Traya-Upastambha means the vital chords of health (physical and mental). It is an amalgamation of two terms; upa sustain (support) and stambha foundation (base).
Stability or balance needs to be maintained between panchamahabhoota (5 elements) which are prithvi, jal, aakash, Agni and vayu for the natural functions of the body.
There are three basic rudiments that help in the preservation of essential five elements (panchamahabhoota).
They are Balanced Diet (Aahar), Sleep (Nidra), Sayyam (Bramhacharya). The description of each of the rudiment is as follows:
Balanced Diet (Aahar)
It refers to the food (diet) that a person consumes on a daily basis. So, each individual’s routine intake of food can be called his or her aahar. There are various ingredients in a person’s diet and the personal taste dominates over everything. The most common components of any type of diet must be protein, carbohydrates and minerals which are necessary for the growth and development (maturity) of human body. Ayurvedic system of medicine not only lays stress on the physical well-being of a person but also attaches significant importance to psychological health.
Three kinds of diets are prescribed under Ayurvedic system, i.e, Saatvik, Raajasik and Taamsik diet. All these diets have their own characteristics, for instance, Saatvik Diet generates a mood of optimism and satisfaction, Raajasik Diet generates a mood of resentment and raises self-esteem in an individual and Taamsik Diet generates lethargy and creates a mood of dejection. A certain kind of regulations for the ways (behavior) has been specified which regulates the eating habits of human beings, such as a person must refrain from speaking while eating, must avoid passing of food without proper chewing and only that much food must be taken that is suitable for the structure of an individual.
A sound sleep is essential for the mental and physical well-being of a person.
When a person goes to sleep, only the body (living body) sleeps and the mind always remain active, it is at this stage, mind is disturbed by the awful qualities (taamoguna) that are present in a person’s sub-conscious mind.
At this point, kapha dosha (responsible for increase in the immunity level of the human body) increases and normal sleep comes.
Over-sleeping or sleeping beyond normal hours upsets the entire routine and brings a terrible effect on health.
For instance, shortage in sound sleep will make a person lethargic, smoldering feel in the eyes and severe body and head ache.
Bramhacharya means self-restraint from extreme physical pleasures. But, that doesn’t mean total absence from sex, only a certain kind of limit is put so as not to have poor effects on a person’s health. In ayurveda, it has been recommended that individuals must refrain themselves from indulging in sex during their academic years.
Sexual intimacy must only be started when a person gets married and enters griyhastha ashram. Excessive sexual interaction always leads in loss of memory and potency and increases bad temper. In Ayurveda, sex is looked upon as an activity not only for pleasure but also as an activity undertaken for the purpose of reproduction.