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Ayurveda for Everyday Life

Aug 28, 2020

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Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing science that has now spread all over the world. People from everywhere in the world are now bowing humbly to the vast wisdom of this discipline. In fact, Ayurveda has become a buzz word today. The internet is filled with online stores that claim to deliver all things ayurvedic. There is also a lot of information available online that goes around claiming there are ayurvedic remedies and ayurvedic medicines for every disease or disorder, and they are 100% effective and safe. All this overload of information has ended up confusing a lot of people. Their minds are filled with questions like what is Ayurveda, what is an ayurvedic diet, is everything that is “ayurvedic” indeed safe and effective?

Let us begin by first understanding this ancient knowledge. The term Ayurveda in Sanskrit means “The Science of Life”. The entire philosophy of Ayurveda works on the principle of restoring the balance between the mind, body, and spirit and thereby promoting holistic wellbeing. The ayurvedic school of thought believes that the entire universe and everything in it are made up of five elements. These are ether or space, air, fire, water, and earth. These elements come together and form three energies of life, known as dosha. These three doshas that constitute the human body are Vata dosha (space and air), Kapha dosha (water and earth), and pitta dosha (fire and water). Ayurveda is not merely a form of treatment, but it is a lifestyle. Yes, you heard that right. An ayurvedic lifestyle is a way of life that is in harmony with nature. It is sustainable and natural.

As understood from above, in order to maintain harmony, ayurvedic practices aim at the prevention of diseases and illnesses. Thus, treatment is not its primary concern. However, there are indeed treatments and therapies in Ayurveda that looks at the treatment of diseases. So, to practice Ayurveda, one does not need to be unwell. Thus, Ayurveda and its practices and principles can be easily incorporated in daily life through choices like planning the daily routine according to Ayurveda, consuming ayurvedic herbs and teas, etc. 

There are an ample number of ways to comfortably include ayurvedic ways of life without making any huge changes or commitment. Let us look at some ways for doing just that.

  • Plan your daily routine the Ayurveda way

Good morning! According to ancient ayurvedic scriptures, the perfect time to wake up is about 20 minutes-1 hour before sunrise. 

Freshen up by cleansing yourself thoroughly both internally and externally by washing your face and mouth with water. Ayurveda believes that toxins or ama get gathered on the tongue throughout the night. This is why it is important to scrap the tongue to remove all the toxins from the previous night. 

Squish your mouth with a cold-pressed organic oil of your choice. It could be almond oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil. This technique is also known as Gandusha or oil pulling. It is excellent for removing harmful bacteria from the mouth, reducing bad breath, promoting gum health, and enhancing overall oral hygiene.

Hydrate yourself with 1-2 glasses of lukewarm water. You may also add a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice to it.

Cleanse yourself internally by attending to nature’s call. Bowel waste removal is the most important internal cleansing in the morning. By hydrating yourself after waking up, the bowel receives a natural push for the elimination of wastes.

Give yourself a massage with an ayurvedic oil that is according to your dosha. This promotes blood circulation, skin radiance by protecting and nourishing the skin. After around 10-15 mins of the massage, go for your regular shower with warm water.

Time for some yoga and meditation. After your shower, you can do some light yoga asana and practice meditation to recharge yourself for the day. Yoga in the morning helps boost immunity (yoga for immune system) and health.

Breakfast time! Try to make sure that you do not take your breakfast any later than 9.00 am. Ideally, breakfast should be light but packed with lots of goodness. For this, include nuts, seasonal fruits, and herbal detox tea like Tulsi ginger tea, cinnamon tea, etc.

Lunch should be had around 12 noon-1 pm and not later than that. A meal cooked according to your doshas would be perfect for lunch as well. Pitta phase of the day is in action at this point so it is advisable to take this major meal at this time. However, an afternoon nap is not prescribed in Ayurveda.

Evenings should have some time devoted to practicing yoga and meditation to calm down the body and mind. As the sun sets, light some incense sticks and purify the air and your surroundings with some divine fragrance and energy.

Dinner should be light since this is the time of the Kapha dosha which means the digestive fire is weak at this point. Also, make sure to have your sinner between 6-7 pm and no later than that. 

Post dinner, you can take an easy stroll or do anything to relax your mind. 

Goodnight! Go to bed early and no later than 10 pm. It is the beginning of the Pitta time and going to bed after the Pitta time may not result in good quality sleep. 

  • Opt for an ayurvedic diet

An ayurvedic diet is one that is planned according to your doshas. This is because an ayurvedic diet aims to reinstate the balance of the doshas through food. This means everyone may have a different diet according to the ayurvedic principles. However, there are a few common points that everyone can easily incorporate when it comes to eating food. These points are:

  • Choose foods according to your dosha.

  • Reduce snacking.

  • Eat until you are satisfied, not full.

  • Include lots of fresh, wholesome, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • Include the 6 tastes of sweet, sours, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent, in every meal, even if you do it in small portions.

  • Avoid chilled drinks and beverages, and cold foods.

  • Avoid all distractions while eating.

  • Complete eating 3 hours before going to bed.

  • Take the heaviest meal of the day at lunch.

  • Switch to herbal ayurvedic teas in between meals.

Including some ayurvedic herbs and foods in daily meals is also a good idea. Ayurvedic foods like amla, turmeric, ashwagandha, ghee, punarnava, etc. help in boosting immunity (foods for immune system).

  • Go for an ayurvedic massage once in a while

 

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Ayurvedic massages are different from the usual massages since they aim to harness energy in the body and release mental and physical tension. They also help in detoxify their body and mind, promoting the health of the skin, joints, and tissues, and getting better sleep. The massage therapy and strokes are different for each of the dosha and this is the most unique part about an ayurvedic massage. Ayurvedic massage therapists use rich potent medicated oils chosen particularly according to the unique requirements of the client. A massage is usually followed by herbal heat packs or herbal steam bath for greater relaxation. 

You may also get a few ayurvedic oils at home and use them to massage yourself. These oils can be used for a head massage, foot massage, joint massage, or simply as a body oil to help your skin feel soft and supple. Some popular herbal oil with medicinal properties are sandalwood oil, mahabhringaraj oil, sweet almond oil, neem oil, ashwagandha oil.

  • Choose an ayurvedic beauty treatment

 

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Ayurvedic facials are taking over the skincare world like a storm. Everyone is raving about how natural and chemical-free products can help you get radiant skin over time. Ayurvedic facials are excellent to pamper the largest organ of the body, the skin. They help refresh and rejuvenate the skin, tightens, and tones it, delays the signs of aging by adding a natural glow from within. Using herb-infused oil, ancient massage techniques, and heat therapy, these facial deeply nourish the tissues and improves blood circulation resulting in radiant and healthy skin.

  • Opting for ayurvedic home remedies

 

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Ayurvedic home remedies for mild levels of certain conditions like indigestion, constipation, bloating, fever, acidity, etc. have proven effective for many. Ayurvedic home remedies help in curing as well as preventing these conditions. They are usually mild and do not have many side-effects. They are also easily available and are chemical-free. Some common health issues and their ayurvedic remedies are mentioned below:

  • Ayurvedic remedy for constipation: taking Triphala with warm water, taking psyllium husk with warm water.

  • Ayurvedic remedy for bloating: cooking food with asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander. Consuming mint leaves with honey or having ginger tea.

  • Ayurvedic remedy for fever: consuming tea made with clove, Tulsi, and black pepper.

  • Ayurvedic remedy for hair fall: washing hair with a decoction of fenugreek seeds, neem leaves, and amla. Applying mahabhringaraj oil.

 

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However, it is important to remember that these remedies are effective only for mild symptoms. If you still do not get any relief, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately. You can continue these remedies alongside the doctor prescribed course of treatment. But it is desirable that you do not rely only on such remedies entirely. 

  • Recharging by attending an Ayurvedic retreat

Choosing an ayurvedic retreat over a usual vacation is another fun way of including Ayurveda in the busy lives of the urban dwellers. Ayurvedic retreats are a great way to recharging and resetting the body, mind, and soul. These retreats with a range of Ayurvedic treatment, cleansing rituals, and therapies, ayurvedic Satwik Food, yoga and meditation, and other mindfulness activities help in detoxifying mentally, emotionally, and physically. They are meaningful getaways that help de-stress, boost immunity, and gain clarity. 

 

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We now know that it is really not that difficult to live a conscious life with Ayurveda. These easy steps go well with the fast-paced life of the 21st century and hence everyone can easily adopt them. Ayurveda is a vast ocean of knowledge and as it is no longer limited to the Indian sub-continent only, it is wise that we all get to enjoy its benefits. 

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