Self care is an important part of our health and wellness, but something that may not be applied as often as we like. When life gets too busy or times seem extra stressful, taking an intentional timeout for our health and well-being helps to calm both the body and mind. Our daily routine is to give our time and energy to our family, friends, and work - why wouldn’t we give to ourselves as well? When there is an imbalance of any kind, it can manifest in various ways physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Introducing ayurvedic self care a beneficial way to regain balance and renew the mind-body-spirit connection through natural remedies. Ayurvedic comes from Sanskrit. “Ayur” translates to life and “veda” means knowledge or science. The practice of ayurvedic medicine has been used for over 3,000 years, originating in India, and practiced globally today. This “knowledge of life” concept is rooted in therapies that focus on the connectedness within our body and how it permeates throughout everything we do, think, and feel. The approach includes treatments such as massages, yoga poses, meditation, and the use of herbal remedies.
Ayurvedic self care reduces stress and tension, eliminates impurities, as well as improvesPain Management, sleep hygiene, and a centered state of being. There are several ways to introduce it into your daily routine. Setting aside even five or ten minutes of time to practice one of the holistic remedies or follow an ayurvedic diet can remove the buildup of toxins that occur naturally over time. It’s all about listening to your mind and body in order to find a greater sense of well-being.
A person’s dosha is categorized into one of three groups: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Although you may have a combination of the two, there is one that is the central biological energy that is present in everything you do. Based on your dosha, certain foods can help you metabolize, digest, and transform what you eat into energy that will bring greater balance to the body.
For example, if you are in the Vata dosha group, favorable foods include: quinoa, seitan, lentils, dairy, and fresh, sweet fruits. Foods to avoid include: most beans, barley, granola, and frozen or raw vegetables, and dried fruits. Once you identify the foods that align best with your dosha, you can create recipes and meals around the foods that benefit your energy the most. Modifying your diet to align with your dosha can also help improve your skin and any fatigue you may have. By being deliberate about what you eat, you are giving yourself the nutrients you need to function at your best and positively impact your lifestyle.
One of the key factors of a daily yoga practice is setting an intention for yourself and bringing balance back to the body through breathwork. Even if you don’t have time for an extended yoga session on a regular basis, practicing sun salutations, specific yoga poses or yogic breathing that feel good for your mind-body connection can help with flexibility and improve your cardio and circulatory health.
Fortunately, once you’ve learned a basic yoga flow, you can take it with you wherever you go. You can perform this activity in the comfort of your own home, when traveling, or outdoors. In addition to its physical benefits, yoga works to reduce stress with a healing structure that includes breathing deeply and with purpose. It’s often combined with meditation, but each is also practiced separately depending on needs and available space. Often, people decide to start or end their yoga practice with meditation as a quiet reflection and renewal.
Massage therapy is also a way to take an ayurvedic approach to self care since it focuses on releasing toxins from the body by focusing on certain pressure points and using essential oils. While it may feel indulgent, the act of massage is actually therapeutic. It not only supports relaxation and tension relief, but it also brings steadiness to the body and clears any energies that may be weighing you down.
Massages also helps to increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage and is often combined with meditation, sound therapy, and other techniques to enhance the wellness experience. There are also massages specifically for helping to balance your dosha. Many people wait until symptoms of pain and illness have already appeared before turning to massage therapy rather than using it as a form of preventative care.
Being purposeful on all levels and listening to what you need from a mind, body, and spiritual perspective will improve your sense of wellness and bring calm back to your life. Take note of how introducing these types of techniques or remedies makes you feel. If you are always putting yourself last on the list of your priorities, sit down and schedule daily self care time. It may vary from day-to-day. Some days may be a few hours and others may be no more than a few minutes.
By incorporating ayurvedic principles to self care, you’ll start to see a positive shift in how you think, act, and feel. Stay intentional and self care will be less of an item to check off your task list and more of a part of your daily routine that will be nourishing for all aspects of your life.