How To Increase Memory with Ayurveda
Forgetfulness is common among many people, especially as we get older. Forgetting where we put the car keys and if we took our vitamins can become frustrating and sometimes embarrassing. The extreme side to forgetfulness is Alzheimer’s where one forgets more than just where they parked the car, but who their family members are and where they live. As we get older our bodies naturally dry out and increase in air. The ancient science of Ayurveda is great for maintaining youth and in bringing the memory back through balancing the body using the elements.
Ayurveda teaches that we are all made out of 5 basic elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth) and these elements also govern times in our life. When we are young we have a lot of water and earth in our body giving us growth and a youthful appearance. As we go into puberty and into our adult life we are governed by fire and water and these elements give us drive to do something with our lives be it to procreate and have children or go to university to get a good paying job. And as we get older the elements of air and ether govern our bodies making us forgetful, dry and to turn inwards with the wisdom that we have gained. Each transition through life should be honored and acknowledged but to also know that our health need not deteriorate as we go through this process. Yes, we will “look” older as we age, but we need not have to experience poor health and forgetfulness just because we have come closer to 100 in years. Also take note that the earlier you take action in maintaining your health and youth the better your later years will be. If you are experiencing forgetfulness and you are nearer 100 it will be much harder to reverse than someone in their 40’s or 50’s.
Ayurveda uses a mix of food, herbs, yoga and meditation to bring memory back into sharp focus.
Increase Memory with Food
Carrots have been known for centuries to increase eyesight, but did you also know that they can increase memory? The carotene in the carrots contribute to good memory.
Beetroot is also good for memory as it is a blood builder. You can drink the juice of both carrot and beetroot together to give your memory a good boost.
Sweet potato is another way of increasing memory. Sweet potatoes are very good in balancing the air element in the body and helping the body to heal itself.
Okra is said to be a brain tonic and is used in many Indian dishes. These little vegetables are also sometimes called lady fingers.
Kitchari is known in ayurveda to be a way of cleansing the body. Going on a kitchari fast meaning that you eat kitchari for a number of days will help to increase memory, but also to lose a few extra pounds. Kitchari is made of 50% mung beans and 50% basmati rice with spices of cumin, coriander, fennel and turmeric to add the body. You can also add other spices to add flavor. The combination of mung beans and rice give the body a perfect protein and are easy to digest.
Foods that are in season and freshly prepared are going to help the body stay strong and youthful verses foods that are leftover, boxed, canned or microwaved.
Increase Memory with Herbs
Ayurveda has a wide range of herbs that are beneficial for the body and more specifically the memory. Any herb that increases the strength of the body and brings moisture will increase your memory at some level. Specific herbs for memory include:
- Gotu Kola
Increase Memory with Yoga
Yoga postures or asana’s beneficial for memory include and inverted posture such as
- Shoulder stand
- Head stand
Other asana's included in benefiting memory are:
- Sun Salutation
- Savasana (relaxation posture)
Increase Memory with Meditation
A daily practice of meditation has been found to not only increase memory, but relieve stress, balance emotions, reduce worry/fear/anxiety and bring a deeper balance and clarity to your physical body and well being. Not enough can be said about giving time for stillness and to comfortably stay in the stillness for 15-30 minutes per day.
Increase Memory through your Breath
Your breath is the portal to your consciousness. If you can use your breath as you need it you can open up your awareness in very deep ways. You can also increase your memory and, some say, increase your lifespan. Alternate nostril breathing or Anuloma Viloma has been known to be directly linked with increased memory.
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