How Does Ayurveda Fit into My Busy Life? (Answer: It’s Surprisingly Easy)
Ayurveda is super old—like 5,000 years old. Some of the ancient practices can seem impossible and outdated for those of us living in today’s modern world.
For example, dinacharya (an Ayurvedic daily routine), when done according to the ancient texts, would take about 1.5–2 hours a day. And! You need to find a stick to chew on. Who has time for that? *Nobody raises their hand.*
This is why Ayurveda can sometimes feel impractical for the modern day. Our fast-paced modern life looks nothing like those stick-chewing days enjoyed in ancient times. So it would be silly to think that we can use the same methods and have them work for us. Right?
In some ways, yes. But in some ways, no. We are still human and if anything, we’ve gotten further away from the great nature that we are meant to harmonize with.
So yes, the world is changing, and our bodies and minds and senses are changing too. However, we can absolutely use the roots of Ayurvedic lifestyle, diet, meditation, and overall wellness principles to enhance the quality of our lives today.
5 Ways to Fit Ayurveda into Your Busy Life
Let’s make some friendly, accessible tweaks to the traditional Ayurvedic routine. Do them in succession, daily. Then you are done, and you win. Ready?!
1. Wake Up Early
First thing’s first. Get your booty out of bed early in the morning, ideally before sunrise.
Ayurveda recommends rising before the sun during vata time. Vata is the energy of movement, so if you wake before the sun comes up you’ll have excellent energy for the day—like the wind in your sails.
Exceptions are for the sick, elderly, children, or those who are pregnant, in which case it is appropriate to sleep a little later.
2. Take Time for You
Before you tend to anything or anyone else, you must begin the day with you. Not your phone. Not your kids. Not your coffee. With you. It is your responsibility to set yourself right, first.
Here’s the kicker, most people skip right over this! Most people tend to their phone, their inbox, the news, or their kids first. And they wonder why they start the day off stressed, falling behind, or in a bad mood.
It’s because they didn’t take care of themselves, first. Trust me, this is a life game-changer.
I know you want to show up as the best version of you each day for everything you show up for, so take this seriously and say it out loud with me: “Me first.” Now that you've committed, don't forget about your well-being as your day unfolds. (More on this topic in my book, Ayurveda for Life.)
3. Break a Sweat
Third, do a short workout so you get a little sweaty. This does not have to be long—it can be 15 minutes. But the key is to do it daily. This is not a gym membership where you go workout two or three times a week. This is a daily rule for life.
Sweat is a waste product, and we need to expel waste products each day for healthy tissues and a happy mind.
Next, sit in meditation for five to ten minutes. Now that you’ve moved your body and gotten a little sweaty, your mind is primed for meditation. You can work your way up to longer sessions, but if you can only do five minutes, then do five minutes.
And stick to it (looking at you, vatas) every day until you croak.
Then, you’re done ‘til evening! Go about your day in happiness and good service.
5. Go to Bed Early
At the end of the day, go to bed early so you can wake up early—because this drives your entire next day.
Go to bed at least by 10 p.m. Most people don’t do this either. After dinner, most people go back to their phone, their inbox, or the news. Then they wonder why they end the day stressed, anxious about tomorrow, or in a bad mood.
But listen, 10 p.m. kicks off pitta time. Pitta is the energy of transformation, which can feel like a “second wind” as pitta transforms your thoughts, food, emotions, and everything from the day. So go to bed before that happens!
If sleep is not easy for you, check out Banyan’s Deep Sleep Bundle. Simply massage a little oil on your feet and take the herbs 30 minutes before bed.
Now Go Do It
If you do all these things, you get an A+ at fitting Ayurveda into your busy life.
Seriously, I challenge you to do all five of these practices in succession for two weeks without missing a day. Take out a journal and note how you feel different.
This simple series is how I got myself out of burnout. I had a three-hour daily commute with a toddler and I was starting up a new division of a staffing company in San Francisco. I was fried.
But I also had forgotten my Ayurvedic best practices. I was not doing them at all. Once I started getting up to do my morning run (just 10 minutes!) with the dog, everything changed. I even did my meditation on the bus.
Don’t tell yourself it’s too hard. Instead, set yourself up for success and enter with a stellar can-do attitude where you say, “YAS! I am excited to CHANGE MY LIFE and I will begin today!”
You are worth it and every single person who loves you would say the same thing. Do it for you. Do it for them. Do it for the service you provide to others.
Do it for the sake of why your spirit took a birth on the planet. This is Ayurveda.