Four Ancient Ayurveda Lifestyle Tips to Help You Feel More Balanced
Life has felt anything but normal in 2020, and it’s time to restore balance. Introducing: the Ayurveda lifestyle.
The Ayurveda lifestyle is a complex battle for balance of health.
Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old holistic medicine practice that originated in India, forms the basis for many of the modern world’s reigning wellness beliefs. Indeed, the very basis of Ayurveda is that overall health depends on a balance between the mind, body and spirit.
With everyone still feeling the effects of being plucked from their normal routines for months on end, seeking balance is likely a priority on most people’s agenda right now.
Those who practice the Ayurveda lifestyle believe that every person on the planet is made of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These combine internally within each of us to form three distinct life forces, a.k.a. “doshas”, which inform how our bodies work. The three doshas are Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth), and you can easily find out which type you are by taking an online quiz.
Once you identify your dosha, you will have a greater understanding of how and why your body reacts to certain lifestyle and environmental factors. Ultimately, Ayurveda is rooting in learning how to listen to your body and give it what it actually needs.
Figuring out your dominant dosha will allow you to devise an optimal, balanced nutritional plan. As they say, “food is medicine” and it’s possible to eat a particular way to instill calmness, boost energy or enhance immunity. Intrigued? Goop does a good job of outlining everything from guidelines to recipes for each dosha.
All doshas will benefit from breathing exercises, called Pranayama. Studies in India showed the regularly practicing Pranayama will improve overall physical and mental health, increase metabolic activity and improve respiratory function. A simple way to incorporate this is breathing in for five seconds and exhaling for eight seconds.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that maintaining a consistent daily routine — waking, exercising, meditating, eating and relaxing at the same times — is necessary to maintain a healthy body, mind and soul. Furthermore, did you know each dosha responds best to carrying out certain elements of their routine at different times during the day?
Taking ice cold showers is an integral belief for those who practice the Ayurveda lifestyle. Ishnaan is the term for cold water therapy that is purported to boost energy and increase optimum circulation in the body. The belief is that taking a cold shower (below 70º F) allows the capillaries to open up, kickstarting the detoxification process and boosting circulation and energy.