A lot of modern health concerns today are linked to problems that are a result of little everyday choices and habits that stack up and lead to disease. And most of these problems are preventable. Ayurveda’s time-tested health-promoting wisdom sheds light on why the following habits can actually harm us.
Ayurveda says that it is best to get to bed by 10 pm. This is when Pitta time starts. When you go to bed before 10 pm you have the energy of Kapha working for you. Kapha energy is slow, relaxed and mellow. It helps you to fall asleep more easily. If you stay up past 10 pm you’re into Pitta time which is “work” time. It’s more sharp, and it stimulates your thinking. It’s harder at this time to turn off your brain.
In Ayurveda fruit should always be eaten by itself, and never combined with dairy. This combination wreaks havoc on your digestion. Have yogurt alone, or fruit alone, but never put the two together.
Your digestive power is strongest around noon so it is best for your digestion to eat your largest meal at lunchtime. This also gives you more hours in the day to assimilate that meal and burn those calories. If you eat too late at night you don’t have ample opportunity to digest and it’s harder to get to sleep.
First thing in the morning is the best time to meditate in order to transition into your day. Going straight to technology is abrupt. You’re starting out with stress and probably getting so busy you forget to meditate. Meditate first and the rest of the day falls into place nicely.
Holed up in an office all day you can sometimes forget what time it is. Sometimes the only light that shines on your face is the glare of a computer monitor. Make sure you take some time for fresh air and sunshine. It’s healing, balancing, and grounding to get outside and back to nature, even for a little bit.
It’s not bad to have a little something after a meal but ice cream is cold and totally puts out the digestive fire that you desperately need. It’s better to eat something warm and cooked, just a small bite to polish off that meal. And if you’re going to have a full-on dessert have it after lunch rather than after dinner so that you have more time to digest.
That “no pain, no gain” mentality has been drilled into us but it’s actually counterproductive. When you get worn out, it takes longer to recuperate. Ayurveda says to exercise to ½ to ¾ of our capacity and gradually that capacity will increase. Stop exercising while you still have some energy left to recover.
It’s important to move your body every day. The amount you move will vary individually by your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, but walking is good for everyone, and yoga is good for everyone. Work one of these into your daily routine and then also practice the exercise routine recommended for your Dosha.
Technology like the computer or television stimulates the brain, making it more difficult to drift off into a relaxed state before sleep. Ayurveda says to use the hour or two before bed to transition into sleep by taking a bath, reading, listening to music, doing restorative yoga poses or spending time with your family or pets.
Sure, you’re brushing your teeth, but are you cleaning your tongue? Ayurveda recommends using a tongue scraper to help get rid of all that bacteria that builds up in your mouth. It’s now known that bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease and this can lead to heart disease.1 Keep your mouth and your breath as clean and fresh as possible with this simple tool.
Adopting healthy habits from Ayurveda will truly change your life in countless, amazing ways. Try changing just one of these bad habits and you’ll start to see and feel the difference for yourself.
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