Ayurveda, the Hindu system of medicine, has been used for centuries. But, rather than just being a method for treating illnesses, for many it is a way of life, adopting holistic principles of nature to nurture mind, body and soul.
Those who follow the system enjoy a sense of wellbeing, calm and tranquillity. If these are qualities you would like to experience for yourself (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?), it’s easy to make a start.
Here are our tips for implementing Ayurvedic principles into your lifestyle.
Treat yourself to an oil massage
A massage is great for the mind, as well as the body, promoting an inner sense of calm. Massaging yourself with oils will relax your nervous system, as well as remove any impurities from the plasma blood.
Some of the best oils for this include Vata, a mixture of sesame and almond oils, Pitta, a combination of olive oil and coconut oil, and Kapha, containing sunflower and grapeseed oils. Each of these will protect the body against the stresses inflicted upon it by the environment.
Make sure that you use organic, cold-pressed oils as you’ll be applying these directly to your skin. The massage should be carried out using your palms and fingers. Use slow, circular movements over your abdominal muscles and joints and long strokes up and down your limbs.
Drink plenty of water
Ayurvedic teaching stresses the importance of drinking lots of water throughout the day. It will cleanse the system, flushing away toxins, and aid digestion and your metabolism. You’ll also see benefits in your appearance, with your skin becoming brighter and fresher-looking and pimple-free.
Get some shut-eye
Ayurveda knows how important getting a decent amount of sleep every night is. Getting to bed early and waking before sunrise is the best way to feel rejuvenated. To have an undisturbed sleep of a night, drink a glass of warm milk and try to rid yourself of any stressful or worrying thoughts.
Meditation is a great way to experience a feeling of inner peace and relaxation, combatting the stresses and strains of modern living.
Find a quiet spot and sit cross-legged on the floor. This is a position known in Ayurveda as Sukhasna (position of ease). Keep your back straight and lower your chin slightly. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards and close your eyes.
Begin to concentrate on your breathing, keeping it relaxed and steady. Try to switch off, ridding yourself of all thoughts. If a thought does enter your mind, simply let it wash over you and disappear. Stay in this relaxed state for 10-15 minutes.
Reacquaint yourself with nature
Walking through woodland is not only a great form of exercise, it will also help to clear your mind, especially useful if you live amongst the hustle and bustle of a big city.
The sights, sounds a smell of naturally, unspoilt surroundings can greatly benefit your health by alleviating stress , which is extremely important for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Each of these activities are easy to incorporate into your everyday life and will help you feel more relaxed and easier to cope with your modern lifestyle.