What is Ayurveda & 9 Ayurvedic Practices to Adopt Today
Ayurveda is the oldest practiced healthcare system in the world. It was developed 5000 years ago in India. Ayurveda is the science or knowledge of life (Ayur - life and Veda - knowledge, truth or science) - so Ayurveda means the knowledge of your life.
It’s a system designed to cure and prevent imbalances in the mind and body while cultivating harmony rooted in understanding the human potential.
The guiding principle of Ayurveda is that the mind and body are connected and have the power to heal and bring the body back into balance.
For example, deep breathing is an Ayurvedic practice. Breathing with awareness promotes our heart rate to become slower and our mind to become clear. This reduces stress and promotes the release of feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
The next time you have an unsettling situation, see what 2-3 minutes of deep breathing can do for you.
Ayurveda is personal
Today many people are seeking the guidance of Ayurvedic practitioners because modern day medicine doesn’t take the personal approach. The closest would be Doctor of Osteopathic (D.O) because they use a holistic approach to treatment and see patients as whole people with varying symptoms.
Ayurveda is geared to understanding all of an individual's imbalances.
If you have back pain, a doctor might recommend a pain killer. While this helps, it’s a temporary fix. Ayurveda aims to understand why your back hurts and looks for ways to prevent that pain from coming back all together.
To examine this, Ayurvedic practitioners will analyze your lifestyle, the foods you eat, how much you sleep and many other characteristic of your life before coming to a personalized diagnosis.
In essence, Ayurveda is pulling the weeds from the roots so it doesn’t grow again.
Important Factors of Ayurveda
Eating a diet rich in texture, flavor and color can do more than just be fun, but it can also be good for you. To stay satiated, Ayurveda practices recommend eating a meal where sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and sharp tastes are present.
Rest is an important part of Ayurveda because during sleep is where our body repairs and rejuvenates itself for the next day. Sleeping without the need of external stimulants provides Ayurvedic practitioners the confidence in relying on the body for rest.
Being out in nature is an important part of Ayurveda. The majority of our time as evolved human beings have been in nature, so it’s naturally where we feel good and connected. Ayurveda places special emphasis on being out in nature daily. Even walking barefoot on the earth can help you feel more in tune with the mind, body and environment.
Ayurveda places lots of emphasis on digestive health. The food we eat carries sensory and emotional data, and this affects how we metabolize foods. For example drinking ginger tea after rich meals helps to digest heavy foods and conserve energy so you don’t feel sluggish.
9 Ayurvedic Practices to Adopt Today
Below are a few practices to get your mind and body into a healthier state. Chances are good, that you might be taking part in many of these already.
- Always sit down to eat and avoid technology
- Eat when you’re in a good mood
- Don’t eat until you’re definitely hungry
- Chew and savor your food
- Have a variety of colors in your meals (different colored veggies)
- Include all six tastes at each meal (salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and sharp tastes)
- Drink hot water with ginger throughout the day
- Practice some form of moderate exercise on a regular basis
- Spend time in the quiet or meditate daily
See, you’re already an Ayurvedic practitioner!
I hope this article served as an introduction to Ayurveda. If you’re in the San Francisco - Bay Area, please visit one of our Bharat Bazar locations for a wide assortment of Ayurvedic products and organic produce.
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