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Ayurvedic DIY Rituals: Awaken the Goddess Within

Ayurvedic DIY Rituals: Awaken the Goddess Within
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BY KITT WALSH

With the lazy days of summer upon us, it may be the perfect season to devote a little more loving attention to ourselves with some do-it-yourself rituals suggested by an ancient Indian system. Ayurveda, is a holistic path of wellness that says all of us have distinguishable characteristics of one or more of three doshas.

Here is a quick list of attributes of each dosha:

Vata means you have a quick and imaginative mind, a thin frame, dry skin and hair and a delicate appetite. You enjoy new experiences and love to talk. You like making new friends and shopping, but under stress, tend to blame yourself for all trouble.

Pitta means you are intellectual and discerning, with a medium or muscular build, acne-prone skin and have thinning, gray hair. Your appetite is strong and you are organized, driven and have a strong sex drive. You enjoy luxury items, speak to make a point and are easily irritated when stressed and blame those around you for problems.

Kapha means you are consistent and steady, gain weight easily (and have trouble getting it off), with oily skin and hair. You do love to eat, but have uneven digestion. You are slow moving and resistant to change, but very loving. You’d rather save money than spend it and don’t get stressed easily.

The Ayurveda rituals suggest we are best served when we know which dosha represents us (though we may have characteristics of all three). See if one seems to best sum up your personality and go with the ingredients listed for that dosha in these DIY rituals:

Scalp Massage (to relieve tension and fatigue and release toxins):

Apply warm oil to palms and work fingertips from hairline to base of the neck with strong pressure 3 times. Go behind the ears and follow the shape of the ears, tugging the earlobes. At the center point of the scalp, use your thumb to rub clockwise circles for one minute. Part your hair into four sections at hairline and base of neck and pull your hair twice in each section.

Face Mask (refines pores, stimulates deep skin layers):

Once a week, clean your face and apply the mask to neck and face, but stop at the eye socket, leaving the mask on 20 minutes before washing with warm water and moisturizing. For Pitta dosha: Use 2 parts jojoba oil, 1 part plain yogurt and 6 parts white or green clay. For Vata: 1 part honey, 1 egg white, 2 parts aloe vera juice, 6 parts green or white clay. For Kapha: 1 part lemon juice, 1 part aloe vera juice, 1 part honey and 5 parts white or green clay.

Body Massage (to stimulate lymphatic flow and increase stamina):

Dry brush your skin using upward strokes with gentle pressure towards your heart. Using warm oil, massage all of your skin, starting at your feet and work towards your chest, helping the natural upward circulation flow. After letting the oil sink in, use a warm shower to open your pores, but don’t wash the oil away. Use cold pressed oil with or without 8 drops of essential oil. If you are Vata, use avocado or sesame oil and geranium, jasmine or neroli essential oil. For Pitta, use coconut or almond oil with sandalwood, vetiver or mint essential oil. Kapha should use almond or grape seed oil with Bergamot, Lavender or Eucalyptus essential oil.

Foot massage (For facial care!):

The Ashtanga Hridaya, a classic Ayurvedic text, says that there are four major nerves in our feet connected to our eyes and massage can relieve eyestrain and facial tension, allowing our natural beauty to shine though. For all doshas, create a foot soak to meet your needs. To unswell feet, use very warm water and 3 Tablespoons of Epsom salts per gallon of water. To cool off, use cool water and a handful of dried lavender and fresh rose petals mixed with a tablespoonful of honey. To warm cold feet, use lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons of ginger power. Soak for 10 minutes and then pat dry before rubbing your feet with olive or coconut oil. Massage in circles around your ankle and down the calf to the heel bone. Hold the heel and pull back the ball of the foot and massage between toes, pinching the webbing. Use your thumbs up at the top of the foot on the tendon. Turn your foot over and stretch the base of the toes apart and pull each toe gently. Massage the arch, rotate the ankle in both directions and rub your big toe between the palm of your hand to relieve neck tension and the base of your little toe to relieve shoulder tension. Wrap in cotton socks to allow the oil to soften and enjoy the flow of apana vayu, the grounding movement of the Ayurvedic principle of air, the vata.

Through all these rituals, try to quiet your mind. Light a candle, open a window and concentrate on relaxing as the warm summer winds wash over you. We women, of all ages, are the embodiment of Lakshmi, the divinity of radiant beauty. Treat yourself like the Goddess you are.

 

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (http://www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.