Setting a Daily Schedule, Ayurveda Style

Smooth-Touch-Workspace-1300x866Studying Ayurveda has helped me understand the benefits of proper diet and lifestyle, but that doesn’t make me immune to the lure of delicious snacks and late nights (leading to late mornings).

Ayurveda thoughtfully lays out the optimal times to eat, sleep, and exercise to maximize health and energy each day (called dinacharya). By following the flow of nature–going to bed when it’s dark, waking up before it’s light, eating when you’re hungry, drinking when you’re thirsty–you are at your healthiest, most energetic, and feel your best. 

That said, a demanding full-time job, patients, exercise, and social life often foil my best-laid plans. In an ideal world (and when I’m my most disciplined), this is the routine I follow to feel my best.

Continue reading

Focus: The Antidote to Multitasking

distract-drivingHow long can you go without checking your smart phone? Two minutes? Maybe five tops?

I’m amazed I can even focus long enough to dress myself in the morning, let alone function throughout the day given the number of distractions that occur.

Research points to the detrimental effects of multitasking–your IQ can decrease 10 points when you’re distracted by an incoming call or email. What’s worse, most of us lose more than two hours a day due to distractions and let’s not forget that driving while using your phone is like having a blood alcohol level of .08%. (Typically two drinks.)

By focusing for a few seconds on one thing and moving to the next, our fight or flight instincts kick in and we’re essentially operating for our entire day on adrenaline and dopamine.

This, in turn, increases hormone levels, decreases our ability to process fat, and adds to our risk for heart disease, stroke, or other stress-related illnesses.

The world isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Take one of my new favorite social media sites Vine (which you can see in the clip above) which lets you film a six-second looping video clip. If You Tube videos are too long, this six-second increment is perfect. Look! I can speed my entire morning practice up into a short six seconds. It’s really quite addicting.

Because my job requires me to use social media daily, these distractions aren’t going away for me anytime soon. Between six-second videos, tweets, email, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, and multi-tasking among these sites, how often do we stop the brain’s churning to really focus on one thing?

Continue reading

Conquering Mind Invaders

Veda means knowledge or wisdom in Sanskrit and the Vedic texts contain all the information you need to master your mind and emotions, remove ignorance, dispel fear, and eliminate selfishness. Ancient self help books!

Aside from the learning medical terminology, understanding diseases and treatments, and the tenets of proper Ayurvedic lifestyle, studying Ayurveda at Vedika Global means learning to master the mind. Because the mind controls the body, emotions and thoughts, that when left unchecked, become “mind invaders.”

Last week, my teacher Shunya Pratichi Mathur read a passage from the Brahma Sutras, then humorously and quite eloquently talked about how it relates to our lives and our minds. Ultimately, these six steps lead us to liberation and our true purpose in life. But it’s a tough road with plenty of “mind invaders” to battle along the way.

1) Viveka: discrimination. This doesn’t mean discriminating against a person or the coffee that someone drinks, but in what we think. Every day, we’re bombarded with news, information, gossip, and we have the choice not to mindlessly react. We have a choose in what we consume. We can choose not to gossip about someone, choose to turn off the TV, not to eat a donut (though a donut once in awhile is warranted). Ultimately, if it is Truth and peace you seek, viveka is your path. Continue reading