Our modern lives are filled with modern conveniences. We no longer look to the rhythms of nature to guide us in our days. If we live in a city, it’s enough of a challenge to look for a whisper of nature, let alone see her rhythms.
The light that shines on all of us, however, is available wherever you live. The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, offering a visible rhythm that we can choose to follow. “Ayurveda, the world’s oldest healing system, revolves around the sun.” says Ananta Ripa Ajmera, an Ayurveda health practitioner. “Living in alignment with the course and direction of the sun allows us to live in the healthiest and happiest way possible.”
In her book, The Ayurveda Way, Ajmera offers 108 practices for “enhancing mind, body and spirit.” She offers these morning practices as ways to begin your day with vitality and intention:
Wake up early. In yogic and Ayurvedic traditions, the early morning hours are considered “spiritually charged”; ideal for meditation, yoga, and pranayama. Specifically, waking between 4 and 6 a.m. is thought to raise your “sattvic vibrations”, heightening your mental clarity and positivity. If you are a late sleeper, Ajmera suggests adjusting your time to wake gradually; by 15 minutes every couple days. This gradual shift towards an earlier start to your day will allow you to go to sleep earlier, and benefit from deeper sleep.
Begin the day gazing at your hands. There are many times in our lives when we feel completely powerless; at the mercy of others’ agendas. Beginning each day by gazing through soft eyes at your hands can be a reminder that you have the ability to choose your response to any situation. “Your thoughts, speech, and actions are the palette you can use to paint any picture you want,” Ajmera writes. Choosing to live in a space of creativity, abundance and health is a powerful way to start the day.
Honor the sun. We live in a culture addicted to validation from those around us, whether in person or on social media. The ancient vedic practice of Arghyam is way to offer reverence to the sun, which in Ayurveda is “the source of all life.” This practice consists of filling a copper vessel and going outside and pouring the water out in a clockwise circle as an offering to the sun. Ajmera invites us to bring our awareness to the sun first thing in the morning, and by doing so, recognize that “like the sun, we are the source of our own light,” and by releasing our expectations and need for fulfillment by others, “can fill ourselves up with love from the inside and actually become love itself.”
Welcoming the potent power of the sun into your awareness first thing every morning can be an act of transformation. For Ajmera, it has becomes a powerful way to harness the potential of each day. She brings the healing warmth of the sun into her mind and into her heart, and through the practices is reminded that we “have the opportunity to have a fresh start each and every day.”