Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2016

Ayurvedic New Year Resolutions That Will Last

By Vishakha Moghe

 

The year went by and yet again we are surprised how fast time flies! In the effort to catch up with life’s pace, we compromise on a lot of aspects of our health. By the time the first month of the New Year goes by, the year’s resolutions are already a thing of the past. The bottom line is, we need to set goals that are realistic and achievable. The good news is Ayurveda is full of natural health tips that can totally change your life for good.

The formula for a lasting New Year resolution

The problem begins when we see a resolution as something that ties us up or stops us from doing a thing that we otherwise enjoy doing. To extract the literal meaning of the word “resolve”, we need to get to the root of the word and the true meaning of the word is “to loosen”, “untie” or “release”. Through this lens, a resolution is something that should help you liberate your heartfelt desire free into the world. There needs to be a willingness to achieve your desire rather than sheer willpower.  The idea is to find your true purpose in life and wholeheartedly work towards achieving it.

 

Easy Tips to Have a Fruitful Year and a Life Ahead Through Ayurveda

 

1) Realize the true purpose that makes you “surrender”.

Source: www.yogajournal.com
Source: www.yogajournal.com

Most of the days in life, we are merely running behind temporary and materialistic things that fade away with time.  The energy to pursue them is at the highest level at the very start. When you have the zeal and enthusiasm to stick to a cause till the end, that’s when you’ve really found your purpose. The best way to assess your inner self to realize your goal is to meditate regularly. The word “meditation” as fancy as it may sound is the practice of constantly focusing upon your inner self to unite the body with the senses. The practice of meditation will bring stability, well-being and success in every endeavor.

2) Vow to listen to your body.

Your body is more intelligent than you thought. It talks to us, signals us and naturally heals us. May be we aren’t wise enough to listen when it starts talking to us. When you’ve overeaten it signals you to not eat the next meal before the previous meal is completely digested. When your body needs fluids, it signals you to drink water by inducing thirst. When you suffer from constipation, your body is telling you to drink more fluids and eat fiber-rich diet. The day we patiently listen to our body’s needs, we add more life to our years and more years to our life!

3) Understand the seasonal cycles and their relationship with the body.

The core principle of Ayurveda is that the human body shares an intimate relationship with the universe. Just like the universe is made up of “Panchamahabhoota”, the foundation of the human body too is soundly laid upon the five elements. Changes in the seasons cause bodily changes and it is important that we are aware of them. Ayurvedic scriptures offer an in-depth explanation of the seasonal changes and their impact on the body; how the diet and activity regimen needs to gradually change as the seasons change and what purification therapies can be performed to prevent seasonal ailments.

4) Sleep to your heart’s content.

Source: www.chopra.com
Source: www.chopra.com

Unless you’re a yogi, your body cannot tolerate stressful conditions that too with less sleep. It is important to improve the quality of sleep. The golden rule is to sleep during the Kapha time which ends at 10 PM. So ideally, it is important to go to bed before 10 PM so your sleep takes on that deeply restful quality. The activities that induce good sleep include warm oil feet massage, listening to relaxing instrumental music and meditating sitting over the bed. The other important aspect is to avoid using electronic gadgets before bedtime. A good night’s sleep is the first step to waking up cheery and contended.

5) Fight stress and celebrate success when it comes after a lot of hard work.

Source: www.ayurveda.org
Source: www.ayurveda.org

Making positive changes in your life can never be an easy accomplishment. Staying motivated all the time can get extremely difficult especially during times of crisis. Ayurveda offers us hope in every regard. Stressful times can be fought courageously by self-analysis. Sometimes the causes of stress aren’t as mighty as they might seem. Reanalyzing the problems in this case helps. The regular practice of deep breathing, yoga and abhyanga brings in a lot of changes in our body and mind. Deep breathing helps calm tired nerves and induces mental stability, thereby helping us think with clarity and calmness.

Success that comes after all these struggles ought to be celebrated. By celebrating our successes, we are acknowledging our hard work and rewarding our progress.

Years come and go! The challenge is to keep up with our resolutions no matter what. Ayurveda considers that life is rested upon three pillars namely food, sleep and proper action. Food that should be taken in a timely manner and sleep that is sufficient and timely and then the actions that follow would be life-supporting, evolutionary and progressive. You’ll be surprised to see how your mind works when it is well-fed and well-rested. That way you can take charge of your own life!

 

Ayurvedafinder wishes its readers a “Happy and A Prosperous New Year”.

 

 

dsc_0440-11Vishakha is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga counselor and a passionate traveler. She lays emphasis on living a healthy life by nourishing the body and mind with wholesome and natural food, meditation and yogic techniques. An Indian at heart, she aims at propagating the goodness of the Indian culture across the seven seas and stimulating thoughts by creating a hunger for knowledge.

 

Ritucharya- The Ayurvedic Seasonal Regimen

By Arya Krishna

 

Ayurveda, the science of life emphasizes both on the preventive and curative aspects of diseases. The basic principle followed is ‘Swasthasyaswaasthyarakshanam, aathurasyavikaaraprashamanam’, which means to maintain the health of healthy, and to cure the diseases of the diseased. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle Ayurveda advises to follow Dinacharya (daily regimen) and Ritucharya (seasonal regimen).

Ritucharya has been discussed in first few chapters in all the major classics of Ayurveda. The reason being, prevention of disease to maintain health is the first and foremost aim of the holistic science of Ayurveda. Acharya Charaka says “The strength and complexion of the person knowing & practicing the suitable diet and regimen for every season is accordingly enhanced” [Ref Cha.Sa #3]

The year according to Ayurveda is divided in to two Kaala.

  • Adana kaala which constitutes Shishira (Winter) , Vasantha (Spring) and Grishma (Summer)
  • Visarga Kaala which constitutes Varsha (Rainy season), Sharath (Autumn) and Hemantha (Extreme winter)

Because of the nature of the path, both the Sun and wind become very strong, powerful and dry during Adana Kaala. It takes away all the cooling qualities of the earth. Bitter, Astringent and Pungent tastes (Tikta, Kashaya and Katu Rasas) will be more powerful, respectively, in the successive Ritus. Hence Adana Kala is dominated by fire. The strength of people generally decreases during this time.

During Visarga Kala, the Sun releases strength of the people. Here moon is more powerful, earth is cooled down due to clouds, rain and cold wind. Sour, Salt and Sweet (Amla, Lavana and Madhura)  tastes are dominant respectively during the three seasons of this period.

 Hemantha Ritucharya/ Winter Regimen

Picture Credits: www.consumerhealthdigest.com
Picture Credits: www.consumerhealthdigest.com

Properties of Hemantha Ritu

Mid-November to Mid-January is considered as Hemanta Ritu. Predominant Rasa is Madhura and the predominant Mahabhutas are Prithivi (earth)and Apa (water) . The strength of a person remains on highest grade and vitiated Pitta Dosha gets pacified. Activity of Agni is increased i.e person will have increased digestive fire. Nights will be longer.

Diet and Activity Regimen

Food prepared with wheat flour, black gram products of sugarcane and of milk, food prepared from freshly harvested corn, muscles, fat and edible oils should be used.

Meat of well-nourished animals, meat soup, wine prepared of jaggery can also be included in diet.

Due to increased digestive fire, food predominant in sweet and sour taste and which is heavy for digestion is advised.

Body massage with oils alleviating Vata dosha, exercise, fumigation with Aguru (Aquilaria agallocha) and bathing in hot water is advised during this season.

 

Shishira Ritucharya

The same diet and regimen of Hemantha Ritu is advised for Shishira Ritu as well. The intensity of cold and dryness will be more in this season.

 

Vasantha Ritucharya

Picture Credits: www.msricaim.com
Picture Credits: www.msricaim.com

Properties of Vasantha Ritu

The approximate duration is mid march to mid may. This is basically considered as flowering season. Vitiation of Kapha dosha occurs during this period. Kashaya will be the predominant rasa. Strength of persons will be medium.

Diet and Activity Regimen

One should take easily digestible foods.

Cereals-Old Barley, Wheat and Rice

Pulses- Lentils, Horse gram

Food items with Kashaya (astringent) , Tikta (bitter) and Katu (pungent) tastes can be used.

Honey should be included in diet. Easily digestible meat can be used.

One can take bath in warm water, can perform mild exercise, can do powder massage during this season. Day sleep is contraindicated during this season.

Panchakarma procedures like Vamana (emesis) and Virechana (purgation) is advised.

 

Grishma Ritucharya

Source: www.hollyhocklife.com
Source: www.hollyhocklife.com

Properties of Grishma Ritu

Mid-May to Mid-July is considered as Grishma Ritu. This is basically summer season; increased heat decreases the strength of person. Agni of the person remains in mild state. The predominant rasa is Katu (astringent). Kapha dosha gets pacified during this season.

Diet and Activity Regimen

Drink plenty of water, buttermilk etc in this season.

Food which is easily digested should be taken like rice, lentils etc.

Milk intake is ideal in this season.

Wearing light dresses and sleep during day time is advised.

Exercise, sexual indulgence, intake of alcohol should be avoided.

External application of sandalwood paste is ideal during this season, which provides cooling effect to the body.

VARSHA RITU

Picture Credits: www.fitnhit.com
Picture Credits: www.fitnhit.com

Properties of Varsha Ritu

Mid-July to Mid-September is considered as Varsha Ritu. The digestive fire will be weakened and measures should be adopted to increase the activity of digestive fire. The predominant rasa is Amla. Vata dosha gets vitiated and Pitta dosha also increases during this season.

Diet and Activity Regimen

Foods having Amla (sour) and Lavana (salty) rasa can be taken

Cereals- Old grains, Barley, Wheat and Rice

Meat soup can be taken.

Boiled or medicated water should be taken

Hot water for taking body bath after oil application is indicated.

Panchakarma procedure Basti is indicated during this season to alleviate vitiated Vata dosha.

Sleep during day time, sexual indulgence, exposure to cold, rain and wind is contraindicated during this season.

 

SHARATH RITU

Picture Credits: www.happyfit.net.au
Picture Credits: www.happyfit.net.au

Properties of Sharath Ritu

Mid-September to Mid-November is considered as Sharath Ritu. The predominant rasa is lavana. The person’s strength remains medium and Vata pacification takes place during this period. Aggravation of Pitta may also happen.

Diet and Activity Regimen

Foods that pacify pitta can be taken.

Wheat, Grams, Sugar etc have to be included in the diet.

Milk, butter, fully ripened sweet fruits like Melon, Grapes, Pears and Mangoes are good. Also, vegetables like Cucumber, Zucchini, Asparagus etc. can be used.

Food should be taken only when feeling properly hungry.

Panchakarma procedures like Virechana (purgation) and Rakthamokshana (bloodletting) are advised during this season.

External application of sandalwood paste is good.

Getting exposed to moonlight is advised during this season.

Exposure to sunlight, day sleep, excessive eating is contraindicated during this season.

Ayurveda systematically describes how the diet & activity of the previous season be gradually discontinued and that of the subsequent season be adapted to avoid diseases due to seasonal changes.  Ayurveda promises a strong, disease-free and healthy life to every individual who devotedly follows the Ritucharya.

 

 

   About the Author

Dr Arya Krishnaarya-krishna

Associate Editor,

American Journal of Ayurveda

Team Member,

Healthconnect 24

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-arya-krishna-872b7ba4

 

 

Panchakarma- The Ayurvedic Science of Rejuvenation

By Vishakha Moghe

 

The internet is currently full of articles that talk about Ayurveda as the “Detox Science”. It’s quite disappointing to come across nutrition experts and other Non-Ayurveda people taking this ancient Indian science into their hands and modifying the knowledge to their convenience. Ayurveda, on the other hand, is a very well-researched science with strong roots. The effort of every “authentic Ayurveda practitioner therefore, is to preserve this ancient wealth by not compromising on the basic principles while still carrying on with the research and changing medicines according to the changing times.

“Pancha” means five and “Karma” means treatment or procedures. Panchakarma is not just a “detox science”. It is a whole branch of Ayurveda that precisely explains acute and chronic medical conditions and the procedures that can cure it. These five procedures eliminate accumulated wastes and vitiated doshas out of the body.

Picture Credits: www.shriayu.com
Picture Credits: www.shriayu.com

According to Ayurveda, the human body is a network of channels (srotas), both microscopic and macroscopic. The various systems of the body and their functions are aided by these channels. Diseases occur when “Aam” (undigested food matter) gets accumulated and clogs these channels in the body. Chronic diseases are difficult to treat because the toxins are lodged deeply inside these channels and mere medicine consumption is not enough to get rid of them.

Panchakarma therapy can be administered to both healthy and unhealthy people. Panchakarma therapy is also used as a purification therapy to cleanse the body before starting an internal treatment. A diseased body can be compared to a soiled cloth. A soiled cloth cannot pick up color unless it is washed or cleaned. Thus, the body too needs cleansing before a treatment can be started. The cleared channels help medicines to penetrate deeper.

The five karma are as follows:

  1. Vamana- Emesis (Vomiting)
  2. Virechana- Purgation (Evacuation of bowels through laxatives)
  3. Niruha Basti- Enema with herbal concoctions
  4. Anuvasana Basti- Enema with medicated oils
  5. Nasya (Nasal drops administration)

 

Picture Credits: www.prakruthiayurveda.org
Picture Credits: www.prakruthiayurveda.org

Vamana– Expelling the doshas through the oral route is called Vamana. Before the actual procedure, the vitiated doshas are brought to the stomach by the preparatory methods like regular whole body oil massage followed by a steam bath. This liquefies the doshas and brings them to the stomach which can later be expelled by administering concoctions for vomiting.

Vamana chikitsa is suggested in diseases which mainly involve kapha dosha. Some of the best examples are cough, asthma, skin diseases, sinusitis, and digestion problems.

 

Virechana– Expelling the doshas through purgation is called Virechana. Virechana is an easier procedure as compared to Vamana. It helps in eliminating toxins from blood, liver and intestines. Virechan chikitsa is suggested in diseases which mainly involve pitta dosha. Some of the examples are fistula, headache, acidity, anemia, jaundice and ascites.

 

Picture Credits: www.amrutayucare.com
Picture Credits: www.amrutayucare.com

Basti– Basti karma is expelling body toxins and vitiated doshas by introducing medicated liquids or oils through anus, urethra or vaginal canal. Basti karma is suggested in diseases due to vata dosha. Some of the examples are neuro muscular conditions, joint pain, paralysis, obesity, low back pain, spondylosis and menstrual problems in women. Basti is of two types:

  1. In Anuvasana basti medicated oil is introduced through anus, immediately after the consumption of food. There will be no harm even if medicated oil remains inside colon for a long time. This type of basti nourishes and strengthens the body.
  2. In Niruha basti an enema of herbal decoction is administered on an empty stomach. The decoction should ideally come out within 45 minutes. This expelled decoction usually pulls out the toxins and vitiated doshas from the body and cleanses the body.
Picture Credits: www.itoozhiayurveda.in
Picture Credits: www.itoozhiayurveda.in

Nasya– The administration of herbal liquids or medicated oils through the nasal route is called nasya. Through this method, the vitiated doshas which are accumulated in the area above the neck are expelled out through the nose and mouth via nasal and oral secretions. There are various ways of administering nasya chikitsa; nasya with medicated oils, squeezed juice of herbs, fine powders of herbs and fumes of medicinal herbs.

The indications for nasya chikitsa are headache, vision problems, migraine, stiff neck, sinusitis, hoarseness of voice, hairfall, graying of hair and nervous system disorders.

Ayurveda has explained how according to changing seasons, the dosha domination in our body changes leading to an array of diseases in that season. Each karma is thus focused on treating a specific disorder related to that specific dosha during that specific season. The sound knowledge of all these aspects of this science gives a practitioner the confidence of curing a lot of diseases which have otherwise been declared “incurable” by other sciences.

What can you expect after these procedures?

Picture Credits: www.basis-holidaysinindia.com

The panchakarma procedures affect the person as a whole. You can notice changes on physical, mental and emotional levels. There will be better perception by the senses and you may also experience a healing crisis. All this is indicative of only one thing; the careful study of every disease condition by the ancient sages and a parallel treatment procedure for the same.

Note: All these procedures need to be conducted under the strict supervision of an Ayurvedic practitioner.

 

About The Author

dsc_0440-11

Vishakha is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga counselor and a passionate traveler. She lays emphasis on living a healthy life by nourishing the body and mind with wholesome and natural food, meditation and yogic techniques. An Indian at heart, she aims at propagating the goodness of the Indian culture across the seven seas and stimulating thoughts by creating a hunger for knowledge.