Being healthy in Ayurveda

flowerspinkAccording to Ayurveda, someone who is healthy has all three Doshas in balance, a wholesome appetite, strong digestion, all body tissues functioning favourably, regular excretion, and their mind is in a state of bliss, in tune with the spirit.

There are many ways in which you can begin to balance your Doshas, one way is obviously through the food we eat but another way is engaging in a regular routine of looking after your health and wellness of your mind, body, and spirit.

 

That daily routine is called Dinacharya. Below I have simply listed the steps in an Ayurvedic daily routine. If you are just starting out I recommend trying to implement just 1 or 2 of these steps and establish a good routine before taking on any more steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed and then giving up altogether.

Dinacharya: Your Daily Yogic Routine

The Ayurveda practice of Dinacharya, or “law of nature,” consists of daily self-care routines, which provide structure for instilling balance and establishing cohesiveness in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies.

  1. Wake up in the morning before sunrise.

 

  1. If easy and natural… eliminate: empty bowel and bladder. Don’t strain. Ayurveda never wants us to resist healthy natural urges, or strain by trying to force them.

 

  1. Wash your face and splash cold water in the eyes. Our eyes work very hard all day and they tend to accumulate a lot of heat. Splashing a bit of cold water into each eye in the morning helps to cool, soothe, and relax the eyes, but also helps us to feel more vibrantly awake.

 

  1. Scrape your tongue (yes, I know it sounds revolting and it is gross but now, 9 months in, I can’t stand not doing it first thing in the morning as my mouth feels so much better for doing it). Please see my Blog “Tongue Scraping & Oil Pulling” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Oil pulling (once again it is something that takes some getting used to but once you get used to it, it is addictive). Please see my Blog “Tongue Scraping & Oil Pulling” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Rinse mouth thoroughly and brush your teeth.

 

  1. After this is a good time to drink a cup of water.

 

  1. Skin brushing. Please see my Blog “Abhyanga & Skin Brushing” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. Perform Abhyanga- warm Ayurvedic oil self-massage- which oil to use depends on your Dosha. Please see my Blog “Abhyanga & Skin Brushing” for more information on how to do this.

 

  1. It’s best to wait 10-15 minutes for the oil to soak in between your massage and shower. If you don’t have time, immediately jumping in the shower is OK.

 

  1. Shower using warm rather than hot water.

 

  1. Perform Yoga Asanas (poses/ postures) and Pranayama (breath work).

 

  1. Practice Meditation starting with just a few minutes each day and working up to twenty minutes.

 

  1. Eat a light breakfast.

 

  1. Then… work or school- you are ready to do this!

 

  1. Make your biggest meal your lunch.

 

  1. Go to bed early.

 

The above are only a select few options on the full menu of Dinacharya offerings. Obviously, you will already be doing some of the things listed above and won’t need to add everything to your routine. Try one or try all the offerings. I suggest taking on adopting one or two practices to start with and continue to build your routine. The adoption of two Dinacharya-inspired changes can make a difference when enveloped into your day-to-day routine. For example, since January I have implemented oil pulling and tongue scraping into my daily routine and my mouth is thanking me for doing so! We are all works in progress and I continue to work towards building other practices into my daily routine.

The implementation of a personal Dinacharya ritual can serve as powerful and effective insurance for physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing.

I hope this has been helpful.  🙂

Enjoy!

Advertisements

What are the Doshas?

According to Ayurveda, being healthy does not mean absence of disease.  The wisdom of this Science of Life (Ayurveda) says for an individual to be called “healthy” it needs to take into account each and every individual’s unique personality, habits, and emotions. Who we are- our unique personality and our mental and physical characteristics make us totally special and unique. To the trained Ayurveda practitioner “who we are” can be read like a “blueprint” to lead us to good health and vitality.

What is this blueprint made up of?

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Each one of us is made up of the combination of these three Doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas to be dominant, with third one to be passive. This makes up our unique blueprint or prakriti (constitution) in accordance with Ayurvedic principles. Each Dosha controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick- and the health issues you develop- are linked to the balance (or imbalance) of your Doshas.

The Doshas:

Ayurveda states that there are three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Doshas are your body type, which includes your metabolic constitution, your personality, and your physical characteristics.  By understanding what makes us unique, we can make better decisions as to how they relate to our diet, lifestyle, and mental health.

The Doshas are found throughout the human body and mind. They govern all physical and mental process and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfilment.

The Doshas derive from the Five Elements and their related properties.

Vata is composed of Space and Air and is said to have all of the features listed below:

vata

Pitta of Fire and Water and is said to have all of the features listed below:

pitta

Kapha of Earth and Water and is said to have all of the features listed below:

kapha

So, I bet you are now dying to find out what Dosha you are! There are many online tests out there that can give you an idea of what your Dosha is but for those really serious (or simply curious) about Ayurveda, I recommend seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner.

 

For those who wish to take an online quiz to determine their Dosha/s I recommend: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/

Once you have figured out your constitution you can see which one/s (if any) of your Doshas are out of balance by clicking on the following link:

https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/vikriti-quiz/

 

Enjoy learning more about yourself!

 

Namaste, Natalie

P.S. If you’d like to read my first blog in this series of posts, please click on the following link: My Ayurvedic Journey.