Just like an environmental ecosystem would go haywire if the cycle of balance is not maintained, similarly our bodies require equilibrium. This is the primary basis of Ayurveda. It places tremendous emphasis on the concept of Dinacharya; Din- Daily, Acharya-routine.
Here are 10 ways to use Ayurvedic principles to revamp your daily life:
Humans are not nocturnal beings, thanks to the circadian rhythms pre-set by our system. Therefore, waking up at the time of dawn is considered most ideal as it helps our bodies to absorb those tilted sun-rays and get energized for the day that lies ahead. Throughout the night, the body accumulates toxins. Drinking a glass of lukewarm water, as soon as you wake up, helps to flush out these toxins.
- Natural Urges
Defecation is the last stage of our digestion process. Ideally, one must defecate once or twice a day. The vata dosha is responsible in the process of elimination. Clearing our body of the physical waste, first thing in the morning, helps kick-start our metabolism. Fasting is an effective way to re-achieve the body’s lost equilibrium, if one notices any discomfort or problem with respect to their digestion. Holding the urge to urinate or defecate is extremely unhealthy as it might lead to various diseases like kidney stones, liver disease, etc. and Ayurveda advises against it.
We have always heard that Cleanliness is next to Godliness. An unclean body is a breeding ground for diseases and infections. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue after every meal as that is where the bacteria resides. Our grandparents have always advised us about the benefits of salt-water gargles and Ayurveda upholds its benefits. Rinsing our mouth with lukewarm water post-meals helps maintaining the pH of the oral cavity, disallowing food particles to get lodged between our teeth and gums. The tongue could be cleaned by using scrapers, commonly available in the market, preventing issues like bad breath as a huge amount of plaque accumulates on the taste buds, making it difficult for you to taste your food.
We might notice that some people are more capable of indulging in strenuous physical exercise as compared to others. This is due to the dominance of a particular dosha in every person. Those with a dominant kapha can handle more intense exercise routines, while pitta works well with moderate exercise. If you have a dominant vata, yoga is your answer. Exercises are, thus, categorized into two parts- Active and Passive. When physical activity is exerted into muscular activity, which makes your heart-rate race they are generally termed as Active exercises while Passive exercises are those that generally involve joint-stretches in different directions. A combination of Active and Passive exercises are ideal to achieve optimal benefit.
The healing and relaxing qualities of massages are no secret. Using some herbal or essential oil with a soothing fragrance can work wonders on your skin by making it soft and supple. Apart from that, massaging the scalp or the soles of your feet with oil once or twice a week has proven to be beneficial to the body. Whether it is self-massage or a professional one, adding massages to our health-care regimen is a good decision. Be it in the form of a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management or injury alleviation, massage therapy has become an integral part of modern-day hospice.
Meditation is a considered to be a prerequisite in Ayurvedic Science. It is an ideal way to discipline the mind and body to a state of calmness and peace by eliminating the inhibiting effects of stress and strain. Meditating right after a soothing and relaxing bath is the best time as the body is refreshed and clean. It helps to curb desire and is the stairway to a long life. Make sure you find a place away for meditation from the chaos and distraction of your surroundings as that would help you concentrate on your breathing and the practice altogether.
Clean clothes should be worn daily. It is more beneficial to wear clothes made out of cotton, silk, linens and wool which are natural fibres as wearing materials that are light and airy provide a chance for the skin to breathe freely. Sharing clothes or shoes is a strict no-go, according to Ayurveda as heat of the body is released in the sweat and polluted energy collects in the heel of the foot. Taking shoes into the house is, thus, forbidden and wooden shoes are considered to be a better option as compared to animal skin or rubber footwear.
An average human needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep to function normally. Having heavy meals before sleeping tires down the digestive system, resulting in feeling unrested upon waking up. The posture of sleeping also affects our body. For instance, sleeping on the right side is most relaxing, while sleeping on the left increases the primitive desires of food, sex and sleep. Sleeping indirectly on the back or directly face down would be equal to inviting disease. Washing our hands and feet before sleeping is an effective practice to induce a pleasant night’s sleep.
- Eating Habits
Common etiquette teaches us to eat with our mouths shut and to avoid talking mid-meals. Ayurveda supports this notion and suggests that talking while eating distracts your mind away from the food. In this scenario, it might be tough for us to detect our body’s signals indicating we are full, which is the common cause for over-eating. Apart from that, chewing the food slowly acts as a catalyst in digestion as more amount of digestive enzymes are released in the mouth.
Ayurveda, surprisingly, stands by the common colloquial of ‘LOL’, that is, Laugh Out Loud. Laughter is the best medicine is truly considered to be effective to deal with common ailments and stressful situations. A good belly laugh that makes those abdominal muscles churn can solve many of our problems, both physically and emotionally as this laughter strengthens the gut and also makes you feel less dejected and more happy and satisfied, according to the psychological theory of Facial Feedback Hypothesis.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest and most renowned forms of medicine. From time immemorial, people have sworn by the efficacy and benefits of this medicinal system. Introducing Ayurveda into our lives will gradually help us to establish the much sought-after – sane mind in a healthy body and isn’t that what everyone is looking for?