Ayurveda & Yoga – A counter to the modern lifestyle

We all agree that in order to achieve the so called development, we have left behind some of the valuable treasures from the past. The modern lifestyle deluded with the flashlight of materialism has pulled us all away from nature. We have started hearing terms like lifestyle diseases- how unfortunate can it get, when the very way we live is associated with many diseases. It has always been a give and take relationship; you pay for what you get. But modernisation has started charging us over, the things that don’t cost us anything but are the base of our very existence. 7-8 figure salary but the package includes stress, hypertension, hair fall, high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes etc. Now by the time you work your back around to get to such a position professionally, inclusions in the package make sure that you are not able to enjoy what you get. We run after the things not even counted in our necessity.

This race is on and I think there is no possible way to come around or set on the return journey. But is there a way we could strike a fair balance with the modern lifestyle and nature?  The answer is yes. Fortunately, we have been able preserve some things from the past like Ayurveda. And I strongly believe that Ayurveda is the thing that proves to be a connection between the roots and the branch of the tree called life. If we strongly still hold on to the roots, we will succeed to take the blow of the modern world or else will fall prey to undesirable guests with the modern high figure packages.

Earlier the saying was that we work hard for bread and butter; the irony today is that we work extremely hard but don’t find time to eat properly. We need to make friends with Ayurveda. No time for exercise, no time left for gym, sit for 10 minutes perform basic breathing exercises and you have released lot of tension from your body. You are short of time, consume some natural Ayurvedic stuff and your body gets rid of toxins. Not able to sleep properly, meditate for a short while the anxiety is gone. You think you can’t intake enough fruits etc, required by your body, consume some of the Ayurvedic juices and it takes care of your body requirements. In order to earn a healthy financial score in the life, we forget about the investments to be done with the body, so it pays us back by being away from diseases and when we grow old. When Yoga then takes care of the spiritual and mental part of our body, Ayurveda takes complete care of the physical aspect of it.

Hence I believe, if we take refuge of these ancient sciences, it can save us from the side effects of the modern lifestyle and to some extent put us on the right path in life.

The Downside of Ayurveda

Ayurveda- is there a Negative?

It is next to impossible to find something that is in absolute perfection. Ayurveda seemed to be falling in the category, so I thought of finding the flaws in this ancient pseudoscientific stream. It is believed to have been taught straight by the incarnation of Lord Vishnu- Dhanvantari in Varanasi and through the succeeding disciples like Acharya Charaka, Ayurveda was made to flow throughout the social structure of the time and was later bound in the ancient texts, in a way it was made a part of daily lives of people.

What was it that made it spread around India and outside and made it stay alive for so long? It definitely has to be a strong reason. Imagine in the days doctors or modern science did not exist, a man due to some accident losses his nose and is bleeding, definite to die. This person is taken to a Saint teacher who not only saves his life but reaffixes his nose performing possibly the earliest surgical procedure. Worth noting is the point that there were no narcotics or sedatives available like in the modern times today. They had their own ways of achieving it, and it has to be with the herbs available and the knowledge of its effect on a human body. Ayurveda as mentioned earlier has been in existence for a few millennia.

Ayurveda the downside is that it is extremely slow a procedure, one has to be constantly associated with the herbs and shrubs in nature, for a long time to get the cure of some disease. But wait, we are talking about getting the disease cured and not just the symptoms, I believe that modern Allopathic medicines, deludes us to be curing the disease instead most of the times it only subsides the symptoms. Seems like this disadvantage is turning out to be on the positive side, I personally would rather prefer to get the cure for a disease in the body even if it takes time than putting the symptoms of it aside temporarily.

Let’s now try and understand how this concept of Ayurveda works?

Ayurveda treats the human body to be a part of the nature like the rest of the things around us. Consider our body to be made up of five elements of nature Air, Water, fire, Earth and Sky and its base is the Doshas or the qualities Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. Now when there is interaction of the body with the external elements like Food intake, weather conditions, Natural instincts like anger etc, this interaction affects the balance of Vatha, Pitha and kapha, if this equation moves towards an imbalance, it mostly results in some sort of disease. This is where Ayurveda interferes and tries to correct that imbalance through mediums like intake of other exactly opposite component from nature to get the equation back to balance. Which like a seed is sown and it take time to become a tree, takes time. But then it corrects not only the disease that started showing up the symptoms but with it all the other problems that were to arise because of that imbalance of the three Doshas. So in short with the correct intake of the right things provided by nature to counter the problems that arise due to the imbalance we are ought to fall in, in the modern life style, can be corrected if we show some patience with it. The outcome I think is negative, as there is no negative as of now I am able to highlight of Ayurveda, instead I am now more keen and inclined to learn more about the practice.

Health And Ayurveda

“Life is not merely to be lived but to be well” a Scholar said. Although in modern times when in the rat race of acquiring material possessions to an endless limit, we put ourselves through most exhausting stress, we have lost lots of the gems preserved by our ancestors. A ray of light as hope is that this generation is trying to get back some from the ancient mysteries of India and is trying to preserve it. It could be through enlightened leaders or simply because it is in trend in the west, but it seems like we have started valuing our old sciences like Ayurveda & Yoga.

Ayurveda literally meaning, “knowledge of life” is pulling masses back from the track where they had abandoned the path of Nature, due to so called modernisation. From baking breads from natural grains to the use of GMOs (genetically modified grains), from consuming natural fruits to flavoured drinks and juices with preservatives, from natural oils to refined and double refined oils. We have tried to make everything ornamental, even the edibles. We must understand that our body is ought to get different diseases and imbalances if we move away from nature and this is unquestionably right.

Which takes us straight to the equation ‘Ayurveda = Health’. If at all we want to spend quality life without diseases or by correcting the diseases in the body we will have to abide by the rules of nature, which I would prefer to call Ayurveda. To understand the concept of Ayurveda we have to understand that our body is as much a part of the Nature as an embryo is of the mother’s body.

Ayurveda basically splits the five elements of Nature into three groups and since our body is made up of the same five elements, there has to be a constant connect & disconnect between the internal and external five elements that results in the development of the characteristics of an individual mental, physical & emotional.  Hence anything can be classified amongst the three categories of Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Anything we experience as human beings through any medium physically, through a thought or emotionally has some effect on our mind and body because of its qualities, these qualities as per the literature of Ayurveda is classified in 10 pairs of opposites, making it total of 20 qualities. These qualities are Gunas and doshas. Due to our inappropriate modern life style, we tend to strike an imbalance between the gunas which leads to diseases. Ayurveda recognises these imbalances and corrects them by applying the opposite qualities.

It is far from real for us to return from the life style we have created for ourselves, to lead a life free from stress & competition. That is why it becomes extremely important for us to adopt the preventive measures suggested by Ayurveda. The question that remains is how do we inculcate our mind to go for a life style more natural and unlike the one we follow now? Well the answer is simple, like when you join a gymnasium and seek assistance from an instructor; likewise, you need to seek assistance initially from a professional, until you get to know your body and its characteristics. The best part about Ayurveda is that it comes completely natural and with no side effects. I believe Ayurveda is the guiding light that can lead us back into leading life in great health. Choice is definitely ours what we choose. Ayurveda is health.