Massage is such an important part of self care – whether we provide the compassionate touch to ourselves, or work with a wellness partner to provide support, it can support your body’s immune response, improve sleep, and support digestion – all important things for people living a conscious lifestyle.
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
What determines your reality? The world, or the perceiver?
And if your perception IS cloudy, how do you make it clear?
The yogic texts explain that the way we perceive our reality is shaped by our mind, which has been conditioned by our experiences. That sounds logical. It states that Samskaras, or acquired tendencies, cloud our perception and sway our reality based on these subconscious habits.
So how do we fix it?
Tantric Hatha Yoga suggests the following:
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.
Learning to sit….
1. Environment matters
Find a clean, quiet space in your home where you can sit undisturbed, away from the distractions and pressures of the external world.
The air should be clean, fresh and well ventilated but not breezy.
2. Cleanliness is a factor
Your face, hands and feet should feel clean and fresh, adding a certain respect and vibrancy to your practice. If you practice meditation in the morning, you will want to evacuate your bladder and bowels first.
Modern society is so super advanced - we can thank science & technology for so many inventions over the past 200 years! However, our personal and spiritual evolution, our ability to be content and fulfilled hasn’t growth past our ancestors from the Stone Age. We still exhibit anger, greed, jealousy, ego and insatiable desires. Our mind constantly spins with anger over past experiences, anxiety and fear over what may come to pass. We have lost sight of the beauty that exists, ever present, in the here and now.
This morning I watched Vata blow in, signaling the continuing change of seasons, and I was reminded by my dear friend Christina from SimpleVeda, that when we grab the fall hoodie it’s also time to check the summer routine at the door.
*Here are some helpful hints to keep Vata from sneaking out of the house!