Ayurvedic medicine and the entire philosophy of Ayurveda are more than 3000 years old. This ancient self-care and medical philosophy originates from India, and remains relevant today – dare we say its popularity has even increased over the years.
In order to ensure that the impact is a positive and health-boosting one, we present you with numerous wonderful rituals and habits that will rejuvenate your body from within and make you the healthiest you’ve ever been.
First things first
According to Ayurveda, there are three different types of people. More specifically, your dosha is determined by your dominant qualities, body type and several other factors from the color of your eyes and the shape of your face to your dreams and even the way you speak.
In order to properly enhance your health, you must first determine whether you’re a Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Your type will greatly determine how you’re supposed to live, eat, and even when to sleep. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.
Dosha-determined diet for optimal health
As mentioned, your dosha determines a great deal of things, including your diet. You can do a lot more research on the specific dietary needs of your dosha in order to achieve and maintain optimal health, but some of the basic rules are as follows:
- Vatas should not eat bitter, astringent and spicy foods and should stick to sweet, sour and salty ones. It’s also highly important for them to foster a nutrition that features easily digestible foods.
- Pittas, on the other hand, are to avoid hot, spicy, oily, fried, salty and fermented foods, and generally avoid alcohol as much as they can.
- Finally, we have Kaphas, whose inner balance depends on low-fat and light foods.
Regardless of your dosha, there are certain things that all of us have in common.
- For instance, according to Ayurveda, each morning (and wake-up hours are different for each dosha) should start with a glass of warm water and a pinch of immunity and energy-boosting curcumin powder, which helps your metabolic system and gives you the energy to kick the day off on a powerful and healthy note.
- All doshas are to avoid processed foods altogether and stick with micro and macro-nutrient packed fresh foods and meals, whether they’re fruit, vegetable or meat-based, and always eat their food while it’s still warm.
You know this is good for you
Perhaps there is no need for Ayurveda to tell you this, but it still does – snacking and processed foods are a big no. They have no nutritional value and only serve to mess with the inner balance of your dosha and bring chaos to your gut.
Ayurveda believes that there is an inextricable bond between the gut and the rest of the body, so whatever you eat will reflect on your health, your mood, your energy levels, and even skin; so for your own well-being, avoid snacking and junk food altogether. It will be tough the first couple of days, but as soon as your body detoxifies, you will feel light and energetic and will never want to go back.
Follow your needs
Western medicine tells us that we should drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, depending on how much water we lose.
According to Ayurveda, you only need to listen to the needs of your body and shouldn’t let any app tell you when you need water. You drink it when you feel thirsty because that’s when your kidneys and the rest of your body are signaling to you that they need hydration.
We are all different and have different needs, and since there is such a thing called over-hydration, listen to no one but your body.
Mentally prepare for sleep
It is well-known that sleep is the fountain of youth, as it is particularly during this time that both our body and our skin reboot and rejuvenate. However, there are rituals that should be followed before going to bed, that will allow you to sleep better and get the most out of your replenishing nighttime.
- Set the mood – declutter your room from all the mess and creating an inviting space.
- Keep the temperature not too cold or too warm.
- Play soothing music and light a few candles while you go about your pre-sleep preparatory rituals.
This will ensure you wake up feeling truly rested and in time, and that feeling will reflect on your level of health – but make sure you’re in bed by 10 p.m. It’s vital that you remove all distractions such as the TV and anything else that stimulates the brain as this will mess up your sleep pattern.
Wake up with a purpose
Similarly to the practices of mindful living, Ayurveda also recommends waking up with a purpose and taking some time to greet the new day, greet the sun. One of the best ways to do so is with a morning yoga session. Ayurveda doesn’t believe in grueling exercise regimens. Instead, the focus is on flexibility and the spiritual and health benefits of exercise, and yoga is one of the only forms of exercise that provides you with a healthy body and a sound mind.
Finally, meditation is always recommended as it’s a ritual as old as Ayurveda itself. Given the recent scientific research that gives proof that meditating for twenty minutes a day can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, increase your cardiovascular health and improve your mental focus and concentration, it’s no wonder that so many people are turning to yoga and Ayurveda.