Ayurvedic Evening practices are important for allowing our body time and space to heal. Your evening routine in the Ayurvedic tradition generally starts a few hours before bed. According to Ayurveda, it is ideal to go to bed by 10:00pm. This is because 10:00pm is when we switch from the kapha energetic, that favors rest, to the pitta energetic which can be responsible for that hunger or second wind you feel after 10:00pm. By going to bed by 10 your body uses that extra energy or second wind for healing vs. keeping you awake.
A few hours before bed try to:
limit use of devices.
limit caffeine intake
turn off overhead lights and use low light such as lamps to help our body prepare for sleep.
read, journal or allow time for any relaxing hobbies such as knitting or cross-stitch.
As you get closer to bedtime try:
Warm Beverage with Calming Spices
A warm beverage can be very calming for the nervous system and adding in some spices that help with nervous system regulation and digestion is an added plus! Here is a link to one of my favorites. The base is milk, but feel free to substitute dairy milk with any dairy free milks that you enjoy!
There are many relaxing yoga poses and practices that you can do once you are already in bed. You can hold these poses for as little or long as you would like. Here are a few poses that can help your body relax and get ready for a great night's sleep!
Legs up the wall
knee to chest
When you settle into bed try:
Focusing on the Breath
The breath helps to control our thoughts and reel in our very overactive minds. Try these breathing techniques to help prepare you for sleep!
Square breathing (inhale 4, hold 4 counts, exhale 4 counts)
Left Nostril breathing- block off your right nostril with your thumb and breath in and out through the left nostril
Visualizations help us to relax as well as process! One technique that I learned from my Ayurveda teacher, Katie Silcox, is that when you lay down start to go through your day in reverse starting from the morning and just pass through each event. This isn't a time for judgement; it's just letting the events of the day process through. I find that just remembering the events of the day in reverse order keeps me from falling into judgement and most of the time I only make it through half the day before I drift into sleep!
For more Ayurvedic Tips make sure to check out the Ayurveda page on my website: https://www.solefulbeginnings.com/ayurveda