Ayurveda places the heart at the centre of different physical and spiritual principles. For instance, the heart is considered central inMarma therapy.Similarly, the AnahataChakra which resides in the heart is at the centre of all the seven chakras. Ojas, the essence of energy and immunity is also located in the heart.
Everyone knows that the heart is crucial for survival, but to lead a happy and fulfilling life, you need a ‘healthy heart’.
Stress, anxiety, tension, blood pressure, wrong dietary and lifestyle choices – affect the health of our hearts. Common cardiac problems like tachycardia, bradycardia, fibrillation and weak heart describe conditions when the heart is not working properly.
Ayurveda considers the heart to be the seat of spirit and emotions. So, for a healthy heart, you need both emotions (bhava) and the spirit (prana) to be healthy, and here is what Ayurveda recommends.
Understand the interplay of emotions and the heart: The heart is sensitive to emotional turmoil. When your mind is assaulted by emotions, it takes a toll on the heart. Consistent emotional upheavals deeply impacts your heart health. In Ayurvedic terms, when you are emotional, your mind is either in the state of Rajas (passion, anger, attachment, desire, etc.) or Tamas(moody, jealous, guilt, shame, embarrassment, etc.), and neither of these states is healthy. Health blossoms when your mind is in the state of Sattva and you experience joy, serenity, cheerfulnessandeuphoria. Now, how do you attain Sattva? The simple answer is ‘slow down’, ground yourself with reality and take a moment to introspect. Get out of exhilarating environments, seek silence and calmness. Seek the company of people you find calming and reassuring. It is like riding out a storm, once your mind is Sattvic, you will experience the calm. That is what you need for a healthy heart.
Manage Agni and Ama: It surely helps in keeping your emotions in the state of Sattva if your body is healthy. Ayurveda considers two things very important to maintain health – strong Agni (digestion) and absence of Ama (toxins). When both are true, your body produces Ojas, your immunity is high, you have no diseases and there is no psychological burden of a diseased body. That will make your heart lighter and care-free to enjoy what life has in store for you. Remember, stress and anxiety are outcomes of mental Ama. Once you learn to expel that, you will never have another reason to worry about your mind or heart. If you want to reduce Ama, the food you eat to nourish your body is equally important.
Let’s see how you can do that.
Power of prayers and meditation: When you hear bells ring in a temple, or when you hear Azaan or the choir sing, why does it make your heart calm? There are frequencies in nature that have a calming effect on the mind and body. Sit down in a calm place every morning and chant ‘Aum’audibly for 15 minutes. When you open your eyes you will feel Sattvic. That means you have just nourished your mind and remove mental Ama.Other ways to nourish your mind are through meditation, reading Sattvicliterature and listening to soothing music.
Stay active, reject addiction: Mild exercises keep your heart strong and promote good metabolism. Just brisk-walking for 20-30 minutes every day will burn calories, reduce cholesterol and flush toxins. Also, when you exercise or practise yoga on a regular basis, you no longer feel the urge to satisfy your addictions.
If you suspect anything irregular with your heart, do not ignore it. Please consult with a heart specialist immediately.
By: Dr.Partap Chauhan, Director of Jiva Ayurveda