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.