In our modern world, we blindly believe that vaccinations and antibiotics are beneficial for prevention and treatment of diseases. Of course, at times such things can be necessary. But too often it can be substituted with Ayurvedic advises which is a safe and natural way to improve the function of the immune system thereby increasing disease resistance. Ayurveda has much to offer in the way of gentle and effective health care and disease prevention for children through diet and lifestyle, as well as the use of medicinal herbs and spices.
“The object of teaching is to enable a child to get along without his teacher.” This quote has a connection to Ayurveda. So let’s educate growing children about the benefits of Ayurveda for a healthy future. From bedtime to bedtime there is a full day of simple Ayurvedic activities that promote health and wellbeing. Introduce a child to these at an early age and they can become habits for life.
1. Ayurveda recommends an early bird lifestyle - Waking up at sunrise (5 - 6 am)
2. Face/nose/mouth wash - Wash your face and your eyes with water. Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper and gargle mouth with sesame oil.
3. Exercise - Early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body and mind and allows your energy to flow. Walking / pranayama (breathing exercises)/ yoga – 30 minutes.
4. Self-Massage - Massage keeps us strong and is beneficial for body and mind. Ayur veda recommends that you massage yourself with a bit of warm oil for about 5 minutes is sufficient. Massage the scalp, forehead, hands and feet.
5. Bath – Daily bath helps maintain personal hygiene and gives a feeling of freshness to start the new day.
6. Eat your breakfast – Eat before 8 am. Eat moderate breakfast, preferably cooked food and not sandwich or biscuit daily.
7. School / Office – Do all work mindfully and at pace, concentrate on what you do.
8. Midday lunch – It should be the only heaviest / main meal of the day– Eat between 12.30 – 1.30 pm.
9. Short nap can be taken if needed after lunch for 15 – 20 min. Do not sleep, but a short nap is no harm.
10. Meditation - In the evening back home, after refreshing, sit still in a silent area and focus on your breath.
11. Evening hours – Use less TV and computer, utilize time for more productive work or studies or sports.
12. Dinner - Dinner is recommended to be taken between 7 and 8 pm and should be lighter. Do not go to bed or watch TV or Computer immediately after dinner. Walk few steps inside the house after dinner to enable digestion.
13. Sleep – Go to sleep early, between 9 – 10 pm.
As one applies the principles of Ayurveda in his day-to-day life, he can live a disease free, long life. The prime objective of Ayurveda is to prevent dis-ease. As children are the building blocks of the society, incorporating Ayurveda principles in their lives will help enhance their physical and mental health, thereby promoting a healthy and disease free society.