Planning your Day According to Ayurveda

This topic is inspired by a question that came up during a recent workshop on Ayurveda that I led.  You’ll learn how Ayurveda can help you structure your day for your greatest productivity and peace of mind.

 

Just like there are dosha times of year, there are dosha times of year.

 

After that question from a student, I started applying more practices related to the dosha times of day to my daily routines. I can say that the changes I’ve experienced have been revolutionary. Following these daily practices makes me not feel guilty for those times that I just don’t feel like working, and it provides the structure that this vata-entrepreneur needs.

 

Let’s go!

 

 

2-6am and 2-6pm: Vata Time

Vata time is a time to be more creative and spiritual. There’s a reason why monks of all traditions wake up before 6am for their morning prayers. Vata time is the easiest time to feel connected to the world and to our best selves.

 

Because Ayurveda takes morning rituals such as meditation and exercise very seriously, Ayurvedic theory suggests that we should wake up before 6 (or as close to 6 as we can).

 

For the afternoon Vata time (2-6pm.)…it explains why we can’t seem to get anything done in the afternoon, doesn’t it?! For me, late afternoon can leave me feeling pulled in multiple directions, and I have a hard time getting “real work” done. However, vata time of day is the perfect time to brainstorm, start new projects, read, and make connections.

 

 

6-10am and 6-10pm: Kapha Time

Kapha time is an important one. Waking up in the 6-10am timeframe makes us feel sluggish and tired. We hit snooze again and again, we start endlessly scrolling on social media, and it takes us an extra 10 minutes to get out the door.

 

To balance this kapha time, Ayurveda asks us to get moving – exercise, get out of the house, and get the day started. Especially if you have a more kapha constitution, don’t eat too heavy of a breakfast or it will weigh you down.

 

At work, use your kapha time to connect – have meetings, check in, or work on correspondence.

 

For the 6-10pm time frame, this is the perfect time to wind down, see family, friends, and connect. Enjoy your kapha time by spending it with people you love.

 

10am-2pm and 10pm-2am: Pitta Time

Pitta is our most fire-y and energetic time. There’s a reason why we get a “second wind” if we’re up too late at night – our pitta takes over and we get our energy all fired up again.

 

For the daytime – make lunch the largest meal of the day. At noon, our pitta digestive fire is at it’s strongest, and we can handle the most food without slowing down our digestive systems.

 

Pitta time is also a great time to get stuff done at work. This is the time to pitch an investor, close a deal, and finish the books. Do methodical, detail-oriented work during this time, and you’ll find success.

 

Here are some ideas on how to put this into practice. Know that you don’t have to do all of them, in fact, that might put you out of balance! Instead, take a look at your day, and choose one or two changes that you think would positively impact your day.

  • Wake up as close to 6am as possible to avoid the dreaded snooze button.
  • Work out in the morning to burn off some of your kapha.
  • Once you’ve gotten to work and checked in (briefly) with emails, get to your most important, detail-oriented work. Finish some projects and move forward on concrete tasks.
  • Eat your largest meal at lunch time.
  • After 2 or 2:30, you can do another (brief) email break, and then dedicate 1-2 hours to brainstorming, creative work, new projects, and passion projects.
  • Enjoy relaxing time with your family and friends from 6-10pm.
  • Get to bed before 10pm.

 

I’m going to reiterate – you don’t have to try for all of these all at once. Investigate your day and the times you feel lowest in energy or unhappy. Those could be the places where making some changes would bring the biggest gains.

 

So, how in line with Ayurvedic principles are you? Where can you adapt?

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

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Eating Seasonally (and Ayurvedically) at Sweetgreen

eat seasonally at sweetgreen photo 3
In true Vata style, “build your own” bowls and meals at restaurants can leave me paralyzed. There are just SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

Well actually, I take that back. Sometimes, there aren’t that many options. As a plant-based eater who focuses on eating unprocessed food, it’s much more likely that I face a plethora of cheese-filled or sugar-laden choices at most restaurants.

 

So I should actually say: “in true Vata style, whenever I look at the menu at Sweetgreen, I’m so excited by all of the fabulous options that I get overwhelmed.” Which is really not an awful problem to have.

 

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Communicate with your boss at work: Ayurveda style

About two weeks ago, I gave a talk on Ayurveda to a group of employees at a large advertising firm in DC.

 

We covered the usual topics like the three doshas and how to eat in a way that supports that dosha. However, the truly game-changing conversation was from our discussion of how you can use your knowledge of Ayurveda to have a better communication and a better relationships with your colleagues, including your boss.

 

Communicate at Work with Ayurveda

Seriously! When you understand your colleagues’ dosha, you can set up meetings and communicate in a way that will resonate with them.

 

Your dosha determines your body type, but it also relates to what you value, how you communicate, and what causes stress. If you go through your day assuming everyone has the same preferences and communication style as you, you’ll run into issues pretty darn quickly.

 

Instead, use your knowledge of doshas to better understand the people you’re working with and making sure that you can work productively with people, especially if they have a different dosha then you.

 

If you don’t know where to begin, figure out what your dosha is and learn about these three mind/body types.

 

Then, start to think about how the principles of Ayurveda apply to your boss and colleagues. The kind of work they do might give you a clue into their dosha. Their preferences and daily habits could let you know.

 

 

Then, you can apply this handy information below to work and communicate most productively and with your colleagues and bosses.

 

Communicating at work with a Vata

  • Don’t surprise them with a meeting. Schedule it beforehand or ask them “when’s a good time to talk”? Give them a heads up, so they can clear their mind of their other projects and pay attention to what you want to talk with them about.
  • When you meet (and even beforehand), tell them why you’re there and how long it will take, so they can feel certain and grounded in what the conversation is about.
  • Don’t have the meeting in a crowded, busy, or loud place.
  • Bring them a tea or something warm if it’s in a cold or drafty place.
  • They might be resistant to making a decision RIGHT at that meeting. Instead, say “think about it, and let’s have a meeting about this next Monday”. Give them time to get used to the idea and mull it over, rather than trying to force them to make an on-the-spot decision.

 

Communicating at work with a Pitta

  • Definitely set the meeting ahead of time. Pitta’s are busy! Give them a start and end time, and get bonus points by sending them a calendar invite. Show them that you’re acknowledging and respecting their time.
  • Have a plan for their meeting. You can even send them bulletpoints or a checklist beforehand! Make it linear, on target, and without a lot of extra unneeded small talk.
  • Be on time. Which means 5 minutes early.
  • Bring them water with mint or cucumber to cool them down.
  • If they’re giving you a hard time, remind them: you’re a team. You’re supporting them and they’re supporting you. Make sure they know you’re on the same side and you’re there to support them.
  • Do have a final action item – a decision or a follow-up plan. Just make sure there are concrete next steps.

 

Communicating at work with a Kapha

  • Schedule the meeting, but don’t make it too early in the morning.
  • Even better – make your meeting over lunch or coffee so there’s a feeling of connection and purpose.
  • If they’re late, don’t take it personally. (This is true for all of the doshas, but most likely to happen with the kapha.)
  • Ask them about their family and other hobbies before getting down to business. They’ll appreciate you caring about them as a real person.
  • Bring them some spicy roasted pumpkin seeds or a nettle tea.
  • If you need extra support for something, remind them of the community and the team. Let them know you’re working together and ask them for ideas on how to support that team effort.
  • Make sure to celebrate them and the team as people, not just workers.
  • Give kaphas small tasks with fast deadlines/turn around times. Just saying “get this huge project done” can lead to procrastination. So make them small, doable tasks that they can just get moving on.

 

With these tips, you’ll communicate more effectively and ultimately have a more productive team.

 

This can seem like manipulation, but I actually think of it as respect. You’re respecting their desires, preferences, and strengths so that the team can be a success.

 

If you’re trying to figure out how to deal with the Vatas, Pittas, and Kaphas in your life (including yourself!), consider a consultation with me. Learn more here, or send me an email at sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com.

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.

 


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Grain Free Vegan Zucchini Muffins

grain free vegan zucchini muffin photo 1 It’s been a pretty crazy year. Starting a food company apparently takes time (I know…crazy!). Between making, packaging, and selling snacks, teaching yoga, and Ayurvedic coaching, my weekdays and weekends have been pretty hectic.

 

 

The stress and days without a break started to get to me. I was working with my coach on how to create more space, and we decided to start slow. My goal was to have one weekend morning off each week (seriously, that’s how much I was working).

 

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Power-up Morning Cordyceps Tonic

The last few days I’ve been feeling under the weather. OK… let’s be honest. I have my period.

 

My period has the fun habit of giving me some debilitating cramps, often with a side of dizziness, a drop in blood pressure, and just general desire to sleep.

 

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Mindset shifts to make you better at building habits

Last Saturday, I taught a workshop at Steadfast Supply about building healthy habits.


When I was planning the workshop, the phrase that kept coming back to me is “motivation is a muscle”.

So often, we believe that some people are blessed with a large amount of motivation, and other people simply don’t have it.

I know that motivation is something you can build. Just like any other muscle, as you work your motivation and put habits into practice, you get better and better at it. Yes, it’s a challenge, yes it’s uncomfortable, but it’s possible.

I also realized that there are 3 key mindset shifts you need to make in order to keep with your habits and achieve your goals.

Let’s dive into these mindset shifts, and as we do, ask yourself: Which of these do I already have? Which do I need to cultivate more of in order to be successful?

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Delicious, high-protein vegan frittata with no tofu

vegan frittata no tofuWhen my boyfriend and I decided to go egg-free this past summer, there was one dish we were pretty worried about: our frittata.

 

Frittata is a delightful Italian omelette full of potato, onion, and greens. Shaun had one every morning for breakfast, and we’d often make them on the weekends. They were perfect to pack up before a road trip or flight, and a super easy picnic to share with friends.We were obsessed with it, and didn’t know if we could find good replacement vegan omelette.

 

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My favorite books on Ayurveda

I’m right there with you. Ayurveda is a huge and complex topic.

 

You took the quiz, you figured out your dosha, but where do you go next? How do you figure out what foods to eat, how to balance your hormones, and how to treat common ailments with Ayurvedic wisdom?

 

Here are some of my favorite Ayurvedic resources to help you go deeper into this powerful science.

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October Events

spaghetti squash with lentil ragu

 

Things that make me excited about October:

  • crisp breezes
  • red leaves
  • pumpkin bread
  • amazing conversations about health, Ayurveda, yoga, and delicious food!

 

Check out our list of amazing events we have going on over the next few weeks! Can’t wait to see you there.
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