According to Ayurveda, our daily practices, self-care, diet, and lifestyle choices are at the core of our overall well-being.
We can be proactive in supporting our body, mind, and spirit, offering a path of less suffering and tuning our instruments to a more harmonious melody that allows life to flow with more ease and grace.
Our multidimensional existence is intelligently designed to offer a strong body, a pure mind, and an expansive heart. However, we must also support these brilliant systems that are at the core of our evolution in order to thrive.
Our immune system is an integral part of our body’s natural defense, reflective of good health and our ability to self-heal. The strength of our immune system lies in the quality of our digestion and our Ojas, Sanskrit word for vitality or strength.
We see the power of healthy digestion in the quality of what we eat and how we process the food. Our digestion is responsible for regenerating all our tissues, which affects our mental clarity, emotional stability, and hormonal balance. Specific foods, such as ghee, dates, and nuts, can directly create Ojas. Otherwise, once the tissues have received their nourishment, the Ojas are created as well.
Agni, or fire, is connected to the Pitta Dosha and is responsible for assimilation and transformation, with its sharp, hot, light, and spreading qualities. The most important Agni that Ayurveda focuses on is Jathara Agni, the fire that governs digestion. “You are what you eat,” and how you process what you eat affects your overall well-being. How, when, where, why, and what we eat influences our body, mind, and spirit.
Strong Ojas are a sign of radiant health and can be seen as a glow, through the skin, eyes, and presence. This fine substance flows through all our tissues and directly into our consciousness, assisting in our high awareness and living wisdom. We can deplete our Ojas through lifestyle, trauma, unprocessed emotions, and stress.
Making everyday choices to support your health and overall well-being also favors a healthy immune system. We are exposed to internal and external influences that can affect our immune system. However, the more we support our natural immune system through digestion, daily practices, food, and building strong Ojas, the better we can stay in our vitality and vigor.
Daily practices to support a healthy immune system:
Try incorporating daily herbal teas into your healing beverages. Tulsi, holy basil, supports the immune system and helps to open the respiratory system. Licorice aids in soothing dry cough and sore throat through lubricating the tissues and helping to expectorate phlegm. Turmeric and ginger support a healthy immune system, digestion, and are anti-inflammatory. CCF tea, cumin, coriander, and fennel seed, equal parts, steep and strain, helps to detox the body and aid in healthy digestion.
For sore throat, try gargling with warm water and a pinch of turmeric and salt. Creating a steam inhalation by boiling water on the stove and putting a towel around the head to capture the steam helps to open up the respiratory tract and moisten the tissues.
It is important to maintain healthy digestion through the food we eat. Make sure to eat warm-cooked meals that are made of nourishing whole foods and directly of the earth. Avoid processed food, refined sugar, stimulants, heavy, fried foods, and leftovers. If we want to feel fresh and alive, we need to eat fresh and high-vitality food. These in turn aid in healthy digestion, Ojas, and overall well-being.
Cold liquids can deplete the digestive fire needed to assimilate and process the foods we eat. In order to keep the digestive fire burning bright, it is best to avoid cold liquids and only drink room temp to warm.
Stress depletes body, mind, and spirit. It directly affects the integrity of the digestive system and Ojas, depleting the body’s natural immune system. It is important to incorporate daily practices to relieve stress. Meditation, exercise, breathwork, nature walks, and deep sleep are all supportive of decreasing stress, calming the mind, and dropping into the parasympathetic nervous system.
Moving your body is essential to health and well-being. It helps to support all body systems, opening up pathways for prana and vitality. It supports healthy digestion and metabolism, making sure to burn off impurities and support clear movement.
Meditation, breathwork, and yoga are all designed to purify, cleanse and revitalize body, mind, and spirit.
Breathwork helps to support the respiratory tract, moving the prana, or vital energy, throughout the body, helping to purify the channels and liquefy what is stagnant.
Meditation cultivates awareness, taking time to allow the body to relax into stillness. It helps to clear the mind chatter and overwhelm of everyday life, creating a deeper foundation to support life’s challenges with less attachment and more wisdom.
Yoga purifies the body, mind, and spirit. The movements connect mind, body, and breath, increasing vitality and strength.
Deep sleep is how we naturally rest, restore, destress, and renew. When and how much we sleep affects our physiology—the brain, body, tissues, and digestion. When we don’t have a healthy sleep cycle, or go to bed by a certain time and sleep for seven to eight hours, it takes a toll on our body’s natural intelligence to destress, detox, and restore during the night.
People speak of “a second wind” that energizes them to continue to stay awake after 10 p.m. Yes, a fresh wave of energy begins then, however, that energy is to be used internally, activated by the pitta dosha from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., in order to assimilate, process, and transform. When we remain awake during these hours, we use that energy externally, causing deeper depletion over time and disrupting all body systems. The best practice is to sleep from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., waking up within one hour of sunrise, optimizing the natural intelligence of nature and our own innate cycles.
Making everyday choices to support your health and well-being is a sign of self-love. You are worth it. You deserve to feel amazing. And the power is within you to support your immune system with choices you make every day.
Our health is foundational to creating the time, space, and mobility to enjoy this human experience. Our body’s intelligence knows how to support our highest good, and we need to give it the love, awareness, and nutrients to thrive.
In an increasingly toxic environment and systems overload, we can empower ourselves to be more proactive in offering our body, mind, and spirit an opportunity to thrive.