How to Apply The Ancient Practice of Ayurveda to Everyday Life for World Ayurveda Day
Posted On Nov 02, 2021
With everything that’s happened in the past 18 months, there’s no question people are more focused on their health. And while there are plenty of ways to maintain feeling your best (diet, exercise, sleep, seeing your doctor, etc.), there is an ancient form of medicine that could give you a boost this cold season: Ayurveda.
The alternative medicine system originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and used foods, herbs, and oils to promote harmony of the mind, body, and spirit. That sounds pretty good right about now. But how do you incorporate the practice into your everyday life? Well, we tapped certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, owner of Sangha NYC and author of Reeling: Misadventures in Moviemaking, Money and Love Beth Lauren to find out.
“Ayurveda can help everything,” she said. “It can improve digestion, respiratory health, sleep, and mental health. Regular use of Ayurvedic herbs both internally and topically, maintaining habits that are in tune with the seasons and one’s individual body constitution will result in a marked improvement in overall mental, physical and emotional health. A modern lifestyle is all about the basic tenets of Ayurveda.”
Here’s what to do.
Find Your Dosha
First, one must determine their unique “dosha” or energy to apply Ayurvedic principles to their own lifestyle. There are three doshas–Vata, Kapha, and pitta–based on emotional, physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics. Determining which one suits you will help layout a blueprint of how to follow an ayurvedic practice. It will help you understand the best foods, exercises, calming activities, and more to achieve and maintain optimal health. Then, you can take the Sangha NYC dosha questionnaire to determine yours.
Time Your Eating
A balanced diet is a significant part of Ayurveda, and several factors go into achieving that. As with most healthy regimens, eating foods that aren’t processed and listening to your body’s natural, seasonal rhythms make a massive difference to overall well-being. In addition, there are so many fillers, binders, preservatives in packaged food that can really mess with your nervous system. If possible, cooking your own food for almost every meal is an essential part of keeping your mental and physical health on track.
In addition to what you eat, the timing of meals is key too. For example, eat your largest meal for lunch when you are more active, and eat a light meal for dinner when you are winding down. This allows your body to anticipate digestion and maintain a solid biorhythm.
Scrape Your Tongue
Yes, this sounds like a weird one. But, the tongue is a major focus in Ayurveda. Why? Well, because it’s believed the tongue directly connects to many of the body’s vital organs. So, examining and taking care of it is a good indicator of someone’s health. For example, using a metal tongue scraper each morning to brush your teeth removes any debris and harmful bacteria. It’s a simple daily ritual that can instantly boost your health.
Drink Miracle Tea
With a name like miracle tea, you know there are bound to be some health benefits. Drinking a cup of CCF–cumin, coriander, and fennel–tea daily promotes healthy digestion. A cup a day is meant to stimulate Agni (aka the digestive fire), which can flush out toxic waste, decrease gas, relieve congestion, and much more. A well-functioning digestion system equals a healthier body overall.
Develop a Meditation Practice
Meditation and yoga are basic building blocks of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Practicing daily meditation, preferably upon rising, calms the mind and body. Mental health is very much a part of physical health. So, having this daily zen practice allows your body to slow down from the typical hectic nature of our modern world. When our minds slow down, our bodies have time to do what they need to (digest, provide energy, etc.) Ayurveda is certainly not the only practice that recommends meditation; even medical studies have shown its benefits.
While there is plenty to learn about Ayurveda that an expert like Beth can guide you through, these five basics are a great way to get started. You will begin to feel better and know a bit more about what works best for your body based on your dosha. For example, walking might be better than hours on the spin bike. The entire practice is meant to be tailored to you.
Beth is producing the Well-Tech World Summit in Dublin, Ireland, in March 2022. This 3-day conference will bring the global technology and wellness communities together to reflect on the past year and share technology-enabled solutions, creating optimal holistic health for all.