If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us that our health and self-care should be a priority. Many of us realized we have the power to choose a lifestyle that supports our health – or not. While our current state of wellness is not always 100% the result of our habits, a healthy lifestyle will get us closer to feeling our best. If we want to be healthy, and thrive, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda offers us tools for wellness in modern life with self-care practices. Below, you will find my five favorite Ayurvedic Self-Care rituals.
Slow Down For Self-Care
Often, our own wellness is not prioritized because life happens. Life is not meant to be rushed. Yet, we are often afflicted with chronic busyness that takes away from the peace, quiet, self-reflection and self-care that we need to truly thrive. The good news? We have the power to change this. Even when life is complete chaos, and sometimes it is, we have the choice to take moments to find peace. We can all find moments, and we start there.
Create Rejuvenating Self-Care Rituals
The new year is often filled with New Years Resolutions, where we promise to do drastic things to lose weight, and finally “get healthy.” While I believe we are all capable of making drastic positive change, I don’t believe in this approach. Instead, I believe in slowly introducing positive self-care rituals. While most of us love the idea of “self-care,” many of us struggle to find the time to actually do it. It requires a shift in attitude, and some effort, to get started. But, once we take that first step it becomes easier. Soon, your negative habits will begin to fall away.
By self-care I am not talking about indulging in trips to the spa for a facial or massage. By self-care, I’m talking about spending time with yourself on a daily basis to ensure you are balanced in mind, body and spirit. This includes proper sleep, exercise, nourishment and fresh air. It also includes having meaningful relationships, creative outlets and inspiring work. Please do indulge in that spa day when you can, you deserve it. Just know it is what you do on a daily and weekly basis is what matters most.
Ayurveda offers us many self-care rituals when we are ready to embrace health. The following are my favorites, and a great place to start if you want to optimize your health in 2021.
#1 Self-Care Ritual: Eat With The Sun
Did you know that “when” you eat is just as important as “what” you eat? According to Ayurvedic wisdom, we should eat with the sun. When we wake up, the sun is just rising. We should have a small meal. At lunch, when the sun and our digestion is strongest, we should have our main meal. Our last meal, “supper,” should be light and before 6pm. If you do just one thing, do this! You will sleep more soundly, be more energized, and get more nourishment from your meals.
#2 Self-Care Ritual: Breathe Easy with Neti & Nasya
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga. Yoga teaches us how important it is to breathe! This is why ancient Yogis used Neti and Nasya to improve the health of their respiratory system. Most of us have heard of using a Neti Pot to cleanse our sinuses. But many of us have not heard we should also use Nasya oil to rejuvenate our sinuses. My favorite Nasya oil is by banyan botanicals. They also offer a great tutorial on how to administer the oil.
#3 Self-Care Ritual: Get Outside
Fresh air and sunshine are critical to our wellness. Often, we spend too much time in front of our screens, and not enough time in the sunshine breathing fresh air! In Ayurveda, we optimize our health when we are aligned with nature. Getting outside is one of the best ways to do this. Plan a daily walk, or plant a garden. Go on a bike-ride, or take a hike. If you live in the mountains, go for a snowshoe or ski! You will feel invigorated, energized and inspired.
#4 Self-Care Ritual: Balancing Movement
We all know that we should exercise, right? Ayurveda views this a bit different than we are used to. In Ayurveda, we take our unique mind/body constitution into consideration to select a balanced movement routine. I could spend a lot of time on this topic, but for now just know that you should feel energized and grounded after your exercise. If you feel otherwise, perhaps you have not selected the most appropriate exercise routine. Mindful movement, like Pilates and Yoga, typically leave most of us energized, strong and standing taller. If you are new to these types of practices, I recommend working with a qualified instructor first. Check out my recent blog for tips on setting up your own home practice. If pilates and yoga are just not your thing, that is ok – find your thing! You don’t need to be an athlete. We all walk, right? Walking is amazing, simple and free (other than your shoes).
#5 Self-Care Ritual: Take Time To Breathe
I have saved the best for last. If you only master one self-care practice, let it be this. I agree with James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art “No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or strong you are, none of it matters if you aren’t breathing properly.” This is a great book, btw, and full book review is coming soon! I personally have spent a lot of time on breath work, and am fairly certain that my practice of alternate nostril breathing has contributed the most to my staying grounded over the years. If this is a new concept to you, start with simply noticing your breath. Are you breathing?
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and how it can help you? Email email@example.com schedule your FREE 20-Minute Wellness Consultation today!