Imagine starting each day feeling happy and in a good mood, being in touch with ourselves and aware of our own inner voice? Imagine remaining calm and positive in every situation and being in harmony with our own feelings - in short: Imagine feeling great all around and healthy in body and mind? We will share the best tips from our Ayurveda experts Dr. Richa Shrivastava and Vaidya Dr. Saurabh Sharma on how to maintain (or even regain) your inner balance.
Health and emotional balance
We are emotional beings. Emotions are part of our nature – and they impact our health.
According to a Sanskrit saying from the ancient ayurvedic scriptures: “The person whose doshas are in balance, whose agni [digestive fire] is good, whose dhatus [body tissues] and malas [excretion] are functioning normally and whose soul, spirit and senses are always filled with deep happiness (bliss), that person is considered healthy.“ This view is shared by the WHO which defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.”
In other words, we are only truly healthy if our wellbeing not only encompasses a healthy body but also a healthy psyche, mind and soul – and if we feel well overall. According to Ayurveda, we can achieve perfect health only if we live in emotional balance and thus in a state of pure happiness.
In that state we are at peace with ourselves, are stable and relaxed and can stay calm even when life gets a bit turbulent.
The more balanced our emotional balance, the greater the benefit to our body. That balance is controlled, among other things, by way of hormone release regulated by the pituitary gland which, to some extent, is influenced by our emotions. According to Dr. Sharma, “emotional balance also creates physical balance.”
Being a “Science of Life”, Ayurveda can help us lead a stress-free and happy life. All we need is the right knowledge and some self-discipline.
Dosha balance as feel-good factor
When our doshas are out of balance and one dosha dominates or is disturbed, our emotions are affected as well.
For example, while excessive Kapha can often cause lack of motivation, lethargy and sad thoughts, the excess heat that is typical of the Pitta dosha can manifest as anger or irritation.
In today’s day and age, where time pressure, sensory overload and stress characterise modern life, Vata disturbances are very common. According to Ayurveda, when our brain is running at full speed with non-stop thoughts and it becomes difficult to relax, excessive Vata is almost always the culprit. In these types of situations, it is particularly important to calm Vata and to restore a better dosha balance.
Balanced doshas naturally lead to emotional stability.
|Basic principle||Principle of movement||Principle of metabolism||Principle of structure|
|Characteristics of a good balance||Zest for life, creativity, flexibility, enthusiasm, alert mind, energy||Cheerfulness, assertiveness, decisiveness, ambition, analytical mind, clear mind, contentment, energy||Endurance, patience, productivity, energy reserves, mental stability|
|Tendency when particular dosha dominates||Restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, difficulty falling asleep, lack of endurance, thought overload||Irritability, impatience, hypercriticism, heat sensations, outbursts of rage||Sadness, listlessness, difficulty letting go, feeling of heaviness, weakness, tendency to sleep too long|
Maintaining inner balance with a good daily routine
Maharishi Ayurveda® considers a daily routine as vitally important; it forms the basis for your wellbeing and happiness. Much of what Ayurveda teaches us can be easily incorporated into your daily life. To begin with, it is best to choose habits you find easy to implement and then gradually add more, all at your own pace.
Ayurvedic morning routine – why getting up early puts you in a good mood
- Getting up early: It is best to get up by 6 a.m. or before. Just give it a try and enjoy the newfound free time in the morning and your change in attitude towards life.
- Cleansing: With your morning cleansing ritual you free your body of ballast and create a pleasant feeling of freshness.
- Morning walk: A short morning walk – ideally between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and in nature – refreshes and invigorates and is a true mood booster. When going on your walk, try to take advantage of the morning sunlight; in Ayurveda, the sun is considered the greatest power and a source of energy. Its rays awaken our spirits and often put a smile on our faces. Exposure to sun not only warms us but also boosts our health (e.g. thanks to vitamin D) and makes us feel happy.
- Abhyanga: A daily self-massage with oil relaxes our nerves and muscles and leaves us with an overall pleasant feeling in our body.
- Yoga: The best time for Yoga Asanas is directly after the self-massage. Asanas relax both body and mind and improve body-mind coordination and physiological balance. All in all, a true boon for body and soul.
- Pranayama: The ayurvedic breathing exercises (see below) calm body and mind and are thus an excellent preparation for your morning meditation.
- Meditation: According to Maharishi Ayurveda®, Transcendental Meditation is one of the best meditation techniques for achieving deep inner peace and a connection between soul and nature.
You will be pleasantly surprised by how much even just one regular ayurvedic morning routine can change you, your emotions and your attitude towards life. As Dr. Richa explains: “Everything together leads to relaxation, calmness and emotional balance.”
Enlivening your life force – Yoga breathing in the morning (Pranayama)
Ayurveda teaches us a number of breathing techniques (Pranayama) that contribute wonderfully to enhanced wellbeing and relaxation.
Prana stands for life force or life energy. Accordingly, the effect of Pranayama goes far beyond mere respiratory function. These yogic breathing exercises activate and increase our life energy, lead to natural, relaxed rhythms in body and mind and in this way support health, balance and the release of (emotional) blockages.
Here is one particularly simple yet very effective yogic breathing exercise for you:
- Breathe in through both nostrils.
- Then close the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand (see left picture).
- Now exhale naturally, gently and completely through the open left nostril.
- Then breathe in deeply through the same nostril but without forcing the breath.
- Then close the left nostril with the ring and middle fingers of your right hand (see right picture).
- Breathe out through the right nostril and then inhale again.
- Continue alternating sides and repeat the exercise for a total of 4–5 minutes.
- Exhale through both nostrils.
Throughout the entire exercise, your breathing should be deliberate and deep, yet at the same time natural and effortless and barely audible.
Before you do the exercise for the first time, you may want to watch our recorded webinar in which Dr. Saurabh Sharma demonstrates this Pranayama and also briefly explains the most important benefits of this breathing exercise (starting at 09:26 min).
Just give it a try! You will be surprised by how much can be achieved with this short daily exercise.
Finding peace within yourself: meditation
Meditation is a wonderful way to return to oneself and to restore deep inner peace even in the midst of the challenges of everyday life. Maharishi Ayurveda® recommends Transcendental Meditation (TM®), a simple and natural technique that has proven to be particularly effective, as illustrated in more than 600 studies worldwide.
Dr. Ulrich Bauhofer, one of the leading Ayurveda specialists outside of India, determined in this dissertation that this meditation technique successfully reduces the body’s stress reactions, slows down pulse and breathing, lowers blood pressure, improves both the blood supply to the brain and the balance of the autonomic nervous system.
Daily meditation gives us the gift of extraordinary deep inner peace, clarity and emotional stability, and it helps us meet the challenges of everyday life in a calm and relaxed way.
Foot massage, teas and fragrances for perfect relaxation in the evening
One of the fundamental insights of Ayurveda is that what we give comes back to us. This also applies to our feelings towards other people. When we feel positive towards our fellow human beings and do good to them, then good things will come back to us – true to the motto “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” – “The world is my family.”
Respect, honesty, compassion and dedication to others ... those who do good to others will demonstrably reap emotional benefits. This has also been confirmed by the renowned American Ayurveda physician and gerontologist Dr. Robert Schneider.
If you can stay calm under pressure and hold on to hope, you will not only benefit from positive feelings but, according to Dr. Schneider, can expect to live longer.
Cultivate and purify your thoughts. Even in difficult moments give as much room as possible to positive thoughts – for example, to memories of particularly beautiful moments or to the anticipation of a get-together with friends. Can you feel how those thoughts bring a smile to your face? Congratulations, you are on the right track!
Rasayanas as nutrients
In addition to the many valuable tips, why not also try a few rasayanas. In case of excess Vata, we particularly recommend Vata-Balance, Ashwagandha and Nidra with their Vata-reducing herbs:
We wish you much happiness, energy, equanimity and balance in all you do –
Your Maharishi Ayurveda Team
Thank you to our experts Dr. Richa Shrivastava and Vaidya Dr. Saurabh Sharma for your expert support!