Knowledge and information are only useful to the extent they can be applied to one’s life.
Learning the theory and science of Ayurveda is awesome, but what about using it in everyday life?
This ancient science is very relevant to life in the modern world, but needs adaptation to one’s culture, geography, and lifestyle.
I am not a native-born Indian living in India a thousand years ago.
I apply Ayurveda to my Western lifestyle in 2019 living in Arizona.
Daily yoga and meditation practice.
These are non-negotiable for me. If I go without either of these, I simply don’t feel as good. In order to balance my mind and body, I need yoga and meditation.
Meditation helps me clear my mind and be aware of how my mind is functioning.
Am I thinking a lot? What am I thinking about? What are the repetitive loops that are going in my mind? How can I notice them in order to let go of them, and think some new thoughts already?!
I spend only 15 minutes meditating everyday either sitting, laying down, or using a divination method. This time helps me stay awake and aware throughout the rest of my day.
Meditation allows me to let go of thoughts that do not serve me. As a result, my thinking is more neutral, balanced, and realistic.
Yoga keeps my body feeling good. I have spent months where I am only meditating and not using yoga. This does not work for me.
Yoga helps me stay embodied, so I’m not a floating, ungrounded mess! When I’m disembodied, I’m more likely to get injured, sick, and not feel good in my own skin.
Yoga also serves as a secondary meditation practice. When I practice yoga, I am nearly 100% on my mat.
I choose to practice a very physically and mentally challenging hot power vinyasa yoga practice, because it forces me to be very connected to my breath and body. I will fall over or pass out if I’m not fully present.
Both yoga and meditation help stabilize my vata-pitta mind. I am prone to anxiety, depression, and mental illness. When I am consistent in my yoga and meditation practice, my outlook on life is positive, and I feel happy and centered.
Food As Medicine
I believe our bodies detoxify (specifically the liver and kidneys) us, rather than lemon-ginger juice or other products.
As a result, I aim to reduce my toxic load as much as possible. I choose to eat fresh, whole, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.
When I eat this way, I feel balanced mentally and emotionally. I do not have cravings and obsessive thoughts about food. I don’t binge eat, and then feel like crap about myself. My thinking is clear and focused. Insights and creativity come naturally.
Physically, my body feels light, yet grounded (as long as I’m eating plenty of veggies and a little fat). My kapha is balanced, and I don’t hold on to excess weight. My pitta is firing away, and my metabolism is strong, given that I’m eating enough calories.
I feel energetic throughout the day, and don’t wake up with pain. My digestion is amazing. I don’t experience gas and bloating (excess vata), or fatigue and lethargy (excess kapha) after my meals.
Some foods I use medicinally, such as copious amounts of garlic and ginger when I have a cold. I eat a brazil nut a week to ensure I have sufficient selenium. Additionally, I try to have 1/4 tsp of turmeric everyday, because of its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory superpowers, according to Ayurveda as well as modern science.
Because of my high cortisol (stress hormone), I started taking Ashwagandha and Holy Basil daily. I have taken both in the past, as stress has been an ongoing issue for me.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that maximizes the body’s ability to resist stress. It helps the body reserve and sustain energy by day, and restfully sleep at night. Ashwagandha calms vata and supports proper adrenal function. It naturally provides a nourishing source of energy.
Holy Basil promotes a sense of peace and well-being. It is highly sattvic in nature. Recall that we want our minds to be sattvic! Holy Basil heightens awareness and promotes mental clarity. It is calming for vata and kapha.
During times of stress, Holy Basil can help calm an overactive (vata) mind. In addition, it has subtle influences, including: opening the heart and bestowing the energy of love, devotion, faith, and compassion.
Almost immediately upon taking these herbs, I felt less stressed out. I take them in the evening before I eat dinner. Since I began taking them, my sleep has improved. I don’t awaken and experience fear. I feel less anxious and more relaxed throughout the day and night.
Best of all, recent lab work shows that my cortisol is now normal! The herbs are working!
I hope this post gave you some ideas about how to apply Ayurveda to your modern life. There are many other ways to incorporate Ayurveda, such as oil pulling and tongue scraping.
I scraped my tongue for years, and recently misplaced it. I need to get another one, as it is helpful in reducing cravings when adjusting to a healthy diet and reseting the ecology of the mouth in the morning and evening.
In addition, you may include specific Ayurvedic recipes and chutneys into your diet to create more doshic balance.
For more ideas on how to include Ayurveda in your life, go here!
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