October’s Box features products inspired by Ayurveda in hopes of showing you how to incorporate the various ancient principles of Ayurveda into everyday living.
AYURVEDA is the science of life. It is an all encompassing, lifestyle-based guide for creating and maintaining health in your body, mind and spirit. It was created nearly 5,000 years ago and is practiced all over the world.
Ayurveda is about creating health rather than treating disease, and it always looks at the body as a whole and at the connection between the mind and body when addressing health. Ayurveda is a holistic and inspiring view of health care that teaches you to view your mind and body with respect.In Ayurveda, you discover your constitution – which is some combination of pitta, vata, and kapha – and then practice a lifestyle designed to balance those properties and bring harmony to your being. (You can learn more about the basis of Ayurveda and your specific constitution at the bottom of this blog).
The world is constantly expanding and growing with knowledge and information at our fingertips. In many ways, this has caused humans to regress from our roots and live at a much more superficial level. We are less conscious of our health and well-being, and constantly bombarded with noise and general overload, leading to stress, anxiety, and poor mental and physical health. Applying Ayurvedic principles into your life will calm your mind, soul, body, and even your spirit – not to mention improving your overall physical health.
Ayurveda recommends the following:
- Organize a daily routine: The tradition of dinacharya (daily routine) is one of the single most powerful Ayurvedic tools for improving overall health and well being. A habitual, mindful, repetitive daily practice invites health, vitality, and a sense of clarity into our lives.
- Get A Good Nights Sleep, Rise Early and Meditate: Many of us have a difficult time waking up early in the morning due to staying up late at night watching television or doing work. Getting a good night sleep is essential to letting the body restart, and recharge so you can be calm and rested to take on a fulfilling day.
- Eat Fresh Food Daily: You should cook your when you intend on eating rather than preparing it in advance, which essentially means you’re eating ‘left-overs’. Eat more homemade meals that bring you closer to the Earth. Which means less canned or frozen foods.
- Cook With Spices: Ayurvedic food is full of fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, cumin, black pepper, and other spices. Not only can these spices spice up your already tried and true home cooked meals, or encourage you to try new restaurants and cuisines, but you will be able to reap huge health benefits from these small changes. All herbs and spices have health supportive properties, so get inspired and see if you can change the flavor profile of a favorite soup, salad, or stew, while also making is a more health supportive meal.
- Eat Mindfully: When eating, turn off the TV and eat with no distractions for full attention and a better connection to your meals. Sit at the table and eat slowly in order to eat just the right amount. The less food that enters your system, the fewer calories, fewer toxins, and less undigested food in your body.
- Exercise At Least One Hour Every Day: No matter what you are doing or how busy you are, you should always make time for exercise! Try to exercise for at least an hour every single day because exercise works your body and relaxes your mind.
- A Tip About Seasonal Changes: As fall starts, the weather begins to cool off. Just like the falling of the leaves and trees getting dry, our hair, lips, skin, and eyes show somewhat similar changes. During this season, you should massage your whole body with sesame oil (warm) on a regular basis. The moistness and warmth of the sesame oil will lubricate your skin and make you feel more relaxed and nurtured.
The Basis of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is based on five elements of ether, air, water, fire and earth. All of these elements presented qualities to the Rishis as they were developing their explanation of the world. The Rishis were the holy men who rejected what they considered the corruption of their society and retreated into the wilderness to live a more spiritually centered life. They developed or were given yoga and Ayurveda through practice, observation and meditation. Each element has a character, and each combination of elements coincides with one of three Dosha types. Doshas are the three energies believed to circulate in the body and rule both physical and physiological action.
Everyone has a different constitution and no single prescription is right for everyone. To find your unique path and to learn more about your specific Dosha, try taking an online assessment to determine your specific constitution like this one by Banyan Botanicals. This online assessment guides you through a process of self-discovery, inquiry, and honest reflection through the lens of Ayurveda. Your completed Ayurvedic Profile will equip you with customized resources for you to refer back to anytime, and personalized recommendations to support your health—body, mind, and spirit.
Everyone can benefit from getting back to our roots and no one has ever regretted eating a salad. Nourish your body, mind and soul with these tips and if you think we missed some, we would love to hear what your tips are in the comments!