10 Pairs of Opposites: Static & Mobile
This is a 10-part series where I will be reviewing each of the 10 pairs of Opposites (AKA qualities or Gunas) in depth.
Everything in this Universe (man made and natural, physical and abstract) are based off the five elements; Ether (Space), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. From these five elements, the Rishis (or Ayurvedic Seers) determined that there were 10 pairs of Opposites that are used to view the Universe and restore balance. Through observation, palpation, and questioning an Ayurvedist will see where you have excess or depleted gunas, and work to restore them to their proper ratio.
These gunas impact everything!!
Static (Sthira) and Mobile (Chala)
Picture this, a beautiful mountain scene with a river. The mountain is static; unmoving, dense, and heavy while the river is always moving and flowing. A balanced person is never too stagnant nor are they too mobile.
Physiological / Body – Static & Mobile
There are things the the body needs to be always moving; blood flow, brain impulses, and heart pumping. Everything else is better with moderation of “on” and “off”.
An overly mobile person is someone who is always on the go, always moving, never stops talking, and might be too jittery. Too much mobility in the joints can make them loose and unstable. An overly mobile GI tract might mean that the body is moving the food through the system too fast and doesn’t absorb all the nutrients needed.
An overly static person is someone who is sedentary all day and all night. They might be thought of as a couch potato or lazy. This much stillness can lead to obesity, plaque build-up, and weakness in the muscles. A static GI tract could mean extreme constipation and loss of appetite.
A balanced physiology will have deep restful sleep mixed with a gently active day.
Psychological / Mind – Static & Mobile
Ever been around a little kid who is talking a million miles a minute, talking about four different subjects all at once and gets frustrated when you, her audience, isn’t tracking what she is saying? The child is probably moving all over the place, talking with their hands, and knocking things over. Just to add to the confusion of trying to figure out the very obvious clever punch line of their story. That is the perfect analogy of an overly mobile mind. All of us at some point have experienced a mind that is just bouncing all over the place, whether from excitement, or from too many things going on all at once, or just because it is 3am. Hopefully this is an “every now and then” occurrence, but if it is a chronic issue it could be labeled as ADD, ADHD, or anxiety.
The flip side, the static side? That would be like the days where your brain is just pure mush. Where you could down a million cups of coffee and still forget the second letter to your name. If this is a chronic issue this stagnant mind set could lead to depression or lethargy.
A balanced mindset is aided by meditation. When someone meditates daily they bring about a vital alertness. One who meditates can have a mind that can handle all the things in modern life, but with a calm approach that allows for settling at night. I truly thought that this was a myth for over a decade, can confirm! Restful awakeness is AMAZING.
Emotional / Spiritual – Static & Mobile
We already talked about how anxiety and depression can be the extremes of the mental realms and those absolutely can impact the emotional realms.
A mobile emotion might be best explained by looking at teenagers going through puberty. Nothing is stable emotions wise. I remember falling apart because my pony tail wouldn’t lay right! One moment I was fine and getting ready for school, next thing I know my emotions were causing me to just fall apart. So to all those parents out there, just think static thoughts for your teenagers and remember your own varying emotions! The thing is though, we want variability in our emotions. It shows growth and that we are experiencing life, the trick is having flowy emotions not “oh my god crazy extremes bouncing all over the place” emotions.
Static emotions can be really handy in balance. If going through a tough time, like living in an era of Coronavirus, then being grounded in yourself and not getting swept up into the need to stock up on all the toilet paper you see is a good thing. But as with all things, static can become TOO static. This is when we typically think of the movie cliché of the old tough guy in the army, who does things the way he has for 50 years and ain’t nothin’ gonna change his mind? The thing is though, at the end of the movie (if it has a happy ending) that guy tends to learn a lesson and have a change of heart. Change is a way of movement, and getting stuck hurts everyone.
External Environment – Static & Mobile
Go back to imaging that wonderful sounding scene that was first described. A mountain next to the river. We see that balance can be beautiful.
Sometimes though just like internally, our external can be too mobile or too static. Maybe you are on the go all the time; taking the kids to school, being apart of a club/social event, working etc. Or maybe you are too stuck, never leaving the couch.
Think about your office or school environment? Is it stagnant with old policies and procedures and the same ol’ same ol’ everyday? Or is it way to frantic with a million deadlines, high staff turnover, and too many TPS reports to turn in?
Ayurveda looks at using opposite qualities to reduce the excess. Please keep in mind that the human body is a complex system. Talk to an Ayurvedist before trying to balance things on your own.
Heightening awareness is always the first step in Ayurveda, and you can do that safely in your own home. Knowing what you now know about Ayurveda, AKA you should use the opposite guna (quality) to help bring about balance. How can you bring more balance to your work place or your home life? Do you need more movement in your daily world or less. How grounded are you feeling?