Laying the foundation of good health and longevity
by Dimple Arora
According to the profound wisdom of Ayurveda, the food we eat is divided into three parts: The first part nourishes the solid part of our being- muscles, tissues, organs; the second part nourishes the liquid part- blood, plasma, fluids; the third part is the essence of food which nourishes the subtle essence of our being or "ojas"- that which defines our general immunity, as well as emotional and mental well-being.
Human beings are much more than a bundle of bones, blood and muscles. We are energy beings at the end of the day, with consciousness, and this energy aspect of our being can only be nourished by energy derived from substances provided by Mother Nature herself in the form of Air, Water, Light, and Food.
Natural organic food such as fruits, herbs and vegetables, are likewise not just a mass of vitamins and minerals. They carry a certain "food energy" derived from the sublime forces of nature (Sun, Water, Earth and Air), which is imparted to us humans to nourish our essential energy described as ojas in Ayurveda.
In the same way that scientists cannot replicate human blood in the laboratory (we need live blood transfusion to save and sustain a human life), man-made food synthesized and packaged cannot have that quintessential food energy which we humans need to nourish and sustain our energy and immunity at the end of the day.
A lot of ancestral knowledge in this field or "kitchen wisdom" is lost to us modern folks. The kitchen is a place we seldom frequent, given our hectic urban life. And yet, it is here that we lay the foundation of good health and longevity for ourselves and our family.
We can all recall the sweet aroma and nurturing taste of the dishes prepared by Mom and Grandma. Simple food really, but we just crave for it. Or is it the taste of "love" our palates are seeking, the real ingredient responsible for the delectable grub we used to gulp down voraciously in childhood? It is here that I am drawn to the essence of a cook, the nurturing mother, the healing goddess, who not only knows what to cut and blend, but one who gives herself selflessly over to the "heat of the moment" (literally), only for the sake of someone else!
The food prepared is a temporary masterpiece which will soon be devoured. Yet, a good cook will employ every faculty of her being, ranging from physical dexterity and mindfulness, to engaging the spirit by infusing love, joy and enthusiasm into the dish being prepared. So holistic, so selfless, so pure- it's a therapeutic journey worth undertaking not because of the destination, but the journey itself.
The current trend of commercial, ready-made products with their fancy labels touting the vitamin and mineral content of their products do not match up to the taste and energy of fresh homemade food. We can all taste the difference between canned juice and a freshly squeezed one; I don't have to go far to prove my point. Our taste buds carry within them the intelligence to discern what is good and what is not for our body. Stuff like cigarettes and alcohol never taste good to the innocent palate- a compelling testimony to our body intelligence!
We need to revive basic awareness regards food and diet, by tuning in and re-learning to understand our body signals and intelligence so that we are not totally at the mercy of so-called experts, who are not infallible. In fact, they are folks currently in the process of figuring out the governing dynamics behind that which modern science cannot explain.
This subtle science is explained in a 5,000 year old comprehensive text called Ayurveda, a body of knowledge so complete and profound, which gives us a rational and complete understanding of the dynamics of health and disease. Ayurveda is a universal science of healthcare, with origins in the Indian subcontinent. It has been preserved and practiced for over five millennia. I welcome you to discover the higher scientific secrets of health and wellbeing with me, when I visit the Samhita Yoga Thailand center in September.
Always with you in holistic health and happiness,