It should come as no surprise that we cannot survive without a healthy or properly functioning heart because the heart is an incredibly important organ in the human body and a finely tuned instrument that serves the entire body. This may be assumed from the positioning of our hearts and the architecture of our bones meant to protect them. Your heart's health is critical to your entire well-being. So, if our bodies were designed to provide the utmost protection to our hearts, why do we ignore the precautions that must be taken to ensure the health of our hearts?
The goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive approach to enhancing our cardiovascular health through ayurveda, going beyond the widely accepted tools of exercise and diet. Ayurveda and its partner disciplines highlight a wide variety of physical and energetic effects that impact the heart, pushing us to comprehend the areas of the mind, cognition, and other hidden energies that are completely tied to heart health.
According to Ayurveda, the heart is regulated by three doshas.
● Vyana Vata is responsible for blood flow and heartbeats.
● Sadhaka Pitta is responsible for emotional equilibrium, whereas
● Avalambaka Kapha is in charge of stability and strength. The state of each dosha may have a significant impact on our heart health and vice versa. Hence, it is vital to bring a balance between these biological energies.
The Tridoshas further have their respective subtle forms of
● Prana (accountable for vitality, energy, digestion, and circulation),
● Tejas (fire element that is responsible for digestion and metabolism), and
● Ojas (result of optimal digestion and nutrition). These forces are interrelated and are present inside us in their subtle forms and can be balanced by performing breathing exercises like Pranayam while seated in the lotus position.
So, according to Ayurveda, prana makes its way through appropriate dietary choices, senses, and mindfulness and then circulates throughout the entire body, creating a healthy entire being. Pitta digests our nutrients and behaviors to develop strength, vitality, and immunity, abbreviated as Ojas. This ojas resides in the heart, and the heart redistributes it throughout the body in order to nourish the entire body and mind.
The ancient books discuss the importance of relaxing the mind, practicing peace, ensuring mental health and happiness, preserving vital energy, and managing the senses when it comes to heart health. Selection of the right nutrition at the right time of consumption helps to increase the ojas and, in turn, promotes the health of your heart. We keep and nurture ojas when we protect the heart. Ojas is rejuvenated by fresh foods such as cow's milk, ghee, fruits, rice, dates, almonds, and seeds.
A few ayurvedic foods that promote heart health are:
● Triphala improves metabolism, digestion, and blood purification.
● Ashwagandha is a wonderful remedy for stress, anxiety, sleep, hypertension, heart health, diabetics and arthritis sufferers.
● Gulkand and Chawanprash are powerful antioxidants and natural coolers that aid in digestion and also boost energy levels. Chyawanprash strengthens the cardiac muscles and stimulates the immune system.
● Arjuna, the bark of this tree is regarded to be a heart tonic. The crushed bark can be diluted with milk or water.
● Garlic, when consumed on a regular basis, can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and eliminate artery blockages.
Besides these herbs, there are also a few lifestyle recommendations that may help to promote heart health.
● Getting the right amount of sleep
● Eating meals at the right time and not skipping meals
● Consistent and regular exercise is essential for heart health
● Meditation and regular breathing exercises like pranayama
● Develop a peaceful mindset and stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs
Above all, trust your own heart. The advice above will surely help the heart, but it is also critical that you value yourself. Ayurveda is a highly holistic and subjective tradition; it is all about you—your strengths and flaws, as well as your healing journey. Our bodies are happiest when we eat well, sleep well, find joy for ourselves and avoid stress of any kind, i.e., when we live in accordance with our surroundings or nature.
With this in mind, take one manageable step at a time and acknowledge and celebrate each of your accomplishments along the way.