The Three Pillars of Health
from the wisdom of Ayurveda
an excerpt from Healthy, Happy, Sexy
To be healthy, Ayurveda says that there are three pillars of life that must be honored. The ancient book on Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita, states that there are three supports (pillars) of life. They are food, sleep, and observance of bramacharya, the wise use of sexual (or vital) energy. When we are supported by these pillars, the body has good strength, complexion, and growth. In other words, even if you decide not to delve into any of the more mystical undercurrents of Ayurveda, you can still impact your mental and physical well-being by balancing three seemingly simple aspects of your life: food, sleep, and how you use your vital energy.
Sounds great, right? Well, it should be. Food, sleep, and sex are the core ways we nourish ourselves. You may have already had the visceral experience of how a lovingly prepared, well- digested meal, a good night’s sleep, and a night of passionate lovemaking—okay, an hour will suffice—with someone you really love can transform your entire outlook on life. You see, Nature delights and rewards us for doing the things that make us feel good, especially when we do them in a healthy way, at the ideal time, and in the proper amount. For example, I love
sleeping eight hours every night. When I’m in balance, I enjoy going to the farmer’s market and buying seasonal foods. It makes me feel good, and Nature celebrates those feelings with good health. Being Ayurveda savvy is a practice of getting better at determining which things are going to really make us feel good (deep sleep, healthy food, loving relationships), and letting go of the things that give us a temporary high but deplete us over the long term (double-shot lattes, fast food, and sex without love, for example).