Ayurveda the essence of health
Like Yoga, Ayurveda is part of the Veda, which means pure knowledge. Whereas Yoga is to do with mind-body coordination (union), Ayurveda is the knowledge of lifespan, and is a system of natural health care which has stood the test of time for 5,000 years. Using Ayurveda every day is easy, and there are four main areas that promote good health: diet, digestion, daily routine and detox. Everything recommended by Ayurveda supports balance in the mind and body and enlivens the body’s inner intelligence. Balance is the key to health and longevity and, according to ancient Ayurvedic texts, to enlightenment.
DIET The key elements of diet are: food suited to your mind/body type and the season; including the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, astringent, pungent and bitter) in at least one meal of the day; and eating fresh, organic cooked food.
DIGESTION Ayurvedic physicians visiting the West have commented that most illnesses here arise from either eating too much, poor digestion or insufficient sleep. Good digestion means that your food is digested completely so that it nourishes all the body tissues. Incomplete digestion results in the production of a toxic substance, known in Ayurveda as ama. When ama builds up in the body, disease eventually follows.
DETOX Ayurveda recommends detox, or purification, to get rid of ama that has accumulated in the system. There are three ways to detox: establish a good daily routine so less ama accumulates; use simple self-purificatory measures at home; attend an Ayurvedic clinic for panchakarma, a residential treatment to cleanse the system of deep toxins, recommended at least once a year, ideally during spring.
DAILY ROUTINE Following an Ayurvedic daily routine is a kind and wise lifestyle choice, and is all about establishing natural habits. Early to bed, early to rise; regular mealtimes; appropriate exercise at the right time of day; regular elimination; meditation and asanas; no straining; keeping the company of positive, uplifting people. With this regularity of Ayurvedic routine come balance and longevity.
MAHARISHI AYURVEDA Ayurveda is a storehouse of profound knowledge, and in the 1980’s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, collaborated with three of India’s most renowned experts: Dr BD Triguna, President of the All India Ayurveda Congress and specialist in pulse diagnosis; Dr VM Dwivedi, a custodian of the Ayurvedic use of minerals, and Dr Balraj Maharishi, the world’s greatest exponent of plant identification (dravyaguna). Together they revived the fundamentals of Ayurveda and integrated its many parts into a more coherent system. The fruit of this collaboration was Maharishi Ayurveda – complete Ayurveda – and an authentic range of products and treatments. There followed a global health plan which included Vedic Organic farming, Maharishi Ayurveda hospitals, health centres and colleges, and the building of homes according to the health-promoting principles of Vedic architecture.