The Ayurvedic Three Pillars of Health (Eat, Sleep, Love)
Ayurveda talks about three key areas that are, taken together, considered to be the base foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and which form the basis of the Ayurvedic healing system. When kept in balance, these three pillars of health – balanced diet, balanced sleep and balanced intimate life – keep us healthy and happy for a long time.
As time goes on, we can talk more about the details, but for now, let’s get an overview.
Along the dietary lines, Ayurveda has a lot of rules about eating, but they are all mainly common sense. Eat when you are hungry, eat an appropriate amount and eat good quality food; treat these as valuable suggestions and you’ll do fine in the long run.
Gradually get to know your body and the balance of your personal energies. Over time, bring your diet into alignment with your personal needs. Because this is one of the most important, and most convenient, things you can do for your long term health, it’s worth the time it takes to dig deep into the project, and do some serious self evaluation of what really works for you as an individual.
To stay healthy, it’s also critical to get enough rest. Make sure you sleep deeply, and awaken refreshed. Go to sleep before 10:30, especially if you have a vata body, because it gets increasingly difficult to slip into restful sleep the later you retire. Sleep in a dark room, free of distractions, and allow yourself to descend very deeply into a full relaxation. If you need it, use a sleep herb, such as valerian, to help lull you to sleep. If you consistently awaken feeling refreshed, you’re on track.
Here in America, we usually don’t think of our romantic lives as really being part of our health program, but Ayurveda considers balanced, loving, healthy relationships to be a must for a long and healthy life.
The intimate life is an important, integrated element of being human, and it is as important as eating. Romantic pleasure increases the joy of life, helps maintain psychological balance, and actually aids further mental and spiritual development.
According to Ayurveda, all of life’s aspects should be of equal importance, without any of these areas taking precedence over the others. For a fulfilled and meaningful life, the striving after one goal shouldn’t inhibit striving after the others. Neglect of any one of these spheres leads to a diminished stability and to imbalance. Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle makes it possible to lead a meaningful and joyous life in this world and to move on to spiritual freedom.
Being alert to avoid excess or deficiency in food, sleep or romance goes a long way toward keeping the doshas in balance.
What do you do to keep your life in balance?