Health is created and maintained through our daily routines and rituals. In āyurveda, routines are aligned with the rhythms of nature to keep the body in homeostasis and out of a state of stress, leading to diseases of the mind and body. Below is an example of a daily āyurvedic routine.
Awaken with the sun: During Vata time; start the morning off with gratitude by pausing to send loving energy into the universe. Give thanks and welcome the blessings of the day yet to come.
Cleanse face, eyes, ears and mouth with cool water: Reduces Pitta excess that has built up during the night. Senses will become open and receptive.
Brush teeth/scrape tongue: Check the tongue to observe ama (waste) collected throughout the night. Using a tongue scraper, starting in the back of the mouth and pulling to the tip of the tongue. Brush teeth using herbal, natural toothpaste.
Sip warm water with lemon: Cleanses the GI tract and removes ama (waste) from the digestive & elimination systems. If there is excess Vata, allow water to sit overnight in a copper cup to drink in the morning. If there is excess Pitta, substitute lime for lemon.
Engage in dry brushing and abhyanga.
Shower/cleanse in body temperature water: Making sure not to shock the body in too hot or too cold temperatures, use an all natural body wash as to not strip your skin of their natural oils.
Swab nostrils: Using a q-tip, dip in rosewater hydrosol and swab nostrils; follow with dipping a new q-tip into nasya oil or sesame oil and repeat swabbing nostrils. Use a neti pot as needed for present irritants.
Morning sadhana: Morning yoga practice; surya namaskar (sun salutations).
Pranayama: Morning breath work.
Mantra: Set an intention for your day.
Morning meal: Breakfast should be taken at first point of hunger. Consume food in silence to break your overnight fast.
Daily work/tasks/activity: During this time of day, complete the tasks that require the most focus.
Mid-day meal: Lunch should be the largest meal of the day when agni (digestive fire) is highest (10am-2pm). To aid in digestion, lay on the left side of the body following your meal.
Social interaction: Vata time of day (2pm-6pm) is best to gather with friends and loved ones.
Evening meal: Dinner should be light and served at the next point of hunger. Eat just enough to bring you until bedtime, but not right before going to sleep - should be at least 2 hours prior to your slumber. If hunger persists before bed, enjoy a cup of spiced milk.
Let everything go: Take an inventory of your day followed by relaxing activities (warm bath, reading/writing, stretching); light some natural candles with calming aromas.
Pranayama & meditation
Oil feet: Using sesame oil (or any grounding oils), wipe off excess oil and wear socks if desired.
Nightly slumber: Laying in the manner appropriate for your dosha - Vata on back, Pitta on right side, Kapha on left side.
1. Take Triphala every night! The Vata dosha rules travel and can cause
constipation when jet setting around. Taking 1/2 tsp. of triphala with
warm water before bed can help to keep elimination regular.
2. Stay hydrated! Make sure to drink plenty of purified water and herbal
tea to stay hydrated, especially when on an airplane. Traveling can be
super drying and dehydrating to the body.
3. Keep snacks on your person! It is easy to want to grab quick food while
on-the-go. Most of these foods are pre-packaged and contain lots of
preservatives. Real food wasn't meant to last 3-6 months on the self!
Fruits and nuts are wonderful options. And drink CCF tea in between meals
to help with digestion.
4. Oil yourself to calm Vata. Remove your shoes, massage your feet with
sesame oil (or some other favorite), and cover with cotton socks. Reapply
oil as needed and leave on for the duration of the flight. Use your nasya
oil for dry nose.
5. Walk whenever you can. Walk the airport, walk the aisle of the plane.
Bust out some yoga moves when on layovers in the airport.
6. Get plenty of sleep. It is easy to stay awake on airplanes, but once
you land you will be happy for the rest you got! Take melatonin and use
essential oils, ear buds and an eye pillow for comfort. Consider bringing
Epsom salts for a restorative bath when you arrive.
7. Use organic rose water spray to refresh hot skin on a summer day. Make
sure to wear a natural SPF in the sun and to be aware of sun rays during
Pitta hours (10am-2pm) when the sun is at its strongest.
8. Flying can cause sinus pressure to build. But you can practice some
simple moves to keep the pressure off: press gently under the eyes from
inside to outside, massage the base of the ears in slow circular motions,
and use revolving pressure on the temples with fingertips.