Yoga Mail

Nature allows us to remember that we are more than “this body” and “this mind,” and that we are whole and connected. Nature soothes and heals the nervous system and invites us to connect with something larger than ourselves. We should therefore live in harmony with the natural rhythms of our bodies and the Universe  we live in. This means we need to connect with the environment and life around us. Ayurveda encourages finding the balance between the body, mind, and spirit because all three of these spheres are interconnected. How do we maintain balance? With the guidance of this ancient ayurvedic wisdom, we can make choices in our diet and lifestyle that will lead us to good health, longevity and our fullest potential in life.

While everyone is different, there are some practices of this ancient wisdom that we can benefit from if we incorporate them into our lives.

Eating Fresh food - seasonal and local

According to ayurveda, our health relies on our harmony and balance with the elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether or space), which make up our constitutions of vata, pitta, and kapha. This means that a disconnect from nature is risky. Ayurveda has many recommendations for the ideal diet based on the specific dosha, but the underlying principle is to eat fresh food be it local or seasonal. The internal balance can be maintained by eating in tune with the seasons.  Also foods of the highest quality should only be consumed.

Oiling of the Body

Massaging the body with oil helps improve the texture of the skin and provides a healthy glow. It is best to rub oil on the body in the morning before bathing for optimal absorption. Generally, oil massage helps to detoxify and reduce stress, remove chemicals and energy that are throwing off balance in the body. There are different types of Ayurveda Massages to help eliminate impurities and toxins from the body, and calm the mind. Some common ones are Abhyanga Snanam (full body massage), Shiro Abhyanga (head, neck and shoulder massage) and Shirodhara (oil pouring on forehead).

Jala Neti

Jala Neti (nasal cleansing) serves as a vital function in preserving health by helping the nostrils get rid of toxins, pollutants, and allergens. The neti pot can be used to flush saline water up each nostril to remove excess mucus and impurities. This not only allows for deeper breathing, but also helps relieve symptoms of allergies and colds. 

Oil Pulling

This practice of detoxification, which also brightens the teeth, can be done in the morning before breakfast. After having spent 20 minutes gurgling a natural oil (e.g. organic coconut oil or sesame oil), spit out the white substance. Removal of these white substances which are bacteria and toxins, invigorates the immune system.

Drinking Warm Water infused with a slice of Lemon

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the easiest Ayurvedic ways to improve health. The acidity of lemon helps regulate and prevent toxin build-up in the digestive track. Warm water infused with lemon can remove accumulated toxins which can cause illnesses. It is important to make sure that the water is at room temperature; drinking cold water in the morning can actually shock the system.

Get Out on a Daily Basis

Be courageous and go out of the house. Simple movements like walking, or sitting on the steps and gazing at the sky or watching the insects in the garden are highly encouraged in Ayurveda. Watching the sunrise or the sunset is another beautiful thing to do as one attunes themselves to the daily rhythms of the sun and the moon.

When we live in harmony with the Universe, both the Universe and its species thrive. Hence, we should seek to value this symbiotic relationship for a contented and healthier life. As Ayurveda is a way of life, all it takes to be happy and healthy is to abide by the simple laws of nature.