In order to keep the tridoshas in a state of healthy equilibrium , digestion & metabolism (agni) in proper order, Ayurveda prescribes for each individual a specific daily routine ( dina – day & acharya – behavior). The various stages to this daily routine as per prakriti(constitution), that will enable you to make the most out of your life are :
Since our biological clocks are attuned to the rising and setting of the sun, it is obviously better to awake an hour before sunrise in perfect synchronization to the natural clock i.e between five & six in the morning. An ideal time to let the body cells soak in the strength of a tempered sun to be charged for the day. It increases the life span of an individual and helps maintain the equilibrium of doshas in once body. Drinking a glass of Luke-warm water helps flush out all toxins accumulated overnight in the body.
The last portion of the night being ruled by vata – involved in the process of elimination – the time before dawn is best to eliminate the body's physical waste . Proper elimination also helps remove the kapha that naturally accumulates overnight. Defecation once or twice daily is the best. Examine your eliminations each morning and if you notice any disturbance indicating poor digestion, go on a fast. It will allow the body rest to correct the system before disease sets in.
Never suppress the natural physical urges as elimination, hunger, thirst, sleep, sneezing, yawning, burping, crying, vomiting, flatus and ejaculation, for it will lead to discomfort and even disease.
Specific oil gargling according to one’s constitution is beneficial for the strength of jaws, depth of voice, glow on the face and perfect taste sensation. One who does these gargles never gets dryness of throat, cracking of lips, his teeth will be free from cavities and be deep-rooted, he won’t suffer from toothache and can chew the hardest of things.
One who applies ayurvedic herbal head oil (according to one’s body constitution) on his head does not suffer from headache, baldness, hair graying. Strength of his head and forehead is specially enhanced, his hair becomes black long and deep-rooted, his sense organs work properly, the skin of his face brightens, applying this head oil produces sound sleep and happiness. This oil should be applied lukewarm, at night before going to bed. The best results for lustrous & thick hair is when the oil is washed with an ayurvedic herbal shampoo.
OILING OF EARS
Ear diseases due to vitiated vata like lock jaw, difficulty in hearing, tinnitus(whistling sound in the ears),accumulation of wax and deafness( also appear during old age) are prevented if ear oil called bilwatailam is used regularly (twice in a month )i.e dropped into the ear. It also helps keep the ears clean of wax and other external impurities.
Necessary for every person, a regular self-massage (before a bath) with herbal oils is necessary at least twice a week but needs to be supplemented with professional attention (ayurvedic oil massage) occasionally. It makes the skin supple; controls vata by reducing its cold, dry, light, rough & erratic qualities, enhances blood circulation, encourages quicker removal of metabolic wastes and relaxes the body. The one who practices oil massage regularly, his body, even if subjected to injuries or strenuous work is not much injured. He remains strong and charming. The ayurvedic oil massage done with proper oil according to ones constitution regularly is highly rejuvenating. Follow the normal direction of hair growth, massage the scalp and head at least twice weekly and just the soles of your feet if short of time
Either passive like massage or active like aerobics or both as in yoga postures; regular exercise increases the body's stamina and resistance to disease by facilitating the immune system, clearing all channels, promoting circulation & waste disposal, and destroying fat. Done regularly, it can reduce anxiety . Depending on age & body type, kaphas can go for heavy exercises, pittas should do it in moderation (aerobics) and vatas should perform yoga and not aerobics. Never exert more than half your capacity. Avoid any kind of exercise during illness, just after a meal and without rhythmic breathing. Swimming, brisk walking and jogging are excellent options.
EFFECTS OF HAVING A
Bathing is purifying, increases libido and is life-giving. In today’s fast life we use soaps which are made of chemicals , these make our skin dry and are harmful in the long run especially to children. Done after the herbal oil massage with a proper ‘herbal body scrub’ it removes fatigue, sweating and dirt. It brings about strength in the body and is an aid par excellence for the enhancement of oja.
Thorough washing of the limbs, face, mouth, eyes & nose purifies the bodies sense organs. Best done with a bath in clean water, it should accompany brushing of the teeth (should be repeated after every meal), scraping off a toxicated coating of ama from the tongue, occasional gargling of salt water with a pinch of turmeric to keep gums, mouth & throat healthy. Proper cleaning of the nose and the ears and washing the eyes should be done. Keep your hair trimmed, nails filed and wear clean clothes. Ayurveda encourages to use perfumes in moderation and feel good.
TIME FOR USE OF COLLYRIUM- rasanjana
One should regularly apply the collyrium made of antimony called ‘rasanjana’, once in every five or eight nights as it causes lacrymation of the eyes. 0f all the mahabhutas fire (tejas) dominates the eyes, so they are especially susceptible to kapha (which leads to cataract, blurring of vision). Therefore collyrium, which alleviates kapha, is good for keeping clearity of vision.
The rasanjana must not be applied to the eyes during the day time, as the eyes weakened by the drainage will be adversely affected in sunlight . Thus collyrium should be applied at night. Charaka says ‘ As different types of tarnished gold are spotlessly cleaned by means of oil, cloth & brush, so also with the use of rasanjana the eyes of human being become spotlessly bright like the moon in the clear sky.’
USE OF NASAL DROPS
One should inhale specially prepared oil for nasal drops during all seasons called ‘anu taila’. Two drops of this oil should be applied in both the nostrils, after hot water bath or before going to bed with a cotton swab or ear bud.
One who practices this nasal drop therapy called nasyam in proper given time and according to the prescribed method his eyes, nose and ears are not effected easily by any disease or by any external infection. It prevents hair graying (hair on the head, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes) and hair fall rather they grow luxuriously. Diseases such as headache, facial paralysis, lock jaw, rhinitis etc are treated. Being nourished by inhalation of anu taila his veins, joints, ligaments and tendons of the head and neck gain greater strength. Their is glow on his face, voice becomes sweet, established & stertorous. All his sense organs become clear & there is considerable strength in them. Even though a person might be growing older but the age is not reflected on his face.
By massaging oil on the feet roughness, lethargy, dryness, fatigue and numbness are instantaneously cured. Tenderness, strength and steadiness of feet are effected, eye sight becomes clear and vitiated vata is relieved . prevention from sciatica , cracking of feet, constriction of vessels and ligaments of feet is ensured if oil massage is done on the feet.
Ideal for disciplining the mind and removing stress & strain, it is best done after a quick bath to cleanse yourself. Critical in satisfying the mind's hunger, when done well it is so nourishing that even the body can survive on less. Control of desire, or mental hunger, is the key to longevity. Anything can be meditation so long it is sincere and heartfelt.
In shielding from extreme temperatures, it tends to reflect the temperament of the wearer in a society showing growing preponderance of the same. Should always be light & airy( unless it is very cold), and made of natural fibers as cotton, wool, linen or silk. Since energy is brought into the body through the crown of the head and exits from the soles of the feet – extracting abnormal heat from the system – the polluted energy usually collects in the footwear. So avoid wearing other's footwear, try not to take shoes into the house and walk barefoot whenever possible. And wooden sandals are healthier than animal skin or rubber shoes.
*all the above mentioned products i.e oils/ shampoo etc ( according to one’s constitution) can be ordered on our website .
Sound sleep is the key to good health
ANCIENT ayurvedic texts while dealing with right and ideal lifestyle have discussed three pillars of life. They are ahara (diet), nidra (sleep) and brahmacharya (observance of sexual discipline). Out of these three, the concept of proper sleep finds mention in the work of every author.
The time spent on sleep is likely to vary according to the age and other situations. On an average, it is believed that a man passes one-third of his life asleep. An infant sleeps 20 hours daily, whereas, on an average, adults require seven or nine hours and an old person five or seven hours of sleep in 24 hours. The requirement for sleep also varies individually. There are persons who are “short-sleepers” but do not show any sign of illness attributed to less sleep .
Physiology of Sleep:
When the mind including sensory and motor organs is exhausted and they dissociate themselves from their objects, then the individual sleeps.
Effect of Sleep:
Happiness, misery, nourishment, emaciation, strength, weakness, virility, sterility, knowledge, ignorance, life and death – all these occur depending on proper or improper sleep.
According to Sushruta, a good sleep enjoyed at proper time and for proper period, tends to improve the growth, strength, vigor and complexion of the body. It increases the sense of well-being by freshening the body and mind and also restores the natural equilibrium among different body tissues. So much so that the scope and importance of good sleep has been equated with the soundness of health enjoyed by a person. There is no physiological system in the body which doesn’t get the salutary effect of sound and soothing sleep.
Untimely and excessive sleep takes away both happiness and longevity. The same sleep, if properly enjoyed brings happiness and longevity in human beings as real knowledge brings about spiritual power in a yogi.
Indication of day sleep:
Sleeping during the day time in all season is prescribed for those who are exhausted by singing, study, alcoholic drinks, sexual acts, elimination therapy, carrying heavy weight, walking long distance; those suffering from phthisis, wasting diseases like tuberculosis, thirst, diarrhoea, colic pain, dyspnoea, hiccup, insanity, those who are too old, too young, weak and emaciate; those injured by fall and assault, those exhausted by journey by a vehicle, anger, grief and fear, and those who are accustomed to day sleep i.e they are working in night. By this the equilibrium of dhatus and strength are maintained and kapha nourishes the organs and ensures longevity.
In summer season nights become shorter and vata gets aggravated in the body due to the absorption of fluid (
kala). Therefore, during this season, sleep during the daytime is prescribed for all. adana
Contra-indications of day sleep:
Sleeping during the daytime in the seasons other than summer is not advisible as it causes vitiation of kapha and pitta. Persons with excessive fat, those who are addicted to taking unctuous substances, those with kapha constitution, those suffering from diseases due to the vitiation of kapha and those suffering from artificial poisoning should never sleep during day time. If one violates the prescription regarding sleep during the day time, he would subject himself to halimaka (type of jaundice), headache, timidness, heaviness of the body, malaise, loss of digestive power, hridaya-alepa ( a feeling as if phlegm adhered to the heart), oedema, anorexia, nausea ,sinusistis, rhinitis, hemicrania, urticaria, eruption, abscess, prutitus, drowsiness, coughing, diseases of the throat, impairment of the memory and intelligence, obstruction of the circulating channels of the body, fever, weakness of sensory and motor organs and enhancement of the toxic effects of artificial poisons. So one should keep in view the merits and demerits of sleep in various seasons and situations so that it may bring happiness to him.
After hours of working( physical or mental) our mind & body need rest , so that they are once again charged. But when we are dreaming during sleep our mind is still working , it is’nt taking rest. That is why people who dream often are not feeling fresh( mind is not recharged) even after long hours of sleep , or they want to sleep more in the daytime. The quality of sleep is hampered due to dreams which in turn hampers our thinking/working process & thus quality of life in the long run.
Effect of night awakening:
Awakening during night causes roughness in the body; sleep during daytime causes unctuousness and dosing in sitting posture does neither cause roughness nor unctuousness.
Methods and measures to induce a good sleep :
If for some reason or other, one is subjected to sleeplessness, he can instantaneously be cured by ayurvedic herbal massage, unction, hot herbal bath, intake of soup of domestic marshy and aquatic animals, Sali rice with curd, milk, herbal unctuous substance and herbal alcohol, psychic pleasure, smell of scents and hearing sounds of one’s own Ayurveda believes that usually it is the vitiated “vata” which disturbs the natural body physiology and results in various types of sleep disturbances. Adverse physical situations such as like painful conditions, cramps, an urge to urinate frequently etc can interfere with sound sleep. Social situations like an irregular routine, noise, excessive use of caffeine and alcohol and eating a very heavy meal close to bedtime may also ruffle the sleep pattern. In most cases, however, the core problem is emotional which includes anxiety, stress and depression.
There are a number of ways which can help a person to fall asleep more easily. The most important of these is to establish a bed time “ritual” composed of a daily timetable and proper sleeping environment. Short-term sleep disturbances can be overcome by adopting taste, samvahana (rubbing the body by hand), application of smoothening ointment to the eyes, head massage, comfortable bed, home and proper time.
simple measures like cutting back on coffee and tea, especially in the late evening hours, and avoiding alcohol, which may help sleep onset but causes early morning wakefulness.
Taking a light and timely dinner, avoiding late night TV programmes and following an exercise schedule reduce stress and help bring sound sleep.
Ayurveda offers many herbs and other classic medicines and herbal therapies( SHIRODHARA ) for good sleep and most of these are safe and devoid of any hangover or addiction. For mild-to-moderate cases of insomnia, taking twice a day two gm powder of ashwagandha, amla, brahmi and shankhpushpi (all crushed in equal parts) is quite helpful. Aswagandharishta, Sarsvatarishta, and Brahmi Vati are good classic medicines. Another herb called sarpgandha is famous for its somnolent effect, but all of the above mentioned herbs should be used only under expert supervision.
Except for the cases of senile insomnia and sleeplessness associated with other chronic ailments, long-term use of sleep-inducing medicines should always be avoided.
Causes of Insomnia:
Elimination of dosas in excess from the body through purgation and emesis, fear, anxiety, anger, smoking, excessive physical exercise, excess blood letting / loss, fasting and uncomfortable bed are causes for insomnia.
The above mentioned factors along with overwork, stress, old age, diseases, specially these due to the vitiation of vatta like colic pain, etc. are known to cause sleeplessness even in normal individuals. Some are insomniac even by nature.
Bramhacharya:It refers to the state of life when any living being refrains from excessive sensuality. This state does not mean a complete sexual abstinence but to indulge in sex in such a way, so as not to have any adverse effect on health.
Ayurveda insists on refraining oneself form sexual activities during academic years (masturbation) and is defined as Bramhacharya ashram. Ayurveda advocates sexual intercourse after marriage in the form of gruhastha ashram but here also excessive indulgence is prohibited as it leads to loss of physical strength, memory, lack of vitality, increases irritability (because of loss of oja ,which is produced after considerable amount of sperm is stored in the body) and disturbs the normal physiological functions of the body by causing a dis-equilibrium of the three doshas. Ayurveda looks upon sex not merely as fun but as the means of procreation.
Ayurveda believes in the principle where excess in any walk of life be it food, sleep or sex causes harm to the body. All of this emphasize on the regulated functioning of the three triads i.e food, sleep & sex