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Heart Health and Ayurveda

Ayurveda explains that the heart is the root of prana (life force) in the body.  Our heart, mind, and breath are all connected as we inhale and exhale.  When we're scared, or our emotions run high, our heart might race, and we might feel ourselves holding our breath.  So, the physical strength of our heart muscle is important to its health, but our emotions and mental state also play an important role.  In Ayurveda, it is always essential to look beyond the symptoms to identify the cause of any particular disorder.  We need to pay attention to all the areas of our lives and make accommodations where there is an imbalance that affects our health.  Here are some recommendations to keep your heart healthy:
-Diet: to reduce cholesterol, avoid fried foods, red meats, heavy oils, sugar and caffeine.
-Emotions: release pent-up emotions by meditating, spending time with nature, or journaling.
-Exercise: the amount of exercise, and the intensity of exercise will vary with your dosha.  In general, walking is good exercise for everyone to increase circulation and improve oxygen intake.  Yoga is also a good daily practice.
-Pranayama: there are several different types of yogic breathing exercises which help to keep the body in balance.

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