Incorporating Ayurveda Principles into my everyday life
Ayurveda is the worlds oldest holistic medical system. Its called the science of life (Ayur means life and Veda means science or knowledge) and is over 5,000 years old - that’s the first written evidence of the incredible science.
Ayurveda’s aim is to create balance in both physical and mental health to facilitate the enhancement of consciousness for self-knowledge and realisation. Ayurveda achieves this by understanding the bodies energies (the Doshas and Mind-body types), seasonal routines, utilising food as medicine, lifestyle practices, detoxification programs, body treatments, positive psychology, yoga, meditation and so, so much more. Because of this, when people are new to Ayurveda it can be quite daunting. The knowledge is so vast a lot of people don’t know where to start!
Here we have listed a few simple Ayurvedic principles that are beneficial for everyone to incorporate into their daily routines to have a happy and healthy life.
Here are 10 ways to bring Ayurveda into your daily life:
1. Wake up early: Before 6am or at dawn. This is the freshest and pure time of the day, so when we awake during this period, the quality of liveliness and vitality stays with us throughout the day. Waking early is the best time to make the most of our circadian rhythm – our Body Clock which regulates the (approximately) 24-hour cycle of biological processes. There are patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological activities linked to this 24-hour cycle. Basically, it's function is to keep the body functioning in balance (homeostasis).
2. Take a morning drink on rising: Take a glass of warm water or add a squeeze of lemon or a few slices of ginger to it. Hydration is important in the morning to re-invigorate your system. According to Valencia Porter, MD, director of integrative medicine at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California,‘This drink flushes the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract and stimulates your digestive fire so you’re ready to metabolise breakfast.’
3. Abhyanga or daily self-oil massage: This is an essential part of Ayurvedic living. This daily habit promotes skin radiance, hydration, detoxification and creates a settled mind. It’s one of the best gifts you can give your body. This ancient practice creates overall whole body balance and safeguards against disease. Use black sesame oil or a neutral sweet almond.
4. Eat wholesome, fresh food: Food is medicine and the key to vitality and preventative health. Choose fresh, seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables. Minimise or avoid oily, fried and processed junk food.
5. Meditation: 20 minutes, twice daily. It decreases cortisol levels (called the ‘stress hormone’ and is a major cause of disease), improves concentration, boosts immunity, cultivates emotional intelligence and spiritual development. A game changer in life.
6. Get to bed early, around 10pm: Restful sleep is important. The purpose of sleep is to rejuvenate and detoxify the body. When we get good sleep, our inner cells work in harmony and our immune system is strengthened. To get deep, refreshing sleep, start disconnecting from technology around two hours before bedtime, take a warm bath, burn essential oils like lavender or sandalwood, practice conscious breathing or Yogic Pranayama. Indulge in practices you find relaxing.
7. Add spices to your life: Start using healthy herbs and spices like fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, cumin seeds, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper etc. in your cooking as much as possible. All these spices are little bundles of medicine which keep digestion and metabolism strong, reduce bad cholesterol, balance blood sugar, boost immunity and so much more.
8. Daily Movement: Exercise is essential. Include exercises like cycling, yoga or any other aerobic exercise in your daily regime. We need a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day for cardiovascular benefits. Daily movement will help to keep disease away, maintain weight. enhance circulation, decrease bad cholesterol and keep immunity strong.
9. Hydrate: Aim to drink about 1 cup of water every hour, a little more in hot or dry climates. Water is essential for maintaining all physiological functions of the body and running smoothly.
10. Connect to nature: Nature is healing, and we are part of nature. Taking the time to connect with nature allows us to remember we are more than just “this body” and “this mind”. It reminds us that we are perfect, whole and connected.
Author: Tegan Wallis
Tegan is a Naturopath, Ayurveda Health Consultant and Yoga Teacher at Griffith Consulting's sister company, Veda Wellness.
Tegan is one of Griffith Consulting's key program facilitators and specialises in workplace health & wellness.
For more information about Tegan or her services, please go to: www.vedawellness.com.au