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Practice Yoga And Ayurveda - Make Your Body Fit

Practice Yoga By Vicky Oliver RYT500

The science of Ayurveda advises that optimum health and energy throughout the day is attained by laying a good foundation in the morning and honouring the rhythms of our body as the day progresses. The instructions for this classic ritual are a little stringent (like rising 2 hours before sunrise) but on the whole what I call the 'rising and beyond' or Dincharya will be perfectly easy for most of us to incorporate into our lives.

6am - 10am - VataTime
This is the most pure and sweet time of the day. Particularly at sunrise when the light breaks, nature wakes and humankind is still. If you can wake at this time then you will see the world with new eyes. If you have ever gone out early on a Sunday morning you will have already experienced this sattvic quality.

Elimination
Drink a glass or two of warm water with a slice of lemon. This will soften the bowels and make elimination easier. It is important you try not take the poisons from the previous day and night into the new day. Wait to eat until you have eliminated. Just pottering often helps get things going.

Clear The Senses
Wash the eyes with warm water.
Brush the teeth and tongue or use a tongue scraper. This will help you to remove the ama or toxins. If your tongue is very coated then this is an indication of toxicity.
Gargle with warm water to cleanse the throat and purify your voice. Add a little Maldon Sea Salt to the water to kill bacteria.
Rub the inside of your nostrils with lavender oil well diluted with almond oil. This will improve your sense of smell and your connection to the surroundings. Massage the scalp (optional), hair (optional), forehead, temples, hands and feet with massage oil. This is called abhyanga.

Open The Body
Practice anuloma viloma or alternate nostril breathing, do not hold the breath if you are pregnant. Close the right nostril and breathe in through the left nostril and hear the mantra 'I look forward to my day' once, hold the breath with both nostrils closed and hear this mantra four times and then breathe out the right nostril and hear this mantra twice. Breathe in through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed and hear the mantra once and then close both nostrils and hear the mantra four times and breathe out the left and hear the mantra twice. This is one round, continue this for three to six rounds.
Perform three rounds of a flowing yoga sequence - ashtangar vinyasa sequence, classic Surya Namaskar or awhYoga flow yoga sequence, whatever inspires you. But practice softly with loose joints and no excessive effort. Yoga sequencing will improve your agni,your digestive fire.

Clean The Body
Shower or bath, not too hot. Dry with a warm, rough towel (never use fabric conditioner on your towels, they lose their absorbency and cannot stimulate the skin). Put on completley clean clothing.

Meditation
Sit peacefully with your eyes closed in a seated yoga posture, perhaps with your sacrum resting against a wall or open the hips by sitting forward on a cushion or yoga block. Listen to the all the sounds that surround you, then your breath and then your heart for a full 5 minutes. End the meditation with the following mantra: I bless this day in front of me for all its human quality, infused with love, enriched with grace, all good things for the human race.

Breakfast
Before you eat, say grace: I bless this food in front of me for all its homemade quality, infused with love, enriched with grace, ingredients to improve its taste. Kiwi fruit, cut in half, scoop out flesh.
Banana Porridge (no microwaves).


10am - 2pm - PittaTime
Mental Activity
Time to work (I am totally aware that some of you leave at 7am in the morning! These are guidelines)

Lunch
Before you eat say grace:I bless this food in front of me for all its homemade quality, infused with love, enriched with grace, ingredients to improve its taste.Lunch should be taken between 12pm and 1pm and this should be healthy and the biggest meal of the day. Pitta time is digestion time. Take a healthy packed lunch into work that you have prepared either the night before or on the day.

Digestion
To help you digest your food, take a couple of hundred steps, preferably outside. Watch the world with awareness.

2pm - 6pm - VataTime
Mental Activity
Time to work again.
6pm - 10pm - KaphaTime

Meditation
Before your supper sit quietly for 10 minutes in 'Listening Meditation' - close your eyes and listen to all the sounds that surround you. This helps to ground you as the energy of day and night merge (a very powerful interlude).End the meditation with the following mantra:I bless this night in front of me for all its human quality, infused with love, enriched grace, all good things for the human race.

Supper
Before you eat supper say grace:I bless this food in front of me for all its homemade quality, infused with love, enriched with grace, ingredients to improve its taste.7pm dine on a light evening meal that is healthy and easy to digest. Follow this with a 10 minute walk.

Relax
8pm - 10pm is a time to wind down. Try and keep away from laptops and computers. A little bit of TV is fine but reading a book or playing a game with friends and family is better.

Bedtime
It is a good idea to get into bed and sleep rather than take a book. The less stimulation for the mind the better. The bed is for sleeping. You may do some anuloma viloma as this is a great exercise for promoting serenity. Once again do not hold the breath if you are pregnant. Close the right nostril and breathe in through the left nostril and hear the mantra 'I look forward to my sleep' once, hold the breath with both nostrils closed and hear this mantra four times and then breathe out the right nostril and hear this mantra twice. Breathe in through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed and hear the mantra once and then close both nostrils and hear the mantra four times and breathe out the left and hear the mantra twice. This is one round, continue this for three to six rounds.

Note :
Kapha time comes to an end here. If you have not wound down properly and cannot sleep then your mind moves into Pitta time. This is when it becomes active again. This is a major cause of insomnia and one night can have negative implications for the rest of the week. So if there is one thing you must always try and do it is get to bed early.

Glossary :
Abhyanga - oil massage
Agni - digestive fire
Ama - toxins
Anuloma Viloma - alternate nostril breathing
Dincharya - daily ritual
Dosha - kapha, pitta, vata : one of the three biological humors or energies which combine in various proportions to determine individual constitution and mental and physical disorders.
Kapha - a dosha formed by the combination of water and earth
Pitta - a dosha formed by the combination of gas, fire and water
Sattvic - having a serene, balanced and harmonious mind
Vata - a dosha formed by the combination of space and air


Vicky Oliver is registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT500) and The Register of Exercise Professionals (REP's3). She has been teaching for 10 years.

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