Who can benefit from rasayana (rejuvenation)? “Everyone, “ according to Dr. Lele. Rasayana is any food, herb or activity that the body and mind needs in order to be healthy and prevent early aging.
However, in order to benefit from rasayana, one must cleanse or purify. The deepest cleansing practices are what is called pancha karma (PK), meaning “five actions.” PK clears toxins from the body and mind at the very deepest level.
“It’s like painting a house. You can paint over old pealing paint, and the house will look a little better, but to really do the best job, you need to scrape away the old paint, then apply new paint– and it will be beautiful!” says Dr. Lele.
One of the most important parts of cleansing is to ensure that your agni (digestive fire) is strong, something Dr. Lele discussed in great detail in an earlier lecture.
A great way to do that, according to Dr. Lele, is by making a mixture of grated ginger, sea or rock salt, natural sugar, and lemon juice. It’s delicious and has a strong effect on digestion (see the picture below).
Another option for digesting ama (the residue of poorly digested food) is hot water. Yep, plain hot water. You can blend it with spices if you like – such as mint, fennel or ginger, but it’s great alone.
So what does it mean to rejuvenate? “There are many ways to take in substances that will nourish you, not just by mouth,” explained Dr. Lele. “The nose, ears, top of the head, soles of the feet and the skin are also really important ways to take in nourishing rasayanas.” High quality, cold-pressed food-grade oils have been used in Ayurveda for this purpose for thousands of years. The daily application of oil to the body is called “abhyanga” and has many benefits. “Even if you don’t have time to massage your whole body, at least apply oil each day to the top of your head, your ears, and the soles of your feet. From here it will spread throughout the body.” Other great rasayana options include a classic jam-like formula called Chywanprash, the Indian fruit amla, and milk from what Dr. Lele calls “happy cows”.
As Dr. Lele states, “If you obey the laws of nature, then, like a deity, nature gives you blessings in the form of good health!”
By the way, as Dr. Lele says, undergoing PK is the best route for deep cleansing, and at CCA we are happy to offer pancha karma – and even have a lovely “Cottage by the Pond” in which to stay while receiving the amazing multi-day treatments!
Posted by Dr. Marisa Jackson-Kinman