5 Grounding and Nourishing Ayurvedic Practices you can Easily Incorporate Into Your Daily Life

Women the world over are prone to busy lives whether it be raising a family, pursuing a rewarding career or both! Our daily schedules are often full of so many things to do for others that we tend to carve out very little time for ourselves.

However, what is vitally important for us to recognise is that if we don’t make time for self-care we can easily burn out becoming susceptible to various illnesses, which in turn makes us less able to function. This will have ripple effects into every area of our lives from our mindset, sleep patterns and relationships etc. So how can we look after ourselves without increasing the daily pressures in life?

Here are five Ayurvedic inspired practices that you can easily do each day to help you manage your busy schedule without further compromising your own health.

Practice Abhyanga, self-massage

In Sanskrit the word “Sneha” can be translated to mean both oil and love, so the act of self-massage itself really is the gift of self-love.

Ayurvedic practices

We all know how difficult it can be to find time to book an appointment with our favourite massage therapist, juggling that around work and family commitments leaves little time for a 2 hour time slot to indulge ourselves. But what if I told you that you only need 15 minutes each day, or at the very least a few times a week to receive the same benefits and you don’t even have to leave the house?

The best way to incorporate this nourishing self-ritual into your daily schedule is to allow a little extra time before your shower or bath routine. Abhyanga is best performed with warm whole black sesame oil or an oil specific to your Prakruti (constitution or body type) or Vikruti (imbalance or ailment) and which can be easily heated in a jug of hot water while you are running the bath or getting yourself ready for a shower. Then a full body sequence could be performed for around 10-15 minutes before bathing.

The health benefits are many, but generally it encourages proper circulation, allows lymphatic drainage, detoxifies the entire body, aids digestion, calms the nervous system, promotes regular sleep patterns and brings more oleation to the skin allowing one to age gracefully.

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to self-massage, then read my Step-by-Step Guide here and soon you’ll have it stored to your self-care memory for instant recall at any time.

Practice Nasya, nasal cleansing

Nasya is the cleansing of your nasal passages and has been around for thousands of years in Ayurveda. It is considered part of one’s daily routine and has some incredible health benefits.

Although not a common practice in Western culture, it’s a very important one as it balances all the Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, provides relief from nasal dryness, cleanses excess bodily fluids that have accumulated in the nasal passages which could lead to congestion, colds and sinus problems, helps to relieve mental fatigue and migraines, stabilises the pituitary and pineal glands, balances hormonal function and can even reduce snoring, amongst other things.

Now I understand that it can seem like an unusual thing to warm medicated oil (such as Anu oil), tilt your head back and place drops into each nostril, giving your nose and face a little massage during the process. But once you add this practice to your self-care routine, you’ll soon start seeing the benefits and won’t want to miss it at all. Again it is best performed daily, but you can still benefit from doing this a few times a week. Perhaps it is something that you could do just before bedtime and while you sleep the oil can work its magic!

If you are pregnant or menstruating, then you should not perform Nasya at this time.

Take supportive Ayurvedic herbs

Shatavari means “who possesses a hundred husbands” which does give a real sense of the strength of this herb! In Ayurveda it is the best rejuvenating herb for the reproductive system as it cleanses and nourishes the reproductive organs and blood, maintains a healthy menstrual cycle, increases fertility, supports healthy lactation, hysterectomies, and the transition into menopause and beyond. This is an important tonic that all women should consider having in their herbal medicine kit and can be taken daily in tincture, tablet or powder form.

Ayurvedic practices

Ashwagandha means the “smell of a horse” but not literally or that would be strange! What it really indicates is that the effect of this herb will provide you with the strength, vitality and sexual energy of a horse, and it is considered the stress buster of all time! It has wonderful rejuvenating qualities as well for those who are suffering from chronic diseases, overwork, lack of sleep and nervous exhaustion. An important herb that can support you during times of stress. Again, this can be taken as you need it in tincture, tablet or powder form. It does have a strong taste though, so may be more palatable if added to warm milk with a little raw sugar or unheated honey.

Brahmi (or its close relative Gotu Kola) is the perfect brain tonic and considered the most important nervine herb in Ayurveda. Its cooling nature revitalises brain cells, removes toxins and blockages in the nervous system, maintains good brain function and helps to prevent mental illness. This herb can be taken as you need it in tincture, tablet or powder form, and since it’s a green herb, may even be okay to stir into your morning juice. If taken together, Brahmi and Ashwagandha make a great duo during times of stress.

If you suffer from any health conditions or are taking medication, then you should consult your doctor before taking any of these herbs. An Ayurvedic practitioner can prescribe these herbs for you.

Drink Golden Milk before bedtime

Golden Milk is a great healing tonic that has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years and is sometimes referred to as a turmeric latte. The turmeric is combined with other spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, ghee, raw sugar or unheated honey and boiled up in organic unhomogenised milk to create a complete medicinal blend.

Ayurvedic practices

The turmeric is the star performer here with many health benefits, but is most commonly known for the curcumin component and anti-inflammatory qualities. Golden Milk also strengthens bones, cleanses the blood, nourishes the lungs, increases digestion and circulation, aids in a good night’s sleep and increases Ojas (immunity and vitality) which are all extremely beneficial for good health and longevity.

It’s a great tonic to make at home and drink just before bedtime – plus there are so many easy recipes out there you can choose from, even some quick methods that require very little preparation time at all.

If you are pregnant, then you should consult your doctor before using turmeric.

Practice deep breathing and meditation

Deep breathing and meditation can really assist you at certain times of the day, especially in stressful situations. All it takes is for you to practice mindfulness and acknowledge where you are, stop and close your eyes, then inhale deeply through the nose to the count of 3, filling the lungs completely, and exhale slowly through the nose to the count of 3, repeating around 10 times or for a few minutes at least. This will help to calm the mind and nervous system which maybe in fight or flight mode.

Ayurvedic practices

If you have a little more time to devote to self-care, then 15 minutes to an hour a day of meditation would be incredibly beneficial. A good time to incorporate this is when you first rise, after your bathroom stop, before eating breakfast, tending to the family and starting your working day. An hour or so before bedtime works well also, but not directly before as it can be difficult to stay awake during your practice.

The health benefits of mindful deep breathing and meditation are endless, but generally they reduce stress and anxiety, aid in better concentration, allow you to foster more patience and understanding, promote creativity, encourage more self-control, inner satisfaction and a real sense of purpose, reduce the catabolic decline and is the most powerful mental and nerve tonic that you could ever practice.

As you can see, these five practices are not too time-consuming at all and will not add more pressure to your already long daily task list. All you need to do is have the items to hand and allow a few minutes here and there in your schedule each day. And once you do this, then believe it or not but space just opens up, clarity becomes palpable and beautiful lightness will no doubt ensue. It’s time to nourish yourself friends so that you can in turn effectively nourish others!

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Ayurvedic practices
Ayurvedic practices
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Nicole Young

Founder at Three Harmony
Nicole Young is the founder of Three Harmony, a Melbourne-based Ayurvedic consultant, Yoga teacher, writer and online educator. She is deeply passionate about traditional medicine and self-healing with Ayurveda and Yoga.
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