We believe holistic wellness should be easily accessible for everyone. That’s why we’ve put together this short list of self-care practices you can start today. These simple rituals come from Ayurveda, India’s holistic medicine system, and they’ll undoubtedly bring a greater sense of wellness and peace to your life. And the best part? They’re totally affordable.
1. TONGUE SCRAPING
As our bodies digest and detox overnight while we sleep, a residue of toxins, or ama, accumulate on the tongue. If you wake up in the morning and instantly drink water or coffee, you’re actually just sending that gunk back into your body, where it reabsorbs into your bloodstream and causes disease. Gross. Tongue scraping removes those toxins, while simultaneously improving digestion, stimulating the internal organs, and curing bad breath. You’ll also be able to taste your food better! Practice tongue scraping first thing every morning before you eat or drink anything— even water— to give yourself a little extra cleansing love.
You can purchase a tongue scraper online for fairly cheap, or just use a spoon from your kitchen.
---> Here’s a tongue scraper from a fellow conscious, female-founded company.
Scrape from the very back of your tongue, gently pulling the scraper forward, rinse off any ama and repeat 5-7 times. Once finished, rinse tongue scraper and place in a safe, dry place when finished.
2. ABHYANGA/OIL MASSAGE
In Ayurveda, oil is directly related to love. Giving yourself some solid TLC with an oil massage is the perfect way to kickstart your day. Besides the mental calm and inner peace it provides, abhyanga also improves circulation, lubricates the joints and internal organs, detoxifies the body, and even strengthens your immunity. It’s a win-win-win for the mind-body-soul.
If you know your dosha, use a body oil that corresponds with it. Otherwise, sesame oil is traditionally used. Pour a small amount (2-3 tbsp) into a bottle or jar. Heat your oil up by placing the bottle/jar under warm water for several minutes. This helps the oil seep into your body more efficiently.
Traditional abhyanga starts from the top of your head and moves down to the tips of your toes (you can skip oiling your hair/face if you want, but still massage these areas well). Apply even pressure that feels comfortable and kind. Use long, straight strokes along your limbs, and round circles on your body otherwise.
For your belly, it’s best to massage in circles starting at the bottom right, and moving up —> left —> down —> right again. This will support healthy digestion. And don't be afraid to spend extra time where needed and do what feels right for you. This is your self-care time, and in the end, there’s no “wrong” way to do it!
***You can do abhyanga before or after you bathe, depending on preference. The oil moisturizes your skin, so you can use it in place of body lotion. Your skin will soak up the oil fairly quickly. If you’re not into feeling oily, massage before bathing and rinse off in the shower/bath. You’ll still have a nice moisturized feel to your skin afterward.***
Ohhh so many! Research has shown meditation reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, while improving memory, focus, and even the capacity to love and heal. And it doesn’t even have to be a long session. Five dedicated minutes in the morning can set your day up for greater success and happiness.
Prepare a quiet, comfortable space. Sit in an easy position with your spine tall, either on the ground, a meditation cushion, or in a chair. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. As you inhale, mentally say to yourself, “I know I’m inhaling.” As you exhale, “I know I’m exhaling.” When you notice the mind has wandered off, gently guide it back to your breathing.
That’s it! It may be challenging at first, but with practice comes ease.
To come out of your meditation, take a few full, deep breaths and make small movements with your fingers and toes. Stretch the body awake and open your eyes again. Take note of the immediate benefits! Practice meditation every day to create lasting, positive change.
We hope this helps bring some inner peace to you, enjoy experimenting with these wonderful rituals!
About Emily O'Brien:
Emily is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher, and mother with an overall “crunchy” approach toward life. Writing about what she’s learned throughout years of study is her favorite way to share with others. She hopes her articles can spark awareness and inspiration within readers to lead happier, healthier, more peaceful lives.
Find out more about Emily and her beautiful work at https://www.emilyobrienwriter.com/