Living More Youthfully

woman wearing brown overall

How do we generate and maintain our zest for life? It comes from practicing techniques for rejuvenation, reawakening and renewal.

In Ayurveda, this is the practice of Rasayana and it includes our physical, mental and spiritual states of being. Ultimately, Rasayana helps us to achieve and maintain our passion, our enthusiasm and our appetite for life. Rasayana promotes cognitive and physical strength, immunity, enthusiasm and energetic zest for the remainder of our lives. Through Rasayana we can keep living younger longer.

And, it’s not just for old agers… it’s for anyone who may be unbalanced right now. Or for anyone who wishes to move into old age more youthfully.

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Rasayana begins with the practices for keeping our tissues healthy. In Ayurveda, our tissues hold our energy reserves. At their healthiest, the tissues contain our strength, resilience and confidence. Along with our ojas (which is our immunity), this is how we resist dis-ease. I spoke of ojas here and gave more information about our bodily tissues in this blogpost.

In a nutshell, when we have healthy tissues: plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bones, bone marrow and reproductive organs, then our longevity increases. We have a stronger immune system and we maintain good mental health (because we can grasp knowledge, retain it and are able to recall and maintain our long-term memory).

Now, I would like to introduce some specific practices regarding diet, lifestyle, behavior and attitudes that we can follow to create that rejuvenating effect for our physical and mental bodies. 

Let’s start with some particular practices for keeping our physical tissues healthy. 

Primarily, you want to keep the first tissue called rasa in tip top shape. Per Ayurveda, our rasa is the plasma, serum and lymph within our bodies. Although it is separate from our blood, rasa is known as the “juice of life.” Since rasa is the first tissue, it should be fortified so that it can provide the utmost benefit to the subsequent tissues.

There are specific foods and herbs that are known to increase the quality and quantity of our rasa tissues. {Please note that I will be mentioning only the spices, foods and some milder herbs that I am familiar with here. And, also, please check with your physician if you are in doubt or have any allergies.}

For improving rasa, dates, raisins, nuts, dairy or nut milk, sesame oil, turmeric, cumin and coriander are the known to be the best choices.

One tip is to mix dates with ghee (clarified butter) and let them soak for one week. During this time, the dates will imbibe the ghee and enhance their nutritional value. Then, it is recommended you eat the date with warm milk (nut or cow milk).

The second way to enhance your rejuvenating effect is to increase your agni.

Remember our agni is our digestive fire. The way we process and metabolize how and what we bring into our bodies. 

There are two types of agni: the overall digestive agni that happens in your gastrointestinal tract and the more localized agni that occurs within the tissues themselves.

There are specific herbs that work for both agni levels. You can take them before a meal to kindle the agni or after a meal to improve digestion. These herbs will also help with the separation of nutrients and wastes to increase the overall quality of the tissues. Ginger is one such herb and another is aloe vera. Aloe vera is used primarily for increasing one’s appetite. However, you should have guidance on how and when to take aloe vera because you still need to honor your innate constitution.

One herb that is known to be effective yet gentle for cultivating agni is the India herb called Amalaki. It’s transforming properties help with assimilation and absorption.

The third way we can practice for Rasayana or rejuvination, is to keep our channels clear.

The channels or strotas (as they are known in Ayurveda) are the transportation pathways within us. These are the pathways through which the rasa (juice of life) flows so that it can reach the other tissues. Unfortunately, ama (or undigested food stuff) can block these channels preventing the tissues from receiving their complete dose of nutrients.

A good herb for cleansing these pathways is garlic. Although garlic itself is not harmful in small quantities, if taken in larger quantities it can interfere with other substances you may be taking – so be sure to check with your healthcare provider before using it medicinally.

My final, and most important, tip for rejuvenation is the practice of acara rasayana.

And this is rejuvenation through the practice of true living. By living our lives more truthfully, we build up more of our life force or prana. Prana is the energetic zest that flows through us. Although it is not physiologically documented, prana is known to be carried into and out of the body through the breath. So, prana flows as oxygen does, fueling our bodies with essential energy to create balance, enthusiasm, alignment and health. 

To increase our pranic levels, we should strive for the following: 

  • speak truthfully to others (without causing harm) 
  • refrain from angry words, thoughts and deeds 
  • stay away from addictions (practice moderation) 
  • live in the present moment (practice stillness/meditation)
  • and, finally, go beyond satisfying your own desires and aversions by becoming more connected to one another. You can do this by performing acts of service or by simply putting yourselves in the shoes of others.

By living in satvritti or true living, you can balance all of the mind/body systems, become happier, more peaceful and, as a result, live longer more harmoniously.

There is a wonderful saying from my teacher Dr. Jay at Kerala Ayurveda Academy that I’d like to share with you regarding how we should consider the aging process. It is simply, “allow time to flow through you.”

When you allow time to naturally flow through you without fighting it or resisting it, then you stay in harmony with nature. And, the life will continue its proper course with health-giving benefits for your utmost well-being.

The light within me salutes the light within you.

Namasté my friends. 🙏🏼💜

Photo by Edu Carvalho on

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