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

Smart Six Authentic Benefits Of An Ayurvedic Massage Therapy



Think of the real relief and complete newness your mind and body enjoys after an expert Ayurvedic massage therapy….. Sounds simply great… Isn’t it? You might have heard people calling Ayurveda as a spiritual science, an intelligent or a divine science but for the first time hear someone calling it as a ‘FRIENDLY SCIENCE’. Yes! I prefer calling this ancient system of healing as a gracious and affable methodology as it aims in granting complete healing without any pains. It aims at taking you to the real heaven of health and heartiness with its soothing therapy.

One such way of healing in a calm, cool and collective manner in a tranquil environment is the Ayurvedic oil massage treatment also known as Abhyanga. Maneuvering the soft tissues of the human body by hands, elbows, forearms, feet and certain other massaging equipments with effective Ayurvedic massage oil proffers everything that you need for a serene living. You can never keep yourselves away from an Ayurvedic oil massage after knowing its authentic benefits and the most significant among them are:

  1. Makes your body supple and glowing: It has been proved that a regular Ayurvedic oil massage helps you stay younger by setting back the process of aging. Massaging with Ayurvedic oils is one of the important parts of the detoxifying process in Ayurveda known as Panchakarma, where the toxins from your skin are removed leaving a blemish-free and glowing skin. The gentle massage techniques used by the Ayurvedic therapists are focused on your pressure points and their certified motions end up in making your body flexible and avoid the tearing of muscles in the joints.
  2. Relieves muscular tension: A relaxing Ayurvedic oil massage mitigates your muscular pain and tension while reviving the natural tone of your muscles. This treatment calms down your muscles, boosts metabolism, brings down spasms, alleviates cramping, improves the functioning of your veins, helps treating fibrosis, paralysis, exhaustion in the muscles and helps provide sufficient nutrition to the entire mechanism.
  3. Deepens your breathing: An efficacious massage helps in regularizing your breathing pattern while intensifying it. This aids in absorbing the essential oxygen and boosting the functions of the respiratory system while preventing lung disorders due to breathing difficulties.
  4. Never before relaxation for your nervous system: Nothing else can lighten up and relax your nervous system as efficacious as an Ayurvedic massage. It fuels your nervous system and improves the function of the nerves to brain, stimulating them to secrete the body’s innate pain killing hormones known as endorphins. This gradually reduces nervous tension, compression of nerves, nerve entrapment syndrome and few other problems of the nervous system by encouraging the body to transmit the right information between brain and spinal cord through sensory receptors and muscles.
  5. Revitalizes your mind: A systematic massage with the best aromatic Ayurvedic essential oils makes you feel as if you’ve newly born in this world. It paves way for self-realization , self-confidence, self-esteem and focused mind free of fear, anxiety, threats, tension, trauma, stress, depression, sleep apnea and many other problems that suppress your mind and stop you from exhibiting your fullest potential.
  6. Perk up your blood circulation: Massaging your body with uplifting Ayurvedic oils improve your blood circulation and increases the count of red blood cells. It enhances the function of the lymphatic system and enables the veins to carry the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to the heart. Severe pains, nervous disorders due to the lack of blood supply, bruises and swellings are also treated effectively with an Ayurvedic massage.

Get yourself ready to rejuvenate your body and revive your system with an Ayurvedic oil massage therapy.

Reference Links:

  1. Abhyanga by Wikipedia
  2. Panchakarma by The Ayurvedic Institute
  3. Ayurvedic Massage by Ayushveda
  4. The Lymphatic System by Lymph Notes.Com

Sesame Oil



Sesame-bannerFrom nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil.

Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

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Historical importance of Sesame Oil:

This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil.

Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:

Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants.

All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil:

Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.Sesame-broucher1. Oil Pulling:

This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver.

A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities.

One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy:

Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children):

Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin):

The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair):

Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.

It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing:

Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet:

When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer:

Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com