Ayurvedic Daily Routines
Daily Routines to Improve Your Health
One of the main reasons why I fell in love with Ayurveda was its simplicity and common sense. The Daily Routines also belong to this simple and yet so profound wisdom.
Ayurveda reminds us about something that our ancestors did without thinking, naturally – to follow the rhythms of nature. When the sun goes down, time to go to bed, when the sun rises, time to get up, etc. Seems pretty simple, right? But most of us, with the use of electricity, microwaves, fast food restaurants open 24 hrs a day, TV and the internet, completely lost touch with these natural rhythms.
Within the body there is a natural rhythm that governs our natural urges. Our natural urges are food, sex, and sleep. These are referred to as the three pillars of life. They can also be seen as digestion, creativity, and rest. While we all have unique rhythms based on our constitution, our basic rhythms need to be in harmony with nature for our more subtle unique rhythms to manifest.
Through improper training, we have lost touch with our natural basic rhythms, and as a result, our more subtle unique rhythms. Artificial rhythms created by our society, and our own desires to overindulge in our urges, have led to this loss. The first step toward getting back in touch with these rhythms is to create a routine. Slowly will our subtle unique rhythms emerge.
Ayurveda provides us with a map to our natural basic rhythms. Through these daily routines, we can begin to bring balance to the
(vata, pitta, kapha) and re-create a life of health and happiness.
15 Daily Routines
1. Get up with the sunrise (or as close to the sunrise as possible) to give the body a chance to harmonize with the rhythms of the sun. Sunrise varies according to the seasons, rising earlier in the summer and later in winter, but on average vata people should get up around 6 AM, pitta people around 5:30 AM, and kapha around 4:30 AM.
2. Drink a glass of warm water. This will clean the digestive tract and encourage the regular morning bowel movement.
3. Evacuate the bowels and bladder, if you can (without forcing!)
4. Brush your teeth at least in the morning and before going to bed (after meals is also beneficial if possible).
5. Scrape your tongue daily (only AM), back to front 5-10 times to stimulate the digestive system and aide the removal of toxins (ama).
6. Massage the body with oil that is balanced for your constitution (in general sesame is good for vata, coconut for pitta, and corn for kapha; kaphas don't need much oil and can skip this step). Leave the oil on for at least 20 minutes.
7. Meditate and practice the constitutionally correct
If possible, practice meditation and yoga for a half an hour each in the morning before eating breakfast.
8. Shower or bathe.
9. Eat your breakfast (never skip breakfast; even the name suggests that it's the 'the break of the fast' and therefore very important).
10. Take a short (½ hr) walk after breakfast, if possible. Walking after meals stimulates digestion.
11. Eat your lunch, which should be the biggest meal of the day, between 12-1PM. Take a short walk afterward (can be only about 1,000 steps).
12. Eat dinner before the sun goes down, which is later in the summer and earlier in winter. In general by 7PM is a good habit. Another short walk after your meal is beneficial (1,000 steps or more).
13. Floss once per day (best at night) to prevent gum disease. Ayurvedic gum powders can be massaged into the gums as well.
14. Go to bed between 9:30-10:30 PM to insure adequate rest. Do not eat, read or watch TV in bed.
15. Once a week, clean out your nasal passages with slightly salted water using a cup or a neti pot (should be as salty as your tears; general guideline is ½ tsp salt per ½ cup water). Then place a drop of oil (can be the same as your body oil) in each nostril with the tip of the little finger. This maximizes the absorption of Prana, the life force.
You can vary from the above order to accommodate your preferences. For instance, it's often more practical to perform an oil massage in the evening.
Also, don't feel overwhelmed. The most important first step is to start a daily routine if you don't already have one. The next step would be to have regular meals (about the same time every day). The next would be to go to bed around 10PM. So if you read the list and it seems like way too much, take a deep breath and incorporate one thing at a time. Remember that even a small step in the right direction is a step in the right direction.
May these Daily Routines help your day to be happy, peaceful, and productive.
Print these Daily Routines and keep them in a visible place.
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