Ayurveda.

Considering that the original texts of Ayurveda date back over 5,000 years, it is hard to believe that the knowledge shared in those texts is far from antiquated. Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced healing system from ancient India that offers highly personalized lifestyle and dietary recommendations for both the preservation of health and recommendations on how to bring those who have fallen ill back to a state of health. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to follow my passion professionally and to have experienced and witnessed the powerful healing that Ayurveda can provide. I was first introduced to Ayurveda by my mom while I was in high school, and after studying Ayurveda academically at Manipal University in Karnataka, India during college, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the movement towards holistic and integrative healthcare in the US. Integrating some Ayurveda practices into your daily routine can have profound effects. Here are a few suggestions.

 

Maintain a daily yoga and weekly exercise practice.

The asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) of yoga are crucial for the health of the body and mind. Regular cardio, weight training, or whatever your preferred method of exercise is also essential for healthy musculature and improved circulation. 

Eat fresh food.

Fresh cooked, warm foods have the most life force and most readily available nutrients. Old food is stagnant and can clog the channels of the body. Do not eat food that has been left in the refrigerator for more than one night and aim to have each meal as freshly prepared as possible. 

Do not resist natural urges. 

When you feel the need to use the restroom, do so. If you feel a sneeze coming, put your mouth to your elbow and let it happen. When you are thirsty, drink water. These seem like obvious statements, but in our busy world we sometimes do not hear the cues from our body. It is important to listen and honor whatever your body is telling you. 

Drink warm water. 

Physically, anything that is cold contracts whereas something that is warm expands. If we apply this to our digestive system, when we drink ice water (or any other cold beverage) it causes our intestines to contract, making it more difficult for food to pass through the intestines and nutrients to be absorbed. Also, our digestive power is likened to a fire (Agni) in Ayurveda. So, if you are drinking something cold, it will dampen this fire. It is suggested to drink warm water so that the intestines are open and the Agni is strong, especially around meal times. 

Diet by Dosha

As mentioned previously, Ayurveda is highly personalized. One of the first considerations an Ayurvedic Practitioner will have is to determine the Dosha of each client. In Ayurveda, there are five fundamental elements (the Pancha Maha Bhutas) that comprise everything in the universe. They are ether, air, fire, water, and earth. These elements will combine in an entirely unique way to create each person. By understanding this composition as much as possible, an Ayurvedic Practitioner will be able to make the most helpful personalized lifestyle and dietary recommendations. One of the best ways to start this healthy practice is by adjusting your diet in a way that is guided by your individual constitution’s needs.

Victoria is the Founder of Bella Ayurveda. She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner & Mentor, is Certified by NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) and offers virtual consultations. She can be reached at [email protected].

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