When you enter natural stores or hair salons, you may hear rumbles of the work Ayurveda. Hair and beauty products use this word as a powerful selling point. Although primarily marketed to a specific group, Ayurveda is an awesome technique that anyone can benefit from.
While this exotic term may ring with unfamiliar beauty, it’s actually quite powerful and is filled with rich history.
What is Ayurveda
Centuries ago, ancient Indian practitioners laid the groundwork for what Ayurveda is today. Based on the connection between the mind, body, and the soul, Ayurveda is rife with science and wellness. It’s a complete lifestyle change that is used to increase your quality of life.
When broken down, the modern translation of Ayurveda is, “A science of life.” Ayur, meaning life and Veda, meaning science or knowledge. It’s based on the notion that humans must use an integrative approach to reach their actualized self. Simply put Ayurveda means ‘The Knowledge of Life’ and is the ancient medical system of India, with a history dating back well over 5000 years.
Like most ancient beliefs, Ayurveda has two simple principles. The first being simple; the mind and body are interchangeable. You cannot have a healthy mind with an unhealthy body and vice versa.
The second principle places great emphasis on the power of the brain. A person cannot live to their fullest potential unless they have a strong mind. The term, “Mind over matter” is crucial to understanding Ayurveda as a whole.
Ayurveda works by assessing everybody on an individual level, according to their biological constitution (Prakriti) and disease state (Vikriti).
It recognises three biological humors of Vata, the Wind humor (composed of Ether and Air), Pitta, the Bile humor (Composed of Fire and Water) and Kapha, the phlegm humor (composed of Water and Earth).
Ayurveda follows the doctrine of Ahimsa (non-violence) and hence promotes a Vegetarian diet, seeing meat substabces as harmful to the mind and more likely to cause Ama (toxins) in the body.
Ayurveda employs a range of dietary, herbal, yoga and detoxification methods for health and healing.
The Ayurvedic Lifestyle
To completely transform your life and start living to your fullest potential, you have to incorporate all aspects of Ayurveda into your daily routine. This means shifting your meals, activities, and energy. Let’s consider each category.
Food is our primary source of energy. We need it to become productive and ultimately survive. To abide by Ayurvedic teachings, one must eat nourishing food that’s filled with variety and color.
Expand your palate to reflect all six tastes. Those are sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent. By incorporating these notes into your meals, you’re eating a balanced diet.
A healthy digestive system is vital to cleansing the body and increasing mental clarity. It’s also an essential part of Ayurveda. This goes deeper into the connection between eating food and creating a mood.
Instead of rushing through your meals or binge eating in front of the television. It’s suggested it eat sitting down and away from your T.V.
This gives you the time to think about what you’re eating and how it’s making your body feel. This mindfulness prevents overeating and prompts you to really feel how full or empty your body is. You’ll notice that the slower you eat, the fuller you’ll get. Practice chewing your food for at least 20 seconds to get the full effect.
In addition, don’t eat when you’re upset. The trick is to not associate food with distraction or unpleasantness.
Finally, add routine exercise and hydration to your routine. This will help you remain healthy and active.
Getting restful sleep is key to being alert and keeping the mind sharp. Via Ayurvedic teachings, sleeping is the gateway to revitalization. The body and mind can relax and prepare for the next day.
Make your sleeping routine comfortable. Meaning, avoid distractions such as television or music to get in the way of your restful sleep. Instead, make your bedroom a sanctuary of peace.
Ayurveda is an awesome way to recharge your mind and start living a productive and healthy life. Take time to meditate and unplug from the world. This will give you a clearer insight into the world around you and yourself.
Eliminate negativity from your life and only focus on positive energy. This will help you live a happy and purposeful life.
A Simple Sample of An Ayurvedic Daily Routine for Beginners
- Arise early, ideally before the sunrise.
- Drink a large glass of warm water, ideally with lemon out of a copper glass/vessel.
- Wash your face.
- Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper, ideally made of copper.
- Brush your teeth with natural tooth powder or paste.
- Evacuate bowels and bladder, ideally within the first hour of waking.
- 10-15 minutes of morning yoga and/or 15-30 minute brisk walk while nose breathing.
- 5-10 minutes of breathing exercise (pranyama)
- 5-15 minute meditation or sit in silence
- Shower or bathe
- Oil pull for 10-15 minutes while showering.
- Perform abhyanga (self-massage using oil) – this can also be done in shower
- Breakfast: eat a small amount, but make it big enough to get you through to lunch without needing a snack.
- Lunch: relax and make it the largest meal of the day
- Do not snack until dinner
- Brief rest on left side and light walking after lunch
- Supper: the lighter and earlier, the better
- Calm evening yoga, breathing exercise and meditation
- Go to bed by 10pm, turn off electronics and wi-fi signals, avoid screens and artificial lights.