A holistic ancient Indian healing practice, integrating Ayurveda or Ayurvedic principles into your day can make a world of difference to your energy levels – physically and mentally, all while uplifting your soul and enhancing your wellbeing.
Ayurvedic medicine believes there are four interrelated principles that can feed, or deplete, your vitality. Here’s a look at each one and how you can help them flourish.
1. Agni: your digestive fire
Viewed as a sacred, transformative element, your agni is directly involved in energy production – breaking down the food you eat and turning it into energy, and helping nutrients get where they need to be through metabolic processes.
To support your agni, eat mindfully by taking in the colours, flavours and textures of your meal. Focus on chewing your food rather than inhaling it, and eating in a peaceful setting free from smart devices – practices that will enhance digestion and nutrient absorption.
Exercise suited to your constitution – along with a fibre-rich, wholefood diet and adequate hydration can also help remove toxins or ama by promoting regular bowel movements.
2. Ojas: your heart and tissues
Ojas relates to the ‘heart’ of your tissues, from the blood and bone through to muscles, fat and reproductive tissue. This means the way your body functions is linked to the state of your ojas – on a physical and mental level.
To nurture your ojas, it is important to embrace positive relationships because ojas is closely connected to your heart centre. And listen to your body; give yourself permission to rest when you’re feeling worn out or feeling fragile.
Aim for a good night’s sleep (seven to eight hours of it) every night, to provide the chance to truly rest and recover. You can enhance sleep quality by going to bed and waking at the same time each day, and by creating a bedtime ritual that nourishes your soul – whether that be meditating, doing breathing exercises, having a bubble bath, or curling up with a cup of herbal tea.
3. Tejas: your solar energy
Relating to dosha, the fire element, tejas overlaps with agni and is all about the inner you – driving your digestion, and your drive. Because it can’t be separated from agni, nourishing tejas goes back to caring for agni.
4. Prana: your vital life force
The Ayurvedic term for energy, your prana flows through your nadi or energy channels, and is understood as being a physical and mental energy state. Because prana is a moving element, it thrives with movement opposed to being stagnant and sedentary – so you can feed your prana through yoga, pranayamas (yogic breathing exercises) and simply moving your body.
A diet rich in wholefoods can help to replenish your prana, but highly processed foods can have the opposite effect.
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