Heart Is Where the Home Is
According to Ayurveda, the heart is the home for all life and happiness. The nutrient and oxygen-rich blood constantly flows through the physical heart. A key factor in immunity, ojas, is produced in the heart. All emotions are processed through the energetic heart. And the heart is the seat of the soul and source of creative inspiration.
The heart is your treasure chest.
In addressing heart health, Ayurveda recognizes the heart’s physical and emotional aspects. All three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) relate to the heart’s form and function.
Avalambaka kapha governs the heart’s structure and strength. Basically the heart’s structure is made up of plumbing pipes and electrical wires. In order for the heart to best pump blood, the heart’s muscle and channels (veins and arteries) need to be strong and clear.
The heart naturally moves in a steady rhythm, with sacred space between each heartbeat. To help maintain a steady cadence, vata dosha in the heart (vyana vayu) needs to be stable. And to enjoy peace of heart, sadhaka pitta (function of processing emotions) must be balanced.
Supporting and Nourishing the Heart
The right exercise, foods, relationships, lifestyle and creative activities support and nourish the heart.
We all know the importance of regular moderate cardio exercise. Running used to be my thing. I now walk-skip-sprint 3-5 times a week. I break up a 45-minute walk with three intervals of 2-minute skips and 3-minute sprints. (Note: my sprinting is really a quick jog. No more mad dashing for this gal). On days when my schedule is full, I opt for a 30-minute session. This routine feels right for my heart. Consult with your health/fitness expert as to what’s best for your ticker.
Favor fresh organic foods, with a diet primarily based in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. Some dairy is good for vata body types. Cooked foods are optimal. Here’s the recipe for my Grammy award winningSongwriter’s Kitchari. Favor (in moderation) lean meats.
Avoid fast food and processed foods. Minimize (or avoid) leftovers, heavy fatty meats, alcohol, and caffeine. It’s best to eat according to one’s primary dosha and the seasons. Consult with me for your perfect meal plan!
Surround yourself with healthy relationships! Hug the positive. Shrug the negative.
Seek company of folks who are honest, kind, calm and inspiring. My touchstones for heart-healthy relationships are where smiles shine, laughter sings, and individual space is celebrated.
Follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle that reflects your natural constitution and addresses current body/mind imbalances. Consult with me and I’ll design you an easy, effective and enjoyable Ayurvedic daily routine that will effortlessly integrate into your life.
Nourish the heart by enjoying moments each day doing something creative. Create art, pen poems, bake cookies, grow gardens, doodle flowers, paint pictures, compose songs, or write love notes on lunchbox napkins. Be creative. Whatever you create from a space of wonder and joy will adorn your heart with health and happiness.
Here are a few Ayurveda Yoga suggestions for creating a healthy and happy heart.
- Yoga: Reclining spinal twist, followed by supported bridge pose. Visualize smooth flow of blood in heart’s chambers and along the arteries and veins.
- Pranayama: Bumblebee Breath. Learn how to get a buzz at my website.
- Herbal Blend. The Maharishi Ayurveda “Cardio Support” is a rejuvenative for the heart’s physical and the emotional functions. It nourishes the heart tissue and supports balanced lipid production.
- Lifestyle: Invest at least 15 minutes a day to play. Regular creative playtime maintains a youthful heart.
- Foods. High quality sweets in moderation soothe the emotional heart. Two favorites are rice khir with rose water and hot cocoa with whipped cream dollop and cinnamon sprinkles. I also like spritzingorganic rose water in water and sip throughout the day. Rose has affinity for the heart. It’s especially beneficial for cooling pitta-type emotions like irritation and impatience, and calming the vata-type emotions of worry and fear.
Fall in love with 2 of these suggestions, and do them daily. Self-care is the best stoke to make your heart glow!
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