Self-Care with Ayurveda
WRITTEN BY MARIA POWELL | PUBLISHED APRIL 1, 2020
Many of us wonder when we leave a yoga class why we feel so good. We look to rationalize by saying that it’s movement, so we naturally release endorphins and suddenly it makes more sense. Then we ask, well why those poses? Why in that order? Is this scientific? The answer to that last question is yes. Yoga is a philosophical study. Ayurveda is the sister science that it is founded upon.
Ayurveda is literally translated as the science of life. It creates a connection to all through bringing balance to the body, mind, and spirit. Sound familiar? Yoga quite literally means “to yoke,” and is further translated as “to unify with the divine.” So these tools of self healing and care are rooted in unification and balance.
In Ayurveda it is believed that there are three doshas (energies) that rule all things; Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Vatta is the energy rooted in wind and ether (space). Pitta is the energy created from fire and water. Lastly, Kapha is the energy grown from earth and water. They all rule different times of the year, different stages of our lives, different times in the day, and different areas of our body. Remember everything is connected, so this means that our life must remain balanced in order to prosper.
In our current state in time, our world seems completely out of balance and out of control. So how can we combat this? We combat this by controlling what we can control. A simple way to do that is by starting your day with consistent and simple self-care through Ayurvedic medicine. By using Ensō Apothecary products we can facilitate this beautiful regimen.
Begin each morning by waking at the same time. The best time is near sunrise - either before, during or just after. Do not lay in bed. Stand up and become aware of your body and express gratitude for the breath that fills your lungs. Next, pour yourself a glass of warm or hot water. If you are a person who always runs hot, drink warm water. If you are a person who always seems cold or neutral drink hot water. You may add lemon and honey to taste. Think of your body as a pipe, your food from the previous day has digested and settled into your pipe line (your GI - gastrointestinaI tract) so to help loosen the food up and move it along, we drink warm to hot liquid.
The next step is to brush your teeth and tongue. Make sure to rid your tongue of its coating, and follow by using coconut oil to fully clean and restore your teeth - this will also help whiten them. The next step to is either evacuate your bowels or give your self an Abhyanga (ayurvedic warm oil massage), whichever comes first. When giving yourself an Abhyanga, use an oil that fits your constitution- your personal make up of doshas. If you have dry, thin, and cold skin use a warm sesame or sweet almond oil. If you have hot, oily skin use coconut oil or castor oil. If your skin is oily and cold, use coconut or flaxseed oil. Massage the entire body before showering. This ensures the body holds onto it moisture and doesn’t dry out during your hot shower. If you don’t have oils in your home this is where Ensō Apothecary can save you time and steps! By using their coconut oil soaps and finding the right one for your constitution you will be able to combine your Abhyanga and your shower into one! If your skin is dry and cold, use the Prana Bar. If you have hot and oily skin, use the Zen Bar. Lastly if your skin is oily and cold use the Yoga Bar. The mixture of coconut oil with specific essential oils supports each constitution while deeply cleansing but not over drying the skin.
If any of you are like me, I like to add all the moisture I can to my skin. This is where the Ensō body butters will give nourishment and healing therapy to your skin. The Purity Body Butter is amazing for those with dry skin. The perfect mixture of shea and cocoa butter (deep moisture) blend with the purified coconut oil (antibacterial and moisture sealing) as a way to balance the skin’s moisture levels. Vitamin E supports rejuvenation and anti-aging effects in the skin. If you have oily skin the Pure Moisture Body Butter is for you. The coconut oil will help keep a healthy balance to the natural oils in your skin. The vitamin E will help restore your skin. After you have cleansed, you may partake in light yoga and meditation. This should all be done early in the morning to support your body with grounding, clarity and vitality.
After you have fed your mind and heart with your own loving self-care regimen, you should feed your body with a warm and healthy breakfast. Take the time during this stage of quarantine to bring yourself consistency, love, and vitality. When the world once again finds its balance - and it will - you will emerge healthy, restored, and clear.
Practice self-care with discipline and you will receive freedom. Namasté.
For more information about Maria Powell, please follow her on Instagram at @lemon_yoga, or check out her yoga videos on our YouTube channel. Photographer credit: Jasmine Ryland (photos of Maria in Yoga Poses)