Aging is a natural process but who doesn’t want to stay young healthy and beautiful.
While you can’t stop the process, you can certainly delay the signs of aging by following these 5 ways. Which have been mentioned in ayurvedic texts and are now validated by modern science as well.
Anti-aging is one of those buzzwords, which gets tossed around very casually across various product lines. Many companies want you to believe that by applying one particular cream or lotion. You can slow down the aging process, but it’s far from the truth. Actually, a serious effort will be needed from your side to make it happen. Here are 5 ways.
1. Number of breaths in one minute
Just take out one minute from your busy schedule, sit back, and count the number of breaths that you take in one minute. In today’s fast-paced life on average, a human takes about 18 breaths per minute. Ancient saints and sages discovered a deep and profound relationship between our breathing patterns and the quality and longevity of life. This is noticeable in other life forms as well.
For example, a monkey breathes at a higher rate of 32 times per minute, lives restlessly, and has a lifespan of about 25 years only. On the other hand, the taught boys who may attain the age of 300 years breath only 4 times per minute.
As per Vedas, a man can easily reduce his rate of breathing by breathing correctly. Correct breathing means to breathe to our full capacity which a majority of us fail at.
Have you ever observed, “how when a newborn child is sleeping, his diaphragm makes the ribs rise and fall at each breath”?
This is correct breathing, which not only automatically reduces the breathing rate but also supplies an adequate amount of oxygen. And it is essentially the lack of oxygen responsible for any imbalance in our body. Be it dull and wrinkly skin, dark circles, premature hair fall, inability to sleep, depression, and even all other chronic diseases. Some modern studies also attribute longevity to slow breathing. It is quite evident in the breathing patterns of regular smokers as well, who breathe faster than non-smokers and are more likely to die sooner.
Obviously, the question then arises “how do we reduce our rate of breathing and start breathing correctly?” Two simple practices that you can incorporate into your daily regime is to do pranayama and meditation for at least 10 minutes. just after five minutes of anulom belom pranayama. You can notice a reduction in the number of breaths. The same is the result when you meditate on your breath. Practicing them over a period of time. Our body gets used to correct breathing and it gets an ample amount of oxygen which significantly increases our healthspan.
2. Selfless service
The word Ayurveda means the science of life. It is not just about food and herbs. But also presses on the importance of selfless service In increasing the longevity and healthspan of an individual.
In charak Samhita chapter on sadhvr says that “selfless action that is rendered without any personal expectation strengthens mental health and sustains the balance between body and mind” which is crucial for a long healthy life. As outrageous as this concept may sound, modern research tried to validate it through a sophisticated 50-year long experiment and the results were quite startling.
Modern researchers caught up with over 3000 individuals and found that “those individuals who had performed selfless service regularly lived longer as compared to those who did not.”
The old saying that good deeds always come around makes all the more sense now. We all have experienced the surreal feeling of helping the needy at some point in our life. Haven’t we?
Our scripture suggests that we indulge in such practices more often to stabilize the body-mind function and overcome life’s challenges that accompany the aging process. While this can be commonly construed as donating money to a charity. It can well be practiced in day to day life by helping our friends and family or people. Who works for you and sometimes even strangers.
3. Rasayan foods
The concept of anti-aging is described in Ayurveda as Rasayana chikitsa, which aims at maintaining excellent physical and mental health in mature age through a combination of nourishing diet wholesome activities, and gentle herbs. The cause of age-related wear and tear is understood as a result of accumulated oxidative stress in the body.
Ayurveda has identified various herbs that have demonstrated their effect of oxygen radical absorbance and thereby reversing premature aging. Amla, gilloi, ashwagandha, Shatavari, Bala, and Brahmi are considered some of the potent rescience by Ayurveda. Triphala a classical formulation of three fruits amla, harad, and baheda has topped the charts of orac scale made by USDA comparing the antioxidant nature of thousands of foods. Ashwagandha and gilloi were found to prevent oxidative stress and premature aging in another NCBI study.
Similarly churwan prash, brahmarasan and Shatavari are well-known ayurvedic rasayanas. You can supplement them in your regular diet. To get the maximum benefit of adding them to your diet for about two months and then stop for a month. Again you may start. You can further check with an ayurvedic practitioner to understand what Rasayan food is best suited for your body type, age and requirements.
One of the most underrated ways to slow down the aging process is fasting. It has always been considered the best anti-aging pill by Ayurveda and today modern science is in tune with it.
A study showed that mice who fasted twice a month from middle age till the end of their life lived 11 percent longer and improved their overall health dramatically.
Scientists have discovered that various organisms in the world when they reduce their caloric intake by 30 % they live longer by 30 percent. Rejuvenation of the cells is the crux of what anti-aging is all about and that’s what fasting does.
In 2016, the Nobel prize was awarded to a Japanese cell biologist for Autophagy. Autophagy is when the body gets rid of the sickest cells. This happens during fasting when only the healthiest cells survive, whereas all toxic cells vanish.
The removal of toxic cells results in weight loss, better digestion, unblemished skin, better hair, and improved cognitive ability. Fasting is so powerful that it slows down the degradation of DNA. This is what occurs when we age and accelerates DNA repair thus slowing down the aging process.
It is recommended that you fast at least once or twice a month. There are many levels to it and you can choose what you are most comfortable with. A full day of fasting is not your cup of tea you should start eating in accordance with the sun. To put it simply finish your last meal before sunset that is around 7 pm. This practice was found to have anti-aging benefits in one study published in NCBI.
5. The practice of celibacy
Celibacy or brahmacharya was highly decorated in our country Bharat for its unbelievable anti-aging and spiritual benefits. Well, we all know about the benefits of brahmacharya. The oldest living man ever swami Sivananda puts his longevity down to no sex or spices and daily yoga.
In 1997 dr David James a geneticist at university college London found that males who remain celibate are more likely to survive into a ripe old age. A team from the University of Sheffield found that the nuns and spinsters who stay away from the pleasures of the flesh outlive sexually active adults. Well, as aesthetically benefiting as celibacy may appear practically. It is not so feasible, especially for married couples.
However, Ayurveda promises that if one does not overindulge in sexual activity. He or she is bound to slow the aging process. Ayurveda’s controlled sex practices are focused on preserving the vital dhatu in the body called Shukra. Which is responsible for sexual attraction, beauty, enthusiasm, joy, health, and creativity.
So these were the 5 major ways that you can include in your 20s and 30s to live a longer and a healthier life. Without a doubt, it is a challenging task but even incorporating one of these correctly can give you compounded results in the long term. It is said that all big things start small. So it’s best to start taking baby steps towards it.
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