The road to health and longevity does not necessarily rely on extreme diets, taking expensive vitamins or subjecting our body to cosmetic surgery.The ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine puts forward that by making simple lifestyle changes and incorporating new activities into our daily routine, we can achieve a much improved level of health.
1. Calm breath Breathing is a process essential to life, it’s the first thing we do after birth and something we do 22,000 times a day. Therefore it’s no surprise that it has a huge impact on our well-being. In Ayurvedic medicine the way we breathe plays a key role in maintaining health – thanks to the simple act of increasing our prana – the energy within the body.
Breathing should be done slowly and deeply. This method helps us feel relaxed as well as oxygenating the blood and the cells of our body. Due to our hectic and stressful lifestyles we have forgotten how to breathe correctly and instead it is often shallow and rapid.
We can learn to pay attention to how we breathe. First of all, during stressful situations and before bed and after waking up. The science of proper breathing is called pranayama. It is a set of exercises that allows us to achieve deep, peaceful and healthy breathing.
2. Drinking water Both western and eastern medicine agrees that water is essential for proper functioning. It affects the entire body, the blood, skin hydration, body cells, digestion, well-being etc. Drinking too little causes headaches and a decrease in energy and weakness. Ayurveda doesn’t set a minimum amount of fluid we should drink each day. It all depends on the needs of each individual. If you are unsure if you supply your body with as much water as it needs then you can look at your urine. If its not clear then we should drink more. If it is, it means that the body has as much water as it needs. We should drink water often and in small quantities. Warm water is helpful for digestion.
3. Diet according to doshas Proper diet should be determined by our psychophysical type or dosha known as vata, pitta or kapha. It does not suggest one particular diet for all, rather it’s based on our particular bodily constitution and our health status. However, the general basis is to eat fresh foods, not processed – the most natural way. It is suggested to eat thoughtfully and slowly, giving yourself adequate time for meals and correctly spacing the timings between meals.
4. Sleeping regularly Ayurveda places great emphasis on getting enough hours of sleep in order to give our bodies and minds some rest, recuperation and relaxation. Sleep is essential, its absence can lead to depression, irritability and weakness. Inadequate sleep also increases “ama” in our body which causes toxins and ailments such as bad digestion. Ayurveda proposes going to bed before 10 pm and waking before 6 am in order to get the maximum benefit from your hours of rest.
5. Being active Daily physical activity is essential to attain a healthy body and mind. According to our particular dosha, we can incorporate the appropriate exercises. For example, for Kapha people,aerobics, jogging and tennis are recommended. For Pitta, swimming is suggested as a summer activity and skiing in winter. Vata types do best with light, grounding exercise such as yoga, walking, cycling and dancing. Walking for a minimum of 20 minutes per day, and yoga are the perfect activities for everyone, simply because they are versatile and meet the needs of every type of dosha. It’s best to practice every morning to gather energy for the whole day.
6. Cleansing It’s very important for the proper functioning of the body to get rid of accumulated toxins from the body known as “ama”. Ama is considered the seed of all diseases, so we are advised to avoid the factors which cause its growth. Ayurveda suggests many ways of purification from complex panchakarma (done under the supervision of an experienced physician) to simple–proper breathing which cleans the lungs and strengthens the respiratory system. Also drinking plenty of water flushes the toxins out of the tissues. All the above mentioned ways will help to maintain health and well-being.
7. Meditation Dedicating 30 minutes each day for meditation gives amazing results. This is relaxation for the body, mind and heart. First of all, it’s a very effective weapon in the fight against stress. It enables us to reduce stress and tension and is best practised in the morning and/or evening. The recommended method is mantra meditation.
The content on this website is not medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider.