You eat a healthy diet, do yoga, meditate and try to keep your stress under control. But you still often feel tired and exhausted? That’s exactly how I felt for years (hello double espresso!). It was only after I learned more about yoga and in this connection with its sister science Ayurveda that I realized why I wasn’t as energetic as I was supposed to be.
The good news: I found out that I can keep my energy up all day with a few simple changes in my everyday habits. Today I want to share my 5 favorite Ayurvedic tips with you and hope they will help you as much as they helped me.
1. Create your personal morning routine
Having a morning routine, called “dinacharya” in Ayurveda, can help you start the day relaxed and conserve your energy. Choose a few of the following suggestions and create your morning routine that you can easily incorporate in your everyday life.
After waking up, remove any build-up on the tongue which, if left untreated, can lead to bad breath and may house a significant number of bacteria. By doing that, you support your immune system and stimulate the detoxification of your gut. You can scrape your tongue using a tablespoon but I recommend buying a tongue scraper, which makes the whole procedure easier and thoroughly cleans your tongue.
Put a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil into your mouth and swish it around for 5 to 10 minutes. The oil pulls toxins out of your oral cavity and nourishes your gums. After you’re done, don’t swallow the oil (as it is full of bacteria and toxins) but spit it into the trash can.
After tongue scraping and oil pulling, have a big glass of warm, Bolid water in order to stimulate your digestion as well as detoxification of the body.
Full body massage
“Abhyanga”, as the Ayurvedic self massage is called, has a nourishing and energy boosting effect and strengthens your immune system. Before taking a shower, massage your body with warm sesame or coconut oil and show every body part some love. Let the oil absorb for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
Morning yoga and meditation
Activating asanas such as Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) allow you to start your day in an energetic and dynamic way. After your yoga session take some time to meditate in order to bring calmness and focus into you.
2. Light up your digestive fire
In Ayurveda, “agni”, the digestive fire, plays an important role for our health and energy. When agni is strong, we are energetic, are able to eliminate bodily waste efficiently and support our immune system. If agni is weak, however, toxins, called “ama” accumulate in the body. According to Ayurveda, ama is the source of many diseases.
In order to strengthen our agni, start incorporating more spices such as curcuma, coriander, cumin and cardamom (funnily they all start with “c”!) into your diet. Another way to support agni is to move enough, balance stress and limit energy dranging foods.
3. Choose the right foods
Fresh, “real” food is very important in Ayurvedic cooking. Fast food, processed foods as well as leftovers are said to drain our energy and weaken agni. That’s why it is important to incorporate as many fresh foods into your diet as possible.
Another important aspect for abundant energy is to consume foods that are light and easily digestible. That means for example that you could try to limit very spicy, oily and salty foods and cook with spices that enhance digestion. Ice cold drinks and caffeine can also slow you down.
4. Limit your caffeine intake
I’m a huge coffee lover but unfortunately it’s a fact that our beloved caffeine hit is only temporary and doesn’t last long. Also, too much caffeine overtaxes our adrenal glands, which in turn can lead to adrenal fatigue in the worst case. Caffeine also overstimulates our nervous system and can prevent us from calming down at night.
If you want to try and limit your caffeine consumption, try to do it slowly in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms like headaches, lethargy and moodiness. I personally cut down my coffee consumption to only one cup a day but I enjoy it to the fullest and make a whole ritual out of it (self-care: check!).
5. Create your personal nighttime routine
How you spend your evening is as important as how you spend the first few hours after waking up. A nighttime routine can help you calm down, let go of the day and promotes good sleep. Try to switch off all electronic devies at least an hour before you’re going to bed and avoid intense exercise, disturbing discussions as well as loud music.
Here are a few suggestions to create your personal routine. Pick the ones that makes sense to you and skip the rest 🙂
Evening yoga and meditation
Restorative yoga poses such as Supta Badhakonasana (reclined bound angle pose) oder Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose) as well as meditation can help you calm down your nervous system and leave your day behind you.
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bathtub and relax for 10 to 20 minutes. If you don’t have a bathtub, a warm shower can have the same effect. You can also sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow for a good night’s sleep.
Giving yourself a foot massage (or asking your partner to rub your feet) with warm sesame oil can work wonders. Put on some socks afterwards in order to save your sheets from oil stains!
A cup of warm (almond) milk with a bit of honey, cardamom, curcuma and/or nutmeg can help you fall and stay asleep more easily (and it tastes delicious).
I hope these tips will help you get rid of fatigue and get your energy back!