Good health doesn’t happen overnight. It is the product of those small choices you make every day. That’s the reason why It is always important that you create time for ‘healthy choices’ from your busy, fast-pace scheduled daily hours.
Ayurveda is more than a traditional treatment method. It’s a lifestyle. According to ayurveda practitioners it is important for an individual to follow a daily routine or schedule in order to maintain a healthy and disease free life. Studies says that it only takes 21 days for a new practice to become a habit. This daily routine or regime is known as ‘Dinacharya’ in ayurveda.
One way to describe the lifestyle is in terms of the three doshas, which are:
Vata, the air element;
Pitta, the fire element;
Kapha, the water element.
The vata is dominant during the morning and afternoon, between 2 to 6. The Pitta is dominant during the midday and midnight, between 10 to 2. The Kapha is dominant during morning and evening, between 6 to 10. Good health comes when you move along with these energies and not against it.
Given below are six life practices you can follow to master a happy and healthy life.
Healthy Fruit Diet
We all have heard about superfoods, but what about superfruits? Not every fruit is superfruit. Those fruits that are packaged with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are categorised under superfruits. You can try making superfruits a part of your daily diet. They can help you live longer, look healthier and prevent disease.
1. Banana: Bananas are filled with nutrients that can prevent cardiovascular disease, increase bone mass, regulate PMS, constipation, heartburn, morning sickness, mood swings and many other ailments.
2. Pomegranate: This red juicy fruit is known for its importance in revitalizing heart and liver. Filled with essential minerals like calcium, potassium, copper and manganese, and vitamins like Vitamin A, C, K, and B5, this superfruit is known to protect the arteries, regulate blood sugar level, prevent diarrhea, protect the kidney filters from harmful toxins, lower the risk of premature childbirth, lowers bad cholesterol, boost the immune system, prevent anemia, reduce wheezing in children, liver care, reduce wrinkles, and strengthen hair follicles. The anti-cancerous, anti-allergenic, and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate makes this superfruit unavoidable in today’s scenario.
3. Avocado: This fruit is known as the magical fruit for youthful skin. Rich in vitamin A, E, D, B1, B2, K, PP and essential fatty acids, it is very effective in fighting the ageing process and keeping the skin hydrated.
4. Mango: Mango contains a good amount of iron, vitamin A, B, C and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and potassium. Mango serves best in improving digestion, and tones up the liver. It is also good for curing burns and bee-sting.
Other superfruits include orange, kiwi, grapes, apple, strawberry, blueberry, figs, cherry, pineapple, tomatoes, papaya, pear, watermelon, and blackberry.
An ayurvedic diet is not only that nourishes your body, but also restores the balance of ‘doshas’ which is very essential for maintaining health.
1. Vata Pacifying Diet: Vata is cold, dry, rough and light. So, vata pacifying diet should be able to neutralise these qualities. Thus, the diet includes warm, moist, oily, smooth, and nourishing foods. Vata pacifying foods include ghee, soft dairy products, wheat, rice, corn and bananas. The choice of vegetable can include asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, green beans, okra, onions and garlic, radish and sweet potato.
2. Pitta Pacifying Diet: Pitta’s properties are hot, sharp, oily, and light. Thus, the diet should include foods that are cool, dry and heavy. Examples include milk, rice, beans, steamed vegetables and fruits, and mild spices like cumin, coriander and cilantro.
3. Kapha Pacifying Diet: The properties of kapha are cold, heavy, liquid and unctuous. Thus, the diet should include foods that are dry, hot and light like, puffed rice or corn, millet, amaranth, leafy vegetables, and spices like ginger, turmeric, and chilli.
Healthy Morning Rituals
Here are certain habits you can establish that will set up for a good day.
1. Wake up earlier. Civil twilight is a great time to wake up because there is enough light to see, the birds are chirping, and you still have time to see the sunrise.
2. Drink a glass of lemon water as you wake up. It rehydrates your body and gets your body going.
3. Scrape your tongue. It helps to get rid of the bad breath, and as a bonus, your food will taste better.
4. Practise a stretching routine at least for 5 minutes every day. By stretching, you are waking up your muscles and getting them ready for the day ahead.
5. Dry brush your body. It improves the circulation and sloughs off dead skin.
6. Listen to uplifting music or audiobook.
7. Prepare a green smoothie. It will help boost your energy levels.
8. Meditate for few minutes.
Ginger is considered as a universal medicine. Fresh ginger is good for all doshas. Dry ginger is vata and kapha reducing, and pitta increasing. Ginger is good for improving digestion, increasing circulation, and decreasing inflammation. It can be used for colds, coughs, menstrual cramps, fever, indigestion, flu, sore throats, and much more.
Healthy Oil Massage and Bath
Bathing is a therapeutic activity or a healing activity according to ayurveda. Ancient ayurvedic texts talks about therapeutic baths using rose petals, tumeric, milk and honey. The ayurvedic bath is always preceded by a full body oil massage. A daily full body oil massage can act as a powerful recharger for both body and mind. The oil is often infused with herbs and will be usually warm.
Massage your body, the scalp, forehead, temples, hands and feet with sesame oil twice a week. The massage should last for at the least 2-3 minutes. Coconut oil is also great for hair and scalp.
A hot water bath is said to increase your strength. But, hot water should never be used to wash your head, since it can damage your hair and eyes. Make sure you use lukewarm water while washing your head. A cold water bath is said to alleviate haemorrhagic disorders.
There are many ayurveda clinics in kerala with more than 100 years of experience providing ayurvedic treatments for various medical conditions from, back pain to cancer. Most of them are well established and wouldn’t be hard to find. All you have to do is find the right ayurvedic clinic for the kind of treatment you are looking for.