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The first time I heard the word Ayurveda was a few years ago. I became a bit overwhelmed as I began learning about the Ayurvedic practices and routines. How could I do the morning routine if I had to rush to work and take my kids to school? How could I have the time to meditate in the afternoon?
After some discouragement, I discovered the secret: to take one step at a time. It takes 21 days for a new practice to become a habit, and this tells us to go slowly and introduce the new practices into your life one-by-one. Here’s how I did it …
The first new habit was meditating: it’s the most important practice in achieving health, balance, and fulfillment as a result of integrating mind-body and soul, which according to Ayurveda, is the real definition of health.
I started waking up 30 minutes earlier (and discovered it was very easy). The afternoon meditation was a real challenge … and for months, I couldn’t do it. But I began scheduling it, writing it on my to-do list, and making it a priority. I told my family about it, and they now respect my meditation time because I respect it myself.
Contrary to western medicine concepts, Ayurveda teaches that every body has a different mind-body constitution. By adapting your habits to your dosha type, you gain vitality and wellbeing.
I started getting to know my dosha with food: I began to listen to my body on a daily basis and adjusted the flavors of food depending on how I feel, if I’m imbalanced, or if my predominant dosha is feeling balanced. At first this seemed difficult, but once you understand how the flavors influence your mind and body, it becomes fun, and opens up creative ways of eating and cooking.
Ayurveda helps you become more aware and present in your daily life. I realized that I wasn’t sleeping well and that my insomnia was related to episodes of muscle pain called fibromyalgia. Once I started going to sleep at 10 pm, having a light dinner, using aromatherapy, and turning off the TV on schedule, I was able to sleep better, and the pain went away effortlessly. I also began to wake up feeling rested, so I could meditate easily in the morning.
Then I began paying attention to everything that came to me through my senses. I started avoiding TV shows that generate stress to me, like the news or violent shows.
Then I included the daily self-massage in my morning routine, it only takes me five minutes, although sometimes I do the short two-minute version, and it’s still useful. Daily massage improves circulation, nourishes the skin, and awakens the body’s inner pharmacy. It also calms the mind; so many stress-related symptoms disappear effortlessly. The sense of smell is very powerful and relates directly to memories and emotions in your brain. So start using aromatherapy whether you want to calm your mind or improve your health, concentration … and even bring about more inspiration.
As a result of meditation, I became aware of my emotions and of my reactions to stress, and began paying attention to my reactions. .If I felt a negative emotion, like anxiety, I learned to recognize it when it appeared by being more present, and then asking myself “why am I feeling anxious? What need do I have that is not being fulfilled? ” Remember that every negative emotion is the result of an unmet need; start by recognizing where these emotions come from and asking yourself those important questions if you are not clear.
When you begin practicing an Ayurvedic lifestyle, what you are really doing is starting a journey of self-discovery, mindfulness, and awareness. With this, comes an improvement in your overall well-being and your spiritual growth.
If you feel overwhelmed by so many new concepts and practices, just take one step at a time. You don’t even need to follow a particular order, find what works best for you. And then integrate them into your life one-by-one.