Ayurveda in DailyLife
In order to keep the tridoshas in a state of healthy equlibrium and digestion &
metabolism (agni) in proper order, Ayurveda prescribes for each individual a
specific daily routine ( dina – day & acharya – behaviour). The various stages to this
daily routine, influenced by the specifics of your prakriti, 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 at sunrise in perfect synchronization to
the natural clock. An ideal time to let the body cells soak in the
strength of a tempered sun to be charged for the day. 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 – dawn is the best time to eliminate the body's physical waste. Proper
elimination also helping remove the kapha that naturally accumulates overnight.
Defecation once or twice daily is the best. Preferably not immediately after a meal.
But urination then is wise. 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, vomiting, flatus and
ejaculation, for it will lead to discomfort and even disease.
Thorough washing of the limbs, face, mouth, eyes & nose purifies the body’s 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 tunicate 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 with warm water held in mouth for moments (saliva being very
good for the eyes). Keep your hair trimmed, nails filed and wear clean
clothes. Feel free to use perfumes in moderation and feel good.
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 but become
addictive. Depending on age & body type, kaphas can go for heavy
exercises, pittas should do it in moderation and vatas should
perform yoga and not aerobics. Never exert more than half your
capacity, during illness, just after a meal and without rhythmic
breathing. Swimming, walking and even laughing is excellent
Necessary for every person, a regular self-massage with herbal oils is usually
adequate but needs to be supplemented with professional attention
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. Follow the normal direction of hair growth, use a little extra
oil over the body's vital parts, massage the scalp and head at least weekly and just
the soles of your feet if short of time.
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 and immortality.
Anything can be meditation so long it is sincere and heartfelt. The
simplest and healthiest involves the sun and its golden colour is deemed
the most nourishing and productive.
While this routine acts as a critical shield of defence against the
destabilising influences of an external environment, by using selective
choice in some of the other factors mentioned below you can easily improve upon
the condition of your total health.
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, and made of natural fibres as cotton, wool, linen or silk.
Always wear clean, and never anyone else's except that of a saint.
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
Kaphas in turn prefer birds, the avian's light chirpiness helping offset some of the
dosha's natural ponderousness. For some large dogs prove beneficial as the canine
encourages them to exercise along with.
Choice of Partner
Ayurvedic wisdom suggests that like types make better mates because of similar
mental processes, attitudes and sexual proclivities. Unfortunately,
two people of similar dispositions are likely to have the same defects
too. Choosing the right partner who will stimulate, inspire you to
evolve into better individual thus becomes very important.
A state of physical inertia with mental relaxation, sleep promotes proper growth of
the self. Night is the natural time to sleep and mid-day catnaps should not be more
than 15 minutes long except for the very young, very old, very weak and those
intoxicated, diseased, exhausted or traumatised. Avoid having a full meal just before
retiring to bed. Sleeping on the right side is the most relaxing
and good for yoga. On the left, it is most digestive and increases
interest in food, sleep and sex. Sleeping on the back indirectly
and on the stomach directly encourages disease. Sleeping with
crown of the head facing east and feet into the west promotes
best meditative sleep. Washing the hands, feet & face just
before improves sleep. Never sleep in the kitchen and go to bed only to sleep. 6 to 8
hours of daily sleep is essential. The ideal form of sleep is yoga – a state of complete
physical inertness with retention of mental alertness & awareness.
Given that the term prakriti denotes both body constitution and nature, it is only
expected that with the changing seasons of nature there will be corresponding
effects on the bhutas and thereby the doshas of the constitution. Cold, dry weather
for instance enhances vata, hot humid climate increases pitta, while cold, wet
weather aggravates kapha.
To avoid such continued aggravation leading to imbalance of the doshas, Ayurveda
prescribes a seasonal routine to preserve the doshic balance as the seasons change.
For each season therefore, there is a unique diet (ahar), a distinct mode of living
(vihara) and routine living (karya). These keep your doshas in a state of
equilibrium and help you cope with the stresses and strains of changing seasons.
In Ayurvedic literature the year is divided into six ritus (seasons) – varsha
(monsoon), sharada (autumn), hemanta (winter), shishira (late winter),
girshma (summer) and vasanta (spring). The effects of these ritus on the three
doshas and the suggested lifestyle for each is as indicated
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