The human body is a masterpiece, a marvel of evolution that has allowed us to survive and thrive in spite of many odds. However, the modern world presents new challenges that our bodies need to be equipped to handle. From the constant bombardment of information and the rampant pollution of our environment to the exploitation of natural resources, our lives are filled with stress and anxieties that force our bodies into an unnaturally constant state of emergency. Modern advancements have allowed us to stay alive longer, eat more and sleep less, but this has come at a cost, with reports of growing waistlines and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Ayurveda aims to balance the mind, body and spirit and offer a solution to this problem by providing a holistic approach to diet and lifestyle. Whether you are new to Ayurveda or are looking to refine your existing practice, this article will provide valuable insights we will discuss five steps to help you create a personalized Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle that is tailored to your unique needs.
Be The Advocate For Your Health
The first step in creating an Ayurvedic lifestyle is to understand your body type and your unique needs. Ayurveda recognizes three main body types, or doshas, known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha is associated with different physical and mental characteristics, and understanding which dosha predominates in your body can help you identify the foods and lifestyle habits that will best support your health.
To understand your body type, you can take an Ayurvedic Prakriti Analysis survey and observe your body characteristics, habits and symptoms. Once you have a better understanding of your body type, you can adjust your diet, lifestyle and activities to help balance your body and mind. It’s essential to listen to your body and educate yourself about the effects of different foods, activities, and environments on your well-being. Ayurveda encourages self-awareness, and by becoming an advocate of your own health, you can better understand how to create a diet and lifestyle that supports your unique needs.
Create daily rituals
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of daily and seasonal routines, known as Dinacharya and Ritucharya respectively. These routines help to keep the body in balance and promote overall well-being.
The main aim of dinacharya is to help keep your body healthy by balancing work with exercise and restful sleep. Focus on your biological clock. Research suggests that our internal clocks are vital for ensuring our bodies function normally. Internal clocks help our bodies manage behaviours and bodily processes most efficiently. Our daily changes are due to circadian rhythms, and our yearly changes are due to circannual rhythms. Both clocks are set by a combination of genes and environment that cycles through behavioural and bodily processes.
Some of the benefits of following an Ayurveda-inspired daily and seasonal routine are:
- Better quality sleep
- Less risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
- Improved mental clarity and concentration
- Mornings feel refreshed
- Calm mind
- Increased productivity
- You will feel relaxed, happy, and positiveMost importantly, you will feel accomplished, confident, and prepared for the day ahead.
Focus on What You Eat
Food is a key aspect of Ayurveda and choosing the right foods for your body type can greatly improve your overall health. Ayurveda encourages a diet that is balanced, seasonal, and easily digestible. Ayurveda encourages eating seasonal foods, as they are fresher, more nutrient-dense, and easier to digest. Eating seasonal foods also aligns with the natural cycles of the body and helps to maintain balance. For example, in the summer, when the body tends to be warmer, it’s good to eat cooling foods such as cucumbers, watermelons and mint. In contrast, in the winter, when the body tends to be colder, it’s good to eat warming foods such as ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Ayurveda also encourages eating whole and unprocessed foods, as they are more nutritious and easier to digest. Processed foods often contain added chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients that can be harmful to the body. Whole foods, on the other hand, are natural and unmodified, and they retain all their nutritional value.
Avoiding foods that are heavy, greasy, or difficult to digest is also important in Ayurveda, as they can cause a buildup of toxins in the body, which can lead to imbalances in the doshas. These include fried foods, processed meats, and dairy products.
Mind Your Mental Health
Ayurveda recognizes that mental and emotional well being is just as important as physical health Along with a balanced diet and lifestyle, Ayurveda encourages practices such as yoga, and pranayama (breathing exercises) to promote mental health. These practices help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and help us achieve overall well being.
Yoga helps to balance the body, mind, and spirit by promoting physical strength and flexibility, mental clarity, and emotional balance. Yoga poses, or asanas, help to improve the function of the internal organs and release tension in the body. Yoga also includes pranayama, or breathing exercises, which help to balance the breath and reduce stress. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can achieve a balance in your body, mind and spirit.
It is important to be patient and consistent when working towards wellness goals because creating lasting change takes time and effort. Being patient allows us to make small, incremental changes rather than trying to make drastic changes all at once, which can be overwhelming and unsustainable. Consistency is also important because it helps to establish healthy habits and routines that can be maintained over time.
Additionally, being patient and consistent allows us to be more mindful and intentional about the changes we are making. It also helps us to be more aware of our progress and to celebrate small successes along the way, which can be motivating and encouraging. It allows us to let go of perfectionism and allow for setbacks. We all make mistakes, it’s a part of the learning process. By being patient and consistent, we can learn from setbacks and continue to progress toward our wellness goals Another important aspect of being patient and consistent is that it allows us to take a holistic approach to wellness. Ayurveda, for example, emphasizes the importance of balancing the mind, body and spirit, and this can’t be achieved overnight. It requires time, patience and consistency to establish the practices that work for us and make them a part of our daily routine.
As an Ayurvedic expert, I believe that true wellness goes beyond just external appearance and it’s about seeking meaningful and positive life changes that will last. Wellness is about striving to function at one’s maximum or optimum level and requires a “zest for life.” The practice of Ayurveda can aid in this journey of constant improvement and overall health enhancement. It is important to remember that wellness is a purposeful endeavour, and by intentionally focusing on improving the components of our wellness, we can improve our overall health. This approach to wellness is a sustainable path to optimal health, and it’s something that can be achieved by anyone who is willing to take the time to understand their unique needs and follow the principles of Ayurveda.
Dr. Trupti Gaikwad is a qualified and compassionate Ayurveda expert, an advocate of the holistic approach that integrates personalized medicine with holistic wellness inspired by Ayurveda and Yoga. Dr.Trupti believes in approaching her patrons through Lifestyle and Nutritional changes and to that effect conducts regular seminars, health talks, wellness workshops, and wellness retreat events for Advocating the Ayurvedic Way of life and Yoga. She propagates the core of the Ayurvedic philosophy Swasthyasya Swathya Rakshanam” which translates to how to keep healthy individuals healthy by focusing on preventive healthcare and wellness improvement aspects of Ayurveda and Yoga.