Monday - Friday
Diet and Exercise Tips
New Year's Resolutions are best known for the speed with which they are forgotten. Yet, total health is a lifelong journey--you need to work on your health every day. Here are ten tips from our ayurvedic expert, Director of Research and Product Development at Maharishi Ayurveda, on enriching 2003 with ayurvedic wisdom--simple things you can do every day to stay healthy and happy.
1. Start your day with a stewed apple
A stewed apple also helps your elimination system, because it is easy to digest and contains lots of fiber. It also contains vitamins, trace minerals, and antioxidant flavanoids. All of this is good for weight loss, actually, because anything that is light on your digestion and adds nutrients rather than empty calories helps the body burn fat.
2. Cook your foods right
You can prepare ayurvedic vegetables in two ways. One way is to steam the vegetables first using water, and then add spices sautéed in ghee or olive oil. A second way is to sauté the spices in ghee or olive oil, and then add the vegetables, diced small, and sauté for a few minutes. Cover and cook at low temperature. If you are making a curry (vegetables with sauce), add a small amount of water to finish cooking the vegetables.
Also, the ayurvedic concept is that you shouldn't need to rest a day after exercise. The idea is to follow the principle of balaardh, to maintain balanced energy and stamina at all times. Bala means "energy" and ardh means "half"-the ayurvedic recommendation is to never exert more than 50% of your capacity. This amount will differ from person to person, depending on your body type, your age and your overall health.
The way to tell if you are starting to exceed your capacity is if sweat starts to form on your nose, forehead or under the arms. Another sign is if you can no longer breathe through the nose. Breathing through the nose is recommended for ayurvedic exercise. If you start to need to gulp air through the mouth, it's time to slow down or stop.
If you follow this one guideline, you will always feel energized by exercise instead of exhausted. And each day, you will find that your capacity increases to exercise more intensely or for a longer duration. Very naturally you will be able to handle more exercise without ever straining.
4. Sleep Deeper
Additional things you can do are a partial abhyanga before going to bed, on your lower limbs, hands and feet, using the non-staining Rejuvenation Oil Massage. Pay particular attention to nail-beds. A warm bath also relaxes the body and helps calm Vata dosha. Aggravated Vata (characterized by whirling thoughts) is usually the cause of not being able to fall asleep easily.
Avoid TV or working on the computer at night, as these make it difficult to fall asleep. Exercise during the Kapha time of the morning and doing your Yoga asanas and Salutes to the Sun also help balance the mind and body so sleep comes naturally in the evening.
It also helps to surrender your body to the bed. Don't fight the bed. Lie down easily, lightly, in the rest pose. This means on your back, with your hands easily at your side, palms to the ceiling.
You may be plagued by worries when you lie down to sleep, by the things that are beyond your emotional, physical or financial capability to solve, which tend to bother you before bed. In this case it helps to make a separate mental file of each problem, and then hand the problems over to Nature to take care of while you rest. By handing over the things that are beyond your capability to handle, you give your mind and body a sense of ease, a different kind of relaxation.
5. Let go of stress
Worry Free tablets and Worry Free Tea are especially helpful in balancing Prana Vata, the subdosha of Vata that is implicated in mental stress. This is especially effective for people who are prone to anxiety, an overactive mind, and other forms of mental stress.
Eating more walnuts, fresh coconut, milk and fresh milk products such as panir and lassi also helps reduce stress. In general, eating a balanced ayurvedic diet and following the ayurvedic routine is a formidable weapon against stress. The breathing exercise pranayama, practiced before Transcendental Meditation, can help calm the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the "fight or flight" response to stress.
6. Flush out toxins
Make sure that your bowel movements are regular (at least once a day in the morning). If your body is balanced from following the ayurvedic recommendations, it will be able to cleanse itself of most toxins using its own detoxification systems (such as through the sweat, urine and feces).
Spring is the time of year that your body is naturally detoxifying, so it's ideal to support it by doing a spring detox program. For two months, take Elim-Tox (or if you are more Pitta-based, use Elim-Tox-O) to cleanse the liver (and, indeed, the whole body), flushing out toxins that may have accumulated there.
And because the toxins are carried from the body through the elimination system, it is absolutely essential to support the elimination system as well. For this we have included eliminative herbs in Elim-Tox and Elim-Tox-O, and we also recommend combining it with Herbal Cleanse or Digest Tone . You can use whichever product works best for you.
7. Power up your immunity
The herbs in Bio-Immune from Maharishi Ayurveda are especially formulated to strengthen the neuro-immune response, purify the liver and blood, and dissolve ama and amavisha. You can take it throughout the winter, or any time you feel vulnerable to cold and flu bugs.
Many people find that by taking Maharishi Amrit Kalash on a year-round basis, they don't fall prey to colds and flu any more. The formula is the cream of ayurvedic rasayanas, the special elixirs for health and longevity. It protects the body by strengthening immunity, removing toxins and producing more ojas, the substance in the body associated with immunity and bliss.
8. Beautify your hair and skin
At Maharishi Ayurveda we have developed a number of natural skin and hair care products to enhance the beauty of the skin, the face and the hair. But the really beautiful thing about these products is that while improving the outer beauty of the skin and hair, they are also improving the inner and lasting beauty aspects as well.
The Youthful Skin Cream, for instance, penetrates to the seventh layer of the skin to cleanse and nourish that deepest layer, even though it is a cream that is applied from the outside.
While using the hair products and the Youthful Skin cleansers, oils, and creams is good, we also recommend taking supplements specifically for the skin and hair. Healthy Hair and Nails, for instance, fortifies and enhances the growth of hair and nails.
Calcium Support is an excellent supplement to improve damaged hair or nails. It enhances your body's ability to assimilate the calcium from foods you eat. Youthful Skin tablets provide the support your skin needs as it ages, reducing dehydration, wrinkles and the thinning of the skin. Radiant Skin helps flush out toxins that can cause eruptions and irritation, leaving your skin clear and glowing.
9. Drink to your health
While it's best to consult an expert trained in Maharishi Ayurveda for your own personal water recipe designed for your specific imbalances, here are general recommendations for the three body types.
Boil two quarts of water. Add spices and cover to steep. Pour it into your thermos and drink throughout the day. Drinking beverages at a warm temperature is best for Vata types.
Same procedure as above; only let the water cool to room temperature before drinking.
Same procedure as above; only sip the water hot, during and after meals.
10. BOOST YOUR RELATIONSHIP HEALTH
At the basis of all relationships is the human heart. The heart is the seat of Sadhaka Pitta, the sub-dosha of Pitta concerned with emotions. To use modern terminology, Sadhaka Agni is related to the neurohormones that are located in the brain and all over the body, including the heart. The neurohormones located in the heart send signals to the brain to register depression or happiness, depending on how the individual processes an experience.
The reason this example is important to understand is that everyone needs to respect the special psychoemotional makeup of others. Rather than blame them for reacting differently than we do, it's better to develop understanding and tolerance, based on this knowledge of different mind-body types that Maharishi Ayurveda has given us.
If you are feeling irritated with someone, it's best to look to your own physiology rather than blame him or her. You might eat a juicy pear, for instance, to pacify Sadhaka Pitta, which can cause irritation or frustration if it's out of balance. Taking Organic Rose Petal Spread on a daily basis is a powerful way to pacify Sadhaka Pitta. If you are feeling sad or are facing emotional adversity, Blissful Joy can help smooth out your moods. Blissful Joy is a completely natural
These articles provide a great resource from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians on the knowledge, practices, products, and applications of Maharishi Ayurveda.