According to Ayurveda, health has to be achieved in all aspects of our lives. The process of healing is participatory and each individual holds responsibility and accountability for their health; one is expected to do the work to maintain balance and harmony and there are no magic prescriptions or pills. Ayurvedic healing is a path of understanding of what is right for the individual; it is designed to customize healing based on individualized needs.
Unlike Western Medicine, Ayurveda is neither linear in its approach nor standardized, it doesn’t seek to prescribe an remedy for an ailment/symptom (e.g. standardized prescription for elderberry for cold). What is right for one person, is not right for everyone. Ayurveda views each person as unique with individual needs. We all have different physiologies and emotional tendencies and thus each person’s path toward optimal health is also unique.
So how does one incorporate Ayurveda into their daily lives to continuously live in balance? Here are a few ways you can take the Ayurvedic approach to strive for balance and harmony:
- Sleep – Ayurvedic medicine recommends following the body’s natural rhythms and REM cycles which means waking up near sunrise and going to bed at sunset. While this may not be feasible in our modern lives today, establishing a bedtime routine that can be followed consistently can be immensely helpful. The routine needs to be something simple that you can follow consistently; something as simple as setting aside all electronics and spending five minutes reading a book or doing breathing exercises or journaling for five minutes. Remember simplicity and consistency is key.
- Nourishment – Ayurvedic medicine gets fairly detailed when describing what you should eat based on your constitution (the combination of Doshas). While we won’t get into the details; here are a few basic things that we can incorporate into everyday eating rituals that can be immensely helpful.
- Eat Wholesome Fresh Food – Whenever possible, source local organic produce and meals that are sourced from the environment you currently live in.
- Start by regulating your meals; in Ayurveda lunch is considered to be the main meal; not in calories but in nutrition. Start to seek your most nutrition in this meal.
- Use herbs – Start using healthy herbs and spices like fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, cumin seeds, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper etc. in your cooking as much as possible. All these herbs are power houses that can give your body the boost they need.
- Movement – Movement is key part of daily routine. One must accommodate movement and exercise in accordance with the season and energy. Colder seasons and climates allow for more exercise. In hotter weather, the intensity of exercise should be moderated because the external environment is causing the body to lose fluids.
Ayurveda supports the revitalizing and empowering idea that we have the ability to heal ourselves. Once you realize your own potential imbalances, you can take control of your own health and start incorporating Ayurvedic therapies to feel healthier, improve your fitness and become happier and rejuvenated. Remember, your health starts with you. Happy Healing.