Guest post on the occasion of World Health Day
By Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda
The internationally acknowledged — World Health Day — on April 7 brings everybody on the common platform of living a healthy life. As we approach this day, we look at 10 easy ways of following the ancient tradition of Ayurveda in everyday life.
Here are a few simple routines and Ayurvedic practices using which you can usher in health and happiness into your life:
- Wake up and sleep early: Wake up with the sun and go to bed early. During the early hours, Sattvic quality is high in nature. Waking up early calms your mind and helps in maintaining a balance in your doshas. People who wake and sleep early also have strong digestion and are more organized.
- Clean Up: Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue. Do oil pulling by swishing a little sesame oil in your mouth for five to ten minutes. This helps in improving your oral health and killing bacteria in your mouth.
- Keep your bowels clear: Maintaining regular bowel movement helps in preventing diseases. For clear bowel movements, you can take a glass of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of ghee at night or take Triphala churna before going to bed at night.
- Meditate: Make a habit of meditating for 15-20 minutes every day. This will help you to gather your thoughts for the day and establish a sense of calm to fight challenges all day long.
- Allow 4-5 hours in between meals: Keep a gap of four-five hours in between your meals. Eating before the proper digestion of a previous meal leads to formation of ama (toxic material). Eat only when you are hungry. You can also chew a piece of ginger with a pinch of salt along with a cup of lukewarm water to whet your appetite.
- Do self-massage (Abhayanga) at least once a week: Rub warm oil over the head and body. Gentle, daily oil massage of the scalp can bring happiness, as well as prevent headache, baldness, graying, and receding hairline. Oiling your body before bedtime will help induce sound sleep and keep the skin soft.
- Eat mindfully: Cut off distractions when eating meals. Watching TV or playing with your mobile phone while eating prevents your body from digesting the food well. Digestion begins in the mouth, so chew your food well before swallowing. If possible, sit in the Sukhasana pose (cross-legged) on a cot on the ground for your meals. Practise Vajrasana for five minutes after meals to aid digestion.
- Know your constitution: Take the Vata Pita and Kapha test to know your constitution. People often become ill when they take lifestyle choices against their constitution. Making choices according to your constitution helps you stay healthy.
- Eat light, eat fresh: Always eat freshly prepared food that is light and easy to digest. Stale, frozen or old foods are healthy. Do not drink cold water in between meals, if necessary you can sip on buttermilk.
- Apply what you can eat: Instead of applying harsh chemicals on your skin and hair, apply things that you can eat. Amla and neem are good for healthy hair while turmeric, chandan and aloe vera are good for the skin.
Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director of Jiva Ayurveda, is an author, public speaker, TV personality and master Ayurvedic physician. Since 1992, he has dedicated himself to popularizing Ayurveda across the world. Author of two bestselling books, Eternal Health and Eternal Beauty, and dozens of videos on various health problems, Dr. Chauhan teaches Ayurveda both at Jiva as well as in other countries