Originating in India more than 3,000 years ago, Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. And yet still, Ayurvedic teachings are relevant for and adaptable to our modern lifestyles. Ayurveda promotes healing through the use of natural ingredients including certain complex herb and spice compounds and minerals, while also promoting balanced diets tailored to the constitution of the individual. Massage and steaming, and breathing techniques are important parts of an Ayurvedic lifestyle routine.
Ayurveda is more than just a medical system; it is a way of life that restores wellbeing in the follower. Below are a few basic steps that can be adopted by anyone, such as eating a balanced diet, and practicing breathing exercises that help create harmony in the body. Diet depends on your constitution, which can be advised by an Ayurvedic practitioner, but here are a few things you can do yourself, now.
Start your day well
When you follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle you are encouraged to start the day on a good foot, the belief being that a good start sets the mood for the rest of the day. Wake up early, and before consuming anything, clean your mouth with a toothbrush and a tongue-cleaner, so that you don’t swallow the toxins built up over night. Next, drink a glass of warm water with the juice of a lemon. The warm water helps stimulate your intestines and gently move the digestive tract, while the vitamin-filled lemon helps to eliminate toxins. This is a simple but powerful way to start your day. Ayurveda places great value on breathing and meditation too. Take a few minutes to practice mindful breathing, being aware of the here and now, which functions to ground and calm the mind.
The art of self-massage
Massage balances and revitalises the mind and body. Self-massage is believed to promote strength and stimulate the internal organs as well as promote circulation, relaxation and make for a better night’s sleep. You can practise a self-massage at home daily. Certain oils are advised for different constitutions. All should be used warm, before a shower, ideally with around five to fifteen minutes between the two. Self-massage is surprisingly easy, and uses long and circular strokes from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. Read up on Ayurvedic teachings for self-massage and start experiencing the benefits.
Eating is something we take for granted in our fast-paced world. We don’t always take time to appreciate the food we are eating. Ayurveda places importance on eating a balanced meal and on being aware while doing so, which means avoiding distractions or eating too hurriedly. This way, we can appreciate each mouthful and give our bodies time to ‘catch up with our minds’. Mindful eating helps to reduce over-indulgence, and allows us to recognize when we have had enough to eat. By being mindful during meals, we focus on what our bodies are telling us, and we eat the right quantity at the right pace, which has a tremendously positive effect on the body.