Occasionally, the question is asked: “How can I incorporate Ayurvedic teachings into my everyday life?” And the answer is deceptive: all one needs to do is invite harmony and balance into your daily habits, and the benefits become evident. Of course, it might not be so simple as that, but it isn’t difficult, either. Small steps can make a big difference.
For example: waking up in the morning can be an established habit or routine for many of us, often involving eating quickly, drinking coffee, and rushing to get to work, all the while catching up on the news of the day. This does not sound like a recipe for harmony or balance. Instead of rushing through the morning, we might wake up an hour earlier and taking that time to breathe deeply, drink water, and try stretching in order to feel more connected to our bodies. Instead of immediately focusing on rushing off to work, we might meditate for a few minutes or take a quick walk outside, paying attention to our surroundings and practicing mindfulness. By taking the time to gently greet the day, we give our mind and body a chance to prepare for the day’s work without feeling stressed out or harried.
What about diet? A core Ayurvedic teaching is that digestion is central to health, and that maintaining a healthy digestion is an essential means of allowing the body to maximize its potential for healing and fighting off disease from external influences. Naturally, the key to keeping that good digestion is a simple one: don’t eat things that make you feel bad. Foods that produce the signs of being bad or unhealthy such as bloating, gas, or indigestion work against your body. Taking the time to plan out your diet in favor of nutrition and digestive health instead of quick energy or convenience more than pays for itself in the form of better health and possibly money saved on not needing digestion or heartburn aids. It’s a simple enough task to replace one quick, unhealthy meal a day with a healthier, more complete meal, enjoyed slowly and chewed well, and the benefits are enormous.
These are just two aspects of life in which simple changes according to Ayurvedic and Yogic principles can yield great and tangible benefits. Such changes are the beginning of the process of learning about how Ayurveda can further guide how you live your life.
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