With over 5,000 years of Ayurvedic wisdom to draw on, it can sometimes be hard to know if you’re making the most of your Ayurvedic lifestyle. Beyond diet, Ayurvedic wisdom includes guidance for when and how to exercise, how to start your day and even when you should go to sleep each night.
We’ve rounded up these 10 tips for living an Ayurvedic lifestyle to give you a shortcut to living your best life.
- Rise Early
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in Ayurveda it’s important to align your body to the natural cycles of life. Going to bed at a reasonable time and waking at sunrise will help your body stay in tune with nature, and it will give you more time in the morning to practice a healthy routine before the day’s activities start.
- Start with a Glass of Water
While Ayurveda advocates for staying hydrated all day long, it’s especially important to start the day with a glass of water. Room-temperature water is preferred, and it will help to stimulate the kidneys, activate the GI track and stimulate your first bowel movement of the day.
- Go to the Bathroom
Seriously. All the systems in your body are connected, and according to Ayurvedic principles, one of the best ways to start your day is with a bowel movement to clear your body of toxins and encourage an active, functioning digestive system.
- Tongue Scraping
While it may sound a little strange at first, scraping your tongue is as important as brushing your teeth. This practice is beneficial in stimulating the digestive system and removing built-up bacteria from the mouth. To learn more about this ancient practice, check out our article on tongue-scraping here.
- Self-massage (abhyanga)
Another ancient practice, self-massage is a soothing self-care practice that helps to relax the body, reduce stress and keep the skin soft. To make the most of this practice, be sure to integrate a warm massage oil, and don’t rush. When done properly, it can help to stimulate the lymphatic system and flush toxins from the body.
- Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Ayurveda typically considers the digestive system to be most active early in the day. This means you should never skip breakfast. Try incorporating fresh fruits first thing in the morning, then wait at least half an hour before eating anything else. Be sure not to stuff yourself, however. Your midday meal should actually be the largest meal you consume each day.
While most people think of yoga when they consider Ayurvedic exercises, walking is also extremely beneficial. In conjunction with a regular yoga practice, walking after a meal helps to settle the digestion. It’s tridoshic, and calms the doshas while providing much-needed exercise. Whenever possible, take a walk after you eat, and walk until you’re half-exerted (when sweat just starts to form on your brow and armpits).
Whether you have a dedicated hour to mediate, or just two minutes between meetings, taking the time to close your eyes, breathe deep and check in with yourself is invaluable. There is no single correct way to meditate, so don’t worry if you struggle with longer meditation breaks. Start with a short practice of less than five minutes and build up as your practice evolves. Even if your practice is brief, meditation promotes stress reduction, better focus and positive energy throughout the rest of your day.
- Eat a Light Dinner
As mentioned above, Ayurveda posits that the digestive system is most active early in the day. This means that by dinnertime, your meal should be fairly light and easy to digest. Additionally, try not to eat after 8 pm, as your body needs time to fully process your meal before you go to sleep.
- Go to Bed Early
Finally, cap off your day with an early bedtime. Be sure to put away your electronics before bed. If you have trouble sleeping, a glass of warm milk consumed separately from a meal may be used to help calm the body. Restorative yoga or a relaxing meditation practice can also help you sleep. To prepare your body to rise energized with the sun, try to go to bed before 10 pm if possible.
If you find these 10 tips for living an Ayurvedic lifestyle to be a lot to take on at once, try choosing two or three practices to integrate into your routine, then build up from there. Your body will thank you, and you’ll soon feel the difference a healthy routine can make.
To supplement your new Ayurvedic routine, consider adding YouVeda’s My Healthy Body Supplement. This doctor-formulated and recommended supplement is made with an organic blend of ashwagandha, triphala, amla and haritaki to support your nutrition and help your body overcome stress, while creating a healthy mental, physical and emotional balance.
Author: Alexandra Bake (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)