Ayurveda, “The science of life” is a 5,000+ year old healing tradition from India and a sister science to yoga. Ayurveda teaches good health is not just about the absence of disease, rather a dynamic state of balance in the mind, body, soul and environment. Nourishing our five senses is a holistic approach to creating balance and vibrant wellbeing. Making conscious lifestyle choices about the foods we eat, the activities we engage in with others and nature can either create balance or imbalance. Below are some simple lifestyle tips for keeping your cool (mind and body) in the heat of Summer and early Fall.
Incorporating healing sounds can invoke an immediate shift in our mental and emotional state. We can help quiet and focus our busy mind through sacred sounds such as mantras during yoga or spend time outdoors appreciating the sounds of nature, known as “Primordial Sounds”, attuning our mind-body-soul with nature’s frequencies and rhythms.
Tip: Take walks in the woods or along bodies of water in the moonlight.
Our skin, the body’s largest organ, provides access to our innate healing wisdom. Massage is far more than an indulgence, it serves as a catalyst for detoxifying the body’s tissues. Practicing daily self-massage helps detoxify, calm the mind and enhance our immune system function. The base oil we choose affects our bodies, while the essential oil aroma we add to them effect our minds.
Tip: Favor cooling base oils such as coconut, sunflower and olive; include essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood or rose to keep your temperament cool, calm and collected; choose cooler colors in your clothing and environment such as blues, greens, white and silver.
Television and media are flooded with violent images which trigger stress hormones that can disrupt our sleep cycles and contribute to the breakdown of our immune defense.
Tip: If you regularly watch television, watch the news only once a day (not during meals) and turn off the T.V. at least 60-minutes before bed. Read inspiring literature or poetry, and particularly just before bedtime, watch light hearted sit-coms instead of crime shows.
We nourish ourselves by converting the energy of our food into the biological intelligence of our body. Mother Nature has made it simple for us by packaging our food sources into six “tastes” that influence our mind-body physiology. Include all six tastes at every meal to ensure all major food groups are represented and feel satiated. In western culture, our diet predominantly includes only 3 of the 6 tastes: Sweet, Salty and Sour. The other 3 tastes are: Bitter (green and yellow vegetables, parsley and cilantro); Pungent (hot peppers, ginger, salsa, radishes, basil, thyme); and Astringent (legumes, lentils, tea, cranberries, pomegranates, apples and green leafy vegetables).
Tip: Drinking iced or cold beverages dampens our digestive fire and slows our metabolic processes, room temperature is best. If you do choose an iced or cold beverage, enjoy it outside at meal time, or add fresh mint, lavender, cucumber slices to your water bottle.
Aromas connect us to memories, emotions, and instincts, and can trigger the healing power from within. Through a process called, “Neuro-Associative Conditioning” we can link a specific mind-body healing response to a particular smell. The cooling and sweet smells of rose, sandalwood and lavender help to calm an impatient, anxious mind; the floral and fruity smells of orange, geranium and vanilla help to relax a restless, overwhelmed mind; and the stimulating and aromatic smells of eucalyptus, rosemary and clove help to invigorate a congested, sluggish mind.
Tip: Make a cooling and refreshing spritzer with bottled water including one or a blend of lavender, mint & sandalwood! Rosewater makes a refreshing facial spritzer for every-day use.
Remember to also cultivate your sixth sense… your sense of humor! Find ways to bring laughter into your life on a daily basis, lighten up, do your best not to take things personally or seriously all the time. The more we experience happiness and express joy daily, the more vibrant and alive we feel.