Staying Healthy with Ayurveda Daily Routine

 

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According to Ayurveda, following a proper daily routine is a prerequisite for health. Almost 90% of ill health in the United States is said to be preventable. In most cases, the imbalances at the basis of disease and disorders are created over time by simple mistakes in diet, exercise and behavior that disrupt our biological rhythms.

Our diet and daily routine of eating, sleeping, and exercising, determine whether we become stronger and healthier day by day or whether we create imbalances that continually grow toward disease. Without proper diet and routine of life the effectiveness of any treatment program we undertake will be greatly reduced because the true cause of the disorder will continue to exist. One of the goals of a successful Ayurveda program is to help structure day-to-day behavior so that it has a balancing and strengthening effect on health.

Ideal daily routine means a routine that is in accord with the laws of nature; a routine that keeps the mind/body system functioning efficiently with the least amount of wear and tear.

Here are a few examples of how ideal daily routine can promote health.

Ideal Times for Sleeping

There is a saying, “The day starts the night before”. Only by going to bed early can the next day’s activity be fully supported. By going to bed during Kapha time, (before 10:00 P.M. when the evening Pitta period begins), we take advantage of Nature’s natural cycle of healing and rejuvenation. The qualities of Kapha, (heaviness and dullness), allows us to get to sleep most quickly, and to have the deepest, least interrupted sleep.

After 10:00 Pitta begins to dominate. Pitta at this time of day should be involved in metabolic cleansing. The body needs to be inactive at this time so that it can focus its intelligence and energy on metabolic cleansing and rejuvenation. If we are up and active during this time, we may enjoy an effective spurt of energy but we cheat our bodies on much needed self-repair. Over time this can take a serious toll on our physical and mental health.

Going to bed on time allows us to easily rise at the proper time, before 6:00 A.M. The period before 6 AM is the time when all of Nature is waking up, and a time when Vata is enlivened in the environment. If we start our day in Vata time, our mind will experience more of the qualities of balance Vata throughout the day: increased energy, clarity, intelligence and alertness.

If we sleep past 6 AM, we sleep into the Kapha time of the day. When a person sleeps until 7:30 AM they have been lying dull and dormant of 1 and 1/2 hours in Kapha time and they wake imbibed with the qualities of excess Kapha: dullness, heaviness and lethargy.

Understanding and following the ideal times for eating and sleeping means harmonizing our behavior with the rhythms and cycles of the body and the cycles of nature. This is the key to living a health-promoting life. If we live a lifestyle that disrupts our natural biological rhythms, we are sabotaging our own health, breaking down the resistance of the body and contributing to the creation of disease.

Ideal Times for Eating

Breakfast

Digestion is not strong when we first awake, so breakfast should not be a heavy meal. Cooked apples and pears are a perfect way to begin the day. It is best to avoid cheeses, meats and other heavy, hard-to digest foods at breakfast.

Lunch

In the middle of the day the heat element in nature is at its peak. This activates the heat element, Pitta, in our own bodies. Pitta is responsible for digestion and metabolism.

For this reason we should eat our largest meal at noon. The ideal time for lunch is between 12:30 and 1:00, as this is the period of highest Pitta and greatest digestive power. Lunch should be a warm, cooked meal, with all six tastes. Take at least 30 minutes, eat in a relaxed setting, and then sit comfortably for 10 to 15 minutes after you finish.

Dinner

In the evening, digestion is less strong. In a few hours we should be sleeping, which further slows the digestive and metabolic processes. Therefore dinner should be a lighter meal. Heavy foods like cheese, ice cream and met are best avoided at this meal.

It is better to eat earlier in the evening that later. The later you eat, the less food you should consume and the lighter the food should be.

If we have been living a life that is out of tune with nature’s laws, it is never too late to make healthy changes. A consultation with an Ayurvedic expert can pinpoint imbalances that have built up in the physiology, and provide specific recommendations for restoring a healthy balance. The traditional purification and detoxification treatments of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma treatments, can remove accumulated imbalances and blockages from deep within the tissues.

For more information on Ayurveda, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Center:

www.theraj.com

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