In the very beginning, Ayurveda can feel a bit overwhelming. There are many new names and it's a different way of thinking about the mind, body, spirit and overall health. But there is one simple way to integrate Ayurveda fully into your life: take it one step at a time. Students have shown that it takes 21 days for a new practice to become a habit. Go slowly during these three weeks and introduce the new practices into your life one-by-one. Here's a few good practices to start with!
1. Practice Meditation
According to experts from many different fields and Ayurvedic professionals, one of the most important practices in achieving health, balance and life fulfillment is through integrating the mind, body and soul with meditation.
Start waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal, or around 6:30 am at the latest. Use this time to drink some herbal tea and meditate. If you have time, include an evening meditation before bed instead of being on your phone or computer.
2. Understand Your Doshas
Adapt your habits to your constitution to increase vitality and wellbeing. You can take a Dosha quiz on many different Ayurveda websites to start out with, but the best way to understand your dominant Doshas is to book a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
A good way to begin is to notice how certain foods make you feel after eating them. With the help of your Ayurvedic practitioner, adjust the spicing of your food depending on how you feel, if you're feeling imbalanced or having symptoms. This can take a bit of practice, but once you understand how the different tastes influence your mind and body, it becomes fun and a creative pasttime.
3. Work Toward Better Sleep
Getting high-quality sleep is essential for good health. Go to sleep at 10 pm, eat dinner before 7pm, use aromatherapy to help you relax before bed and turn off the TV and all electronics at 8pm. This will greatly improve your sleep and help you to feel rested and energized every day, as well as improve your health.
4. Take Care of Your Senses
Pay attention to everything that comes through your senses. Avoid TV shows, music and books that generate stress. Then start a daily self-massage in your morning routine, called abhyanga. Try to leave the oil on for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. Daily massage improves circulation, nourishes the skin and awakens the body. Abhyanga calms the mind so many stress-related symptoms disappear effortlessly with this practice. Use aromatherapy to calm your mind and improve your health, creativity and concentration.
5. Become Aware of Your Emotions
Meditation will start to bring up suppressed emotions. Become aware of these emotions and understand that they are like clouds passing across the sky. If you feel anxious, bring yourself into the present moment and ask yourself, “Why am I feeling anxious? What need do I have that is not being fulfilled?” Remember that every negative emotion is the result of an unmet need, such as loneliness or exhaustion or even hunger. Recognize where these emotions are coming from so you can take care of yourself and let them go.
If you feel overwhelmed by so many new vocabulary, concepts and practices, take it one step at a time. Find what practices work best for you and then integrate them into your life, one-by-one.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.