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1. To sleep early at night and wake up early, at least one and a half hour before sunrise (an ambrosial hour), is good for health.

2. Health is not merely the fitness of the body. It includes an exhilarated and peaceful mind and brain.

3. To meditate and worship for 10-15 minutes in the morning after awakening provides mental peace and happiness.

4. To remain healthy and for the prevention of ailments, take a compatible and beneficial diet always. A person who follows a compatible diet does not require any medication.

5. During meals, be in a peaceful and cheerful state of mind. Spare some time for yourself at least during meal hours.

6. Take food in time. Food taken before the digestion of the previous meal is harmful for health. It is a golden rule in Ayurveda to eat only when hungry. Otherwise, fast for one meal of the day.

7. Yogurt at night and sleep during the day time (except in the summer season) is harmful for health.

8. Exercise is beneficial for the body, but exercising or working more than the body’s strength is very harmful.

9. Both obesity and emaciation are undesirable. Obesity is more harmful and is a root cause of various ailments, so beware of it.

10. Do not take disease lightly, because sometimes ignoring a common disease may become fatal.

11. For good health, an appropriate diet according to the season is recommended and one must eat less than their appetite.

12. Take 1-2 glasses of lukewarm water in the morning. Intake of lukewarm water containing the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey is very useful. Do not take tea and coffee on an empty stomach in the morning.

13. Locking of teeth during defecation prevents loosening of teeth even in old age.

14. In the morning, hold water in the mouth and sprinkle cold water in the eyes. Also clean the palate with the thumb to keep away diseases of eyes, ears, nose and throat.

15. Massaging the balls of the feet with mustard oil before bathing keeps the vision normal even in old age. Walking barefoot on green grass in the morning improves the vision. Full body massage with mustard oil, once in a week along with massage of the soles of the feet and thumbs is very beneficial. It promotes circulation and relieves excess Vata.

16. If possible, gaze at the rays of the sun at dawn for five minutes daily to improve eyesight.

17. Brushing the teeth after each meal and before sleeping at night removes food particles from between the teeth.

18. Add lemon juice to bathing water to keep away body odor.

19. Practise yogasanas and pranayamas regularly after morning ablutions and bath. This keeps away all kinds of diseases. It keeps the mind peaceful and makes the body healthy and strong. It also enhances mental strength.

20. Breakfast should include easily digestible, light and fibrous foods, sprouts, fruits and porridge. While eating, chew the food properly to facilitate assimilation.

21. After a meal, sit in the position of Vajrasana for at least 10 minutes, and if possible, walk at night after dinner.

22. Take at least 8-12 glasses of water (3-4 liters) per day.

23. Always sit in a straight posture, and if sitting on the floor, avoid any support while getting up.

24. Always keep the nails trimmed and clean and never bite your nails.

25. Do not drink water while eating food. Take water half an hour before and after the meal. Always drink water in small sips.

26. Before eating, thank God for the food He has provided and consume food as a sacrament of God.

27. Include maximum green vegetables and salad in the diet. Excessive warm and cold food is harmful for digestion. Use minimum spices in the food. Daily intake of seasonal fruits is very useful for health. Do not eat fruit along with food. Take it separately before the meal.

28. Never suppress natural urges of the body such as defecation, urination, sneezing and so on, as it may result in various diseases.

29. To deal with faulty language, conduct and thoughts and also to move ahead in the journey of life, daily at night close your eyes and think patiently, peacefully and introspectively. Work accordingly to achieve and adopt Astanga yoga in life. Do not cover the mouth while sleeping. Maintain proper ventilation in the room while sleeping. Sleeping in the left lateral position results in proper breathing from right nostril which facilitates digestion of food.

30. Do not read or sleep on the belly.

31. Application of oil on the head calms the mind and induces sound sleep.

32. Drinking water and other edibles should be clean and fresh because unhygienic conditions invites various diseases.

33. Dry hair immediately after washing to prevent sinus problem.

34. Blowing the nose forcefully may be injurious to the ears, eyes and nose.

35. Continuous nose picking and scratching the anus may be the sign of worms in the body.

36. Cracking of joints may be injurious to the body, as it causes derangement of Vata.

37. It is harmful to have sex during menstruation, which causes derangement of Vata.

38. Avoid physical exertion such as yoga or running during menstruation.

39. After coitus, milk heated with raw cashews and raw sugar promotes strength and maintains sexual vigor.

(Excerpted from the book ‘A Practical Approach To The Science Of Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide For Healthy Living’ by Acharya Balkrishna)