Ayurveda focuses upon how we live from moment to moment. Living to a daily rhythm is a key part of the Ayurvedic approach to preventative healthcare, and it is called Dynacharia.
The simple and easy way to get started with bringing a healthy rhythm
into your life, can begin with waking at the same time each day, going
to bed at the same time each evening, eating your meals at the same
time each day, eating your largest meal at lunchtime, and including
one or two Ayurvedic therapeutic health practices.
Ayurveda has a dosha clock – different times of the day correlate with
the elements and their qualities, that make up the doshas. The aim is
to live to the rhythm of the doaha clock to live in balance with
nature, your own and the natural rhythms that surround you.
The advice is to get up before 6 am, during vata time. This is a time
of receptivity, and so good for meditation. At 6 am the clock moves to
kapha time, the natural energies around us are heavier, if you get up
at this time of day, the Ayurvedic view is that you take these
energies into the day with you, feeling lethargic and not completely
A daily rhythm you could begin with might include getting out of bed
before 6 am and taking some time to come gently into the day. An
Ayurvedic routine includes splashing cold water on your face and eyes,
scraping the bacteria that have collecting on your tongue over night
with a tongue scraper (you can buy tongue scrapers online, you clean
your teeth, then scrape the tongue 7-14 times to clear off the
unhealthy bacteria that has gathered during the night).
Drinking a pot of tulsi tea is a lovely way to begin the day and bring
the health properties of this herb into your life. In India tulsi tea
is served for just about every health condition!
Other things you could do before breakfast include meditation,
abhyanga (self-massage) – especially good for vata and pitta types,
kapha types do better with dry skin brushing. This is also a good time
to begin a yoga routine – gentle for vata types, calm but focused for
pitta types and energetic for kapha types! Take a shower and you are
ready for breakfast.
Generally, breakfast should be the second largest meal of the day, but
this does vary depending upon your constitution. Vata types do well
with a substantial breakfast with good amounts of protein. Pitta types
do well with overnight oats and smoothies. Kapha types do better with
some warm stewed fruit like apples or prunes if their digestion is
feeling stuck. Kapha is the one constitutional type that can miss
breakfast altogether if they don’t feel like eating.
Lunch should be the largest meal between midday and 1pm when digestion is at its strongest. I often find this is the hardest thing for people to achieve, we are so used to a light lunch and a big evening meal in the U.K. But if you manage it, I think you will notice a huge
difference to your digestion if you are having problems, and you will
start to wake feeling lighter and brighter. I’m regularly told by
people that this one change has transformed their life.
Supper is eaten between 5 pm and 6.30 pm, so that it can be completely digested before falling asleep by 10 pm, when pitta time begins again – if you stay up beyond 10pm you can end up getting the munches and have undigested food in your stomach when you go to sleep, this can lead to ama (undigested substance) developing in the digestive tract which starts creating the conditions where disease will thrive. It can also be hard after 10 pm to calm the mind down and get to sleep, especially for pitta types or if you have pitta dosha out of balance.
If you spend a few weeks trying out these different tips for bringing
a balancing rhythm into your life, I think you will notice a