India’s ancient system of medicine, Ayurveda, offers simple practices you can do Day & Night to balance your energy and boost your health. If waking up is a struggle, midday finds you crashing, yet somehow you still manage to be restless at bed time it might be time to reset your internal clock. According to Ayurveda, one of the keys to good health is to live in tune with natures rhythms. Such as, rising and setting with the sun. To help align your system more closely to the cycles of nature, Ayurveda recommends a morning and an evening routine. These rituals are designed to give you calm, focused, and sustained energy to support your throughout the day.
Rise: According to Ayurveda, the predawn hours are dominated by the vata dosha, which is a subtle energy that makes it easier to get out of bed. Waking before sunrise fills you with vibrant energy for the rest of the day. On the other hand, waking up after sunrise can leave you feeling sluggish as this hour is dominated by kapha dosha.
Sip: As soon as you rise, head to the kitchen and prepare a cup of warm lemon or lime water (option to add rock salt and/or grade B maple syrup). According to Ayurveda, this will flush the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract. Also it will stimulate agni, your metabolism.
Rinse: Flush out any germs, pollen, or other allergy provoking particles with a nasal cleansing technique known as jala neti. Using what is called a neti pot, you can rinse your sinuses with a warm saline solution.
Cleanse: Ayurveda recommends that in addition to brushing the teeth, that we scrape the tongue to clear the mouth of ama, or toxins that accumulated overnight.
Oil: According to Ayurveda, massaging your body with warm oils will stimulate the lymphatic system and promote detoxification. It also stimulates circulation and quiets the nervous system. This massage is called “abhyanga.” In addition to applying oil to the skin, Ayurveda recommends administering medicated oil in the nose, called “nasya”, and in the mouth called oil pulling.
Dim: As the sun goes down, lower the lights in your house to signal to the body and mind that the day’s activities are coming to an end and that it is time to stop being “on.” This also means, minimize screen time!
Infuse: As night falls, light a stick of incense or a sandalwood or vanilla candle. Or, add a few drops of these essential oil to a warm bath. These aromas have a balancing and grounding effect. “When we consistently associate these aromas with a particular state of being, such as relaxation, we create a memory, in the brain. The next time we breathe in these aromas, our neurophysiology remembers that state of relaxation.”
Soothe: There are several mama points, or Ayurvedic pressure points, on the foot that correspond to the entire body. Doing a foot massage can relax the entire body in just a few minutes.
Savor: Before bed, enjoy a warm cup of milk (dairy or alternative) with a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, and/or nutmeg to promote sound sleep. You can also add some raw honey.
Breathe: To calm yourself before bed, spend a few minutes practicing nadi shodhana, also known as alternate nostril breathing. This cleansing practice calms the nervous system, and quiets the mind.