Kategorie-Archiv: Mind

Eat Your Way To A Healthy Body And A Sound Mind

 

By Vishakha Moghe

“The only species that becomes nutritionally deficient is the human species. And we do so because we’ve completely lost touch with the inner wisdom of our bodies.”

Ayurveda has this wonderful way of explaining how we as human beings are unique from every other human being on the planet. This applies to the Prakruti (body constitution), the mental makeup and the eating habits. Eating does not mean feeding your body to sustain it; eating is an art and one must master it.  How often do we carefully pick what we eat and concentrate on how our body assimilates it? Hardly ever! And that’s exactly where our problems begin.

Intelligent food is that which is full of “Prana”(life), energy and strength. It has the power to influence your consciousness and thoughts. At the same time, food brings anger, happiness and contentment depending on the way it is cooked and on the vibrations of the person who cooks it. The quality of food literally affects your mind, body and your thoughts. When you are aware of the qualities of foods you eat, you are being a conscious and a wise eater.  But with all the chaos going on in our heads, we miss out on these simple pleasures of life.

Picture Source: www.shutterstock.com
Picture Source: www.shutterstock.com

How to be a Wise Eater?

1. Love the regional food- Food is life, it is the source of energy and it is an entity that has been wisely created by nature. Foods that are whole, unadulterated and that grow in your own region have the highest nutritive value and are intelligent in nature. Traditionally, Indians used to eat a fair amount of Bajra (Pearl Millet), Jowar (Sorghum) and Ragi (Finger Millet). These foods were packed with health, antioxidants and nutrition. We need to revive our love for traditional foods which is the only way we can save our future generations from hoards of allergies, nutrition deficiencies and other health problems.

Picture Source: www.yogadelmar.com
Picture Source: www.yogadelmar.com

2. Include all six tastes in your meal- When your body craves unhealthy food, it’s because your body isn’t getting its dose of all the six tastes namely- Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent. So it’s important that we include foods that fall under each category. Also, you should always begin your meal with something sweet and then eat the other foods one-by- one in the above mentioned order.

3. Minimize restaurant eating- No matter how much a restaurant claims to use safe ingredients and healthy cooking measures, restaurant food can be far from safe and healthy. Most of the time, we are unaware of the source of the ingredients esp. when the foods are animal-based. The kind of cooking oils used, the nature of the ingredients whether they are freshly bought or have been stored in the freezer for a long time is unknown to us. It’s always a better option to eat freshly cooked home food.

4. Avoid stale foods- Foods that are cooked in the morning can be eaten at night but foods that have been cooked at night shouldn’t be eaten in the morning since they turn stale due to night’s tamasik Also, the nutrients in the food die out. Stale food increases acid secretion that in turn worsens diseases like hyperacidity, digestive disorders and other ama-related disorders.

Picture Source: www.banyanbotanicals.com
Picture Source: www.banyanbotanicals.com

5. Eat the five main Sattvik foods in their natural, organic form when possible- Milk, Ghee, Honey, Fruit, Almonds. Milk is revered in Ayurvedic philosophy as a complete food.

6. Avoid eating canned and frozen foods- Every living food is full of Prana when it’s fresh. Food that has been frozen or preserved is devoid of prana. How much prana is present in a particular food is dependent on the length of time it has been frozen. As a rule of thumb, if your food hasn’t seen sunlight in a while, it’s best to reduce your consumption of that food or eliminate it from your diet altogether.

So many of us complain about our lack of energy, increased sluggishness and exhaustion; this is where the energy actually starts to manifest. Feed your body and mind with natural, prana-rich foods that have the power to entirely change the way you think and look at your body. Not only that, start maintaining a routine and sticking to it whole-heartedly. Eating is a sacred act of filling your body with good energy and life. The love, joy and happiness you feel while cooking it will bring the energy back into your life.

So vow to start eating your way to a healthy body and a sound mind!

 

 

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.

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

 

 

A Beautiful Mind: The Essence of Life

By  Vishakha Moghe

„Every morning she woke up wondering if there was any point in getting out of bed and starting the day that was ahead of her. She had turned into a fearful, under-confident woman who didn’t even see a point in living life anymore.“

www.theodysseyonline.com
www.theodysseyonline.com

Stress, depression and anxiety are increasingly becoming a part of life for many of us. Being constantly under the pressure of proving yourself amidst tough competition and fighting the endless struggles of life, does it end here? In fact, it only gets worse. Our brain cells create ideas and stress does exactly the opposite, it kills them! It’s like running on a treadmill, you run for hours without getting anywhere. If it’s known to not get us anywhere, why do we let stress take over us, why do we give it the liberty to rule our lives?

The Bhagavad Gita has beautifully explained the human mind in one Sutra.

| | mana eva manushyanam
karanam bandha-mokshayoh
bandhaya visayasango
muktyai nirvisayam manah
 || Bhagavad Gita 6.5

Meaning:- “For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”

The human mind (manas) has been a subject of research for years. The secret to success in life is when one has won their battle against their own mind, because it distracts you, it distances you from your goals by indulging in objects that give you temporary pleasure as much as it helps you achieve the impossible when gained complete control over!

Source: www.themindunleashed.org
Source: www.themindunleashed.org

Ayurvedically speaking, there are three qualities of mind that govern the entire cosmos, the entire universe. These qualities are termed as guna: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. These guna that govern the entire universe are the three aspects of the human mind. Sattva, to be specific, can be termed as a guna of the mind; Raja and Tama, on the other hand are actually termed as mano-doshas.

Sattva, stands for purity and clarity. A sattva dominant person comes off as a calm, honest, balanced and grounded person.

Rajas and Tamas are doshas which are required in small quantities by the human mind, though an increase in these doshas means an “imbalance”. Rajas means extreme activity and a Rajasic person comes off as a violent, greedy, competitive person. Tamas on the other hand means extreme lethargy, laziness and heaviness. Both Rajas and Tamas are extremes of human mind and an excess of both leads to a lot of negativity in life which can be called as “mental disorders”. Hence, it is important that we nurture the quality (Sattva) and progress on the path of a healthy life.

In the modern-day life, everything in our life is Rajasic- stimulating and competitive. There’s competition, fight for something, temptation and materialistic obsession. All these bring the Rajasic nature out. Self-contentment, purity in thoughts and devotion, on the other hand, bring out the Sattvik nature in us and that leads to a lot of peace in life. Ayurveda believes that we should strive towards Sattva and that it is not impossible to train our mind to move from Rajasic and Tamasic state to Sattvik state. Thus, it declares that health is a result of the union of a healthy body, selfless mind and a content soul.

The approach of Ayurveda to eliminate the doshas of the mind is unique and aims at using psychological, spiritual and pharmacological methods to root out the disease. It is termed as “SattvÁvajaya CikitsÁ”. The traditional mental health promoting practices focused on improving the activity regimen (Dinacharya) of the subject, correcting their behavior (Sadvritta) and advising yoga. Control over the mind can be exercised only through spiritual knowledge, fortitude, philosophy, remembrance and concentration.

The two important factors that are taken care of while treating the patient are as mentioned:

1. Assuring the patient of the return of happiness after the loss of an object or a dear one.

2. Inducement of emotions opposite to those associated with patient’s distress.

The uniqueness of Ayurveda in the management of mental illnesses lies in the fact that instead of suppressing the subjects emotions and and bombarding them with medicines, more emphasis is laid upon gradual withdrawal from bad habits, addictions and negative emotions. Replacement of emotions like malice by love, ignorance by knowledge, fear by courage, anger by composure, jealousy by affection etc by keeping mental equanimity by enlightenment, imparting knowledge, patience and confidence. This is what makes the Ayurvedic approach to psychiatric disorders a unique one in the world.

 

You’re beautiful, love yourself

1. If there’s an object or a person that disturbs you frequently, withdraw from it/them. The golden rule is to keep away from anything and everything that comes in your way of achieving your ultimate goal that is going to give you the ultimate happiness. Avoid over-burdening your intellect and senses with something if you feel it is beyond your understanding or if it is not your forte.

2. Learn to say a“No” when really needed, because it’s more important than knowing how to say a “Yes”. If you don’t say it when it is the right time, you feel the burden of doing something which is beyond your capabilities then, this in turn leads to unnecessary stress in life.

3. Avoid the habit of postponing things because of laziness and poor time management. Your mind has an incredible potential to multi-task, but this is possible only with wise time management skills and discipline. When tasks are finished in time, there’s no question of your work getting piled up. No pending work means no stress! Life begins to get so much better.

4. Create a shield against stress. “Abhyanga” or oil massage after selecting the oil according to Prakruti of the subject gives the desired results and nourishes the body and mind. This includes sessions of Shirodhara and Shirobasti with serene raga-based music in the background that works like magic. There are specialized massages based on marma (vital points) that can put the person to sleep immediately by relaxing their mind and body completely. “Karnapooran” or the act of filling up the ear cavities with medicated oil also leads to the mitigation of increased Vata in the head and ears. This rids the mind of restlessness, worry and tension.

 

Source: www.ayurway.com
Source: www.ayurway.com

5. Reward yourself from time to time. It is important for each one of us to recognize our own achievements by taking a break from the constant hard work for a while. Reward yourself with something that pleases your senses and winds you down. Find creative ways of doing the same work. This will free up some of your time and energy for more productive work.

6. Ayurveda gives immense importance to “Nidra” (Sleep) apart from Aahar (Diet) and Brahmacharya (Celibacy). You cannot be productive and creative if your brain cells don’t get rest at the right time. Constantly working, reading or studying can lead to a poor sleep pattern and hamper your appetite and digestion.

7. A regular practice of Yogasanas and Suryanamaskaras (sun salutations) can reduce the stress and anxiety largely. Meditating under the supervision of a well-trained yogi can help you cut down on your stress before it’s too late.

8. Offering a hug to someone is the best form of healing. Hugs don’t cost anything and can be given to anyone in distress. There’s no deed as noble as the one where we express our love and warmth for a fellow human through a warm hug. A hug has all the power to lower your stress hormone (cortisol) and stimulates our brains to release dopamine (pleasure hormone)

 

Source: www.grayline.com
Source: www.grayline.com

9. Due to the advancement of technology and industrialization, we as humans have long forgotten the miracles of nature and how it heals us when we go in sync with it. We must plan our life in a way where we can spend a short span of our life away from the chaos and artificialness of the city and subject ourselves to the miracles of nature. Nature is a medicine less hospital and gives you only how much your body and mind needs. Simply walking through a rainforest and staying inside a hut or a mud house gives you all the access to nature’s healing vibes and rejuvenates you. Eating fruits after picking them up straight from the tree happens to be one of the best activities in life and one of the few favors that you would be doing on your body. Nature is constantly giving us in many forms. We fail to recognize our own blessings and end up poisoning our bodies with things that are far from required for us.

If you’re in distress, reach out. Mental health matters, you matter. Don’t fight your battle alone ‘coz  all you need is some love!

Ayurvedafinder says, “ A Beautiful Mind is the Essence of Life”.

 

 

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.