Ayurveda is an ancient system of health originally developed by sages in India. Its name means the science of life. Ayur=life, Veda=science, or knowledge.
Ayurveda concentrates on preventative care. By focusing on reducing stress, and following a healthy diet, Ayurveda encourages a lifestyle that helps people stay healthy, and helps avoid diseases and unhealthy conditions. Beyond preventative care, Ayurveda uses the natural world, and substances known to work treat and prevent diseases and conditions.
The Ayurveda diet is simple, and classically Mediterranean. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies; cut back on refined sugars, refined foods, and sweets. Have a colorful diet, filled with flavors and nourishment. It's simple, and so different from a classical Western diet. I highly recommend trying it, even if slowly. The benefits are incredible. Over the years, I've been following a Mediterranean style diet as closely as possible. I've experienced less tiredness throughout the day, greater concentration, healthier skin and you guessed it, healthier hair!
Because I focus on combining nature and science to support healthier living, I love Ayurveda approaches for a healthy lifestyle. My favorites, of course, are remedies and lifestyles that reduce hair fall—aka male pattern baldness.
Ayurveda believes that the body and mind are highly connected, and that therefore, the mind is able to heal and guide the body to a healthier place. The way to first health comes from growing our awareness, balancing it, and transferring the balance to your body.
Bringing balance is a full time job, and the first thing to do is to start. No intimidation from the thought of meditation, no fear of the thought of changing your diet. It's about beginning the balance. Even starting is starting to balance; even the thought of learning something new is a start.
We've discussed meditation before; read about it here. We're gonna discuss the mind and body types, the 6 tastes, and the stories of the colors of our foods.
Ayurveda says that the body and mind has a few types, and that our behaviors and actions can show us what we are and therefore, what we need. By understanding specific summaries of our behavioral tendencies, sleep patterns, and social interactions, we can understand our strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge leads to greater self awareness.
Ayurveda summarizes tastes and flavors into 6 major groups: Sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the tastes projects the specific way that food acts on the body and mind. Through knowing your body-mind type, it becomes easy to understand what foods will best balance your strengths and weaknesses. By eating more of what strengthens your weaknesses, and balancing the things that help your strengths, awareness and balance become your norm, and mind-body health follows.
Sleep is important. Spend a few nights figuring out the right amount for you, and try to stay consistently in a range of hours that leaves you well rested (but not too rested!).
Living with nature is so important. Spending time outdoors has been proven to lower stress, lower blood pressure, and heighten self awareness. Put your phone in your backpack and spend an hour contemplating the natural world. Your breathing rate will decrease, and you'll start thinking your own wonderful thoughts.
Give some time to taking care of your body. Work out, do some cardio. Go for a run, or start biking to the places you can, instead of driving.
An Ayurvedic lifestyle is simple and wonderful. It doesn't take much extra time, and doesn't cost too much more than your regular lifestyle. It'll help lower stress, keep your skin clear, reduce hair loss and hair fall, and keep your heart healthy. Try it—it's amazing!