Ayurveda, the holistic medicine of India and sister-science of Yoga, translates to the “Science of Life and Longevity”. The texts of Ayurveda provide suggestions on almost everything you can think of: foods to eat, times to eat, how much to eat, yoga and mantra for your constitution, what attributes to look for in a good partner and more! Many people start out trying to incorporate everything and become totally overwhelmed- the opposite of what Ayurveda is designed to do!
The great news is that being consistent with just a couple things can bring incredible results! Like with yoga, consistency (regular practice) is much more important than how much you do. In my Ayurveda consulting practice, I help people implement just a couple things at a time so they can really see the results of the efforts they are putting towards their health. Here are some of the most valuable changes you can make and ones that I often recommend with incredible results.
Take a look at these three suggestions below and consider adding one or two to your daily rhythm for the next month and see what happens!
#1 Eat when you’re hungry.
Such a small suggestion, but so powerful! Ayurveda sees the timing of your meals as just as important as what you’re choosing to eat. Noticing when you are genuinely hungry in your gut and then eating as much as needed to satisfying that physical hunger can dramatically improve your digestion, elimination, and metabolism! Many of us either tend towards eating when we’re not genuinely hungry which can result in weakened digestion and a slower metabolism, or we skip meals when we are hungry which can contribute to systemic inflammation. Start to eat in a way that honors your digestive fire, agni, and see how your health changes!
#2 Try out new spices & herbs.
Did you know that most all herbs and spices help improve digestion? And many of them will also help ward off colds, aches, pains, and inflammation too! Try adding fresh herbs to your eggs, vegetables, rice, salads, or even sandwiches. Try adding dried spices to a little melted ghee, butter, coconut oil or olive oil then mix it into anything you’re cooking. Ayurveda’s favorite spices for everyone are cumin, coriander, fennel, and ginger; try them one at a time or all together!
#3 Yoga before bed.
By yoga here, I mean the broader context of yoga: asana, pranayama, meditation, and mantra. Pick the yoga that feels good to you to wind down each night and commit to five minutes of it before your head hits the pillow. A good number of sleep disturbances are caused by stress and taking a little time to de-stress before bed can change not only the quality of your sleep, but your mood when you wake up too. A reclined twist like Jathara Parivartanasana and/or legs-up-the-wall are excellent to help you wind down and quiet your mind.
I hope these suggestions help to gently transform your year to one that is filled with vibrant health and a peaceful heart. To learn more about Ayurveda along with delicious recipes and a quiz to discover your dosha, check out my blog at kateschwabacher.com/blog.
Happy New Year!
About the Author: Kate Schwabacher teaches Hatha Flow Yoga and practices Ayurveda, the holistic medicine classically aligned with yoga. She approaches yoga as medicine for body, mind, and spirit after being introduced to the practice to balance the scoliosis curve in her back. Kate practices Shadow Yoga, a dynamic style of Hatha Yoga with her teacher Scott Blossom. Her practice influences her teachings, and in her class you’ll find a strong emphasis on the breath, core engagement, squatting and hip opening. This emphasis created a foundation that is grounding, centering, and improves one’s circulation and overall health.
Explore Kate’s yoga & ayurveda blog at kateschwabacher.com/blog.