With another lockdown in England and the winter well on its way, this is a good time to focus on your health and wellness, both body and mind.
There are many options that you could research, but Ayurveda is certainly one that’s worth some of your time. You may have heard the term but not have much understanding of Ayurvedic practice and how it can help you, or maybe it’s a completely new concept for you.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, very simply, is India’s traditional and natural healing science. It has been in existence for over 5,000 years and, as Dr Taruna Yadav, who has a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Sydney’s Ayurvedic Wellness Centre, explained it is “the science or knowledge of life and longevity”.
Speaking to Body and Soul, she added that Ayurveda focuses much more on prevention than on cure, so the practice could certainly help if you’re looking for ways to stay healthy in these strange times.
Dr Yadav commented: “The theory behind Ayurveda is that every disease in the human body is due to the imbalances and toxins which are created in the mind and body through improper eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle.”
Ayurvedic habits to adopt
The practice is complex and multifaceted, but there are some simple habits that you can introduce to your life to start improving your overall health and wellbeing.
The publication highlighted some of the simplest teachings from Ayurveda that can act as a good starting point.
Waking up early is at the top of the list, with Dr Yadav explaining that in traditional Ayurvedic practice you wake when the sun rises and go to bed when it sets, because this helps you follow the laws of nature. It’s also key to creating a strong routine.
Another top piece of advice from Dr Yadav is to start your day by drinking warm water. This is an essential part of Ayurvedic practice, because it “helps in cleaning the toxins accumulated from the undigested part of the food from the previous night and also helps in improving the appetite,” she said.
Ayurvedic eating habits
When it comes to eating, the Ayurvedic tradition believes that we have one of three body types (called doshas). What foods will serve your body best will therefore depend on what your dominant dosha is, although, as Good Housekeeping recently explained, your aim should be to balance all three doshas within your body.
The list of foods recommended for each dosha is extensive, so it’s best to do some research and maybe get some advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner before you dive in. However, the fundamental message that underpins any Ayurvedic diet is to opt for unprocessed whole foods.
You could also look into introducing Ayurvedic powders into your diet, which are typically rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. For instance, Haritaki powder is a rich source of vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants. Arjuna powder, meanwhile, is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent.