Growing old may be inevitable, but it is definitely possible to extend longevity and delay the ageing process. You cannot stop your chronological ageing, which refers to the actual age of the person. However, you can control your biological ageing, which is based on the physiological changes that occur in the body due to cellular and molecular factors (1). Let’s understand what Ayurveda says about ageing.
Ayurveda and Ageing
In Ayurveda, ageing is called Jara or Vardhakya. Ayurveda does not consider Jara a disease but a natural phenomenon like hunger and thirst. Jara is accompanied by the process of decay, leading to degenerative changes (1).
Some of the common factors that influence Jara include (1):
- Kala Parinama: the physical and mental transformation that occurs with time
- Prakriti: anatomical, physiological and psychological constitution
- Doshas: biological energy systems that govern all the bodily functions
- Prana: subtle life energy
- Ojas: subtle immunity
- Tejas: subtle fire or energy
- Ahara: diet
- Achara: lifestyle habits and routines, and
- Jatharagni: digestive fire
When all these factors stay in harmony, you grow old healthily.
Ayurvedic Strategies To Manage Old Age or Jara
Dinacharya (Daily Regimen)
Ayurveda recommends following Dinacharya to lead a healthy and disease-free life, especially in old age. Dinacharya helps reduce stress levels and improve longevity, thereby allowing you to grow gracefully (2).
Some of the common guidelines of Dinacharya include the time of waking and sleeping, hygiene, massage, cleansing procedures, bowel habits, and practices for taking care of eyes, ears, nose and skin (1).
Vyayama (Physical Activity)
According to Ayurveda, it is essential to remain physically active and exercise every day when you are growing old.
Exercising can help strengthen heart muscles, lower blood pressure levels, raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. It also helps prevent several diseases, like diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, etc. (2).
Nish Acharya (Night Regimen)
Ayurveda lays great emphasis on sleep. Sleeping is essential for repairing damaged cells and rejuvenating the body and mind. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends relaxing and feeling comfortable before going to sleep (2).
Ritucharya (Seasonal Regimen)
Ayurveda focuses on living in harmony with nature. Therefore, it recognises the impact of seasonal changes on the health of the body and mind. According to Ayurveda, you must adapt your lifestyle with each season to balance your Doshas and control ageing (2).
Eating a balanced diet is crucial for healthy ageing. According to Ayurveda, you must eat a wholesome and nutritious meal full of fruits, vegetables and greens in accordance with your Doshas to promote longevity (1) (2). Furthermore, Ayurveda also suggests following some basic principles while eating food, such as:
- Eat only when the last meal is digested (2).
- Eat your heaviest meal during the midday hours when Jataragni is the strongest (1).
Yoga and Meditation
Yogic practices help improve muscular strength, increase body flexibility, boost respiratory and cardiovascular functions, alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, relieve chronic pain and integrate your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends practising yoga, meditation and pranayama during old age (1).
Ayurveda provides a set of five detoxification, purification and rejuvenation therapies to prevent diseases during old age and promote longevity. These therapies are called Panchakarma and include Vamana or medicated vomiting, Virechana or medicated purgation, Basti or medicated enema, Nasya or nasal administration of herbs and Raktamokshana or bloodletting.
All these therapies help eliminate toxins, restore the smooth functioning of body organs and prevent and treat most age-related diseases and disorders (2).
This therapy involves the use of Rasayana or rejuvenating herbs to enrich nutrition, support metabolism, promote microcirculation and eliminate metabolic waste. It tends to improve mental and physical health and prevent the ill effects of ageing by increasing intelligence and body resistance. Some of the best Rasayana herbs include Shatavari, Amalaki, Ashwagandha, Shilajit, Arjuna, Guggul and Brahmi (2).
On a Final Note
Ayurveda considers ageing as a natural phenomenon. However, it recommends following healthy dietary and lifestyle habits to grow old gracefully and prevent the ill effects of ageing.
Some of these principles include eating wholesome meals at the right times, taking good quality sleep, following Ayurvedic routines of Dinacharya, Nishacharya and Rittucharya, detoxifying through Panchakarma and practising yoga. Ayurveda also recommends the use of Rasayana herbs to promote mental and physical health and improve longevity.
If you also want to promote longevity and enter old age gracefully, start incorporating Rasayana into your lifestyle. You can get the benefits of these herbs with Seniorz Complete Joint Expert from Zanducare.