Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle is not complicated or hard… Especially when you know about these Ayurvedic health tips that will provide a structure and rhythm to your life.
Ayurveda’s emphasis is on everyday disease prevention rather than the cure of specific symptoms. Disease prevention is rooted in our everyday lifestyle.
There are natural rhythms to each day and the more we align with these natural rhythms, the more balanced and harmonious we feel. Following these natural rhythms is called Dinacharya. (Din = day, acharya = to follow – or to follow the rhythms of the day).
Taking Responsibility For Your Health
Practicing Ayurveda means that you take responsibility for your own health by making daily choices that support you in your health and evolution. When you have the awareness that your body is just a vehicle for the expression of consciousness, you tend to treat it like a plant in your garden by giving it whatever it requires so you can grow and evolve.
Ayurveda cures not by treating symptoms, but by removing the causes of disease. It does this by teaching you how to live in harmony with your constitution (body/mind type) and the environment you live in.
To live in harmony with yourself, you have to know your body/mind type (dosha/s), so you can pay attention to what your specific needs are and know the things that will help you the most daily.
There is no one exactly like you, and once you know your constitution, you’ll be able to tell which life choices will support your health.
We are the way we are because of our Daily Routines
We perpetuate ourselves through our lifestyle. The most profound changes in health come through lifestyle changes.
Most people have heard of a biological clock, but what about the Ayurvedic clock. Ayurveda keeps people in the natural cycles of each day with the Ayurvedic clock. Just as nature goes through rhythms and cycles, so do you. If you align yourself with these natural cycles, it will have a significant effect on your health and well-being.
Most of our body functions follow a daily cycle that mirrors the rhythms of nature. The idea is that you will achieve new levels of well-being if you develop a daily routine that corresponds to nature’s natural rhythms.
First Cycle of the Day:
6 am – 10 am Kapha time of day
10 am – 2 pm Pitta time of day
2 pm – 6 pm Vata time of day
Second Cycle of the Day
6 pm – 10 pm Kapha time of night
10 pm – 2 am Pitta time of night
2 am – 6 am Vata time of night
Everyday Ayurvedic Health Tips
Here comes the sun! Aim to wake up and get out of bed with the sunrise. Ancient Vedic texts say between 4 and 6 am there is pure, clear, and peaceful energy that pervades planet earth. It is called Sattva Guna.
One of the best ways to connect and align with this energy is to rise early and connect with your soul. For thousands of years yogis known about this spiritually elevated time when these higher energies dominate.
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Before you put your feet on the ground, spend a few minutes being grateful for your life as given. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough” ~Meister Eckhart
Start a simple self-care morning routine. Drink a big glass of room temperature water to flush the kidneys and intestines. If you have a lemon, squeeze half into the water.
Try to eliminate at the same time every morning.
Splash your face and eyes with water.
Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue using a copper tongue scrapper. Start at the back of your tongue and pull forward till you’ve removed any coating. Any coating on your tongue will indicate you didn’t digest yesterday’s food well.
Massage the body (abhyanga) with good sesame oil or abhyanga oil. Start with the head and scalp, work down the neck to arms and torso (even strokes on the long bones and circular strokes at the joints. This massage need not be long. Five minutes is good. Take a shower or bathe using mild soap.
Exercise a little doing some yoga and breathing exercises.
Noon or Mid-day
Make lunch the main meal of the day. Why? Because proper digestion is the key to amazing health. Just as the sun is the highest and hottest mid-day, so too is your internal fire, so your ability to digest food is most significant between 10 am – 2 pm. Since you are part of nature, your body mirrors the rhythms of the day.
Literally, you are what you digest… And if you’re not digesting well, you will become diseased by the food that does not fully digest.
Only fill your stomach 1/3 full. The correct ratio in the gut is 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid, and 1/3 space. (Yes, you need space for the food to digest). The ideal portion of food is what you can hold in your two cupped hands joined together.
Eat peacefully and mindfully and try to avoid distractions like television, eating at your desk or in front of your computer, or while driving in your car. Multi-tasking while eating causes incomplete digestion which causes many illnesses.
Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth and chewing creates more surface area which is vital to good digestion.
Be grateful for the food and all the people who made it possible for you to have the food (farmers, truck drivers, grocers, whoever prepared it for you).
As the sun sets so does your ability to digest well, so eat a lighter meal in the evening. Soups and stews are perfect for colder months, and fruit and salads are good in warmer months. A good time to eat is between 6:30 and 7 pm. This gives you ample time to digest the food. A short walk (10-15 minutes) is good for digestion.
Sleeping just after dinner with a heavy stomach is not conducive to sound sleep.
Early to bed, early to rise makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise. Remember this quote by Benjamin Franklin? It’s true.
Go to sleep around 10 pm. Between 10 pm and 2 am your liver is most active. It’s your housekeeper and it works while you’re sleeping. If you’re still awake and god-forbid eating at this time of night, it cannot do its job of detoxification.
If you have trouble falling asleep, massage the soles of your feet with warm sesame oil. This calms your nervous system and helps you sleep really well. Also, the practice of Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) is amazing for putting you in sweet slumber.
If all this is new to you, pick one or two suggestions that seem easy and incorporate them until it feels natural. After they become natural, (like brushing your teeth) come back and choose a few more until you are closely aligned with nature’s rhythms and cycles.
Developing these Ayurvedic health tips in sync with daily rhythms will ensure a higher quality of life.
How closely do you pay attention to the rhythms of the day? Are you aware of them? Please leave me any questions or comments below.
I love to hear from you!