10 ways to fit Ayurveda into your modern day
With the whirlwind of a year that was 2020, it’s no surprise that the topic of healing has become increasingly mainstream. Although an ancient wisdom, Ayurveda continues to provide practical solutions to many modern-day ailments and concerns.
Anxiety? Dry Brush. Stress? Oil pull. Crush not texting back? Meditate. 2020? Discover your dharma – and more on what that means later!
In college, I was teaching health and sanitation in the slums of New Delhi when my own health began to deteriorate. Intuitively, I knew there had to be a deeper reason and, within it, a solution for my body’s imbalances. Enter Ayurveda and an entire lifestyle holistic health evolution that led me to live my la vida kriya (flow) and put me on the fastrack path to my dharma.
I want you to experience the same ananda (bliss) that I feel every single day. So, here are 10 relatable ways to apply Ayurvedic wisdom to your modern life.
1. Tongue scrape
For this first practice, grab a mirror. While admiring your beautiful self, say, “ahhh” and stick out your tongue. If you are met with more “eww” than “ahhh”, you definitely want to consider tongue scraping. Tongue scraping is the practice of using a metal scraper to remove toxic buildup. It can help you avoid weight gain, acne, illness, bloating, gas, constipation and other imbalances.
2. Dry brush
Your skin is the largest organ and one-third of your body’s toxins are excreted through it. That’s why I recommend dry brushing, otherwise known as the practice of gently scraping the body with a dry loofah before showering. This can remove toxins and dead skin cells, and stimulate the lymphatic system. This is a five-minute routine and will only cost around £5, but it has infinite benefits!
3. Oil pulling
This ancient “mouthwash” will give your chemical-filled wash a run for its money! Oil pulling involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove toxins. On the oral side, it helps prevent tooth decay, improves breath, prevents cavities, whitens teeth, removes stains, heals bleeding gums, and strengthens gums.
On the digestive side, it helps remove oil-soluble toxins from your system, improves digestion, prevents inflammation and enhances your immune system. For a simple swig, it’s a win-win.
4. Drink something hot in the morning
Did you know that the temperature of your water has everything to do with its hydrating superpower? Ayurveda recommends starting your day with a hot drink because it is more hydrating and healing than something cold.
5. Learn your dosha
We’re all made of unique energies, called doshas. Your dosha is your mind-body type and will inform you of who you are, the best foods for you, your ideal self-care, how you are in business, relationships and the world! Basically, it’s the secret sauce for life!
There are three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. If you’d like to discover your dosha, I’ve made a super easy and fun quiz to help you.
6. Meditate for your dosha
Meditation is not a one size fits all kind of deal. Just as each one of us identifies with a specific dosha, there’s a meditation style specific to you, too!
- Vata minds: To keep focused, try chanting an affirmation or mantra. I recommend the Sanskrit mantra ‘ram,’ which grounds you, connecting you to your root chakra.
- Pitta minds: Pittas must understand that meditation isn’t a waste of time – it’s actually going to make you more productive! Try practising a cooling pranayama-like alternate nostril breathing.
- Kapha minds: Kaphas have to stay active and engaged, otherwise, it’s sleepy time. I recommend using mudras or engaging in dancing meditations such as five rhythms or ecstatic dance.
7. Eat for the seasons
Each dosha is associated with a calendar season. Vata is cool and crisp like autumn, Kapha is cold and moist like winter and early spring, and Pitta is hot and fiery like summer. It is important to consume more of the foods that pacify the temperament of the seasonal dosha.
8. Practice yoga
There’s not enough page space to go into all of the benefits of a regular yoga practice – even just five minutes can improve your day!
There are pose-specific asanas that coordinate with your dosha, allowing you to bring Ayurveda to yet another space within your life and improve your overall balance. What are some poses that you can try? Chaturanga, Dancer, and Warrior, to name just a few!
9. Follow the Ayurvedic clock
Ayurveda splits the day into six, four-hour periods. Each period is related to one of the three doshas and repeats twice during the day.
- 6am – 10am (Kapha): This is a time to ground yourself. Begin your day with warm water and eat a light breakfast.
- 10am – 2pm (Pitta): Your energy is at its peak. It’s time to tackle those email responses!
- 2pm – 6pm (Vata): Time to be creative and solve any problems that came up during your day!
- 6pm – 10pm (Kapha): It’s time to take things slower. Do some yoga or try meditation.
- 10pm – 2am (Pitta): This is the most important time to catch some zzzs. Turn off your electronics and practice some self-care rituals!
- 2am – 6am (Vata): This is the best time for deep sleep and connecting with the dream world.
10. Discover your dharma
I could write a whole book on this topic — and I did! Dharma is your divine purpose on this planet, the unique vibration only you can carry out in the world. Eight years ago, I sat with the question, does my life really have a purpose? This led me to the realisations that I share in my upcoming book, Discover Your Dharma.
So many spiritual books are missing information on how to take action on your dharma. For that reason, I’ve identified nine dharma archetypes. You can learn your dharma archetype to help you turn your dreams into reality!
These 10 modern Ayurvedic practices are not a miracle cure, but I promise that if you practice even one, it will help you keep your dosha in check, your dharma in line, and everything will feel a little bit more aligned!
Sahara’s book Discover Your Dharma (Hay House Publishers) is available to purchase from Amazon and Waterstones from 5th January.
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