I’d like to start Ayurveda but don’t know where to start. What do you suggest?
Ayurveda can indeed be very overwhelming. While there is extensive, vast bodies of information to be learned about this system, incorporating its overarching principles doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Ayurveda’s most basic message is very simple: Health begins in the stomach. While most of our body’s systems operate involuntarily (our circulatory system works by itself, our nervous system works by itself, etc.), our digestive system and its relative strength or weakness is defined by what we put into our body in the form of food and beverages. If we eat large amounts of processed, unhealthy food and drink, the rest of our body has to work overtime to compensate. The other bodily systems suffer. If we take care of our digestive system by eating small amounts of natural food, the body won’t need to work as hard to sustain its effectiveness and all of the other systems will have greater support. Then, we will attain greater, more balanced health.
To take the very first steps in observing this idea, I suggest you bookend your daily routine with simple methods for strengthening your digestion overall. Begin your day not with coffee, tea, or another stimulant, but a cup of hot water. Hot water helps to wake up the digestive system after it’s been dormant while you slept. Wait until several hours after the hot water to have breakfast. When you finally do have breakfast, your digestion will already be prepared to process whatever you eat with greater efficiency. At the end of the day, refrain from eating for the last four or five hours before going to bed. This will give your body the time it needs to digest everything properly and help you to get more restful sleep.