By Ambica Gulati April 2000 With the rising pollution and processed foods, the health graph takes a nosedive. So, back to nature with the principles of ayurveda, which offer simple tips for everyday use to retain health and vitality Be natural and live natural—that’s the latest on the lifestyle circuit. Wear cotton. Shun processed foods. Try ayurveda, a 5000-year-old science. ‘Ayurveda comprehends body, mind and spirit in a single view and has specific methods for working on each,’ writes Dr David Frawley in the book Ayurveda and the Mind. It divides people into three humors—vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (water). Vata is related to air and rules mental mobility. The major problems connected to it are fear and anxiety. Pitta, or fire, governs digestion and assimilation on all levels from food to ideas. Mentally, it governs reason, intelligence and understanding. Kapha or water governs form and substance and is responsible for weight, cohesion and stability. It predominates in the stomach, lungs and head. Mentally, it gives calm and stability. Desire and attachment are its main emotional imbalances. Ayurvedic therapies are multifaceted—colors, gems, aromas and at a higher level Vedic mantras. What follows are ways to reduce each of the doshas to restore balance and health. Vata-reducing impressions• Calming music.• Gentle massage with sesame or almond oil.• Bright colors such as gold, orange, blue, green, white.• Moderate use of spices.• Sweet fragrances of jasmine, rose, sandalwood.• Gentle exercise, tai chi, swimming, hot tubs.• Support of friends and family, cultivating patience.• Mantras: Ram, Hreem, Shreem.• Meditation on happy, peaceful deities. Pitta-reducing impressions• Soft music, preferably flute.• Soft massage of coconut or sunflower oil.• Cool colors such as white, blue and green.• Food with few spices such as coriander, fennel.• Cool and sweet fragrances: champak, gardenia.• Walking, swimming.• Releasing anger, resentment.• Mantras: Shreem, Sham, Ma.• Practicing non-judgment, listening to others.• Meditation on peaceful forms. Kapha-reducing impressions• Stimulating music, strong and energizing sounds.• Deep body massage with dry powders or stimulating oils such as mustard.• Bright and stimulating colors such as yellow, orange, gold and red.• Light food, liberal use of spices, occasional fasting.• Light, warm, stimulating and penetrating fragrances such as musk, cedar, myrrh, camphor.• Active strong exercises, jogging, sunbathing, saunas, reducing sleep.• Mantras: Aum, Kreem, Hum.• Breaking with the past.• Meditation on active forms.
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