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How to Create a Powerful Ayurvedic Daily Routine to Nourish Your Mind, Body & Soul
Creating a powerful structured daily routine is essential for promoting optimal physical, mental, and emotional health.
In Ayurveda, a daily routine is called Dinacharya. Dinacharya is designed to tune our bodies to the natural circadian rhythms. This Ayurveda practice is one of the simplest but most powerful tools to bring about radical change in mind, body and consciousness.
Learning how and finding rhythm in your daily life will help you sleep better, improve your energy and bring balance to your mind, body and ultimately live a more purposeful life.
Ayurveda & The Circadian Rhythm
I talked about the Ayurvedic circadian rhythm in the previous blog post. The circadian rhythm is our internal clock and runs on a 24 hour cycle that help regulate the body and maintain homeostasis.
When it gets disturbed due to irregular meal times, work schedules, sleep pattern or elimination, your immune system gets weakened and you might experience imbalances, feel lethargic, lack focus and clarity and so on.
Therefore Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of maintaining a structured daily routine. In particular, the importance of maintaining consistency in digestive and eliminative system as well as Yoga practice.
Although this is more challenging in our modern world with various commitments, I follow 80:20 rule when it comes to a daily routine.
I aim to practice Yoga everyday but things happen in life! If I practice Yoga at least 5 times a week I’m happy and I try not to beat myself up for missing a practice one day.
The powerful thing about following a structured daily routine is that when you set a time for a particular practice, over time your mind and body become accustomed to that schedule and it no longer feels like a struggle.
It takes a while to train your mind and body (it definitely took a while for me!), but once you build these habits, it becomes more difficult to break them!
I now don’t need to use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning for 6am Yoga practice which feels great! Even when I have skipped morning practice after a late night, I can always go back to my routine without an alarm the next day.
That’s the power of creating a structured daily routine!
Starting the Day Right
Starting the day right is vital to your optimal health & wellness. When you start the day right, when you get up early to exercise and take your time to allow yourself to connect with your inner peace; you make better choices throughout the day.
Start the day as you wish it to continue and be excited and ready for an amazing day ahead.
Ayurvedic Morning Routine:
1) Wake up early (depending on the season, ideally before sunrise and without an alarm!) and set an intention (called Sankalpa in Sanskrit) for the day. Create an affirmation starting with “I am…” then a specific action or actions, in line with who you want to become and how you want to spend the day.
3) Hydrate – drink a glass of warm water with juice of half lemon or lime. Rinse your mouth with water to dilute any acid from these fruit.
4) Eliminate your waste (Number 2!).
5) Move your body for at least 20 minutes according to your Mind-Body type, Dosha (if you don’t know your Dosha, take my Dosha quiz here!). Breathing consciously with the movement.
6) Meditate for at least 3 minutes after the physical practice. Take a moment for gratitude.
7) Self-massage with oil (Abhyanga) according to your Dosha and leave it on your skin for at least 20 minutes and rinse it off in shower (I recommend doing this on the weekend when you have more time)
8) Have breakfast!
Ayurveda emphasizes on the importance of having a main meal at noon when the digestive fire is at its strongest.
1) Eat your largest meal of the day at lunch time. Relax and eat mindfully.
2) Go for a light walk for about 15 minute to aid digestion.
3) Take regular breaks. When you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, take a break from what you are doing and stop for 1 minute and just breathe.
Ayurveda also emphasizes the importance of having an early light dinner so that you have enough time to digest before going to bed.
Ayurveda also recommends avoiding vigorous exercises in the evening as evening time is for calming down, releasing the day’s activities in preparation for a restorative night’s rest.
1) Have an early and light dinner.
2) After dinner, go for a walk after dinner or engage in an activity that you enjoy and that brings happiness.
3) Do a restorative yoga and/or meditate.
4) Switch off your TV, computer and phone 1 hour before your bedtime. (I switch my phone to flight mode before bed and turn off flight mode after my Yoga practice in the morning!)
5) Write a gratitude journal (write down three things you are grateful for each night).
6) Go to bed by 10pm.
As a starting point, I recommend having an earlier lighter dinner and going to bed early. And gradually make changes to your daily routine and embrace them!