You’ve probably heard of Ayurveda, but you may not fully understand what it means or what it encompasses. I’ve unknowingly been following a lot of Ayurvedic practices for the last 10 years or so and after a lot more research and learning, I try and incorporate many more in my everyday routines.
Disclaimer: I’m not an Ayurvedic specialist by any stretch of the imagination so please see the end of this post for resources if you’re looking for some help, have questions or want to get a little more serious about your Ayurvedic journey!
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic practices on earth. There’s evidence that Ayurveda dates back over 5000 years ago, some even say it could go back even further than this. Ayurveda originated from India, but is practised and celebrated all over the world and is becoming more and more popular.
What I love about Ayurveda is that it incorporates everything including body, mind and spirit, while also working around your personal circumstances and needs. I have Lupus, so have to be really careful with certain things such as diet and food and Ayurveda is flexible and accounts for things like this in it’s practices.
In my mind, Ayurveda is a way of life that encompasses the best routine possible to improve your quality of life and make you feel the best you can. It focuses on healing, removing toxins (known as ama), promoting good rest and good digestion. All of these things create an environment for your body to thrive in and help you feel energetic and amazing – yes please!
Where Should I Start?
As complex as Ayurveda may seem, it’s actually very simple. The rules, once you learn them, are extremely straight forward and make a lot of sense. It’s easy to incorporate one or two habits into your everyday and gradually build on these and before you know it you’re living your Ayurvedic routines naturally without even giving it a second thought!
There are groups who begin to incorporate Ayurveda into their lives by focusing on one habit and once this is mastered, move to the next. This method helps you to gradually build a routine that encompasses all the key Ayurvedic elements, without going too full on and becoming overwhelmed or end up quitting it all because it’s too much. Being typically me, I wanted to try a few in one go (forever wanting to go against the rules – even when they’re literally designed to help me…), as I like to feel that I’m making gradual progress in a few different areas.
If the sound of Ayurveda appeals to you, or it’s something you think you may want to learn more about or try yourself, I recommend starting with a few simple changes to your morning and evening routines which will make huge differences in your energy, mood and general wellbeing.
Here are the five things that I do everyday, along with a the things I’m still working on before going deeper. These are the five things I recommend trying if you want to dip your toe in the pool of Ayurveda!
5 Ayurvedic Rules to Incorporate into Your Everyday
This one is hard for me. I’ve spent my life trying to become a morning person and have failed with every attempt! I struggle so much with chronic fatigue that it really does seem impossible that I’ll ever get there, however Ayurveda has allowed me a more realistic way of getting that than before. Early mornings is one of the first habits that you need to master if you’re looking to follow a more healthy and more Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Getting up early means you can kickstart your day with lots of lovely practices and inward focus, along with harnessing the energy that’s in the air during the early hours. It’s a feeling we’ve all experienced whether that’s from getting up early to see a sunrise or the walk home after a night out haha! It’s the witching hour and it feels powerful and spacious.
Since I’ve been trying to incorporate a few routines I’m mindful to bring these earlier and earlier in my day if I can, with a view to eventually springing out of bed at 6am (we can dream…) and to be honest, even though I joke about never being a morning person, I’m optimistic I’m going to get there.
I started by pushing back my evening routine to have an earlier night and then set my alarm half an hour earlier each week to gradually get used to an earlier wake up call. These slight changes might also help you if you’re also looking to start focusing on early mornings.
Tongue scraping is so underrated and has changed my life since I started doing it! I scrape my tongue every morning and without being too graphic, I cannot believe I didn’t do this before and dread to think of all the toxins I’d been consuming first thing in the morning along with my breakfast and multiple cups of green tea.
Ayurveda teaches us that your tongue holds toxins which accumulate here and our bodies are already trying to clean up cells and other areas of the body so by scraping the tongue, you’re helping with this process and prepping your tastebuds and tongue for eating and drinking for the rest of the day.
Tongue scrapers are cheap and can be found literally everywhere so if you want to try it just grab one on your next supermarket trip or add it to your Amazon order and get scraping!
I wrote a veryyy long and veryyy detailed post on oil pulling a good few years ago now, however I have a feeling it’s one of the many posts that got lost in the ether when my site was hacked. If I can find one of the other posts I’ve talked about oil pulling I’ll link it here as you really need to know more about this amazing process and all the benefits.
I started oil pulling 10 years ago because I was constantly getting really sick with throat infections, chest infections and thing after thing after thing. Eventually I was diagnosed with Lupus which made a lot of sense and allowed me to focus more specifically with medication and other holistic treatments to feel better, but to this day I cannot miss my morning oil pulling.
Oil pulling is essentially using a good quality oil such as cold pressed coconut oil and using a teaspoon, pop some oil in your mouth like a mouth wash every morning for between 5 to 20 minutes. You swirl it around your teeth and gums and it pulls out all the toxins for you to spit out and rinse away. Never swallow the oil and always brush your teeth after to make sure your mouth is clean and voila – your entire body will thank you!
Drinking Water When You Wake
Drinking water when you wake up is not something I always used to do. I would sometimes oil pull and then go straight in for a cup of green tea or breakfast before having any water at all. The benefits of drinking water in the morning is to flush your system and rehydrate you after fasting from food and water all night.
Drinking a large amount of water forces everything downwards and creates a regular digestive routine and cleanses your body before you have any food or drink for the rest of the day. I find that by drinking water in the morning before food makes me feel more mentally sharp and more awake than before which is a great benefit for me.
Larger Lunch & Lighter Dinner
One of the first things I tried to focus on when learning about Ayurveda was having my largest meal at lunchtime and a much lighter meal for dinner. Having a big lunch gives you nutrients and energy which you can use throughout the day, whereas a large dinner is harder to digest, leaves ama and toxins in the body and can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel sluggish and heavy – all the things I was feeling every single day!
Having a large amount of food in the evening interferes with the clean up that your body does while you sleep and might prevent you even having a good nights sleep at all. I can definitely feel the difference in the evening and the following day when I haven’t eaten a huge meal and snacks throughout the evening up until going to bed.
If you have sleep problems or find that you feel sluggish and full all the time then you need to make this habit your top priority!
I’ve joined a few Ayurvedic calls and free workshops with the lovely Faye who can be found here. Faye offers great advice and really knows her stuff and is 100% worth contacting if you’re looking to start an Ayurvedic journey and need help, support and accountability.