Ayurvedic tips for relaxation
Yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, incorporate a wide variety of honored techniques, from posture, to mantra, to sleep, to diet, which are designed to provide a powerful, holistic system of tools to help keep us healthy and balanced.
In addition to yoga and meditation, proper breathing can help with stress relief. Long, deep breaths through the left nostril can help calm the body and mind.
We all know a restful night of sleep is critical, but how often do we push bedtime and force ourselves to crawl out of bed before we’re really ready? According to Ayurveda, hitting the sheets as early before 10pm as possible (I know, I know…) will make a world of difference. Reason being, around 10pm, the body’s fire energy starts rising, and around 2am, the air energy is peaking. If you are still awake after midnight, it can take a long time to wind down, and can result in awakening riding the groggy train.
Massage is another great way to sooth a stressed system – especially Ayurvedic oil massage. Oil massage in Ayurveda is called abhyanga, and is performed with much larger quantities of oil than Western styles. Castor oil is considered by herbalists to be the best for stress relief, with sesame oil a close second.
Additionally, herbs and food can be very powerful tools to help us stay resilient under stress. Warm, cooked, easily digested food, such as rice and vegetable soup with some high quality almond oil, can help pacify stress. Using mildly warming digestive spices in your food, including coriander, cumin and cinnamon can also help. By warming your digestive tract and pumping up your digestive fire, you keep blood circulating throughout your brain and body, helping you to stay sharp and collected.
Some time-honored herbs that support relaxation include lavender flower, kava root and valerian root. Another is Ashwaganda root, which is traditionally used by herbalists to help support stress tolerance.*
Yoga and Ayurveda provide a treasure chest of practices to choose from that can help keep you on an even keel, and bring rejuvenation and calm to your life.
~Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa