There is a lot to consider when welcoming Ayurveda into your life. The benefits are substantial and can be different for each person. As with most life-changing practices, at first, the benefits will be subtle. For example, you may feel fresher and lighter because you began drinking warm water (rather than cold). And while the mind might not yet be still enough to make the connection as to why you feel better, innately, you begin building trust with your practice. Over time, the connection becomes more obvious and the benefits become deeper. Ayurveda has the capacity to make a difference a difference on multiple levels, let’s take a look at three ways in which it can change your life.
1) Create space and balance
In today’s hustle and bustle world, we become so invested in getting things done we create a constant urgency within ourselves. We are living in clock-time and have lost the ability to drop into ourselves and honor how we feel. We push until we break. But there is a place of existence in which we can be (even more) productive and be calm and confident.
It begins by listening. When we create space in our day to hear what our body is telling us, the mind becomes calm and we create a connection. We step out of our racing mind and into union with our body. The mind receives the message that it doesn’t have to do it all on its own, that it is supported and that balance is possible and in fact, natural.
To listen means dropping into the present moment by connecting to your breath. The breath only lives in the present moment, it is your life force. When it is honored, you are vibrant, clear-minded, and relaxed. If this connection is lost, so is the union with your mind and body. You may become anxious, feel depressed, or get angry. The beauty of it all is that your breath is always there. If you notice a feeling that has taken you out of your natural, balanced state of being, take a moment to sync into your breath and create space and balance:
Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths. Let the noises around you become a part of your practice, noticing them and letting them go, like clouds in the sky. Then begin to notice your body and feel any sensation that is asking for your attention, and breathe. Do this for as long and as often you would like; in the morning and/or in the evening (on a daily basis) is when it is best received.
Yoga and Ayurveda are natural sisters. Learn how to integrate Ayurveda into your yoga practice with our June workshop “Connecting Yoga and Ayurveda.”
2) Nourish self-love
As we navigate our demanding lives, we can easily get caught up in thoughts and activities that keep us busy; we react instead of observe and we lose our sense of Self. You may feel a high sense of drive to get it all done or want to curl up in ball and shut out the word completely. These are the times when your mind and body are reaching out to you for help. You are being asked to go inward, to love and nourish yourself, to empower yourself and to step into a deeper version of yourself.
And while, over time, the benefits of an ongoing self-love practice are substantial, it begins with the first decision. How can you put yourself first today? If this feels overwhelming, begin by writing down your typical day and the feelings and/or emotions associated with it. For example, when my alarm goes off my body tenses and I feel anxious thinking about my day. Now, write down how you would like to feel when your alarm sounds. For example, I want to feel calm and be positive when I begin my day. With this in mind, connect to your mind and body through your breath and imagine your day beginning just as you like, calm and positive. By nourishing your thoughts you are creating space for change. Take your time with this practice, you may be unraveling deep patterns. As each pattern is released, move onto the next and begin watching your life unfold differently.
3) Elevate conscious awareness
There is so much beauty in this life but so often we miss it because we let our minds run our awareness. We get consumed by our daily tasks or inundated by thinking about the past or future. We create an anxiety loop in the mind that builds momentum and we are often left confused, frustrated, or depressed.
Ayurveda teaches you how to elevate your conscious awareness by heightening your senses so that peace and joy are at the forefront of your mind and body; the once mundane becomes fresh and exciting!
One way to elevate your conscious awareness is to mindfully eat clean, seasonal foods that are aligned with your dosha; this will help your mind and body become relaxed, which creates space for more connection to yourself and your surroundings. Eating outside of your dosha can cause an imbalance; your focus will shift from peace and harmony to feeling anxious or cloudy which creates a barrier to connectivity and a dulling of the senses.
Truly, there are abundant ways beyond these three in which Ayurveda can change your life. Each Ayurvedic practice is a gateway to self-discovery, connection, awareness, and clarity. It begins with curiosity, is established through discipline, and flourishes with trust.
All material provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Direct consultation of a qualified Ayurvedic Health Counselor should be sought for any specific questions or issues.