The Pillars of Health
There are a few fundamental practices that will help to stabilize your health and keep you feeling good for the long haul. If you can get these pillars set in place and commit to them every day, you will feel SO much better. These habits and practices are essential, and can be put in place wherever you’re at in your health and wellbeing journey. Now is better than never.
The traditional Three Pillars of Health in Ayurveda:
Proper Management of Digestion
Proper Management of Sleep
Proper Management of Sexual Energy
I’ve added a few more from other practices and blended them together into six habits that are essential to good health.
Drink lots of high quality, pure, mineral rich water. Ditch the other drinks (like soda, Gatorade, energy drinks, milky drinks, sugary drinks, etc..) and stick to water and herbal tea between meals so your body has time to digest properly without a constant influx of sugar and stimulants.
Sole’ is an amazing way to get minerals into your water in the morning. Get a quart size mason jar, fill it ¼ full of Celtic salt (gray salt) and the rest of the way full with water. Use a plastic lid (do not use metal or the salt will corrode it and change the quality of the sole’ so it is no longer healthy). Then add a little bit of this to your water when you first wake up. It should taste good to you--not too salty, but salty enough so you can taste it. Find the goldy-locks amount for you. Start with ½ tsp of the salt water saturation in 16 ounces of water. Add more if you can’t taste it, and less if it’s too salty (dilute with more water). Add ½ a lemon to is as well. Drinking this warm/hot is extra beneficial and cleansing to your body.
If you don't want to make sole’, you can add a pinch of Celtic salt (gray salt) into your water when you first wake up. It should taste really yummy--not too salty, and if you can't taste any salt, there’s not enough in your water. Start with ½ a teaspoon in 16 ounces of water--dilute it more if it's too salty, or add more if it’s not salty enough.
Drink half of your body's weight in ounces of water per day.
Example: If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day.
Eat food that's of the earth and closest to its source. The more processed the food, the farther away it is from it’s natural source.
Eat local food.
Eat fresh food.
Eat seasonal food.
Eat colorful food.
Eat more roots and shoots and flowers!
Use fresh herbs and spices when you cook.
Make home cooked meals!
Cooking and food preparation does not need to be fancy to be enjoyable. If you get overwhelmed by making food, simple cooking and preparation is the way to go! Think one-pot meals, or roast or steam a bunch of veggies and whip up a delicious sauce to add flavor.
Following healthy eating guidelines also helps with healthy digestion. A few of these include eating in a calm environment, eating until you’re 75% full, giving thanks for your food, slowing down and taking a few breaths before and after you eat, and proper food combining. (I’ll be writing about these in more detail in another blog)
Rest when you're tired.
Listen to your body and honor your rhythms.
Rest is essential to our beings. As a culture, there’s a theme that ”your worth is tied to your productivity.” Which means if you take time to rest, you’re worth-less? NO!! This is not the way of a joyful, healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling life. Also, when you get proper rest, you’re more productive anyway. When you’re rested, you can show up to your life from a place of stability, creativity, clarity, and centeredness. Our communications and relationships are much better when we’re rested too!
Try to sync up with natural circadian rhythms. Ideally you can get to bed by 10PM and rise with the rising sun. This ensures deep rest and recovery while you sleep, so you wake up feeling energized and ready for a new day.
4. 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲
Stop overworking! (Note to myself too). Stop over-exercising!
Say no more.
Look at the sky.
Watch the clouds.
Listen to your body.
Expending energy beyond the energy we have is wrecking our health. Are you constantly reaching for stimulants and caffeine? Do you constantly override your body’s natural wisdom to rest or eat or move?
Think about taking money out of an overdrawn bank account every day. We get charged an overdraft fee. This is what we do with our energy via caffeine and overwork. We’re out of energy, feeling tired, and needing rest. Instead, we reach for caffeine or sugar. This is false energy--it gives you a short burst, but depletes you in the long run, overdrawing your “energy bank account” and leaving you with a negative balance.
5. Proper movement/exercise
Daily movement is so essential to feeling good! Our bodies are meant to move and stretch. Over-exercising or under-exercising can wreck our health. If we move too much and over exert ourselves beyond our capacity, we wear ourselves out and damage our muscles, joints, and hormones. If we are too sedentary and don't move enough, we become stagnant in body and mind. Finding the right balance of strengthening, stretching, and cardio will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Loving relationships are also essential to our health and wellbeing. Cultivating healthy relationships with your family, friends, and lovers/partners is so important for a healthy happy life. When you have people in your life that are loving, supportive, encouraging, stable, there for you, and vice versa, your life is deeply enriched. Make time, reach out, and tend to the people you love.
If you have people in your life that lessen your joy, love, and inspiration, it’s time to weed them out and make space for people who truly love and care for you. It can be so hard and painful to do this, but it’s so necessary to building the life of your dreams
If you can get these six principles established in your daily life, your body, mind, and spirit will thank you. It's not necessarily easy to get all of these in balance, but it is pretty simple. And so worth it.
If you want to dive deeper into health and longevity through Ayurveda to create long term health, join my 6 week course: 𝘈𝘺𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘢 𝟷𝟶𝟷: 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧, 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧.