Ayurvedic healing is one of the world’s oldest healing methods. Originating in India over 3,000 years ago, this is a holistic approach to healing focuses on balancing energies within your body using your mind-body connection to foster health. This philosophy is governed by a series of health and wellness principles. These ideas shape the way you eat, exercise, and live your life. Whether you are an avid practitioner of this type of healing or you are brand new to the idea, here are a few Ayurvedic principles to incorporate into your lifestyle to feel happy and healthy!

4 Ayurvedic Principles To Live By

Integrate these Ayurvedic principles into your life to get some of the best of Ayurvedic healing

1. Prevention Is The Best Medicine

“Prevention is the best medicine” is a common idea in Eastern and Western medicine. This philosophy speaks to the idea that rather than letting your health deteriorate to the point that you get sick, you should instead strive for a healthy lifestyle to avoid getting sick. Ayurveda College offers four ways people can put the Ayurvedic principle that prevention is the best medicine into action:

  • Take Precautions: Taking health precautions such as regular health checkups and screenings is a common way to put this practice into action. Screenings and checkups give you the ability to address an illness before it gets serious. For example, women over a certain age are recommended to have mammograms to screen for breast cancer so it does not go undetected.
  • Reduce Stress: Stress can take a big toll on your body. Rather than letting your stress build up to the point where you get sick, healers often recommend finding a healthy outlet for stress.
  • Eat Healthy Foods and Avoid Toxins: Fueling your body with healthy foods can keep you feeling great. By the same token, avoiding unhealthy foods can also prevent illness and ailments.
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle: A final way to prevent illness is to make good choices about how you live your life. This means staying active and being mindful of your physical and mental health.

2. Like Increases Like, Opposites Balance

The idea that like increases like and opposites balance is another tenant of this philosophy. The heart of most Ayurvedic principles is to find balance within your body. To find this balance, experts say, you need to have energies in your body that balance each other out rather than tipping your energy too far one way or the other.

For example, if you are an active person with a fiery personality, a cold, rainy day might be a welcome opportunity to take it slow, relax, and cool down. However, if it is the middle of winter, doing activities that make you colder such as eating smoothies or going swimming may cause an imbalance, leading you to get sick. This philosophy need not only apply to your eating habits but may help you find balance and peace in many aspects of your life!

3. Eat Smart

Many Ayurvedic principles surround food preparation and dietary practices. Two overarching ideas about cooking and eating are:  

Eat Mindfully

Eating mindfully means being fully present while you are eating. This includes paying attention to the ingredients you put in your meals and bringing your full attention to your food while you are consuming it. Some ways to incorporate mindful eating into your routine include:

  • Avoid eating on the go and opt to sit down with your attention on your food as much as possible
  • When you have the opportunity to eat in silence, bring your full focus to the food and think about how it tastes, feels, and smells.
  • Be conscious about the ingredients you are using when cooking
  • Eat slowly

Cook and Eat Your Food With Love

Ayurvedic practitioners believe the mood of the person who cooked the food shapes how the final meal tastes. If the chef was full of love, those experiencing the meal will feel that, whereas if the chef was feeling nervous or stressed, that may carry into the dining experience as well.

Ayurvedic practitioners also believe your mood when you are eating can take a big toll on your body; eating while you are healthy and in good company will leave your body healthy and nourished, while eating when stressed or sad may take a toll on your body. Some ways you may consider bringing a little love into your food preparation and dining experience include:

  • Use seasonal ingredients in your food
  • Make a meal that makes you happy. This may be an old family recipe or simply one of your favorite things to eat
  • Be conscious of how your meal affects each of your senses to create a balance when eating
  • Make an effort to have more sit-down meals with people you love

4. Listen To Your Body

A final Ayurvedic principle to live by is a simple rule many people do not follow: listen to your body. Because Ayurvedic healing is about healing your body from within, listening to your body is an integral part of this philosophy.

If you are unsure how to listen to your body, think about how you are feeling physically and emotionally. Are you feeling happy, sad, thirsty, hungry, cold, or warm? Your body will often send you signals when it is feeling out of balance which may be in the form of exhaustion or high levels of stress. Ayurvedic principles say to listen to what your body is telling you and adjust accordingly. Some additional ways to better listen to your body include:

  • Practice mindfulness
  • Monitor your food intake and energy levels and consider adjusting your practices if you are taking in too much of one kind of food.
  • Do not ignore pain, fatigue or stress. Ignoring the things that plague you will not make them go away. Instead, bring your attention to what you are feeling.
  • Meditate
  • Practice self-love and self-care

To learn more about Ayurvedic healing or to find some additional inspiration from this philosophy, check out our guide to the three doshas and these Ayurvedic practices that will change your life!

Megan Herndon

Megan is a Seattle-based writer who covers health and wellness. She has worked in content marketing and journalism for a number of organizations including The Seattle Globalist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and The Jakarta Globe. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Washington and is currently working on her second UW degree, a Master of Communication and Digital Media. Born and raised in Hawaii and currently embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Megan loves all things active and outdoors including hiking, camping, outrigger canoe paddling, and yoga.

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