Have you ever felt exhausted, unsatisfied, angry and incapable to feel happy? Are there times when you don’t understand why, despite all the efforts you make for your health, you get sick? Do you have the feeling that you are „stuck” in one place and you stay there, and you stay there more, without being able to make a step towards and the world around you changes at a frantic pace?
Do you know why you feel this way?
Because the way you spend your daily life determines your health and quality of life. What you do every day of your life strengthens or weakens your body.
Each one of the choices you make, the food you eat, your attitude to people who surround you – all this determines your lifestyle.
If you don’t feel good in your skin, if you feel that life is slipping away, most probably you need a change in your lifestyle and Ayurveda can help you to do it.
What is the Ayurveda lifestyle?
You know that Ayurveda is a science of life. As such, it assumes that the human life is closely related to nature. To live in symbiosis with nature means to be in harmony also with your own body and constitution, to be faithful to yourself, to your own nature, to your mental, physical and psychological potential.
Put another way, to adopt Ayurveda as a lifestyle means to live in harmony with nature, balancing your inner nature and adapting it to the constantly changing world.
Is the change of lifestyle easy?
If you expect a positive answer, you will be wrong. There is neither a quick and easy decision, nor a magical button to press and from tomorrow on to start living in a different way.
Because the lifestyle is formed by many factors. It is a combination of the habits that you have adopted from your family, from the environment you grew up in, even from the climate and genes that you have inherited from your ancestors. The change comes slowly, it is hard and requires a lot of effort.
If you are ready to change your daily habits, following the principles of Ayurveda with regard to the healthy and harmonious lifestyle, here is how to lay the foundations for change.
According to Ayurveda, the daily rhythm of life brings us into harmony with the rhythm of nature. It helps us to adjust our biological clock and to create an effective energy exchange between the external world and the human body. This provides a balance between the external and internal environment, improves the quality of physiological processes, generating self-esteem, happiness and calmness.
Changing your lifestyle requires everyday practice and a lot of effort to overcome the inertia that you have created with your unbalanced lifestyle. In order to cope with it you shouldn’t change your habits quickly. Work day by day, and after a while you will find that your body gradually adapts to the natural rhythm and that you like this new daily routine.
General Ayurvedic principles for the daily rhythm of life
6.00 a.m. – waking up
According to Ayurveda, the best time to wake up is in the early hours of the day – between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m. This time is called Brahma-muhurta and according to the ancient Indian science it is the time in which the purest harmony is created, and the soul awakens. However, if this awakening time is not possible for you, then the next most suitable is 6.00 a.m.
From 6.00 to 7.00 a.m. – morning activities
- Washing the face with cold water and gentle massage of it;
- Washing the mouth and cleansing the tongue;
- Brushing the teeth;
- Drinking a cup of warm water (water stimulates the stomach and kidneys, improves the function of intestines);
- Emptying the intestines;
- Taking a shower.
From 7.00 to 8.00 a.m. – spiritual practices and physical exercises
It is good to start the day with meditation, mantras or listening to relaxing music.
Physical exercises are according to your preferences but they must be performed every morning.
8.00 a.m. – breakfast
Breakfast should be light and with sweet taste to give you positive emotions during the entire day.
From 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. – work
The best time to perform your work duties is from 8.00 to 17.00 a.m.
From 12 to 14.00 p.m. – lunch
Lunch should be the most abundant meal of the day. Try to eat nutritious foods that will deliver the energy you need.
14.00 – 17.00 p.m. – work
17.00 – 20.00 p.m. – training, communications with the loved ones, hobbies
This personal time is required to shake off the work tension and to restore your inner balance.
19.00 p.m. – dinner
As a volume, dinner should be a bit more than breakfast, and much less than lunch. It is good to avoid heavy foods or the foods with saturated flavors.
From 20.00 to 21.00 p.m. – time for the family, hobbies and relax
21.00 p.m. – preparation for sleep
Take a shower to wash away the negative emotions, brush your teeth. Spend time meditating.
22.00 p.m. – sleep
The ideal restorative sleep is between 22.00 to 24.00 a.m. during this interval, the nervous system is recovering most actively. If you go to bed later, your nervous system can’t recover completely, but only partially, and this disturbs the biological rhythm.
According to Ayurveda, the proper nutrition is at the core of the health of the body, mind and spirit. The food requirements are different for each type of constitution, so if you are not sure of your dosha type it is good to ask your Ayurveda specialist to determine your constitution.
Here you should also observe the rule not to change quickly and drastically the eating habits you have. Slowly and gradually create new ones, because, ultimately, the Ayurveda lifestyle requires proper nutrition to become your natural lifestyle.
Ayurvedic principles of healthy eating
7.00 – 8.00 a.m. – breakfast
We have already mentioned that breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day and it should have sweet taste.
The optimal Ayurveda breakfast can includes:
- Dairy products (cheese, butter, curds, sour cream);
- Fresh fruits and juices (in summer) and dried fruits (in winter);
- honey, marmalade.
12.00 – 14.00 p.m.- lunch
The most abundant meal of the day, the lunch, can include:
- salads of fresh vegetables;
- cooked or steamed vegetables;
- cereals and legumes;
- dairy products;
- meat can also be eaten, but in small portions and not every day;
- cakes. If you like to eat sweet things and you can’t resist the temptation, at lunch you can eat some, but don’t overdo it.
18.00 – 19.00 p.m. – dinner
The dinner should be modest and it can include:
Around 21.00 p.m. – a cup of milk
One hour after dinner and before bedtime, it is a good idea to drink a cup of organic milk, with a ½ teaspoon of ghee (melted) and with a pinch of ginger, turmeric, nutmeg or cinnamon according to your taste.
In addition to these basic principles of nutrition, you have to remember:
- Don‘t eat if you don’t feel hungry. Hunger has nothing to do with appetite. If you are not really hungry, skip the meal and don’t force yourself.
- The usual time you take a meal has to be consistent with your daily diet. So try to always eat at the same time.
- The food you eat has to be good for your constitution.