Ayurveda is the ancient comprehensive wellness system that comes from India. It comes from the words life (ayur) and science (veda) and is a system that features the core belief that the mind and body are closely linked and that you can use your mind to heal your body.
The beauty of Ayurveda is that it’s not only a treatment to use once an illness is present, but a way of living so that you maintain balance and wellness in your everyday life. It’s an all-encompassing way of living a full and healthful life. By using meditation, diet, exercise and other practices, you will find that love will flow freely and easily in your life when you stop fighting your nature and forcing things to happen.
A core practice of Ayurveda is meditation. This practice has been proven to reduce your blood pressure, deepen your breathing and slow your heart rate. This causes your body to increase happy hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins while decreasing the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline. Meditation also helps you focus on mindfulness, which carries over to other Ayurvedic practices.
Nutrition and digestion are an important aspect of Ayurveda, right up there with breathing. Agni (fire) is the healthy, powerful energy created by good digestion and that is what creates ojas (vitality). When the agni is out of balance, our body doesn’t properly process the nourishing foods and toxins may build up to create illness. This in turn affects the body and the “digestion” of ideas and emotions.
In order to properly feed your agni and nourish your mind and body, it’s important that you eat a variety of foods and keep in mind the six tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, astringent, sour and pungent) to ensure a balanced diet. Take it a step further and eat the colors of the rainbow to make sure that your receiving all the nutrients found in fresh vegetables and fruits. You will know when your diet is properly balanced, because you will find yourself craving foods that nourish your body, in place of foods that cause problems.
Sleep is where your body goes to repair itself and prepare itself for the next day. It’s critical that you make restful sleep a priority to ensure your wellbeing. If you find yourself suffering from insomnia, or find that you can’t fall asleep without sleep aids, it may be that you are suffering from imbalances in other areas of your life. You’ll know when this corrects itself, as you will start having restful sleep that leaves you feeling energized, refreshed and ready for your day upon waking.
Ayurveda is about listening to the cues that your mind and body are sending to you. By practicing mindfulness, you will be a better position to listen to the cues of your body and follow a healthy, happy path that is lit with the power of love.