The Ayurvedic Routine

Health is not a one day activity instead it is a never-ending and continuous mission until your soul departs your body. To stay healthy is to stay on par with the flow of nature without interrupting the natural temperament of your system and Dean Ornish rightly said that ‘Health is not something that you need to get; it’s something you already have if you don’t disturb it’. That is what the ancient remedial science known as Ayurveda suggests mankind to simply tag along the cadence of nature. A daily systematic life that strikes perfect balance with the natural pace of Mother Nature needs no cure or meets no disastrous diseases. Such an inspiring Ayurvedic Routine is popularly termed as ‘Dinacharya’ and seasonal routine is known as Ritucharya.   

Ayurveda strongly states that there is a time for everything with a natural meaning in it. If things are done at the right time, you are striking balance with nature and your body functions perfectly and in close connection with your mind. This natural tempo controls our predominant natural urges like food, sleep and sex, also known as the three pillars of life. Today’s modern living has sickened our lives and has forced us to lead it as blindly as a lost kitten in the middle of the forest. Only when we practice certain vital things on a scheduled time, we can live in harmony without the compulsion of any other external factors misleading our lives. To remember it easily, I have listed the daily Ayurvedic routine as 11 simple points to follow as per the Ayurvedic body types. They are:

  1. Wake up early in the morning before sunrise. For Vata it is just about 6 AM, Pitta it is approximately 5:30 AM and for Kapha it is around 4:30 AM. This aids your senses to rise above and ascend along with the sunrise.
  2. Gargle your mouth and drink a cup of warm water with few drops of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of raw honey. This supports your body’s normal bowel movement in the morning and helps the digestive system to function properly. Regular bowel movement will aid in eliminating the toxin from your body and make you feel refreshed without carrying the toxins of the previous day’s food.
  3. Brush your teeth twice daily early in the morning and before going to bed. Scrape and rub your tongue thoroughly in the morning to clear away toxins or the poisonous particles sticking on your tongue from the remaining of the previous day’s food items known as ama in Ayurveda. You can either use a good tongue scraper or a stainless steel spoon to clean your tongue front to back. Clean your nasal passages, ears and eyes regularly.
  4. Go for a brisk walk for about 15 to 20 minutes. This helps in improving your blood circulation and aids you in enjoying the healthy rays of the sun fully filled with Vitamin D and other essential nutrients required to boost the functions of your brain and uplift your skin from within. Vitamin D deficiency might end up in skin cancer, rickets, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in elderly people, muscular weakness and much more.
  5. It’s time to caress, pamper and massage your skin with Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic massage therapy with the use of Ayurvedic essential oils all through your body and your head. Leave it at least for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, you can practice the life saving skill nothing but the great sibling of Ayurveda, popularly known as Yoga. This grants you strength, endurance, resistance and the potential to enhance the functionality of your entire system.
  7. It’s time for a revivifying bath with few drops of energizing Ayurvedic essential oils like lavender essential oil, bergamot essential oil, rose essential oil, jasmine oil, sandalwood oil, grapefruit essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, orange essential oil and few other citrus essential oils to give a right start to your day.
  8. Offer prayers to the Almighty and a calm meditation for about 5 minutes will give you all the energy that your mind needs for accomplishing your challenging tasks all through the day. A powerful meditation influences self-realization and mental strength.
  9. Eating right is very important than just filling your stomach. Taste your food, like it and chew it well as it promotes quicker digestion and absorption of essential energy required by your body. Ensure that you take up a rich and nutritious breakfast between 7:00 to 8:00 AM in the morning.
  10. Have your lunch in between 12:00 to 1:00 PM. Let the not-so-easy to digest food items find a place in your lunch rather than during any other meals of the day because there is enormous time to digest and the Agni or the digestive fire is very active during this time. If possible, go for a small walk after lunch to help easy digestion.
  11. Ensure that your dinner is taken before 8:00 PM and you floss and brush your teeth before going to bed to keep away from harmful germs. Go to bed by 10:00 PM at night making certain that you have enough rest after working throughout the entire day and for gifting a dynamic start to the day ahead. Spend 5 minutes before sleeping to recollect all that you’ve done for the day. Think whether you have accomplished all that is required or have something left behind to finish? This will keep you informed about where you are and direct you towards where you want to go. Utter a small prayer and thank the Creator for all He has given you and sleep peacefully with the hope of being in a new day at dawn.

This might appear as a huge or an impossible list to many but you’ll certainly feel its simplicity and its greater benefits on your healthy and harmonized living once you start practicing it as the celebrated adage ‘Practice makes a man perfect’ appropriately fits in this context and a regular following of these Ayurvedic routine in your life will indeed make you perfect, peaceful and proficient. Start with one and its positive impact will naturally influence you in choosing the whole lot.

Best wishes for your methodical living in the pink.

Thought for the day:

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.

-Nursery rhyme, What the River Knows, 1990, quoted by Wayne Fields

Suggested Reading:

  1. Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition by MD Deepak Chopra
  2. Yoga for your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice by Dr. David Frawley, Sandra Summerfield Kozak
  3. Dhanwantari: A Complete Guide to the Ayurvedic Life by Harish Johari

Reference Links:

  1. Dinacharya by Ayurveda Alchemy
  2. Vitamin D Deficiency by WebMD
  3. Agni(Ayurveda) by Wikipedia

Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Untold Anecdote

Most of us might have perceived Ayurveda and Aromatherapy as two different parts of the Complementary and Alternative medicine but I take great privilege in revealing the fact that Aromatherapy is an innate or in-built part of Ayurveda, the 5000 years old ancient healing methodology. Ayurveda is proudly celebrated as the Mother of all healing sciences as it has given birth to numerous traditional healing methodologies like Unani, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Herbalism, Siddha, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional European Medicine and much more.

Aromatherapy is not a separate branch of Ayurveda but it is a vital part or an incredible way of treating illness in Ayurveda through the use of ‘aromatics’ and later given a separate name by Rene Maurice Gattefosse, known as the father of aromatherapy. It’s high time to put an end to this endless myth whether Ayurveda and Aromatherapy are the two poles apart? Let’s analyze.

Holistic approach: Ayurveda is a holistic healing approach that considers an individual as an entity and as a ‘Whole person’. This ancient science considers the physical, mental, emotional, environmental and sociological reasons contributing to a particular illness of an individual. While prescribing medications, Ayurveda does not stop with giving herbs or oils as remedies for a disease instead it suggests regular practice of yoga, meditation, taking an Ayurvedic diet, an Ayurvedic routine and certain other lifestyle changes according to an individual’s body type (doshas) and the unique constitution known as Prakriti. On the other hand, Aromatherapy is also a holistic method that considers the connection between mind, body and spirit.

Use of aromatics: Ayurveda makes use of aromatics to prevent and treat various health conditions. This is because it believes that the strengthening of the five human senses promotes healthy living. Inhalation of the aroma of plants and the essential oils extracted from those plants is trusted to enhance the sense of smell and directly contributes to mental health and treats hormonal imbalances.

This is the basic reason behind the use of incense sticks and other aromatic herbs and oils like sandalwood and tulasi in religious rituals and prayers for instilling the spiritual feeling. When it comes to Aromatherapy, this attribute of using aromatics needs no explanation as Aromatherapy makes use of Ayurvedic essential oils and trusts that the aromatic compounds and therapeutic properties present in these oils helps in healing illnesses invariably.

Abhyanga or the Ayurvedic massage therapy: Ayurvedic massage therapy involves the use of remedial oils like sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil and few other vegetable oils along with effective essential oils. It is a vital part of Panchakarma or the detoxification therapy, where the toxic substances of the body are removed and it inhibits the growth of harmful bodies through systematic massage.

Marguerite Maury, pioneer of Aromatherapy and the celebrated French Aromatherapist, in the traditional British Aromatherapy has talked on the benefits of using essential oils on dermal application through effective    massage techniques, where the concept of massaging itself is indigenous to Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic essential oils: Ayurveda is the oldest of the existing medicinal practices in the world and has a recorded use of herbal plants for more than 5000 years ago. Essential oils are nothing but the highly concentrated liquids extracted from plants and are often known as the essence of the herbal plants. Aromatherapy makes use of these essential oils to reiterate the fact that we are a part of nature and it is safe and secure to treat our illnesses in a natural manner. Dr. Light Miller in her famous book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom’ talks about the importance of doshas and the perfect essential oils for each dosha.

For Vata Dosha: Lemon, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Basil, Ginger, Angelica, Cajeput, Anise and Rosewood.

For Pitta Dosha: Sandalwood, Lime, Peppermint, Chamomile, Yarrow and Coriander.

For Kapha Dosha: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Niaouli, Sage, Basil, Savory, Clove and Hyssop.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha is not Greek or Latin in the world of Aromatherapy but it just indicates the predominance existing in an individual’s constitution and these essential oils are said to treat the dosha imbalances with their healing properties.

Limbic System: According to Ayurveda, the sense of smell is connected with the limbic system. This helps in recollecting the memories of a place or a person associated with an aroma. Limbic system is a vital part of the brain that stimulates the function of the nervous system, determines the body temperature and blood sugar level, enables the process of respiration, and controls sexual feelings, sleep and awake responses and much more.

The underlying principle behind limbic system and Ayurveda is that the inhalation of aromatic essential oils with healing properties fosters the essential oil molecule to pass through the nasal passage and reaches the limbic system ultimately as nerve impulses following which, the hypothalamus passes the message to other parts of the body to rejoice, relax, control hunger, hormonal imbalances, thirst and many other feelings. Even Aromatherapy indicates the same mechanism of aroma through the limbic system in healing illnesses.

Hope this information is more than enough to prove that the concept of Aromatherapy has been a part and parcel of Ayurvedic healing methodology since ages till it was given birth under a new name ‘Aromatherapy’ by its father Rene Maurice Gattefosse. Nothing to wrestle or protest but I end this post with the pride of finding something unique and exceptional in all the healing sciences that is nothing but ‘Human beings are special naturally’.

Thought for the day:

‘Healing,’ Papa would tell me, ‘is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.’
-W. H. Auden

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing By Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils By Gabriel Mojay
  3. The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) By Victoria H. Edwards

Reference Links:

  1. Aromatherapy from Ayurveda’s Perspective by Yayoi Stavish
  2. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by AllHealthyFamily News
  3. The Limbic System by Suzanne Bovenizer CMT, CST

Holistic Healing Methodologies of Ayurveda

Purity is one exemplary attribute of anything on this earth, which when accomplished is bestowed with undying veracity. Purity at home escorts a perfect place of peace to live in; Purity of self ends in an indigenous dwelling source of pure thoughts & actions; Purity at nature escorts a perfect ecosystem and so on. One which attains this purest form of existence will have its presence carved for ages!!! Ayurveda, the purest form of an ancient holistic healing methodology serves as a perfect paradigm to illustrate this fact.

Ayurveda – The perfect striker of balance: Every human being will find himself/herself in the quest to acquire skillful mind, solid physique free from ailments and stress free soul in some part of his/her life. This never ending mission of mankind results in ending up with a wide variety of options, most of which serve to be temporarily fruitful instead of a unrelenting voyage in search of a pure, holistic healing system of medicine. Ayurveda is that one complete approach of therapeutic handling, which focuses on Cure & Prevention with equivalent importance. Ayurvedic healing methodologies include a wide variety of techniques that aim at bringing just the right balance between the human mind, body & spirit.

Holistic Healing approach of Ayurveda: Ayurveda claims that the human body is manifested by the five building blocks of nature, which when convenes with an imbalance due to external forces results in ailments. In Ayurveda, prior to detecting the deformity a perfect study of the individual is done to analyze his/her body type as defined by his/her doshas. Based on this study, the Ayurvedic practitioner proceeds with Panchakarma, which is the process of treating ailments through purification of toxins in the body. This treatment varies with an individual’s unique constitution.

Ayurvedic treatments are provided using Yoga, Aromatherapy, Marma therapy, Nasya therapy, meditation, adherence to a healthy Ayurvedic diet, Abhyanga or Massage therapy with Ayurvedic essential oils that deals with the sensitive points on the body called Marmas. Natural Ayurvedic supplements that encompass intrinsic Ayurvedic oils & herbs play a vital role in treating the patients. All these methodologies of holistic Ayurvedic rejuvenation are used in a well organized manner with respect to the unique attributes of the individuals thus making each one of them distinctively revived with nature. Thus Ayurveda makes itself the most distinct medical methodology when compared to the other existing modern ones.

One more descriptive fact to be shared!!!! Ayurveda is not meant just for those who suffer from ailments; even the healthy individuals can follow an Ayurvedic way of living which includes a healthy diet, holistic meditation, highly beneficial exercise patterns & high end spiritual well being practices to remain fit throughout their lifetime.

I can sense some of your sigh of grief for not practicing this holistic healing approach, as well as some of your sigh of relief for choosing the right mode of treatment well before in hand. Kudos for those who follow this spiritual healing approach in their life and for those who are yet to start incorporating this invaluable essence of nature – ‘No time is a bad time’.

Ayurveda makes you holistic & wholesome when taken whole-heartedly!!!

Thought for the day:

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  Buddha

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda and Panchakarma: The Science of Healing and Rejuvenation by Dr. Sunhil, M.D. Joshi
  2. Panchakarma (The Five Cleansing Therapies) of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Medicine By C. Scott Ryan
  3. Rasayana: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation (Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times) by Har Sharnjit Singh Puri

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurvedic Healing Methods-Panchakarma by Liane Angerman
  2. Ayurvedic Healing Methods by KarunaShala
  3. Rasayana: Rejuvenation by Ayurvedic Healing