How to use Ayurveda during COVID-19?
I have practiced Ayurveda since 2016 after my 200-hour Ayurveda Yoga Therapist training with ThaiVedic in Bali, Indonesia. I started it as my personal routine and it has worked very well for me after experimenting different healing modalities. Ayurveda is a new life style that preserves the longevity of life. It has helped me grow mentally and physically to where I want to be. I have benefited so much with my new Ayurveda life style and I noticed myself being less sick, less fatigues, more grounded and more resilient. I was working a 9-6 corporate hectic job and teaching Yoga simultaneously for 3 years and my Ayurveda habit supported me with the energy and strengths I needed to manage many tasks on my plate. And I am reaching my 40s now but never feeling so young, rejuvenated, and centered.
How to survive COVID-19 with Ayurveda? I prefer to replace the word “survive” with “thrive” and “out-grow.” Every crisis is an opportunity of personal growth. We do not grow when we stay in our comfort zones. If we observe and pay careful attentions to COVID-19, the virus itself is able to co-exist in human body peacefully without causing disturbances nor doing harms. Yes, we are seeing a lot of deaths but we are also seeing a lot of people infected without showing any symptoms. This perfectly explained that virus is part of nature and we are also part of nature. If we are all part of nature, then we can be one. Ayurveda’s core value is to bring harmony between us to Nature, Mother Earth. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” Ayurveda teaches us to embody a life style to create true peace with the Nature. All healings come from Nature, including us. All healings come from within, from us.
In Ayurveda’s term, AHAMKARA means Mother Nature aka Immune System Governor. AHAMKARA originates from Spirits, Mind and Sense Organs, enabling us to express, to feel and to experience the worldly events. When AHAMKARA is imbalanced, damaged and collapsed, they manifest in diseases. Good spiritual health is the pre-requisite for good physical and mental health; therefore, we must cultivate spiritual health first to develop a good immune system to defend COVID-19.
Let’s take a closer look at COVID-19 itself based on Ayurveda. Virus is Pitta dominated according to its physiological symptoms such as temperatures, heat, sweat, eye sights, inflammation and mental imbalances such as agitations, aggression, resentments and impatiences towards the politics, government policies and unplanned events. Also the COVID-19 is creating a lot of Vata imbalances such as dry cough, pneumonia, respiratory sickness, fears, uncertainty about future, sleeping problems, anxiety, depressions, frustrations and loss of weight, loss of hair and body liquid, dry skins, slower bowl movement..,etc. Thus, I have created a simple and easy-to-adapt routine for modern people who are currently working from home, staying at home and under quarantine to treat mainly Vata and Pitta.
COVID-19 Ayurveda 14 Day Simple Routine to Treat Pitta & Vata Imbalances:
(The best time to wake up for Ayurveda is before sunrise at 4-5AM but if you cannot try below)
6-7 AM Wake up, gentle tongue scrap (with brass scrapper or a small tea spoon), oil purging 5 mins (best with coconut or flex seed, or any vegetable oils like olive), brush teeth and wash your face
7 AM Drink warm water with lemon or turmeric/ ginger tea (fresh or tea bags) to help warm up your digestive fires
7-8 AM Morning Exercise (Keep it moderate up to 1 hour, do not over exhaust, build sufficient energy and chi for the day but not to crush yourself!)
i) Practice simple breathing exercise (Calming Breaths: Inhale from both nostrils x 6, hold x 3 and exhale x6 for 5 rounds with eyes closed), Set 1 positive intention for the day, say a prayer to yourself and anyone
ii) Start with easy stretch and circular movements, Tai Chi, Yoga Sun Salutation
iii) Include 1-2 strengthening exercise: prank, push ups, balancing pose, inversions
iiii) End your exercise with long hold stretches, twist and supine poses to cool down
Practice a short sitting meditation up to 15 mins by closing your eyes. You can listen to Pitta meditation I created here
8:15 AM Shower and spray some natural aromatic scent to cheer yourself
8:30 AM Light breakfast – include cooked grains (muslins, granolas), soft fruit, juice and warm tea, main consumption on easy-to-digest food for morning
9AM Work, check your to-do list, prioritize your tasks
10-12PM Pitta time – a good time to go out, have meetings, sales visits and complete difficult long due tasks
12PM Biggest meal of the day, Pitta – less spices, less oils, less deep fried food, less processed food, and less overly seasoned food
2-4PM Vata time – a good time to be creative, brain storming, writing proposals, creating new things and projects, create to-do list for next day
5PM Prepare dinner
6PM (the best time to have dinner for Ayurveda is 5pm) Dinner
Keep it light and fresh, with lots of green and fruit, less raw food (Vata)
8PM Kapha time: cultivate love and family time, nurture yourself with a nice bath, slow music, aroma therapy and self massage
9PM Yoga Nidra Meditation (Deep Relaxation) or Yin Yoga, Sitting Meditation before getting ready to sleep
Before 10PM Bed time
To treat excessive Pitta: try to plan less and less far ahead, because we are now living in an extremely unpredictable world with COVID-19. We only frustrate ourselves if we cannot keep our promises to ourselves when we cannot control. To learn when to let go of control and understand it’s okay not to have a big goal right now. To develop patiences in this difficult time for Pitta people is the best asset for future.
To treat excessive Vata: to mediate more, to create a routine (new or old) and commit to the routine for 21 days to make it a habit to stay centered. To develop and deep dive into a new skill to help maintain focus and train your mind.
Take a lot of water, wash your hands, lubricate your body with oils (coconut oils) and keep your simple exercise at home. Join a virtual community if you need that friendly push! Ask your friends/ colleagues to attend online Yoga, Fitness and Meditation classes. Create a self-healing tool to strengthen your AHAMKARA aka immune system. Take your power back. Honour your body. Love yourself. Start today!
“Living equally for yourself, another and the world. Without preference based on past attachment or future desires, we choose because in that moment, it is the most balanced and ideal action to serve all 3 aspects of our true self,”Purpose of Being-Alive. And this equates to the principle of Karma Yoga, we don’t cease to work because we should work continuously without attaching to the outcomes. The each action (Karma) we choose should base on 1/3 the benefit of me, 1/3 the benefit of all living things and 1/3 the benefit of process of action itself. “Health is a direction not the destination,” by Ayurveda.
Sending you love and peace.
A-shanti, shanti, shantihi…