Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healthcare system was developed more than 5000 years ago. Ayurveda believes that the foundation of good health lies in striking a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It offers a holistic approach to achieving good health and wellness through yoga, herbal medicine, massage therapy, and dietary changes. The Sanskrit word ‘Arogya’ means freedom from disease and being healthy. ‘Rog’ means ‘disease’ thus a-roga means ‘without disease’. By following its practices and teachings, one can walk into the path of Arogya with Ayurveda. Let’s read further on how to achieve this.
‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. Yoga aims to achieve union between the body and the mind to overcome any kind of suffering and attain freedom. Yoga makes use of breathing techniques, exercise, and meditation. Postures in yoga are called ‘asanas. In Ayurveda, there are several types of Yoga which are classified on the function they emphasise on. The popular styles of Yoga are Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Bikram, Jivamukti, and Yin Yoga. Some of the health benefits of Yoga are:
Ayurveda draws a lot of wisdom from nature in treating ailments using herbs and spices. These herbs and spices are used to cleanse the body, boost immunity, and promote wellbeing. Some popular Ayurvedic herbs are Tulsi, Shatavari, Amlaki, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Turmeric, Neem, etc. They are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which contribute to their health benefits. These herbs and spices can be introduced in small quantities in your diet for you to reap their benefits. A common way of ingesting these herbs and spices is by blending them to make an Ayurvedic tea.
Here are some of the advantages of using Ayurvedic herbs:
Massage therapy is an important facet of Ayurveda wherein herbal oils are applied topically on the body and certain massage techniques are applied. ‘Abhyangam’ is a treatment or procedure which means body massage with oil. Oils such as coconut oil and sesame oil are used along with other oils which have been infused with herbs. As for the massage technique, there are three types of movements – active (strong pressure), passive (delicate stroking) and persuasive (pinching or kneading the small muscles with the thumb and forefinger). Meditation and prayer are typically performed prior to massage therapy. Apart from Abhyangam, the other Ayurvedic massage techniques are:
These massage techniques can have a host of desirable effects on the mind and body. Some of the benefits of Ayurvedic massage therapy are:
By performing the above mentioned Ayurvedic practices, one can walk into the path of Aroghya or well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. These holistic Ayurvedic practices are designed to balance the three doshas of the body. There are three doshas known as vata, pitta, and kapha. These three energies control the formation and functions of the body on the physical and emotional levels. Ayurveda believes that once the doshas are balanced by practicing the aforementioned Ayurvedic techniques and practices, one can walk into the path of Aroghya. However, these Ayurvedic practices and treatments should not be used as a substitute for conventional medicines and treatments. You should consult with your physician before taking on any of the treatments and practices mentioned.