I thought this was an appropriate time to talk about immunity, especially since many of ya'll have asked me how to build strong immunity with Ayurveda in the past week or so... ;)
So let's do it! Below is an overview of 'Bringing Ayurveda to Life' podcast episode #36.
First, you have to understand what immunity is and how immunity is created, according to Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, our immunity is called ojas (OH-jus). Ojas is the essential energy of our vitality, immunity, strength, luster and health. Ojas is the pure essence of all bodily tissues. Which means that after all the tissues in the body have gone through their transformative digestive processes, ojas is what is left. Ojas is our immunity and responsible for reproduction and creation. We only have a tiny bit, a few drops, and it lives in the heart. People with good ojas rarely get sick and often avoid even the most contagious office bugs.
When ojas is low, we feel physically and mentally weak, worried, anxious, unstable and our complexion turns lifeless as our physical body gets rough and thin. When ojas is strong and healthy, the eyes are full of luster and life, we have confidence, clarity of mind, enhanced creativity, efficient digestion and potent fertility. Hooray! Love me some ojas!
1. Keep your MIND primed! You want to create a positive , clear, fully present mind. If you notice yourself having a recurring or negative thought, "CATCH" it...and then SPIN it to a positive. Any negative thought can be counterbalanced by a positive one!! It's up to us to choose to do so. There's always a positive to be found in EVERY situation.
2. Proper diet according to your doshas with high quality foods. Most importantly, choose foods that are easy-to-digest. Veggies should be warmed, steamed, roasted because raw vegetables can be too hard on agni. Choose healthy carbs, warm veggies, some fruit, meat if you need it and avoid junky, processed, frozen foods. More on Ayurvedic nutritional guidelines here.
Food Tip #1: Avoid combining fruit & diary as a combination because they have opposite qualities, which dampen agni and affect immunity.
Food Tip #2: Avoid or really reduce alcohol. Alcohol quickly depletes ojas too because it it heating and drying — it also creates a low quality, negative mind.
3. Avoid anything in excess including work, stress, worry/anxiety, sex and exercise. Anything in excess will deplete the body and lower ojas, therefore destroying its resistance to disease. In Ayurveda we "walk the middle path" which means too much of anything or too little of anything is not good.
4. Get high quality sleep. Here's a video with sleep tips in it for you. Sleep is our main source of restoration. Our immunity will lower significantly if we are not getting daily restoration through sleep.
5. This awesome trio: Move the body, breathwork, meditation. Put them all together as a morning routine and you are GOLDEN. If we spend a little time every day on each one of these things, we WILL have strong immunity and a clear mind! Everything works better when we take care of ourselves FIRST!
To inspire positive change, I am leading a group through a 21-day challenge starting March 16th. Together we are going to jumpstart our mornings with 20 minutes of self care that includes moving the body, breathwork and meditation. We are taking time to do something awesome for ourselves, so that we can stay healthy in mind, body and spirits. Sign up and join us here!
Stay positive and bring Ayurveda to life!