Rejuvenation is a methodology of replenishing the ageing body systems with strength, valor while restoring it from day-to-day stress and pollution. A peek into our history will show that man has always been keen on natural rejuvenation and beauty treatments. The treatments of the royalty and nobles like bathing in milk using natural spices like turmeric or visiting natural hot springs only highlight this. The best thing about today is, one need not be a royalty to enjoy the benefits of rejuvenation.
In Ayurveda terminologies, Rejuvenation processes is termed as ‘Rasayana’, meaning the ayana (pathway) of the rasa (vital essence). Rasayana is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. The aim of Rasayana is to delay the ageing process, impart strength and valor, to improve memory, complexion and longevity. It’s not a life extension modality, but a therapeutic program that strives to attain a productive life with a holistic approach, adding life to the years of old age.
The term looks simple, but the procedures involved to attain this restoration involve a carefully designed regime of therapies and supplements.
Eminent scholars of Ayurveda has given prime importance to this branch of Ayurveda medicine and explained the processes and procedures in great detail. The importance of rejuvenating the body from the day-to-day wear and tear, restoring the harmony of the body, spirit and mind to have an optimum life was very well understood and studied with great interest. Probably that is why Rasayana is identified as the first of the eight branches mentioned by the classical texts of Ayurveda.
Rasayanas are classified into four types on the basis of their desired action. These are:
- Pranakamiya Rasayana: to enhance vitality and promote longevity
- Medhakamiya Rasayana: to enhance intelligence, memory and recollection
- Srikamiya Rasayana: to enhance the color, complexion and texture of skin
- Naimittika Rasayana: to combat a specific disease, malfunction etc.
Restoring the harmony of body, mind and spirit sounds fancy but how does one actually achieve it?
Ayurveda explains about Rasayana, several types of it, catering to the specific needs and conditions of individuals. Three types of Rasayana based on the contents are:
- Oushadha Rasayana – where herbs and formulations are used to achieve a specific Rasayana purpose, as in the herb Brahmi, is a Medhya Rasayana, promoting memory;
- Ahara Rasayana – foods which as per the body constitution, age, seasonal, environmental and cultural factors act as rejuvenators. Milk is a Rasayana for a person with Pitta predominant body type;
- Achara Rasayana – behavioral patterns and character traits one needs to cultivate and practice for the well-being of the mind and spirit, like being kind to the needy, being warm and approachable, meditation etc.
Benefits of Rasayana:
Acharya Charaka, authority on Ayurveda in his classical text dated 900 BCE – 600 BCE explains the multiple ways in which Rasayana benefit the body:
- Enhances physical strength and stamina
- Improves the absorption and assimilation of bio-nutrients
- Healthy and delayed ageing
- Improves immuno-modulatory function and prevents diseases
- Improves brain functions like memory and recollection
- De-stressing and relaxing
- Rejuvenates the sense organs and vital systems
- Enhances the skin texture and complexion
Choosing the right Rejuvenation program:
As everything else in Ayurveda, the Rasayana therapy is also custom-made keeping in consideration various parameters like the individual’s body constitution, current body condition, lifestyle, age, stress levels etc. These programs can range from seven days to 42 days. Some intense and deep rejuvenation programs like ‘Kuti Praveshika Rasayana’ require a person to stay in a special cottage for a stipulated period and undergo the complete therapy without external exposure. There are also simpler regime which customizes the right mix of external therapies, medications and continuing supplements with a dedicated stay and also later continuing suggested measures by the expert along with the daily life routine.
One of the pre-requisites for any deep rejuvenation Rasayana therapy is the detoxification procedure or Panchakarma, intended to cleanse the body of all accumulated wastes, re-activate the metabolism to absorb the goodness and start afresh. Other prerequisites include a commitment to follow the instructions and the will to complete a program. During the course of the program, a specific diet and lifestyle regime is also suggested to make sure one gets the best out of the program.
Rejuvenation through Yoga
Yoga is one of the most beneficial methods to get the body to slow down and rejuvenate. Restorative yoga poses focuses your attention on your breath. The breath slows down the nervous system, allowing you to manage stress and emotions with more patience and clarity while providing relief for stress-related conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and even medical conditions such as migraines or asthma. The breathing and meditation exercises taught in yoga help lower blood pressure, heart rate and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Yoga movements and poses also improve strength and agility. Poses are designed to impact various muscles and are also said to massage internal organs.
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