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.

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No Pain, No Gain? Crafting a Healthy Exercise Routine

Everything is wrong here! If you're puking, you've already done major harm to your body.

If you’re puking, you’ve already done major harm to your body.

One of the important lessons Ayurveda has taught me is the importance of moderation. (Though arguably I’ve exercised a bit too much moderation with my blogging lately.)

Ayurveda means “the science of life,” helping those who follows its principles to live a very long, balanced, and healthy life.

While I’ve written quite a bit on the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, I have yet to tackle the topic of exercise.

In the United States, we’re consumed and defined by our fitness routines, crave impossibly skinny physiques, and take our exercise regimens to extremes (ultra marathons, cross fit, hot yoga, to name a few). But this comes at great cost. I’ve seen so many patients, friends, and family with a range of exercise-related disorders that include plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, torn meniscus–you get my point.

Another source of inspiration for this post came from this fantastic blog post on shocking “fitspiration” photos (see above) detailing all of the irresponsible fitness guilt-trip images making the rounds. You know the ones, “strong is the new sexy” with a highly Photoshopped, skinny yet surprisingly toned form depicted. Or “quitting is unacceptable.” You wuss, just ignore that pain–your body’s natural response to something that is not healthy–because long-term health is not nearly as important as having big biceps.

In Ayurveda, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Healthy exercise takes into consideration age, the season, any sort of imbalance or disease present, as well as the person’s constitution (vata, kapha, or pitta).

How to Create a Proper Exercise Regimen
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