Your greatest skill is being able to do something that’s good for you even when you do not feel like it 

Ayurveda teaches us to better listen to our inner-wisdom and the messages our body is telling us, and to establish routines that keep us feeling balanced and in harmony.

The word ‘routine’ can get a bad rap. We might associate it with repeditive boredom. But routines sit snugly between a conscious choice and a habit and serve as a valuable bridge to reaching new habits.  Routines form a structural trellis for our conscious choices to climb up on, helping us reach and establish new automatic habits which can either make or break us.

meditation self discipline

One long exercise session wont make a huge difference to our health, but a little sustainable exercise on regular basis most certainly will.   One late night wont make a big difference to our health, but skipping on proper restful sleep over and over will take a big toll.  It all comes down to routine and habit.

In other words, we become that which we repeatedly do.

We can make conscious choices to develop routines and patterns that serve us well and Ayurveda is the body of cognised insight which holds the knowledge missing from western scientific health fads and commercially driven advice. Ayurveda offers us profoundly simple yet pivotal healthy self care we can incorporate into our daily routine.

The Role Of Doshas

Doshas refer to the energetic or motivating principles that flow within the natural world, and within our body and mind, and are derived from the five natural elements: air, earth, water, fire and ether.

Air + space  = Vata Dosha

Fire + Air = Pitta Dosha

Earth + Water = Kapha Dosha

Each dosha plays a different role in the natural world, and in the body. We have all 3 in a unique balance which identifies our predominant dosha as our body type.

Vata is responsible for movement and is associated with qualities such as cold, dry, rough and light.

Pitta is responsible for change and is associated with heat, sharpness and intensity

Kapha is responsible for structure and cohesion and is associated with qualities of cold, heavy, oily and dense.

We all comprise a combination of these elements in varying ratios, meaning the 3 doshas are within all of us too. It is the combination and interplay of each person’s doshas that influence our physicality and personality traits.

Our constitution (prakruti) can be dominated by one or more of the doshas, influencing body and mind, and therefore how we need to care for ourselves to stay balanced. Our prakruti is who we were before we fell under the spell of our own stories and without the impact of certain external forces (such as weather). It can quite easily be knocked into imbalance. The principle of ‘like-builds-like’ means that without conscious choices we can unknowingly aggravate the qualities of our natural dosha, particularly our most dominant dosha.

For example, a Vata-dominated person once in imbalance, may find themselves rushing about, eating cold, dry food and other activities that push us further out of balance. Pitta people may find themselves eating lots of chilli and doing overly-strenuous or aggressive workouts. Kapha people may find themselves being overly-sedentary. These are all examples of unconsciously leaning in towards our dominant dosha, pushing it further out of balance. Our conscious choices can intervene to help placate our dominant dosha.

A qualified ayurvedic practitioner can help you select food, activity, self-care and other lifestyle choices to suit your personal needs. The importance of ‘what’s right for one person not necessarily being right for another’ cannot be over-emphasised. But we can outline some helpful approaches and practices that may serve us all well.

Ayurveda & Self-Care

Swasthvrtta refers to establishing healthy habits that serve us well.   This can be cleaning and caring for oneself, our house, and our surroundings.

Dinacharya  – Habits on A Daily Basis

Dinacharya aims to base daily practices around the cycles of nature.  Healthy principles in our daily lifestyle may include habits such as rising early or eating at regular times.

Ratricharya  – Evening Habits

Ratricharya refers to establishing helpful patterns in the evening to help you wind down and rest well, and may include things like:

  • Avoiding devices and television a few hours before bed
  • Dimming lights and doing less stimulating activities like watering house plants, simple tidying of our bedroom, reading or gentle stretches
  • Giving yourself a foot massage
  • Quiet time with a pet
  • Enjoying a warm drink

Ritucharya  – Seasonal adjustments

We’ve all heard of seasonal eating, which aligns with the principle of living in harmony with nature, but you may not have thought of how seasons may prompt tweaks to how we do our daily practices, how we exercise, and which herbs we use.

For example, did you know that aromas such as rose and jasmine can have a cooling effect in hot weather, while the aroma of cinnamon or patchouli can have warming and energising effects.

Your greatest skill is being able to do something that’s good for you even when you do not feel like it 

The doshas and creating new habits

Vatas, generally, are starters, rather than finishers. Vatas most likely will not be able to single-handedly maintain everything they create. This is okay. If you are a Vata and you want a new habit to endure, it’s probably best to work with a Pitta or a Kapha to translate your idea into a lasting form. Set intentions related to shorter-term projects, such as to add 10 minutes a day of exercise, start one new habit a fortnight, too much change throws vats off balance.  Vata’s typical intention lists have an abundance of ideas. Generally, only 1 or 2 come to fruition. Focusing on the endeavors that are easy will increase the probability that an intention will manifest.

Pitta is the most competitive and ambitious dosha, it can take on and accomplish almost any sort of goal, as long as it doesn’t last super long. Long-term projects fall in the realm of Kapha. One key thing for Pittas to keep in mind is not to set so many new goals that they wear themselves out trying to actualise them all. If you are a Pitta, a better approach is to choose carefully the dreams and ideas that light up your HEART.

Getting started is key for kaphas. Kapha is the most gentle and practical dosha. It wants to create a foundation and provide lasting structure for longer-range plans, goals, projects, and dreams. The goals they do create will usually be sensible and achievable without too much “magic” or “manifesting.” Kaphas usually take a more logical approach toward their goals, laying down enduring structure that supports steady growth over time.

The major role of Meditation

One of the greatest benefits of meditation is the easy natural development of self discipline, meditation moves us from imbalance to balance then like attracts like takes over. We start to spontaneously desire what is good for us, hear our inner voice and open up to new knowledge, new ways of living which support on going growth and our health At this point discipline evaporates and we do as we desire effortlessly progressing. Daily meditation is the best tool to kick starting any new habit, and getting your technique tuned is the way to get regular in your meditation. Balance is essential for any positive habit to occur.

To start a new healthy habit, like an early morning walk, rather than trying to get to bed earlier. Make a litre of herbal tea and take it to work in a thermos rather than desiring to drink less coffee.

‘Bring in the light dont fight the darkness’ – Maharishi