Coherence

THEME SONG: “Home Again” by Micheal Kiwanuka

We watched the elephants for over two hours.  At the pivotal moment of river crossing, the video shows obvious communication: audible rumbling, vibrational signaling, and the matriarchal trumpet and crocodile warning that makes the group fall back.  Eventually, there is a final ceremonious crossing with the eley calves at the protective center. Wildlife herd behavior is an excellent display of coherence, in which subtle individual cues lead to a group behavioral dynamic that benefits all. The harmony in which they cross is beautiful to experience.

This type of “physiological synchronization” in evolutionary anthropology is a key factor for human health and survival as well. We are constantly communicating with one another in subdued ways through facial expressions, body language, even biochemically.  Social coherence, especially when individuals are emotionally in tune with one another, drives the cooperative actions of the group. When positively engaged it produces a symphonious relationship.

According to Ayurveda, physiological coherence happens when we give our body the tools it needs to thrive. This means connecting to our pulse and circadian rhythm, the rhythm of nature.

Drink

Theme song: All I Need by Radiohead. Listen to an incredible version here.

In all my years watching and working with wildlife, I have never seen an animal stop eating to take a drink. Drinking is an event in itself.  And it’s fascinating. Watch the lion in the above video. He spends a good 30 seconds swallowing water. (And it’s so cool the way he just glances at us in the truck, while the cameras are clicking away.)

It makes sense that a trip to the water hole is an entirely different excursion than hunting or gathering your food. What naturally follows is that our bodies just seem to work better if we don’t mix up the two processes. Even Ayurvedic medicine recommends not drinking while eating- read about it here.