Raising a child is incredibly rewarding, yet incredibly exhausting. While caring for my wee one, I relied heavily on my experience with spiritual and bodily practices. This led me to believe that motherhood needs its own daily Ayurvedic practice guidelines, or dinacharya.
Expect Household Rhythms to Change…Frequently-
Don’t try to live up to standards and assumptions created by men living in caves, who had women cooking their meals. They don’t apply to you. Sleeping and waking rhythms with your child may frequently change. Don’t get attached to how things should be, or think you have it nailed. If it changes tomorrow and you can be present,flexible and connected, that is most important.
Focus on 1-5 minute practices-
You’ll receive many benefits. Frequency is more important than duration. One minute practices include:
1 Minute Pranayama
3 Sun Salutations
1 Minute Meditation.
1 Minute Jumping Jacks
1 Minute “Ahhh” Exhalations
1 Minute Body Scan
1 Minute Jog Around the House (inside or out)
Bathe daily- Preferably in the AM-
This might be more important than other more “spiritual” practices. Bathing refreshes your spirit and helps those with sleep deprivation feel more connected. Rub oil all over your body before, during or after you bathe/shower.
Go to Bed Early, No Exceptions-
Train the household to go to bed early.
Rest when tired.
Create a relaxing evening routine starting with an early dinner for everyone.
Don’t delay dinner to eat together. You’ll get cranky and burden your digestion.
Don’t Judge, Don’t Compare-
Don’t judge yourself or compare yourself to other yogis or other families. Support other moms with encouragement, not comparison. Raising babies into children can be a very challenging passage for mothers. Be gentle with yourself and mothers worldwide.
Eat Easy-to-Digest Food-
The more stress or fatigue you feel, the more soupy or stew-like your diet should be.