How does your day start off? When you wake up and step out of bed do you go into full gear? Wake up, check the cell phone, shower, grab a quick bite to eat, a cup of coffee, pack up the kids, rush out the door, drop the kids off at daycare or school and then drive in bumper to bumper traffic to get to work, hoping that you make it on time? Do you ever ask, why do I always feels to rush and overwhelm? If so stay tuned, I have a gift for you.
While it may be difficult to find time for yourself, Ayurveda promotes the vital need for certain daily activities to keep you at your healthiest. One of the most prominent ancient texts of Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita, describes in detail a lengthy daily routine to keep one free from the ravages of imbalanced doshas, illness and poor aging. This can be simplified for the modern lifestyle while still reaping many of the life enhancing benefits.
In this article, I will give you 10 steps that have allowed so many people to take control and positively manage the hustle and bustle of daily life. The components of this routine come largely from the more detailed routine as taught in Ayurveda. Even if you cannot follow it exactly adapting it in whatever way you can will bring a noticeable difference to your day and to your well being.
The importance of a consistent daily routine can’t be underestimated. It sets the tone for your entire day, bringing a sense of calm and nourishment. It give the mind, body and spirit the chance to ground and cleanse, to start afresh Routine itself brings harmony, especially to a vata natured person; it also reminds pitta that there is need to put aside the drive to continuously “Go, Go, Go!” in order to rejuvenate oneself, and routine asks kapha to push past the inertia and laziness to not do anything for oneself. Routine allows you to rid the system of foreign materials that could otherwise become problematic, resetting any potential imbalance in doshas on a daily basis. Elements of the daily routine support a number of the bodily systems, including the nervous system, respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.
Does this sound like something you would like to do for yourself? Then go ahead and get started, what are you waiting for? If you can’t incorporate the whole routine to begin with then pick one or two steps and move forward on your Ayurvedic journey to wellness; then slowly incorporate another step at a time, as you feel more comfortable.
- Wake up at a routine time early in the morning preferably before or at sunrise.
- Clean the eyes, mouth and face.
- Have a bowel movement.
- Brush your teeth.
- Clean your tongue.
- Perform a self-massage (Abhyanga) with warm oil.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
- Take 30 minutes for a self-enhancing practice such as meditation, pranayama, yoga, prayer or journaling.
- Eat regular meals.
- Keep a regular bedtime.
If you are in need of some spontaneity outside of this routine, Ayurveda makes room for that by accepting the fact that the spirit needs to revel in creativity and freedom. Select opportunities that bring you this joy and leave you feeling richer for having had the experience. Ayurveda asks that you indulge in moderation so as not to overwhelm your system and allow you the chance to rejuvenate following the departure from your daily routine. And to do that you simply return to step 1 of your daily routine.
Wishing you peace, well-being and tranquility!
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous