Ayurveda, a natural healing system from India, focuses on creating harmony for the physical body, senses, psyche, and spirit.
The teachings and practices support how to align with nature’s wisdom and our inner intelligence, offering life guidance for optimal health and true happiness. The holistic approach of Ayurveda recognizes the mind as a major influence on our overall health and well-being.
Mental disturbances and unresolved emotions build up as toxins affect our capacity to live in deeper harmony. It is important to recognize the power of the mind, observe our thoughts, and become intimate with the phenomenon that we are not our thoughts. Imbalances of the mind can create our reality and lived experiences. Ayurveda offers guidance in purifying the mind and creating a bright and clearer pathway toward liberation.
Today’s world is becoming overstimulating and attached to external factors. All these influential sensory inputs affect our mental health. What are we ingesting through our eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and skin? How are we processing all this information and how is it affecting the quality of our mind and overall well-being? Our humanness aligns with external stimulus, impulses, and chaos, whereas the experience of inner peace and harmony can feel bland and less exciting.
We have the power to cultivate inner peace, but it takes practice, commitment, and discipline.
In Ayurveda, the three gunas, or qualities of nature or consciousness, are present in all our experiences, influencing our mind, body, and spirit. These are:
>>Sattva: harmony, balance, purity
>>Rajas: activity, energy, passion
>>Tamas: chaos, destruction, lethargy
Rajas and tamas are what we slip into in our everyday human existence, while sattva we have to cultivate through inner discipline. All three gunas have their intelligent times to create life experiences; however, the journey toward inner peace is through following a sattvic lifestyle, which offers a path toward liberation. A daily spiritual practice, routine, and diet help to create a sattvic life. No one is above the practice—even the greatest teachers return to their mat daily, for life is a spiritual practice.
Here are some ways to cultivate sattva in your life:
1. Wake up with the sunrise
Waking up with the sun helps to cleanse and purify the body, mind, and spirit with each new day, aligning with the morning energy of purity and clarity. The morning is the perfect time to establish a healthy and positive inner connection before moving out into the world through daily self-care and spiritual practice.
2. Cultivate a daily routine
A daily routine is essential to provide a dynamic framework for harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit. It supports the biological rhythm, healthy digestion, strong immune system, deep sleep, and inner peace of the body. It also provides a foundation for calming the nervous system and quieting the mind.
By aligning with natural guiding principles, we tune into our body’s daily rhythms to a higher governing intelligence. The daily rhythm focuses on when we wake up, when we eat, when we work, and when we sleep. The consistent timing of these daily routines provides a stable and harmonizing support for the entire body systems.
3. Understand the vitality of food
The vitality of our food choices is important and translates directly to the integrity of our tissues and emotional stability. There is prana, or life force/vitality in our food. The closer the food is to its original form, such as the case with fresh produce, the more vitality it has.
Try to eat fresh, organic, and seasonal whole foods, and avoid frozen, processed, or packaged foods and leftovers.
4. Practice daily meditation and pranayama
Meditation offers a time to be still and gain awareness of the mind and recurring thoughts, helping to destress and calm the mind and the nervous system. Pranayama, or breathwork, opens the pranic or energy pathways to help purify the mind and body.
By concentrating on the breath, the mind becomes still and the breath offers deep healing and transformation. Try 20-minutes of meditation in the morning and 20-minutes in the evening, starting with five to 10 rounds of alternate nostril breathing.
5. Take walks in nature
Take time to connect with nature, breathing in the fresh air, and being open to the magic of life. Walking on earth is grounding and offers a soothing rhythm for the nervous system, helping to nourish the body, mind, and soul. By immersing yourself in nature, sattvic qualities are cultivated to learn how to live in harmony with our inner and outer environments.
When we take responsibility for our lives, we realize that our thoughts, words, and actions become our reality and that we are at the core of our own suffering. When we ignite the inner light to guide our awareness, we can heal our karma and release the tethers, transforming the individual and collective consciousness to higher states of awareness and freedom.