The Ayurvedic Path to Calm is a simple but powerful one. It requires that the seeker be dedicated to their needs and in tune with their body. Our emotions can affect our bodies and become physical imbalances if we let them go untreated. Below are six practices that will help you attain the level of calm that you are seeking.
A restful sleep is vital to the body and sleeping 7-8 hours each night is just as important. According to the National Sleep Foundation “Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.” It is beneficial for the body to wake early, before the sun. During this time of the morning nature is becoming more lively which can awaken your senses and peace of mind. Together with a restful sleep you may wake feeling better already.
Take a walk outside while the sun is rising. This exercise will help to awaken the body and the inside you. Awakening the becomes a cathartic experience as it helps to burn emotions that have been building inside. While walking, listen to the birds, the rustle of the leaves, the sound of the wind as it blows past your collar. Enjoy the moment that you’ve taken for yourself. Exercise releases endorphins in the body which trigger a positive feeling. Taking a walk outdoors is bound to leave you feeling calm and happy.
Eliminations are integral to the bodies daily functions. Constipation can leave you with headaches, low mood, fatigue and intestinal dysfunction. If your elimination is blocked, begin your day with a warm glass of water and two ripe yellow bananas. Before bed you can combine 2 teaspoons of ghee in a cup of milk. This recipe makes for a gentle laxative and is especially good for Vata and Pitta types.
Meditation is a quieting of the mind. Our minds can be so busy that we don’t give them the chance to breathe. Your meditation practice doesn’t have to start at an intimidating half hour, a simple five minutes a day of gazing softly into the distance and allowing your mind to empty while you focus on the breath is enough. Set a timer to begin. You’d be surprised at how fast five minutes can go.
Yoga stretching is recommended for all body types: Kapha, Vata and Pitta. Yoga helps the blood to circulate, encourages balance, allows the muscles to stretch to their fullest and connects the mind, to the body, to the breath. Yoga allows , the universal life force, to flow freely through the body.
Abhyanga (warm oil massage)
Give yourself a daily warm oil massage (abhyanga) using large amounts of oil. Abhyanga increases circulation, lubricates the joints, stimulates the internal organs of the body and calms the nerves. You should massage your body with love and generosity for at least 10 minutes a day. The following oils are best for abhyanga: Jojoba, Almond, Coconut, and Safflower.
Eat organic, eat unprocessed, eat natural. These types of foods are easy to digest, create balance in the body and bring you closer to nature. Proper nourishment plays a vital role in your health and healing while poor nourishment can significantly impact your body’s natural functions and in turn make you feel less calm. The Ayurvedic Tradition offers insight into what foods will create harmony with each individual Dosha. Some foods, for instance ketchup, may be okay for Vata Dosha to consume but are best avoided by Pitta Dosha. Visit the Ayurvedic Diet page for more information.