Give the Gift of Health: Maharishi Ayurveda for the Whole Family

Holidays are family times, and one way to keep the whole family happy and healthy is to give them the gift of health.

This doesn't mean material presents only — you can give every member of your family a gift by organizing your daily schedule around the ayurvedic daily routine. And that doesn't cost a penny.

Take Katie, a mother of three children aged 7, 9 and 11. Each night she starts getting her children ready for bed at 7:00 p.m. "My kids are so much happier and healthier when they get their sleep," she says. "And their sleep is so much deeper when they go to bed during the Kapha time of night, well before 10:00 p.m. And they wake up naturally with the sun during the Vata time of morning, around 6:00 a.m. This helps them feel so much more alert than if they slept late into the morning."

Katie follows this routine even during holidays, planning the big parties and gift exchanges during the day rather than late into the night.

Besides the regular bedtime, serving regular meals at the same time every day helps kids and adults alike stay healthy. Many parents don't realize how many behavioral problems can be caused by irregular eating habits. Hungry kids are cranky kids. "Most behavioral problems can be solved by serving regular meals and getting your kids to bed early," says Kumuda Reddy, M.D., ayurvedic practitioner and author of Super Healthy Kids.

According to Maharishi Ayurveda, digestion peaks at noon. So it's important to eat your main meal at noon, with the heavier foods served then. Breakfast and dinner can be lighter, as the digestive fire isn't as strong then. Katie plans the family's holiday feasts around the noon meal, when the heavier holiday food can be digested more easily. And when you serve your family a lighter, more easily digestible dinner, such as soups, vegetables, and light grains such as couscous, your children will fall asleep easier and sleep deeper.

Serving all six tastes at the meal is another way that you can keep your family's health on track. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, the six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent. A great way to create more balance during the holidays, when the sweet taste is so predominant, is to serve more of the other tastes. A spicy grain and green vegetable dish can counteract the overabundance of sweets by adding more astringent (with the green vegetables) and pungent (with the spicy flavors).

And when your kids are well fed and rested, you'll feel a lot less pressure from behavioral and discipline problems. The holidays will be a lot more fun!

Great Gift Ideas

Do you want to give more meaningful, healthy presents to your loved ones this year? Stressed out about facing the shopping mall and worried that you'll end up with the same old thing? Why not give the gift of health to your family this year. Here are some ideas for healthy, meaningful gifts for everyone on your list.

For the hard-to-buy-for man of the house, try the Youthful Skin Massage Oil for Men, along with Vital Man herbal formula to revitalize and strengthen the male physiology. These products, made especially for men, will say "I love you" by giving them the most precious gift of all, the gift of ideal health.

For the women in the family, try the Youthful Skin Massage Oil for Women, along with Vital Lady herbal formula to reduce mental and physical stress and improve energy and physical stamina.

The family cook will enjoy receiving an ayurvedic spice mix of your choice — Calming Vata, Cooling Pitta, or Stimulating Kapha.

Teenagers on your list will love the luxury of the Soothing Herbal Massage Oil, cooling Organic Rose Water facial spray, and soothing Jasmine Herbal Soap.

Stocking Stuffers

Kids and adults alike enjoy aroma therapy, and you can choose their favorite scents from our Therapeutic Aroma line of purest essential oils from flowers and trees. These make great stocking stuffers, with a wide range of exotic scents.

Or select the soothing Jasmine Herbal Soap or refreshing Rose Herbal Soap for a burst of cleansing aromatherapy. These natural soaps are made without irritating synthetics, and contain only pure, natural ingredients to balance the body and mind.

Other exotic stocking stuffers include Suraj Sandalwood Incense, and Organic Rose Water to gently refresh and cleanse the skin.

For that Special Someone

Do you have someone on your list who already has everything, or someone so special they're hard to buy for?

Here's a special way to say "I love you": our royal Youthful Skin Line. These beautifully packaged products, made with pure essential oils, include Youthful Skin Cleansing Gel, Youthful Skin Herbal Soap, Youthful Skin Toner, Youthful Skin Oil, and Youthful Skin Cream. They'll be feeling the love all through the year.

We hope you'll enjoy giving the gift of health — and have a healthy and happy holiday season.

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.