Every day, whether consciously or unconsciously, we cultivate habits. Some, like bathing and brushing our teeth, are so ingrained we don’t give them a second thought. Others require a little more discipline at first, but once well-established, we can’t imagine going without them. Daily meditation is a good example of this. Other habits, like our four-cup-a-day coffee routine, may not serve our best interest or greatest health.
Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest systems of health, embodies the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The word “ayurveda,” meaning science or sacred knowledge of life and longevity, believes spending a few extra minutes per day can prevent illness and disease down the road, adding up to great health savings. In ayurveda, there are six stages of disease, beginning with a simple and subtle imbalance in doshas (particular constitutions of the body), which, if left untreated, progress to severe illness and disease. The better we are cultivating daily habits to abate imbalances when they first occur, the less likely disease is to manifest in the tissues and, ultimately, organs of the body.
To this end, ayurveda promotes daily habits, known as dinacharya, to ensure good health year-round. In addition to positive physical results, these habits can offer stability and grounding no matter what kind of chaos may ensue after the first couple of hours of your morning. Much like making your bed, morning ritual sets a tone of peace, balance and intention for the day and is an integral tenant of ayurveda.
Below are a series of techniques that purify and nourish the body. Many of these techniques cleanse the body of unwanted toxins accumulated throughout the evening, while others restore vitality to the body.