Ayurveda is the “Science of Life”. It uses the elements found in nature as the foundations of its practice. In Sanskrit Prakruti is the natural state that you were born with, otherwise know as your dosha or ayurvedic constitution. In ayurveda there are 3 doshas types – vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas each contain a combination of the elements – earth, water, fire, wind and ether/space. We too contain the qualities of these elements and so do the things that we do. In fact, everything that exists has its own unique combination of these elements living and non-living.
When we look at routine in terms of its qualities you could say that it is stable, unchanging, consistent dependable, rigid, structured and hold a strong foundation. Routine from an ayurvedic perspective contains the qualities of the element of earth. Being out of routine however, contains the qualities of air and space or the dosha of vata. The qualities of not having a routine are changeable, unstructured, fluid, flighty, inconsistent or all over the place. We could take this further and look at it in comparison to the nervous system and your fight, flight or freeze response (FFFR). Routine gives us stability and sense of calm that helps to pacify the FFFR. No routine on the other hand has it jumping all over the place and in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze.
I look at ayurveda as balancing us out and doing things to our bodies that cause the least harm so that we stay in a state of health or homeostasis. It is a lifestyle and as such has many practices that it recommends you do daily. Since changing over to living an ayurvedic lifestyle, I have notice huge shifts in all areas of my life. My mind is clearer and calmer, my digestion is better and my moods more stable. I feel a sense of ease and know how I will react to or the consequences of doing things.
My main tips with daily routine are to do things that come easily and cause the least stress. These things are there to help pacify the nervous system, not put you into fight, flight or freeze! Start slowly and when you have incorporated something and it becomes as normal as having a shower or going to the loo, add something else.
Routine although at times can seem boring is actually one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being, especially if you have health issues, PTSD, anxiety or are stressed. Here are 4 things that will make a huge difference: Go to bed and rise at the same time each day, move your body with some gentle exercise, practice meditation and mindfulness in your day, and eat at consistent times.
It is preferable to go to sleep before 10pm and wake with the sunrise or just before it. When you exercise do so in alignment with your constitution, imbalance and the season. Meditate for at least 20 minutes each day, I find it easiest to do it first thing in the morning before I do anything else, it sets a great tone for your day. Eat at the same times each day.
80% of people in our society have a vata imbalance. Vata imbalance can present as having sleep issues, anxiety, stress, headaches, IBS and gut issues, teeth grinding, muscle tension, dry/cracked skin, a busy mind and gas, bloating or cracking bones. Its lucky for you that having these rituals set in place helps to pacify vata imbalance! Simple, easy and oh so effective.
Set yourself some healthy routines and challenge yourself to do them each day for 3 weeks.