Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.


Ayurvedic Self Care Techniques


Ayurveda is a science of longevity or healthy living. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, good health is a harmonious relationship between nature, body, mind and spirit. A human being is created from the five elements in nature: air, earth, water, fire and space (ether). From these elements arise the three constitutional types (tri-doshas): vata (space + air), pitta (fire) and kapha (water + earth). Vata types are characterized by their tendency to be cold, dry and irregular; pitta characteristics are hot, oily and intense or irritable; and kapha types are cold, wet, heavy and stable. Good health results from creating a lifestyle according to your own constitutional type.


Morning routine

1. Arise before sunrise. Between 2 to 6 a.m. is the time when the vata element is more active, sleep is lighter, and night changes into morning. It is easier to arise at this time. Do some stretching.
2. Prayer. Thank God for bringing us back to consciousness to begin a new day.
3. Wash your face, mouth, and eyes, brush your teeth, scrub your tongue and massage your gums.
4. Drink a glass of water.
5. Nasal wash. Use a neti pot for cleansing the nose. This practice removes excess mucus and dust particles, cleanses the sinus openings, stimulates nerve endings arising from the brain, and is very rejuvenating.
6. Empty the bladder and bowels. You may drink a glass of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon with a little honey and salt. This drink is cleansing and stimulating for the colon.
7. Do some yoga postures and meditation.
8. Exercise. The best time is between 6 and 10 a.m. This is the kapha time when energy is low. Aerobic exercise stimulates the body and balances the low energy.
9. Oil massage the scalp. Weekly, oil massage the body (sesame oil for vata, coconut oil for pitta, and dry massage for kapha).
10. Take a warm shower or bath.


Evening conduct
1. Slow down after 4 p.m. Between 2 and 6 p.m. is vata time again, when afternoon changes to evening, and vata becomes unbalanced. This is the time to take a break, drink warm tea, and wash your face, hands and feet.
2. Do yoga, exercise or walk during the evening hours, kapha time, between 6 and 10 p.m.
3. Meditate or pray before going to bed. Go to bed between 9 to 10 p.m., before the pitta time begins.
Dietary guidelines
Mealtimes: Eat a light breakfast in the morning, between 7 and 8 a.m. The main meal is at lunchtime, between 10 or 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., pitta time. At this time there are more digestive juices or agni (fire) available for digestion. Dinner should be another light meal, eaten between 5 and 6 p.m., 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Pitta time at night is from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., a time when the liver processes absorbed food. For complete food transformation, rest during this time is important.
Eating habits: Regularity is more important for vata types. Eat at the same place and time as often as possible. Eat mindfully and do not watch tv or read while eating. The reason is that both the eyes and the liver are organs related to the pitta element. When reading or watching tv, the energy is diverted to the eyes, away from the liver and digestion, and the pitta energy necessary for digestion is reduced. Also, it is better to observe silence than talk too much.
For proper digestion, chew your food several times before swallowing. Do not drink water during meals, as it dilutes the digestive juices. Avoid ice water at all times as it reduces the fire necessary for digestion even between meals.
In general, eat a diet according to your dosha. Particular food tastes can balance or unbalance a person. Fresh food, whole grains, legumes and green leafy vegetables need to be incorporated into everyone's daily diet.


Balancing tastes and food
For optimal health, eat foods that are balancing to your constitutional type. Foods that are compatible with one dosha will not be compatible with another dosha. Kapha, for example, tends to accumulate phlegm. They need to eat astringent foods that reduce mucus and excess fluids, whereas a vata type, which tends toward dryness, would avoid astringent foods.
To clarify definitions, "sweet" (unfortunately) does not mean desserts. Pure sugar creates anxiety and hyperaction. Ayurvedic sweetness refers to complex carbohydrates, which include bread, pasta, rice and other grains. Astringent foods are legumes and some fruits such as apples and persimmons. Pungent tastes are found in spices such as pepper and ginger. Sour tastes include lemons, vinegar and pickles. Green, leafy vegetables are bitter foods. Following are the doshas and the tastes that accompany them.
Vata: Eat sweet, sour, salt, warm and steamed food; drink lots of fluids. Avoid bitter, astringent, pungent, and cold, dry and raw food.
Pitta: Eat sweet, astringent, bitter, and non-oily food. Avoid pungent, salt and sour and oily food.
Kapha: Eat bitter, astringent, pungent, and light, non-oily food. Raw salads are okay. Avoid sweet, sour and salt.


Self-care has two facets, the ‘Do’s ’and the ‘Don’ts’. Although the ‘Don’ts’ may seem restrictive or negative, they actually constitute the easy way out in self-care. The ‘Do’s’ take time, they require us, literally to do something. The ‘Don’ts’ are great ways to protect our health while spending less time and money than we were devoting to our unwholesome habits.