Developed in India thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is known as the world’s oldest health care system. Ayurveda, in its purest sense, is a modality of practicing purification of spirit and unification of mind, body and soul – of becoming one.
Since the body and mind are inextricably connected, every time we have a thought, we set off a cascade of cellular reactions in our nervous system that influence all the molecules in our body. Our cells are constantly observing our thoughts and being changed by them. Establishing a healthy dialogue between our thoughts and our molecules helps us shift from imbalance to balance. And when we’re in an optimal state of dynamic balance, we naturally tend to listen to our body with love and reverence and make choices that support balance, happiness, and wellbeing. The following ayurvedic seven mind-body prescriptions will help you create this positive feedback loop:
HAVE RESTFUL SLEEP
Restful sleep is essential key to having health and vital energy. When you’re well-rested, you can approach stressful situations more calmly, yet sleep is so often neglected or underemphasized. There is even a tendency for people to boast about how little sleep they can get by on. In reality, over time, inadequate sleep disrupts the body’s innate balance, weakens our immune system, contributes to weight gain and depression, and speeds up the aging process. Go to bed no later than 10pm, during the drowsy Kapha time of night, so that your mind can settle down faster. The time between 10pm and 2am is governed by Pitta, so trying to get to sleep after 10pm will be most likely disturbed.
COLD WATER TRICK
Splash your face with cold water upon waking up. This takes just a minute or so and leaves your skin feeling incredibly fresh. The ritual has an unseen benefit- it rids the skin of the night’s leftover “pitta” or heat energy, letting you face the day with a cool mind. While splashing your face and eyes with unchlorinated water, also swish around some water in your mouth. This relieves the dry heat trapped inside. So refreshing!
LAUGH HARD ATLEAST ONCE A DAY
From the ayurvedic perspective, laughter is an elegant mind-body phenomenon that reduces the production of stress hormones and boosts the immune system.
MASSAGE THE CENTER OF FOREHEAD
Ayurvedic healers believe that the center of your forehead is the “third eye” or the seat of your body’s innate intelligence. Skin responds wonderfully when this spot is massaged. Simply place a drop of oil on the ring finger of the right hand and rub it gently onto the third eye point between your brows, using small, clockwise circles. While doing this, deepen and slow down your inhalation and exhalation. Count 11 full breaths. Try this after your shower, and you are sure to feel calmer and more energetic.
ENGAGE IN DAILY EXERCISE
Regular exercise offers incredible benefits for your body and mind. Not only does exercise keep the body young, but it also keeps the mind vital and promotes emotional wellbeing. Exercise can reverse the detrimental effects of stress and lift depression. Find an aerobic activity that you enjoy and will be able to three to four times each week for twenty to thirty minutes. After your body is warmed up, spend five to ten minutes stretching. Be sure to include strength training in your program to systematically exercise the major muscle groups of your body. The key is to start off slowly, find physical activities you like, and do them regularly. You will be surprised how quickly you increase your endurance and enthusiasm for moving and breathing.
- Drink a cup of milk. That’s right, just like your Grandma used to make you before bed. Boil a cup of organic milk with 1 tsp of Ghee (Clarified butter) with pinch of nutmeg, brown sugar & Green cardamom Powder. This will give you a restful sleep with restful mind and energetic mornings.
- Do abhyanga. This is the Ayurvedic oil massage. Taking up this daily practice will change your life. Warm up some sesame oil and massage it into your body. Let this oil soak into the skin for 10-20 minutes before having a warm shower or bath.
- Eat a light and warm dinner, no later than 7pm. We must give our digestion time to assimilate our final meal of the day. Once our digestive system has done its job, our body can then focus on healing and restoring whilst we’re sleeping.
- Take time each evening to reflect on the people and things in your life that bring you joy and bliss, so always count your blessings.