Similar to the principles of yama and niyama in yoga, Ayurveda has achar rasayanas or behavioral rasayanas. Rasayanas are essentially the rules of behavioral conduct that promote immunity and balance all three doshas.
They are a way of living that helps to spiritual growth and the recommended behaviors are sattvic or pure by nature. By following the recommended list of behavioral rasayanas, it becomes a tool for the prevention of disease and helps to boost levels of happiness.
Rasayanas are an essential part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. According to Charak Samhita, the main text of Ayurveda:
”The means by which one gets the excellence of ras (the nourishing fluid which is produced immediately after digestion) is known as rasayana. A person undergoing rasayana attains longevity, memory, intellect, freedom from diseases, youth; excellence of lustre, complexion, and voice; respect, and brilliance.”
Having a diet in line with your dosha is a single part of the behavioral rasayanas. In addition to pacifying and balancing your dosha through the six tastes, here are the additional behaviors to follow.
These behaviors help to create a baseline of what is expected from you at a minimum so that you can achieve balanced health. This will allow you to live a more fulfilling life that is free from disease.
Ayurveda goes beyond recommending just a diet or various foods to eat. Ayurveda recognizes that health is based upon what you consume, whether that is food or experiences. Thus, behavioral rasayanas are all about the experiences you have.
1. Being truthful at all times.
It only serves you to speak the truth and to be honest. Telling lies creates ama or impurities within the body. Besides, they say to cover a lie, you will end up telling more lies.
The truth is easier to remember and is nourishing for you to simply speak the truth. Lies also create stress within the body, which will weaken your immune system. Always be honest and respect others. This includes being faithful to your partner and not stealing any wealth from others.
2. Being free from anger and staying in control over your emotions.
Although it is important to recognize anger and to embrace your emotions, this one is about having the right outlet for the anger and not allowing your anger to harm others. Being in control over your anger also means teaching yourself about unconditional forgiveness. Letting go of jealousy and hatred goes along with avoiding anger.
3. Living in peace, remaining calm and non-violent.
Sometimes the world around you may feel like its crumbling or you are in a variety of stressful situations. However, you want to teach yourself to remain calm and centered. You want to be the eye of the storm and cultivate inner peace. You want to avoid getting caught up in the storm but rather look at it from a calm perspective before taking any action. This will allow you to avoid any destructive or self-sabotaging behavior.
4. Engaging in positive and uplifting speech.
Always speak in positive words and be encouraging to others. Avoid any hurtful or harsh speech. This includes avoiding speaking ill of others behind their back. It is also helpful to surround yourself with those who do the same. Keep in mind positivity attracts positivity and negativity attracts negativity.
5. Being clean at all times.
Keep your body and environment clean at all times. Starting with your body, eat well, exercise and ensure your digestive system is working well. Ensure your home is clean and free from clutter. As a service to the world, do your part to help keep the world a cleaner place.
6. Engaging in meditation or a spiritual practice that helps with spiritual development.
Ayurveda does not reference religion directly, however, religious practices fall under spiritual development. Therefore, any self-development practice that helps with your spiritual growth is highly recommended.
7. Being respectful of teachers and elders.
Teachers and elders have a lot to offer. It is important to never stop learning and to use teachers and elders like guides. Serve your elders and help them as necessary. Reading and learning should continue throughout life.
8. Not letting your ego take over.
Be non-egotistical by remaining humble. This means avoiding being vain or thinking that you know it all. Nobody knows everything. Be open to learning from and respecting others. In order to grow spiritually, one must let go of the ego.
9. Doing charitable work.
Give back to your community. Whether it's by making monetary donations or getting physically involved in a charity, always help those in need. The concept of paying it forward can be seen in both Ayurveda and yoga.
10. Having a balance of sleep and awake times.
Getting either too much sleep or not enough sleep will imbalance the doshas and so will the misuse of your time. Therefore, always have a balance of rest and activity.
11. Showing love and compassion to all.
Everyone, regardless of where they come from or how life has treated them, deserves love and compassion. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. By showing love and compassion, your mind and body will feel more at peace.
12. Having self-control when needed.
Avoid the over-indulgence of sugar, alcohol, drugs, and sex. It is important to know your limits and stopping when needed. This could also mean having self-control over your emotions or thoughts. Yoga and breathing exercises are a great way to teach your body self-control as they help you to learn more about you.
Overall, the behavioral rasayanas are about being well-behaved and showing respect to yourself as well as others. Being honest, showing up with love in your heart, always ready to learn is all you need as a baseline.
Always do the best you can with the resources you have. This will help you to apply the behavioral rasayanas to your daily life.
During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced.
To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz.
Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.