Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work. – Thich Nhat Hanh
People who meditate, experience opening-up of hidden internal energy sources that are calming, healing and curative to the mind-body-soul. It is this “high” from meditation that enthuses practitioners to reach these energy and spiritual peaks again and again. Though most of them maintain a strict discipline in diet and lifestyle there are times when even the best can experience physical or mental fatigue. These bouts of low energy emanating from either stress, overwork, lack of rest, a poor diet, digestive problems, or toxicity (ama) can affect concentration, mental balance and focus, eventually leading to a not-so-satisfactory practice.
The Ancient science of Rasayana:
Ancient Ayurveda is full of magical herbal formulations not just for curing ailments but directed towards maintaining the right mind-body balance. One of the eight branches of Ayurveda, rasayana, stresses on prevention, rejuvenation, and a slowing down of the aging process rather than remedying an illness after it arises. The restorative herbs (called rasayanas) help restore the deepest reserves of prana (or ojas), crucial to the immune system and the person’s awareness of the power originating out of the abundance of active energy during meditation.
Restorative herbs that can help support your meditation practice:
– Triphala: This ancient rejuvenating formula contains two of the best rasayana herbs- amalaki and haritaki, known for their ability to boost ojas. Amalaki, a vital part of chyavanprash, helps calm tempers and is abundant in vitamin C. Haritaki, like Amalaki has highly nutritive, cleansing, and mildly laxative properties.
– Brahmi: Rightly called the brain tonic, Brahmi calms the mind, leading to improved clarity, memory and concentration. It is believed that Brahmi helps awaken the crown chakra and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
– Ashwagandha: The name literally translates to “scent of a horse”, an indicator of its vitality boosting prowess. It greatly influences the generation of ojas and subdues general debility, nervous exhaustion, excessive weight loss, fatigue and aging-related concerns.
– Hibiscus: Called “japa” (continuous chanting of mantras) in Sanskrit, the Hibiscus flowers help strengthen devotion during mantra chanting and to bring focus and clarity to your meditation practice.
– Jatamamsi: Jatamamsi can soothe frayed nerves and help control anxiety pangs. Ayurvedic texts rate Jatamamsi highly as a supreme brain tonic and memory booster.
– Neem –Known for its blood purifying and liver cleansing properties, this bitter and cooling herb effectively deals with pitta and kapha imbalances while aggravating vata.
– Shankha Pushpi: This magical herb elevates blood circulation to the brain, improving your learning, memorizing and recalling abilities. It promotes heightened intelligence and creativity.
Disclaimer: Most practitioners believe that “external” additives are not needed as the spiritual experience is intrinsic in nature. Also following a sattvic diet provides the calmness and nourishment needed to stay focused during meditation. These herbs are only recommended as an healthy alternative during times of deficiencies of vital prana (life energy). Always check with your physician before taking any herbal supplements.