Eat, Sleep, Love: 3 Pillars of Ayurveda Wellness - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Eat, Sleep, Love: 3 Pillars of Ayurveda Wellness

By on July 24, 2016
3 pillars of ayurveda

Ayurveda recognizes three main pillars of well being: proper diet, sufficient sleep and loving relationships. When kept in balance, these three pillars keep us healthy, happy and fulfilled. They promote good digestion, proper detoxification and increase vitality and contentment.

When out of balance we may experience digestive discomfort. We may also feel disconnected from our partners, family and friends. We may feel more exhausted and stressed. In the end, when out of balance we experience a host of other complaints.

Pillar #1: Diet

The most basic interpretation of diet is what we eat. However, at its core, diet encompasses so much more. Diet is everything we take in and digest, not just food. This includes:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Breath
  • Emotions
  • Information

Along the dietary lines, most of the Ayurveda principles around food are common sense recommendations.

  • Eat when you are hungry
  • Eat until you are full, but not stuffed
  • Eat fresh, whole, organic foods according to the season
  • Eat while seated and in a calm environment

As for the other aspects of diet, it’s important to:

  • Drink plenty of filtered water
  • Take regular deep belly breaths throughout your day
  • Consider the quality of information you take in

Regarding the information taken in, Ayurveda cautions us not to watch or read too much stressful, violent or upsetting material. Ayurveda encourages us to get to know ourselves and balance our personal energies. It tells us to focus on the quality of what nourishes you in terms of breath, food, water and emotion.

Focusing on breath, food and water is one of the most important things you can do for your long term health. It’s worth the time it takes to dive deep into the project, and do some serious self-evaluation of what really works for you as an individual.

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Pillar #2: Sleep

To stay healthy, it’s also critical to get enough rest.

Recent research indicates that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems. These issues are more than just feeling groggy in the morning. They include:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system

As a result of inadequate sleep, many of us go through life with both our mind and body functioning at less than optimal.

To make sure you sleep deeply, and awaken refreshed, try to go to bed and rise at the same time each day. Ideally between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Sleep in a dark room, free of distractions, and have an evening routine that allows you to relax before bed.

Pillar #3: Love and Relationships

The depth and quality of our intimate relationships is an important part of our well being that is often overlooked in our society.

We usually don’t think of our romantic lives as part of our well being. However, Ayurveda considers balanced, loving, healthy relationships a must-have for a long and healthy life. Connecting with a partner, family and/or close friends on a deep level increases the joy of life. These relationships also help maintain psychological balance, and actually aids further mental and spiritual development.

According to Ayurveda, the three pillars of health are of equal importance, without any of these areas taking precedence over the others. Focusing on maintaining proper balance in what nourishes you, the quality of your sleep and the depth of your relationships goes a long way toward keeping you aligned—mind, body and Spirit.


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About Kate Towell

Kate is a certified Ayurveda wellness counselor, holistic health coach and E-RYT. In her practice she supports busy folks to balance their passions, priorities and purpose with the needs of their body, mind and Spirit so they can live energetic naturally healthy lives. Kate’s approach as a wellness guide is practical, compassionate and individualized. She honors each person’s uniqueness and through the wisdom of Ayurveda and yoga empowers them to create lasting vibrant health.




    January 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Pillars of Creation 🙂 Lovely



    January 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Loving relationships are great! But isn’t the third pillar sexual restraint? As in conserving our sexual fluids/tissue/ dhatu to enhance our overall vitality/ immunity/ intelligence etc.

    Seems like this take is more palletable for the western audience but not really accurate. Would love to hear your take on it and any supporting material from the classical texts supporting your perspective.

  3. Kate

    January 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the comment. Yes I agree with your point and am clear that traditionally the third pillar is sex. However I have found that most people who are interested in Ayurveda for restoring vitality are not overindulging in sexual activities. What is preventing them from achieving optimal health and causing depletion is nutritional stress (incorrect diet), exhaustion (from inadequate sleep or poor daily routine) and/or stress caused from depleting relationships. I could tell my clients to avoid sex after big meals, or if angry, or to have sex only for a specific number of times per month and I do but it is also important to look at all relationships in their daily life. If relationships with self and others are unclear, in conflict or devoid of love and compassion our health and well-being is affected. So the broader interpretation of Sex as cultivating meaningful and balanced relationships maybe more palatable for a Western audience but also more applicable.
    As for supporting material. Dr. Lad often teaches about the deeper importance of relating and our health. He stresses the importance of a loving relationship with ourselves and others. You can find it in his textbooks and in his talks.



    March 9, 2017 at 12:23 am

    The third pillar is brahmacharya. The practice of having no sexual thoughts and desire. The practice of conserving seminal fluids not squandering it.

    And concerning Dr. Lad as your reference did he/she heard of Sri Swami Sivananda??

    It would be a disappointment if not.



    January 10, 2018 at 7:33 am

    The third pillar is Brahmacharya, not love. What you say about relationships according to Ayurveda is not wrong, but be clear that it is your own interpretation and that you are writing something that in your opinion is more palatable for a certain audience.

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