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  • Kelsey Choate

Energy Behind Ayurvedic Routine


Just as nature and the universe have a natural rhythm, flow, and pattern, your body craves similar balance.

In Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners teach people how to heal themselves by syncing back into the flow of nature. Instead of resisting, the body starts to flow and function at its highest level.

When we tune into the effortless patterns of nature, it can provide intuitive guidance on certain routines and patterns we should incorporate into our habits.

Examples include rising when the sun rises, eating foods that are in season for your location of the world, and creating a self-soothing routine to wind yourself down as the sun begins to set.

Ayurvedic medicine describes the energetic nature of each part of the day as having different “doshas,” or constitutions of universal elements. Each time of the day is said to hold qualities and characteristics of the dosha. There are three main doshas—kapha, pitta, and vatta.

Kapha: earth and water

Qualities: cool, grounded, wet, oily, heavy, slow-moving, and nurturing

Benefits: supports sleeping, healing, resting, rejuvenation, stamina, stability, lubrication, growing, building, and dwells in the lungs, heart, and sinus cavities

Time of the day: 6-10 am, 6-10 pm

Pitta: fire and a little water

Qualities: hot, dry, light, focused, sharp, courageous, and spicy

Benefits: increased focus, intellect, the fire behind completing important projects, fuels digestion and metabolism, digests any and all experience, and dwells in the liver, blood, and skin

Time of the day: 10-2 pm, 10-2 am

Vatta: ether and air

Qualities: quick moving, dry, cold, rough, diffuse and distracted

Benefits: greater connectivity with the divine and ether realms, creativity, any movement in the body, and dwells in the colon, thighs, and lower back

Time of the day: 2-6 pm, 2-6 am

When forming a self-care routine that is nourishing for your body type and energetic balance, the above concepts can be considered to help you pick synergistic habits for each time of the day. Here’s a quick step-by-step practice to guide the creation of a personalized routine.

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Step 1: Identify something that makes you excited to get out of bed at the same time everyday (preferably close to when the sun comes up).

What is it that you most need to fuel your mental health, to create a state of balance, and to cultivate self-compassion and confidence for your day?

Do you need to move your body so you do not fall into the heaviness of kapha energy, or do you need to harness kapha’s energy to slow down and enjoy a cup of hot tea and stretching?

For myself, practicing a type of movement as soon as I rise keeps me from falling into a heavy state that is unaccommodating to my mental health, for my energy balance consists mostly of kapha and pitta and a small percent vatta. You can discover your dosha balance by clicking here.

Things that have worked for me include 8 am workout classes, morning walks at the park, and currently at-home workouts with my online exercise group!

If you have a busy work schedule that creates routine for you, what’s one thing you can do for yourself before you make it out the door?

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Step 2: Cultivate meal times that are best for your body and optimal digestion.

Ayurvedic medicine refers to morning eating as simply “breaking the fast.” While most of us rise within kapha’s timeframe (6-10am), the body’s digestion is not fully awake until pitta’s energy arrives at 10-2pm. Instead of eating a large breakfast and overpowering our barely awake digestive systems, we do things to spark its fire.

Drinking warm lemon water increases pitta energy through its qualities of warm and sour and is great to drink first thing in the morning! If the body is hungry, we eat a small meal that is easily digestible to prepare for a large meal at lunch. Examples include a bowl of berries with coconut cream, a cooked apple, eggs and cooked kale, or a spicy chai tea latte.

Something warm is always helpful for digestion, however, if your digestion seems hyperactive, something cold or bitter may tame excess Pitta energy. It is all about balance.

Lunch should be the biggest meal of your day since your digestion is at its peak! This is also the fuel that powers you through the bulk of your day. We then try to decrease the size of dinner as we move back into kapha’s timeframe of 6-10pm. The goal is for your body to be done digesting food before you enter sleep, so your body may have energy to focus on restoration and healing.

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Step 3: When to initiate times of focus, as well as connecting with the divine and your higher self?

After completing any morning routines, 10-2pm holds the focused energy of pitta to help you complete any final projects or meeting important deadlines. You can use mindfulness to direct your focus onto one thing for this period of time. Pick something you want to focus on, tell yourself you are focusing on “whatever you picked” right now, and intentionally set your phone aside.

Have you ever wondered why Monks wake up and meditate at 4 am? Vatta the ruler of ether and air, takes place from 2-6am and 2-6pm, making the veil between the physical and spiritual realm the most thin. These are great times to take moments of silence, go on a drive with your thoughts, take a walk by yourself, or practice something that helps you connect with your inner wisdom and spiritual self.

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Wrap-up

It’s nice to know the “whys” behind our routines sometimes, for it helps us cultivate inner motivations for increasing health and expansion of consciousness. In the past I have been afraid of routine, labeling it boring and not exciting in my head, when really, I think this belief system formed from not wanting to fail at goals I set for myself. The truth is, unlike our “want-it-now” Western mentalities would like us to believe, behavioral change takes time.

True Ayurvedic change theories show a constant go-forward, fall-back pattern, as we slowly, (and I really mean slowly) begin to show an upward trend. Keep tweaking and playing with your routine until you find something you love, something you look forward to, and something that makes your life more balanced and enjoyable. It’s not failing that’s happening when a routine doesn't stick, it’s you learning more of what your mind, body, and soul need to feel stable, happy, and confident.

In this ever-changing multi-sensory world, self-care rituals are the inner fuel for what we outwardly put into the world. Let your routine become the freedom you were always searching for.

Kelsey

P.S. it's celery juice

#Ayurveda #Ayurvedicmedicine #ancientmedicine #energyhealing #routine

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Nashville, TN, USA

©2018 by Kelsey Choate