The oldest and one of the largest religions in the world, Hindu dharma is not just about walking on the spiritual path. There are other things to be learned from Hindu dharma. Here, we will be discussing 10 Health and fitness tips we can get from Hindu dharma.
1. It is always about the balance
Hindus believe that everything in the world is made of four out of five natural elements – earth, water, air, fire – which makes up our body too. Any imbalance of these can lead to bad health, and it is not just about the balance of the five elements, people try to keep the balance between health, body, and spirit. For that, Hindus have yoga, meditation, as well as, clean dietary plan.
2. The Dietary Code and its benefits
Hindus believe in taking care of both mind and body, and it happens only when you care for what you eat. Hindus understand how food can affect mood and thoughts. Most orthodox Hindus are vegetarians, who don’t eat meat whatsoever as a respect to the God’s creatures. The others follow the dietary codes provided through the culture and religion. Many refrains consuming beef as the cow is considered sacred, and duck, camel, snails, crab, pork are also avoided by some. Mostly, the diet is limited to the lacto-vegetarian diet where dairy is consumed with non-animal food.
This code is explained with three categories:
- Tamasic food: Something that is stale, left-over, overripe, spoiled or otherwise impure. These can bring negative emotions and thus are avoided.
- Rajasic food: Commonly meat, eggs, onions, garlic, and others that can produce strong emotional qualities in the mind.
- Sattvic food: These are the most desirable food that can never irritate to stomach if eaten at the right amount and can even purify the mind. They include fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains and so on.
3. Yogic Way of Life
For Hindus, yoga is a spiritual path, rather than the physical one. It is exercised to purify, allow man to achieve higher spiritual and mental state. It also goes hand in hand with meditation.
4. The Use of Holy Tulsi
Also known as “Holy Basil”, Tulsi is widely used by Hindus for religious purposes, and it contains many medicinal values. It has an antimicrobial property that prolongs longevity. It is also an important plant in Ayurveda, and thus, is used by many Hindu households to treat common ailments such as cold, stomach-aches, headaches, inflammation and some heart problems. It is also used as a repellent against mosquitoes, flies and other bugs.
Self-control is an important aspect of Hindu dharma. Hindus believe that mind and the body can be trained to overcome bad behaviors such as addiction. There is a line in Bhagavad Gita that states:
“It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to control. But it can be conquered through regular practice and detachment. Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in meditation; but those who are self-controlled, striving earnestly through the right means, will attain the goal.”
Fasting is very common amongst the Hindus. It depends on holy days, moon days and festivals that Hindus partake in fasting. It is very important to understand that intermittent fasting rarely exceeds more than a day. The University of Southern Calfornia’s Valter Longo establishes the benefits of intermittent fasting in his work ‘Cell Metabolism’. He insists that it improves the immune system, reduces cancer risks, promotes stem cell regeneration, especially in the brain.
7. Oral health
Some study on the impact of cultural factors in health, the dietary patterns of Hindus consisted of coarse and fibrous vegetables that reduced tooth decay and allowed stimulation of jaw muscles as it refined carbohydrates and red meat. Alcoholism is also prohibited among some Hindu castes, which also has its own health benefits.
8. Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness
There is a very strict rule when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness among the Hindus. They have to bath every day, before visiting temples and performing any rituals. Also, you need to wash the hands every time you eat.
While the main intention of meditation in Hindu dharma is to connect with God on a spiritual level, it has its mental benefits that reduce negative thinking, fears, anxiety, and mental blocks.
10. The belief of karma
Karma plays a very important role in Hindu way of life. It where you accumulate the deeds so that it can determine the destiny of the soul. Each act of an individual has its own consequences. Thus, negative thoughts and actions can bring back suffering, while good thoughts and actions can liberate a person. With that belief, Hindus mostly keep themselves in the flow of good energy.