How to simply incorporate Ayurveda in your day to day

Our mission here at SIS is to help you become a better YOU. By eating healthily, keeping fit, finding balance, controlling your stress levels and in general to be HEALTHY & HAPPY. 

We first heard about AYURVEDA 10 years ago when we were just starting out with SIS, at that time we had no clue what it meant or what the benefits were. We quickly discovered that this ancient life science represents exactly what we believe in.

Ayurveda considers human health to be the result of factors that take place both inside and outside the body. Creating harmony between body, mind and your environment is crucial in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an Eastern philosophy and healing method that uses simple and natural remedies such as nutrition, lifestyle, medicinal herbs and breathing exercises, but also meditation and yoga. Ayurveda assumes that the health of the mind influences the health of the body and vice versa.

Ayurveda approaches everything from the positive side, so from health and well-being and not from illness. Ayurveda is a natural health system in which the self-healing capacity of the body is paramount. In books about Ayurveda you read that doctors themselves are unable to cure a sick person. Doctors give the body a helping hand to initiate the healing process, but the extremely intelligent nature and body do all the necessary work. Ayurveda offers support in the field of nutrition, lifestyle, treatments and natural medication.

Ayurveda is not only for those who are sick or unhealthy, the preventive health system is for everyone who wants to feel vital and optimize their health. Education and guidelines are essential to enable every individual to take control of their health and to become the best version of themselves! Too often we are on the lookout for a magic medicine that will solve everything for us, but your health requires work, discipline, dedication and a proactive approach. Ayurveda offers many tools to sustainably reclaim, maintain and / or optimize your health. You can consult an Ayurvedic doctor, but there is also a lot that you can do at home.

Here our best Ayurvedic tips and tricks how to simply incorporate ayurveda in your day to day:

To know what is best for you in Ayurveda terms you need to know your Ayurveda body-mind type (Dosha). An Ayurvedic doctor can determine this for you but you can also do this simple test to work out which Dosha you are, click here:

Massage:

In India it is very common to have a massage every now and then. It balances your body and mind. But you can also give yourself a massage, this is called ‘Abhyanga’ in Ayurvedic terms and can easily be included into your daily routine. This Ayurvedic massage is an expression of self-love from head to toe with warm oil.

Touch is an important human need. Massage has a positive influence on hormone balance. The skin is the largest organ of the body; it produces naturally occurring anti-depressants, anti-cancer and anti-ageing substances and also hormones that improve circulation. Ayurvedic self-massage is relaxing, energetic and nurturing. It is nourishing for body, mind and soul. A short massage of 5 minutes is sufficient, but 20-30 minutes is better. The massage is best performed in the morning, to support the energy levels throughout the day.

How to give yourself a massage:

  • Reserve time for your massage
  • 5-10 minutes is enough time to massage the oil over your body
  • Start with a small amount of oil in your hands and rub the oil on the scalp and the hair with your fingertips. If you prefer not to apply oil to your hair, omit this step
  • Vigorously massage every part of your body with the oil
  • Use long strokes on your limbs and circular movements over your joints, chest and abdomen
  • Allow the oil to work in for 20-30 minutes before you shower, but if you don’t have time, you can also rub the oil onto the skin instead of using soap. Soap dries out the skin. It is best to shower without using soap. The thin layer of oil that remains on the skin after bathing keeps the skin hydrated. Instead of soap you can also try a herbal bath powder.
  • Do this daily

Choose a massage oil that fits your Dosha.

For instance:

  • Vata type: Sesame oil
  • Pitta type: Coconut oil
  • Kapha type: Sunflower oil

The effects are enhanced by the use of an oil infused with Ayurvedic herbs and flowers.

Nutrition:

Ayurvedic cooking consists of different guidelines for different people. Every person, in spirit, soul and body, is unique, food that is suitable for one person can cause disease for another. This has to do with the ratio of the relevant Doshas and our Prakruti (constitution).

Western medicine indicates that all adults can eat 2,000 calories a day, assuming that everybody has the same metabolism. However, Ayurveda recognizes 3 different body types (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), each of which naturally digest their food differently and therefore have different nutritional needs.

The philosophy is that if you know what constitution you have, you will also know which foods are healthy for you or not. Then you will not have to count calories or ban certain foods. No, from your constitution you know what is good for you and what is less good for you, but you can basically eat everything.

In general, Ayurvedic cooking means that you eat fresh meals prepared with care and attention at regular times. The intention is that you are consciously busy with food. According to Ayurveda unconscious eating moments, for example eating in front of the TV, at business lunches or behind the computer are not advisable, they disturb the Vata. Another important guideline is that lunch should be the largest meal of the day and breakfast the smallest. It is recommended to eat warm meals and regularly drink a glass of water that is not colder than the body temperature. Alcohol and coffee are not recommended. Ayurvedic dishes should also contain all six flavours: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, sharp and astringent. Ayurvedic guidelines also have a lot in common with the contemporary healthy eating guidelines: eating less sugar, fat and salt, paying attention to eating whole foods etc.

What Ayurveda considers important in nutrition (in relation to meals and a person’s constitution):

  • The taste
  • The quality
  • Warm or cold effect
  • Oily or dry food
  • Solid or liquid
  • Eating seasonal produce

In Ayurvedic cooking, fresh ingredients are used as much as possible, such as: vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts, milk, rice, honey and various herbs. Whenever possible, canned, frozen or pre-packaged food with preservatives should be avoided. Once you have learned to cook the Ayurvedic way, you will experience that it is a varied, balanced and healthy way of cooking and eating. In addition to traditional Eastern dishes, you can also easily apply the Ayurvedic way of cooking when preparing more Western-inspired dishes.

There are several free ayurvedic cooking courses online available, as well as many youtube video´s if you want to learn more about ayurvedic cooking.

Sports & Exercise:

Ayurveda considers exercise as important. However, excessive exercise, such as top-level sports, is seen as unhealthy. When you enjoy exercising, you will be more motivated. Therefore, choose a sport that suits you, your Dosha type and your constitution.

Slim people, finely built and fast in their movements (Vata type), are best to go ​​for a slow and light sport that keeps the body moving for 15 to 20 minutes. For example walking, swimming, dancing and cycling. They have to be careful not to overdo it and possibly move to indoor sports in the winter because they don’t tolerate the cold so well.

People with a medium to strong physique (Pitta types) who have a good temperature balance can make a little more effort. Suitable sports are: water sports such as swimming and surfing, all types of sports that are practiced outdoors (skiing, climbing, cycling, jogging and all ball and team sports).

People who have a naturally slightly heavier build (Kapha types), benefit particularly from regular sports. A Kapha type may also exercise more intensively and for longer. We recommend: jogging, long-distance running and rowing.

Ayurveda recommends daily exercise as part of your daily routine, at least 30 minutes and preferably in the Kapha period of the day (6 a.m. – 10 a.m.). The evening is the best time to relax, rest and regenerate. It is better to spend 15 – 30 minutes every day rather than once or twice a week exhausting the body for a couple of hours.

In the summer months it is better to avoid doing your daily exercise in the heat of the day. In general it is better to do more sports in spring, autumn and winter rather than in the summer.

“Healthy exercise” means using half of your physical strength from an Ayurvedic point of view. This means you should still be able to talk easily, you sweat slightly, the breathing becomes deeper but you can still breathe in and out through your nose. If you want, you can do small intervals with a higher load (about 80% of the maximum load, until you really start to sweat). A heart rate monitor is ideal for support and also gives you a guideline for determining your personal maximum load.

Ayurveda recommends three pillars of physical activity: strength training (eg “sun salutation”), flexibility (eg. yoga, stretching) and endurance (eg. jogging, cycling, swimming, Nordic walking, fast walking).

Yoga / Meditation:

In Ayurveda, yoga and meditation are essential for balancing the individual Doshas. According to Ayurveda, yoga and meditation exercises should be part of your daily schedule.

Yoga and meditation reduce mental stress and help you to relax and unwind.

Meditation:

Meditation is a technique that has been around for thousands of years and is aimed at increasing self-awareness, finding inner peace and dealing better with stress. By meditating you will find that you will feel better, both physically and mentally, and that you will gain more understanding for others and the world around you. Some people feel that meditation is only accessible to yogis, monks, or highly trained Buddhist masters. But meditation does not have to be as difficult as it seems. The main characteristic of meditation is that it is focused on the here and now.

Meditation ensures that you have more inner peace. This is because you are no longer distracted by all kinds of busy thoughts, there is room for new possibilities and insights in your life. Your thought processes become calmer, you are less rushed and you release tensions more easily.

Meditation helps against fatigue – which is often caused by wanting to do too much and thinking too much – and makes the mind clear and rested again. It will also help against insomnia, migraines, anxiety, high blood pressure and other stress-related physical conditions. If you meditate regularly, you will get more mental and physical energy. You feel better and therefore relationships with others become more harmonious.

Do you find meditation difficult? If you would like to learn more then click here:

Yoga:

Yoga ensures that body and mind are properly connected with each other. Various postures (Asanas) and breathing exercises (Pranayama) are used for this. This ensures a perfect balance.

Are you a stranger to Yoga but curious to know more? There are several yoga instruction videos on youtube. For example ´Yoga with Adriene´ is a very nice one. She introduces you to the basics of yoga in a calm and pleasant way. If you are completely new to yoga, the video below is very nice. Step by step you learn poses that are not too difficult. If you are more advanced, Adriene also has videos for back pain, muscle pain, better sleep, you name it. Highly recommended!

Take responsibility for your health into your own hands!

If you would like to use your vacation time to restore a healthier lifestyle in a completely natural way an Ayurveda program is the right choice for you! We offer short Ayurveda programs, designed to get to know and understand Ayurveda, but also intensive cures like the Panchakarma, a total detox therapy of at least three weeks. Our Ayurveda programs are authentic and supervised by qualified Indian Ayurvedic practioners. 

For a complete overview of our Ayurveda holidays, click here

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