The 5 Elements of Ayurveda | An Impressive Imposter: Sparkling NA
As follow-up to last week’s conversation on suicide prevention and mental health in the workplace, this episode offers us a perspective shift inviting us to see life through the lens of the 5 Elements of Ayurveda.
Maria then takes us through the options for a dry week (or month or year) and why choosing to cut out alcohol entirely during certain times can help improve your health. She shares why she chooses to be "dry" when experiencing emotional dysregulation, inflammation, or both. She shares a review of a non-alcoholic sparkling wine that is quite the imposter.
Stay tuned till the end when Maria guides you through a grounding relaxation practice to embody each of the 5 elements.
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Ep. 5: The 5 Elements of Ayurveda | An Impressive Imposter: Sparkling NA
Maria Mayes: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome back to Chakras and Chardonnay. So in follow ups to last week's episode on suicide prevention, I thought it was an opportunity to look at Ayurveda and why it's been so, um, so life transforming for me and so many, and what sparked that is really looking into my own life at times where I've been really out of balance really.
Outside of myself, really looking to the external world versus tapping into the inner world and the truth that is that I am more than just this physical body, this bag of bones, this vessel that I'm inhabiting. So are you. We're more than just our bodies. We're more than just our minds and the many roles that we play we're spirit.[00:01:00]
And we are beings that are having this human experience. And so as you look at times in your life where maybe you've been on the edge or maybe you've been out of balance, think about that. There's probably one of three things that were out of balance. Either your mind, your body, or your spirit, or in some cases maybe all three.
Ayurveda looks at all three as a whole. You can't just focus on one without it having impact on the other. And that's why it's been truly such a transformational lifestyle. And so just to circle back, um, Ayurveda translates literally to the science of life or the wisdom of life. And the purpose of Ayurveda is to return to our natural state of health, balance and wholeness.
So think about that word health. When I say the word health, what does it mean to you? Does it mean feeling [00:02:00] good? Does it mean looking good? Does it mean not having to go to the doctor? Think about it.
So along those same lines, I want you to think about the vessel. Let's say you're super physically fit and just feeling great. In the vessel, you're energized. You're rolling out of bed, ready to to work out, and you go through your day just powering through and to those around you. You just look so solid in terms of your fitness physically.
But let's say there is anxiety, a deep seated anxiety that pushes you to conduct. Those fitness exercises versus a desire to just step into health. So if you're riddled with anxiety in the mind, but [00:03:00] physically very fit, is that healthy?
Another way to look at it is the alternate. Let's say you are really quite solid and in a pretty stable state of mind through most days. But maybe you found yourself with some extra weight that's resulted in your joints hurting and you not having the energy level that you used to. Is that health?
And let's look at it for one other perspective. Let's say physically you're pretty darn fit and mentally you're pretty clear and pretty. Uh, focused, pretty upbeat, pretty stable, but you just lack a sense of purpose, a connection to anything outside of the [00:04:00] external noise of the world, and just there's something missing deep inside.
So what I just described are three different pieces of possible imbalance in mind, body, and spirit, and. I am the first to raise my hand to say no. I'm not fully balanced in all those pieces all the time, but I can tell you Ayurveda offers me and you the tools to step back into that balance so that you can truly have that vibrancy.
Because going back to health, what does that mean to you? To me, it's vibrancy, it's lightness of the energy body. It's. Feeling energized. It's mental clarity. It's having a vessel that's strong and energized and open and able to keep up with my teenagers. And it's also that connection [00:05:00] to higher power, that trust in my own intuition and my own knowing.
And that's really the core pieces of Ayurveda is the. A tool set and a lifestyle to help us achieve that. So as humans, we are a part of nature, and when we don't align ourselves with the natural rhythms of nature or consume that which wasn't created in nature, we can get outta balance. So I'm actually recording this today outside, so you might hear some birds.
You might hear some water. Maybe we'll get a gusta wind. There's some tension behind that in that. The purpose of Ayurveda is to help us to return to our natural state of being. We are nature. We are connected with nature, but because we spend most of our lives indoors, not connected with nature, we can forget [00:06:00] that.
So recording outside is just a little reminder that we're all connected. So even though Ayurveda was first described in ancient India, what, 5,000 plus years ago, it's very applicable today because it's based on the laws of nature and the laws of nature haven't changed, even though nature itself obviously has gone through some changes as a result of us humans kind of forgetting how to take care of it.
Our body though, is constantly changing experience, as are our thoughts. But there's one thing that's not constantly changing. There's one thing that's stable and that's our underlying consciousness, that truth, that we are more than just this physical body, more than just the roles we hate play, the hats we put on throughout the day.
Well, pure consciousness. That might seem far out. Maybe if you've never thought of [00:07:00] it in that way before, but I encourage you to keep listening. Let's talk about the elements. The elements I mentioned in episode one or the five is a Sanskrit term. They are the building blocks of all nature, as seen through the lens of Ayurveda.
So everything is made up, these five elements. Everything you consume is made up of these five elements, and you, my friend, are made up of these five elements. So let's look at each of 'em in a little bit more detail. So there's space, air, fire, water, and earth.
I also mentioned in episode one that the chakras are said to be the playgrounds of the elements, and we'll talk a little bit more about that in a future episode in terms of the [00:08:00] correlation. And each chakra is associated with a particular element. Um, for the most part, some of the, the upper chakras are actually said to be beyond the elements.
Let's talk about space. So I want you to think of space as an open expanse. If I have a wine glass right now and there is nothing in that wine glass, that would be sad, right? But if there's nothing in that wine glass, there's just pure potential, right? There is nothing but potential. What can I pour into that wine glass?
It's a container, right? So if you think about a visual representation of space, you can think about a wine glass with nothing in it. The space inside, well probably more exciting to think about is stepping outside on an [00:09:00] evening at night, and all you see is stars. So you might have to get up closer to nature.
If you're in the city and you can't see the stars really good, but just think about the expansiveness when you look at a night sky, just pure potential. So space is light, it's cold, it's clear, and it's vast. Each of the elements have different qualities, and the qualities are key because they help us come to the understanding of what qualities.
A particular substance, let's say, like something you're going to eat has and how that might affect you based on the qualities you have based on your unique combination of elements. So we'll talk more about that in a future episode. But for now, let's get back to space. Just imagine looking up towards that night sky.
Just think about the expansiveness, pure potentiality.[00:10:00]
Within our bodies space is all the gaps between the cells through which information flows. So think about this for a moment. I happen to be sitting under this beautiful, huge redwood in my backyard and the same intelligence that created this magnificent tree. It's the same intelligence that created every cell in my body.
So when you think about things from that perspective, it can help you step out of your head, especially when we find ourselves in negative thought loops in self-criticism. So I really hope, and my intention behind this episode was to just offer you a little perspective shift.
Let's move on to air. So when [00:11:00] I talk air, think about the wind, think about just a beautiful breeze coming through. Wind is about movement. It's that animating force of life. It's present in everything that moves.
Air is cold. It's light. It has qualities of drying and full of motion. Air is movement. So if we think about how that would correlate to a wine glass, part of the mindful tasting process after you pour the beautiful wine in the glass is to. Give it a little agitation. Inviting air in, inviting oxygen in to then allow the flavors, the [00:12:00] aromas, to really come out more freely.
So that movement of swirling the glass, engages that air element. So in the body, it's breath, it's our circulation, it's our nerve impulses.
Air is movement.
So let's move on to fire. Fire is about transformation. Think. Can you imagine life? If we didn't have the fire element, what would it be Like? You'd never have a cooked meal. Never have warmth. In the cold of winter if you couldn't light a fire.
So think about the sun. Sun is a good representation of fire. Think about the [00:13:00] transformational power of the sun. As I look out in my yard here, all of the beautiful flowers and trees, none of them would be what they are without having that sun and. What we have found ourselves, at least I found myself in this routine for a long time, is kind of forgetting about the sun being there to literally let us know when it's time to wake up and time to go to bed.
So our schedules as modern day humans have come completely out of balance with the rhythms of nature. And again, Ayurveda offers us tools to come back. All the answers in nature, we just gotta. Be open to and curious with the teachings that they offer us. So think about the qualities of fire. Hot, light, powerful.
It's transformative. It converts one thing to another. It's about transformation. [00:14:00] And so internally in our body, that's our digestive processes, including our cognitive processes. So are Ayurveda? One key component is that we are what we digest, not we are what we eat. And so we'll talk more about that again in the future episode.
But just for now, think about that. Every experience, every trauma, everything that occurs in your life, you have to digest cognitively, energetically. And it's when we don't. Fully metabolize those experiences that we get stagnation, we get blocks in our energy body and our chakra system, and then that manifests if it's not taken care of in physical disease.
So that fire or agony is such a key [00:15:00] component to to health.
Let's talk water. So I don't know if the mic is picking up my waterfall in the background here, but think about a stream or a lake. Think about the cohesion that water offers. It's moist, flowing, it's cool. Water is about cohesion.
It nourishes the physical substance of our bodies. Think about it, our bodies are made up of 70% water, as is the planet itself. And internally, our organs and systems are nourished by the river of our plasma. Our joints are lubricated by our synovial fluid, and our central nervous system is protected by cerebral spinal fluid.
So it's all about that [00:16:00] cohesion.
Water is about cohesion, so just think about a stream, a lake, a river.
And last element in the order that I'm describing them right now is Earth. So just think of your favorite place in nature. Maybe it's a mountain. Maybe it's in the forest, maybe it's at the beach. Think of the structure of tree roots.
Going back to my beautiful redwood here. These strong, intense roots reaching into the ground Earth provides structure, stability, support. So in terms of [00:17:00] qualities, it's heavy, it's cold, solid, it's stable, and it's depths. Think of the dirt, rocks, trees, and think of the physical structure of our body. So internally, the earth element gives rise to our bones, our muscles, our tendons or cartilage.
Earth is about structure.
So those are the five elements, and you are made up of each of the five elements. Everything in the manifest world is made up of these five elements. Everything you consume is made up of these five elements, and so there's a unique combination of these elements that exist within each of us. We refer to those as the doshas or mind body constitutions.
And so [00:18:00] that's more for a future episode, but right now I'm gonna encourage you to get curious about this. How can looking at life through the lens of Nature's five elements, shift things for you? There's so much to learn here. We could spend hours and hours and hours just on this particular piece of Ayurveda
so your takeaway, our tip for today is this new pair of glasses. I encourage you to put on these glasses and look at life through the lens of these five elements, space, air, fire, water, and earth, and their attributes, potential movement, transformation, cohesiveness, and structure. What does life look like when you look through it?
From this particular lens, super simple as [00:19:00] all the things will be dropping you in future episodes, but super powerful. So enjoy looking at the world through those new lenses.
Hey friends, time to transition this conversation into one about Vino, and this week we're gonna look at. A wine that has one of the elements we just talked about, space, air, fire, water, and earth. A little bit more prominent. And that is sparkling wine. Which element? Think about it. Air movement. Movement. So think about pouring a glass of sparkling.
Think about that movement of the bubbles coming up. Oh, I love that sound. I love the image. And sparkling wine comes in all different shapes, sizes, flavors. In this case, I am drinking an almost zero [00:20:00] sparkling non-alcoholic dry wine. What did I just say? Na, yes I did. So I'm on a, a dry week or two right now.
And let's talk about why. Um, so one of the beautiful things about Ayurveda is. The lifestyle has allowed me to really tap into a deep understanding and a deep communication between my mind, body, and spirit. So really talking about yoga philosophy here in terms of yoga, literally translates to union, and it's allowed me to have this dialogue where I am, have much more self-awareness of what my body needs, what my mind needs, and what my spirit needs at any given moment.
And so I found myself, uh, overly emotional, not able to really regulate my emotions as normal. And doesn't mean I'm gonna squelch 'em and suffocate the emotions, but I wanna be mindful of if I'm [00:21:00] in that type of state, what can I do to help myself through it? So one of the things for me is to step away from alcohol for a bit, because think about it, alcohol is only gonna exasperate.
Any emotion, right? Think about it. I mean, in your own life, if you've been in a state where you're highly emotional, let's say you're really upset, and then you go and you grab a drink, what is it gonna do? It might damper it. It might take the edge off, right? It might exasperate make you more emotional.
Next thing you know, you're even more angry or you're crying more deeply, whatever it is. So, For me, tuning into my mind, body Spirit connection has allowed me to have the awareness to say, you know what? The best thing for me right now is not to be drinking because I'm already in this real emotional state.
And having been someone [00:22:00] who numbed emotions for many and many a year with alcohol now having the. Empowerment to say, you know what? I'm gonna really just kind of feel in this, go on this ride and not numb it, because then I can process it and get through it versus putting on a bandaid. So the utter reason is inflammation.
I found myself a little more inflamed. Could be seasonal. Oftentimes when the weather gets warmer, we tend to, uh, get a little inflamed. Could be, uh, my nutrition intake. Maybe I was eating a little bit off. And also could have to do, uh, with hormones, et cetera. But let's talk about inflammation real quickly.
You mean it's the cornerstone of the body's healing system, right? So it's needed. It's not like it's always a bad thing. It's needed to provide our body with a nourishment and immune activity to heal when we've been injured. But when it goes on for too long, it can be destructive to our health. And so one of the first things I look at when [00:23:00] I'm feeling overly inflamed, Is cutting out alcohol because it's inflammatory.
And so there's lots of things we can do nutrition wise to look at those five elements that are incorporated with our food, with our drink, to help ourselves come back to balance. And so those are the two reasons, uh, trying to drop my inflammation level. And trying to allow myself to not be, have my emotions further exacerbated by, um, alcohol.
Why I'm doing a dry week or two right now. And so this na I wanted to recommend for you is almost zero sparkling, non-alcoholic dry wine. And I'm telling you, this guy is a good imposter. It looks, feels, smells, and taste pretty much like the real thing. And so oftentimes the NAS get really, really sweet, which is not something my [00:24:00] palate really enjoys.
And so I encourage you to check this one out. I'm gonna have it in the show notes. So let's talk about the aromas. I get off this Meyer Lemon and grapefruit is really prominent for me with this particular NA sparkling. It's also. On the pallet drops into a little bit more lemon and then some tropical flavors.
I haven't quite figured them all out yet, but I'm definitely getting some kiwi and maybe a little pineapple in there. And then the finish drops into a little more citrus, maybe some lime, and it's got that little uptick and it's got a little bit of a linger. So it is a really good imposter, so I recommend you check it out.
In terms of pairing, I actually made, um, scallops on the grill and I just wanna give myself a little kudos because I didn't drop any of them in between the grill grates and for me, that's a big win. So, um, don't have a recipe to share with [00:25:00] you today, but definitely was a good pairing, the scallops, and I just encourage you to check it out.
So your takeaway from the wine portion of this is if you're finding yourself overly emotional. Dysregulated in that regard. There are lots of things we can do to regulate it, and we'll talk about a lot more of those in future episodes. But one of the things is just say, uh, cyan to the alcohol during that time.
Um, same thing with inflammation. It's one of the quickest ways to drop from an overly inflamed state, least in my experience from my particular, uh, mind body to a less inflamed state. I hope you will stick around with me for a little guided relaxation.