This post is a request from the beautiful Erin in Australia, who wanted to know what a normal day looked like for me with my Ayurvedic lifestyle (food and practice). This does vary depending on what my schedule is like and what my body is telling me to eat . I am a VATA dosha (body-mind constitution). A regular lifestyle routine helps ground Vata and this is what I am doing currently (during the cold months) and it is working for ME and MY BODY wonderfully. Currently, my landscaping work is slow and I have a flexible schedule right now.
To help you get started, here are a few of my daily ayurvedic “rituals” that I partake in every morning that are both easy on the budget and easy to integrate. Remember, the key to maintaining good health is to keep the body and mind clean before sickness or disease manifests itself. If we can stay connected to our bodies, we can prevent disease down the line. Now, the regimen I practice, I schedule into my morning because it is SO IMPORTANT to ME and my HEALTH.
The first thing I do when I wake up is lay in bed for about 10 minutes, slowly coming back into my body and mind from a long sleep. I used to wake up to an alarm clock and jump out of bed and go-go-go – I always felt rushed and stressed. That was the WORSE thing I could do for my body and mind. Now, when the alarm goes off, I hit the snooze button once or twice (I set the alarm 10 – 20 minutes prior to “needing” to be up) and gently come into my body along with saying GRATITUDES and VISUALIZATION for the day. I feel calm and peaceful. I then go into the bathroom and do the following in this order: (about 25 – 30 minutes)
1 ) Drink healing clay water mixture. I mix 1 – 2 tsp. per 8 oz. of warm water. It has no taste and goes down easily. I use HealthForce Nutritionals, ZeoForce, Detoxify Daily. Here are some of the benefits:
- To assist in the removal of toxic substances in the digestive system, both chemical and pathological
- To cleanse the colon and promote proper bacterial balance in the intestines
- To begin the process of detoxification of the liver
- To stimulate liver function
- Reduction of free radical damage ( thus anti-aging )
- Improved immune system function
- Improved cellular respiration
- Improved digestive efficiency
- Reduce food sensitivities ( the so called developed “allergies” )
- Stimulate healing by strengthening the body’s general constitution
2) Scrape my tongue! The white stuff we see on our tongues in the morning is called “ama.” Ama is undigested food residue that lodges itself within the organs and channels of the body and blocks digestion. An accumulation of ama can cause sickness and disease by blocking digestive fires. We need to have a healthy digestive system to maintain good health. I have seen good results with my digestion since incorporating this simple technique into my daily protocol (a.m. & p.m.) A stainless steel tongue scraper costs about seven dollars ( I bought mine here for $5.50) and is one of the best investments you can make for yourself.
3) Follow this with oil pulling, which involves rinsing the mouth with one tablespoon of oil ( I use sesame oil) for about twenty minutes and spitting it out. This helps the body get rid of toxins and promotes self-healing from within. Read more about it here. While I am oil pulling, I will wash my face with castor oil/olive oil mixture and do the next step below (Multi-tasking for the time allotted).
4) Dry Skin Brushing. Our skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects us from the elements and is the first place of contact when foreign substances enter the body. Check out my post (which includes how-to video).
I then move into the kitchen and discard (spit out) the oil pulling “oil” in the waste basket (it will clog plumbing pipes) and follow with 24 oz. (3 cups) of hot lemon water, which helps evacuate the bowels and stimulate digestion. This is also great for alkalizing the body and boosting the immune system. At this time, I take my liver cleansing supplements, flax oil capsules, B12 and D3.
Afterwards, I will eat a light breakfast (8 to 10 a.m.) that is easy to digest which is a green smoothie – I am drinking my HOT Green smoothie right now during the cold months and LOVING it.
Lunch (noon to 2 p.m.) It is usually the largest meal of my day (and portion size) – will be anything from:
or left over soup from the night before, or steamed veggie wrap – something warm/hot and comforting.
I will drink more warm/hot water and herbal tea throughout the afternoon to stay hydrated and warm. Sometimes I will whip up a hot tonic depending on how I am feeling. If I want a snack, I’ll have one. However, I have found that 3 meals a day work for ME.
I exercise daily (even if it is 15 minutes of yoga). I fit it in whenever I can during the day. I LOVE Rebounding at home and go to a yoga class (1 hour practice) several times a week (I adore my yoga teacher, Heather and her classes). Come up to visit me sometime and I’ll take you to one of the classes. :) Light exercise that enhance balance and flexibility is best for a Vata body type. Take care not to push yourself too far and exceed the limits of your energy. Beneficial activities for Vatas include: yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, walking and short hikes, light bicycling, light tennis, golf, dance, and aerobics. Just move the body to get the circulation going and stimulate lymph system (Rebounding and yoga encompasses all of this AND it’s FUN!!)
Before preparing dinner, I fix myself a 12 oz. glass of juice consisting of organic carrots, celery, ginger root and lemon ( all ingredients room temperature – not cold).
This juice is to assist with cleansing the liver along with aiding eyesight, bones and teeth, nails, skin and hair as well as helping in cancer prevention. It tastes AMAZING and that’s another reason I do it. The pulp then goes into the dog’s bowl along with their dry dog food and other “goodies” I concoct for them weekly . They LOVE it!
Dinner (which is a lighter meal compared to lunch – a smaller serving) – around 6 or 6:30: anything from kitchari, hot blended veggie soups, roasted root veggies, warm salads, baked sweet potato with chevre goat cheese and side of steamed asparagus, or baked spaghetti squash with marinara, goat cheese and fresh basil (LOVE!). These are just some recipes in the regular rotation right now, but I like to try out new recipes all the time too.
Before bed, I will have a Happy Hormone Tonic between 8 and 9 o’clock along with my magnesium and flax oil supplements.
I aim to be in bed around 10 or 10:30. Lately, if I can work it in, I LOVE taking a HOT aromatherapy bath followed by lightly oiling my entire body with sesame oil. I will do some light yoga stretching and alternate nostril breathing before getting into bed and then I am calm, relaxed and drift off to sleep with no problem. I have been taking a magnesium supplement at night and have been sleeping like a baby with a straight 8 hours (no more waking up at 2 or 3 in a.m. and laying awake for hours! Thankfully!!)
If you are wanting to incorporate some of the techniques I’ve mentioned, and it may seem like a lot – don’t fret—you don’t have to do everything every day. In the very least, start out with the tongue scraper and lemon water. Then, try adding another remedy to your daily routine each week or two and note if you feel a difference. Remember, commitment is the key to longevity and living a healthy and more fulfilled life. Thanks for spending the day with me!
What are some daily practices that make you feel amazing (inside and out)?
Tomorrow I will have some Ayurveda dietary guidelines and tips for each dosha to help you out.May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired! Kibby