One of the first places to begin using Ayurveda is by adjusting your daily routines. Why does Ayurveda place importance on Daily Routines, or as it is known in Sanskrit, “Dinacharya?” Here are the two fundamental reasons:
- Ayurveda aims to maintain the body in a constant state of health—we have to work on this, as the world is constantly trying to pull us away from our ability to obtain health.
- It strives to guide us to an elevated state of consciousness or awareness, through the experience of good health- when we have health our soul’s capacity becomes apparent to us.
Deep within each of us, there exists a natural rhythm, a connection between our relationship with food (fulfilling our genuine needs) and our sleep (aligning with the sun’s celestial rhythm).
When we are in harmony with these innate rhythms, our bodies experience radiant health. But, when we step out of sync, disease or at the very least, “dis-ease,” creeps in.
Modern society, with its artificial rhythms and our propensity to overindulge, has distanced us from these intrinsic rhythms. The result: a profound loss of connection.
Ayurveda provides us with a map, and some good news is that once we get connected, Mother Nature ends up doing all the hard work for us. Life is easier!
So, let’s focus for now on the Daily Routine: SLEEP!
Ayurveda encourages us to get to sleep by 10 p.m., even earlier in the colder and darker months. But why is this?
After 10 p.m., there’s a distinct natural rhythm (pitta) that activates the body and mind. So if you aren’t already on your way to sleep, it makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Quality rest is a precious commodity. Definitely hard to come by. I have given you below a few ways to enhance your ability to sleep:
- Consistency is Key: Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time, regardless of how well you’ve slept during the night.
- Mindful Slumber: Learn deep relaxation techniques to do in bed, like Yoga Nidra, to calm your mind and facilitate peaceful sleep.
- Dim the Lights: An hour prior to bedtime, turn off the lights and light some candles! This soft, gentle glow is magical.
- Digital Detox: Steer clear of screens and work-related activities for at least three hours before hitting the hay.
- Stimulant-Free Days: Throughout the day, avoid stimulating substances that can interfere with your sleep. This is a hard one for all you coffee, tea, and chocolate lovers. Do these things before 1 p.m. to begin to change this habit. Your sleep-fulfilled self will thank you later.
- Journal Your Thoughts: When your mind is not allowing you to sleep, get up and jot down your thoughts in a journal.
As we navigate daily life, Ayurveda offers us real wisdom, and a map for how to proceed, one step, or in this case, one restful night at a time.