Yes I have a new daily routine. After spending the last 2 years trying to find a routine that suited me, starting one, sticking to it, not sticking to it (so Vata!) feeling bad about not doing it and then coming round again I have finally found sothing thati am sticking to and loving. It is not the same as the Ayurvedic books promote or what I too have written about on this blog Dinacharya- The Ayurvedic Daily Routine. But it is what works for me and that is what Ayurveda is all about. We need to adapt the practises and principles of Ayurveda to suit our needs, lives, and personalities. So that is what I have done and I am so happy and it really has become a part of me. It is something that brings me balance and peace. And did I say I am sticking to it!!
So this is what I now do, the changes I have made and why.
I have really gotten into meditation and this is responsible for the whole change in my routine and also by dedication to it. Meditation is something I have done on and off for years now and have always loved and enjoyed but I have always had difficulty making it a regular part of my life. (Yes Vata at play again) But something has changed and I am now able to go deeper and have a much better understanding of what it's all about. I credit this to quite a few things:
- The last 2 years spent changing my lifestyle and diet and paying more attention to the effects things have on my mind, body and spirit.
- Ayurvedic massages and self massage - nourishing the body and mind with oils and TLC, plus activating the marmas to move blockages and increase prana.
- Yoga - a great way to help to connect to the body and focus the mind.
- Pranayama- unbelievable effect on the consciousness.
- Some massive releases during meditations at the Harmony Centre. Using meditation practices taught at the Harmony Centre (a lot of chakra work, releasing, accepting and forgiving).
- Reiki - working on my subtle energy, clearing blockages and increasing prana.
- Listening to chants and mantras.
- Surrounding myself with positive people.
- Positive thinking.
I now meditate in the morning and before bed. It is such a great way to start the day and a great way to finish.
So where does this all fit into my daily routine? What do I do?
As advised by all Ayurvedic texts and practitioners I go to the toilet and scrape my tongue as soon as I get out of bed.
Then I start the morning with yoga and pranayama. I find this a really good way to connect with my body and mind and prepare myself for meditation. I start with some basic exercises to wake myself up, get the prana running through me and warm up the muscles. I really love linking the breath with movements so I always move with the breath. I find this really help me to focus and stops the mind from wandering so much. Then I sit down at my meditation seat and do Nadi Shodhana or alternative nostril breathing. This really helps me to balance and I find I can meditate much better if I do this first.
All up it takes about and hour, or more if I get engrossed in one aspect of the practice. I no longer find it difficult to get up to do this because of the amazing benefits I feel from doing it. I am now going to bed earlier and feel more energised when I wake up so that too is helping.
As time is a factor in the morning I now bathe in the evening. I usually have baths now since my purchase of some lovely essential oils for my practice. I choose oils that relate to how I am feeling at that time add them to the bath lay back and let them work their magic. I find the bath a really helpful transition signal, it helps me to make the connection between the day ending and my wind down to bed and sleep beginning. It helps me to stop and relax. Now once I have had my bath I am in 'the zone' so to speak, my mind has moved into a calmer, quieter place and is already winding down. Meditation is easier and I fall to sleep very easily.
After the bath I sit down and meditate again. As in the morning I do Nadi Shodhana to begin with to centre myself. After that I go to bed and have a lovely sleep.
I have also set up a special meditation space. I have a little alter with some crystals and a statue and candle. I find it really helped me with motivation and it is now my sacred meditation space and when I sit there I am there to meditate. I had read about setting up a space many times before but never had but now that I have I can see the benefits in doing so. If you have a corner of a room that you could use that will now be disturbed then give it a go and see if it helps.
So have a look at your life and yourself and create a routine that works for you. If you are more realistic about what you are capable of doing then you will have greater success. And as always small steps are a lot easier than leaps and bounds for most people. Start small and watch it grow and don't be too hard on yourself if you have a few bumps along the way. We lean more from our challenges after all. And if you are a vata like me know that it's going to be difficult to stick to at the beginning but also know once you pin the vata down it will actually love having a routine and enjoy the stability it brings.