Preventive Aspects of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a science and art of living. As such, it is not concerned only with the treatment and cure of a disease but also aims to relieve one from all categories of suffering? Physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual. Ayurveda, then, is not just a system of medicine but deals also with all aspects of life.
Ayurveda has two main objectives:
- To maintain and promote the positive health of healthy individuals.
- To cure the disease of diseased persons.
In our modern era, due to varying factors of faulty dietary habits, work pressure, competitive lifestyles, longevity, always being in a hurry, pollution of air, water and earth and the noise levels in city living all contribute to disease. A number of people are suffering from these lifestyle related disorders. They live in worry, tension, anxiety, fear and anger due to the above factors and may suffer from these lifestyle related disorders and also other disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, indigestion, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, etc. Such disorders can cause disease or death.
Three supporting pillars of life and health
Our life expectancy and health depend on three pillars. Charaka Samhita, the ancient authoritative text of Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of them.
- Ahara (diet)
- Nidra (sleep)
- Brahmacharya (regulated sex)
Proper care of these is essential to support life and health. Charaka has equated the human body to a building. In order for a building to be stable, the role of the pillar is undisputed. Similarly the three pillars (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and the three above supporting pillars are of great importance. When these are taken care of properly, the person is well endowed with strength, complexion and development throughout his/her full life span.
Ayurveda teachings suggest a lifestyle which may help you achieve your life goals and also prevent you from various lifestyle related disorders and disease. Ayurveda, thus, is a science to prevent disease and maintain ongoing health.
The following are the main ?rules? of Ayurveda that one should follow in order to achieve positive health and a longer and happy life:
- Ahara Niymas (Dietary Principles)
- Nidra (Sleep)
- Brahmacharya (Regulated sexual activities)
- Dincharya (Daily regimen)
- Ritucharya (Seasonal regimen)
- Vyayama (Exercises)
- Sadavritta (Good conduct / social behaviour)
Ayurvedic Dietary Principles
- Consume warm and well cooked food
- Take unctuous food
- Food-intake in proper quantities
- Eat only when the previous food is digested!!
- Take food that does not have contradictory properties to your constitution
- Take food in a good atmosphere/place
- Take food in relaxed condition, be seated
- Don?t eat too slow or too fast
- Avoid talking or laughing during a meal
- Take food in prescribed manner (according to constitution)
Rules of Nidra (Sleep)
- Go to sleep before 11 o?clock
- Get up before/at 6 o?clock
- Kapha-persons before 5 o?clock
- Sleep about 6-7 hours, maximum 8 hours
- Avoid day-sleep except summer season
- Nap is permissible for Pitta and Vata constitutions
Rules of Regulated sexual activities
- The sexual act aggravates Vata
- Vata persons should have less sex
- Pitta persons should have moderate sex
- Kapha persons can tolerate more sex
- Unsatisfying sex and sex with different partners destroys Ojas
Rules for daily and seasonal regimen in Ayurveda
- Follow the principle of Dharma (good conduct)
- Daily meditation is recommended
- Physical exercise (Vata light, Pitta moderate, Kapha stronger), best daily or every alternate day
- Avoid alcohol (aggravates Pitta and is harmful for small intestines)
- Avoid smoking (aggravates Vata)
- Marijuana aggravates Vata and Kapha and damages the brain
- Coffee aggravates Vata and Pitta
- Black tea aggravates mainly Pitta
- Take daily bath/shower
- Massage soles of the feet with oil
- Put oil on the hair
- Put ghee in nose
It is suggested that by following these principles regarding all aspects of life according to Ayurvedic principles, may help you to remain healthy, become healthier and to live a longer life.