Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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15 Simple Ayurvedic Tips for Bliss and Beauty

By Kellen Brugman and MAPI staff writers

1. Enjoy a walk with a friend, co-worker, or your dog. A daily moderate walk benefits the cardiovascular system, tones the muscles, and balances all three doshas. The rhythmic pace of walking also calms the mind. If safe and easy, walk outside and enjoy the extra health benefits, as the beauty of Nature nourishes the senses and contributes to overall well-being. There’s a saying in Ayurveda: “we metabolize our experiences.” These beautiful experiences are taken in through all our senses, and the mind then processes them into memories and biochemical markers, literally making them part of us. We “digest” our experiences, according to Ayurveda. In the case of a calming walk, the result is a balancing and positive influence in mind and body.

2. Take an Ayurvedic lunch break. Take a break from processed, canned, frozen, or fast foods. They are hard to digest and create ama (toxins). Instead, treat yourself to a fresh, warm lunch. Or eat at a local café that serves fresh organic foods. Leftovers have less nutrient vitality and create dullness, while fast food contains harmful ingredients such as chemical preservatives. Pamper yourself—silence the smartphone and shut down the laptop. Devote full attention to your delicious meal for a nurturing, rejuvenating, nourishing lunch break.

3. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of room-temperature water, or sip hot water. Hot water is an age-old secret for reducing ama. Warm water stimulates the digestive and elimination tract, and staying hydrated helps flush out accumulated ama or toxins. This in turn helps maintain better digestion and clearer skin. It’s surprisingly balancing. Try using an Ayurvedic tongue scraper each morning and evening after brushing your teeth. This is also a good way to observe the amount of ama accumulating in your mouth, an indicator of strong or weak digestion.

4. Drink a glass of warm organic milk in your favorite mug at bedtime. While boiling the milk, add a pinch of cardamom and nutmeg for added benefits. Cardamom aids in digestion, and nutmeg helps induce sound sleep. Light a candle, sit in a cozy spot, listen to some soothing music, and let some of your daily stress dissolve. This is a delightful bedtime routine for sweet dreams! If easy, sit in a naturally-lit environment and allow the daylight to dim naturally around you. This will stimulate the body’s natural rest and activity rhythms.

5. Manage stress with a little rest. Overbooking the daily calendar causes one to feel pressed for time. This hectic pace ultimately robs us of enjoying the magic and peace of the present moment. Every day, and especially in moments of a high-stress situation, create a comfy nest and rest for a few minutes.

6. Give your emotions a boost. If you are hungry, eat a sweet juicy pear instead of packaged sweets between meals. Resist overeating. Excess weight can lead to a Kapha imbalance and feelings of emotional instability.

7. Going to bed before 10:00 p.m., during Kapha time, allows a deeper, more complete sleep. Blissful Sleep and Deep Rest tablets support the quality of sleep. Reduce heavy, oily, cold, sweet, sour or salty foods. For an easier, more restful sleep, minimize liquids in the evening. Avoid salty, sweet and heavy foods at any time, and especially before bed. Your evening meal should be finished by 7:30 p.m. Turn off the computer by 8:00 p.m. and try to avoid anything that’s too stimulating for the brain and eyes. If sleep is an issue, try a warm Epsom salt bath with some Slumber Time Aroma. A high stress load can influence your sleep. Avoid stressful situations until you can handle them without feeling strain. You’ll likely sleep better. Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue.  Early to bed, early to rise…and shine. There is something to be said for getting your beauty rest—and being up early. Ayurvedic physicians emphasize the value of good sleep, because during sleep the body naturally detoxes and rejuvenates. If you experience sleep imbalances, such as occasional trouble falling asleep, try Maharishi Ayurveda’s Blissful Sleep formula. Made from some of the most healing herbs in nature, Blissful Sleep will bring you quality rest without any side-effects. Deep Rest is for people who have occasional trouble staying asleep, or who wake up feeling energetic between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ayurveda recommends waking before sunrise, usually between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

8. Detox while you sleep and create the refined biological substance (ojas) that supports beauty and bliss. According to Ayurveda, ojas is the end-product of healthy digestion and contributes to health, beautiful skin, longevity and happiness. Taking Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) one hour before bedtime supports healthy digestion and ojas.

9. Include daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program or other stress-reducing practices in your routine to allow the body to deal with the stress of the day. Stress depletes the body of ojas, while experiencing transcendence promotes ojas.

10. Any time is the right time for Maharishi Ayurveda organic herbal teas.  They are actually Ayurvedic herbal prescriptions for balancing the body, not just flavored teas. In the morning, during the Kapha time of the day, brew a cup of Organic Kapha Tea to start your day without the threat of a post-caffeine crash. If you hit a midafternoon wall of weariness, drink a cup of sweet and soothing Organic Vata Tea as an alternative to a sugary beverage. At bedtime, snuggle up and wind down with a cup of Slumber Time Tea.

11. Self-care is a vital element of health care. Abhyanga (self-massage) is a simple way to feel pampered and relaxed. Warm herbalized oil rubbed gently all over the body nourishes the skin and soothes the nervous system. For instructions on doing abhyanga, visit Steps for Abhyanga. With over twenty powerful botanicals working synergistically, the Youthful Skin Massage Oils for Men or Women are especially formulated to nourish, rehydrate and heal the skin. The aroma-therapeutic effects from the herbs are an added bonus. Also try our more affordable Vata, Pitta and Kapha-balancing Herbal Massage Oils. Note: on days when I don’t have time to allow the oils to soak in for 15 minutes or take a long bath, I still feel rejuvenated when I do my Abhyanga and allow the oil to stay on my skin for 5 minutes and then take a long, hot shower.

12. Enjoy ojas-producing foods—the breakfast of champions! Freshly-cooked apples or pears, eaten in the morning, help to create ojas—the finest and most refined by-product of digestion. Ojas contributes to enhanced vitality, strength, immunity, and overall well-being. A pinch of cardamom, cinnamon or clove adds a nice flavor to the dish. According to Ayurveda, it is recommended that fruits be eaten first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before other breakfast items such as hot cereal.

13. Once a week, eat kitchari for a day. Kitchari is easy to digest and gives the digestive system a chance to rest. The heartiness of the rice and dahl and the flavors of the spices make you feel like you are not even missing out on anything. Support the gentle cleansing effect of kitchari with Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus).

14. Spices—an Ayurvedic zest for feeling your best! Turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom and nutmeg add not only aroma and flavor, but also healing goodness to your food. Cumin aids digestion, coriander cleanses the system, fennel settles the stomach, and cardamom cools the system. Discover the health benefits of the Maharishi Ayurveda Organic Churnas—precisely-blended spices that calm the doshas. Spices add flavor and have a yogavahi property, which means that they support digestion and make the nutrients easily available to the body. According to Ayurveda, meals should have all six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Our organic churnas contain all the tastes and enhance any dish.

15. Consult with a Vaidya. This is an Ayurvedic health expert who can help you understand and correct imbalances in the body and mind. At any given time, most of us have some sort of imbalance that prevents us from feeling our best. Even small imbalances can lead to discomfort. A vaidya can help educate you as to how your daily food and lifestyle choices support health and balance. A balanced body and mind create both bliss and beauty!

(Cover Photo By hlkljgk, Flickr Creative Commons)

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