Game-changing health habits have to last in order to have an impact. This arsenal of highly-disciplined ideas come from Ayurvedic lifestyle coach Cate Stillman’s new book, Body Thrive. They may require a little discipline, but Cat nails this list of important daily habits that could have a huge impact on our health…
Chaotic. Stressed out. Over-scheduled. Bloated. Depleted. Sound familiar? For many of us, running on fumes is our default. There never seems to be enough hours, and by the end of the day, we’re totally exhausted and drained. Our bodies are craving balance, and all too often, we turn to those quick fixes promising rapid results that will drastically improve our lives. In reality, though, they’re often causing more harm than good.
The timeless, ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and yoga are designed around daily habits that help us unwind imbalances in our bodies and minds and realign with our natural biorhythms.
A thriving body is a moving target and a continual goal. You are your best investment — and your habits are the key to experience this moving target of “body thrive” as you move through the generations of your life. The easiest way to hit this moving target of thriving in your body, thriving day in and out as you age comes from Ayurveda, the yogi’s system of enlightened self-knowledge and self-care. Based on habits and rhythms, Ayurveda understands human biorhythms inside and out. If your daily habits go against the ancient primate-ancestral rhythms, you develop imbalances and eventually disease.
10 Powerful Daily Health Habits
Eat an Earlier, Lighter Dinner | Do you do your body the disservice of holding out for dinner? If so, you are running your physiology inefficiently, which means you’ll age faster and/or struggle with weight gain. Instead, consider having your main meal at lunch.
Choose Ease Over Stress | You get to choose how you respond to your daily circumstances. To feel better each day, take pause frequently, relax into your breath, feel the earth beneath your feet and choose ease.
Sit in Silence | With all the hubbub of our digitally-activated lives, it seems a luxury to unplug and simply sit and do nothing. Yet, it’s a necessity. Sit in silence. Upgrade to meditation. Let your busy mind, emotions and nerves hit the reset button. Do it. It will help you make great choices. Practice silence to tap into self beyond mind.
Go to Bed Early | Do you burn the candle at both ends? If so, it could be dangerous for your immune system. Instead, turn your lights out by 10pm whenever possible. Chances are you need more rest than you’re getting. To sleep better, unplug and unwind after dinner. Enjoy good company and the end of your day. Then put yourself to bed.
Start Your Day Right | Before the dawn is the greatest calm and most expansive peace of the whole day. Don’t miss out. Instead, relish in setting up your day, thoughts and rhythm with this feeling. You’ll end up going to bed earlier tonight. Once you are up, drink hot water (from one cup to one quart) until you have to go to the bathroom.
Bestir Your Breath-Body before Breakfast | Before your mind gets ahead of you or you get sucked into some project or other people (even small children!), move your body. Five to twenty minutes is enough to alight your cells into their oxygenated state. Build a repertoire of sun salutations, HIIT exercises, jumping jacks or gentle stretches.
Fuel Yourself with a Plant-Based Diet | Now that you are rested and oxygenated, your hunger may return. Focus on nutrient-dense foods. Notice which plant parts you crave in which season: seeds, sprouts, roots, shoots, leaves or fruits. Mix it up for balance.
Self-Massage Your Body | Our bodies need our attention. Our hands are our oldest tool, designed to heal, sooth and nurture. Your skin is your largest organ. Take a moment or two before or after you shower and give yourself a quick massage. Notice if you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
Heed the Healthier Eating Guidelines | The main guideline from yogis is to space our meals. When we eat (or fast) is at least as important as what we eat. Eat too frequently, and you disrupt your digestive rhythm. Do this for years and you will develop weight issues and a level of toxicity that is difficult to detox. Rhythmic eating is when you intentionally segregate your eating times from your fasting times. To start, give yourself fourteen to sixteen hours between supper and breakfast, and eat only two to three meals per day, without snacking. You’ll feel better and free up energy!
Come to Your Senses | Your senses are the gateway to your experiences. Take a break from your computer, rest your eyes on the horizon, apply oil in your ears (karna purana) and nostrils (nasya) and scrape your tongue. When done regularly, these practices open your lenses of perception and aid the longevity of your sense organs.
Like a toggle switch in your nervous system, you live in either reaction or reception. Practice receptivity and relaxation in your interactions and tasks to experience easeful living. With evolving habits, you can take small steps over the course of a year like we do in Body Thrive. Put yourself in a community that has the habits you want. That is the fastest way. Choose to adopt the habits for your body to thrive. You deserve it.