“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Integrative Health and Healing
Do you notice that when you stop taking good care of your body, your emotional health suffers too? I find that when I’m not eating well or getting enough sleep, I also feel emotionally out of balance. Over time, this can become a negative cycle because when your emotions are out of control, it also affects your physical health; losing 10 pounds after a breakup, having a heart attack due to financial stress, and the list goes on.
Recognizing the importance of integrative health, I’ve always been interested in Ayurveda. Originating in ancient India, Ayurveda is one of the first health systems to support the mind-body connection. In fact, Ayurveda translates to the science of life (Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge).
Based on the belief that the mind and body are inextricably linked, “Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body,” according to spiritual teacher Dr Deepak Chopra.
Ayurveda follows the basic explanation of the doshas – one of three states that the body can be in: vata, which is associated with qualities that pertain to space and air; pitta, with qualities related to fire and water; and kapha, which embodies qualities related to water and earth.
How to incorporate the principles of Ayurveda into your life
1. Self massage (also known as “Abhyanga”)
Using warmed herbal oils, abhyanga is a detoxification massage and is customized to your specific Dosha type. Along with lowering stress and blood pressure, Ayurveda self-massage helps with fatigue, promotes restful sleep and increases longevity.
2. Establish a consistent sleep routine
Sleep is a time for our body to naturally heal itself. If you can get into the habit of sleeping six to eight hours each night, this will strengthen your immune system, slow the aging process and give you the energy you need to function at an optimal level.
3. Align yourself with nature
One of the core principles of Ayurveda is that everything is connected in the universe, and by living in alignment with nature, we can enhance our overall health. Spending time in a natural environment is scientifically proven to promote physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Nature has a wonderful way of helping us let go of any mental and physical stress we’re holding onto.
4. Adjust your eating habits
According to ayurvedic principles, all food should be savored and eaten slowly in a relaxing environment without distractions. That means turning off the TV and putting away your phone and electronic devices. Also, your main meal should be in the middle of the day. Eat mindfully; listen to your body, eat only when you are hungry, and stop when you are satisfied. A great resource for recipes and techniques The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook will get you on the right path.
is recipes to get you cooking and eating
Are you ready to bring your mind and body back into balance? Put these tips into practice, and you’ll be amazed how it transforms your health.