This is the last of four blog posts about ojas, the Ayurvedic term for your immune system (read last week’s post HERE. Let’s take a look at practices that foster inner peace.
Silence and Self-Reflection
We can get so critical of ourselves if we feel we aren’t achieving enough or being grateful for who we are. This is something I do a lot. Instead of criticizing yourself for not living up to your own expectations, remember to reflect and go into peaceful silence.
Something as simple as relaxation actually replenishes the ojas. Take a little time for yourself during the day to find silence. That rest can help you maintain vital inner and outer beauty. It doesn’t have to take a long time; two to five minutes is plenty. Sit in silence (with your eyes closed if you can) and strengthen your ability to engage in self-reflection. You can do it in the car, radio off, or if you’re in the bathroom do a slow, deep breathing practice for a minute or two.
Appreciating yourself helps cultivate a more positive mental state, which allows you to build ojas in a naturally graceful way. Even if there are people in your life you’d rather kill, be grateful because they’re here to teach you something!
When you’re grateful for those experiences instead of being critical or beating yourself up, you’ll feel happier, for one, and that feeds the ojas, which gives a lasting sense of contentment. Whenever you’re in a grateful state you step away from the opposite.
Gratitude tends to magnetize more contentment into your life, and when you’re content that’s a phenomenal way to naturally build up ojas.
A Peaceful Pose
Peaceful poses reinforce healthy ojas. If you practice one peaceful yoga pose a day before you go to bed, in class during the day or during your morning ritual, you’ll build your ojas.
I like to do child’s pose – anyone familiar with yoga knows child’s pose. The more relaxed you get, the deeper you sink into the yoga mat – it feels wonderful. Another great pose is shavasana, when you lie prone for several minutes. The longer you do it the more relaxed you get. It also just feels great.
Evening Calm Down Routine
This a wind-down ritual that helps you sleep very well at night. Fill the bath with warm water and add one to three cups of Epsom salts. You can find versions made with lavender, milk and honey or eucalyptus. I recommend the lavender, and then add a tablespoon of honey, two cups of whole milk and a few drops of lavender essential oil under the running water.
You can also add other essential oils depending on what your dosha is: for vata dosha, use rose or geranium; for pitta dosha, use frankincense and for kapha, use juniper. Light a candle and sit in the bath for 20 minutes. Optionally, you could light an incense stick if you want.
I guarantee if you do this evening calm down ritual, you will sleep phenomenally well, whether you’ve just been to the gym or had a stressful day. Not only will you sleep really well, you’ll be building ojas and will smell super yummy!
What healthy rituals do you do to decompress? Share your practices in the comments below.
Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect