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9 Everyday Ayurvedic Principles For Health, Youth, And Beauty

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Eat Properly Image

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.

#3 Exercise

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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

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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

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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

Ayurvedic oil massage image

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!

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Images via unsplash.com, instagram.com/fullyrawkristina/, instagram.com/amyseder/, solancha.com


Yoga

Murcha Pranayama: Essence and Benefits of the Swooning Breath

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Murcha Pranayama is one of the eight types of pranayama. “Murcha” is commonly known as “fainting” in Sanskrit. It is believed that through this pranayama you experience “conscious unconsciousness”. The purpose of this pranayama is to expand consciousness and accumulate and preserve prana. People who are successful in completing this breathing exercise experience prolonged euphoria and semiconscious swoon. Therefore it is recommended to perform it only if you are well advanced in all other branches of pranayama.

In this article, I will share with you the benefits of the Murcha Pranayama and the techniques of its performance.

What Is Pranayama?

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Pranayama is a system of breathing exercises that can significantly increase your energy level.

Prana‘ is the Sanskrit word for breath, “life force”, or “vital principle”. ‘Ayāma‘ can be translated as “the suspension of breath” or “control”. Thus, “pranayama” can be translated as “control over vital energy”.

According to Patanjali, pranayama is the length of time between inhalation and exhalation. During this period, the time of assimilation of prana increases, the fluctuations of the mind decrease and the perception expands. But how is it possible to reduce the excitation of the brain by holding the breath? This is due to the fact that nerve impulses in some parts of the body are suspended, and the structure of brain waves is harmonized. Therefore, pranayama is one of the most important elements of Hatha yoga.

Murcha Pranayama

Murchha pranayama can only be performed by advanced practitioners who have already purified their bodies and who have good training in holding their breath. As you learn this breathing practice, the number of cycles may increase. The time to complete it may increase from five to ten minutes. However, if you feel that your head has become light, stop practicing.

The feeling of loss of consciousness during Murcha Pranayama occurs for two reasons. First, continued breath retention reduces the concentration of oxygen in the blood entering the brain, that is, causes hypoxia. Second, by squeezing large blood vessels in the neck, Jalandhara Bandha affects the pressure receptors on their walls, and in response to this, the pulse and blood pressure change.

Benefits of Murcha Pranayama

Murcha Pranayama is a very powerful breathing technique that has many benefits! Here are some of them:

  1. provides mental tranquillity and a sensation of euphoria;
  2. gives a blissful experience where the mind becomes free from negative emotions;
  3. increases mental efficiency by providing energy and removing distractions;
  4. effective in the cure of headache and muscle weakness;
  5. raises the level of prana by energizing ida, pingala, and Sushumna;
  6. helps to create a state of unconsciousness where your mind is calm, and the body is relaxed, yet you are alert (a state of ‘conscious unconsciousness’);
  7. brings steadiness and contentment by infusing joy and happiness;
  8. reduces body fats;
  9. helps to prepare the body for deep meditation.

Precautions

Murcha Pranayama is not meant to be practiced by everyone and it’s best to find a competent teacher for guidance. Murcha breathing practice requires a competent teacher’s help if you have:

  • mental disorder;
  • high blood pressure (hypertension) or low blood pressure (hypotension);
  • heart disease;
  • epilepsy;
  • brain disorders;
  • glaucoma.

If you get wholly fainted or unconscious during your practice, discontinue it immediately!

Murcha Pranayama should not be practiced after meals, and a minimum of 3-4 hours gap should be there.

How To Perform Murcha Pranayama?

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There are two ways to perform Murcha Pranayama.

Technique 1

Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Place your hands on your knees and close your eyes.

Count till 5 and at the count of 5, slowly and deeply inhale through your nose. Perform Kumbhaka with Jalandhara Bandha and Shambhavi mudra.

Hold your breath for 5 seconds or as you feel comfortable.

Keep your eyes closed. Relax the Jalandhara Bandha. Slightly lift your chin. Exhale while closely monitoring the exhalation.

Before starting the next cycle, breathe normally for a minute or two.

Concentrate on the feeling of emptiness.

Technique 2

Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Place your hands on your knees and close your eyes. Make sure that the body is firmly fixed in its position.

Slowly inhale through both nostrils, raising your chin and tilting your head back, but not so far that it requires tension and effort.

Perform Kumbhaka with your arms straightened at the elbows, your shoulders raised, and your Shambhavi mudra fixed. Hold your breath a little longer than is comfortable for you.

Then close your eyes, slowly lower your head and shoulders, and exhale in a controlled manner.

Before starting the next cycle, breathe normally for a minute or two.

Concentrate on the feeling of emptiness.

Duration

Practice until you start experiencing a fainting sensation. Length of Kumbhaka (breath retention) is very important. The longer you can hold the breath, the better it is.

One inspiration and expiration makes one cycle. Repeat until you feel faint. It should be performed after asanas and before meditation.

It is very useful and provides additional benefits when practiced before going to sleep.

Concentration

It is very important to know what to concentrate on while performing Murcha pranayama. You should have a dual focus while performing this practice: physical and spiritual.

For achieving physical awareness, focus on your breath. Bring your attention to the head movement and also to the center of eyebrows.

For achieving spiritual awareness focus on the void behind the eyebrow center called ‘chidaksha‘. Direct your awareness to this void.

Conclusion

Pranayama is one of the most important yogic practices. It provides different responses in the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous system. Murcha pranayama acts as the bridge between the mind and the body. It brings balance to our breathing, calm down our mind and creates inner peace.

When the mind becomes thoughtless and still, we become more relaxed and calm. We feel the bliss that makes us feel like floating. We are floating away from the worldly affairs and start moving inside. By drawing our minds inward we achieve the ultimate pleasure.


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Health

Quick Ayurvedic Tea Recipes for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas

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Ayurvedic Tea is a drink made with special ingredients especially herbs. It’s is commonly used to detoxify and cleanse the body. In addition, the drink helps to calm the nerves, enhance energy, aid digestion, and promote emotional well-being. Today, we borrow these ancient practices and apply ayurvedic tea to our 3 dosha types. Read on.

Ayurvedic Tea for Vata Dosha

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  • 3 cups of water
  • 1tsp. Chamomile – fresh
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ashwagandha powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dry Ginger – ground

Bring the water to boil. Switch off the heat and quickly add in all the ingredients. Cover the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. This enables the ingredients to infuse well. Sieve in your drinking cup and enjoy. If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to add a vegan sweetener of your choice. However, note that this is not a bitter drink. Hence, you might enjoy more without sweetening.

The Benefits

The Vata dosha needs more brain magic to improve their memory and balance their moods. This recipe has chamomile as the key herb, nutmeg as the supporting herb, and ginger powder as the carrier herb. The body will, therefore, absorb the drink efficiently. Chamomile and nutmeg are nervine sedatives (they relax the nervous system) while Ashwagandha is a nervine tonic, (it strengthens the nervous system). Ginger, as a carrier herb, helps your body to digest all these herbs

This Ayurvedic Tea can be taken at any time of the day.

Ayurvedic Tea for Pitta Dosha

Coriander tea image
  • ¼ tsp. Coriander
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Fennel
  • 2 cups of water
  • A sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.)

Roast the seeds in a hot pan and set aside. This helps to bring out their natural oils and aroma. As a result, they infuse easily when boiled in water. Next, you bring the water to boil in a saucepan or teapot. Add the above ingredients and let it simmer until it reduces by half (approximately 10 minutes on a medium-low flame).

In your drinking cup, add a sweetener to your preferred taste. Then pour in the hot drink via a strainer. Stir well to mix and enjoy.

The Benefits

This Ayurvedic Tea recipe is an excellent laxative. It is great for digestion and relieves constipation. It is best taken just before you go to bed.   

Ayurvedic Tea for Kapha Dosha

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  • ½ fresh lemon
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1  cup of green tea
  • 2 cups clean water
  • A sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.)

Bring the water to boil in a saucepan or teapot. Add the cinnamon and the green tea (wrapped in a muslin cloth to make the leaves more manageable). In your drinking cup, add the sweetener and squeeze in the lemon juice. Pour in the hot tea and stir well.

Enjoy!

 The Benefits

The Kapha dosha needs body stamina and balance to stay in check even when overwhelmed. This recipe has ingredients that boost the body’s immunity and help it to heal. It is also excellent for cold, sinus, cough, and allergies. Finally, it promotes blood circulation. The tea is best taken in the morning.


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Food

Vegan Golden Milk Latte: Powerful Immune-Boosting Drink

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Manage common ailments this winter with a tasty Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte! It is a 5-minute, vegan, and immune-boosting drink ideal for all ages. In addition, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which enhance your body’s immunity.

In this article, I’ll share with you how to prepare your hot Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte using fresh ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With this recipe, you can substitute coconut milk with cashew milk and almond milk for a unique taste each night. Let’s dive in!

What Is So Special About This Drink?

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With turmeric, you enjoy the following health benefits:

  • Turmeric is rich in antioxidant compounds, which block free radicals. In other words, the compounds stimulate your body defenses.
  • It fights off coughs and colds, especially on those cold winter nights.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that fight against arthritis.
  • It will boost your immune system even when down with a sickness.

A sprinkle of cinnamon in each drink will fight infections and repair your tissues. It also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, you experience warming, yet calming effect that helps in balancing your blood sugar.

A pinch of nutmeg helps with indigestion. It is a natural detoxifier, reduces insomnia, and improves your blood circulation.

Finally, coconut milk is excellent for your heart. It helps to lower cholesterol levels and stimulate weight loss. Hence, a sip of one cup of milk results in lots of health benefits.

Ingredients

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  • 2 cups coconut milk – You can substitute it with almond milk or cashew milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground turmeric
  • A pinch of black pepper – It helps your body absorb the turmeric
  • A sprinkle of freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or your preferred sweetener
  • Freshly ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Procedure

In a medium to a hot flame, start by adding milk to a heavy-based pot.  Then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture. Then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Check that that all the ingredients melt together to bring out their flavors.

Pour your vegan golden milk into a mug and enjoy it. That was easy, right?

Quick Tips:

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If you love a frothy look, use an electric milk frother on the drink before pouring it into your mug.

Does the taste of turmeric put you off? Then, start with small quantities and increase the amount with time. Alternatively, you can add other ingredients like vanilla and ginger to dominate the flavors. However, think about all the health benefits of turmeric.

Now, the main ingredient in this Vegan Golden Milk latte is turmeric. Turmeric metabolizes quite fast. However, our bodies may not get the chance to absorb it well. That’s why we use black pepper in this recipe. It multiplies your blood’s ability to absorb turmeric by up to 20 times!

Secondly, note that turmeric has low solubility in water. Melting it in coconut milk, almond, or cashew milk does the trick.

Conclusion

When you have gout pain, or have kids down with a cough or cold, you need not worry. Mother Nature gives you all the tasty ingredients to fight such ailments.  The Vegan Golden Milk Turmeric Latte is worth a try. Use the quick recipe above to tap into the hidden benefits of turmeric. For best results, opt for freshly ground ingredients. Besides, its soothing and relaxing traits make it your ideal nighttime drink.


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