Daily Ayurvedic Routines For A Long And Healthy Life
A guest article by NAYU founder Zina Attia
Ayurveda, the science of life, offers a treasure trove of millennia-old knowledge on how to live a healthy, long and happy life. Summarised in one sentence, Ayurveda can be described as "the art of living in harmony with ourselves and nature". A central element of Ayurvedic health teachings are the daily routines, also called Dinacharya in Sanskrit. They are an important element for inner contentment. Recurring routines – such as getting up at the same time every day or drinking a warm glass of water in the morning – create an ideal framework for a healthy lifestyle and a day full of energy. The morning routine is particularly important in Ayurveda.
The Morning Routine
The morning routine serves the daily cleansing and detoxification of your body. Overnight, many metabolic residues accumulate in your body; you can remove them in the morning with a few cleansing rituals. The classical morning routine in Ayurveda includes not only physical, but also mental cleansing. We all know the feeling of having a stressful day ahead of us. You can take the pressure off with a little breathing exercise or meditation and become more serene. In this article, I have compiled the most popular Ayurvedic rituals for your morning routine. Have fun trying them out.
Tongue scraping is a very common ritual in the Ayurvedic morning routine to remove the coating that has accumulated on your tongue during the night. Use a special tongue scraper for this. By scraping your tongue, you can prevent bad breath, reduce gingivitis and improve your sense of taste. In addition, this daily cleaning has a positive effect on your digestion.
Oil pulling is a simple daily detoxification method with many benefits for your oral hygiene. According to Ayurveda, the antibacterial effect of oil prevents tooth decay, promotes healthy gums and fights bad breath. Gargling or "pulling" also strengthens the jaw and voice.
How it works: Every day in the morning, on an empty stomach, take one tablespoon of oil (sesame oil, coconut oil or linseed oil) into your mouth and hold it there for 5 to 20 minutes. Swish the oil back and forth in your mouth and pull it through the spaces between your teeth. Do not swallow the oil! Spit the oil into a tissue or kitchen roll and dispose of it in the household waste. Rinse your mouth well with water. Tip: Combine showering and oil pulling to save time in the morning.
Drink Warm Water
After a thorough oral hygiene, Ayurveda recommends hydrating your body. Ideally, you should drink a large glass of warm water in the morning on an empty stomach. This has a number of positive effects on your health: warm liquids stimulate digestion and metabolism and facilitate elimination processes.
After getting up, your Agni (digestive power) is still very weak. Therefore, please use warm, ideally boiled off water. If you drink cold water, your body has to expend additional energy to bring the water to body temperature. This is counterproductive and slows down your digestion.
For more variety, add fresh herbs (e. g. mint or basil) or a freshly squeezed lemon to your water. Lemon water is rich in vitamin C and has an acid-balancing effect on the body.
Most people have their first meal between 6 and 10 am. At this time, the agni, the digestive fire, is still very weak, so an easily digestible breakfast is perfect – for example, warm porridge (oatmeal). It is easy to digest and provides you with enough energy for the day ahead.
Get Closer To Your Goal Step By Step
Start with a small routine; like a warm glass of water with lemon or a ten minute yoga sequence. A morning routine does not necessarily have to take up several hours. The important thing is to focus on one thing first. Take a few weeks or even months to integrate a small ritual into your daily routine. When you feel it is working well, move on to the second thing. Always remember: there is no right or wrong. The morning routine should be fun and motivating, that's all that matters.
Besides the morning routine, there are many other Ayurvedic rituals and recommendations that you can use to make your day more mindful and healthy.
The Biggest Meal At Noon
Your digestive power is at its peak between 10 am and 2 pm, when the so-called Pitta Dosha prevails, one of the three bio energies in Ayurveda. Pitta energy stands for fire, and figuratively you can imagine a big fire burning your food. Use this energy to digest a rich lunch.
Time Between Meals
Ayurveda recommends a gap of three to five hours between main meals. During this time you should give your body a break and time to digest the food. "Constant snacking" weakens your digestion, and every time you take in new food, your body starts trying to digest it again.
A Light Dinner That Fits Your Type
Eating a large and heavy meal at 9pm can weaken your digestion in the long run. The predominant dosha in the evening is the kapha dosha. During Kapha time you should avoid heavy food, as the digestive fire is low. A light vegetable soup or a warm lentil salad are ideal dishes for a well-tolerated and nutritious dinner.
NAYU - Your Ayurveda App
With the NAYU App, you will find an easy entry into the world of Ayurveda and a way to integrate Ayurvedic knowledge into your everyday life in a modern and simple way. In addition to 150 recipes, the app accompanies you with many yoga sessions and meditations on your way to a sustainably healthy life - all personalised and tailored to your individual Ayurveda type. The app can be downloaded free of charge from all major app stores.
Zina is the founder of the NAYU app and an Ayurveda expert. She discovered her love for Ayurvedic food and lifestyle a few years ago and has been creating modern, uncomplicated and delicious Ayurvedic recipes ever since. As a coach, Zina started her own business and founded a holistic Ayurveda start-up. She helps people integrate healthy routines into their daily lives, reduce stress, strengthen their bodies and eat healthily. In the NAYU Ayurveda app, interested people can find recipes, learn to meditate and practice yoga – matched with their individual dosha.