Ayurveda or the ‘knowledge of life’ is a life science that is based on ancient teachings originating from India. The wisdom of ayurveda is based on promoting lifestyle habits that create good overall health for the mind body and soul by creating balance within and with the environment. Through this balance a person can enjoy wellness based on prevention rather cure.
What is meant by holistic wellness?
A holistic wellness approach to treat the whole – mental, physical and spiritual – to create a balance for wellbeing rather than simply treating individual symptoms. Ayurveda is all about leading a lifestyle that is natural to you along with natural therapies to create harmony, which is the heart of good health and wellbeing.
Wellness helps us provide care for complete wellbeing so that we can function at our best level but also understand when certain aspects of our lives need extra care. By listening to ourselves we are able to avoid to a large extent becoming run down or unnecessarily sick. It also helps us maintain a calmer mindset which is very important.
Why is the concept of holistic wellness important to modern times
The modern world is fast paced with hyper productivity being the focus. This has resulted in many people falling physically sick more often and even more worrying, many suffer with mental problems which they feel they have to hide in order to continue functioning in society. We have so much access to entertainment and possessions but yet many do not enjoy wellness or wellbeing. This is why ayurvedic ancient wisdom for modern society has found such a revival. It encourages people to understand their own body type and composition and live a lifestyle that suits them.
The beauty of ayurvedic teachings is that despite their ancient origins they are easy to adapt to the requirements of the modern world, while still providing all the benefits. It is all about listening to yourself, knowing yourself and understanding yourself and not simply following the latest fad or trend. It is about adopting a lifestyle that nurtures all aspect of you, as an individual. In a time when we forget ourselves to be part of society or to fit in online, ayurveda provides the guidance to achieving holistic wellness for a better quality of life.
Ayurvedic principles related to holistic wellness
According to ayurveda there are three main elements in the human body – vata or wind, kapha or water and pitta or fire. We all have a unique combination of these elements that form our constitution with one element usually being more dominant that the others. When there is an imbalance in our natural combination of these vital elements, we start to feel out of sorts and/or unwell. Ayurveda underlines the importance of maintaining this balance through a lifestyle that creates harmony between our mind, body and soul, to help us lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Swasthya is an ayurvedic concept that means ‘being content in one’s natural state of inner harmony’ and is the philosophy those following the ayurvedic approach must adopt. It is about keeping the digestive fire alive so that tissues receive nutrients, and that waste is removed from the body. It is about keeping in a pleasant state for the sensory and motor organs. When all of this is in harmony then according to ayurveda, a person can be called healthy.
Ayurvedic rituals for holistic wellness
There are many ayurvedic habits and therapies that can be adopted and done to achieve holistic wellness. It is ideal to have an ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner to find out your body composition and gain guidance on treatments, diet and movement that would best benefit you. There are certain lifestyle changes, tweaks and habits that would be benefit everyone and you can find out about these either at a consultation or by following ayurveda courses online.
An ayurvedic detox is about drawing out ama or toxins and regaining balance by eliminating excess vata, kapha or pitta so that the digestive fire can function properly. Panchakarma treatment is a series of five ayurvedic therapies that have been adapted to suit modern requirements, to cleanse and rejuvenate the spirit, mind and body.
Done using proven ancient techniques and medicated herbal oils, ayurvedic massages are well trusted for their various health benefits. It helps stimulate tissue, blood flow and to aid with removing ama or toxins from the body.
In ayurvedic teachings food is our primary medicine and an important means towards balancing our emotional, physical and mental health. Good dietary and nutritional practices strengthen our digestive fire or agni which helps us gain the maximum nutrition and remove toxins from the body. It promotes eating seasonal fresh food, eating until you are satisfied not full, taking time to enjoy each mouthful, using lots of herbs and spices during preparation and focusing on including types of foods and cooking methods best suited to your dosha composition. Following an ayurvedic nutrition course will be highly beneficial to understand how to incorporate a suitable ayurvedic diet into your daily life.
Yoga and meditation
You may think that with your busy lifestyle there is not time to include yoga and meditation. However, by waking up ten minutes earlier you can include a short yoga practice to your morning or evenings. Yoga helps strengthen the muscles while making them more flexible. It is also actually a form of meditation. You may feel as though meditation is not something you can commit to but again ayurveda advises gentle mindfulness being present in the moment. This gentle practice will help your mind have a few moments of calm and strength.
Ayurvedic lifestyle habits
The beauty of ayurveda is its adaptability and flexibility so that the lifestyle habits are easy to adopt in a modern lifestyle and still be extremely effective. Easy habits such as hydrating as you wake up, a few minutes for yoga stretches or movement, making time for self-massages twice or thrice a week, adding a few minutes of quiet time for yourself, eating seasonally are just a handful of the easy to adopt ayurvedic lifestyle habits.
Holistic wellness is about looking after the whole of you, paying attention to the mind, body and soul for complete health and wellbeing. The ancient ayurvedic wisdoms transcend time and thousands of years later, even today help people nurture a holistic wellness approach to achieve being healthy and content.