YOGI ASHWINI tells you how to rejuvenate your body and slow down ageing
Your body survives on prana or energy. There are many sources of prana that provide vital nourishment to the body — food, air, water, sunlight, breath and many subtle forces. Of the different kinds of food available in nature, some help to build up tissues, some aid in immunity, some expel wastes and some provide energy to work. The diet and regime that we follow play a vital role in the preservation of the body in the long run. The physical body continuously requires energy and this energy is produced by continuous process of metabolism by agnis. The continuous play of agnis ultimately results in destruction of cells, causing ageing.
Yoga and ayurveda emphasise optimum utilisation and conservation of energy. With yogic practices, the body is trained to conserve prana or vital energy. It saves itself from the rigorous process of consumption of vital prana which speeds up the process of ageing. Surviving on conserved prana requires rigorous practices so as to gain mastery over the complete physical and etheric body. For a normal person, there are diets prescribed in ayurveda to slow down the process of ageing underrasayanatantra which is aimed at rejuvenating the body after thorough cleansing.
Of the eight branches of ayurveda, rasayanatantra is one of them and is aimed at nourishment and rejuvenation. This is done through proper diet and right regime. Improved nutrition makes the body work at an optimal level and ensures a long and healthy life. Rasayanatantra, however, is beneficial only if the body is free of ailments. To prevent the body from ageing, the Charaka Samhita says thatrasayana therapy should begin between the third and fifth decades of life.
There is a reason why most ayurvedic preparations are advised to be taken with honey. Honey is said to be ‘yoga-vahi’, that which assimilates the qualities of substances added to it. Honey does not need digestion; it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. A year-old honey is considered best for therapeutic purposes and it is also effective in reducing fat from the body. Brahmi is one of the best anti-ageing rasapras. It is not commonly available in fresh form, but dried Brahmi powder is easily available. It can be had with water, or one can take Brahmi-ghrit (ghee medicated with Brahmi). It is said to improve memory and intellect and is a nerve tonic. It is also good for the skin.
Rasayana therapy works at three levels, providing nourishment (rasa) to the body, improving digestion and metabolism by managing pachak agni and by facilitating better circulation in the various micro-channels known as srotas. The overall effect is to slow down ageing, increase immunity and mental agility and improve physical fitness.
For optimal utilisation and absorption of any food or ayurvedic preparation, your digestion should be good. In ayurveda, metals and minerals are used after purifying them. Do not consume any ayurvedic preparation without proper purifications of metals and minerals; it can be fatal.
An effective rasayana is triphala. It consists of amla, harar, and baheda in equal quantities. One teaspoon of triphala with one teaspoon of honey and warm water should be taken every morning. TheCharaka Samhita says, “Using this recipe for a complete year frees a person from ageing and diseases and increases the life span to a hundred years.” Triphala powder taken with honey and ghee (half the quantity of honey) is good for curing eye problems. Triphala is also said to be a good purgative. But consumption of triphala should always be followed by ghee or fat in the diet.
Garlic rejuvenates the respiratory system, improves the functions of the heart and lowers blood pressure. Boil three to four garlic cloves in one cup of milk to which one-fourth cup of water has been added. Let it simmer for a few minutes, filter and drink before retiring for the day.
Tulsi is an easily available rasayana and a great immunity builder. It’s good for all prakriti types, but those with pitta constitution should not use it in excess. A teaspoon of tulsi juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey, provides enough pranic energy to fight all kinds of infections.These ayurvedic recipes should be combined with pranayamas. By cutting out distractions and stress, pranayamas bring in fresh prana, rejuvenating the mind and body.
Abridged from Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension.-