Throughout my life, there has always been a sincere desire to know God more intimately. As a young woman, I remained committed to my faith through the reading of the Bible and other spiritual writings, prayer, attending mass, and trying to live a faith-filled life.
Having 2 days off in a row is considered a weekend in my muggle mind, so last night as I prepared for bed, I readied myself for the ‘work week’ ahead…except tomorrow was Thanksgiving Saturday! The bonus weekend was about to begin so my yogi mind took over - the message was clear - selfcare time was mandatory.
You, too? Then let's try this:
- Additional meditation and pranayama time
- Candle-lit abhyangha (oil massage) with a playlist dedicated to self-appreciation
Ayurveda enriches our lives with its natural health benefits and numerous practices of self-care and self-LOVE. To care for yourself by cooking, meditating, keeping a clean home, and exercising is an act of self-love that takes time and effort. The time you take to care for yourself will keep you from prescription drugs, visits to the ER and many health challenges.
One of the most rewarding Sadhana practices Ayurveda has to offer is Abhyanga!
What is Self Abhyanga?
Everything you see around you, and everything you don’t, can be described by 10 pair of opposites. In Sanskrit they are called gunas (qualities, or attributes).
- Dense/Porous (or liquid)
Look around you to find examples. No recall how these qualities have been present in you, across the majority of your lifetime.
Most of us have been asked our astrological sign. This most often means our Sun sign. Have you ever been asked “What is your Star?”
Chances are if you go to India or meet someone who has a knowledge of Jyotish or Vedic astrology that they could ask you this question. They are asking not only what sign your Moon is in, but also the nakshatra or lunar mansion which is specific to the fixed star system within the ecliptic (path of the sun and other planets from the perspective of the Earth).
Used as an herbal pharmaceutical for centuries, this aromatic, green (and brown) spice turns your coffee into a medicinal treat to counter negative effects of caffeine, while boosting digestion, increasing energy, and reducing pain. It brings light, dry, clear and pungent qualities to life.
A member of the Ginger family, Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda for over 5,00 years – the ancient texts laud its ability to break down difficult-to-digest foods, and enhance taste, turning ordinary into exceptional.
The life science of Ayurveda explains that we are born perfect creations, with a unique balance of space, air, fire, water, and earth – the 5 basic elements of all things. This is our Prakruti. Then life happens, - the food we eat, coupled with our activities and environment skew that perfect balance. This is our Vikruti. Imbalance leads to illness, and when we can’t curb the illness, it can lead to chronic disease that we are taught to live with, such as arthritis, allergies, thyroid problems and inflammation.
The Bhagavad Gita tells us that humans, as well as all other things in Nature, have a mixture of Sattwa, and its companions, Rajas and Tamas. These three Maha Gunas (qualities) determine our behavior, actions, thoughts and emotions.
Sattwa is clarity, light, purity and wakefulness. It is stability, essence, compassion and love. Sattwa is required for our mental and physical health, and is the path to personal evolution and spiritual maturity.