As human beings, our quality of life is largely determined by our habits. Each of us is conditioned by past experiences to think, speak, and act a certain way. This is in turn reflected in our personality, opinions, values, and goals.
The Vedic tradition aims to help humans uplift themselves by consciously cultivating their higher nature. By getting rid of harmful and limiting habits and adopting new and progressive ones, we can transform our lives for the better.
This page features some of the most important habits recommended in the Vedic literatures for physical, mental, and spiritual health.
- Rise Early
- Eat Right
- Read Scripture
- Give in Charity
The morning hours are a precious time of day. They are ideal for meditation, reflection, and creative work. The Vedas refer to the pre-dawn hours as the brahma muhurta and explain that during this time the atmosphere has a particular spiritual frequency that facilitates meditation and prayer.
LEARN MORE: The brahma-muhurta is a sacred window of time before the sunrise that is ideal for spiritual and creative activity.
When we wake up late, we have to struggle the entire day just to catch up. By contrast, waking up early gives us a head start on our responsibilities and leaves us with spare time in the day to do the things we value most.
Meditation is an ancient practice for strengthening the mind and enhancing your self-awareness. There are many different types of meditation, but mantra meditation is the most popular because it is both easy and effective.
LEARN MORE: Meditation is a kind of mental exercise that anyone can do. With a little practice, it’s as easy and natural as walking. There are lots of different styles; it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you.
Think of meditation like mental hygiene. Just like you wouldn’t want to go for a day without brushing your teeth, you should take time to meditate every day in order to keep your mind fresh and keep mental illness at bay. Plus there are many spiritual benefits to meditation as well.
Diet is the foundation of good health. As the famous saying goes, “You are what you eat.” In Sanskrit, the branch of science known as ayurveda literally means “knowledge of life.” Ayurveda carefully analyzes individual health needs and suggests a personalized diet and lifestyle. Simply by making small adjustments in your eating habits, you can experience drastic improvements in your overall health and well-being.
According to Ayurveda, every human being has a primary body type known as their dosha. Knowing your dosha enables you to adjust your food and lifestyle choices to favor optimal health and wellbeing.
LEARN MORE: Good health isn’t meant to be a mystery. There is a science to everyone’s unique personal body type. Take our free Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz to learn your type and get customized recommendations for your diet and lifestyle.
Think of your body as a living machine. Just as your car needs regular maintenance, your physical body requires some activity every day in order to stay fit and healthy. Yoga is one of the simplest and most effective ways of keeping your body fit because you don’t need any fancy equipment and you can easily target every important muscle group.
We have compiled a list of guides to the major yoga poses to help you get started.
Browse All Yoga Articles
Read Spiritual Literature
The type of media you consume determines your mental and spiritual health just like what you eat determines your physical health. That’s why it’s essential to make time every day for spiritual reading, especially books like the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. These books contain the highest teachings of spiritual wisdom, including information on the true value and purpose of human life, and how to reawaken our eternal relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Being.
LEARN MORE: The Srimad Bhagavatam is known as the king of all sacred texts because it directly discusses the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna. Unlike other scriptures that teach in parables and enigmatic verses, the Bhagavatam lays everything out in clear and straight terms, from the purpose of life to the identity of God.
Every religion or philosophical tradition has sacred texts that it holds dear. Regardless of your personal belief system, it’s important to make time every day to connect with these scriptures and fill your mind and heart with sacred sound vibration.
Fasting has many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. In Vedic culture, everyone observes a full-day fast twice per month on the lunar day known as Ekadashi. This fast involves abstaining from grains and beans and other heavy foods.
Fasting develops physical and mental discipline that is invaluable for practicing meditation. And when you fast on Ekadashi, it’s an act of bhakti, or devotion.
Give in Charity
Money is a powerful energy in this world. Like a knife, it’s quality depends on how it is used. When we receive money, it comes with a certain energetic marking from all the previous people who have used it. Giving a percentage of your income in charity allows you to purify and elevate the quality of your wealth, freeing you from the degenerative quality of the money you receive from others.
LEARN MORE: Giving in charity is a powerful practice that can transform your relationship with wealth. In Vedic culture, everyone gives something according to their means, from the poorest members of society to the wealthiest.
According to Vedic culture, it’s best to give in charity on days like Ekadashi and Dvadashi, and other holy days like Krishna Janmastami, Gaura Purnima, and Rama Navami.