Is this 5,000-year-old philosophy the secret to living well in the modern world?
In search of mental, physical and nutritional wellbeing, many people are turning to the centuries-old principles of Ayurveda. And experts believe that you don’t need to let the practice take over your life to feel the benefits. Namaste.
It’s no surprise you feel overwhelmed…
What is it with the modern world?
These days it often feels as if life is moving at warp speed – an ever-shifting maze of responsibilities, goals and to-dos. Even in lockdown you barely have time for the things you have to do, let alone the things you want to do. And with a symphony of screens projecting a ceaseless stream of information at you, it’s getting harder to focus and harder to enjoy restorative downtime. Little wonder you might feel exhausted now and again.
But what if life didn’t feel so cluttered?
To claw back some freedom and enjoy a more balanced approach to wellness in the modern world, many people are rediscovering the benefits of a health movement that started some 5,000 years ago in what we now know as India. Join us on a little journey into the principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda: the knowledge of life
The term Ayurveda derives from Sanskrit and – roughly translated – means “knowledge of life and longevity”. It’s all about using lifestyle interventions – such as nutrition and meditation – along with natural therapies to bring more balance to mind, body and spirit. And balance is the keyword here. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that a loss of balance in bodily systems is the cause of illness.
In short: Ayurveda is about living a more balanced life to stay healthy, while turning to natural herbs, oils and spices to heal ailments. It’s a practice that remains largely unexplored in the western world but is used extensively throughout Southern Asia. Indeed it’s the dominant form of state medical care in India and Nepal. From the food you eat to the way you move, here’s how an Ayurvedic take on modern life could help you to disconnect and find more calmness, more clarity and more energy.
Nutrition: less pizza, more pulses
When life feels busy, nutrition is often one of the first things to slip. After a long day it’s much easier to pop a pizza in the oven than peel a load of veggies. Thankfully an Ayurvedic diet offers lots of variety and plenty of room for interpretation. It’s also linked to weight loss.
The core ethos is about eating naturally. Out with the processed foods, in with the good stuff from Mother Nature’s larder. You can get seriously lost in the nuances of Ayurvedic nutrition. (For instance, there are guidelines of foods that you should eat based on your specific dosha or energy type.) But a good way to get started is to simply eat more natural foods.
Getting started in the modern world: A really quick way to bring an Ayurvedic edge to your diet is to restore digestive balance. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that eating the wrong type of foods brings imbalance to your digestive system, which can lead to digestive disturbance and illness. Aloe vera juice is bursting with nutrients and has been proven to restore digestive balance, relieve digestive ailments and help your body absorb the nutrients you need to function at your best. Take 3-5 tablespoons of our cold-pressed, unfiltered aloe vera juice daily to promote digestive balance.
Massage: unblock your vital channels
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that the body is a network of channels that transport vital bodily fluids. Chronically unhealthy or blocked channels are thought to cause disease and ill health, but the channels can be opened up through massage. If that’s not a good enough reason to book yourself in for a long overdue spa day when they reopen, we don’t know what is.
Getting started in the modern world: Short of nagging a loved one or befriending your local spa, the prospect of a daily massage doesn’t really chime with the way we live in 2021. However a simple way to get started is to add a weekly facial massage to your beauty routine. It will stimulate blood flow and leave you feeling more energised – especially if you combine your massage with our rejuvenating all-natural face wash, bursting with Ayurvedic staples like rose otto, rice bran oil and Kalahari melon seed oil.
Meditation: rediscover your productivity
In the western world we are forgetting how to focus. The constant rumble of your smartphone. The unconquerable battle with your email inbox. The day is full of micro-distractions that simultaneously make it harder to switch on and focus, but also harder to switch off and relax. Result? Your mind feels like it’s constantly cluttered. Expansive, creative thought feels like climbing Everest.
Meditation is a key component of Ayurvedic living. It can train you to disconnect from distraction and help you reclaim authority over your mind. Even five to ten minutes of daily meditation, over time, will help you to find more mental clarity and calmness. And that can do wonders for your productivity.
Getting started in the modern world: Sometimes you need an instant way to soothe your spirit and unwind. Double down on the benefits of meditation with a daily tea made from ashwagandha root. A staple in Ayurvedic medicine, studies suggest it helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Simply steep 3-6 grams of dried root in hot water and strain into your favourite mug.
Movement: say yes to yoga
With desk jobs the norm for many people, we spend too much time sitting down in the modern world. This is damaging our musculature and harming our mobility. That leads to aches, pains and niggles that can reduce your enjoyment of things like running and cycling. It can even lead to injuries.
Exercise is a key part of any healthy lifestyle – and to grab your daily dose, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend yoga. It’s a great way to build core strength and restore (and improve) mobility. That means yoga isn’t just a great form of exercise in itself, it can also help you perform better in other activities – whether that’s football, cycling or squash. And while you’re guaranteed to improve your physical balance, yoga is great for boosting your mental balance too. Win, win.
Getting started in the modern world: Whether you are a beginner or someone whose formerly obedient downward dog has gone astray, there are plenty of free yoga programmes you can follow online. With many people still working from home, now is the perfect time to add some yoga to your weekly routine. Need a decent yoga mat? We have you covered.
Over to you…!
The principles of Ayurveda have stood the test of time for good reason. Bringing more balance to your nutrition, your movement and your mental outlook is a sure-fire strategy for boosting your wellness. And you don’t need to spend hours and hours changing your routine to start reaping the benefits of a more Ayurvedic approach to your life.
What are you waiting for?
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