Many years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed the ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems.
Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda
- The mind and the body are inextricably connected
- Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind
Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body. This process isn’t as complicated as it may sound.
For example, when you meditate you effortlessly enter a state of expanded awareness and inner quiet that refreshes the mind and restores balance. Since the mind and body are inseparable, the body is naturally balanced through the practice of meditation.
Meditation is just one of the most powerful tools the ancient Ayurvedic physicians prescribed for balancing the mind and body. Ayurveda also offers many other practices for expanding self-awareness and cultivating your innate state of balance.
Eat a colorful, flavorful diet.
After breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function. To create a healthy body and mind our food must be nourishing. Ideal nutrition comes from consuming a variety of fresh foods that are appropriately prepared and eaten with awareness.
A simple way to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet is to include the six Ayurvedic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in each meal. Doing so will ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented.
Fortify your digestive power.
As Ayurveda teaches, good health is dependent upon our capability to fully metabolize the nutritional, emotional, and sensory information that we ingest. When our digestive energy, known as agni (fire), is robust, we create healthy tissues, eliminate waste products efficiently and produce a subtle essence called ojas. Ojas, which may be envisioned as the source of our vitality, is the basis for clarity of perception, physical strength, and immunity. On the other hand, if our agni is weakened, digestion is incomplete and lead to an accumulation of toxic residue known as ama. The buildup of ama in the body mind leads to obstructions in the flow of energy, information, and nourishment, and is the basis of all disease.
Have abundant restful sleep.
According to Ayurveda, sleep is the nurse to humanity. During sleep, our body repairs and rejuvenates itself. A lack of restful sleep disrupts the body’s innate balance, weakens our immune system, and speeds up the aging process. Human beings generally need between six and eight hours of restful sleep each night.
Live in tune with nature.
The phrase “living in tune with nature” has a precise meaning in Ayurveda: having healthy desires that match what you actually need. As nature made you, what you need and what you want shouldn’t be in conflict. When you’re in balance, you naturally desire only that which nurtures your health and life.
You flow in harmony with your body’s natural rhythms, getting restful sleep, feeding your senses with experiences, tastes, touch, aromas, sounds, and sights that uplift and nourish you. When you slip out of tune with nature, your desires become non-nurturing and you may crave junk food, neglect to sleep and exercise, and indulge in compulsive behaviors. Overtime, a little imbalance can become a disorder and then a disease, bringing on more stress and neglect.
Discover Your Dosha
Also, known as mind-body types, “doshas” are the base for Ayurveda. Doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.
The three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, are derived from the five elements of nature, which are: Space (akasha), Air (vayu), Fire (tejas), Water (jala), and Earth (prithivi).
If you want to know more about Ayurveda so don’t miss this post: Modern Ayurveda