If you’ve been dipping your toes into ayurveda, learning about the doshas and the herbs, and thinking you might like to start practicing this healing method, it’s a great idea to start by getting yourself into a traditional ayurvedic daily schedule.
What Is an Ayurvedic Daily Schedule?
For those still new to this practice, ayurveda is likely one of the oldest forms of medicine and healing in the world.
Hailing from ancient India, ayurveda focuses on the energy in your body, establishing and maintaining balance between your mind, body, and spirit, and encouraging health and longevity in your human form.
An ayurvedic daily schedule, then, revolves around keeping these energies in balance.
Fundamental to ayurveda are the doshas, the three energy centers each one of us has. Though each human has all three doshas, each person also has one dosha that is dominant. Sometimes, you will have two.
Vata is the movement dosha and is associated closely to the air element.
Vata dosha people are creative, flexible, and free-flowing. The energy is connected in your human body to breath, muscles, and heart.
An imbalanced dosha energy can lead to anxiety, fear, and digestive issues.
Kapha is circulation energy, associated with the water element as well as the earth. A kapha dosha person is calm, grounded, relaxed, loving, and forgiving.
Kasha energy sends water to your entire human system, keeping you moisturized, hydrated, and with a strong immune system.
When the kasha is out of balance, a person will feel lazy, lethargic, and jealous.
Pitta is fire energy and is related to the metabolism. It controls your endocrine system as well as your digestive system.
A person with pitta dosha energy is busy, high achieving, and always on the go.
If the pitta is out of balance, a person can feel angry, exhausted, burnt out, and have skin issues and irritations.
So you see, it is critical not only to understand your own dosha energy, which you can learn from practice or from a practitioner, but also to keep all of your dosha energies in balance and aligned with each other.
Why Routine Matters
This is where routine comes in handy.
Keeping your daily schedule predictable, even boring, will go a long way toward helping you accomplish your long term goals and toward improving your mental health.
I cannot tell you how many people tell me they thrive in chaos, but I look at them, and they sure don’t look like they’re thriving. They look like a hot mess.
No judgment, of course. I have been a hot mess, “thriving in chaos” at several points in my life.
But each time, the truth was, and still is, that we make excuses for our laziness, our lack of inspiration, our failure to launch ourselves out of lethargy.
We embrace our least happy selves as the devil we know.
A routine that starts with small steps can help break us out of that.
It sounds crazy. I know.
But trust me.
Take a few months and get really, really boring.
After that, you can begin to integrate adventure and surprise into your daily routine.
Like, for example, I hike every single Friday with my husband. Routine and predictable.
But now, after several months of this routine, we hike somewhere new almost every Friday.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I live in the Pacific Northwest with an abundance of hiking options, but you can tailor your predictability and your adventure to your life, your region, your needs.
Psychological studies show that daily and weekly routines help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by giving you responsibility, accountability, and something to look forward to.
So be sure to build in things you love.
How an Ayurvedic Daily Schedule Can Help
Which is where ayurveda comes in.
An ayurvedic daily schedule is super boring, but it is also super healing.
And look, at first it won’t be boring because you won’t know what the heck you are doing.
It will take you months to get the routine down to a predictable level, and by then, you can start building in some adventure, whatever that means for you.
In the meantime, you will be getting your doshas in balance and you will be the path to healing, total wellness, and longevity.
A Sample Ayurvedic Daily Schedule
To begin an ayurvedic daily schedule, you first need to figure out your dominant dosha energy.
If you are truly invested in this process, you can check out the book, Ayurveda: the Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide, by Vasant Lad.
There, you will get a sense of your dosha energy and how to begin your work in this practice.
If you are looking for a quick guide, you can check out the dosha test here.
Once you figure that out, it is important to note that you will have different dominant times of the day.
Kapha energy is strongest between 6AM and 10AM and 6PM and 10PM
Pitta energy is strongest between 10AM and 2PM and 10PM and 2AM
Vata energy is strongest between 2PM and 6PM and 2AM and 6AM
These are helpful just to know when your energies will be most aligned with your goals. If you find yourself tired and lackluster or unmotivated outside of those times, you know why.
The best thing you can do for your energy, regardless of which dosha is dominant, is to allow it to be cyclical, to work with the day, the lunar and solar cycles, and the seasons.
It is ideal to wake between 4AM and 6AM, the most peaceful time of the day when vata’s qualities of intuition are heightened. This is the time to engage in spiritual practice and breathwork.
Train yourself to eliminate urine and stool when you rise. It often helps to start your day with a glass of water or two, with a little lemon, to aid in digestion. This will rehydrate your tissue and flush toxins out of your body.
Any herbs in your regimen should be taken now, on an empty stomach, for ideal potency.
Now, wash your face, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, and gargle with salt water. This will help wake all your sense up and cleanse your system before you begin your day.
Exercise is best done, according to ayurveda, between 6AM and 10PM, during kapha energy, to increase circulation and oxygenation.
I like to do yoga at this time of day, something not super intense but still moving my body.
Before you turn on a screen, before you talk to anyone, before you do anything else, cleanse your mind.
Meditation is great to calm the mind and prepare for your day. Plan for 20 minutes.
Enjoy a nourishing breakfast that contents you but does not fill you up, ideally before 8AM.
Daily oil massage before you bathe is recommended for encouraging better circadian rhythms, improving sleep and circulation.
Use a daily massage oil to massage your body, starting from the extremities and working your way in, for about 5 to 15 minutes.
Follow your oil massage up with a warm shower or bath with mild soap.
In ayurveda, you want to wear clean, natural clothing that feels good on your body and keeps you warm.
The most productive times to work are between the hours of 10AM and 2PM, during pitta energy. Choose this time of day to use your brain for problem solving, attention, and focus.
Lunch should be your largest meal, followed by a gentle walk to aid digestion.
Be sure you allow enough time, at least 4 hours, between lunch and dinner, and ensure this meal is lighter than lunch. Try to eat dinner before sundown, and at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
After dinner, you should enjoy yourself, relax, spend time with family, read a good book, play a game, listen to music, or just have a good conversation. You are setting the stage to wind down from the stimulation of the day.
And finally, allow yourself to sleep for at least 8 hours, which means planning around your wake up time. You can give yourself a gentle scalp or foot massage before bed to fully relax, and then climb into bed, ideally before 10PM. If you stay up much later, you may find yourself with a second wind when pita begins again.
In the end, a routine is the best thing you can do for yourself. An ayurvedic routine will help you focus on your health and wellness as well as your mental and spiritual state.
You do not have to incorporate all of these practices, or even align your schedule rigidly with this one, but it is a great guideline to get you on the road to true, energetic healing.
And everyone can benefit from that.