Rejuvenation after Recovery: The Ayurveda Way Dealing with a less known type of disease and that too a pandemic is indeed difficult. It is a truth that Covid -19 has affected human lives in a clumsy, uncomfortable way. But the good news is, the majority can recover pretty quickly without any complications if proper care and attention are given right from the beginning. Testing negative for Covid-19 is not the end of the recovery phase. It marks the beginning of a post-covid rejuvenation period when the body and the mind heal gradually and get back to normalcy. Epidemics and pandemics are explained in Ayurveda as “Janapadodwamsa”. A large population, irrespective of their Bala (strength), diet, behavior, and psychological state, is affected by the same disease, at the same time, which may destroy the community, is called ‘Janapadodhwamsa’. Covid-19 pandemic fits this category and has already affected a huge part of the population worldwide. The Covid-19 virus affects people differently. It could be asymptomatic or more often present with varied symptoms ranging from mild to moderate and severe. Often people complain of persistent fatigue, respiratory distress, body pain, loss of taste, smell, and poor appetite for weeks after the infection. The occurrence of allied medical conditions like skin diseases is also not uncommon these days. Irrespective of the strength with which the virus affected your body, a holistic natural, and systematic approach is essential to regain the lost strength and immunity. Covid-19 due to the peculiarity of the symptoms often involves all the three doshas with specific Kapha dosha aggravation. Most common symptoms such as fever, loss of taste, loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, and upper respiratory discomfort point to the diminution of the first formed dhatu after digestion - Rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu kshaya (diminution) along with the aggravation of Kapha can further affect the Agni (biological fire) and impact the entire metabolism of the body. The presence of Ama (toxic outcome of improper digestion) accumulated in the body due to the ongoing disease process can significantly influence the general body’s immunity and strength. Ayurveda always approaches in a preventive, curative, and rehabilitative approach in any kind of illness*. In covid-19 as well, a systematic outlook to restore the lost strength and immunity by balancing the doshas and stabilizing the dhatu formation is what Ayurveda adopts. A diet involving Ayurveda herbs and spices and various lifestyle modalities that gradually improve the strength and stamina of
the ancient Ayurveda treatises to understand the importance of a healthy exercise routine and how it can therapeutically influence the overall health of a person. While explaining the definition of health, Acharya Susrutha mentions - “a person is said to be completely healthy when his doshas are in a balanced state, his Agni is in equilibrium, his dhatus and excretory system are functioning well and he enjoys a pleasant disease-free state of his soul, senses, and mind.” Ayurveda recognizes that a systematic fitness routine suitable for your body has some direct perceptible impact on maintaining this kind of perfect health.
Dinacharya Series # 3 Personal Hygiene Ancient Greek medicine shares several similarities to Ayurveda concerning the theories related to health. A sneak peek into the history of hygiene takes us back to the time of Hippocrates when medical science achieved a divine and royal status. The term hygiene comes from ‘Hygeia,’ the Goddess of Hygiene in Greek mythology. She was one among the five daughters of Asclepius, who was proclaimed as the God of medicine. When her father was more into the treatment and cure of the diseased, Hygeia was keener on the preventive aspects of illnesses. She was an epitome of cleanliness and wellbeing, and as an honor, the word hygiene was derived from her name. This also signifies the prominence of personal hygiene in the society of ancient civilizations. Fast forward to the year 2021. The term personal hygiene has never been this relevant. Even when we boast of the advancements in medicine and technology, a minute organism that we cannot see with the naked eye is ruling the world. What started as a fever and breathing trouble in one person spread in the blink of an eye and locked down the entire planet. With experiments to discover vaccines against the virus is in full swing, there is one thing that scientists and medical professionals repeatedly say to the common man – “practice personal hygiene”. Ayurveda gives immense importance to personal hygiene and considers it a primary step against disease prevention. Read on to know what Ayurveda says about personal hygiene and innovative ways to implement it on what is considered as your ‘new normal life.’ SHOUCHAKRAMAM / MALOTSARGA VIDHI “If one’s bowels move, one is happy and if they don’t move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.” -Lin Yutang Each one of us must have encountered situations in our lives where we had to ignore nature's call owing to our busy lives or due to some other reasons. Ever thought about the consequences? Have you noticed feeling low, the heaviness of the abdomen, or slight headache when you have constipation or when you do not eliminate a day? Attending to natural urges on time and following a daily pattern according to the body’s rhythm contribute to a sound physical and mental state. Ayurveda considers a regular bowel movement every day as a sign of perfect health. The ancient Ayurveda Acharyas must be well aware that our body tends to
Neuroplasticity is the ability to undergo biological changes ranging from the cellular level to large scale changes involving cortical remapping. Such changes often happen as a result of psychological experiences. During such changes, the brain engages in synaptic pruning, deleting the neuronal connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the useful ones.
The Tridosha Siddhanta The Tridosha theory is one of the most discussed yet very vaguely understood concepts in Ayurveda. It forms the basis of Ayurvedic physiology, pathology and pharmacology. But the lack of definite interpretations and fruitful discussions leave many questions unanswered, prompting the scientists to question even the credibility and scientific basis of Ayurveda. Ayurveda has undergone many changes over the years, not in its fundamental principles but the way it is interpreted and practiced. But there is one thing that remains the same even after generations - the insatiable human curiosity to question everything until the truth is transparent. Let’s try to unleash one of the most enigmatic theories of all times, the Tridosha Siddhanta. “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough” -Albert Einstein. The origin and evolution of Tridosha Siddhanta The Tridoshas or Vata, Pitta and Kapha are mostly explained as bio-energies which cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet experienced at various levels. As per Ayurvedic principles, a perfect harmony between the Tridoshas in the body contributes to health and any imbalance causes disease. But these descriptions are so vague that it leaves many basic unexplained questions as to what it really is. To get into a deeper level of analysis, it is imperative that we start afresh beginning with the origin and evolution of the theory itself. Vedas are considered as the ultimate source of knowledge and the most ancient literature scripts available now. The earliest relatable reference of Tridoshas is available in Atharva veda where the derangement of three physiological factors are claimed to be responsible for the manifestation of diseases. Those factors are described as shushka, siktha and sanchari which are translated to dry, wet and permeating respectively. So, there is every reason to think that the ancient Ayurveda Acharyas took these three as the main properties of what is considered as the basis of life, which later termed as Vata, Pitta and Kapha respectively. The ancient sages were the spectators of every natural phenomenon and this observation led to the interpretation that the living beings need gaseous air, liquid water and solid food for sustenance. These are the three forms of matter without which life is non-existent. They are interdependent too as in, air is required for the formation of water and water is needed for the formation of food & digestion. So the ultimate basis of life should also be existing
Though Yoga literally means "yoke", "unify", it is also a developed system of philosophy, as well as a practical method to realise the ultimate truth originated in ancient India and codified mainly by Patanjali. Let us look at what makes Yoga different from other systems of thought, so we can understand its metaphysical, ontological, psychological and practical view of life. Historically this may have developed well before Christ and developed side by side other systems of thought in ancient India, but we can clearly see the correlation of Yoga with the Sankhya system. In spite of the connection with the Sankhya doctrines, Yoga differs from it on matters of psychology, ethics etc. and brought a scientific approach to disciplinary practices with rigour and great clarity.
One of the greatest contributions of India is the metaphysics of self knowledge called Samkhya, which says the knowledge of an object, the object itself and the process of knowing is all one. This is the essence of wisdom and experientially accessible for anyone through the practice of Yoga. Yoga thus is the methodology to test this hypothesis of samkhya, just like we do the lab experiment to prove a theorem in modern physical sciences.
There is no single English word to convey the meaning of the Sanskrit word prana, the nearest word in English is probably "life energy" or "vital energy" that permeates the whole universe and our bodies. The breath that goes in and out of our bodies connect the microcosm within to the macrocosm and if one breath that goes out does not come back life is finished, isn’t it? Prana is in a way our real Mother in whom we are born, sustained and to whom we go back to. The inhalation is the inspiration for life itself and exhalation is the main expiration of toxins from our biological system that keeps us alive and conscious. Breath, like a power plug acts as the source of our entire energy supply to every cell.
Depression : It's More Than ‘Just A Bad Day’ William Styron, in his memoir Darkness visible, has vividly explained about his tryst with depression, comparing the pain and agony of mental health as that of a heart attack. He defines depression as the ‘grey drizzle of unrelenting horror’. Depression is no longer a dark, terrible secret which you need to hide from the world. More and more people are now ready to break their silence about this perennial plague of the human mind which had been concealed by cultural baggage all these years. The earliest understanding of depression was a spiritual condition caused by demonic possession. It was Hippocrates who described it as a disease named ‘melancholia’, but he included all kinds of quiet insanity under this term. This concept was repeatedly moulded and reconceived, to give rise to our current understanding of depression. What is Depression? Depression is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms with a persistent feeling of sadness, pessimism, guilt, or hopelessness that can last for weeks, months, or years. According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. It comes in various forms, but as it is intangible and imperceptible, it is a lot difficult to diagnose, empathise, and understand the situation. It is important to understand the difference between clinical depression and feeling sad. Almost everyone feels blue from time to time; failing an examination, an illness, losing a loved one, or even an argument can make you sad. This is completely normal and as the situation changes, we learn to cope with our emotions and return to normalcy. Clinical depression on the other hand is a debilitating medical condition that continues for at least two or more weeks consecutively, significantly affecting physical, emotional, social wellbeing and interfering with the ability to work. Sometimes it may also be accompanied by anxiety, as both of them stem from the same vulnerability. Because of its complexity, understanding depression has been elusive, yet even in the most severe cases, depression is highly treatable. Causes Neuroscientists still don’t have the real answer as to what exactly causes depression. It is a result of a complex interaction of genetic, biological, and psychological factors that may be caused by faulty mood regulation by the brain and triggered by a negative experience or a stressful condition. We all have to encounter stressful events at some point in life, and we all feel sad, but not