Ayurveda is an ancient, holistic science of health, well-being and inner balance of body, mind and spirit—also known as the “sister science of yoga.” Ayurveda is a vast and remarkable knowledge base that offers us incredible wisdom to not only be free from disease, but to experience optimal health, vitality and longevity.
One of the primary principles that Ayurveda teaches us is that lifestyle and daily routines are considered some of the most important medicines.
So here are 10 simple, practical daily Ayurvedic rituals suitable for any elemental constitutions for greater health, and well-being— body, mind and spirit!
1. Wake up before sunrise. Waking up before or with the sun begins to sync our body’s biological rhythms with the natural rhythms of nature— allowing us to live life as naturally as possible for prevention of disease and optimal health!
2. Start your day with positivity. Allow the first thought of the day to be positive— setting the tone and intention for the remainder of the day. Sit up in bed and: a. Set a positive intention for the day. b. Invoke Spirit or say a personal prayer. c. Make a mental list of all the things you feel grateful for or d. State a positive affirmation or chant mantra.
3. Bathe and purify. The body works very hard overnight to repair, heal and purify itself— and it does a tremendous job! Waking up and taking a shower (particularly a cool one, or one that ends with cool,) will help cleanse your body, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and is very absorptive, so it is important to use products like scrubs and soaps that are as natural as possible. Brush your teeth with a natural, fluoride free toothpaste, or add special herbs like neem or peppermint oil to freshen your breath and cleanse away impurities!
4. Move your body with sun salutations & yoga poses. Sun Salutations are a complete yoga routine in and of themselves— moving the spine in every direction. Do at least 15 minutes of your favorite yoga poses (asana) to open, strengthen and prepare the body for the day ahead. Get inspired with my free online yoga classes here.
5. Do Pranayama & Meditation. Pranayama is the valuable breathing techniques in yoga that aim to control, balance and slow down the mind. What we do to the breath, we do to the mind. So breath slowly, mindfully, balancing the inhale with exhale. Try Ujjayi Pranayama or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. Meditation helps concentrate our awareness, and focus the mind— allowing us to experience greater states of peace, harmony and balance in life. Check out this guided meditation here.
6. Eat a light, healthy breakfast. Ayurveda recommends simple, wholesome, natural plant-based foods. Nourish your body with fresh fruit or oatmeal!
7. Live life with Love & Awareness. Both Ayurveda and Yoga teach us to live life with Love as our compass and present moment-to-moment awareness. Remain a witness to each and every moment. Allow each moment to come, and go naturally. Without attaching to pleasurable moments and in times of doubt or confusion of how to act in the world, ask yourself “what would Love do?” Do that.
8. Eat your main meal at midday. Our inner biological rhythms are a reflection of nature’s rhythms. When the sun is at it’s hottest and highest, our own digestive fire, also known as agni, is also at it’s strongest. Eating your largest meal of the day is most beneficial at this time for optimal digestion, assimilation and absorption. Avoid eating heavy foods or big meals after the sun goes down.
9. Meditate at sunset. Around both sunset and sunrise (sandhya kalas,) it is considered an auspicious time for spiritual practices due to the increased amount of prana, or life force energy on the earth at that time. These are also times of transition in which meditation is exceptionally beneficial for. These times are not merely symbolic, but are mathematically auspicious times of the day with a unique cosmic influence on our individual psychology. Meditation is also typically easier and more peaceful at these times.
10. Go to bed early with gratitude in your heart. Or go to sleep shortly after the sun goes down. Getting into this routine helps attune the body’s rhythms to nature’s cycles— the sleep wake cycle, the digestive cycle, the hormonal cycle etc. for greater health and vitality. Plus, it makes waking up early easier for a better tomorrow!
Today, try these simple and practical Ayurvedic tips and experience greater states of health, well-being and vitality— body, mind & spirit!
What are your fave daily health and wellness rituals?