Finding Your Shanti (Inner Calm) During the Holidays

The idea of an ayurvedic concept called dinacharya was first introduced to me many years ago. This beautiful practice is a self-care routine that provides healthy skin along with a healthy mindset each and every morning. This particular ritual has been around for more than 5,000 years. It comes with an understanding that self-care starts with self-love first and is more than just washing your face or brushing your teeth. Dinacharya is more about “soul-cleansing”, and this is how I incorporate 3 Ayurvedic-based practices into a morning ritual that rids me of stress and helps me start my day off right.

Step 1: Wake Up Before Sunrise

The key to a proper Ayurvedic morning is to wake up before the sun does. This coincides with the phrase that I was taught in my kundalini yoga training of “chase the sun before it chases you”. As a busy mom and wife, I reap huge benefits when I dedicate myself to waking up before my family and taking advantage of allowing myself space for introspection. For me, it is important to offer 10% of my day to anchor my energy, especially during those pre-dawn “amrit vela” hours, or moments of nectar as I like to call them. During this time I am open to divine guidance and show up for myself, so I can then go out and hold grace in life and in my communities.  

I believe that as we nourish our own nervous systems, we nourish the nervous system of the planet and contribute to the massive work to be done here on Earth. The calm energy at this time of the day fills my cup and sets me up for success emotionally, mentally, and physically for the rest of the day.

Step 2: Gratitude Makes For A Better Attitude

Before I get out of bed, I conduct a meditative mind and body scan while saying a prayer of gratitude for rising another day. As I rise and make my way to my bathroom, I continue my thoughts of gratitude. Once I take my place at my bathroom counter, I begin my skin-care ritual that helps me optimize feeling awake and energized.

Step 3: Self-Care Is The Best Care

On most days my basic self-care needs are done in the following order:

  • Oral Hygiene. This includes tongue scraping, brushing of teeth, and oil pulling. Oil pulling is a cleaning of the “monkey glands”, or pockets in the throat that are the coziest spot for bacteria.
  • Massage. Each morning I dry brush or abhyanga massage if time allows. This practice helps stimulate circulation as well as lymphatic flow and drainage. You can read more about my dry brushing practice and its benefits here.
  • Wash. I then take a shower to continue the circulation of blood throughout my skin and use a neti pot to cleanse my body of bacteria in the nose and throat.
  • Skincare. Once out of the shower I apply each of my Pure Dharma products (you can find yours here), and seal all the goodness in with our Glow Oil, and use my Gua Sha on my neck and face.
  • Movement. Before I put any sustenance into my body I love to make space in my morning for movement. This can look like anything from kundalini yoga to freestyle dancing, even journaling to call upon your creative spark. Meditation can also help set an energetic frequency for the day.
  • Sip. Every morning I make myself a refreshing glass of celery juice. After that, I wait about 45 minutes to have my coffee elixir. Both beverages give my body all the nutrients it needs to thrive and glow throughout the day.

Having this practice before I start my day sets me up for success in a way I can’t describe. I don’t always have time to do every step but each day I make time for most, even if it’s only 20 minutes of breathwork and yoga instead of an hour. 

I have spent years crafting a morning ritual that works for me. Everyone is different and I encourage you to try things for yourself and see how it makes you feel. Explore what makes you feel good and create your very own rewarding morning ritual.

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