The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.
Ayurveda recognizes three main pillars of wellbeing: proper diet, sufficient sleep and loving relationships. When kept in balance, these three pillars keep us healthy, happy and fulfilled and promote good digestion, proper detoxification and increase vitality and contentment. When out of balance we may experience digestive discomfort; feel disconnected from our partners, family and friends; become exhausted and stressed; and experience a host of other imbalances.
Three Pillars of Ayurveda Wellness
Ahara – The most basic interpretation of ahara is what we eat, but at its core ahara encompasses so much more. Ahara is everything we take in and digest, not just food. This includes food, water, breath, emotions, and information.
Along the dietary lines —most of the Ayurveda principles around food are common sense recommendations: Eat when you are hungry; eat until you are full; eat fresh, whole, organic foods according to the season; and eat while seated and in a calm environment.
As for the other aspects of ahara it’s important to drink plenty of filtered water, take regular deep belly breaths throughout your day and consider the quality of information you take in. For example, Ayurveda cautions us not to watch or read too much stressful, violent or upsetting material. It encourages us to get to know ourselves and balance our personal energies. It tells us to focus on the quality of what nourishes you in terms of breath, food, water and emotion, which is one of the most important things you can do for your long term health.
It’s worth the time it takes to dive deep into the project, and do some serious self-evaluation of what really works for you as an individual.
Sleep – To stay healthy, it’s also critical to get enough rest. Recent research indicates that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health problems than just feeling groggy in the morning—including weight gain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. As a result of inadequate sleep many of us go through life with both our mind and body functioning at less than optimal.
To make sure you sleep deeply, and awaken refreshed, try and go to bed and rise at the same time each day. Ideally between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Sleep in a dark room, free of distractions, and have an evening routine that allows you to relax before bed. For more on creating sound sleep, check out my previous blog.
Love and Relationships – The depth and quality of our intimate relationships is an important part of our wellbeing that is often overlooked in our society. We usually don’t think of our romantic lives as being part of our wellbeing but Ayurveda considers balanced, loving, healthy relationships a must-have for a long and healthy life. Connecting with a partner, family and/or close friends on a deep level increases the joy of life, helps maintain psychological balance, and actually aids further mental and spiritual development.
According to Ayurveda, the three pillars of health are of equal importance, without any of these areas taking precedence over the others. Focusing on maintaining proper balance in what nourishes you, the quality of your sleep and the depth of your relationships goes a long way toward keeping the you aligned—mind, body and Spirit.
Wishing You Vibrant Living,
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