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Ayurvedic Self-Care or Daily RoutineBy Brenda Mitchell Posted 15-Oct-2017

Self-care or daily routine is one of my favourite parts of the Ayurvedic lifestyle. The small habits that we take on consistently can make enormous changes to our lives for the better. Ayurveda teaches us to follow Mother Nature through the daily routines we follow such as sleeping, eating and exercising. I have included a sample of my ideal daily routine. I am the first to admit that sometimes things come up, we need to work late or attend events. The main rule I follow is to stick to my routine as much as I can and not to beat myself up too much if I slip or things come up. In other words, I still enjoy myself! 5:00 am Wake with the sunrise when possible. I like the light to wake me naturally so I have the curtains open and allow the sun to touch my face and wake me gently as it rises. I then eliminate my bladder and bowels - yes you can train yourself to do this. I then move on to cleaning myself by washing my hands, scraping my tongue, brushing my teeth, washing my face and using a neti pot to clear my nose. I know it seems a lot, but it wakes me quickly and really doesn’t take too long. 5:30 am Exercise for 30 minutes by walking or practicing some yoga asana. If I am walking, I take my japa beads with me and meditate while I walk by the water. The morning sun when exercising provides prana or life force energy to our body to start the day. I believe we should all follow our own path, so if this is something you would like to try, adjust the times to suit your schedule and commitments. Remember, I no longer have young children at home so I do have a bit more time. 6:00 am Meditation, Prayers & Pranayama or breathing exercises for 30 minutes. 6:30 am Make breakfast and prepare lunch to take if I am working or out for the day. If I make my own, I know what is in there and I ensure I eat foods that I believe are the best for me. Then I sit near the window or on the back deck if it is a nice day, eat my breakfast and watch the world go by. 7:00 am Shower, dress and prepare for work including tidying the house before I leave. 8:00 am Leave for work and listen to mantra music in the car to keep me calm and relaxed in the traffic. 9:00 am Work until 12:30 pm. 12:30 pm Lunch at work while I chat to the girls. Nice company, no work and a little time to relax is good for the digestion. This is my biggest meal of the day as I eat with the sun following Mother Nature’s cues for when our Agni or digestion is highest. A little walk to the beach, which is just down the road. No rush, just a stroll and a few minutes to see and smell the ocean. 1:00 pm Work until 5:00 pm. 5:00 pm Drive home, playing mantras to get me through the traffic and wash away the day. 6:00 pm Arrive home. Change clothes. Put on dinner. Eat dinner with family and chat about the day. No TV has been turned on all day. 6:30 pm This time may vary depending on what is for dinner, we go for a light walk around our area. Sometimes it will be 15 minutes, sometimes it will be an hour. It really depends on how tired we are, what we still need to finish for the day and what the weather is like. 7:00 pm approximately I have my shower while the washing runs. I massage oils into my skin all over my body and relax in the shower or bath. 7:30 pm Chill out with family. We may watch a little TV, read a book or listen to music. I like to read some Vedic texts and practice some more meditation before bed. 8:30 pm No more TV, iPad, phones etc as it makes it hard to sleep. This is wind down time for me and I use this time to get ready for bed such as brushing my teeth, saying prayers and maybe reading in bed for a little while. 9:30 pm Onwards I go to sleep. Sometimes it can be 10:00 or 10:30 pm but usually not too far away from my set time. I also find that during winter I sleep earlier and rise a little later. Some notes on my routine: I always try to eat what is in season rather than eat frozen or artificially ripened foods. This is the way Mother Nature intended us to eat and it is the best use of the foods given to us. My main meal is at lunch time and my breakfast and dinner are smaller, lighter meals. This is because we follow the sun with our digestion. we eat lighter when the sun is at its lowest and eat our main meal at midday as this is when our digestive fire or Agni peaks. Try this for a little while and see the difference. You will also notice that smaller dinners mean it is easier to sleep as you are not trying to digest a heavy meal while you sleep. I always take time to eat sitting down, with a little music or pleasant conversation of friends or family. The news, TV or computer are nowhere near me and I always concentrate on my food. I appreciate this gift and the nourishment my body is receiving. Each morning, I go to the bathroom and try to eliminate my bowels. At first it did not work, but persistence pays and you can and will eventually train your bowels to empty at the same time each day. This small thing really changed my life. I always knew when to expect to go and I could be sure of my regularity. Massaging my body with oils each day does more than just moisturise my skin, although that is a nice side effect. I also learn to pay attention to my body, know if there are any lumps and bumps and to ensure the muscles get a bit of a kneading as well.

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    The small habits that we take on consistently can make enormous changes to our lives for the better.


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