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Ayurveda - An ancient wisdom for aging adults

Ayurveda – An ancient wisdom for aging adults

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Ayurveda – An ancient wisdom for aging adults

Ayurveda (pronounced ayeyour-vay-duh) is understood to be one of the world’s oldest health systems, originating in India more than 5,000 years ago. When translated, Ayruveda means ‘knowledge of life’ and is a sister science of the more commonly known practice of Yoga. Ayurveda is now being recognized as a reputable approach to total health, complementing Western medicine with the wisdom of the East. The philosophy is simple – we are meant to live with our body and mind in their natural, balanced state.

Photography, bigstockphoto.com
Photography, bigstockphoto.com

What is balance?

Working symbolically with the elements of nature, including air, ether, water, fire and earth, Ayurvedic tradition understands that these forces manifest in the body as three energy systems (Doshas) – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. A practitioner may recognize you as a Kapha if you’re naturally calm, patient and caring. As a Pitta, you are direct and like to get things done. As a Vata, you tend to be very energetic and creative.

Preserving your constitution leads to optimal health. Like the changing seasons, our energy systems evolve, and change, with time. When born, we were in need of developmental support, realized in the element of earth and the nurturing qualities of water (Kapha). The surge of growth and learning in adolescence is represented in fire (Pitta). In maturity, at a different pace of life, the air and ether around us challenge our bodies to stay nourished and vital (Vata). Our muscles become thirsty, our joints dry and our minds labour – begging us to take better care.

The vata years

Don’t over exert: Slow down and embrace activities that will encourage restoration, like yoga, swimming and leisurely walks. Balance high impact activities with gentle, intermittent movement.

Increase self-care: Give your body, and mind, some love and attention. Try massage, meditation, soaking and stretching.

Bring back a routine: Assess daily practices that you find enjoyable and work them into your routine. Maybe it’s that first cup of tea, a morning walk with the dog or a brain-teasing word puzzle.

Change your environment: If feasible, seek out warm, moisture-rich climates for revitalization, especially in the cold, dry winter months. Otherwise, get outside.

Eat with the seasons: Consuming fresh food cultivated in-season, aligns your body with the energy of the earth. Root vegetables, including potatoes, carrots and parsnips, ground you throughout the year.

Drink water: Replenish the natural moisture that is lacking as we age. Consume warm, or room-temperature, water throughout the day.

To help counter-balance aging, Ayurveda treats the root cause. You might be experiencing joint pain or inflammation, but treatment may be connected to your digestive system. Working with a practitioner, your daily routine would be reviewed, including the intake of food and drink (and expulsion), ritualistic tendencies, exercise regimes and environment, as well as hair and skin care. A personalized program would be developed as a result of an assessment, along with suggestions for daily self-care routines and lifestyle habits, in addition to a customized nutrition plan – all in an attempt to re-balance your body.

Photography by Kelly Moss
Photography by Kelly Moss

Kaely Bell is an Ayurvedic Counsellor and Yoga instructor.


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Laugh for your life

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Laugh for your life

It is quickly spreading into many different areas as people come to realize how the benefits can improve their lives. Its mission is to provide good health, joy and create a world without pain and illness. It helps people to deal positively with mental, physical and emotional stresses that can otherwise lead to a breakdown in the workplace and in their private lives.

Modern day stressors, worries and lifestyle changes have increased the rate of heart diseases, which are a major cause of death and despair.

Even as doctors and patients try to minimize the risk factors, scientific studies have proved that laughter is the simplest answer to a healthy heart. An extended hearty laugh is one of the fastest ways to accelerate heart rate and provides an excellent cardiovascular workout and heart massage.

Dr. Michael Miller, a leading heart researcher and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center, discovered that laughter expands the blood vessels, promoting circulation and reducing blood pressure.

Laughter yoga offers the opportunity to feel refreshed, stress-free and confident any time, providing all the physiological and psychological benefits of laughing without the necessity of telling jokes or even feeling good to start. In the workplace, absenteeism is reduced and job satisfaction increases. The good communication and positive relations that result support an effective workforce.

Simple, repeatable, and easily learned, laughter-communication games are powerful tools for achieving employee satisfaction, boosting morale while opening lines of communication. People who laugh together are more likely to collaborate, to offer helpful suggestions, and to dissipate tensions that can otherwise accumulate on the job. We can enjoy the experience of laughter, but what we don’t see is how beneficial it is for our internal body chemistry. Love and laughter are the twin building blocks that hold life together, Miller says. It seems to make a lot of sense that the pleasant feelings and images that emerge through laughter alter your body chemistry in a good way — supporting your immune system.

An enthusiastic and infectiously positive speaker, Kathryn Kimmins directs unforgettable laughter experiences. Her sessions dissipate stress while refocusing participants. Cheeks get rosy, eyes clear and twinkle, impish grins are everywhere and the room rapidly fills with friendly smiles. Her educational and experiential class boosts self confidence, brain health, improves retention, increases heart health, encourages team building, motivation, imagination and creativity.

http://www.laughyourselfhealthy.com/

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