For those who want to dive deeper into the overall health benefits of yoga, one might suggest learning about the rituals and practices of its “Sister Science,” Ayurveda. Both play separate but essential roles in keeping us in a healthy and peaceful state by encouraging the incorporation of daily routines into our lives designed to bring us balance and optimum health.
Our modern lifestyles often come with responsibilities and expectations that at times lift us up, but often leave us feeling exhausted and off-balance. We live in a day and age where our bodies are persistently worn out and in dire need of restoration, which is why so many of us often turn to yoga. Yoga, along with the ancient practice of Ayurveda aids us to become better versions of ourselves by incorporating things like proper nourishment, a healthy diet, self-care, hygienic practices, beneficial physical activity, and more. Here are 10 Ayurvedic rituals you can start incorporating into your Dincharya (daily routine) to feel happy, healthy and fulfilled:
1. GO TO BED EARLY
According to the science of Ayurveda, going to bed early is one of the ideal ways to maintain good health. Try to be in bed by 10 pm, as it is said that the body detoxifies and renews itself between 10 pm and 2 am. Switch off your devices an hour before you wish to be sleeping, and don’t bring your gadgets with you into bed.
2. RISE AND SHINE
Just like it’s suggested to go to bed early, you also want to find yourself waking up with the sun. After a proper night’s sleep, you shouldn’t feel it difficult to wake up early. It is said in Ayurveda that sleeping beyond sunrise leads to the clogging of our communication channels with impurities that make your mind feel dull, your mood depressed and your body lethargic all day long.
3. START WITH WATER
As you wake up, stretch your body and drink water (at least one 8 oz. glass). Try to drink lukewarm water, as doing so activates the organs to function properly throughout the day and also supports easy bowel movement.
4. EMPTY YOUR COLON
Speaking of, try to get yourself into the routine of hitting the bathroom in the morning. The longer we go throughout our day without proper bowel movements, the more time there is for toxins to build in the body, leading to uncomfortable and eventual chronic conditions. Our digestive tract is a key factor when it comes to being in good health and feeling our best.
5. INVEST IN A TONGUE SCRAPER
One of the most important Ayurvedic health regimes to maintain is proper oral hygiene. By using a tongue scraper, you eliminate the toxins that build up in your mouth throughout the day, which also helps maintain healthy digestion. Then, with herbal toothpaste and a good quality brush, brush your teeth. You can lastly gargle salt water with added garlic to clear the throat.
6. SHAT KRIYA- THE CLEANSING PROCESS
Most of us intuitively splash water on our face to wake up and feel rejuvenated, which is in fact an Ayurvedic practice in itself called Shat Kriya. It is then recommended to perform Neti Kriya to cleanse the nostrils, aka time to bust out that Neti Pot! If you’re a Neti Pot first-timer, have someone experienced with this practice guide you through how to use it. If you’re interested in learning more about the Shat and Neti Kriya, plus other Ayurvedic practices and remedies, programs such as Ayurveda India Kerala in the birthplace of yoga are available for those looking to take a deeper dive.
7. PERFORM SELF-ABHYANGA
Abhyanga translates to a warm oil body massage that helps tone the muscles, hydrate the skin, calm the body and mind and relax the nervous system. It can easily be self-applied by massaging your body for 15-20 minutes with herbal or medicated oil (even better if it is Dosha-specific). Begin by massaging the outer ear, neck, upper spine, arms, joints, abdomen, legs, and feet, and use some nasal and ear drops as well. If you’d like to immerse yourself in a retreat-like setting where these Ayurvedic self-care practices like Abhyanga are the focus, programs like Panchakarma Treatment in Kerala, India is known for making you feel rejuvenated from head to toe.
8. YOGA, PRANAYAMA, AND MEDITATION
The ideal order according to Ayurveda in which to perform these practices is to start with yoga, followed by a breathing, or “pranayama” practice, then concluded with meditation. If you’re a beginner, simply focus on the basic yoga poses when first starting out. For sequence inspiration, check here. Then move into your pranayama breath work, finally ending with a quiet meditation practice.
9. TAKE A RELAXING BATH
Finding the time to take a relaxing bath not only supports your overall health according to Ayurveda, but it can also serve as the time of day to unwind and enjoy some much-needed self-care!
10. FEED THE BELLY AND FUEL YOUR BODY
According to Ayurveda, it is said that one needs to consume three meals a day, with lunch being the biggest. Breakfast is essential and should be light, satisfying, and balanced. This could include a stewed apple or some oatmeal. If you find yourself interested in Ayurvedic recipes, there are a plethora of Ayurveda cooking classes available to get you on the right track!
By incorporating these Ayurvedic rituals into your Dincharya, you’ll begin to feel more energized, alert, rejuvenated, and whole. Why not begin today?
Manmohan Singh has been a practitioner of yoga and Ayurveda for the last 12 years. He is the managing director of Rishikul Ayurshala, an authentic Ayurveda training institute. The Institue offers Ayurveda courses in Kerala India and Ayurveda cooking classes in Kerala India. The institute’s goal is to provide the most simple healing solutions and treatments for multifarious health problems. Apart from institute management, Manmohan Singh loves to spend time writing, doing photography, and traveling.