Six Golden Rules Of Ayurveda For Blissful Life
By KUMUDHA VENKATESAN
Ayurveda is awash with amazing wisdom to lead a healthy life. For centuries, millions in the Indian sub-continent have been religiously following basic Ayurveda rules. Today, Ayurveda is widely accepted by communities across the world. Dr Vasant Lad, an Ayurveda icon in North America says, “Ayurveda helps the healthy person to maintain health, and the diseased person to regain health. ” He also says, “The practice of Ayurveda is designed to promote human happiness, health and creative growth.”
Here are 6 pointers:
1.Dinacharya: Dinacharya means “Daily rituals” to be followed every morning for a productive day. One has to wake up around sunrise, wash the face, oil pulling to strengthen upper respiratory system, scrape the tongue and brush teeth, ablutions, drink warm water, oil massage for the body or just the legs (Abhyanga), exercise for 20 minutes, warm shower and meditation. Following Dinacharya is like “me time” and empowers the mind with positivity before starting work.
2.Food: Food, sleep and a balanced lifestyle are three pillars for a healthy life. According to Ayurveda, “If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. If diet is correct, medicine is of no need. ” Ayurveda diet is seasonal wholesome food, which mainly consists of vegetables, beans, lentils, and grains. It urges limited intake of processed food, deep -fried foods, sugary snacks, and meat. Cooking oil, white sugar and white flour are highly processed and should be used occasionally. Another beautiful Ayurveda concept says to consume food when one is hungry and drink warm water throughout the day to facilitate good digestion. Followers of Ayurveda usually have two meals – lunch around noon and light dinner around sunset. Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and herbs such as cilantro can cure minor ailments. According to Ayurveda, weekly fasting helps to detox and is recommended for most adults.
3. Sleep: Charaka Samhita, ancient Ayurveda text proclaims,” Happiness, misery, nourishment, strength, weakness, virility, sterility, knowledge, ignorance life and death – all these occur depending on the proper or improper sleep.” Ayurveda urges individuals to sleep around 9pm and wake up around sunrise. Meditation helps to calm the mind before going to sleep. Ayurveda doctors recommend wholesome nutritious diet, meditation, Yoga and Abhyanga (oil massage) for good sleep.
4. Balanced lifestyle: Moderation in talking, eating, sleeping, and entertaining greatly helps body and mind to be in harmony. Controlling the five sense organs is the key to a balanced lifestyle. During festivals and holidays, I’m mindful while relishing sweets and savories. Every day, I make it a point not to watch YouTube videos for more than 20 minutes. Balanced lifestyle is all about “Mindful living”. I don’t consume anything after my dinner. I just consume water if I’m hungry. I love nature walking, and sometimes I like to walk even when my legs hurt. Dr. Vasant Lad says, “Ayurveda suggests a workout that is one-half of one’s capacity, just until sweat appears on the forehead, under the arms and along the spinal column.”
The concept of Prathyahara (controlling senses) is important in Ayurveda. Prathyahara immensely helps to control sense organs and takes the mind inwards. My friend eats simple Kichidi (rice and lentil dish with few spices) every Saturday and goes for a long walk instead of watching television. Every Sunday, my niece uses her phone only to talk with her parents and does not use social media. Once I finish my dinner at 7 pm, I just consume anything besides water. In the modern world, as folks are overwhelmed and overstimulated, Psychologists recommend withdrawing from digital screen after 8 p.m., for good sleep.
5. Yoga: Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. Yoga immensely helps in controlling the senses to be more productive, to be a better version of yourself. Following Yamas and Niyamas, important limbs of Yoga will shift the mindset towards positivity and bliss. Negative virtues such as anger, hatred, judgmental, jealousy, impatience and ego will melt like snow, and mind is purified. Yamas and Niyamas are made up of Ahimsa (non-violence), truthfulness, controlling senses, non-accumulation, external and internal cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali says, “Be happy for those who are happy, be compassionate towards those who are unhappy, be delighted for those who are virtuous, and be indifferent toward the wicked.” Patanjali adds, “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite ones should be thought of.”
6. Spirituality: Deepak Chopra says, “Spiritual energy is the one kind that never runs out.” Ayurveda proclaims having faith in Higher power, or God immensely helps one to be calm and content even in challenging times. Today, modern doctors also say that having faith in higher power or God immensely helps to heal quickly and reduce stress which causes everything from obesity to diabetes. Modern Psychologists say that spirituality is good for mental health. Meditation, praying daily, reading scriptures, volunteering, divine music and adopting a minimalist lifestyle are amazing ways to start spiritual journey.
(Venkatesan based in Atlanta writes about holistic living, and spirituality.}