Around ten thousand years ago, Ayurveda was born in India. It is a metaphysical yet practical system of holistic healing and medicine. The classical Ayurvedic texts say that the medical knowledge was transferred from Dhanvantari, an incarnation of the Avatar Vishnu. Legend says that he incarnated as an avatar; the King of Varanasi (aka Benares or Kashi) and taught medicine to Sushruta and other physicians.
The ancient methods of healing and cures focus on longevity and wellbeing. It celebrates the uniqueness of the individual and helps you to walk your own path towards optimal health. It is a very intuitive and practical method and aims to bring the mind, body and spirit into complete harmony. Ayurveda leads you towards joy and wellbeing in numerous ways. Read on for Ayurveda 101: 4 Insights to Guarantee a Holistic Lifestyle!
One should devote at least an hour to physical exercise every day. A vast majority of people lead a sedentary lifestyle which leads to premature ageing, and overall dullness and sluggishness. As an antidote to an early grave, Ayurveda recommends people move their bodies and indulge in exercise (Vyayama), play sports (Krida), which in turn brings stability (Stiratva) thereby reducing stress and improving wellbeing.
Fire (Agni) in Ayurvedic contexts means digestive efficacy which is at its strongest in the afternoon and hence one should have his largest meal not in the morning or in the evening but in the afternoon. A practitioner of Ayurveda should drink plenty of warm water throughout the day, which increases metabolism and helps keep body weight in check.
Digested food transforms into vital essence (Ojas). It is seated in the heart (Hridaya) which is directly connected to your life force (Prana, same as ‘Qi’ or ‘Chi’ in Chinese medicine). It builds up physiological defence mechanisms and immunity so that it can combat diseases. However, undigested food (Ama) depletes the immune system. Turmeric, cumin seeds and red chilli can all help in detoxification and stimulation, leading to better digestion and overall immunity.
4. Ayurvedic Strategy
Ayurveda believes in the idea that ‘prevention is better than cure‘. It’s essential to be conscious of one’s thoughts, diet, and lifestyle. Every person has unique energy patterns which constitute a combination of mental, physical and emotional characteristics.
Ayurveda helps you to understand a balance between the three energies (or ‘doshas’) Vata, Pitta and Kapha
- Vata is the energy associated with movement. It comprises space and air. In balance, Vata increases imagination. Out of balance, Vata increases fear and anxiety.
- Pitta is responsible for the body’s metabolic system. It is made up of Fire and Water. If Pitta is in balance, it leads to understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, Pitta leads to anger, hatred and jealousy.
- Kapha is the subtle energy that forms the body’s structure. It is a lubricant for joints, and it maintains immunity. In balance, Kapha increases love and serenity. Out of balance, it makes one worldly and materialistic and lazy.
In life, there are plenty of things that are not in our control, but there are many simple yet essential things we can be aware of like diet and lifestyle. A healthy diet and balanced lifestyle definitely strengthens the body, and mind and allows for a keener awareness of and connection to consciousness.
Ayurveda doesn’t focus on the disease and doesn’t use procedures that modern-day allopathy incorporates in its treatment. It is based on three concepts which are diagnosis and measures (Nidana), diet (Ahar) and body treatment (Kayachikitsa).
It emphasises the importance of exercise and an active lifestyle, which leads to more balance in the life of people. In exercising for fitness, factors such as current health, age, surrounding climate and season are taken into account. The fundamental principle of Ayurveda says that like attracts like and opposites balance.