Ayurvedic Lifestyle Management

Ayurveda / About Rasayana

Lifestyle management

As mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, when human beings first moved from jungle life to village life they noticed an increase in sickness. Presently, the world is suffering from many lifestyle disorders. We have moved from village life to town life, to city life, to mega city life and this has had a great impact on our wellbeing. Why does likelihood of sickness increase with this shift? The disconnection from nature and its circadian rhythms leads to unnatural and unhealthy lifestyles which causes imbalances and disease.

In Ayurveda, the doshas are responsible for maintaining our natural functions. Doshas can get disturbed when our lifestyle is disrupted. A proper lifestyle includes a disciplined routine of sleeping, waking, eating, drinking, exercising, proper breathing and overall living life to its full potential. Lifestyle is well thought out in Ayurvedic medicine because proper routine has such a great influence on our health and wellness. There are many routines and lifestyle behaviours recommended by Ayurveda, for example: proper daily routine, seasonal routine, exercise routine, self-care routine, anti-aging routines, nutrition and fasting routines.

Daily routine

An example of an Ayurvedic morning routine is as follows:

  • Wake up before sunrise at least before 6am but ideally around 4am
  • Upon waking up, it is good to drink a glass of water and have a bowel movement
  • Take care of oral hygiene, which includes tongue cleaning, brushing, oil pulling, etc. To improve strength of teeth, it is recommended to chew a teaspoon of sesame seeds empty stomach in the morning.
  • Walking and proper exercise is important. Yoga and pranayama should also be part of the daily activity. Most of the exercise, (at least to half of your capacity) should be done in the morning but there is no need to do the whole exercise routine in the morning hours. It’s good to spread it out during the whole day.
  • After exercise oil massage is recommended as it helps to relax the muscles, prevent small injuries and reduces post exercise recovery time
  • A proper bath or shower should be taken every morning as it takes care of our metabolism (agni)
  • After this there can be some meditation and pranayama which helps to cleanse the mind from different stresses
  • Before 9am it is good to take breakfast, with a peaceful mind and body. There is a common myth in the western world that Ayurveda recommends to eat lunch as the biggest meal but this is not mentioned in any original Ayurvedic texts. Ideally it is good to take the first meal before 9am if you wake up early in the morning and have a bowel movement.
  • It is good to live the day with proper clarity and in a sattvic state of mind.

Seasonal diet and routine

Like daily routine, changing lifestyle and diet according to every season is also an essential preventative measure for good health and well-being. Doshas which are responsible for the maintenance of our healthy functions, are aggravated in different seasons. If we don’t adjust our lifestyle and diet according to the season then these aggravations can cause disease and imbalances in our system. For example: vata dosha is accumulated in the summer season and can aggravate during the rainy season so a vata pacifying diet and lifestyle is a must during this season. Similarly pita is accumulated in the rainy season and gets aggravated during autumn season. Kapha is accumulated during the winter season and get aggravated during spring season.

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