5 Habits of healthy living in Ayurveda
1. Don’t drink water until one hour after taking food
Taking water after food is like consuming poison. In Ayurveda, it is said that food is digested by the natural fire (jatharagni). On taking water immediately after the food, the Agni or fire gets extinguished which causes food to remain undigested. The undigested food is responsible for creating 100 different kinds of toxins in the body.
Ideally, if you want to drink anything and can’t resist then you can take:
Fruit juice after breakfast
Buttermilk after the lunch
Milk after the dinner
Considering all are natural and freshly made
2. Drink water sip by sip slowly
We should never drink water in a gulp. It should be taken sip by sip slowly just how we drink tea or coffee. When you drink water slowly, you allow your mouth to mix saliva along with water in the stomach. Saliva is alkaline, and the stomach has more acidic content. When you allow your saliva to mix with the acids in the stomach then you help your stomach to reduce its acidic toxicity. Any increase in acidity in the stomach increases the acidic content in the blood. A person who follows this rule prevents any related diseases like obesity, indigestion, cardiac issues, arthritis, diabetes, and other disorders. On keen observation, we find that most animals and birds follow this rule. Only humans have lost their natural wisdom. That’s why no birds and animals are ever found with diabetes, arthritis and overweight issues. You would see a great change within 6 months of cultivating this habit and immense benefits out of it.
3. Never drink Ice cold water
We should avoid drinking iced cold or refrigerated water or any water which is not at normal temperature. Body is alive only when its warm. Cold bodied existence is synonymous to being dead. Drinking cold water not only kills our digestion and nervous system but also shakes our entire physiology. It impairs our circulation (Blood and heart) and weakens our nerves. No animals have been found who would drink cold water, only humans have been misled to drink cold water. In summers if you have a desire for cold water due to excessive heat then try to drink water from the earthen pitcher or pot which cools the water naturally.
4. Drink ample amount of water after waking up
It is a very healthy habit to drink at least 2 or 3 glasses of lukewarm water early in the morning after waking up even before brushing your teeth and going to the toilet. This practice will create a natural fluid pressure on the large intestines and will help in easy and clean excretion. People who have good excretion and have healthy regular bowel habits would never get sick in their entire lifetime.
5. Food habits
Have food intake at regular timings. Food should not be taken at a random time. Few doctors would suggest you take a small amount of food after short intervals every two hours or so but as per Ayurveda, it’s not a good habit for healthy digestion. Food should be consumed after long gaps at fixed times, ideally only 3 times a day between sunrise and within 1 hour after sunrise. Jathargni ( principle digestive fire is most active after two hours of the sunrise, so consuming the biggest meal in your breakfast is being suggested by Ayurveda, followed by moderate lunch between 11 to 12: 30 and dinner should be ideally close to sunset. You can set three meals based on the sun cycles in your country and city.
If we observe in nature, then every animal follows this natural cycle and natural pattern of eating. Most animals like birds, cows, and goats, monkeys, etc. would start eating as soon as the sunrises and keep eating as per their fullness and satisfaction and it is their largest portion of the day’s food intake. Try feeding cows and birds after the sunset and they would refuse to eat. Only humans can eat heavy at night as we are so disconnected to ourselves and nature within us.
Food should be well chewed and always consumed in a sitting position. If possible should be consumed sitting on the ground. This will help to align the center of gravitation of the body to the navel region, Manipur chakra, a prime chakra responsible for digestion Standing shifts the center of gravitation from the navel to the diaphragm which causes improper digestion and round belly stomach.
The Joy of Eating Food
As important as it is to take balanced nutritious food, it’s equally important to enjoy your meals with joy and mindfulness. Eating with a distracted mind confuses the brain signals to your belly and enough enzymes are not produced when it’s required. Don’t be a food freak but just choose your food with the right knowledge and guidance. Eating joyously is more important than eating properly. Food should not just fill your stomach but also satisfy your mind as well else cravings would set in which lead to bad eating patterns and habits.
Taste is very important as well. So eat balanced food and add taste to it for your taste buds. Chew it properly and enjoy the taste of it in a relaxed peaceful environment. Devote some time in cooking and eating when you are not doing anything else.
Hari Om Tat Sat !