New Year, New You
Good health is a life-long process. Ayurveda offers us the inspiration and gift of a lifetsyle that can be sustained for an entire lifetime. This year, commit to moving slower and giving every task and person your full attention. Relish and savor your interactions and activities. Be present to yourself.
Consider the wisdom of doing less to accomplish more. Although this is contradictory to our social conditioning of constant activity, try it. Spend time taking care of yourself. Meditate, buy new japa mantra beands, learn one new mantra and chant it.
Focus on right speech. Good communication reflects well on us and brings us joy. This is a good way to generate saatvic energy and it is good for cultivating emotional health.
No matter what task is begging for your attention, give sleep a chance. Get to bed early. Adequate sleep is good for the nervous system and rejuvenates the body.
Eat vata pacifying food such as warm soup and sip ginger tea. Avoid dry foods such as popcorn, chips, crackers etc.
Relish in the healing fragrances of aroma oils. Vatas can use: basil, citrus, clove, lavender, frankinscence, jatamansi, vetivert and sage
Pittas will enjoy: ylang-ylang, sandalwood, rose, jasmine and neroli
Kaphas should favor: basil, ecalyptus, rosemary, tulis or holy basil, lemon and juniper
Do not skip meals because this aggravates both vata and pitta.
Spend some time learning pranayama. The breath can used to pacify the nervous system and to heat and cool the body depending on the technique you use.
Consider eating stewed apples each day for it is warm, nourishing and light. It has more fiber than a raw apple and is beneficial for elimination.
Continue to maintain your daily routine. Stay committed to being in alignment with cosmic rythmns. If your body experiences good routines, you will have better sleep, digestion and elimination.
Exercise everyday. 80% of all diseases are caused by stress. And exercising is one of the best way of reducing stress. Be in nature, talk a walk, go swimming, try doing yoga outdoors.
Give up coffee and stimulants or at least use in moderation. Commit to using fresh and organic foods as much as possible.
Stay motivated to make lifestyle changes. Go easy on yourself. One change a week is a good start and makes it easier to keep going with those good changes.
Spend time in silence reflecting on your experiences and life’s journey. Try to find ways to see it as a gift and treasure the wisdom you derived from it. And always remember to be grateful for what you have and enjoy it!
Of course Ganesha is the best place to begin when you are starting something new and for the New Year we also need the blessings of Lakshmi to bring us wealth and abundance over the next 12 months. There are numerous mantras that invoke both Ganesha and Lakshmi together.
A simple one is OM Gam Ganapataye Vara Varada Gam OM
And there is a specific form of this mantra that is of particular importance in the alleviation of debts. It is intended to be practiced for 40 consecutive days in order to bear its full fruit. So get our your japa beads!
OM Shreem Gam Runa Hartaye Gam Shreem OM Ganapatayae Namaha
OM Shreem is a mantra that invokes Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance, Gam is Ganesha in seed form, Runa is that which sticks to me…debts, Hartaye means to destroy, Gam is Ganesha again to remove obstacles, Shreem is Lakshmi again to bring wealth, OM Ganapayayae is Ganesha and Namaha means to honor or to bow down….in essence the way we say please in a mantra.
Aparna Khanolkar is an Ayurvedic lifestyle and culinary coach in Santa Barbara and travels throughout the LA region to teach workshops. She offers Vedic cooking classes in Santa Barbara and is always available for phone consultations. Contact her at 805-698-5630 or email@example.com.
Aparna’s new cookbook, Happy Belly, Happy Soul is available here.