Ayurveda is custom made. It does not universally prescribe a single diet or lifestyle for everyone, rather it treats the individual. So when I work with clients, their plans are custom made too. But no matter who I am working with, what their intention is or what their imbalances are there are a few things I tell every client.
Follow the Middle Path
The golden rule for creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle is to choose the middle path. The demands of modern life push us to live our lives between two extremes, too much or too little. We overeat and then restrict our diet. We over schedule ourselves, then feel overwhelmed. We deprive ourselves of sleep, then crash. We overwork, then experience inertia. By living our lives swinging between these two extremes it is difficult to establish and maintain optimal wellness. Following the middle path of Ayurveda enables us to make simple, gradual changes to our lives with lasting and profound effect. All things in moderation is a good place to start.
Choose Simplicity over Complexity
What does choosing simplicity over complexity mean? It means taking charge of our lives that are busy, stressed and fragmented. It means making choices that lead us away from being overwhelmed and move us towards a place of ease.
Complexity pervades our daily life. Open your pantry and read a few labels on the foods found there. How many have more than a few ingredients and contain some ingredient you don’t recognize? Although it may seem like a convenience, packaged and proceed foods are complex, difficult to digest and do not support your health. To simplify your diet choose whole foods, cook more and if you choose food with a label look for the fewest ingredients and make sure you can recognize them all.
Notice where else in your life you can simplify and eliminate the excess. Take a look at your calendar. Is it hectic and overcrowded? Is there a way to simplify your schedule? This may mean saying no more often, prioritizing and creating space for saying yes to the things that really fill you up.
Lastly commit to ways to calm your busy mind. Cluttered thinking robs us from being able to enjoy the present moment. How often do you give your full attention to what you are doing? Learn to meditate, spend some time each day in stillness and practice giving your full attention to what you are doing.
I think we can all agree our lives are complex enough! Work to simplify your diet and your lifestyle.
Practice Consistency over Intensity
We’ve all been guilty of opting for the quick fix over the long-term solution. We know it’s not right, but it seems easier than tackling our bad habits once and for all. The diet industry sets us up to habitually jump from one quick fix to another. When it comes to health and wellness though, consistency beats intensity.
I have many clients who have tried countless diets and exercise plans with some success but fail to create lasting change and either fall back to their unhealthy habits or choose yet another diet or exercise fad. They come to me frustrated. Ayurveda is not a diet, although dietary recommendations are certainly part of the path. It asks us to look at all aspects of our health; mind, body and Spirit.
Clients will often ask me how to stay motivated on days when they are struggling with their commitment to whole health. When you are working to establish healthy habits and create lasting change consistency is the key. Ask yourself what is sustainable for you in the long-run.
One of my favorite quotes perfectly sums this up, “Little by little one travels far”.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien
Wishing you Vibrant Living