When we are balanced, our senses actually feed our good choices, and we become more tuned toward balance. When we are out of balance, they send us toward the people, places, foods and forms of entertainment that bring us into deeper states of imbalance. Personally, I know I’m in balance when I start craving steamed broccoli, early nights with a good book, and positive social connection with my family.
The first way we get out of balance is through upset in the digestive system (whether we notice it or not). Weak digestion creates something called ama. We can approximate its translation in English as “toxins.” When you don’t digest things well, they build up in the system and turn rotten. Think of ama as a slimy, beige-colored toxic sludge that smothers the movement of energy in your digestive tract. In the body, this manifests as bloating, weight gain, acne, fatigue, constipation, and many other unsavory symptoms. (Chapter XX will cover this is detail.)
We can experience mental/emotional ama as well. This ama is the accumulation of undigested life experiences that blocks the channels of our perception; it is the storehouse of our negativity stories. You can measure how full your storehouse is by looking at how much you blame others for your current life circumstances or how often you get offended by people, politics, or the weather conditions; when you find these things happening more often and more easily, you have a buildup of ama. Ama is like a sludgy mind-mucus dripping down from your brain and putting out the fire of sweetness in your heart.
Sometimes imbalances occur as a natural result of the environment we live in. Ama can accumulate, for example, if we live in polluted air or drink polluted water. Sometimes we experience disease as a natural process of ageing and decay. If you leave a metal chair outside for a few years, the environment and time will age it. Our bodies are the same. Happily,
Ayurveda teaches us how to slow down the natural pull of decay so that we can stay vital and gleaming and longer. The body is limited. Over time, the body begins to decay due to the sheer force of death itself.
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