Ayurvedic tenets for long and healthy life

To lead a long and healthy life Ayurveda recommends a lifestyle based on moderation in all spheres of life. Adapting this lifestyle is liberating and manifests positive changes in body, mind and spirit. Human beings die either naturally due to ageing or due to diseases and accidents. While one cannot foretell death, leading a healthy life keeps away diseases and the attendant suffering.

Ayurveda recommends following certain tenets that when adapted to ones lifestyle and made into a habit can benefit physically, mentally and spiritually.

The basic requirement for a healthy existence is good food, good sleep and good relationship.

Always consume freshly prepared food. Avoid all foods of the previous day especially the non-vegetarian ones. Also avoid refrigerated foods.

Do not suppress the natural urge to urinate and defecate. Avoid daytime nap. Do not lie down to sleep with head facing north.

Eat only when you feel hungry. Eat twice a day. Do not go to bed immediately after supper. Walk for 10-15 minutes before going to bed.

Follow a regular routine for sleeping. Go to bed by 10 o’clock at night. Get up at 6 in the morning. Six to eight hours of sleep is necessary to maintain good health.

Ayurveda advocates sex in moderation. It stipulates a general rule of sexual relationship once every fortnight (a tough one!). No sex immediately after food, a gap of 4 hours is advised.

The Siddhars of yesteryears also suggest the following regimen.

Eat twice a day.

Apply oil to head and bathe in warm water once every four days.

Fast a day, once a week.

Sex once a fortnight.

Clean the airway passages and nostrils etc (by instilling certain medications into the nostrils) once every 45 days. This helps clear the sinuses.

Take purgatives (natural ones) once every four months and cleanse the colons.

Take emetics (vomit inducers) once every six months to clear the phlegm etc.

Avoid dust and polluted atmosphere.

A disciplined mind is necessary to keep away from bad habits and inculcate good ones.

I am reminded of a quote I found at the entrance of Integral Coach Factory Design and Development Department, "in the chains of a disciplined life, the spirit soars”.

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