The very idea of daily routine or rhythm is not that appealing to most people. Yet the Ayurvedic texts tell us that daily routine; what you do regularly every day has the most profound beneficial effects on your health (and I don’t mean Starbucks.) In fact, “dinacarya” as it is said in India is the single most powerful tool in balancing your health and well being. You might be saying “who has time for that?’- with errands to do, kids to drive and pick up, renovations, work, in-laws to tend to how can I possibly focus on daily routine? and is that really fun?sounds somewhat rigid..no thank you.
As a new Mom that’s how I felt when I was introduced to Ayurveda almost thirty years ago. I had been practicing yoga for a few years and wasn’t getting the inner peace I was looking for when one day while in a playground with our two-year-old son Zack, in Brewster, New York a young Mom who was with her little daughter approached me wearing a beautiful beret. She asked what I did to stay in shape, I replied hatha yoga. She said, ” I practice yoga and meditate”. There was something so serene and calm about this woman’s face. The sun was bright outside and I was gripped by the calm look on her face. I recognized immediately that she had something I wanted. A lightbulb went off and a spark from inside drew me to listen even more. Soon after she invited me to a meditation center where I was eventually led to discover Ayurveda. Turns out that woman in the playground was an artist. Who knew that meditation would be the fire that propelled me toward making art and that “something” I was looking for was already within me.
What does this have to do with daily routine?
Initially, with my new meditation practice, I felt challenged to wake up early in the morning after being with a small child all day, tired and frazzled. I felt I needed the sleep both for the chronic fatigue and low adrenal energy I had at the time. I also realized I had a simple aversion to doing anything that sounded like a “have to”. Ayurveda clearly explains that a daily routine needs to fit the person’s life, personality, and environment ( their doshas). As a “vata” person I needed my morning sleep so I created a routine of my own. When my son slept I put on my oils and meditated. As he grew up and started school I would get home an hour before the bus came and used that time to myself. Each day I would make time to walk ( and still do) as well as take time to make a fresh meal, or be in my garden. I learned that daily routines should have things you love to do not dislike. Now that our children are older, Zack 28 and Noah 24, although I still resist getting up before dawn, I do however get up by 7am to sit and breathe, meditate, create intentions for my day, send blessings to people, ending it all with my wonderful almond milk, ginger, cinnamon cardamom drink, a loving gift from my husband in the morning. I’ve come to love the rituals of my day seeing them as sacred and of great value for my overall health and well-being. Let me tell you, it pays off.
So what rituals can you bring into your daily life? Ayurveda looks at nature as a model for these rhythms. For example- waking up before dawn, sun salutations in the morning, eating the largest meal during lunch when the sun is hottest and the fire in our belly is strongest, having a light dinner when nature is quieter and digestion is slower in evening, meditating again at twilight when the sun goes down, getting to bed by 10:30, using oil on the body daily, putting oil in the nose, taking good herbs, eating with gratitude, cultivating loving relationships, and acts of service.
What rhythms can you make part of your day? Start with one thing that can truly enhance your life. It could be sitting on your porch or in your sunroom, journaling, drinking tea….make it your own and love it. Try doing it every day and see how it affects your well-being.
I truly hope you learn to enjoy the cumulative benefits of your daily practices.
Speaking of “pauses”. My creative endeavors have led to making essential oils blends allowing for those beautiful pauses that can make daily life more fun and beautiful. I am happy to share that the new sachets for the oils are being sewn by refugee women and will be ready this week. They are being made from “batik” fabric from Bali in vibrant colors. I hope you will enjoy these unique roll-ons.
Tuesday, Feb 28th Centre Spring Class $5 fee ( not sure how this was determined).
7pm Ayurvedic practices for allergies- and end of winter oils.
rsvp 404-528-1483 to reserve your space- space is limited in the hallway of the Md office.
Thank you all for being such great listeners and readers. I hope reading this blog is a happy part of your “weekly ritual”. Please write in topics you may want to learn more about and anything you may learn from this blog that works for you. Please share. I would love to hear from you.