Heart Health and Ojas
From Tragedy to a Healthier, Happy Heart
From the office window I watched a head bobbing into view and out, just beyond the backyard fence. The stiff brim of a hat shaded the face I’d never encountered, but it was time to introduce myself to my neighbor. Sheryl was busy raking. Within moments we were chatting, as she kindly welcomed my family to the neighborhood and apologized for the state of her lawn. As we spoke, she lamented having to keep up the yard and home by herself. Then she confessed the reason – her forty-three-year-old husband had died suddenly on a hunting trip last January. My imagination reeled with ghastly images until she whispered that it was his heart – a very sudden, unanticipated occurrence.
Commiseration aside, I know that we’ll continue the conversation in the coming weeks, but her loss got me thinking about hearts and family. I thought about what I do and don’t do to take care of mine. Suddenly all the excuses for not watching my diet closely enough, for not exercising consistently, seemed selfish. Heart health and preventive care are not a vanity issue. It’s a real family value that touches thousands of Americans every year. The United States has the highest rate of heart health issues in the world. Over 56 million mothers, fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters are affected yearly.
High-stress jobs, fast-food habits and sedentary living all contribute and lead to one of the most expensive medical conditions to address. Other health issues aside, it’s vastly easier to prevent most heart problems in the first place, and that’s where the Maharishi Ayurvedic approach expands the western medicine approach.
Ojas is the vital substance that maintains life, promotes bliss and longevity. Its center is the heart. According to ancient Maharishi Ayurvedic science, this finest by-product of digestion, and the master coordinator of all activities of the mind and body, leads to bliss, contentment, vitality and longevity. It is the connective expression between consciousness and matter at the most refined end of the material spectrum. Modern science has not discovered it yet.
The Maharishi Ayurvedic approach to heart health is, however, connected to modern science in its recommendations to eat heart-healthy foods, exercise regularly and reduce stress. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, exercise increases heart strength, depletes excess fat and brings a feeling of lightness to the body. All these, plus the life-sustaining practice of keeping a regular routine, also increase ojas.
The strain of modern living and intense periods of high emotional and physical stress, as my neighbor’s family experienced, can challenge even the healthiest system. Giving the body additional help through time-tested ayurvedic herbal formulations can help a heart ward off excess stress. The Maharishi Ayurveda formula, Cardio Support, provides nutritional support for the cardiac muscle, helps to cleanse cardiovascular channels and supports a healthy response to high-stress lifestyles, food impurities and electromagnetic exposure.
Tragedies shared, as I found in my backyard conversation, can bring people together. I look forward to getting to know my neighbor better. Sheryl’s confidence was touching and, though she doesn’t know it yet, was also a nudge towards a heart-healthier lifestyle for me and my family.
Other recommendations from the Maharishi Ayurvedic approach include:
- Happiness is divine medicine for the heart; find ways to experience more of it every day.
- Cultivate a positive attitude and uplifting emotions.
- Create a pleasing and restful home environment.
- Every day spend some time doing what gives you contentment and happiness.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Enjoy natural beauty.
- Consider practicing uplifting aromatherapy.
- Reduce exposure to, and walk away from, situations that distress or anger you.
- Avoid mental work, reading or work before bedtime.
- Limit the amount of time spent watching TV.
- Have your meals in a pleasant, quiet space and avoid reading or watching TV while you eat.
- Follow a vegetarian diet.
- Make organic, fresh foods the center of your diet.
- Limit rich foods that are high in fat.
- Sip relaxing herbal teas.
- Avoid coffee and carbonated beverages. Caffeine may increase blood pressure.
- Use mild rather than overly pungent spices in your cooking.
- Avoid fast-food restaurants and eat primarily home-cooked meals.
- Get enough exercise every day.
- Avoid worry, anger and pressured work habits.
- If you’re under pressure, feeling nervous or worried, give yourself an ayurvedic oil massage (abhyanga) regularly.
- If you’re under stress, practice the Transcendental Meditation® program, which has been proven in more than 600 scientific studies to reduce stress and related cardiovascular issues.
- For free ayurvedic recipes, self-care guides, podcasts and newsletters, be sure to visit www.mapi.com.
Cardio Support offers nutritional support for the cardiac muscle, helps cleanse the cardiovascular channels, and supports a healthy response to a high-stress lifestyle, impurities in the food, and electromagnetic exposure.
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.