Now that you know exactly what rocks your boat and gets your goat (thanks to your prakruti or innate metabolic personality), you’d want to know what it feels like to be perfectly balanced. Haven’t figured out your metabolic personality yet? Head here.
Imagine, on a perfectly sunny, breezy day, you are trekking down a hilly path with a friend and without a care in the world. Suddenly, you stumble on a piece of rock. You are about to fall. Your heart skips a beat. That fall could spell a disaster for you. But moments before you hit the ground, your friend pulls you back to your feet. You regain your balance, heave a sigh of relief, thank your friend profusely, and continue on your path.
That’s balance for you – a state of equilibrium, an ideal state of being where you are walking steadily despite a changing terrain.
This, however, is only a rather literal example of balance that is visible to the naked eye. In truth, though you can’t see it, your health faces many stumbling blocks in the form of changes in your external and internal environment. It is constantly losing and regaining its balance. The friend that helps stabilize it and keep it going is a phenomenon known as homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the phenomenon by which your body maintains its balance.
Homeostasis works so smoothly in maintaining your body’s balance that you don’t even notice the complex processes running in the background. Take for instance, change in body temperature in hot and cold climates. To survive, your body must maintain a particular temperature. In hot climates, it reaches that temperature by dilating blood vessels and making you sweat; in cold climes, by contracting the blood vessels and making you shiver.
A circular system of feedback and action makes sure that all chemicals in the body, like fluids, electrolytes, and hormones are kept in balance. As a result, all metabolic processes in the body work in perfect balance.
Take glucose (sugar) metabolism, for instance. You need the right amount of a hormone called insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and produce energy. If you secrete less insulin, the blood glucose levels rise and over time can lead to diabetes; if you secrete more, the blood glucose levels fall and can cause hypoglycemia. As long as the insulin levels and the blood glucose levels are in balance, you are in no danger of these two potentially fatal conditions.
Simply put, balance is a state of health. It is achieved when the body functions dynamically in response to a continuously changing external environment.
Any time the body cannot respond to the changes outside, vikruti or imbalance manifests. Whether slight, moderate, or severe, imbalance is a condition where your body and mind are not functioning at their best.
In the initial stages of imbalance, you end up doing less than you are capable of, which sparks off negative emotions toward yourself and others, and you suffer from a general sense of malaise and unfulfillment. If the imbalance is not identified on time or ignored, little health niggles and peeves can become major conditions with time.
Though the inner workings of the body are not under your direct control, you can still stay in balance. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone has their own unique state of balance. Just stay as close as possible to your innate metabolic personality. That is your state of balance. Eat foods and herbs suited to it, engage in physical activities that counter your negative tendencies, practice the right kind of yoga, and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.
Balance is not merely the absence of disease, it is a state where you feel healthy, light, energetic, happy, and at peace with yourself and the world.