by Dr. Nibodhi Haas
When USC returns in the fall, students will be faced with many challenges: more screen time, less exposure to sunlight, limited physical movement and less social support. Yoga and ayurveda can help. Ayurveda is a natural healing system considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. Originating in India more than 5,000 years ago, it is often called the “Mother of All Healing.” The practice of yoga and ayurveda have been linked since inception.
The following are 6 ayurvedic principles students can use to enhance mental and environmental outcomes.
• ABC – Always Be Calm.
Stress is the biggest contributor to immune weakness and inflammation. Now is the most opportune time to start a meditation practice. You can start simply by devoting 10 minutes of quiet time in the morning and evenings, focusing on slowing down the breath and creating a space of silent stillness within. If you already have a meditation practice, take this time to really go deeply into it.
Remain positive. Expressing gratitude for what we have, instead of focusing on what we don’t have, supports a healthy and vibrant mind. Create a gratitude journal and write down three things every morning and evening that you are grateful for. This exercise brings contentment and a sense of well-being. To take this practice a step further, write or call someone you love and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life!
Exercise is a crucial part of maintaining great health and immunity. Engage in physical activity 45-90 minutes a day and more on the weekend. If you are unable to make time to get active, try doing computer work at a standing desk, treadmill or bike desk.
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils contain terpenes that support the immune system, nervous system and whole endocrine system. Diffusing essential oils into the room you are working or studying in greatly improves the quality of air and benefits the mind. Essential oils are the life force of plants. They are one of the highest sources of antioxidants and protect against free radical damage. They also assist in delivering nutrients inside of our bodies.
Essential oils make oxygen more available to tissues and cells. This property is advantageous to counter rising planetary levels of air pollution, pesticides and chemicals. Smelling the oils enables their essence to pass through the blood-brain barrier and move directly to the limbic brain where emotions, memory, and regulatory functions are seated. This action creates an immediate shift in the entire physical body and also brings deep transformation to the mind.
Great oils for immunity are Tulasi, Rose, Calamus, Neroli, Jatamansi, Lavender, Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary.
Drink lots of hot water with ginger. Lemon and honey can also be added if you wish. (Wait till the water cools a bit to add honey.)
Good sleep is essential for good health and immunity. Try to fall asleep at the same time everyday. Ayurveda says it is best to sleep before 10pm and arise before the sun.
Dr. Nibodhi Haas