So you want adopt a healthy and natural Ayurvedic lifestyle- congratulations! Living one's life according to nature's laws and rhythms will profoundly change your life in ways you can't imagine, brining you much more health, balance, inner peace, clarity, focus and happiness. Making a huge lifestyle change- especially if your current lifestyle is really unhealthy- can appear tremendously challenging and even quite daunting. Besides, our calendars are already pretty full with things to do. So how can one find the time and energy to live according to Ayurvedic principles, which includes meditation, Ayurvedic diet, exercise, massage, and yoga?
It's simple: take baby steps. The way to maintaining one's mind-body balance is all about taking baby steps. In Ayurveda, Dinacharya is the Ayurvedic daily routine. The Sanksrit words dina means day and charya means routine. Dinacharya is all about making a plan of action and organizing important tasks into a create structure, to help one reach the maximum potential of their life and health goals. Remember that Dinacharya is a creative and "cozy" structure that is designed according to the current season and your energy or dosha constitution. Dinacharya is meant to feel comforting and leave you feeling creatively inspired. You will have huge amounts of energy, focus and inspiration to work on all aspects of your day.
Try out these baby steps that will build a slow yet firm and steady Ayurvedic lifestyle. Before you know it, you'll be living the Ayurvedic way with ease.
1. Wake up early: The time of sunrise is important because the clear light sends the body signals to stimulate special glands and release important hormones. However, if you're hibernating in a dark room and you miss out on sunrise, the body may be in a state of confusion for the rest of the day, Take this time to set a schedule for the day and implement other healthy practices.
2. Eat a healthy diet: This one is basic, but needs repeating. Changing what you eat is one of the most powerful ways to improve your health drastically. Reduce or eliminate processed foods, heavy meats, sugar, and carbs; increase your fresh fruit and vegetable intake. By simply focusing on increasing your fresh food intake, you can immeasurably boost your health.
3. Exercise consciously: Here's another basic tip. Exercise is great, but if you are not fully present while you're doing it, it can lead to injuries or other issues. Yoga requires the practitioner to focus on the movement of the body, so keep your mind's focus on the movements your body makes when you're at the gym, walking, weight lifting or hiking. Consciously engage your body in whatever you are doing and deliberately direct your limbs in movement and growth for optimal benefit. Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle is all about conscious living and being fully present in the moment.
4. Get adequate sleep: During sleep, our bodies repair and restore the stress and ordeals that have been experienced through the day. Sleep is just as important to one's wellbeing as clean water, food and air. Sadly, most people skip through their sleep which spoils the ability to sleep well and subsequently, function properly during the day. Go to bed at the same time every night to set a routine for your body, which will signal the time for sleep.
5. Eat slow: Your mealtime should be observed as a moment of respite from a busy schedule. You might feel that rushing through your meal will give you time to finish other tasks, but eating quickly impedes your digestion. Chewing food properly with your teeth until it is liquidy will make it easy for the gut to digest food, and will give you perfect digestion in no time.
6. Use the toilet regularly: Evacuation of the body's waste is an awkward function, but good health is based on regular removal of waste from the body so as to expel unneeded matter which clogs up the anatomical pathways and systems. If you aren't releasing the body's solid waste on a daily basis, increasing your water and fiber intake is especially beneficial. Try psyllium husks with water every morning.
7. Be outside: Sunlight has a wonderfully positive benefit on the body, and so does fresh air and stimulus from the natural environment. Spend time outside and engage with nature. Take advantage of any nearby water bodies and spend time there. Find a path that exposes you to fresh air and wide vistas. Forests, mountains, and deserts are great places, but even a small park near your house will be equally beneficial.
8. Get massages: Ayurveda recognizes the importance of touch as the most healing and primordial of the senses. The same way a mother caresses their baby and children to soothe and bond with them, touch is an important way to relieve stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and rest. Give yourself a daily or weekly massage with a light oil such as sesame.
9. Stimulate the senses: Don't just eat your food, but arrange it on your plate, keep some candles or flowers nearby and burn essential oils to create an ambiance. Dress in colours and styles that make you happy and keep beautiful or inspirational images around your home. Listen to music that uplifts you.
10. Meditate: You knew this was coming, didn't you? Meditation is part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle just as yoga is. You don't need to spend hours of completely thoughtless meditation. It only requires you to become mindful by sitting in silence and focusing your breath. Find a quiet and comfortable spot to spend time with yourself and start with five minutes a day until you can go up to an hour or two per session. For best results, meditate twice a day, morning and evening.