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6 Simple Ayurvedic Health Tips
Here is a list of healthy tips quoted from Ayurveda texts for the year ahead:
1. Wake up early in the morning
To arise in the Braahmi muhurta, is the first Ayurvedic health commandment mentioned in the Dinacharya (Day regimen). Braahmi Muhurta is roughly an hour before sun-rise. Early rising is a means to health, wisdom and happiness. The period before dawn is the hour of Brahma, the creator of universe.
This is the most powerful force or energy from which all creative processes proceed. The air during Braahmi Muhurtam is called Veeravayu (Potent air). The Veeravayu helps the body maintain good health, increases the facial glow, inspires the mind and sharpens the intellect. To add some inspiration, most of the successful in the world follow this habit and vouch on good health because of following it. This rule is basically applied to the regions where there is an equal distribution of day and night.
2. Drink approximately 750 ml of water in the early hours of the day to keep the three bio-energies i.e., Vata, Pitta and Kapha in track.
According to Ayurveda, drinking eight prasriti (approximately 768 ml) of water in the early hours of the day during sunrise and before attending nature calls helps channelizing the three doshas, viz., Vata Pitta and Kapha. It ensures healthy metabolic fire and assures the followers of this regime a lengthy life with a perfect libido.
The water can be stored in metallic vessels like copper, silver etc or even wooden or clay. Water derives healing properties from the containers it is stored in. Ex: Drinking water from the gold vessel/glass pacifies all the bio-energies and improves vision. It is beneficial as a diet. Water stored in Silver is useful for eyes, sight and pacifies pitta, but increases Vata and Kapha. Therefore, it is not recommended for people of cold temperament. Copper glass water increases intelligence, appetite and prevents bleeding problems. Water stored in Brass glass is a good wormicidal. Water drunk from Iron glass containers relieves edema and gives strength. Water from wooden containers increase appetite. Water from leafy containers increase taste, improve digestion and remove toxins. Water from clay containers are cool in potency and heal inflammations. Copper is highly recommended amongst the mentioned.
3. Delay aging by exercising regularly.
It not only helps to lose weight but also helps to promote strength and bulk and keeps one healthy. Oil massage and exercises are a pattern followed by most of the traditional Indian yoga trainers and malla yodhas (wrestlers). This especially helps to see that the Vata does not increase but burns the vikruta Kapha and keeps the agni strong. Exercise patterns differ according to the prakruti but a basic important and the best exercise is to walk. Walk for an hour according to your strength. This can later be combined with yogasanas suitable according to one’s constitution (prakruti).
4. Massage before bath for total fitness and glowing skin.
This is especially advised in winter days, and also after travelling in the pollution. Massaging with oils helps to cleanse away the dirt, hydrates the skin, makes it firmer and soft, and keeps the body supple. Til oil is basically suitable for all skin types. The application of warm oils to the body using hands has a very therapeutic effect on physical and psychological levels, including the calming up of the mind and nervous system. It doesn’t require a lot of time and usually only takes a few minutes of the day. Nonetheless, the benefits are tremendous.
5. Eat a stomach filling breakfast, and cut down on the heavy dinner.
Ayurveda stresses upon food and eating habits and considers that unhealthy food habits give rise to diseases. By just observing the kind of diet an individual follows it’s able to predict the kind of disease that could effect him on a later period. Therefore, diet plays an extremely important role in making and breaking of health.
It’s important to teach children the importance of food and diet principles at a younger age. We are what we eat, and this simply defines our physical, mental, social and spiritual make up. Healthy Satwik food keeps the mind calm and doesn’t disrupt the metabolic fire, while as rajasik and tamasik foods bring an imbalance physically and emotionally. Ayurveda discusses on how food should be prepared, by whom, where and how it should be eaten and in which order etc.
It stresses upon having a sumptuous breakfast or rather a brunch and a light supper. This is justified as there is no food intake from the previous night’s supper till the breakfast. A heavy brunch will suffice the hunger and will ensure proper digestion. It is also observed that small nibbling and snacks are naturally avoided when food is taken so. But these, two meals a day rule can be relaxed to three meals according to one’s prakruti, by fitting a small snack meal in between the two food times mentioned.
6. Boil four glasses of water till it is reduced to one glass.
Sip this hot water decoction at bed-time to flush out wastes from the body. This rule according to my experience brings in a lot of change for individuals keen to lose weight. It also helps to reduces sneezes and cold, morning body stiffness, aches and exhaustion.
After an early dinner, drinking this cup of hot water kashaya (decoction) before going to bed relaxes the stomach and helps to digest the night meal. It is like cleaning up the body internally after the whole day’s work. There is no need to add anything else to the water, just plain drinking water is boiled and reduced to 1/4th of the quantity and sipped like hot coffee. On a lighter note, by following this regularly, you wouldn’t need an alarm clock to wake you up early; the nature calls will do their job.