VAMAKUKSHI – POST LUNCH NAP FOR DIGESTION
Ayurveda places great importance on the process of digestion. Healthy digestion is holistically supposed to be the root of good body function. For this reason, it is important to get in on an ayurvedic diet, tailored to your body dosha type. Apart from the food you eat, the eating habits you follow also ensure that your gastrointestinal function is in the best possible form. Timely meals, and adequate portion sizes are all major factors in maintaining gut health and hygiene. Ayurveda even prescribeseating with hands, and sitting cross legged on the floor as the best ways to consume food, and has numerous results to back its claims.
Another aspect of Ayurveda is that it stresses on the importance of keeping the agni or fire in the stomach burning all day for healthy digestion. This means you should eat exactly enough food to satiate your hunger, no more and no less. While it might be tempting to tuck into a king’s breakfast and a huge dinner, noon is the best time for a large meal. This is due to the fact that the sun is over top, and agni is burning at its peak every noon, making it the perfect time to invest larger quantities of food.
Most people eat as a part of a routine and forget to embrace the act of eating. This can cause major imbalance in the body, and result in improper digestion of the food. Ama or toxin formation occurs as a result and can throw the entire body biome off-balance. Just as it is important to eat food mindfully, so is it important to give the body time to complete the process ofdigestion. This is the science behind “Vamakukshi”, or a nap post-lunch to hasten food breakdown.
Vamakukshi, is simply andayurvedic practice which involves taking a siesta or cat nap after lunch. This may seem unnecessary, however, the benefits are many. Vamakukshi does not mean sleeping during the day, but rather a light period of relaxation, with no distractions to allow the body to get on with its functions. When digestion happens, blood concentrates at the digestive organs; during this time, attempting to focus on other tasks or think about other things causes the mind to function, upsetting the balance and resulting in improper digestion of food. As a result of this, ama develops, leaving the body feeling tired and exhausted.
A common feeling most of us experience after a heavy meal is an incessant laziness or drowsiness. This is the body’s way of asking for 20 minutes of rest post the meal, to allow for good digestive health. This might not seem possible especially in today’s busy world with most people at work mid-day. However, it is possible to rest without stretching out as well:
- Consider a short, relaxed walk for about 20 minutes during your lunch hour. Stroll along slowly. This is NOT a power walk, but rather a gentle pacing.
- Sit in a comfortable position and allow your mind to relax. Flip through a magazine if required but put away all digital appliances and allow the body to unwind completely.
- Practice Vamakukshi every weekend religiously. Doing this twice a week is better than not doing it at all.
Simply by embracing 20 minutes of nap time every afternoon, the body streamlines all gastrointestinal function. Ayurveda is a science which poses simple solutions to many common body ailments. Follow this and experience a drastic positive change in your levels of activity and physical well-being.