ayurveda, blissful living, health and wellness, healthy eating, healthy living, stress reduction, Uncategorized

Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy and Friends

Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy

Everyday stress can make you look older but you have the power to stop this from happening. Everyday I amaze people when I tell them how old I am. They often think that I am at least 20 years younger than I am. I often hear that my skin looks amazing. What I learned a long time ago is not to let stress or anxiety take a toll on my health and well being and my skin. You can often tell just by looking at someone how much stress they have had in their lives and how much of a toll it has taken on their wellbeing, just by looking at their face.

You see each one of us at one point and time in our lives has suffered from the stress provoked acne breakout.  This happens because stress and anxiety triggers hormones and neurotransmitters that inflame the skin and causes the skin to become a breeding ground for acne.  When your brain senses psychological stress it turns on the stress related hormones. The result is an acne producing cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals triggering angiotensin and inflammation generating cytokines that courses through your body eroding your skin’s plumping collagen and sacred defenses.  When this happens during short-term stress or anxiety, it is not too much of a problem. The trouble is when stress and anxiety become a chronic problem, which often goes unnoticed.

The chronic state of stress continues bathing of the skin in the stress hormones, which begins to damage your complexion from the inside out. Over time the increased exposure to cortisol can inhibit the growth of fibroblast cells, that make new collagen, but it doesn’t slow the breakdown of old tissue. This may lead to skin tissue lost at an accelerated rate.  Chronic stress also boosts the production of free radicals and reduces protective antioxidants making your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles, pigmentation spots and dullness.

Skin inflammation often occurs in response to emotional stress and the inflammatory process damages and ages skin. Your immune system is not meant to be turned up 24/7 and than constant low grade inflammation may further degrade collagen and hinder skin’s ability to replenish. Plus inflammation compromises your skin’s barrier function, which can leave your complexion drier, duller and more prone to irritation. When you live in a constant state of stress it becomes harder for your skin to repair itself naturally, form healthy collagen and elastin and heal the damaged areas.

Your Skin’s Biggest Friends

So now you may be wondering how in the world can I prevent this from happening when often times I don’t even realize that I am stressed, well let me share with you some of the methods I use to keep my skin looking fabulous while keeping stress and anxiety at bay.

We all know that exercise is good for you in so many ways in that it boost circulation and relieves stress. In fact, exercise decrease cortisol levels and inflammation and you actually look younger, fresher and healthier after you exercise. Exercising for even 10 minutes has been shown to have a significant effect on the appearance of your skin.

Something that has wonderfully soothing effects on the mind and the body is listening to some soothing music. Soothing music is known to reduce cortisol and inflammation. So go ahead an indulge in some soothing music by turning on your computer playlist and let the melodies of the music relax your mind and your body and heal your skin from the inside out.

Being in nature or surrounded by green space has a soothing effect on the brain as well and can reduce cortisol and anxiety in adults. Taking a walk in nature can do wonders to relax the mind. A relaxed mind equals decreased stress hormones and happier skin.

At the end of the day, take a minute to write down three things that you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to beat stress and feel happier. You don’t have to do a 10-day silent retreat to make significant impact on stress and how you let it affect you and the way you look.

My Zenful solution to you for improving the way your skin looks and feels is exercise, music and gratitude. These three little things can reduce the hormones that lead to dull, tired looking skin, wrinkles, sagging and aging skin.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título

www.rochelelawson.com
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.stressassessmentmagic.com
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.linkedin.com/rochelelawson

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Be Confident and Relax

How often do you talk yourself out of doing something even before you tried? Years of negative messaging may have gotten you in a funk, which may have lead to an imbalance in your “Mind Element” or your “Dosha.”

Reversing the imbalance within the element of your being is just a step away when you know what to do and I’m going to share with you how.

The first thing you want to do is to start your day right. The way we start our day makes a big difference in how we feel the rest of the day. Take a moment to pause, check in with how you’re feeling, relax your body, think about what you’re grateful for and bring a sense of presence to your morning routine.

Check in with your body posture. Let me explain why. Science shows that how we hold our bodies directly impacts our confidence. Try slumping over and saying “ I feel confident today!” It doesn’t compute. Throughout the day, try relaxing the body, rolling your shoulders back and down and standing straight. It is ok to fake it till you make it. Your brain will soon get the message.

Take time for your confidence team. Make a list of the people who nourish and encourage you. Make an extra effort to have more regular contact with them and less contact with people who are depleting and draining to you. Having face-to-face contact is best but texting works as a secondary means of staying connected.

Do something you’re good at. One of the best motivators to continue a behavior is when we feel like we are “good” at something. Whether it’s drawing, running, being a good friend do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.

Invite your fears for tea. We each carry around deep-seated fears about ourselves from “I’m not worthy” to “ When will they see that I’m a phony,” “What if instead of running away from your fears, you invited them in with curiosity. Ask yourself, “ What am I believing right now and is it absolutely true?” You may be surprised by the answer, and by how much that can take the intensity out of your fear.

Set small achievable goals. We often make big goals without thinking through what’s actually achievable. Going from never exercising to making a goal to exercise fives times a week is likely setting yourself up for failure. A more achievable goal would be to walk for 20 minutes three times a week and schedule it into your calendar making sure to keep that appointment with yourself.

Keep track of your accomplishments. Because our brain is wired to focus on what we haven’t done, it’s easy to lose sight of what we have done. Take stock of what you’ve done in a day. Crossing thing off your to-do-list even the smallest of tasks can go a long way in keeping your momentum going.

Be compassion it! Sometimes life is just hard. The ability to recognize a difficult moment and apply a caring attitude toward ourselves shuts down the inner critic, creates stability and awareness and helps redirect attention back to what matters.

Remember you: along with everyone else you deserve love too. Feeling “less than” can eat away at our confidence. But if you sent out a search party, you would not find anyone more deserving of love than you. Stop, breathe and let that message touch you for a few moments.

Embrace difficult people. Say what? You must be kidding? No I’m not. As difficult as this may be it’s absolutely necessary in order for you to gain confidence. See if you can recognize that underneath their behavior is a person crying for attention and they will get it no matter good or bad. Many times these types of people are having a difficult time themselves. They want to feel cared about and understood. Seeing this truth help brings us back into balance.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

 

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título

www.rochelelawson.com
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.stressassessmentmagic.com
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.linkedin.com/rochelelawson

Twitter: @rochelelawson

 

 

 

 

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Are Your Hormones Out of Balance?

We are entering the time of year when many people lose track of their New Year’s resolutions. And if you’re like most people, at least one of your resolutions had something to do with losing weight!

The idea of a weight loss regime was probably very appealing in January and February; thinking about healthier food choices, planning a work-out regimen and eagerly anticipating slipping into your smaller jeans again probably felt great! But as the weeks went by, your enthusiasm may have trailed off or you might have given up completely because you didn’t see results as fast as you would have liked.

We women can be quick to blame ourselves when it comes to an inability to lose weight. However, if you’re noticing that it’s difficult to get moving, you don’t feel as energetic as you used to, or something just feels “off,” there could be more at play than a lack of willpower. It could be that your hormones aren’t balanced!

Here are a few clues that can help you discern whether or not your difficulty with weight loss is actually a hormonal imbalance.

What Exactly is Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormone imbalance and low thyroid function can cause weight gain, and it’s fairly common in women across the country. Since your thyroid function affects your metabolism and can slow it way down (making it difficult to maintain your current weight), weight gain becomes all too easy.

Aside from weight gain, hormonal imbalances can cause fatigue, sleeplessness, hair loss, menstrual irregularity and many more symptoms that may cause you to just feel “off”.  There are simple tests that your Ayurvedic practitioner can do to find out what’s really going on with your system and create solutions that are suited to your unique body constitution.

How Hormone Imbalance Affects Exercise

If you’re feeling like you don’t want to exercise, or don’t have the energy, you are in a state of imbalance. Lack of exercise leads to fatigue, irritability and depression, which leads to even more imbalance.

Toxins can build up and the flow of your energy becomes stagnant.

Here are a few ways you can start exercising again without feeling like it’s a drag:

  • Try Yoga. If you’re new to yoga, it is wonderful – and it’s a sister science to Ayurveda. Find a beginner’s class that will soothe your body and your mind.
  • Learn to dance! Modern, jazz, ballroom, tap dance. It’s fun!
  • Find a good jogging club, or bike on a trail. Lots of clean fresh air feels really good.
  • Partner up. If you really want to up the ante, find a friend or get a partner and set a goal together. It can be anything you do as a team: walking in nature, riding bikes, etc. When you partner with someone, it makes the exercise more fun.

Nutrition is Part of the Solution

Healthy food is crucial for healthy hormone production and balance. Many of us gravitate toward food that is high in refined carbohydrates, like sugar and white flour, but moderation is key. Make food choices that are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates (like whole wheat) and healthy fats to support your hormone balance.

Eating for your dosha is also very important to maintain the right balance for your body. (Don’t know your dosha? Take my free mini-dosha quiz to find out by visiting freegiftsfromrochele.com [FreeGiftsFromRochele.com]!)  Knowing your dosha can help you work with your body instead of against it when you are making healthy food choices.

Stress Management and Sleep are Part of the Solution

Balance is not all about how much exercise you are getting and whether you are eating enough healthy food.  Having a balanced life in general is just as important to your health and well-being!

Make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed at work or hang out with people who are chronically stressed. Also be sure that you have time to make yourself feel good. This can really help lower stress hormones and make it much easier to lose weight.

Additionally, remember that sleep is a pillar of Ayurveda. Most of us don’t realize how important it is to restore and rejuvenate in order to keep the body functioning optimally, but quality sleep plays a huge role in weight loss and maintenance.

Research shows that lack of sleep lowers the ability to handle conflict and stress, making it very difficult to maintain a positive physical state.

Some extra sleep tips: 

  • Stop drinking alcohol and smoking 4-6 hours before bed.
  • Make sure the T.V. Is off at least 20 minutes before bed.
  • If you share a bed with a snorer, treat the condition, and you will sleep much better.

Balance is the key to good health. There are simple tests that your Ayurvedic practitioner can do to find out what’s really going on with your system and create solutions that are suited to your unique body constitution.

If you would like to consult with me, click HERE [Contact Page] to set up a time to chat!

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5 Preparation Steps to Take before Doing a Spring Cleanse

Any transition between seasons is a great opportunity for a detox or cleanse, but spring in particular is the perfect time. Toxins that build up in the body through the winter prevent you from moving nutrients through the body efficiently, and the purpose of my 7-Day Detox Cleanse [Purchase Page] is to get you back on track just in time for summer!

During this cleanse, you’ll eat easy-to-digest foods and maintain enough variety in your diet to keep you from losing interest in the program or feeling too hungry. In fact, doing a detox for 7 days is just enough time to stoke your digestive fire but not long enough that you would need the guidance of a professional – you can do this cleanse safely all on your own.

However, if you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, there are certain action steps to take before getting started. Here’s what you can do to prepare your body for a rejuvenating 7-day process:

Prep Step #1: Be Cautious

If you take medication or suffer from medical conditions, please consult with your physician to make sure you have the green light to move forward.

Prep Step #2: Eliminate Diet Crutches

A “diet crutch” is a type of food or beverage that we rely on to make it through a stressful moment. Caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, dairy, meat, fried or processed foods, sugar or any other unhealthy foods are perfect examples.  Eliminating the Snickers bar at 3 pm at least a week before your detox will help ease your body into the process.

Prep Step #3: Schedule Time Off

Take time off work so that you can truly clear your system without experiencing intense outside work stress. Taking time off to simply focus on a self-care process will do wonders to get your body regulated, strengthened and rested (not to mention it will give your brain a break from constant stimulation).

Prep Step #4: Set Up a Home Practice

If you have a room in which you can meditate or have quiet time, you’ll have a wonderful space to retreat before and during the detox. You can read, listen to inspiring music and relax in peace.

Prep Step #5: Unplug!

This one’s important. Notify your friends and family that you’re ignoring social media and email for a while. This will reduce stimulation and allow your mind to take a rest.

I suggest going through these 5 steps at least a week before the detox plan. You will see wonderful benefits if you do! Not only will you feel rested and restored, but you will have more energy, likely experience weight loss and feel happier. It’s a win-win-win!

Are you looking for the right detox cleanse to kick off the spring and summer? Take a look at my very mild, deeply restorative 7-Day Detox Cleanse [Purchase Page]. And don’t forget to get more tips and ideas for your healthful journey by visiting THIS PAGE [ FreeGiftsFromRochele.com]!

Namaste,
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS</strong>
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

www.rochelelawson.com
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.stressassessmentmagic.com
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com

Instagram: rochelelawson
Email: info@healthhealingwellness.com

 

 

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Detox not Deprive

The other day I was at an event as was asked the following questions, why does everyone make such a big deal about doing a cleanse or a detox? Who has time to do all that it takes and does one really benefit from denying themselves of food? I looked at the person and thought wow with all the articles I have written about this, I know people are still confused, think it is hard to do and that they have to deny themselves. So I decided to address these questions in this article.

To do a cleanse or a detox is one of the best things that you can do for your body and mind to reset things back to balance. The digestive system is one of the key components to your overall state of wellbeing. If it is not functioning correctly, if it is full of sludge and toxins then you can possibly have optimal health and wellbeing. In fact, I have several options that I offer to my clients because a one fit all option is not possible. Each dosha or person’s body type has different needs.

Here is what you should know about a cleanse or detox program, you do not have to starve yourself to received the benefits. It does not have to be complicated nor do you have to check out of your normal aspects of life to succeed in cleansing or detoxifying your mind and body.

Here’s the deal, a detox allows the body to remove the toxic material that builds up in the digestive system. This is the system that is the foundation of our cellular building structure and if it is full of toxic material, the food that you take in is not getting metabolized efficiently and effectively thus depriving the body of the nutrients that it needs to keep you healthy and well.  A cleanse or a detox helps to rid the body of all of those toxins so that what you eat actually gets metabolized efficiently and effectively and the body is able to use it for fuel, building of the immune system and keeping the body’s process working optimally.

The process can range anywhere from 4 days to 30 days however I recommend no more than a 21 day detox or cleanse to achieve the maximum results.  A cleanse allows the internal process of the body to reset, it allows you to reset and strengthen the digestive fire and it allow you to purify the mind. If you are a person that has been having issues with your digestive system such as gas, bloating, weight gain, acid reflux, nausea, constipation or sluggishness, then you a prime candidate for a detox. If you have been suffering from lack of concentration, irritability, sleep challenges or lack of enthusiasm, then you would benefit from a detox.

Now here is something that will probably blow your mind, you do not have to deprive yourself of food. You do not have to starve yourself. Yes I said it. You can do a cleanse and eat some really yummy, wholesome and nourishing food as you go through the process. As far as it being something complex and time consuming, listen to this it does not have to be.  In fact in my 7 –day,  (http://www.the7daydetox.net) detox program and my 21 day Blissful Cleanse program,  (http://www.blissfulcleanse.com) you get to eat some very yummy food that is cleansing to your digestive system and nourishing to your body at the same time. The end result is that you get to reset your digestive system, recharge your agni (digestive fire) and shed a few pounds in the process.

Here is how you can take away the mystic of the complexity of doing a cleanse. Schedule your first detox for a shorter period of time such as over a weekend, starting on a Friday and ending on a Monday. Next prior to the cleanse go shopping for the food that you will need to eat during your cleanse, my programs come with a shopping list and recipes so that you don’t even have to think about what you need. You can take the shopping list with you to the store and get what you need. I advise that you remove unplug from the doldrums of your everyday life and limit the use of technology. Get some candles, prepare to take some nice, warm, loving baths and choose this time to stay in your home and focus on loving yourself. Here is one more tip, let others know that you will be taking this time to rejuvenate yourself and that you may not be available to them during this time. This one tip alone helps tremendously because if others know what you are going to be doing they are more apt to assist you with succeeding.  And yes spending time in nature is good, so be sure to put in time to take walks or to sit outside in nature to connect with the elements of our universe.

After the detox, you will feel wonderful and your mind and your body will thank you.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your mind.

Also, please pick-up your free gifts here: www.gifts4free.com

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP, CMS                                                                                                    The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

www.rochelelawson.com

www.healthhealingwellness.com

www.blissful-living.net

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rochele.lawson.5

Instagram: rochelelawson

Email: info@healthhealingwellness.com

 

 

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Fuel the Fire

The key to lasting weight loss has nothing to do with depriving yourself of food and everything to do with the fire in your digestive system. I’m going to let you in on a weight loss secret… are you ready? The key to lasting weight loss is mastering your metabolism or rather your digestive fire.

You may be one of the many of millions of people that believe that in order to lose weight you have to deprive yourself of food, you have to go on a fad diet or a juice fast or sign up for a weight loss program that you see on television. In fact, the weight loss industry is a booming business because no matter what it markets, it sets people up for continual failure resulting in repeat business for them. In fact, once you stop doing the program, you quickly begin to regain the weight you lost and many times you gain more weight than you lost.  Does this sound familiar?

You may be someone that is working to maintain your weight and have had some success but you are constantly working hard to do this. Let me tell you my friend, it does not have to be this way. In order to be successful with losing weight and keeping it off or maintaining your weight with little or no effort, you need to know that just as your size shrinks after dropping pounds, so does your ability to burn the calories you take in.  As you shed pounds, your body enters what scientist call a “starvation state,” slowing down your metabolism and decreasing your digestive fire, which actually encourages your body to regain weight.  After we lose pounds, changes occur in our endocrine, nervous and muscular systems to make us burn fewer calories for the same amount of effort while our brains are telling us to eat more. Your body may be working against you but by engaging in a few new habits, you can reignite your digestive fire and increase your metabolism.

Here are some things that you can do to fuel the fire within you.

Get moving, standing, stretching and walking throughout the day is crucial to keeping your system revved up. Each time you get up, your muscles activate and within 90 seconds your cellular engines turn on.

Exercise less but make it count by doing it harder. Amp up your workouts with high intensity interval training. Shorter bursts of intensity can increase the energy burn in the muscles, making it easier for the body to generate energy by metabolizing fat for fuel.

Time your coffee intake. Drinking a cup of coffee an hour before your workout will help you burn 15 percent more calories afterward. Caffeine seems to raise the adrenaline levels in the body and that causes you to expend more energy to blast calories, which in turn revs up your metabolism.

Get up and get outdoors. People who are exposed to bright light from morning to noon have healthier BMIs than those who get more light exposure at other times of the day. Blue light, which is greater in the morning helps to synchronize our circadian rhythms, keeping our appetite in check and our digestive fire burning.

Exposure to light in the evening may alter the hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism so that we eat more and burn fewer calories.

Turn off your brain. Stress slows the digestive fire. Research is suggesting that stress alters the functions within our cells in a way that lowers our metabolic rate. Everyday be sure to schedule some down time that allows you to focus on something you enjoy like meditation, spending time in nature or spending time with those that you love and care about.

Drink lots of water, preferably at room temperature or warmer. By drinking just 17 ounces of water you’ll boost your digestive fire by 30 percent. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of room temperature or warm water each hour.

Lastly, eat plenty of protein. By eating more protein you’ll be more likely to store any excess calories you eat as fat. Protein takes more energy for the body to digest than carbohydrates, so eat the proper amount of protein for your dosha and you’ll fuel your digestive fire and burn more of the calories that you consume overall.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Also, please pick up your free gifts here: www.gifts4free.com

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

www.rochelelawson.com

www.healthhealingwellness.com

www.blissful-living.net

Twitter: @rochelelawson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rochele.lawson.5

Instagram: rochelelawson

Email: info@healthhealingwellness.com

 

 

 

 

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The Blissful Way To Jumpstart Your Day

 

This is the Vata season

As the season changes, what’s going on around us? The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing colors and falling, and we feel change within. Vata — light, airy, dry and governing movement — has great qualities. In our bodies, when Vata is in balance it is expressed as mental alertness, ability to fall asleep easily, good circulation, calm demeanor, balanced digestion and elimination, and balanced body temperature. But oh boy! When Vata is out of balance, we may notice that we are tired and forgetful, spaced out; we may experience difficulty falling asleep, occasional constipation, poor circulation (cold feet & hands), or occasional feelings of anxiousness and worry. So, how do we find that balance during the winter when Vata is in full effect? To counteract its uneven, variable nature, one of the best antidotes to balance Vata is regular routine! If you know you are a Vata dosha then you are a head of the game and if you don’t know your Dosha keep reading to find out how you can learn what your dosha is.  (Those with Vata disorders often find themselves in a rush, always in a hurry. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to structure a more relaxed daily routine. Take it easy and slow down; enjoy abhyanga, warm baths and turning off electronics — disengage. This is important for mental, emotional and physical health!) However if you are not a vata the information in this article is still very important to you no matter what dosha you may be.

Start the morning with the intention to cultivate balance. When we take the time to invest in our Ayurvedic daily routine, we are jump-starting our day in the most powerful way — balanced and ready for anything!

Here are the goodies…

 Make a Plan

To be successful, routine needs a plan. So map out the morning according to your own personal schedule. For example, if you have to be at work at 8:30 a.m., it’s easy to fit this routine in if you wake up by 6:00 a.m. An early wake-up call, with the rising sun, is smooth when accompanied by an early bedtime. Ayurveda recommends going to bed by 10:00 p.m. during the drowsy Kapha time of night (6:00 – 10:00 p.m.).

Ayurvedic Daily Routine

  1. Wake up in the morning before 6:00 a.m.
  2. If easy and natural… eliminate: empty bowel and bladder. Don’t strain. Ayurveda never wants us to resist healthy natural urges, or strain by trying to force them.
  3. Wash your face.
  4. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue (Tongue scraping, really… don’t roll your eyes! See instructions below).
  5. Afterward, this is a good time to drink a cup of water.
  6. Perform Abhyanga — warm Ayurvedic oil self-massage.
  7. It’s best to wait 10-15 minutes for the oil to soak in between your massage and bath. If you don’t have time, immediately jumping in the shower is OK. The waiting time while letting the oil soak in could also be spent swishing oil in your mouth, known as oil pulling.
  8. Bathe or shower. Use warm rather than hot water.
  9. Perform Yoga Asanas and breathing, called Pranayama.
  10. Meditate for twenty minutes.
  11. Eat a light breakfast — a stewed apple or pear and/or warm cereal are ideal.
  12. Then… work or school — you are ready to do this!

Take these recommendations one-step at a time, and don’t feel overwhelmed. And remember to cultivate a habit of taking it easy and slowing down. Balance that Vata!

Here are the specifics on these Ayurvedic morning routines:

Elimination

According to Ayurvedic principles, it is preferred to evacuate the bowels in the morning. Our body’s clock leans toward following the cycles of nature. During the nighttime, lunar energy is more predominant, so our body focuses on calming and cooling. In the morning, when the sun rises, our body goes into absorption phase when Agni — the active, burning and transforming solar energy — dominates. If, during the day, we carry around the waste material we created at night, we may absorb some of that waste material (toxins) back into our system, weakening immunity and leaving us feeling fatigued, drowsy and irritable during the day. Feeling energetic and relaxed are signs of proper evacuation. Twice a day is normal, but at least once a day is essential. Bowel movements affect our entire physiology, so don’t ignore urges and don’t wait! Through routine and a balanced diet, we can tune into our body’s internal clock and make regular elimination a part of our daily routine.

The use of nature’s intelligence, Ayurvedic herbs, can help smooth the elimination process into regularity.  To assist with this process try drinking a cup of warm water with a little lemon juice or a drop or two of lemon essential oil.

Tongue Scraping

“Ok, ok…. scrape my tongue?” We guarantee you, do it for one week and you will never quit. It is like brushing your teeth. Once you start, your mouth just doesn’t feel clean without doing it. It is also a great “meter” for ama, or digestive impurities (the result of incomplete or inefficient digestion). If you have a lot of residue, then think about your diet and routine and make changes. Tongue scraping has long been an important part of the recommended Ayurvedic daily routine. If you have ever noticed a film or coating (which can range in color from clear to white, yellow, or green) on your tongue in the morning, your body may have a build-up of ama that can compromise your digestive and immune systems. This simple, yet important, method of cleaning the tongue removes ama, the toxic coating or film, before the body reabsorbs it.

Here’s How to Scrape Your Tongue:

  • After brushing your teeth first thing in the morning, grab your tongue cleaner. The Tongue Cleaner is traditional sterling silver and designed for ease and efficiency. In a bind, the front of a silver spoon can be used in place of a tongue cleaner. (Why silver? Silver is known for its antibacterial properties.)
  • Relax your tongue so that the scraper contacts maximum surface area, and place the scraper as far back on your tongue as comfortable. Gently yet firmly, scrape the entire surface from back to front.
  • Rinse the scraper well with hot water after each use.
  • Repeat this process 3-5 times, until your tongue looks clean, and pinkish or red in color.
  • Be careful as not to scrape the tongue too hard, destroying your taste buds. Gentle pressure is all that is needed to scrape the tongue.

Oil Pulling

Sesame and coconut oils are regularly used in Ayurveda to detoxify or “pull” toxins from the skin that they are applied to — so no surprise here that oil pulling can be done with either of these oils. This simple routine involves swishing (not gargling) one tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 2 to 20 minutes – whatever is comfortable. It’s not as bad as it sounds! It feels great, draws out bacteria and has been shown to promote healthy gums and teeth and reduce tartar build-up.

Embrace oil pulling as part of your daily teeth-cleaning routine, and remember these few things:

  • Swish the oil gently. If your jaw or mouth starts aching, slow down. Go easy on yourself!
  • Avoid swallowing the oil while swishing.
  • Once you are done pulling, spit the oil into the trash or outside, not in the sink, because over time the oil may clog pipes.
  • After spitting, rinse your mouth with water before consuming any beverages.

Abhyanga

Self oil massage, Abhyanga; helps calm the mind and nervous system. Daily Abhyanga is especially important for Vata, as it helps alleviate dry skin that is often a result of Vata imbalance. The skin is one of the primary seats of Vata dosha, so massaging your body every morning with warm, Vata-pacifying such as Sesame can go a long way toward soothing the entire nervous system and emotions. It’s just a matter of taking however many minutes you can spare — from 2 to 20 — to give your skin some love! It’s a powerful tool before or after a shower, and has healing qualities: increased circulation, toxin release, and stimulation of nerve endings.

Here’s How to Perform Abhyanga:

  • Place a small amount of warm oil in the palm of your hand for each point listed below (using small amounts will help you avoid feeling too oily).
  • Start with massaging the face and outer part of the ears.
  • Massage both the front and back of the neck and the upper part of the spine.
  • Massage the arms, using a back-and-forth motion over the long bones and a circular motion over the joints.
  • Use a circular motion to massage over the heart and a clockwise motion over the abdomen.
  • Massage the legs, using the same long motion over the leg bones and a circular motion over the joints.
  • Last but not least, massage the feet. Use the open part of your hand to massage vigorously back-and-forth over the soles.
  • After massaging your whole body, you can use a natural-bristle body brush with a vigorous motion upward toward your heart on the front and back of your feet, legs, arms, back and tummy.

Yoga Asanas

Yoga asanas are the preferred Ayurvedic way to exercise, because practiced properly they do not put undue strain on any one part of the physiology. Yoga asanas increase blood flow to vital organs, stimulate marma points (points in our bodies where concentrated prana is located) and activate the relaxation response, which is beneficial to the digestive system and all the systems of the body essential for good health.

Meditation

According to Ayurveda, we metabolize not just food, but with all our five senses. During Meditation all the senses are engaged and we experience a unique, silent state of awareness that becomes part of who we are. While all parts of the daily routine are important, the Meditation aspect is the most effective way to reduce stress. Just 20 minutes twice a day has the potential to regulate cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase serotonin, which is a sign of relaxation — ultimately reducing stress and feelings of anxiety. For a free guided meditation to: gifts4bliss.com

Ayurvedic Breakfast

Regular meals are an essential part of the Ayurvedic routine, with three warm, cooked meals a day. It’s preferred to eat them at the same time every day, as Vata digestion tends to be irregular. Start the day with an energizing meal to build an appetite for lunch, stimulate regular bowel movement, increase vitality and alertness, and provide a light but satisfying breakfast.

Go to gifts4bliss.com to get energizing Ayurvedic recipes that will help you to optimize your day in a positive and energizing way.

As I mentioned earlier knowing your dosha can assist you tremendously in knowing how to jumpstart your day. To find out your dosha click here: www.freegiftsfromrochele.com

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

 

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

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