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Pranayama in Ayurveda: Harnessing the Breath for Vitality and Balance

Pranayama, the ancient yogic practice of breath control, holds a significant place in Ayurveda, the holistic science of life. Rooted in the understanding that life force (prana) exists in the breath, Ayurveda recognizes pranayama as a powerful tool for fostering physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

The Intricacies of the Nervous System in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, holds a profound understanding of the nervous system’s role in maintaining overall health and well-being. In this blog, we delve into the fascinating intricacies of the nervous system through the lens of Ayurveda. By exploring the principles, practices, and remedies that Ayurveda offers, we can gain a deeper appreciation of the profound connection between the mind, body, and spirit.

body brushing

Body Brushing

Dry brushing (also known as garshana) is a traditional Ayurvedic technique that promotes softer skin, better circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system, helps reduce cellulite, and improves sluggish skin. Since the skin is the largest organ we need to consistently reduce the body’s toxic load. Dead skin cells on the body can build up and prevent our bodies from detoxing properly. Brushing the skin with the dry bristles stimulates the skin as well as the lymphatic system by increasing the blood flow. The gentle friction and the pressure of the brush allows the release of stored toxins under the skin.

Kitchari

The goal of Ayurveda is to remove the root cause of disease and balance the doshas. There are many ways to achieve this optimal state of health and one of them is through combining diet and naturally detoxing the body. Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that is prepared with white rice and yellow mung bean. It is cooked in ghee (clarified butter that has the milk solids removed) and spices to cleanse the body. Essentially, this dish can increase agni, the digestive fire, balance the body and mind, and remove excess toxins in the body.

Oil Pulling

What is oil pulling? It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing an oil (usually coconut oil or sesame oil) in the mouth for about 15-20 min daily. It is based on the premise that the mouth has a large number of bacteria and toxins that may contribute to diseases and not just orally. When you swsh oil in the mouth essentially you’re cleaning the mouth, loosening the toxins, and improving your overall oral health.

The Six Tastes of Ayurveda

The Western approach in nutrition and diet focuses on the various food groups: vegetables and legumes/beans, fruits, grain, lean meats/poultry, and dairy. Alternatively, Ayurveda identifies six key “tastes” of foods. Each taste has specific effects on the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), so based on your body composition, you might need more or less of each taste. By including all six tastes in each meal, we prevent cravings, balance all doshas, and provide certain chemicals the body needs to function optimally. Some foods can also have more than one taste as well.

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