycle is one of my way to be balance and brings out the best in me. “To be a better self” is a best motivation for me to keep cycling. And it should be for you as well.

Gadis Prameswari Azahra
Photo content: found on Pinterest

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