History and Traditions of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine is a holistic healing system with a profound philosophical background and comprehensive understanding of life with a history of 5000 years. Therapist in Ayurveda are designed on the base of concepts of highly rational principles. Before blindly practicing these therapies, a proper understanding of these principles is essential . Because improper use of these therapies might cause harm or will become ineffective in the hands of people untrained in the principles as well as practice of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda the word is literally composed of two words ” Ayu ” and ” Veda “. ” Ayu ” means life and ” Veda “, knowlegde.
History : The Wisdom of Ayurveda was first recollected by Brahma, the creator at the time of creation. He composed a treatise on Ayurveda and taught Prajapathi, the protector, of the people, who passed the knowledge of Ayurveda to Aswini Devas, the physicians of Gods. Indra, the King of Deva ( God ) learned this science of life from Aswini Devas,. Seeing the suffering and miseries of humanity indulgent and ignorant, afflicted with diseases, compassion and kindness arose in the hearts of great sages of ancient land. Unable to withdraw and detach tren the transient and dangerous worldly life. humanity was at constant risk of diseases and detach miseries. sages decided to find out a path to live in this world without diseases and sufferings. They meditated on the slopes of snowy Himalayas and found in their intuition only Indra can five them a solution. From Indra this healing science was handed down to the sage who propagated it through treatises and tradition of master physicians.
Ayurvedic treatment is divided into eight branches. These are:
- Kayachikitsa – this branch deals with general treatment of disease affecting whole body
- Salyatantra – surgical treatment are used inthis branch of Ayurveda
- Salakyatantra – treatment of disease affecting head and neck region are dealt with in this branch
- Agadatantra – treatment of poisons and bites
- Kaummarabritya – management of disease of children
- Butavidya – this branch deals with treatment of physical and mental diseases
- Graha – invisible being
- Rasayanatantra – deals with rejuvenation and preventio diseases
- Vajeekaranatantra – this branch deals with techniques of increase sexual power and treatment of infertility
Dinacharya ( Daily Routines ), Because of the dynamic nature of life which undergoes varipus changes at every movement, one should follow a strict disciplines life dat and night to preserve health and prevent diseasea. Health is a state of balanced functioning of ” Doahas ” which produces a proper ‘Agni ‘ characterized by normal formatio of Dhatus and evacuation of Malas . The individual experiences a pleasant state of senses, mind and soul in this condition. This Harmony could get disrupted at any time leading to diseases and misery. So those who disere for a healthy and long life should follow instruction given in Ayurveda.
Practicing of Dinacharya Dinacharya is the “law of nature” and the key component to living a long life, ripe with vitality and complete mind/body health. This routine is based on the sun and moon’s energetic effect on digestion, mental focus, creativity and the potential for spiritual awareness and growth.
A dinacharya sets timeframes each day when we should sleep, wake, conduct self-care, eat, work, and do our spiritual practices like yoga and meditation. These times center on the three doshas — vata,kapha, and pitta (find more about the doshas here)— assigning each dosha two separate 4-hour periods where these qualities are most present.
Doshas and the Ayurvedic Clock
- Vata time: 2 a.m. – 6 a.m.; 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
During vata time, we’re creative and inquisitive, and attuned to the more subtle energies present in the Universe and within ourselves. The morning hours are best for our spiritual practices and inner focus, and the afternoon is best to work and socialize. Both periods are ideal for creative expression.
- Kapha time: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.; 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
During kapha time, our digestive fire is more slow and our and minds are in a restful state. In the morning, we should decreasekapha’s sluggishness through being awake, exercising, and eating foods that are stimulating yet easy to digest. In the evening, we should allow our bodies to wind down through a light, nourishing meal, gentle exercise, and self-care.
- Pitta time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
During pitta time, our digestive fire is at its peak, in terms of both our ability to digest foods and to digest emotions and experiences. The midday period is when we should eat our largest meal of the day, and ideally we will be sleeping before the nighttime period begins so that we can properly digest and assimilate everything from the day.
- Before 6 a.m. — Wake, do tongue scraping and oil pulling, rinse face and eyes with cool water, and drink large glass of warm water (with lemon if you like). If you’re already awake before this time, meditate, pray, and do other spiritual practices after the waking routine.
- 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. — Morning exercise (yoga, pranayamaand meditation ideally), self-massage with oil and bath or shower. Eat a light but nourishing breakfast appropriate for your dosha.
- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Eat your largest meal of the day between noon and 1:00 p.m., followed by a short walk outside.
- 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. —Brainstorm and be creative — this is a great time for your most productive work. Socialize.
- 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. — Eat a light but nourishing supper between 6 and 7 p.m. (supper is short forsupplemental, so think of your evening meal as nutrition to supplement what you took in earlier in the day). Take a walk outside or exercise for at least 15 minutes shortly after eating. Start your nighttime routine by 8:30 p.m. Evening self-care like a bath, self-massage with oil, gentle or restorative yoga, or light reading are good ways to wind-down.
- 10 p.m. — Bedtime. Sleep for 6-8 hours a night, depending on your dosha(vata types should aim for 8 hours, pitta for 7 hours, andkapha for 6).Should you still be awake in the overnight pitta time, avoid snacking, working, or doing other energy-intensive tasks. Your fire will be lit again but it’s a key period for digesting the day, not taking in additional stimuli.
If you’re unable to commit to this routine fully, simply try the best you can. Ayurveda is not all-in or not-at-all — each step we take toward living an Ayurvedic lifestyle will improve our overall health and happiness, so take it slow but be make an intentional effort to change.
If you can make just two changes to your current routine, Medha recommends performing a daily self-massage for at least 5-10 minutes in the morning or evening, and eating your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime.