What is ayurveda?
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems, developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellbeing depend on a delicate balance between your mind, body, and spirit. It’s used to promote overall well being, rather than treating you if you’re sick. Across the world today it can be recognised as a ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ or CAM for short.
Ayurveda means that when your mind is healthy, your body will have the right tools to thrive and vice versa. However it’s an ever changing balance and can be harder for some with underlying health conditions. Ayurveda is the science of life, a journey to finding the right balance for each day you live through, and how to adjust when curveballs are thrown your way.
How does an ayurveda practice calm your mind?
With ayurveda you can change your lifestyle to incorporate practices that are designed to heal your mind and body at the same time. For example yoga can stretch muscles in your body, releasing tension and strains, and can relax your mind as you focus wholly on one thing. This is a great way to ease anxiety and other feelings of worry, restlessness and uneasiness.
Practicing ayurveda can change your mindset, making you happier, more content and grateful for the things around you. Physical ayurveda practices like yoga, meditation and pilates can help you maintain a stronger physique, and in some instances help you lose weight by toning muscles. It’s well known that physical activity can release feelings of pressure, anger and anxiety, meaning you are left with a calmer and clearer headspace with clearer pathways for hormones and chemicals to repair and create a healthier body for you to live in.
How can you connect ayurveda and aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy works in a similar way to ayurveda in that it’s all about connecting your mind and body. Aromatherapy products such as candles, incense, roll-ons and balms release powerful scents that when you breath in, will be absorbed by your body. Lavender for example is a great muscle relaxant, so it’s a popular scent to use before bed in aromatherapy.
Ayurveda and aromatherapy night time routine
To feel ultimately relaxed and calm before you go to bed, in order to get a full night’s rest you can implement aromatherapy and ayurveda practices into your nightly routine. An hour or two before going to bed, take a warm bath or shower and notice how it makes you feel, use a lavender scented body wash to relax your body and mind. Change into some comfy, loose pajamas, making yourself visually aware that you are ready to sleep soon. Next perform a skincare routine to cleanse the impurities from your busy day, brush your teeth and brush your hair. All of these tasks need your entire attention, you can’t wash your face while also scrolling through instagram. This is where ayurveda comes in, the art of doing one thing solely, with your entire attention, makes your mind calmer because there isn’t an overload of information going on.
Once you are ready for bed, you can try meditation with an aromatherapy scented candle for sleep, sit comfortably and focus on your breathing. Take 10 deep breaths and perform light stretches of your arms, legs and neck as you move from breath to breath. This is called finding your flow, and can be applied to yoga practises too. Notice that when you breath in you can smell the lavender and chamomile, you can feel your body relaxing and your mind slowing down as you focus on your breathing and your worries of the day disappear.
Now you have mentally unwinded, don’t go on your phone. If you are still not tired enough to sleep, keep your candle going and read a book for 15 minutes. This whole ayurveda routine is about fully immersing yourself in each activity, allowing your mind to stop going at 100mph and slow itself, ready to reset for tomorrow’s day.