A timeless guide for the golden phase
Humanity has always been on the quest of increasing longevity. There is something very fascinating about life. Our species has been intrigued to the extent where it has made us travel interstellar distances just to look for miniscule sighs of life; after all we are a species which lives in hope.
Several centuries ago the Vedas elaborately mentioned how incorporating some simple activities will enable us to harness the full potential of our mind, body and spirit. The scriptures vividly mentioned how making Ayurveda a part of our lives would enable us to live a long and healthy life.
In Ayurvedic jargon aging is referred as Jara or Vardhakya and is defined as that which has become old by the act wearing out. According to Ayurveda, Jara (aging) is not a disease but a natural phenomenon like hunger, thirst or sleep.
Ayurveda being one of the world’s most authoritative mind, body and spirit medicinal systems offers various concepts of the aging process. It brings wellness and balances out any ‘vikruti’ i.e., illness by keeping a check on the doshas which are namely vata, pitta and kapha.
Ayurveda describes anti-aging as Rasayana which means clearing the channels for natural flow of matter and energy. It aims at maintaining excellent physical and mental health in mature age through combination of nourishing diet, wholesome activities and gentle herbs.
The notion behind adopting Rasayana treatment via Ayurvedic remedies is to improve the body’s own mechanism of repair and detoxification thereby maintaining better immunity, circulation, musculoskeletal strength and mobility along with balanced cognitive functions. As these remedies align our body to those with the natural forces, enabling us to experience blissfulness and be at ease with our self.
Below are simple and effective ways through which one can be at the best of the golden period of life.
One should wake-up with the sun, it is a proven fact that people who begin their morning with the sun have more energy throughout the day. Dinacharya should be practiced first thing in the morning in order to maintain connection to the circadian rhythms of nature. It also means that one would have a lot more time to focus on the things which they really want to do.
Studies have revealed that with aging adults insomnia becomes more and more prevalent. This in turn opens the floodgates to countless other neurological and physiological disorders in the body. As the body ages, it loses its coping up mechanism. It becomes increasingly difficult to function with lack of sleep.
Early morning yoga can make a world of a difference as it increases mobility and strengthens the bones and muscles. It improves blood-circulation and boosts the production of anti-oxidants which help in reversing aging.
As the brain loses its capacity to form new neurons and even old neuro-synaptic become week. Yoga and meditation fortify those connections, thus boosting memory and motor skills.
The oxygen carrying capacity of the body decreases with age; a relaxed session of Pranyama and Kalpalbhati, revitalizes and refuels the body. Pairing these with Anulom-Vilom reinforces the respiratory system thus increasing the oxygen carrying capacity.
When pranayama is practiced daily, it awakens the mind, it cultivates positive energy and restores physical and mental balance. There are various types of pranayama which we can practice according to our doshas like Nadi Shodhana, Neti, Bhastrika , Jratak etc.
Another advantage of waking up early is that there is less noise and disturbance. So, during this time one can practice ‘dhyana’ or meditation. Meditation diminishes depression and promotes a positive a positive outlook towards life.
As excessive rumination and worry often occurs as we age; meditation teaches the difference between “excessive worry” and normal age appropriate introspection and late-life considerations.
A proper diet is the corner stone of healthy diet. We are what we eat, eating simple foods eases the load of the digestive system. In old age the body loses its functionality, and it is therefore recommended to eat according to ones doshas.
Ayurvedic diet is based on identifying the dominant doshas and eating food to balance them out. It is suggested to follow an Ayurvedic diet because it promotes better health of the body and mind both.
Before planning a balanced diet for the elderly we should keep in mind the Prakrati i.e. the psychosomatic constitution, Ritucharya i.e. season and weather, extent of physical activity and mobility, current nutritional status, and status of digestive power. It is only after doing a thorough analysis that we should prescribe appropriate nutraceuticals in the diet plan.
Herbs like Giloy, Gudduchi, Ginseng and Bramhi, are powerful and potent in reversing the signs of aging. They possess anti-inflammatory properties which revive skin tissues, aid restoration, speed up recovery, repair and enhance memory.
The pitta dosha emphasizes on cooling, energizing foods and limits spices, nuts, and seeds. The vata dosha favors warm, moist, and grounding foods while restricting, dried fruits, bitter herbs, and raw veggies. The kapha dosha limits heavy foods like nuts, seeds, and oils in favor of fruits, veggies, and legumes.
Going to bed is as important as getting up early is. A lot of the regenerative work and repair while the body rests. It is suggested to avoid having caffeinated and sugar drinks 4-5 hours before sleeping.
Ayurveda prescribes having warm milk with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon just before sleep as they help in detoxifying the body.
During old age our body requires more time is to heal, having a proper sleeping routine in this phase helps in rejuvenating the body effectively.
In an era which has glamorized Botox, muscle building supplements and where health-care institutions prescribe needless tests and exorbitant treatments for their own benefit. Ayurveda rekindles us with the wisdom to celebrate aging, making it a joyful journey. In a world where running in loop 24X7, chasing unrealistic and ephemeral sensory gratifications been generalized; Ayurveda rewards us for taking a breather and feeling grateful for what nature has blessed us with.
We have evolved over millions of years and looking for superficial answers to any bodily discomfort is like fixing a crack in a dam with a band aid. Ayurveda empowers us to fix the problem from its root cause.
We at Shreevarma have the expertise to introduce you to the miracles of Ayurveda and yoga. Our acharayas and yoga gurus will help you and your loved ones at every step of this journey. As we believe that it is with care and compassion that real and remarkable change can be achieved.