Have you noticed how often our daily habits go against nature? How often do you eat food that is out of season? How many unusual chemicals do we put on our skin or hair or in our food? The problem in our society is that it's very difficult to know the right authority to trust as you try to find a balanced lifestyle.
Take for instance, the Atkins Diet. Its very popular, but really this has only been around a half dozen years or so. Ayurveda, by contrast has been practiced for over three thousand years, making it one of the oldest practices in medicine still in use today.
Ayurveda is centered on helping you live a balanced life through eliminating the toxins you take in (or allow your body to produce). This is done by changing your diet and lifestyle. For example: your diet should be changing through the year. Humans evolved eating only what grew naturally, agriculture is a relatively recent development. So our bodies are designed to eat the foods of the current season.
Among the top Ayurvedic therapy experts in the West is Dr. Vasant Lad, Chairman of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albequerque, New Mexico. Prior to his work in New Mexico, he served as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He also has trained in Western Medicine as the two are not in conflict. I recently attended one of his presentations at the Metro Convention Centre here in Toronto.
His talk was simple, basic and to the point. His message was that we can eat the best organic food, but if we do not have harmony in our relationships and lifestyle, only conflict and unresolved emotions, then our health cannot be good.
Here are some tips he shared with us:
- Change your food according to the season.
- Have a daily routine.
- Have spiritual awareness.
- Wake up before the sun rises, you will be fresh and alert and have less depression.
- Clean your aura, in the morning, by moving your palms over your face, head and your entire body, with loving deep breaths. You will fall in love with yourself.
- Pray for a fulfilling and beautiful day.
- Kiss your reflection in the mirror and say "You are beautiful the way you are".
- DON'T use fluoride toothpaste and DO scrape your tongue from back to front to remove dead bacteria.
- Drink a glass of lukewarm water to wash away toxins. then do the So-Ham meditation. mouth the sound "So" on the inhalation, "Ham" on the exhalation, with your feet facing away from the door.
- Focus your attention on your third eye (space between your eyebrows) and visualize light in that spot.
- Massage your body with warm sesame oil (or coconut/sunflower oil ) in the opposite direction of your hair.
- Take a shower with a small amount of soap, dry with a clean towel and wear clean clothes.
- Drink your food and chew your water.
- Go for walks after dinner.
- Don't watch t.v. while eating food.
- Chew fennel or coriander seeds after roasting them.
- Always share your food and don't eat in the dark.
- Burn incense and candles.
- Wash your eyes twice per week, lubricate nostrils daily and at bedtime put warm oil in your ears.
- Dinner should be between 6 and 7 pm, not after sunset.
- Rub your feet with brahmini or brungaraj oil. This will send you to sleep easily.
- Go to bed between 9.30pm and 10.
- Don't eat yogurt on a cloudy, rainy day as it will clog your arteries and increase mucus.
These are simple yet effective tips for leading a healthier lifestyle.
What impresses me most about this way of healing is that the methods are so simple, pure and sincere. It bring us back to nature and makes us feel grounded. Love yourself and everyone around you, have positive loving relationships. If you make a commitment to take care of yourself in a loving way, you will be on the road to healing yourself.
Ismat Nathani, Founder of the Centre for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing, worked with Dr. Lad to provide further information about Auyrvedic treatments.