Have you been feeling lately that you are not getting enough time for yourself? Do you think too that you are entirely worked up and your busy lifestyle needs a change? But don’t know where to start? Not to worry, Ayurveda is here to help.
In today’s competitive world, all are drawn towards earning a luxurious life for which we are working day and night. But at the same time, we are not able to do justice to our lifestyle as we tend to neglect our health.
The current lifestyle that we all are following is quite mechanical and monotonous. Right lifestyle and discipline is the key to withstand the challenges in this ever-changing world. We all know this truth somewhere back in our head but does not practice and live up to it.
Reluctantly and sometimes knowingly, we do ignore small things in our day to day life and succumb to unfit habits for which we regret later.
Rather than just thinking, we need to make amends in a natural way. For this, Ayurveda offers a flexible lifestyle which can be adopted by any person of any body type.
It lets you take care of not only of your physical health but also mental, social, and spiritual health, which is a sine qua non for a happy and healthy life.
Ayurveda has chalked out a detailed healthy way of living for humans like us. In the Ayurvedic perspective, lifestyle is divided into Dinacarya and Ritucarya. Let’s understand how these two can help us in making our life better.
Dinacarya (daily routine of Ayurvedic Lifestyle)
The daily Ayurvedic routine is one of the best things that you can follow to stay closer to nature, prevent disease as well as treat almost any ailment. The word dinacarya means being close to the day/ nature i.e., living in tune with nature’s cycle.
Our daily routine, which we disregard the most, is a stronger healing force than any other therapy.
One way to explain the daily cycle is in terms of the Tridoshas. Just like we have our biological clock we too have a doshic (related with tridoshas) clock in a day.
Vata is dominant from 2 to 6 in the morning & afternoon. Kapha is dominant from 6 to 10 in the morning and evening, while Pitta is dominant during midday and midnight.
Try to keep in touch with these energies during the day and move with them, not against them. How? Just by following simple steps.
1. Waking up
Try to wake up 2 hrs. before sunrise i.e., between 4 to 6 because this is the time when the environment is peaceful, calm, and positive. Hence we can fully concentrate on meditation, prayers, study, or other work.
It is the best time to imbibe positive qualities and habits for a good life. Immediately after waking up, you should pray to god with a sense of gratitude for giving us this life.
2. Cleaning body
We should eliminate urine and stools as soon as we are awake as our involuntary reflexes are naturally active at this time. Ayurveda believes that one is healthy if his bowels are clean, and it prevents us from feeling uneasy throughout the day.
Nowadays people often suffer from constipation for which Ayurveda advises to drink one or two glass of warm water just after waking up.
3. Cleaning senses
After elimination drink handful of water sip by sip to moisten the oral cavity. Ayurveda advises washing the face and eyes with cold or lukewarm water. Coldwater wash serves as a blood purifier; on the other hand, warm water is smoothening and cleanses better.
It improves the vision and brings lightness to face. Brush the teeth. Scrape your tongue thoroughly with a metal tongue cleaner starting from root to the tip of the tongue.
Before the bath, put two drops of either ghee (clarified butter) or any available medicate nasal oil. It has an anti-allergic effect and smoothening effect on nasal openings. Daily gargling of mouth with medicated warm water such as decoction of Triphala powder or lukewarm water is advised.
4. Physical exercise
Ayurveda advises physical activity as it enhances circulation in internal organs, muscular strength, and reduces extra fat. You should exercise up to half of your physical capacity. How to know if you have reached half of your ability?
Ayurvedic texts note some signs to know your maximum limit of exercise, like mild discomfort in the chest, the appearance of sweating in the forehead, joints of hands & legs, over palms, armpits, dryness of mouth, increased breathing and a sense of lightness to the body.
You should not exercise if suffering from indigestion or if you are already exhausted. Physical exercise may be in the form of running, jogging, walking, swimming, yoga postures, etc. whichever you can do.
If due to time restrain you are not able to exercise in the morning then you can exercise in the evening time of 5-7 pm on an empty stomach.
After exercise, meditation is the best way to relax mind as well as body. Following exercise meditate for 10 minutes. Sit still in a comfortable position, direct your attention inward, and try to notice your breath.
Or you can practice Pranayama, which also relaxes the mind and improves your breathing. This purifies the mind of negative thoughts and invites relaxation into the body.
6. Oil massage
Before the bath, you should massage your body with sesame oil (best), coconut oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil. Heat the oil to body temperature and apply it to all parts of the body, especially head, hands, feet where oil massage should be done regularly.
Start by using coconut oil on face & head and for the rest of the body use sesame oil. If you find sesame oil clumsy, then you may use coconut or olive oil. Keep the oil on the skin for at least 30 minutes before the shower.
Put warm oily drops in both ears in a lying position or apply a thin coat of oil on the inner side of the ear. If you suffer from allergies, cold/flu or viral infections, then massage of nostrils with sesame oil surely helps.
Oil massage reduces vitiated vata dosha, relieves from tiredness, body ache, and keeps the old age away. However, if time is limited, then you can massage your entire body once in a week and massage your head and feet at night time.
7. Powder massage
If you want your skin never to grow old then after oiling try massaging your body with medicated powders. For this, you may mix turmeric powder and gram flour or use Triphala powder, Yava powder, Kola kulathadi powder for best results.
Daily massage of these powders enhances the color & complexion of skin, reduces skin complaints of itching, burning, and reduces excessive oil on the skin.
After about half an hour of massage, take a shower with warm water. Ayurveda opines that shower with warm water on the head is not suitable for hairs and eyesight. Hence, use cold water for washing head.
Ayurveda regards bathing as a therapeutic activity. Warm water bath enhances circulation and pacifies vitiated kapha and vata dosha. On the other hand, a head bath with cold water improves vision and pacifies pitta dosha.
Do not bathe in a hurry. Take your time to relax your body. For this, Ayurveda recommends adding rose petals, milk, honey, and turmeric to your bath, or you could use fragrant oils like lavender, sandalwood, orange, etc.
You should bath daily as it cleans the skin, relieves exhaustion, and you feel fresh. It increases appetite, body strength, energy, and vitality. A warm bath at night helps allows more refreshing and deep sleep.
After taking a bath and saying a small prayer to god now, you can have your breakfast. Start the day with a light meal. Our digestive system needs a warm and nourishing food in the morning to stimulate it.
So take food which is light in nature as well as gives energy such as toast, semolina, oats, rice, soups, etc. Morning is the best time for the intake of Chyawanprash, raisins, almonds, nuts, etc. along with milk.
Suggested read – Food The Natural Medicine – Golden Dietary Rules by Ayurveda
Drink a glass of fresh vegetable or fruit juice. Juice of aloe vera is the best. Try to avoid tea, coffee in the morning instead sip on green tea.
10. At work
Midday is dominated by Pitta dosha, which is responsible for concentration and intelligence. So it is the time when you could be more productive and focused.
This valuable time should be spent in the company of knowledgeable persons who are liked and helpful in improving your personality.
Ayurveda advises that during this time a person should indulge in activities which enhance his social & economic health and should avoid any sinful acts such as lying, backbiting, thinking, and saying bad things about someone.
Be good & considerate to others and give your best to your work. Try to reduce contact with stressful and negative people as well as the environment.
In the middle of work, you could take short breaks of 5 minutes and could take a short stroll or meditate on your seat for 5 minutes to relax your body and mind.
The time of 1-2 pm is when Pitta is at its peak level and hence, the largest meal of the day could be taken. If you eat your lunch properly as per your appetite, then the process of digestion is carried out efficiently. Thus, it prevents from any craving of snacks or beverages.
A short walk after lunch aids in digestion and saves you from feeling lethargic.
A healthy person should avoid sleeping and eating in the period of 2-6 pm. This time is considered best for creative and mental work as Vata is dominant.
For those who feel hungry can have a light snack to recharge their mind. Reduce the intake of tea, coffee, sugary, and salty snacks.
Ayurveda advises that a healthy person should engage in worshipping or in charity work as such activities enhance life span, prosperity, and happiness.
The time of 6-8 pm is the right time for having dinner. Ideally, dinner should be taken 3-4 hours before going to bed. Before the meal, eat a small piece of ginger with a pinch of salt to stimulate the secretions for digestion.
Dinner should have light meals, or if taking a heavy meal, then its amount should be half of the day meal. Preferably avoid food which takes a long time for digestion as it interferes with your sleep.
Evening time is relaxation time. A healthy person should relieve the mind and senses from otherworldly objects. One should engage in pleasant conversation with the people he loves and should spend the rest part of the day happily.
This is also the time to unwind the body from day long stress. Head and Feet massage is a proper relaxation technique and to promote a night of sound sleep.
Brush the teeth and cleanse the food particles from teeth which may give rise to bad odor.
According to Ayurveda, the last 3hours of the day is the best time to hit the pillow. Going early to bed ensures a deep and refreshing sleep which will leave you energized for the next day. So, be in bed before 10 pm to wake up early.
Ayurveda describes sleep as a natural healer and prescribes rest of a minimum of six hours. If you suffer from sleep disturbances, then take a soothing warm bath or meditation before retiring to bed.
Are you ready for a healthy life?
Following Ayurvedic dinacarya or Ayurvedic lifestyle has become necessary in today’s ignorant society. The ever-rising number of lifestyle disorders has become a threat to our health. The above steps bring self-awareness and teach us to take care of our overall health.
Following all the steps may not be easy, but in quest of leading a healthy life, we should try to inculcate above regimens in our daily life with regular practice. Some regimens may seem easy to implement so first start with them.
Once you start with your new Ayurvedic lifestyle, the positive changes in your life will automatically drive you to imbibe more of such changes leading to a chain of such changes and ultimately resulting into a fulfilling and healthy life. That’s what everyone is looking for. Isn’t so?