We live in a time of spontaneity, where life moves at a neck-breaking speed. About 5 Millenia ago, Ayurvedic wisdom observed time – Kaalah (pronounced kāla) as a self-stable celestial entity that doesn’t have a beginning or an end; most importantly, it waits for none!!
A fast-paced, tech-driven life indeed has its perks like instantaneous precise decisions, dynamicity, access to data and communication to and from anyone anywhere and at any time. Dreams and ideas are coming to life overnight etc.
Though, everything comes with a cost. At times the contemporary lifestyle and routine that we are habituated to entrap our body and mind in a perpetual loop of exhaustion, burnout, and mental and physical breakdown in the long run. Not to mention the comorbidities and toxins that accumulate in our bodies due to our disorganized lifestyle, routines, and food habits. This is where Ayurvedic techniques, although thousands of years old, come in handy. It can be the key to setting everything back in motion and enabling us to feel our true selves again.
That brings us to the obvious question,
How do I adopt Ayurveda into my daily life?
First and foremost, you need to understand that Ayurveda has been around for about 5000 years. It has always incorporated contemporary technical advancements and discoveries at every point throughout its evolution. Hence it is not essential that one must go by the book following every ancient practice of Ayurveda in modern times.
There is always room for improvisation while adhering to the basic principles of Ayurvedic well-being. Ayurveda, from the time of its inception, has emphasized well-being – Swasthya rather than tackling and curing diseases alone. Ayurvedists, back then, were well-informed that the spectrum of health doesn’t end with the mere absence of disease or infirmity but covers physical, mental, and social well-being.
Thus through an extensive series of contemplation and deliberation, they put forth the Dinacharya i.e. daily routine, to maintain the equilibrium of the 3 Dosha attributes – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Now, this is how we introduce these Ayurvedic principles as simple as life hacks or tweaks in your daily life.
1. Wakey…!! Wakey!!…,
Mathematics being the queen of Sciences, Ayurveda has some cardinal calculations when it comes to the daily routine. A day of 24 hours is split into 08 equal segments called Yama (approximately 3 hours). 1 yama consists of 3.25 Muhoortha (1 Muhoortha = 48 mins approximately), whereas Muhoortha simply means a division of time.
In a day, considering 06 AM and 06 PM as sunrise and sunset, respectively, 1 yama is for dawn (04:30 AM to 07:30 AM) and one for dusk (04:30 PM to 07:30 PM).
The Brahmamuhoortha, as per Ayurveda, is the Golden hour for every form of existence. Brahma being knowledge, the time is apt for receiving knowledge from the universe. Ideally, this would be the 14th muhoortha of the night, about 96 minutes prior to sunrise – a time period between 03:30 AM to 04:30 AM in the morning.
This is the time when your mind and body would be at their optimum functioning and also when there is the highest amount of nascent oxygen in the air. In a nutshell, it is the best time to kick-start your day. Miracles take birth when more than half of the world is sleeping, so you don’t want to miss out on sleeping off this time.
Though the sick, elderly, children, and pregnant can be exempted because they require longer sleeping hours.
With that being done, now you can deliberately forget your Copernicus & Galileo for a moment since.
2…You’re definitely the center of your Universe!!
Yes, you heard me right!! Your day is not meant to begin with a random news feed, a plethora of emails sedimented in your inbox or an infinite trail of Instagram stories and reels. It’s You. You and just You.
Easier said than done, huh?! There are office deadlines, mortgages that are due, kids – their education and health… the list is never-ending, and although you’re just getting up, your mind is way ahead of you running a marathon! However, with time on your side, you have a wonderful opportunity to work on yourself and hone yourself to fight all that life throws at you!
This “me time” every morning will give you the upper hand at everything! Cleanse and Groom yourself with herbals or organic products and, of course, with utmost care – not just physically but mentally as well. Meditation is a must at this time, for this will open up your consciousness to receive all that the universe is waiting to reveal to you. Pranayama breathing exercises are a wonderful incorporation at this time, opening up your mind and body. Additionally, converse with yourself, analyze your priorities in life, reason with your fears and anxieties, read a book, and even hum a song!
3. “Workout”, Play hard..!!
Physical exercise and its benefits are multifactorial. It is a great stress buster while at the same time, it amps up the metabolic rate, maintains a healthy body weight, and is a great shape.
Though too much of anything can be harmful, excess and unplanned workout schedules, skipping – warmups, stretches, and cool-down sessions can put your body under physical stress, causing injuries or worse. One should observe and analyze your physical strength, stamina, and endurance prior to opting for any form of workout plan and then work your way up. Ayurveda explains one should indulge in exercises with half their strength in Winter and Spring, while for the other seasons, mild exercises would be sufficient.
“Sweating it out” alone should not be your objective. Profuse sweating is never a reliable indicator of physical activity since perspiration varies from person to person. Ayurveda advises one to indulge in exercise until sweat droplets emerge from your forehead – yeah, that’s it!! You don’t have to be swimming in a “puddle of sweat” and dehydrate yourself by the end of your workout!!
Yogic therapeutic techniques like that of Suryanamaskar (the Sun Salutations) can come quite useful and equally effective at beginner and/or advanced levels. It targets the smaller muscle groups that are usually ignored, along with regular and systemic breathing patterns. It is a combination of dynamic movements and static poses, hence a completely balanced exercise.
4. The Moral Compass
Dinacharya doesn’t limit itself to the aspects of mind and body but also addresses the social and spiritual interactions of an individual. Every thought, every experience – small and big, takes a toll on your psyche. Similar to the Ten Commandments or Panchasil (5 principles) in Buddhism, Ayurveda also forbids us from indulging in the following:
- Rudeness/Verbal Abuse
- Foul Language
- The desire for others’ belongings
- Following false idols
All forms of trouble, whether the ones happening right down the alley or the international disputes you update your mind through the news feeds, originate from at least 1 of the above-mentioned.
At the same time, Ayurveda promotes philanthropy and compassion for every life form. It enlists Compassion, Charity, Control over one’s act and speech and devoting oneself to a moral cause altogether as Sadvritta – Moral code of Ayurveda.
5. Look before you “eat”!!
It is not just about what goes down the throat, but how and when as well! There lies the secret behind all the accumulated comorbidities and toxins that enter your body along with food. One has to ensure that you are taking the food because you are hungry and not driven by cravings. The interval between each meal is quite important. In Ayurveda, food is eaten only after your previous meal is digested. The ideal meal is meant to be wholesome and balanced with respect to nutrients and taste as well.
Ensure that you are sufficiently hydrated and have dietary fiber in your diet. Late-night dinners and late-morning brunches might not serve you well in the long run since it puts your system on a double shift (prolonging the time your body receives nutrients).
6. Sleep to Good Health
Ayurveda believes your sleep is one of the pillars that holds you together. Can’t disagree, right?
Your sleep can pretty much determine how your next day is going to be. Late-night parties or binge tv watches cannot be your daily routine. Keep your phones in silent mode (and away from your bed) for at least an hour before you sleep.
Hit the bed at least by 10 PM, and give prep time for your body since most of the anabolic and catabolic processes happen when you finally rest after a long day. Ayurveda explains it as the action of Pitta Dosha, which ensures the sustenance of the individual.
Time to get some action.
A journey of miles starts off with a single step; take your time, start off with small changes and then work your way up. But never back down. Maintaining a daily journal to track down your progress would be great. Keep a 21 days target to begin with, as for in Ayurveda, 21 days is the minimum time duration that it takes for a person to habituate to a new change in routine.
Remember, you don’t have to over-stress yourself; try to reason with your hurdles and doubtfulness. Let Ayurveda find its way to you. Soon you will be able to witness or rather experience the changes firsthand. The OC Ayurveda is there in your journey every step of the way. Our trained and experienced practitioner simplifies the most complex of the Ayurvedic ways and finds a method to benefit them in your lifestyle. If you haven’t been seen for an Ayurvedic consultation yet, this would be a great start for you to recognize your natural constitution and identify any imbalances that you can work to correct over time.