You may have heard about Ayurveda at your yoga class, on your favourite wellness blog or in a bottle of turmeric or ashwagandha. But you may still be wondering what exactly is Ayurveda? How can we incorporate the art of living into our lives?
To begin with, let me tell you Ayurveda is an ancient healing science of India. In Sanskrit Ayurveda means the science of life. Ayurveda is the art of living. It’s just that it’s a holistic sort of health practices that honours the mind, body, and spirit. It encompasses diet, lifestyle, herbs and even yoga and considered yoga’s sister science. It truly honours the individual so one regimen for one individual will not be the same for another individual. However, its origin is in ancient India. In fact, the classical texts are written in the ancient language of Sanskrit. It has survived thousands of years of various rulers and political struggles in India.
Thankfully, India has preserved this science and now it’s expanding around the world. Thanks to yoga and expanding interest in spiritualism from the east. So, you may be wondering why choose Ayurveda especially when there are so many other options available to you. Well, I’m getting to offer you a couple of reasons.
What should we learn from Ayurveda?
- 1. Ayurveda truly embraces the individual and the art of living. However, it believes that each person is born with his own innate Constitution. The innate constitution is a combination of various energies and qualities. Because of this, no individual will have an equivalent regimen as another individual.
- 2. It Foster’s self-awareness. This is so powerful because you can make your own decisions about what to do based on how you are feeling day to day, moment to moment.
- 3. The idea focuses on prevention. It addresses the underlying issues that accumulate and end in you feeling unwell. It addresses the root causes instead of the full list of symptoms.
- 4. Lastly, Ayurveda is truly intuitive, it is based on nature. So, if you understand the basic patterns the whole thing will become quite common sense to you.
How can we implement Ayurveda In our life?
Well, most people think to follow Ayurveda but then they have no idea where to get started. So I am going to give you a few foundational building blocks to know Ayurveda. There are two things that you need to know to get started and make those necessary adjustments in your life. Your constitution, and your imbalance. Your Constitution is your Ayurvedic type that you are born with. It is like your thumbprint it never changes. Your Constitution is made up of your balance of the three energies. Unlike your Constitution which never changes, your imbalance goes to constantly change throughout your life. Counting on your diet, your lifestyle, season, climate, your stress level, a variety of things that are constantly in flux.
Ayurveda helps us to understand our relationship as human beings with nature, with the universe, with the cosmic forces that are present. According to Ayurveda, our entire life journey is extremely sacred. Just like how nature is made up of five elements so is our body. So basically, the five elements which everybody knows the PANCHA TATVAS nature are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Exactly how our human body is also made up of these five elements.
Human Body is made up of Energies
Look at the world in terms of qualities. These qualities combine to make what we call Doshas or Energies – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. You may have heard of those differently to believe these energies are in terms of the weather. Every individual has a different permutation combination or the levels of each element in the body. This difference defines our constitution.
According to Ayurveda as we are like different permutation combinations and percentages of these five elements that differentiates us. You can be a Vata you can be a Pitta you can be a Kapha. So, let me begin by saying what is Vata, it is the air element and the space element. What is Pitta it is the fire element and what is Kapha it is the earth and the water element.
Ayurveda is Categorized into different constitutions.
So basically, Ayurveda has categorized people as three different proprieties or natures or constitutions. We all are at different levels, have different levels of these elements which decide who we are. We human beings exercise when we are treating a disease or a problem. For example, a man has a problem with his lungs. So he just focuses on the lungs, but Ayurveda focuses on the whole system of the person. Ayurveda focuses on how that person functions, how that person behaves, what he is feeling. So, you try and understand what their emotional makeup and physical makeup is. So that is where Ayurveda is an incredibly beautiful art of living.
Ayurveda is the Art Of Living.
Ayurveda is a lifestyle. It is basically how you lead your life, how you live every day and how you can harmonize yourself with nature to function at your hundred per cent. Also, around Ayurveda, there is this big misconception that it is not a very typical modern worldly way of living. Let me tell you that is a myth. Ayurveda is formed for people who want to enjoy this world fully and completely. Because it teaches you how you’ll enjoy what is present in nature to the maximum without overindulging, without getting consumed by all the things that you are consuming the best. So, you can be in sync with the two heavenly bodies and which is amazingly easy.
FIRST ELEMENT – THE SUN
What Ayurveda says is that if you are in sync with The Sun. First, you start your day with The Sun and you end your day with the sun itself. If you are active when the sun is coming up, your body is ready to function at the best because the sun is our source of energy. So basically, when the sun rises it is a natural tendency to be fresh, to be active, to be energetic. The natural source of energy is so distorted we do not have the time of getting up from sleeping. We function at our clocks.
The morning routine
So, if you are doing any activity, intensive work, you should be doing it in the first half of the day which is with the sun. By the time the sun sets our activities should go down. We should slow down, we should know how to relax. This is the time for the body to calm down, to relax so that we can sleep on time right.
Now the problem is that we are so active by the time the sun is set. Because of this, we cannot sleep on time and then we cannot wake up on time. The whole cycle is distorted. So if you are planning your day try and do the intensive activities, too much physical work when the sunrises. Whether it is exercising, normal work, even mental work, because that also stimulates you.
The Night routine
Once the sun has set to try and do more relaxing things. By doing so you are in sync with the sun and that will take care a lot of your overall well-being. Your sleep cycle will come in sync with nature. You will see how your health levels will improve, how your mental and emotional level will improve as well. Half of your problems will be sorted.
In today’s fast-paced lives, we spend so much time on the screen that we cannot fall asleep on time and then we cannot wake up on time. All our hormones are disturbed. And in turn, everything is disturbed in our bodies.
SECOND ELEMENT – THE MOON
The second heavenly body that we can align with is the Moon. The moon also goes through its phases. It takes 29 and a half days for the moon cycle to be completed. What is interesting is our energy levels are affected by what phase the moon is in. While the moon is moving from a new moon to a full moon at that time our energy levels are increasing. As the moon is increasing, so are the energy levels. This phase of the moon is very conducive for taking actions, for going out and doing things.
While the full moon is moving towards the no moon time is extremely conducive. For doing all the things that are more reflective to going back, to going within, for meditating, for being inside and not doing actively intensive things.
If you learn to align yourself and your activities with the phases of the moon, it will be extremely beneficial to your energy cycles. You will become way more projective and efficient than you are.
THE THIRST ELEMENT – SEASONS
The third important thing that I want to talk about is the concept of ritual or Dincharya in Ayurveda. Dincharya is about aligning ourselves with the seasons. In India, we see six different seasons. According to Ayurveda different lifestyle changes, foods, dietary habits and exercises are recommended for the seasons. Each season has a different nature to it like summers are extremely hot and dry. As we know Ayurveda is the art of living So, we have been asked to eat extremely specific kinds of foods. And, interestingly, what is written to be eaten in summer is what we get locally. Some certain fruits and vegetables are only available during summers. That is exactly what your body needs during those days, during those months. Similarly goes for the winter months certain things are recommended. You will see that nature is giving you in bounty whatever is required.
What is interesting is consciously or unconsciously a lot of us are already following Ayurveda. It would be interesting to just bringing this awareness to yourself and eating more locally, more seasonally and being more in sync with nature. Apart from all these three things what is the most required now especially in the present times is to try and understand the nature of the food that you are consuming. To go back to our roots and try and understand the nature of the food what it is, where it is coming from why we are being told to eat a certain kind of thing during a certain time of the year. Just do that and you will be following Ayurveda very unconsciously.
We have talked about a lot of things about Ayurveda but what I want to add now is Ayurveda is not only about food, it is not only about your physical body. Ayurveda also looks at you holistically. It looks at your physical well-being, it looks at your emotional well-being and your mental well-being as well. When you look at all the min totality then you will be leading an extremely healthy and happy life. Today we talked a little bit about Ayurveda but let me tell you Ayurveda is a huge science.