Kategorie-Archiv: Health Tips

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

 

 

Ayurveda’s Gift To The World- Dinacharya

By Vishakha Moghe

 

If there’s a science that inspires us to live the motto “Rise and Shine” in literal sense, it is undoubtedly India’s traditional system of medicine. The world received a gift thousands of years ago and the gift was in the form of Ayurveda. It is important for every individual to set up a daily regimen for himself.  Such healthy and unique daily practices assure you a healthy and disease-free life. Ayurveda recommends that in order to be holistically healthy we should sync our bodies with the nature’s master cycle to regulate various other rhythms.

Vagbhata in his treatise “Ashtang Hrudaya” has stated that, everyday two cycles pass through our body, each bringing a Vata, Pitta, Kapha dominance. The cycle times are as follows:

First cycle:
6 A.M. to 10 A.M. – Kapha
10 A.M. to 2 P.M. – Pitta
2 P.M. to 6 P.M. – Vata

Second cycle:
6 P.M. to 10 P.M. – Kapha
10 P.M. to 2 A.M. – Pitta
2 A.M to 6 A.M. – Vata

Based on this, we must start our morning and spend our day with an effort to maintain a balance of all the three doshas (humors). When we take the time to invest in our Ayurvedic daily routine, called Dinacharya, we are kick-starting our day in the most powerful way — balanced, ready for anything!

1. Wake Up To Beat The Sun- Utthanam

A healthy individual must wake up at least an hour before sunrise (ideally 2 hours before sunrise). It is the freshest and the purest time of the day with the air having the most “Prana Vayu”. Also, since the Vata dosha is dominant, it is easier for the body to receive the delicate messages that nature sends and to eliminate the wastes out of the body. The mind can easily stay alert and active because Vata is light, active and subtle.

2. Elimination Of Wastes – Mala-Mutra Visarjanam

To cleanse your body systems, it is important to eliminate the wastes and toxins by eliminating them at the right time. Since Vata dosha is quick, waking up in the Vata period ensures smooth and easy defecation.

3. Cleaning The Teeth & Scraping The Tongue – Danta Dhaawan & Jivha Nirlekhanam

catalogv1_miswak_1
Source: www.thegrommet.com

Clean the teeth with 12 finger-long straight, crushed root of trees that have astringent, pungent and bitter tastes like Khadir, Neem, Babbul, Karanja. Spit out the juices that are secreted and then scrape your tongue with the other end of the same piece of root by flattening it by chewing. Massage the gums with herbal powders mixed with honey. This ensures clean, sparkling and cavity-free teeth and eliminates mouth odor. It also helps you sharply perceive the taste of consumed food.

4. Use of Collyrium- Anjanam

To protect the eyes by eliminating excess stickiness that is formed due to Kapha and to improve visual power, it is important to apply the preparation of collyrium called Triphalanjan or Souveeranjan in the eyes. These are available in the market or one can easily prepare fresh anjan everyday.

5. Administer Nasal Drops – Nasyam & Dhoomapanam

Source: www.nuayurveda.com
Source: www.nuayurveda.com

For nasal and entire upper body cleansing, instilling nasal drops of Anu thailam, Cow ghee or Panchendriya Vardhan thailam after a light facial massage helps in eliminating excess Kapha from the head, nose and throat. This has miraculous effects on the face, hair, shoulders and chest as well. Hence, it helps in preventing wrinkles, grey hair, hair loss and premature ageing. Nasya should be followed by inhalation of medicinal fumes by burning mixture of medicines that help to keep respiratory system disease-free.

 6. Gargling – Gandoosham

Gargling the mouth with warm medicinal oils, decoctions, honey, milk or simply water ensures healthy mouth, strong teeth, gums and lips.

7. Full Body Massage- Abhyangam

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

None of us are unaware of the benefits of a whole body oil massage. Applying warm medicinal oils according to the body constitution and gently massaging the limbs, joints and feet ensures good blood circulation, strengthens and tightens the skin, reduces fatigue, slows down ageing. A good feet massage is equally healthy for the feet and the eyes, and further helps in treating insomnia by nourishing the senses. Avoid a body massage immediately after meals or in case of fever or body weakness.

 8. Exercise- Vyayamam

Pick your preferred way of exercising. It could be Suryanamaskar, a brisk walk, a swim, yogic postures or breathing exercises. Early morning exercise eliminates laziness, stagnation and sluggishness. It boosts digestion, also digests body fat and leaves you feeling light and energetic. It fills your body with good Prana. It is not to be strenuous. In fact, exercising at one fourth to one half of your capacity is recommended. The rule is to stop when your heart beat begins to be heard rigorously and forehead begins to sweat profusely.

9. Bath- Snanam

After the body cools down a bit post-exercising, head in for a bath or a shower. This helps you to rid the body of oil and dirt. A lukewarm bath is always recommended unless one is facing Pitta disorders or it is the summer season. Snana improves digestion, longevity, energy and keeps the body clean and hygienic. It also rehydrates the skin and fends off fatigue.

All these activities followed by a light and healthy breakfast will kick start your day on a positive note. Finding time to indulge in these daily activities is essential if we are looking to boost our work output and furthermore looking for a longer and quality life.

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

Ayurvedafinder says, “Your perfect Ayurvedic morning routine is a doorway to a healthy and disease-free life!”

 

  About the Author

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.

Eat Wise, Eat Wholesome; Embrace Health

By Vishakha Moghe

We are in a modern era. Modern technology, modern farming techniques, modern lifestyle, modern everything! How could the food aspect remain untouched then? Human beings are constantly evolving and this evolution has led to an alteration in the food-eating habits. Evolution of human beings also means evolution of everything that revolves around us. The nature of soil, the quality of the produce that grows in there and the characteristic of the end product that is served on our platters is a topic of concern for every food expert who has a traditional and holistic approach.

Fad weight loss schemes, modern eating tips and those 31-day diet plans are based on the erroneous notion that eating an abundance of a specific type of foods can lead to better health. On the contrary, the age-old Science of Ayurveda has quoted about a 5000 years ago that it is only a wholesome diet plan that includes the widest possible range of foods that can lay a strong foundation for a healthy body. The very important aspect that needs to be taken care of before choosing to eat a particular type of food in abundance is the Prakruti (body constitution) of the person consuming it. Every subject is unique; the food habits should thus vary from person-to-person according to the Prakruti.

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Picture Courtesy: www.motherearthnews.com

Ayurveda defines wholesome food as the kind of food that balances the seven dhatus (tissues) and the three doshas (humors). The one that causes disarray in any of these is considered unwholesome. This is a very simplistic approach. During ancient times, the different categories of food including their origin were based on the occupation of the people consuming it. Vedic culture was predominately vegetarian in higher levels of society; nevertheless the ruling and warrior classes would generally eat meat. However, Ayurveda also understood the great nutritive value of animals and animal products. Normally, they used milk, butter, and ghee as the main source of animal proteins, but when the situation demanded, they prescribed animal products to quickly build back the strength of a person. The larger focus should be on eating the food that the body really needs, not on eating what merely satisfies the taste buds.

pinterestTraditional Indian Thali (Platter); Picture Courtesy: Pinterest

Food rasas(tastes) are classified into six categories by Ayurveda namely, Madhura(Sweet), Amla(Sour), Lavana(Salty), Katu(Pungent), Tikta(Bitter), Kashaya(Astringent). It isn’t just one of the meals that should consist of all the six tastes; every meal that we consume should have a blend of food items that possess the above tastes. Each taste has an intimate relationship with the doshas and the body constitution. Sweet or madhura taste is a builder of tissues that are formed from Prithvi(Earth) and Jala(Water). Hence, sweet substances strengthen Kapha. An overload of sweets, on the other hand, can create a Kapha imbalance, which needs to be corrected with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and warming foods. Salty, Sour and Pungent tastes in the right quantity strengthen Pitta thus boosting its functions of carrying out the metabolic processes. An excess of these tastes, however, aggravates Pitta and needs balancing out with sweet, cooling foods. Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes in excess increase Vata and other functions related to movement, penetration and cleansing of channels. If you need to pacify Vata, therefore, you need to focus on the sweet, sour and salty tastes and eat more warm foods.

The other important aspects to be kept in mind before you chalk out your diet plan are:

1) Effects of combining 2 different food items ex. Milk and Fruits; Hot and Cold Foods;   Curds and Raw foods like Cucumber, Tomato are unhealthy combinations.
2) The places and climatic conditions for consuming a particular type of food.
3) The effects of consuming a particular food in a particular season.
4)Use of artificial flavors, preservatives, chemicals and colors.

Good nutrition according to Caraka Samhita (treatise on Ayurveda) is eating the right kind of food, with the right beverage, at the right time of the day, with the right company, in the right frame of mind and at the right place. The sages during ancient times also inferred that people who eat less quantities of food or the quantity of food that is enough to create energy and nourish all the bodily tissues and organs, lived longer than their counterparts. The method to determine whether you are eating the right quantity is to eat until your first burp; that’s your body’s signal to stop. If you keep eating past this point on a regular basis, you’re reducing your life span by over-burdening your system. The stomach also requires space to perform its functions by mixing the food with digestive secretions. The golden rule is to stop at the first sign of a burp and avoid the heaviness in the body that might follow later.

We’ve also lost track of a lot of important facts that need to be reminded to us time and again. Animal foods undoubtedly contain high quantities of proteins and minerals, but are we sure if we really need the protein? Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle devoid of physical activity and hard work, where is the need of “a lot of protein” arising from?

 

shutterstock_126744206_@721Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock

Traditional and local foods have long lost their importance too. The traditional food habits have been established over a period of long research and experience by our ancestors and the genetic makeup of our body has been altered by the region wise climatic changes and eating habits. So there are fair chances of a person in the Northern part of a country falling ill quite often, if he consistently follows a diet pattern other than the one followed in his region. Locally grown foods are higher in “Prana” (vital energy present in foods) because they don’t have to be shipped or stored for longer periods and can be bought-tree ripened. It’s also important to chop vegetables and cook them fresh at every meal. Buying pre-chopped vegetables means that you have already lost some prana.

Avoid eating processed, canned, frozen, bottled and fermented food. This kind of food is considered to be “dead” according to the traditional medicine. To add further, it has been heavily treated with chemicals and preservatives and is too old to be healthy.

shutterstock_230510470Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock

Raw foods are heavier to assimilate; Agni Sanskar (cooking/roasting/frying) renders food easy to digest and process. Our kitchen also consists of a variety of spices that again differ region-wise. We must make use of all these traditional spices while cooking our meals as this makes the foods more palatable, digestible and also creates energy.

Vegetarians can get their daily protein requirement from fresh cow/buffalo milk, tofu, paneer, lassi (yoghurt drink) and nuts like dates, almonds, walnuts and cashews provided they are soaked first or cooked with grains to make them more digestible. Vegetarian food is healthier and easier to digest as compared to animal-based foods and hence it is considered superior in many ways. But for non-vegetarians, if they follow all the dietary rules while feasting upon a non-vegetarian meal, they too can lead a healthy life!

Apart from all the dietary rules, it’s essential to be in a healthy atmosphere amidst favorable company while eating your food. The frame of mind that one is in, overpowers all the other factors that have been mentioned above. Restaurant food comes from unknown sources, we are rarely aware of how the food was cooked, who cooked the food and in what frame of mind the whole process occurred. It goes without saying that eating restaurant food frequently does more harm than we can imagine! Also, eat food in a settled atmosphere, avoid using the phone while munching on the food, avoid watching the TV or listening to music as you eat your meal. All these activities lead to sluggish digestion in turn leading to the production of an undigested food product (Ama), which is nothing less than a toxin and damages your body in the long run. Leave your responsibilities at the door — and instead revel in the beautiful colors, tastes, smells and textures of the food. All of this amounts to respecting your food and your digestion, and will help create the kind of light, clear, vital feeling that good food is meant to do.

Ayurvedafinder says, Eat Wise; Eat Wholesome: Embrace Health!

 

 

About the author

Processed with VSCOVishakha is an Ayurveda 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.