Ayurvedic Self Care – How to Radiate Natural Beauty

Most of us have some sort of morning or evening routine, and most women have a “beauty routine”, so today I thought it would be nice to visit Ayurvedic self care, the beautiful flow of rituals that shower our being with attention and self love. In Ayurveda, Dinacharya is considered the daily ritual of self care, dina meaning day, sun or flow, and charya practice or conduct. These rituals were developed to keep the body in tune with nature’s rhythms and cycles and optimize the mind-body-spirit connection.

Ayurvedic Self Care How to Radiate Natural Beauty

Morning rituals add to the ease with which we move through our day, according to Ayurveda, mornings are our most sacred time of the day. Although Ayurveda encourages getting to bed by 10 pm, rising before the sun, and ideal times for daily practices, modern schedules and work hours may not make this possible for everyone. Getting enough sleep is a very important part of Ayurveda and self care which we don’t want to miss out on, so we may need to adjust our routine according to our schedule. The main thing is that we establish a practical and convenient way of working self care into each day so that we create a steady routine to allow our body and mind to reach a healthy rhythm.

A Note on Nurturing Ourselves

We can eat the healthiest foods, use the best body care products, and spend hours in the gym every week, but are we also nurturing ourselves with self love? If not, what are we really doing it all for? The importance of taking time each and every day to nurture ourselves is something that usually makes it to the bottom of the list in modern culture. It serves us well to remember that our entire being counts on this is type of nourishment to help us cultivate a deep love and respect for ourselves and in turn, for others. This type of deep radiant love is the stuff that real beauty is made of.

Our bodies work so hard for us everyday, how much time do we spend really being present with ourselves and showing gratitude by nourishing it with beautiful daily rituals that are really mini meditations on self love? As you read through each practice I encourage you to see where it will open a door to more gratitude in your life, and once you start adopting these to your routine they will have you feeling so good that it becomes hard not to love yourself and others a little bit more.

Ayurvedic Self Care How to Radiate Natural Beauty-Self Love

Here are some suggestions to help you build your ayurvedic self care routine.

Ayurvedic Self Care Rituals – Dinacharya

Awakening and Daily Intention – It’s ideal to wake after a nice restful night of sleep. If you can get to sleep by 10 pm, Ayurveda recommends waking before sunrise. Think restfulness in wakefulness as you wake. This may take some re-conditioning of our usual tendency to jump right out of bed once the alarm goes off. Take a few moments to connect with your breath and body and slowly and steadily transition from a busy subconscious sleeping/dreaming state to a gentle conscious awakened state. Now as you express gratitude for the joy of your aliveness you can set your intention for the day, a focus or theme you hope to carry forward with you once you get out of bed.

Warm Water With Lemon – Upon rising warm a cup of water in a kettle, pour it into a mug and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime into it. Drink up! This helps to stimulate the liver and digestion, and alkalize the body. If your digestion is overly sluggish, try adding 1-2 ounces concentrated aloe vera juice. Elimination should follow shortly after – if it hasn’t already.

Ayurvedic Self Care How to Radiate Natural Beauty-Awakening

Cleansing the Face and Mouth – Splashing the face and eyes with cool water wakes up the tissues and gets circulation going. Cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper removes bacteria accumulated overnight. Oil pulling will pull out bacteria and debris – take a spoonful of oil (coconut or sesame), I prefer coconut since it’s antibacterial and has so many uses, and swish it around in your mouth, pushing and pulling it through your teeth for 15 minutes. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to the full 15. Spit it out (if you’re concerned about your drain, just spit it into a trash can), and rinse your mouth. Now go ahead and brush your teeth with an herbal toothpaste, or I make my own – recipes here:

Homemade Earthpaste

All Natural Toothpaste

Cleansing the nasal passages with a neti pot is beneficial for excessive mucous or allergies.

Dry Skin Brush – Dry skin brushing detoxifies the skin and stimulates drainage of the lymph system.

Self Massage – Abhyanga Gently massaging warm sesame, coconut or almond oil into the body using a circular motion with the palm of your hands (this video will show you how) stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system, eliminating toxins from the skin, joints, and tissues and helps keep the joints nourished and lubricated. This also calms the mind and nervous system as you go into the rest of your day.

Bathe – Showering or taking a bath not only cleanses the body, it clears the mind. How many times have you experienced an “a-ha” moment in the shower? I often do – some of my most creative ideas happen during these times – it really is a great mini meditation.

Ayurvedic Self Care How to Radiate Natural Beauty-Yoga-Meditation

Yoga – Practicing yoga, even for just 10 minutes a day (longer if time allows) is a great way to improve flexibility, tone muscles, strengthen the core and relieve stress. Visit my faves for a beautiful practice you can in the comfort of your living room.

Breathing/Meditation – Naturally following yoga with Pranayama (breathing exercises) fills the body with healthy oxygen boosting immune system, increasing vitality, and at the same time balancing the mind, which then naturally leads us into a meditative state. Meditation brings more focus, awareness, aligns us with our true self, and brings more stillness and longevity into our life by nourishing our mind and body.

Breakfast – In this state we are ready to take in foods that nourish our body. Preparing food with love and chewing food in a mindful way allows us to absorb it. The key here is to indulge our senses in the aromas, tastes, and textures, and to slowly and without distraction, enjoy each and every bite as it nourishes us. Need some healthy breakfast ideas? See my breakfast or smoothie recipes.

*A note on elimination – Ayurveda focuses on healthy digestion through diet and lifestyle. Elimination should be a regular part of each morning as the body gets rid of matter that has built up during nightly detoxification. Ideally the body will purge this before adding new energizing food to the digestive tract. But, this can happen at different times of the morning.

Depending on the individual and whether their dosha is balanced, it should happen upon arising, or once the liver is stimulated by warm lemon water, preferably before breakfast, or after. When taken at bedtime, the Ayurvedic herb Triphala can aid in regularity, as well as the use of a Squatty Potty to clear elimination completely.

Namaste, Take Care of Yourself

I know it may seem like a lot to fit into a busy schedule but even if you adopt just a couple of these it’s a huge step in the right direction. You can also try some in the evening, if you can’t fit them into your morning, or try adopting them on your days off at first. I promise you that even if you’re not living a complete Ayurvedic lifestyle, there is still so much to benefit from with this deeper level of self care. Most importantly, I encourage you to create a space in which your self love flourishes, it’s one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves.

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