Ayurveda is the science of life, Ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge. It's a holistic form of healing which has its roots in ancient India. It comprises of the health of not just your physical body, but also your mind and spirit. It's a practise in wellness from the moment you wake until the time you go to sleep.
Ayurveda has been practised for over 5000 years with it main aims to help us with health, happiness and wholeness.
We are all made from matter, and matter comprises of all 5 elements, earth, fire, water, air and space. These elements combine to make what we call the Dosha's :
- Vata which comprises of air and earth
- Pitta which is fire with a little moisture
- Kappa which is earth and water.
We are all made up of all 3 dosha's, but we can be dominant in one or two Dosha. Knowing which Dosha you are prominent in gives you a blueprint on how to organise your diet, routine, activities, supplements, to help prevent things going out of whack.
Ayurveda has 3 imperatives for health;
Our connection to source needs to be strong.
No physical, energetic, emotional or spiritual blockages
Balanced and harmonious physiology.
What we eat, what we think and what activities we practise are going to greatly affect our overall wellbeing and ability to live a long and health life.
The more you come into tune with the natural rhythms of what your body needs, the more fulfilment and balance you are going to experience.
The three Dosha's are more prominent at certain times of the day.
Vata rules 2am-6am and 2pm - 6pm, meaning these times are all about movement.
Kapha rules 6am-10am and 6pm - 10pm, at these times we should be more settled and calm.
Pitta rules 10am-2pm and 10pm - 2am, at these times indigestion is at its highest.
One of the more obvious signs that we are out of balance can be insomnia or disrupted sleep.
If your sleep is disrupted there is defiantly some nervous system disturbances going on and probably some emotional activity.
To help yourself slip into a peaceful night sleep we need to create a peaceful and blissful evening routine.
An Ayurveda evening routine which helps with sleeps looks like this;
Oil Massage - A warm oil massage will relax the body and help with any energetic or physical blockages within the body. If a full body oil massage is too much for you then just a simple oil foot massage is going to work fantastic.
A warm shower or bath - A warm shower or bath after your oil massage leaves the physical body feeling refreshed and calm. Water is an amazing aid for removing stagnant energies which are clinging to you. I would suggest a shower most evenings, with a ritual bath with bath salts once or twice a week thrown into the mix for good measure.
Herbal Tea or Warm Milk - In Ayurveda they recommend warm milk with spices such as nutmeg, turmeric and cinnamon as your next step after your shower or bath. You could try a cup of your favourite Chamomile tea with milk of choice (can be almond or soy), a pinch of nutmeg, honey if you prefer it a bit sweeter and a cinnamon stick for stirring. There are lots of herbal teas aimed at sleep, so experiment and find one that suits you.
Lights Low - During the Kapha dominant hours of 6pm-10pm everything should be calm and settled, low lighting is an important part of these times, so set the lights low, try a salt lamp or even just candle light. Have you ever noticed around 10pm you have 'a second wind', this is because you are leaving the settled Kapha prominent time and entering the Pitta hours, therefore keeping your environment calm and settled during the Kapha hours is really going to help with sleep before Pitta kicks in.
Screens off - Now this is probably the hardest one for most people (I know it is for me!), but the earlier you can turn off screens such as your mobile phone and tv the better you're going to sleep. It's really important not to have screen time when your in bed, bed should be just for sleep and love making. Having screens in bed disturbs our biorhythm, so we need to reset this to understand that bed is just for sleeping.
Listening to peaceful music - Listen to peaceful music in bed to aid falling asleep. I love to listen to Crystal singing bowls, however my husband finds them annoying, so experiment with what works for you.
Essential Oils - Placing a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of water on your bedside can greatly aid with sleep (just be careful if you have pets that they can't get to it). If you are struggling to get to sleep try lavender, sweet orange or bergamot. If you wake in the early hours try rose, ylang ylang or sandalwood. Make sure to buy high quality essential oil, I recommend Neal's Yard.
Another reason you may be experiencing insomnia or disrupted sleep can be liver toxins or digestive issues. Try a castor oil pack over your liver and digestive system in the evening to detox. For maximum effectiveness apply the pack as often as possible, at least 4 consecutive days per week for at least 4-6 weeks. To find out more about castor oil packs or to purchase one from me send me a message.
One last tip which I find always induces a great night sleep is bed hygiene. Having fresh bedding on a bed which has been made up ready that morning always help with sleep.
Following this evening routine should help with insomnia and disturbed sleep, I would love to hear how you get on, so please drop me a message and let me know if this has helped you.