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Ayurveda: General Recommendations

Updated: Feb 20


I don't love general guidelines, and the internet is full of them. However, they do have their place. The challenge is that we are all unique and have different things going on in our bodies and lives, so many general guidelines are really not for everyone. This frequently is not stated in Ayurvedic posts. For example, we are in Vata season. Online you can find many posts that tell you what to eat and do during Vata season. However, if you have a Kapha or Pitta Vikruti (imbalance) going on, some of those Vata recommendations may make things worse for you.

Though I don't love general guidelines, I'm going to give you some Ayurvedic guidelines that are true for every human. This is not my opinion but from the amazing Ayurvedic texts 5000 years ago!

  • Eat warm food. Limit cold or raw food and drinks. Some Prakruti's can handle more cold or raw foods than others, depending on their state of agni. However, this is a strong rule of thumb with Ayurveda. Think about your digestion being fire that transforms what you eat into nutrients. The body contains more than just one agni, according to Ayurveda. Cold items (including liquids) can put out that fire, or at least dampen/weaken it. Raw foods are hard to digest. I may need an entire post to explain this with the increase of 'raw foods diets' that are recommended presently among mainstream media. We shall see!

  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is SO important to keep the body in balance. I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." This is definitely not supporting the body or Ayurveda. Sleep is an important time for the body to rest, rejuvenate, cleanse, and rebuild. Not getting enough sleep will guarantee dosic imbalance.

  • Maintain a routine. The body loves routine. Remember Ayurveda is deeply connected to nature? Think of all the routines and cycles that exist in nature: seasons, solstice, equinox, sunrise, sunset, menstrual cycle, dosa time of day, growth, death, renewal, etc. Our body already physiologically has so many routines that are working autonomically. Maintaining a routine for some individuals is easy, for others this takes constant practice. Wake up around the same time every day, go to bed around the same time every day, eat your meals around the same time every day, meditate around the same time, exercise at the same time, have a morning and bedtime routine. I think you get the point. :) Life also happens. Change is the only constant. Thus, it is also important to go with that flow when needed, but then focus on getting back into a routine.

  • Input Awareness. Create awareness of what you are bringing in through your senses, but especially through seeing and hearing. What music do you listen to? What do you watch on TV? What do you watch or listen to online? How much time are you on social media? What are you watching on screens or listening to on social media? What is the focus of the podcasts you enjoy? Is it calm, gentle, or good-hearted? Is it loud, harsh, or violence-based? Basically, watch and listen to what brings you joy, but perhaps be mindful of the qualities: light, dark, calm, high energy, positive, negative, etc. Find the balance. :) Besides this being an Ayurvedic teaching, in one of my past teaching roles I had students conduct music therapy experiments looking at how music affects blood pressure, heart rate, and cognitive skills. It was a successful experiment - the results demonstrated the various effects. I know this describes only one sensory input, but all of our sense organs directly affect the entire body and mind system.

  • Mind Care is Life Care. I absolutely love this phrase from Dr. J. It resonates so much. It is so important to increase mindfulness and those practices that can help keep the mind calm and balanced. This is a very broad topic of how we do it, but I still want to plant the seed. It is no longer a new concept in any medical system that the mind and body are interconnected, related, and influence each other. A common recommendation in Ayurveda is to strengthen our mind. Everything we do in our life affects our mind: our inputs (breath, water, food, senses), routines, behaviors, relationships, outlook, etc. We also know that stress (the physiological response, not stressor) is becoming the leading cause of most disorders. There can be two people in the exact same situation, yet only one body will be in the stress response. So much of that has to do with the mind. The more practices we have and tools we regularly use can help strengthen the mind.

These are the Ayurvedic general guidelines that I feel I can offer that are true for every human. :)

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