Living a yogic life on and off the mat helps optimise and harmonise the mind, body and soul. At first you may think that you don’t have the time to do these things, but once you start, you will realise what a difference they make to the quality of your life.
1. Rise with the sun and meditate.
Early morning is considered to be satwik and it’s the most harmonious period of the day. The body has a tendency to heal quickly during this time. The rays of the rising sun also have healing properties that can help lower your stress levels and freshen your mind.
After you brush and see to your toilette, you should give yourself a massage with an oil that suits both your body type and the weather. For example, coconut oil is a good oil for summer time, while sesame oil is ideal for winter.
After a warm self-massage, you should do some form of exercise. It can be yoga, pranayama, swimming, tennis or any other type of exercise – take your pick! Exercise will improve your muscular strength and help you avoid diseases. Take care not to over exercise, as it leads to unnecessary wear and tear of your muscles and tendons.
4. Break (your) fast.
A yogic breakfast can comprise of nuts, cereal, fruits or freshly squeezed seasonal fruit juice, lentils or bean sprouts, milk, idlis, stuffed rotis and more. Eating a good breakfast stabilises your blood glucose levels and helps you lose weight.
5. Eat a healthy lunch.
The ideal lunch consists of dal, a green vegetable, mint chutney and roti or rice with a cup of curd or chaas seasoned with roasted cumin and rock salt. If you’ve been eating a lot of heavy food, have a light lunch of just moong dal khichadi with curd and papad. This allows your system to repair and rejuvenate itself.
6. Keep snacks handy during the day.
We tend to eat unhealthy snacks at our office canteens, which is a bad habit. Apart from eating three square meals a day, it’s important that you eat two healthy snacks in between your meals every day. Fruits, yoghurt, dried fruits, sprouts salad and nuts make for nutritious and filling snacks.
7. Spend some quality ‘me time’ every evening.
According to the Vedic scriptures, evenings should consist of ‘me time’, wherein you light incense sticks at home and either pray, meditate or chant religious hymns. These rituals have faded away over the years, but if revived, they can relieve stress and improve mood considerably.
8. Eat dinner early.
Eating dinner early promotes easy digestion, restful sleep and weight loss. The digestive system slows down after sunset and so you should eat light and easily digestible foods like vegetable soup, lentil soup and rice, dal and roti, etc. Outside food must be strictly avoided after sunset.
9. Establish sleep rituals.
Sleeping at a same time every day will help you get deep and restful sleep. If you like, you can take a warm bath with aromatic essential oils and lightly massage the soles of your feet with oil to relax yourself. Let go of your thoughts and the events of the day and say a small prayer before bed to help your mind prepare for sleep.