One Thing We All Have In Common …
One thing we all have in common is that we all want to be happy. How we imagine our happiness may differ from one to another. Interestingly, our thoughts form our character and if we want to be happy in life, we must ensure that we keep our brain happy and healthy. When we are relaxed and happy, we exist in a state where our body is significantly different biologically than when we are tense, angry, and sad. Dr. Deepak Chopra in Quantum Healing states, “to think is to practice brain chemistry.” In other words, every thought releases brain chemicals and thinking positive, happy, and joyful thoughts decreases cortisol and produces serotonin which creates a sense of well-being. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda teaches that anyone can achieve this state of inner wholeness, regardless of circumstances, by learning to balance all levels of life in accordance to natural principles; i.e. “mother nature”.
Want To Be Happy? Then Be Grateful. – David Steindl-Rast
Ojas – The Prescription For Bliss & Happiness!!
Having strong Ojas helps maintain optimum health and many diet and lifestyle factors can contribute to either depleting or nourishing one’s Ojas. Ojas is defined as the pure essence of the bodily tissues. This is the refined by-product of digestion which can take up to 30 days to be created. Ojas is also referred to as the source of vitality, immunity and vigor in the body. The quality of Ojas is dependent on diet, lifestyle and stress. Possessing strong Ojas can determine how one’s body reacts to certain diseases and infections. Every tissue system in the body is said to have its own Ojas. Whilst all the physiological systems in the body are maintaining their function at optimum levels, Ojas is preserved. However during disease or infections the integrity of Ojas in the body can be compromised.
To help uplift the emotions; helps balance emotional ups and downs; alleviates sadness and feelings of frustration
Stress Free Emotions
For natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue; promotes emotional balance, positive feelings, and feelings of fulfillment
It is important to maintain optimum health and thereby strong Ojas by a suitable diet and lifestyle. There are some practical ways to increase Ojas and it is also vital to be aware of activities that can deplete this vital essence of the body.
Ways To Increase Ojas:
· Moderate yoga suited to one’s constitution
· Pranayama (breathing exercises)
· Consuming fresh wholesome and balanced meals appropriate to ones state of balance
· A daily morning practice incorporating walking in nature, nasal drops and oil massages
· Certain herbs such as Ashwagandha and Shatavari can help in promoting Ojas
· A restful and appropriate sleep is vital to building Ojas
Activities That Deplete Ojas:
· Excessive sexual activity
· Physical and psychological traumas
· Intense and excessive vigorous exercise
· Overexposure to bacteria, virus and parasites
· Diseases such as cancer, chronic asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, etc.
· Excessive stress and an intense work schedule
· Excessive consumption of foods that have preservatives and additives and other chemicals
· Overconsumption of incompatible foods for one’s constitution
Prana & Nasya = Health, Vitality & Happiness
Nasya – The Pathway To Our Inner Pharmacy
Breathing is so natural yet we hardly ever think about it. Interestingly, seventy percent of waste is eliminated through the lungs just by breathing. In his book, Breathing: The Master Key To Self-Healing, Dr. Andrew Weil comments on the importance of breathing on our overall health. He states, “improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be to simply learn how to breath correctly. There’s no single more powerful or more simple daily practice to further your health and well-being than breathwork.”
Respiratory Health – Breathe Easier All Season Long!!
Similarly, Ayurveda, explains that “prana” – the vital life force, enters the body primarily through the breath, via the nose which provides the flow of intelligence from one cell to another; i.e. cellular intelligence. Even further, prana is also the subtle energy that flows in the body through various channels and is responsible for our vitality and dynamism [“chaitanym”]. When prana is optimal, an individual will be active, alert and attentive while being happy and cheerful.
Ayurveda – Oil Massage [“Snehan”]
The ancient Sanskrit word “Sneha” means compassion and the word “Snehi” refers to a loving friend. Daily oil massage [snehan] implies making a person loving by unfolding the healing qualities innate to the human body. In fact, Charaka – the ancient scholar of Ayurveda states that if you really want to bring happiness and joy to a client, don’t try to discuss their problems but do an oil massage and all the problems will simply dissolve.
Moisturizing & Soothing Herbal Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils. Formulated to balance specific skin and dosha types, our herbal massage oils not only lubricate but also purify the skin. They have a balancing effect on the mind and body; they promote the appearance of smooth, youthful skin; and they support vitality and healthy circulation.
Ayurveda – A Guide For Happiness
The ancient teachings of Ayurveda talks in-depth about the profound relationship of the mind’s influence upon the body. These very teachings are thought to reflect the long-lived traditions and principles for upholding a healthy body and sound mind.
Factors Which Increase Ojas:
– wholesome food and healthy digestion
– love and compassion
– being positive and having self-control
– respect towards others and oneself
– cleanliness and simplicity
– selfless service [i.e. charity]
Ancient teachings of many cultures have always discussed the dynamic relationship between thoughts and feelings and its effects upon the body. Let the ancient inner laughter which resides deep within you guide you into a state of perfect health and happiness.
Easy Considerations …
For Health & Happiness
- Drinking a cup of hot water with 1 tsp of honey and 10 drops of apple cider vinegar is a wonderful way to start the day. Honey and apple cider vinegar have scraping effects and can help with reducing excess adipose tissue.
- Eliminating alcohol, caffeine and smoking. There is abundant information on how many negative effects these substances induce in the body. They can alter the digestive fire and create cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Reducing dairy and meats from the diet. These foods are heavy, gross and can lead to slow, sluggish digestion which will increase the same qualities in the body. Therefore one will have excess heaviness, lethargy and poor metabolism with overconsumption of these foods.
- Consume the largest meal at lunch – when digestion is strongest and keep dinner a simple and light meal.
- Incorporate ginger pickles and teas in the diet. Ginger is an effective herb for stimulating digestion and removing toxins from the body. It will also help to increase metabolism.
- Reducing the cold element in the diet and incorporating more hot meals will also bring changes to health.
- Fresh vegetables such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, leafy greens, onions, garlic, peppers and sprouts will help increase the light element in the body. Fruits to favor include; berries, apples, pears, pomegranate, raisins, lemons, prunes and apricots. Generally heavier and sweet fruit and vegetables such as potatoes, cucumber, zucchini, bananas, coconuts, avocados, oranges, grapes and pineapples are best avoided.
- In some cases, a 24 hour kichadi or water fast can be beneficial. Fasting in an appropriate manner and under the care of a physician/practitioner, can bring tremendous health benefits. It can reset the body and help one get onto the right track.
Rejuvenation For Men
Helps the body resist the effects of aging, correcting imbalances and repairing damaged cells; supports natural immunity; aids cellular regeneration.
Rejuvenation For Ladies
Supports emotional and hormonal balance; helpful during the years before menopause; promotes overall health.
- Exercise is an important part of life. It increases metabolism and burns fat and also brings balance as well as mental clarity. The health benefits of yoga are vast. Taking up a daily yoga practice along with breathing exercises (pranayama) is an effective way for maintaining a healthy body weight.
- At the very least, a 20 minute brisk walk should be incorporated into a morning daily routine. This will move lymph and reduce adipose tissue.
- Napping during the day will increase the qualities that lead to weight gain; heavy, slow, dull, oily, gross and soft. It is best to obtain a good night’s sleep and to establish regular arising and sleeping times to set the body into a healthy routine.
- Meditation and self – love. It is important to nurture one-self and to develop love and acceptance, as negative emotions can offset emotional hunger and depression. Meditation brings peace and harmony into life, therefore a daily 20 minute practice is recommended to bring overall awareness and balance. The many health benefits of meditation and positive affirmations are extensive. It is recommended to be forgiving of one-self and to eliminate the aspect of emotional guilt leading to acceptance, love and peace.
- Herbs such as kutki, chitrak, trikatu and shilajit are extremely efficient in targeting fatty tissues and increasing the digestive capacity of the bodily tissues amongst many other benefits. Taking these herbs under a practitioners guidance will increase metabolism, scrape excess fat, control hunger and improve liver function.
- Drinking triphala at night will also promote healthy bowel movements and cleansing of the colon as well as bringing balance to all the elemental properties in the body.
Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.