7 Healthy Habits To Improve Your Life

7 Healthy Habits To Help Improve Your Life
One of the factors on how well we age is not determined by our genes but how well we live. Don’t believe this statement? A study published by the British Medical Journal demonstrates that we can reduce the risk of having a stroke by 50% by doing four simple things - being active for 30 minutes/day, eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding excess alcohol and cigarettes. Even further, research consistently reveals that keeping unnatural routines can eventually weaken the body’s immune system and general wellbeing. Therefore, one way to promote health is to bring one’s routine into accordance with nature’s rhythm. Nature is characterized by regular cycles and a large part of being healthy is simply learning how to live in accordance to the natural rhythms to life. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest and comprehensive systems of natural medicine and the core teachings of Ayurveda is centered around creating lifestyle habits for overall good health and wellbeing.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then,
is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock. A proper morning routine can assist in digestion, absorption and assimilation as well as generating peace, discipline, happiness and longevity. It is important to assess any imbalances and your natural constitution before initiating a daily routine as it should be catered to your current state of health.  However, there are some general guidelines that are recommended from an ayurvedic perspective.

Learning To Love My Body - Acceptance & Balance 

7 Healthy Habits To Help Improve Your Life
1. Awaken Early
2. Elimination
3. Oral Hygiene
4. Oil Massage
5. Bathing
6. Meditation
7. Wholesome Eating

1. Awaken Early
We are all familiar with the common saying, “early to bed and early to rise”. Interestingly, our circadian rhythm is bioengineered for early rising and sleep gained after sunrise will not be as refreshing as sleep gained before midnight. Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. Because of this, ‘early to bed and rise’ is one of the central prescriptions for both prevention and management for nearly all conditions. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed. This is a divine way of starting the day and induce positivity and light into your life.

Blissful Sleep
The herbs in the Blissful Sleep formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. You’ll find sleep becoming deeper and more restful. And you’ll wake up recharged, vitally alive, ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.

Deep Rest
To support sleeping through the night; helps in falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened.

2. Elimination
The general concept of forming healthy habits is developing a morning routine that involves purification; removing waste products that have accumulated during the previous evening. Elimination is one of the main pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain.  When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution. Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

Drink Warm Water
Although many use caffeine as a morning drink for stimulation, warm water is more preferable at promoting health. Drinking water, especially from a copper cup, can enhance peristalsis and also flushes the kidneys. Caffeine can contribute to adrenal fatigue and constipation and is therefore not recommended as part of a healthy daily routine.

Copper Cup
For digestion, assimilation and occasional acidity A real ayurveda classic. Fill the cup with water in the evening, leave it to stand overnight and drink the water the next morning. In ayurveda this water is particularly highly regarded because it is said to have a purifying as well as a balancing influence on Pitta dosha. From a scientific point of view, the water has absorbed pure copper, which in this form is an essential mineral for the body.

3. Oral Hygiene
An important part of a daily health routine is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria.  There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Silver Tongue Cleaner
A traditional Sterling Silver Tongue Cleaner will help whisk away bacteria and impurities found on your tongue in the morning. Rinse, and your mouth and tongue will feel fresh and clean.

Likewise, it’s important to brush the teeth using astringent, bitter, and/or pungent flavors which help to effectively clear any accumulated bacteria build up in the oral cavity. After gently scraping the tongue and brushing your teeth, you then want to consider “oil pulling”. There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly.  In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.

Ayurdent Toothpaste
All-natural ayurvedic formula with neem (azadirachta indica) extract helps cleanse deep toxins from the teeth and mouth. Works effectively to promote tooth and gum health and helps protect against tooth decay.

4. Oil Massage
The skin provides the ability to heal through touch. The healing touch may include various modalities of healing such as massage. Ayurveda describes in great detail the benefits of daily oil massage. Not only is massage comforting to the body but essential for overall health and well-being. A dry stick easily breaks but if you soak the same stick in oil it soon becomes flexible. The same happens to the human body. The influence of vata makes the body dry, brittle, and achy via the aging process. Therefore, daily oil massage helps maintain proper functions of the body and ultimately helps to reduce the effects of aging.

Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil
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.

5. Bathing
Bathing should follow oil massage to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Ayurvedic Herbal Soaps
Herbal soaps which come from a traditional ayurvedic formula for moisturizing and soothing even the most sensitive skin.

6. Meditation
By routine practice of meditation, the very physiology of every cell is filled with life-giving energy “prana” resulting in joy, peace, and enthusiasm. Meditation provides both physical and mental benefits. For example, it’s been demonstrated that meditation helps to reduce blood pressure, improve the immune system, reduce anxiety, increase energy, and improve the overall sense of wellbeing.

The Mind
The science of Ayurveda speaks of vata as being the basis of all movement of the body and mind. When vata is in excess [within the mind] it can result in anxiety, nervousness, depression, insomnia and many other forms of difficulty handling stress. With nearly eighty percent of all diseases in the west being attributed to stress, it is no wonder why Shirodhara has been considered one of the most popular Ayurvedic treatments of modern day.

Organic Vata Calming Tea
Sweet, soothing choice to help restore balance quickly whenever life gets too hectic.

Stress Free Mind
Supports natural resistance to daily mental stress and fatigue; promotes peace, stability, and calmness under pressure.

“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
– Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

7. Wholesome Eating
According to Ayurveda, food is considered medicine and digestion is the cornerstone of health. Ayurveda states “the distinction between health and disease arises as the result of the difference between wholesome and unwholesome diet.” Similarly, Hippocrates [the father of modern medicine] has said, “leave your drugs in the pot at the pharmacy if you can’t cure your patient with food.”

“Let food be thy medicine
and medicine thy food.”
– Hippocrates

We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. Though true, it would be more accurate to say, “you are what you eat, digest, absorb, and assimilate”. With that in mind, let us now introduce the most fundamental principle according to the science of Ayurveda. This principle is “Agni” – The Digestive Fire. In Ayurveda, this digestive fire illustrates the body’s ability to digest food; almost equivalent to digestive enzymes. In fact, when managing most health concerns, correcting digestion is often the very first line of management. Digestion is said to be the work of the fire element in the body and it is this fire element which produces the glow of good health and vitality.

Spice Selections
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Liver Balance
Balances and nurtures healthy liver function; aids digestion, assimilation; promotes good appetite.

Want More?

Nose Drops (Nasya)
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision.  Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil.  It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Organic Clear & Soothe Nasal Spray
Natural Nasal Spray — soothes dry, irritated sinuses; shields nasal passages from airborne irritants and germs.

How To Reduce Stress

Nourishing The Brain
The human brain contains about 100 billion cells which continuously require oxygen. Because of this oxygen demand, the brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage; i.e. free radicals. Antioxidants are therefore crucial for longevity and continued effective functioning of the brain.

Herbs – Enhancing The Mind
Ayurveda talks highly about a special class of herbs called “Medhya” herbs. Ultimately, by providing nourishment to the brain, these herbs are especially useful for balancing the mind, reducing stress, and helps to enhance learning.

Intelligence Plus
Promotes natural intelligence; rejuvenates mental processes; supports attention span and concentration; promotes positive emotions and self-confidence.

Mind Plus
Stress and fatigue can diminish mental strength and clarity. Support mental functioning under stress and revitalize the mind with Mind Plus.

Organic Youthful Mind
Supports mental functioning as one ages; removes toxins that impede learning, memory, and recall; promotes the development of consciousness.

Disclaimer
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.


Nature's Greatest Antioxidant

 

Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant
The continuous production of free radicals in the body is inescapable and living in the modern world is a recipe for free radicals. Free radicals are molecules [i.e. oxygen] that have lost an electron and therefore become very reactive, unstable, and damaging. Being reactive and unstable, free radicals attempt to steal electrons from neighboring cells which can disrupt normal cellular activity. For example, if free radicals attack the cell membrane, enzymes, or even DNA this can produce a chain reaction of cellular destruction. Even worse, if DNA is altered this can lead to cellular dysfunction, mutations, and even cancer.

Antioxidants - Your Defense Against Free Radicals
According to the NIH [National Institute Of Health], antioxidants are substances which can prevent or delay certain types of cell damage. Interestingly, antioxidants are not really a substance but rather a “behavior” of donating an electron to the damaging free radical. More simply, misbehaving free radicals are the bad guys while antioxidants are the good guys, behaving nicely. Likewise, “oxidative stress” from free radicals increases the aging process and has been linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

What Are Antioxidants And Free Radicals Anyways? 

The Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
Ayurveda” literally means ‘knowledge’ or ‘the science of life’. Although the exact age of Ayurveda is unknown, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda is thought to date back several millennia; being eternal and timeless. The recipes for many Ayurvedic formulas were first discovered thousands of years ago and over the course of time, much of the knowledge of these herbal formulas was lost to the general public. However, some of these formulations were guarded and handed down though the generations. Lucky for us, one of nature’s greatest antioxidant is described below.

“Rasayanas promote longevity, memory, intelligence, freedom from disorders, youthfulness, excellence of luster and complexion, optimum strength of physique and sense organs.” - Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda

“Rasayanas” - Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant
Rasayanas are powerful free radical scavengers and generally contain a variety polyphenols, bioflavonoids, catechins, carotenoids, as well as vitamin C and vitamin E.  Interestingly, out of the main branches of Ayurveda, the study of “Rasayanas” is primarily concerned with strengthening the immune system. In fact, “Rasayana” means “that which supports rasa” - rasa being equivalent to plasma and chyle and said to nourish all bodily tissue. According to Ayurveda, Amalaki is considered one of the most nourishing and rejuvenating herbs. In fact, Charak – the ancient scholar of Ayurveda states “of all the Rasayanas, Amalaki is revered as one of the most potent and nourishing; Amalaki is the best among rejuvenative herbs.” Amalaki is a strong natural antioxidant containing high levels of vitamin C and acts as a powerful immune strengthener. Amalaki is one of the best sources of natural vitamin C and contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange. Amalaki is commonly known as Indian gooseberry or amla, and the Sanskrit name “Amalika” means ‘sour juice of the fruit’. Interestingly, despite all the health benefits, Amalaki is also commonly known as the “poor man’s apple”.

Amrit Kalash Ambrosia 
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

Amrit Kalash: Full-spectrum antioxidant:

  • 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
  • powerful food for the brain
  • significantly boosts immunity & vitality
  • best taken with Amrit Nectar
  • vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)

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Premium Amla Berry
Works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages which supports the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; helps growth of muscle tissue by promoting nitrogen balance; promotes cellular generation; supports lungs and natural immunity.

Bio-Immune
Supports natural immunity; helps detoxify blood and promotes cellular regeneration.

Another way to consume Amalaki is by taking Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is an herbal jam made from a base of Amalaki and also contains sugar, honey, ghee, sesame oil, berries, and a variety of spices. Chyawanprash can be taken a variety of ways. For example, Chyawanprash can be taken alone, stirred into milk, or even spread onto toast. Generally, 1 to 2 teaspoons of Chyawanprash is taken once or twice daily; under the direction of a qualified professional.

Healthy Lifestyle. Healthy Immunity.

Eating Healthy.
In order to be healthy, the microbial ecosystem in the gut must be healthy. If the gut flora becomes imbalanced this can weaken the immune response. The gut flora promotes optimal digestive function, provides a robust immune response, regulates metabolism and even compromises more than 75% of our immune system.

Spices To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) 
Organic Digest Tone contains three remarkable fruits — amla, chebulic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan — and each possesses the superior rejuvenative and health-giving qualities known as a "Rasayana" which supports digestion and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

Herbal Di-Gest
The herbs in Herbal Di-Gest are combined in precise proportions and prepared in the traditional ayurvedic way. This aids the bioavailability and assimilation of vital nutrients. It also creates synergy — the collective benefit is much greater than that of isolated, individual herbs.

Deep Rest & Blissful Sleep.
It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for the maintenance and repair of the neurological, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Rather, sleep is necessary for all systems of the body. Period.

Deep Rest
Deep Rest helps support sleeping deeply through the night. This herbal formula is especially targeted for those who have difficulty staying asleep, waking up in the middle of the night. But it also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early in the morning after less than six hours of sleep.

Blissful Sleep
The herbs in the Blissful Sleep formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. You’ll find sleep becoming deeper and more restful. And you’ll wake up recharged, vitally alive, ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.

Managing Stress.
Stress management is perhaps the most important factor regarding health because no matter what diet you follow, how much you exercise and what supplements you take, if you’re not managing your stress you will still be at risk for modern degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmunity.

Stress Free Mind
Stress Free Mind supports natural resistance to daily mental stress and fatigue. This potent blend of whole herbal extracts, powders, and minerals nourishes and supports the immune system, which is often taxed by everyday mental stress.

Stress Free Emotions
For natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue; promotes emotional balance, positive feelings, and feelings of fulfillment.

Disclaimer
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.

 


7 Tips For A More Relaxing Evening - An Ayurvedic Evening Routine

7 Tips For A More Relaxing Evening
It’s no big secret: for many of us, it’s extremely difficult to unwind — especially after a long day of answering emails, attending meetings, taking phone calls, taking care of kids or pets, and battling traffic on the way to and from our jobs. It seems increasingly difficult to find the “off” switch once we enter our personal sanctum — home, at the end of the day.

The advent of technology and electronics that multitask our schedules is great in one way: they provide some efficiency and ease in checking off those ever-increasing priorities from our to-do lists. However, they can also spur a disconnect between mind/body/spirit, and aggravate Vata and Pitta — turning us into scattered, unfocused versions of ourselves (especially in the all-but-inevitable event that something digitally malfunctions!).

To counteract this chaos, we can integrate a balancing Ayurvedic Evening Routine. It's an invaluable practice after a busy day, and as in all things, practice makes perfect. New routines can be challenging to integrate and maintain, so try not to get overwhelmed — that would defeat the purpose. We can stay flexible and take it easy, integrating each practice step by step until we’ve developed a balance that feels right. The goal is to relax and recharge, not do more than we comfortably can, so just take it slow.

All right, let’s get down to business!

An Ayurvedic Evening Routine ...

1. Rejuvenate with Asana & Meditation
After work, school, or picking up your little ones — once home — start by silencing, or turning off, all electronic gadgets. Settle down, and consider doing a round of yoga asanas. They are the ideal form of mind and emotion-calming exercise for all body types and ages. Asanas balance all three doshas, tone the muscles, and rejuvenate our bodies. After asanas, it’s great to practice pranayama (an ayurvedic breathing technique) and meditation. Pranayama and meditation balance all the doshas, especially Vata. Twenty minutes of Transcendental Meditation®, or your preferred meditation/practice, is a great way to start and finish your day.

2. Nourish Your Body
Prepare and eat a light, easy-to-digest dinner at least three hours before bedtime. Our sleep can be disturbed by our body digesting a meal that we eat too late, or too much of, in the evening. The result is that our sleep is not as restful and we do not efficiently digest our meal – leading to possible long-term imbalance. Favoring a light dinner — such as steamed vegetables and dhal, or soup — is ideal. If possible, avoid heavy meats, aged cheeses and fried foods. Here are some great Vata-pacifying recipes to try. Sip hot water or Calming Vata Tea throughout the day and with meals. Adding Organic Vata Churna, or our Pitta or Kapha Churnas, to evening meals aids digestion and helps bring balance, especially when the weather is cold and dry.

3. Enjoy Leisure Activity
After dinner, favor low-key and relaxing activities: take a leisurely walk, read a book, listen to relaxing music, draw or color, watch a light-hearted movie, etc. Computers/electronics, social media, or watching the nightly news can stimulate our minds and actually cause stress. Cortisol, our stress hormone, is antagonistic to melatonin, our relaxation hormone and also the hormone associated with sleep. So, when cortisol goes up, melatonin goes down, and that can be a problem because we may not be able to stay asleep at night. Dim the lights, mimicking Nature as much as possible. Too much artificial light in the evening disrupts our body’s circadian rhythm and affects the production of melatonin. Melatonin plays a crucial role in our body by triggering sleepiness, and keeping blood sugar and blood pressure levels healthy.

4. Wind Down with a Warm Drink
Before bed, try a boiled cup of milk made with a touch of ginger and sugar, Organic Vata Tea, Organic Rose Petal Spread, or raw honey. (If using honey, add it after the milk has cooled to a warm — not hot — temperature to maintain its beneficial qualities. Any heated or cooked honey, according to ayurveda, is considered to be very hard to digest and toxic.) Or try Slumber Time Tea to help disengage the mind from the senses and promote falling asleep easily.

5. Prepare for Sleep
Rubbing sesame or coconut oil on our feet, ears, and even head at bedtime can go a long way towards physically relaxing our bodies. It may sound strange, but give it a try! It has an amazing, calming effect that ayurveda recommends for improved sleep.

Consider diffusing Calming Vata Aroma OilSlumber Time Aroma Oil, or one of our dosha-balancing formulas — whichever one smells the best to you that evening — as these will further soothe, relax, and assist in falling asleep.

6. Sleep Herbals
Support good sleep with the power of herbs, which enrich the natural functions of our bodies.

Deep Rest is formulated especially for those who wake up in the early morning hours and have trouble falling back asleep. Blissful Sleep is for those who have trouble falling asleep. Worry Free, taken a few hours before bed, can calm an active mind and soothe those of us feeling frustration at the end of the day. Taking Stress Free Emotions a few hours before bed is also a great choice.

7. Hit the Sack
When possible, go to sleep before 10:00 p.m. Going to bed prior to 10:00 p.m. allows our body to settle while still in the evening cycle of Kapha — 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Kapha time is from 6:00-10:00, both a.m. and p.m.; Pitta time is 10:00-2:00, both a.m. and p.m.; and Vata time is 2:00-6:00, both a.m. and p.m.)

For those who often wake up feeling hot or stuffy — keep the bedroom cool while sleeping. Crack the window slightly, or turn down the heat a few degrees. Or try diffusing Cooling Pitta Aroma Oil at bedtime.

Early to bed, early to rise (ideally before 6:00 a.m., but not later than sunrise), allows us to feel relaxed, calm and refreshed. We’ll be ready for the day with renewed vitality. To carry the effects of these practices with you all day, here’s a great Morning Routine to Kick-Start Your Day!

We all seek balance, purpose and fulfillment in our lives. When we deliberately take the time to treat ourselves wonderfully and prioritize our well-being, we reap untold benefits, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In spite of the resistance we may feel to properly pamper ourselves every day, we can trust in the importance of doing so, and incorporate “me time” into our daily routine. Our bodies will thank us!


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Disclaimer
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.