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Now that the annual energetic explosion of Valentine’s day is over, are you going to wait until next year to love on yourself? What if I tell you can Self Love in Every Season.

It is a beautiful intention and opportunity to devote a day to love – loving on those around you, loving on yourself, your children, your partner, your family, your friends. But what if every day was a day devoted to love? What if you could implement a simple ritual to nourish yourself, recharge your battery, and feel completely held and rejuvenated every day?

Self care is not a last resort, a selfish act, nor a once a year practice. Ayurveda is all about bringing balance to the body-mind and coming into harmony with the flow of nature to support homeostasis in the body. Self love, self care, taking time to care for oneself should be a daily practice. Ayurveda encourages us to do so – through daily ritual, whether that be working with the breath (pranayama), working with the body (through asana or yoga postures), or caring for the body by daily practices of tongue scraping, oil pulling, eating nutritious meals in alignment with the season’s produce offerings, staying hydrated, or getting enough sleep. Nourishing and taking care of the physical body is a powerful act. As we nourish the body, it is an act of love, an act of radical attention in a day and age that we have many things to capture our attention. How often does it land on deeply nourishing you?

Self Love in Every Season – Simple Practices

Let’s take a look at a few simple practices you can implement daily and weekly to up your level of self love throughout the year.

The word ‘Abhyanga’ or translates to ’to oil’ (abhya) and ‘limb’ (anga). The word for oil – ‘sneha’ or ‘snehana’ translates to ‘love.’ So, abhyanga, or self oil massage, is literally an act of self love. Especially during cooler and drier months of winter and fall, this practice nourishes the dhatus, or tissues of the body, increases ojas, or radiance, improves circulation, moisturizes and replenishes the skin, and can relieve stress and sooth the nervous system. It is especially beneficial when there is excess vata in your system – think cold and dryness.

How to Abyangha:

  • Practice oil massage before showering
  • Optional: turn on shower to create steam to open the pore of your skin
  • Warm oil in a pan on the stove until warm (but not hot)
    • Vata: sesame oil
    • Pitta: coconut oil or organic olive oil
    • Kapha: sunflower oil
  • Massage into the skin from head down to the feet with the My Essential Oils Mood rollerball for extra grounding and relaxation
    • massage the scalp with or without oil
    • use circular, clockwise stokes over the heart and abdomen
    • use long strokes on arms and legs
    • use circular strokes over the joints
  • Allow the oil to absorb into the skin for about 10 minutes 
  • Wash off in the shower

Another simple practice you can do before Abyangha, or entirely on its own, is dry brushing. This is another practice to nourish the skin, increase circulation, and support the body in gently detoxification. It also support movement and flow of lymphatic fluid – the highway transport system for toxins in the body. 

How to Dry Brush:

  • With a natural bristle brush, stroke the skin gently in the direction of the heart (place some My Essential Oils Immunity blend onto the palm of your hands and circle your brush there before beginning to support deeper lymphatic movement and detoxification)
    • use circular, clockwise stokes over the heart and abdomen
    • use long strokes on arms and legs
    • work from feet up towards the heart, and neck and shoulders down towards the heart
  • Shower or bathe, or practice abyangha self oils massage first

Movement is another simple thing you can give yourself the gift of every single day. It may simply be a walk through the neighborhood, or perhaps a hike in the park; maybe even attending a movement or fitness class in your local community. If you enjoy yoga or have an at-home practice, these are a few poses you can add into your routine, or simple revisit, specific to your dosha, or body-mind constitution. Roll on some My Essential Oils Rollerball for added joint support and joint health.

Movement 

  • Vata: slow sun salutations, grounding standing poses like tadasana (mountain), vrkasana (tree pose), and standing forward fold.
    • Practice nadi shodahana breath for balancing the brain, grounding, and reducing anxiety 
  • Pitta: focus on cooling poses, forward folds, balasana (child’s pose), malasana, 
    • Practice cooling breath shitali – breathe in through the nose, breathe out through a rolled tongue
  • Kapha: vinyasa, or flowing yoga, sun salutations at a pace to bring more warmth to the system and get the juices flowing
    • practice breath of fire to create heat and keep the metabolism flowing – sharp exhales through the nose, as you draw the belly in to support 

Self care could look like any of these – or it could be as simple as a few extra moments of silence with your morning beverage, or a pause in your day to look at the trees, take 3 deep breaths, listen to music you enjoy. It could be reading before bed, rolling on an essential oil, or cooking a nourishing meal. It could be taking your supplements to support your physical vessel.

It’s not the actions that are important, so much as creating space for things that feel nourishing and keep your battery charged. 

Author: Alexandra Kazimir (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)

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