Harness Sattva: 10 Steps to a Peaceful Ayurvedic Day

During times of high stress, it is a challenge to stay calm, remain composed and mentally manage everything. According to Ayurveda, these are the times to remember how to reset our inner calm.

In This Article

Be a Queen or King For a Day!

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of the Queen of England would be like? While few actually know, in this article we all get a chance to be queen or king for a day. 

During these times of high stress, it is a challenge to stay calm, remain composed, and mentally manage all the moving parts. Stress, anxiety, and worry only contribute to the damaging woes of stress. 

According to Ayurveda, these are times to remember how to reset our inner “eye of the storm:” our inner calm that allows us to manage stress without being swept up and debilitated by it. Remember, the bigger the eye of the storm, the more powerful the winds. So, using this model, we will all be more effective when we function from a calm center.  

Ayurveda calls this way of life sattva. Sattva embodies properties of calm, goodness, and inner peace. In this article, I will (for fun) call it the Royal Pace. 

We could never imagine the Queen of England running down the hall, racing to a meeting, or woofing down some fast food or a protein shake before a quick workout. It would be out of character for her to lose her temper, get anxious, and show signs of stress. To be a royal, they say, you must act like a royal, and to do that you must practice the Royal Pace. 

natural laxative belt around clock image

I think we would all agree that our pace of life has become way too fast. Too much to do and no time to do it. Soon, life itself becomes a struggle.  

If you finish your day exhausted, crave sweets, caffeine, chips, or a nap to get through the day or find yourself easily upset, nervous, anxious, and always in a rush, I challenge you to live the Royal Pace, just for a day. If you like it, try it once a week. 

While we don’t really know whether or not the Queen throws pots and pans or ever has a bad day (haha), please have fun with this as I contrast what we imagine a royal pace to be like, with examples of how we can live with more sattva in these trying times. 

The Royal Pace 

In this challenge, I ask you to pick a day, or a day out of each week to live the Royal Pace. It’s simple, fun, and challenging, with much to gain. Invite your partner or friend to join you. 

Interestingly, many traditional cultures take a day of rest once a week. The Sabbath or Shabbat memorializes that, in the Bible, even God rests for a day at the end of the week, and so can we. Jewish teachings ask, what if, for one day, we didn’t need to change anything about our world? What if we accepted it exactly as it is? That mindset is known as “welcoming the Shabbat Queen.” 

Follow the steps below and see how you feel at the end of the day! 

Royal Pace Rules 

1.  Bedtime 

The Royal’s Life 

A royal would not be up at 1am surfing the web or cranking out some unfinished work. They would draw a bath around 8pm and be in bed with a good book at 9 or 9:30pm. 

Your Version 

lifespa-image-tired-man-on-back-white-sheets-bed-night-owl

In preparation for your day on the royal pace, get to bed early. If possible, have the family, a partner, or roommate do the dishes and draw an early bath. By 9pm, be in bed with a good book and be asleep by 9:30 or 9:45pm. Sounds easy, right? 

2.  The Morning Routine 

The Royal’s Life 

A royal would wake up early after a refreshing night’s sleep and have extra time to do yoga, stretching, exercise, and meditation before sitting down for a nice relaxing breakfast overlooking their kingdom. 

Your Version 

Wake up early after getting to bed early. This will give you time to go for a walk, enjoy exercise, do yoga, and meditate. All of this can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Even just 5 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of meditation will help you start your day in the Royal Pace. Do your best to sit down and have a relaxing breakfast. Invite your family, spouse, or those you live with to join you. 

3.  Rushing 

The Royal’s Life 

lifespa image, hand feeding turtle

A royal would never be seen hurrying to get ready for a meeting or racing in and out of a store. The royal pace is calm, slow, and intentional, allowing full awareness of everything you do. 

Your Version 

Do your best to start this day a little early so you have plenty of time to get organized and ready to get to work, get the kids ready, eat breakfast, and drive leisurely and calmly to work. There is an old saying: If you are not five minutes early, you are late. Being early to all your obligations on this day will allow you to stay in the Royal Pace with a sense of peace. 

4.  Walking Meditation 

The Royal’s Life 

The royal is so good at not rushing and walking with awareness that they naturally experience walking meditation, which means they are engaged in activity, but calm and silent at the same time. I call this the co-existence of opposites, when the body is dynamically active, while the mind is extremely serene. It is much like a hurricane: the bigger the eye (or calm), the more powerful the winds. 

Your Version 

Emotional Trauma Cleansing with Kaya Kalpa Podcast January 7 2020

Use the One-Minute Meditation (below) throughout the day to remind you that you are on the Royal Pace. You can do this in your car before you go into the office, the grocery store, your kids’ school, or your home. Try to do the One-Minute Meditation ten times throughout your royal pace day: it adds up to only 10 minutes. This technique will deliver more oxygen to the brain, which will immediately stop unnecessary thoughts, quiet the mind, and deflect stress. 

One-Minute Meditation 

Breathe deeply in and out through your nose with full maximal breaths. Breathe as deeply and as quickly as you can for 30 breaths. 
Then sit still for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. (See video and article on the One-Minute Meditation for detailed instruction). 

We recommend "One Minute Meditation": https://lifespa.com/one-minute-meditation/

5.  Do Not Raise Your Voice 

The Royal’s Life 

You would never hear a royal yelling, screaming, or raising his or her voice. Anger is replaced with regal diplomacy and delegation. 

Your Version 

While on the Royal Pace, do not raise your voice. If something angers you, do your best to let it go for the day. As a new royal with heightened awareness, you can ask yourself, “What if I didn’t engage in this anger? What would I stand to lose?” You can take this further and realize that anger is making you a version of yourself you are not particularly fond of. See if you can replace anger with a gesture of compassion, affection, understanding, or love. If you get stuck, just ask yourself, “What would a royal do?” Remember, you can have boundaries, state your needs, and stand up for what you believe in with a clear and dignified mind and heart.  

6.  Dine Like a King or Queen 

The Royal’s Life 

A royal would take his or her meals at a fully set table. No cells phones, tablets, laptops, newspapers, or magazines at the table. The purpose of a dining room is to dine. With full awareness, they taste and savor every bite. After the meal is done, they give themselves time to sit over tea, relaxing and digesting. 

Your Version 

When you take your meals, relax and dine. No eating on the run or in front of the TV. If the thought of cooking triggers you to stress or rush, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, set a beautiful table, light a candle, and enjoy a relaxing royal meal that you didn’t have to cook. Sit at the table after the meal to relax and digest over a cup of herbal tea and some good contemplation or conversation. 

7.  Observe, but Do Not Engage 

The Royal’s Life 

When a royal is walking the halls of his or her palace, they are completely aware of their surroundings. There may be some dust on a frame that the royal would notice, but they would never stoop to the level of saying anything about it. Later, they may inquire about the new maid. 

Your Version 

When you walk down the hall of your home, you may notice unmade beds or clothes on the floor. You may see dirty dishes in the sink, but while on the Royal Pace, you would not engage or become upset that your kids are slacking and not doing their chores. On this day, you would find your favorite chair and open your favorite book. When you see one of your kids, just quietly ask them to come here for a minute. Quietly, calmly, and gently ask them to take care of their room and the kitchen now before they continue to play. If they don’t do it, you can give them consequences the next day. But this day, make a point to stay above the rough. 

8.  Be Totally Present 

The Royal’s Life 

When a royal engages in conversation, they sit, maybe over a cup of tea, and discuss the topic with full awareness and total focus on who they are speaking to and what they are saying. They listen carefully and respond with compassion and concern. 

Your Version 

When you have a conversation with your spouse, coworker, or child, try to be fully present. If possible, sit with them, listen to them, and respond with full awareness to what they are saying. 

9.  Be a Benevolent Ruler 

The Royal’s Life 

It is the nature of a good royal to be concerned about their kingdom and the contentment of the people in it. This consideration and concern makes the royal a benevolent ruler, one who gives and loves rather than taxes and takes from their people. 

Your Version 

As a benevolent ruler on the Royal Pace, go through this day looking for opportunities to give, care for, and express love to others. It could be a phone call or text to your mother just to say “I love you.” It could be leaving a royal note for your spouse expressing love. It could be reaching out to the cashier at the grocery store and complementing their new hairdo, big smile, or asking something personal about them. Giving of yourself to another is a very royal act. 

10. Do One Thing at a Time 

The Royal’s Life 

A royal is never multitasking. He or she is either: eating, meeting, greeting, relaxing, governing, consoling, or sleeping. They are one-pointed and focused on the task at hand, rather than thinking two or three tasks ahead or being concerned about what just happened. By doing one thing at a time and doing that well, they stay glued to the moment and are therefore more aware. 

Your Version 

mountain lake nature view

Today, make an effort to not be a multitasker. Take each task one at a time and be totally present with it. Once a task is done, do not look back. If you have too much on your plate, only focus on one task, not the litany of chores to follow. When climbing Mt. Everest, they say it is one very slow and purposeful step at a time, all linked together. If the mind concerns itself about the steps ahead and is not present with the one at hand, on Everest there is a good chance there might not be future steps. 

Be a Royal in the Game of Life 

We are all playing the game of life. Often, we take this thing much too seriously. You can try the Royal Pace for just one day out of the 30,000 most of us live. Why not? You might find that, as a “royal,” cultivating sattva, you can actually do less and accomplish more. Maybe you will get a glimpse of something even more profound: the possibility of having a feeling of doing nothing and accomplishing everything 

Have you tried living at the Royal Pace? What have you found?