What if I told you that we can cure most modern-day diseases naturally using ancient techniques? That’s right! First, let me say that I am not a qualified medical practitioner, but I believe in the healing power of traditional medicine. Ayurvedic Herbs are an excellent choice.
Ayurveda is a traditional form of healing that began in India. It has grown and spread globally. It is now taught in various institutions around the world. In addition to herbs, Ayurveda incorporates techniques such as meditation, acupuncture, diet changes, sound healing, yoga, massage, and panchakarma (a five-step therapy that combines enemas, bloodletting, vomiting, nasal irrigation, and purgation).
In this article, I will share with you 4 miraculous Ayurvedic herbs.
So Which Ayurvedic Herbs Am I Referring to?
Scientifically referred to as Rubia cordifolia, manjistha is a climbing plant that thrives in high altitudes. Its distinguishing features include heart-shaped leaves, yellow flowers, a woody stem, and berries, which can either be purple, black, or red.
It also has a red root, which is the part we commonly harvest for medicinal purposes. Other names for this herb include manditti, majith, Indian madder, tamaralli, and common madder.
Manjistha cleanses your blood of toxins. As a result, your lymphatic system is in a better position to fight fungi, bacteria, microbial infections, and even cancer cells. It also improves your facial appearance by eliminating eczema and acne.
What’s more, these Ayurvedic herbs relieve stress naturally by balancing cortisol and dopamine levels in the body. As a result, you don’t experience the harmful side effects of anti-stress medication.
You can also forget about watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy skin because manjistha contains anti-histamine properties that combat allergies. In addition to boosting hair growth, you can also apply manjistha on cuts and wounds to ease pain and quicken healing.
This herb can be used internally or externally and takes different forms such as powder, tea, tinctures, or capsules.
Neem is a fast-growing evergreen native to Western Asia. It has a short trunk with a deeply-furrowed bark and roots that dig deep into the soil. That’s not all; this tree has broad leaves and branches that coil into a crown.
Though it’s adapted to tough conditions, the neem can lose its leaves in severe drought. It also bears white honey-scented flowers that mature into ellipsoidal drupes. Its green fruits turn yellow when ripe and have a sweet pulp surrounding the seed.
The bark, leaves, fruits, seeds, and roots are rich in antioxidants that deactivate free radicals before they invade body cells. It also has anti-tumor components that kill cancer cells and inhibit their proliferation.
What’s more, ethanol extracts from its seeds and leaves squash chloroquine-resistant malaria parasites. When it comes to dental health, neem eliminates tartar and plaque, kills bacteria, and cures diseases like pyorrhea, periodontitis, bleeding gums, and gingivitis.
Apart from being used in toothpaste and mouthwash manufacture, people chew the seeds and leaves directly or brush their teeth with neem twigs. Moreover, it gives you beautiful hair by eradicating dandruff. It also increases blood circulation to your scalp and prevents thinning.
We can consume Neem directly by eating its fruits and leaves. Alternatively, you can make tea with its dried leaves or find it in processed products like shampoos, hair conditioners, oils, toothpaste, and capsules.
This is a herbaceous plant that originated from tropical South Asia. Turmeric bears oblong leaves and can rise to one meter when mature. It also has dull yellow flowers that emerge from a spike-like stalk. Underneath the soil, turmeric has tuberous rhizomes that comprise of orange flesh enclosed by rough segmented skin. We use this part in cooking.
Ideal conditions for growth include temperatures of 20°C to 30°C and a yearly rainfall of about 1500 mm. Although it thrives in different soils, turmeric can’t withstand alkalinity or stagnant water.
Turmeric contains curcumin that treats respiratory complications such as allergy, asthma, runny nose, bronchial hyperactivity, and lung injury. It also cures depression. In fact, it reduces anxiety and stress levels without causing the harmful side effects characterized by antidepressants.
Curcumin’s antioxidants qualities prevent chronic illnesses by defending your cells against free radicals. Likewise, it inhibits inflammatory mediators. In addition to relieving swelling on the skin, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory components are effective against illnesses like ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and radiation dermatitis.
Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory constituents, curcumin also safeguards oral health. It’s widely used in fissure sealing, subgingival irrigation, and mouthwash manufacture. Turmeric also plays a key role in treatment and prevention of periodontitis and oral cancers.
In addition to being an important constituent in curry powder, turmeric is widely used as a spice because of its distinct color and flavor. We can consume its parts directly as medicine or incorporate them into ointments and capsules. Finally, it’s added to manufactured food products like cakes, yogurts, juices, sweets, and sauces to enhance flavor.
This is an annual herb from the Mediterranean region. Its smooth stem branches into spiky leaves and small pink or white flowers. Its seed-like fruits are yellow-brown and lined with longitudinal ridges.
This is one of the ayurvedic herbs you should consume to balance your doshas. Cumin is essential for weight loss. It not only minimizes fat in your body but also stabilizes sugar levels to reduce cravings. Lack of sleep destabilizes energy balance and triggers fat storage. By relaxing body stressors, cumin gives you a good night’s sleep and promotes weight loss.
This herb also treats respiratory disorders such as colds, bronchitis, and asthma. For starters, it clears excess phlegm and mucus from your system. Cumin is also rich in vitamin C and iron that strengthens the immune system and reduces the chances of infection.
It aids digestion by stimulating the excretion of necessary enzymes throughout the digestive tract. As a result, you experience improved appetite and relieved excess gas. And when your tummy is in good condition, you combat illnesses such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, and nausea.
Cumin is available in different forms such as seeds, powder, capsules, soaps, and oils. You can use it to spice your food, as well as make tea, tonic, and curry powder.
Instead of self-medicating, it’s prudent to consult an expert for advice on ayurvedic herbs to use for your situation. Don’t let negativity and life hurdles stop you. Improve the quality of your life with Ayurveda today!
Understanding The 5 Yamas For Gaining Self-Awareness And Inner Peace
The 5 Yamas are the first limb of the ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga’ originating from the ancient philosophical text, ‘The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’. By practicing the 5 Yamas you gain self-awareness, transform negative energy into positive, and cultivate a deep sense of inner peace. In this article, I will introduce you to the 5 Yamas and give you some practical tips on how you can integrate them into your life!
8 Limbs of Yoga
There are 8 limbs of yoga, and Yama is the first limb.
The first limb: YAMA
Yama is a set of ethical norms that teaches us to communicate with others in the right way. To be brief, it means one thing: treat people the way you want them to treat you.
The second limb: NIYAMA
The third limb: ASANA
Asana means ‘posture’ or ‘pose’. So by saying ‘asanas’ we mean body poses. Yoga practitioners know that our physical bodies are temples for our souls. Body care is one of the most important stages on the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment. Performing certain asanas, a person learns concentration and self-discipline.
The fourth limb: PRANAYAMA
Pranayama is the ability to control your breath. It is a set and a system of special techniques that make it possible to establish a relationship between breath, mind, and emotions. Literally, pranayama translates as ‘extension of the prana’ or ‘breath control”. Pranayama practice allows you to rejuvenate the entire body and prolong your lifespan. We can practice pranayama as a separate type of yoga technique, or use it as a component of the complex of yoga practice.
The fifth limb: PRATYAHARA
‘Pratyahara’ means ‘gaining mastery over external influences’.
The purpose of this limb is to achieve a state of the distraction of the senses from the surrounding reality and the circulation of the gaze and consciousness inside of you. In other words, pratyahara is the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by various external stimuli. This step gives you the vision of the internal systems, understanding what can stop your personal and inner growth.
The sixth limb: DHARANA
Dharana means ‘concentration’ or ‘single focus’. By concentrating and abstracting, we get distracted from external ‘noise’. This is how we can calm down our minds, which distracts us from knowing more than we are able to understand. It helps us to see the limitless of our possibilities. At this stage, there is a skill to slow down the thought process by focusing on sound, image, energy or body.
The seventh limb: DHYANA
Dhyana means ‘contemplation, reflection’ and ‘profound, abstract meditation’. This is the stage of the full development of the properties of meditation and concentration. Conscious inhibition of thought processes allows one to calm the mind, to feel serenity, not to give rise to new thoughts. To reach this stage, you need endurance and strength. For achieving this, you have to put in a lot of effort and time.
The eighth limb: SAMADHI
Samadhi is a state of intense concentration that can be achieved through meditation. This is a state of bliss and understanding. On this stage, you extend the boundaries of your Self. You start feeling the connection between the divine origin and all living things, unity with nature and the world.
Samadhi is the highest stage of meditation, in which a person experiences oneness with the universe. In samadhi, the mind becomes still. You become totally aware of the present moment.
What Is Yama?
As you can see, Yama is the second limb of yoga.
Yamas represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules. It means “reining in” or “control”. These are restraints for Proper Conduct as given in the Holy Veda. The 5 Yamas are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules or goals.
The 5 Yamas are:
- Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
- Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
- Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
- Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.
- Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity or sexual restraint
Now let’s take a deeper look at each of the 5 Yamas!
The 5 Yamas
Yama #1: Ahiṃsā
As I already said, Ahimsa focuses on nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
Ahimsa is similar to the biblical principle “Thou shalt not kill.” In yoga, however, this principle is more extensive. Ahimsa is the renunciation of violence against anyone or anything, including oneself and the natural order of the world.
Why is it so important to renounce violence? If we look at this principle more globally, the main problems on this planet are caused by violence. This applies to the Planet, animals, people and many other living beings, i.e. to nature as a whole. After all, our planet is the same living organism as all the others, only in a slightly different form. That is why it is necessary to have the right attitude to the world.
From the point of view of the law of karma, causing harm or violence to other living beings, we earn negative karma. Accordingly, the more people, for example, kill animals, the more negative karma they accumulate. And each individual karma eventually forms the collective karma of society, as a result of which everyone will suffer in one way or another. If we help others to understand the consequences of their actions, then the overall situation on the Planet will improve.
How to practice Ahimsa?
Practice being more kind, accepting, and forgiving of yourself and others. Stop eating animals, fish, eggs, and other products of murder. Buy only cruelty-free products that were not tested on animals. Recycle your trash so it won’t harm our planet. Stop buying and wearing leather, fur, silk, and other materials that were created as a result of killing. Start being more mindful of what you are investing your money in. Don’t sponsor violence, cruelty, murder, and harm.
Yama #2: Satya
Satya focuses on truthfulness and non-falsehood.
“Truthfulness” means seeing and reporting things as they are rather than the way we would like them to be.
The importance of this prescription is obvious. When we are truthful to ourselves we can see the internal problems that exist, and, therefore, to make efforts to solve them. When we see a problem, it is easier for us to understand and choose the tool that will help solve it. Only when we are truthful with ourselves can we be truthful with others.
Perhaps some of you would ask: “Can we lie for good or saying a half-truth?” To begin with, in many Vedic Scriptures, the Buddha and many other sages of the past sometimes told only half-truths to the disciples. It is important to understand why they could do this. The fact is that their level of development allowed them to see all the karmic consequences of their words for the disciple. Therefore they could do it without hurting anyone. There are not too many people who can do the same nowadays. Most people still struggle to control their egos. And ego can blind anyone! That’s why it’s better not to experiment with karma and stay committed to truthfulness.
There is also the energy aspect of lies. Guided by false thoughts, deeds, and sayings, a person forms a reality that contradicts the objective reality. So with the help of the lies he/she says, he/she creates around him/her such an energy that after a while will make him/her see the world around him/her is not what it really is. Because of this, a person will constantly be making mistakes and experience confusion in life. His life eventually will turn into an illusion.
Moreover, according to karmic law, we always attract what we radiate. If you allow yourself to lie, you also give other people permission to lie to you.
However, by telling the truth you should always remember to follow the first Yama – Ahimsa (non-violence, non-harming). Don’t harm anyone by telling the truth.
For example, if a person is a thief and you know it, you can not hide this fact or lie about it! Otherwise, your lie or silence about it will harm others who will be robbed. Everything is pretty clear with this example.
Now let me give you another example. Many decades ago there was a Brahman who devoted his existence to the study of the Scriptures. Once, during his meditation, a cow ran by. Sometime later, the butcher who wanted to kill the cow came. He asked the Brahman which way the cow had run. Because the Brahman has been speaking only the truth all his life, as the Scriptures say, he showed the direction.
When the butcher overtook and killed the animal, the Brahman went to the hellish planets to be judged by Yamaraj. The Brahman did not understand why he was there. Yamaraj charged him that he was responsible for the death of the cow.
Living without lies is hard enough, especially if the truth hurts others. Lying is a distortion of reality, which entails certain consequences. It is important to learn how to present information so that it does not harm anyone. However, only a few who have reached certain heights in spiritual development can do so.
How to practice Satya?
In order for us to start practicing Satya, we need to learn to recognize the cascade of negative emotions that prompt us to twist reality. Once we have understood and processed those emotions, our thoughts, speech, and actions can be realigned with the truth, even as we look more deeply into our needs and desires. Outwardly, refrain from telling lies and speak with kindness, compassion, and clarity.
Yama #3: Asteya
Asteya focuses on non-stealing. In other words, it is the renunciation of the desire to possess what does not belong to us.
Speaking of energy, it should be said that everything that a person has, in one way or another, is impregnated with his/her energy. A good example is clothing that carries the energy of the person who wore it. If a person stole something from someone, he undeservedly appropriated part of the vital energy of its owner. According to the law of conservation of energy, that loss must be replenished. And then the one who stole will suffer to compensate for the energy balance.
It is important to understand that suffering can manifest itself, both in this life and the next. The law of karma is absolute.
Usually, people associate stealing with tangible objects. However, intangibles, such as information and emotional favors, are more likely to be the objects stolen in our world.
How to practice Asteya?
Since the urge to steal arises from a sense of unhappiness, incompleteness, and envy, the solution is to practice giving any chance you get. Get involved in charity, get a volunteering job. Give food; give money; give time. Since abundance is ultimately a state of mind, you will feel increasingly abundant; and through selfless giving and serving, your sense of inner abundance may bring you outer wealth.
Yama #4: Aparigraha
Aparigraha focuses on non-avarice and non-possessiveness.
This yoga principle teaches not to be attached to things. It is similar to the previous Yama, however, when practicing aparigraha you should not get attached to anything. In other words, you should follow the principle: “all the things of the world are yours to use, but not to own”.
For every single thing you own you need to invest a certain amount of energy. Everything you have needs to be fed by energy. And you are the one who unconsciously gives your energy to every single thing you own.
We should be very careful about what we buy, how often and for what purpose. It is necessary to ensure that each purchase was as rational as possible. In addition, the principle of non-violence should always be kept in mind. Before you buy a thing, think about what it is made of.
We need to learn how to make good use of the possessions that come to us and enjoy them without becoming emotionally dependent on them. Then they neither control us nor lead to false identities and expectations.
How to practice Aparigraha?
In order for us to start practicing Aparigraha, we need to examine our own tendencies toward possessiveness. To learn more read my article “Quiz: Are You Attached To Material Possessions?”.
The practice of non-possessiveness helps us to examine our assumptions and guides us back to healthy relationships with others.
Yama #5: Brahmacharya
The literal translation of brahmacharya is “walking in God-consciousness.” Brahmacharya turns the mind inward, balancing and supervising the senses, and leads to freedom from dependencies and cravings. When the mind is freed from domination by the senses, sensual pleasures are replaced by inner joy.
Brahmacharya focuses on chastity, marital fidelity or sexual restraint.
This requirement has a very broad basis. Starting from excessive sexual pleasures, ending with attachment to taste sensations.
Now let us consider in more detail why the sages of the past tried to avoid sexual relations almost completely. This was done in order to accumulate and raise energy as much as possible, to serve as much as possible for the benefit of society, using the seed only for procreation. It is worth making an important reservation that orgasm and ejaculation are completely different things.
Of course, in modern society, all the media and the so-called mass culture, constantly propagandize and install in the people’s consciousness of the maximum possible satisfaction of sexual desires. Because of this, it is very difficult to change what has been laid in the mind for decades. But nothing is impossible.
The need to control sexual energy is connected with the fact that, satisfying sexual passions, a person loses a huge amount of vital energy in the process of obtaining such a short-term pleasure. And when there is no energy, it becomes impossible to think about self-improvement and engage in spiritual practices on a higher level.
Of course, you may say: “Though I have sex 3-4 times a week, I still have the energy for my spiritual development”. And then I would answer: “You have no idea what you are capable of! You’re using just a very small percent of your potential! If you had more energy you would be able to master so much more in this life! You would discover hidden talents, passion for science, psychic abilities, immediate manifesting abilities, healing gifts, etc.”
The same applies to attachments to taste sensations. It is believed that the more you are attached to taste, the more vital energy you spend on the enjoyment of food. In this way, you need to strive to ensure that the food is simple and healthy and doesn’t stimulate your taste in the way that you get addicted to it. This will save more energy for a more efficient life and development.
Usually, attachments to taste and sexual desires testify to the energy blockage of the Svadhisthana chakra. In this case, an effective method, in addition to the practice of the asanas, is a cleansing technique Shank Prakshalana. It allows you not only to physically cleanse the body of toxins but also it can cleanse your energy.
How to practice Brahmacharya?
Be honest with yourself about what dependencies and cravings you have. Start making wise choices about the books and magazines you read, the food you eat, the movies you see, and the company you keep. It will help you conserve energy and keep your mind focused and dynamic.
Learn to be moderate in all sensual activities so that you don’t dwell on them. Staying committed and faithful to one partner in a relationship. This is a good way to start practicing Brahmacharya.
The Bottom Line
It is through your personal practice that you can learn the basics of yoga, which will help to achieve spiritual enlightenment in the future. Attentively study and find your own ways to practice the 5 Yamas in your everyday life. Then you’ll be able to build your own path to spiritual enlightenment. Even if you are just a beginner in yoga and meditation, practicing the 5 Yamas above will help to make a great start on your spiritual path!
9 Everyday Ayurvedic Principles For Health, Youth, And Beauty
According to an ancient Indian legend, about 7,000 years ago, several sages gathered to find out the cause of human suffering, death, and loss of human health. The sages concluded that human shortcomings are paramount and represent a cleansing process. Bad thoughts and actions are the cause of disease, and therefore the main task of medicine is to instruct a person on the right path. This is the real purpose of Ayurveda.
It is believed that Vishnu himself told the sages about how one should live. According to the Vedas, Vishnu himself had extensive knowledge in the field of medicine, was able to treat not only by using herbs and prayers, but also surgically.
The first question that the sages were asking the patient was: “How is your mood?”. Yes, it is our mood that shows our level of health.
In this article, I want to share with you 7 ayurvedic principles that everyone should follow in order to have good health (physical and emotional).
10 Reasons Why You Should Try To Live By Ayurvedic Principles
Living by Ayurvedic principles not only makes you healthier but also nourishes your mind and soul as much as the body. Here are 10 reasons why you should try to live by ayurvedic principles.
1 You will learn to love yourself
Ayurveda encourages you to accept your uniqueness instead of comparing yourself to others. Once you start living by the basic ayurvedic principles, you will discover your individual needs, be able to heal both soul and body, and become more reflective about life.
2 You will be able to improve your health
Ayurveda says that good health is our natural state, and any health problems we may have are imbalances that we didn’t correct on time. When you feel that something is going wrong with your health, simply refer to the recommended food for your dosha and avoid undesirable products for your dosha. This will help you return to a state of proper balance and improve your health.
3 You will find your place in life
According to Ayurveda, we are all part of nature that consists of five elements: ether, air, water, fire, and earth. The behavior and interaction of these elements determine how we manifest ourselves in different situations. When we learn to understand what elements are present in this or that situation we can identify the hidden aspects of our behavior and situations we are dealing with.
4 You will be easily cleansed and renewed
Like the world around us, we tend to constantly change and leave behind what is not suitable for us anymore and prevent our further development. Ayurvedic nutrition combined with yoga and meditative practices will help you cleanse your body and mind, renew faster and achieve inner peace.
5 You will realize that everything in the world is connected
Ayurveda not only has a beneficial effect on our physical health but also unites our mind, body, and soul, maintaining a balance between them. You are not only muscles and bones, but also the spirit that embodies the five elements. By studying Ayurvedic practices, you will realize that healing begins with the food that is on your plate.
6 You will restore health at the cellular level
Research claims that Ayurveda has the potential to regenerate damaged cells. This once again proves the importance of what we feed our bodies with.
7 Your body will be detoxified
Ayurveda helps to detox your body.
“Maharishi Ayurveda describes three kinds of toxins. The most common type is ama, which is the sticky waste-product of digestion that builds up in the digestive tract when your digestion is either weak or overloaded with the wrong foods. If ama is not cleared from the body and continues to build up, after some time it can leave the digestive tract and start circulating throughout the body.
Once it settles in an area of the body, it can aggravate the doshas or subdoshas, causing an imbalance in that area of the body. If the causal factors are not addressed, and ama continues to sit in one place in the body, then ama becomes reactive and mixes with the subdoshas, the dhatus (body tissues), or malas (waste products such as urine). When it mixes with these parts of the physiology, it becomes amavisha, a more reactive, toxic type of ama. The third type of toxins is those we would call environmental toxins today. Environmental toxins come from outside the body and include pesticides and chemical fertilizers in food, as well as preservatives, additives and genetically engineered foods. Food that has “gone bad” and is filled with harmful bacteria also falls in this category.
Other garavisha toxins include arsenic, lead, asbestos, chemicals in detergents and household supplies, poisons, air and water pollution, chemicals and synthetics in clothing, and recreational drugs.” [Maharishi Ayurveda]
8 Your digestion will improve significantly
When you start eating according to your dosha, certain foods will activate the digestive system at the right time of day and reduce the accumulation of toxins in the body. This will not only boost your energy levels but also help you maintain a healthy weight and feel more relaxed and balanced.
9 There will be less stress in your life
With a diet tailored specifically to your needs, you will be able to take control of your body and mind, and thus reduce the number of reasons for stress and anxiety.
10 You will eat according to a clearly constructed plan
The rules of Ayurveda are simple and ideal for those who like a structured approach. Just think of it not as another diet, but as a comprehensive wellness plan that can transform all aspects of your life.
9 Ayurvedic Principles To Live By
Here are 9 ayurvedic principles that will improve your health and make your life more balanced.
#1 Early Rise
You’re probably familiar with Ben Franklin’s old saying “Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It’s actually true. According to ancient sources, it is very important to get up before sunrise. However, considering the modern lifestyle, it is acceptable to get up not later than 5:30 AM.
The use of early rises is confirmed by the research of modern scientists. According to Ayurveda, morning time should be spent with benefits for the body and mind: take a shower, perform Surya Namaskar, meditate, pray and get ready for the day.
#2 Eat properly
The basic principle of Ayurveda is to eat only when eaten food has fully digested and you feel hunger. The General recommendation for all doshas is to give preference to moist, freshly prepared, warm food.
Try to avoid overcooked, too dry and too fatty foods, as well as foods that cause gas formation. You don’t have to eat something you don’t like. In addition, Ayurveda does not recommend eating in anger and irritability.
Ayurveda recommends to gradually exclude meat from your diet. You can start by giving up meat on a certain day of the week. Then increase the number of such days to two, three and then to complete exclusion.
According to the ancient Scriptures, people living in Kali Yuga are advised to completely give up meat in order to purify their karma.
According to Ayurveda, we should regularly perform asanas, giving the circulation of ether flow the right direction. Constant yoga practice helps us develop will power and purposefulness, get rid of laziness and illnesses.
#4 Good behavior
Ayurveda teaches us to always be polite to everyone, to respond to greetings, not to swear and not to discuss others behind their backs. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna teaches that speech should be pleasant, kind, harmless, and truthful.
#5 Be grateful
The positive mind never asks, it thanks! We should learn how to stop feeling the need for something, and start noticing what we already have. Start small. For example, you can replace your morning thought “I have to go to work again” with the other one “I am so grateful that I have a job”.
#6 Be disciplined
Ayurveda teaches that the daily routine makes us disciplined, balances the flow of energy and makes us happy. The mode of the day is individual, but the main points in it is an early rise and early to bed.
In Ayurveda, planning plays a huge role. By following a clear and consistent routine every day, you will be able to program your needs and avoid unpredictability. Lack of planning leads to stress, and stress leads to premature aging.
Try to get up, go to bed, eat and work at the same time. If you have a sedentary job, take breaks every hour for walks or light exercise to avoid blood stagnation.
#7 Healthy sleep
Good sleep provides recovery processes in each cell of our body. Chronic sleep deprivation is fraught with serious neurological disorders, memory impairment, and accelerated aging. The optimal duration of sleep depends on the prevailing dosha, but in any case, it should be at least 7 hours.
#8 Do not suppress your natural needs
Suppression of needs such as urination, defecation, thirst, hunger, sleep, sneezing, coughing, tears, etc. is harmful to our health. If you strictly observe the daily routine, all these needs are met in a timely manner, as they are programmed and appear at about the same time.
#9 Regularly do oil massage
The main problem of modern people is a sedentary lifestyle, leading to stagnation of blood and disruption of cellular nutrition. Ayurvedic oil massage helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body.
Ayurveda recommends oiling and massage daily. The optimal solution – every day to perform self-massage with sesame or coconut oil, and once a week to receive the whole body oil massage from an ayurvedic specialist.
The Bottom Line
Ayurveda is the art of everyday life, developed from the practical, philosophical and spiritual understanding of the essence of life. It is rooted in the knowledge of the very act of creation. The knowledge of the ayurvedic principles is the first step to understanding your body and improving your health. Obviously, it’s impossible to cover the whole ayurvedic knowledge in the frame of one article or even a book. People study Ayurveda for many years. However, you can use this article as a helpful tool to start practicing the basic ayurvedic principles today!
Images via unsplash.com, instagram.com/fullyrawkristina/, instagram.com/amyseder/, solancha.com
Reiki Symbols: Meanings, Purpose, and Practice
Reiki symbols are both a visual and auditory focus, although in the Western tradition the main importance is given to the visual aspect. Thus, the Symbols not only increase the power of Reiki but also serve as the focus for our intentions.
In this article, I will share with you the basic Reiki symbols, their meaning, purpose, and the sacred energy that each of them expresses.
Symbols in Reiki
Reiki symbols have always been surrounded by mystery and have been recognized as Sacred Symbols of great power.
In the Reiki system, the symbols are taught starting with the Second level. These symbols have always been the subject of controversy among the various Reiki schools.
A turning point in the history of the Western Reiki school was the publication of Diane Stein’s book “Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art“. Teachers of the traditional Reiki school DO NOT recommend to read this book as it violated the Reiki traditions. Diane Stein published all the Reiki symbols in that book, and this is how they became public.
The fact is that the teachers of the Traditional Reiki school teach to keep the Reiki symbols in secret in view of their sacredness.
In addition, only a person who has never experienced the Power of Reiki Symbols is able to share these symbols with the uninitiated. Those people who really understand and feel the Reiki Symbols understand the huge responsibility of keeping the Reiki traditions that prevent them from sharing the Reiki Symbols and mantras to the uninitiated.
I am a representative of the Traditional Reiki school, so in this article, I will talk about Reiki symbols without naming them or showing them. I think that this article will be useful primarily to those who have already been initiated into the Second level of Reiki, but for the rest, it will be only introductory information.
The traditional Reiki school teaches the Symbols according to the Hawayo Takata method:
Stage 1: the students memorize the symbols;
Stage 2: the students practice drawing the symbols on paper;
Stage 3: the students destroy the paper with the symbols.
Now Reiki practitioners use many additional Symbols, but most practitioners use the four basic Reiki symbols.
Reiki students get introduced to the Three Reiki Symbols when they get attuned into the Second level of Reiki. And the fourth Reiki symbol they learn when they become Reiki Masters.
Originally, the symbols were not part of the Reiki system. Mikao Usui started using them when he began introducing Reiki to people unfamiliar with spiritual practices. In other words, he was using symbols to help people in spiritual development. Reiki symbols were supposed to be a focus for the mind, as well as mantras.
The Use Of Reiki Symbols
The Reiki symbols that Dr. Usui used in the initiation process have tremendous energy that can awaken certain areas of consciousness and teach us how to create the material out of the immaterial, whether it’s healing the body, building relationships, or coping with life situations.
Reiki practitioners should be well prepared before beginning to learn the art of Reiki symbols. Because the symbols are sacred, they are revealed to a practitioner only at the right time. To comprehend their true meaning is possible only after preparation. The practitioner should have a strong spiritual background and at least a couple of years of regular Reiki healing practice based on Reiki Level 1 before he/she gets introduced to the Reiki symbols.
The Reiki symbols are carriers of very powerful sacred energy and in various combinations are able to awaken creative intelligence. They help us to make a qualitative leap to another level of consciousness. The Symbols reveal the universal truth, and we gain deep knowledge when we start interacting with their energy.
Moreover, Reiki symbols contribute to the strengthening of the human energy body, which makes the process of awakening irreversible. They also help to accelerate karma, increase endurance, and eternal vigilance.
Traditional Reiki Symbols
When our thoughts are concentrated, we can put them into action. That’s what the Sacred symbols are for.
As already mentioned, the second level of Reiki opens access to the three Reiki Symbols. And the third Reiki level opens access to the fourth – Master symbol.
Each Symbol corresponds to a mantra, which is the sound vibration of the Symbol and some Masters also say that the mantras are basically the names of the symbols. By chanting the mantra, you focus on the intention, and the form turns into the essence.
So, the traditional Reiki symbols are:
1st symbol – CKR
This symbol activates the process, leads the energy in the right direction for achieving the desired result. The energy of this symbol moves in a spiraling direction from limitless potential through thought and essence. CKR symbol focuses on physical body healing.
2nd symbol – SHK
This symbol takes the practitioner to the mental and emotional energy levels. It focuses on the emotional body healing and works through our subconsciousness.
3rd symbol – HSZSN
This symbol creates a so-called “bridge” between us and the person and/or the situation in which we want to heal or harmonize. It focuses on the mental body healing and works through our consciousness.
Understanding the Reiki Symbols
Every Reiki practitioner should establish a connection with each Symbol and the aspect of Reiki energy that is embodied in them. Having an inner understanding of the vibrations accompanying the Reiki symbol’s mantras, we can completely abandon them and concentrate immediately on the manifestation of the energy associated with the particular symbol.
You should understand that it’s not easy. It may take years of meditation before you can achieve this. But with regular practice, you will achieve the desired results!
In most Reiki schools, the Masters teach the four basic symbols. However, there are many other symbols obtained through channeling by the creators of the new Reiki schools. In this article, I will share with you only those symbols that are traditionally used in Reiki, their characteristics, as well as the energy that is expressed through them.
Now let’s go deeper into the understanding of each of the four Reiki symbols.
Symbol 1: CKR
The shape of the First symbol (also known as CKR symbol) is at least partly found outside Japan. This symbol is also found in Indian and Celtic culture. Partially it’s expressed in the SO and CHA symbols of the SOLANCHA system.
Connecting with this symbol while meditating on it will help you increase your energy level and straighten your Hara.
CKR symbol focuses energy on what you direct it to and amplify it.
Symbol 1, like all the others, can be used alone or in combination with others.
In order to activate the Symbol, it is necessary to say its mantra three times.
The mantra of this symbol translates as “power increase” or “placing all the powers of the universe here”.
Symbol 1 (CKR) Characteristics
Meaning: power, energy.
Purpose: directs energy towards desired results.
- serves as a catalyst;
- activates and enhances energy.
- the physical body healing;
- gives other symbols extra energy;
- concentrates energy on a particular goal;
- energy protection;
- purifies and energizes water and food;
- cleanses and charges crystals and any other healing stones;
- purifies and energizes any material objects.
So, Symbol 1 is used to increase power. When you visualize Symbol 1, your access to Reiki energy increases several times. CKR focuses energy on one point, calling for the Divine help in healing.
Symbol 2: SHK
In Western teachings, Symbol 2 is associated with physical and mental well-being. In the Japanese tradition, it is associated with harmony. I support both of these associations since SHK energy grants calmness of mind and emotional balance.
Unlike Symbol 1, Symbol 2 uses the energy of Heaven, which is also called “Light”. Working with this energy helps to develop intuition and psychic abilities because it is related to the mind. Moreover, Symbol 2 helps us to make contact with the energy of the Higher Self, or Spirit.
You can draw or visualize this Symbol when you need to better understand the situation. In traditional teaching, practitioners draw this symbol on their Third eye chakras during the Reiki healing sessions. In distance Reiki healing, it is recommended to focus on this symbol when the patient is experiencing psychological or emotional distress.
Symbol 2 has very subtle energy. Therefore, usually, it takes more time for a Reiki practitioner to feel it. However, regular meditations on this symbol will eventually help you to start feeling it and then you will discover its great power. Symbol 2 can be used in a combination with Symbol 1 to enhance emotional cleansing.
This mantra translates as “Earth and Heaven become one”. Or some Masters may translate it as “God and man become one”.
Symbol 2 Characteristics
Meaning: healing, harmony, happiness.
Symbol: embryonic state, the beginning of the external form.
Purpose: to bring harmony and healing.
- calm and relax the mind;
- open direct access to the subconscious levels.
Different Ways to Use the SHK Symbol:
Reiki energy penetrates where healing is needed at any level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When we use Symbol 2, we direct energy to the emotional level, and this is the key to effective healing. Painful emotions or trauma that are deeply hidden in our subconsciousness, come to the surface. Only after emotional relief, can we expect that healing from physical illness will occur. Anger, despair, rage, grief are the most common root factors that create disease.
Reiki Animal Healing with SHK Symbol
Pets cleanse houses and people from negative emotions. If the family is in crisis, the pet takes the hit and is not always able to cope with it. One way or another, your pet’s health is a reflection of your energy or the energy of the environment you live in.
Reiki practitioners use Symbol 2 to help relieve emotional pain in pets as well as in humans. When I use SHK in my healing sessions for pets, along with the healing, the emotional blocks of the owner of the pet get released. I often receive information about the root problem of the pet’s disease during the Reiki session. Usually, this information comes through the SHK symbol. And its always connected to the emotional problems of the owner of the pet.
Example of Reiki Animal Healing With the Help of SHK
I’ll share with you one example from my practice. I was healing a cat who accidentally damaged his back. This severe damage affected his paws so he couldn’t walk. When I was giving a healing session to the cat, the information about his owner came through the SHK symbol. The information was about his owner.
The owner’s daughter just a month ago moved out of the house and went to college. So the mother (the owner) was suffering a lot because she didn’t know how to live without her beloved daughter always being around. She was afraid of thinking about the future and moving forward. So, her cat took this emotional block on himself and he couldn’t move because of the fears of his “mom”.
After explaining this to my client she took the responsibility and started working on healing her emotional trauma along with Reiki healing sessions for her cat. In a couple of months of our “teamwork”, the cat was able to walk again!
How Does SHK Work?
Symbol 2 focuses energy on the emotional body and thus enhances its effect. This helps the patient to focus on the specific emotional blocks and quickly get rid of them.
Use the SHK symbol at the beginning of the healing session or when it’s necessary.
I noticed that sometimes Reiki practitioners (including myself) forget to use the SHK symbol. And this is totally ok! The thing about this symbol is that you should always trust your intuition whether you need to use it or not. If you remembered to use this symbol during your Reiki session – it’s great! But if you forgot about it, then there was no need to use it. When you’re performing intuitive healing, the intuition should lead the process.
SHK and Kundalini
Symbol 3: HSZSN
Symbol 3 is composed of 5 Japanese hieroglyphs (Kanji) that can be read as a phrase.
In western Reiki schools, HSZSN is used for distant Reiki sessions. Japanese Reiki system uses this symbol as “a connection tool”. And it makes sense. For performing distant Reiki healing, we have to establish a real connection with the Universe and with the patient. From a certain point of view, when we send healing, we do not act as if we are separated from the patient. We become one with him/her so that he/ she can heal himself/herself.
Meaning: connection, unity, purpose.
SHK Mantra translates as “No past, no present, no future”. Some Masters use another translation – “The Buddha in me contacts the Buddha in you”. Or you may also hear another translation of this mantra – “God in me recognizes God in you’.
When we are using the SHK symbol we go beyond time and space. This is how we are able to send energy distantly and even to the past (for example, when we’re performing past trauma healing) or the future (for example, when we performing manifesting of the goals or harmonizing the situation).
- establishing the connection with a person/event/situation beyond time and space;
- creating unity between the beginning and the end;
- building “a bridge” between “the Divine in me” and the Divine in another person or situation;
- cleansing the space.
Different Ways to Use the HSZSN symbol:
- distance Reiki healing;
- cleansing the space, situation, relationship, yourself or others from negative energy;
- distance mental Reiki healing;
The HSZSN Symbol Is a Portal to the Akashic Records
The symbol 3 is often used as a portal to the Akashic Records. By meditating on the 3rd symbol you can get access to the information about your karmic goals, lessons, agreements, and debts which can help you to establish your karmic healing.
When working with Symbol 3, the lines between the past, present, and future are blurred. This symbol shows you that your past, present, and future exist in the same time-lapse. So, the first step in working with this symbol is learning how to feel this.
When you keep working with the HSZSN symbol you will discover that now it’s much easier for you to receive information about the future through this symbol. Let me share with you one helpful trick on how to see the future timelines easier. You simply need to tap into the feeling of unity of the present and the future moment. And then draw the HSZSN symbol two times. The double HSZSN symbol will create a “gate” into future timelines.
Though you’ll be able to see future events, keep in mind that there is an unlimited quantity of possible timelines in the future. So, you never know which one you’ll be able to see. You may see the one that is the closest to the one you’re on right now. But keep in mind that if you change your behavior or make different choices then you may switch the timeline to another one. And it’s possible to see that timeline through the HSZSN symbol too.
Symbol 4: DKM
When a Reiki practitioner becomes a Reiki master, he/she gains access to the 4th Reiki symbol which is also called the Master symbol. This symbol also consists of hieroglyphs.
Symbol 4 is rooted in Buddhist traditions. It is found in the sacred text of Mikkyō – a part of Tendai Buddhism teaching followed by Mikao Usui. This symbol is also used in an esoteric Buddhist ritual in which the follower becomes one with the Buddha’s true nature and reveals his inner light. That is why Usui chose this symbol as the highest symbol of development in Reiki practice.
In the Western Reiki system, this symbol is associated with the mastery of spiritual practice. In Japanese tradition, it is associated with the acquisition of power.
The main purpose of the Master symbol is to establish a direct connection with one’s inner Master.
Your Inner Master is the part of you that has already reached enlightenment. This part is hidden from us, but we gain it through consistent spiritual practices.
The master symbol attracts the energy of the higher vibration, which enhances the healing result.
The DKM symbol can be used in combination with other Reiki symbols to strengthen them and purify the intent behind the Reiki practice. This Symbol sheds light on any situation; physical, mental or spiritual condition. In addition, it clears all obstacles in the way of solving problems, even the most profound ones.
Meditation on the DKM Symbol
When we are meditating on this Symbol it helps us develop self-awareness and promotes spiritual development.
One way to meditate on this symbol is to draw it in front of you and enter it as if it was a hologram. During meditation, it often takes some color, most often it becomes violet. You can intuitively visualize it in a specific color to enhance the energy.
The DKM Mantra
This mantra translates as “Great Enlightenment” or “Bright Shining Light”. There are many other translations of this mantra. However, all translations refer to “the Light”. Therefore, when pronouncing this mantra, we should visualize the Light.
Alignment With Reiki Symbols
Before you start using Reiki symbols in your healing practice, you should make sure you’re aligned with each of them. To achieve it you need to perform the alignment practice with each symbol. This practice will make you capable of using Reiki symbols effectively. Also, it will increase your visualization abilities, improve your healing power, harmonize your life, and balance your spiritual path.
Usually, the alignment practice is performed daily for at least 30 minutes for 21 days after initiation. However, I noticed that not all Reiki masters teach this practice. And many Reiki practitioners use Reiki symbols without being aligned with them. Some masters explained to me that it’s due to the fact that along with the attunment you get automatically aligned with the symbols. However, I cannot agree with this.
You see, Reiki attunement is the initiation into the Reiki system. And the alignment with the symbols is the result of your consistent spiritual practice. A Reiki Master doesn’t have the ability to align you with the symbols. This is your own responsibility and your path.
After I tell people about the alignment practice and they start consistently performing it, they see how much easier it is for them to feel the Symbols’ energy and how much more effective their Reiki healing sessions are. Therefore, if for some reason your Reiki Master didn’t introduce you to the alignment practice, you can do it now. I’m sure very soon you will see amazing difference in your Reiki practice.
The Alignment Practice (Meditation)
Here are quick instructions on how to perform the alignment practice. But keep in mind, that this practice is designed only for those Reiki practitioners that have already received the Level 2 (and up) Reiki attunement.
- Take a sitting posture for meditation. Make sure that your arms and legs are not crossed. Take a couple of deep breaths until you feel that your body completely relaxed.
- Invite the Reiki Energy with the intention of aligning with the Sacred Reiki Symbols.
- Raise your hand in front of you with the palm open and directed away from you. Draw in the air in front of you Symbol 1 (CKR) and say its mantra 3 times. Alternatively, you can draw the symbol in the air in front of you with your index finger or with your index and middle fingers folded together. Visualize the Symbol where you drew it. Now enclose it between your palms.
- Close your eyes and continue holding the CKR symbol between your palms. Keep saying the CKR mantra for at least 10 minutes (preferably aloud, but if not possible, then whisper or say it mentally).
- Raise your hands with the CKR symbol between them above your head and place the symbol in your Crown chakra. Visualize the CKR symbol entering your Crown chakra, spreading throughout your body and merging with it.
Perform the same actions for aligning with other symbols.
The Bottom Line
There are lots of misleading information about Reiki symbols all over the Internet. You can also see lots of books about the symbols and their interpretation. Obviously, this article is just a summarized guide to Reiki symbols but doesn’t include the full information about them. How can you recognize the true information about Reiki symbols? I always follow one simple rule – if the book or Internet article includes the pictures or names of the symbols, then I can’t fully trust the information in it. The main rule about Reiki symbols is that their images and mantras should be kept secret and if the author doesn’t follow this rule, then he/she probably doesn’t really understand the sacredness of the information he/she shares.
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