Heartbreak and Healing
A devastating breakup clouded my days, which stretched to months and longer. The stressful situation couldn’t be avoided – I was spending the summer working in the same small company with my ex’s new partner. I skirted deep sadness for months and kept working hard, then exercising harder to stay sane.
On most weekdays, I woke early for a short, brisk walk, returned home for a full, fresh lunch and a light cardio workout. After work, yoga classes helped release the day’s struggles. What I didn’t realize was how ayurvedic the routine was. An ayurvedic schedule incorporates exercise early in the day, having one’s main meal at lunchtime and consciously relaxing daily. If I’d been more informed, there were also specific ayurvedic recommendations that could have helped my physiology and emotions recuperate more quickly.
I had plenty of company. More women are likely to experience feelings of sadness than men, and it affects over 19 million each year. Stress and related emotions are in the media constantly. How to manage it, how to avoid it, how to dissolve it is emblazoned on magazine covers and blasted on talk shows. Perhaps it’s time for a more subtle and profound perspective.
Ayurvedic science, as related by Maharishi Ayurveda experts, looks deeply into each individual physiology for the basis of emotional health or imbalance. Basically each of us carries our own barometer, and with a little awareness of how this works, we can manage stressful emotions better. One key is releasing them in a timely manner. That fateful summer I was stuck in a constant state of “replaying the loss,” and due to my work situation had daily reminders of the source of my sadness. Exercise certainly helped, but the key to healing began with my heart.
The major ayurvedic text, Charaka Samhita, describes an intimate connection between the heart and mind and says that the “seat of consciousness is in the heart.” As we have digestive “fire” to create energy, the same is true for each cell. One function, Sadhaka Pitta, a subdosha of Pitta, is associated with the heart and the processing of emotions.
To use modern terminology, neurohormones are located in the brain and all over the body, including the heart. Those located in the heart send signals to the brain to register sadness or happiness, depending on how the individual processes an experience. In my case, heartbreak was causing an imbalance which made this difficult and slowed the process of finding a balanced way through loss and grief.
The clearest path to recovery was my meditation practice. I do TM – Transcendental Meditation®. Dipping into the transcendental state allowed my physiology and emotional body to relax and rejuvenate. Another way to restore emotional balance is through herbal support, and Maharishi Ayurveda has a specific formula for this – Stress Free Emotions. It helps to balance the Sadhaka Pitta, which governs emotional health and helps to coordinate the mind and emotions. Natural resistance to emotional stress is supported as well.
I recall that summer with a shadowed fondness now. No longer is there sadness, but I see that what unfolded emotionally helped me to grow and to eventually open my heart to healthier relationships and vastly more happiness.
Keep in mind, Ayurveda regards each constitution as unique – different in its own ways. In Ayurveda, while there are general health guidelines that almost always apply, specific approaches and tactics vary. One size does not fit all. Ayurveda is amazing in that each individual can have an individual package of “tools” that will be idea for him or her and deliver the best results. If you are facing an emotional loss, I encourage you to seek out an Ayurvedic expert, called a Vaidya, and consult your health care provider or physician.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.
This article originally appeared on the vpk by Maharishi Ayurveda website and is used here with permission