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Ayurveda with Anushree

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"A man's work is from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done!" Before all the hardworking dads label me as a feminist, I will clearly state that I do not subscribe to this view. Men don the role of caregiver to perfection in so many walks of life - as doting fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sons and uncles, as caring spouses, as compassionate teachers, and as supportive friends, and we can't imagine life without them. Dads do more than their fair share of work these days to give their loved ones the good life. Mom is just as special - after all, she is the "Master of Multitasking"!

Until I became a mother, I had known no emotion as strong and as pure as the one that I felt for my children. This truest of all loves changed me forever. It made me realize strengths and vulnerabilities that I didn't know existed within me until then. "The moment a child is born, a mother is also born." But being a mom implicitly entails several drastic additions to a woman's skill repertoire, with no prior training. She learns to become a skilled nanny, effective boo-boo fixer, chef par excellence, artist, mathematician, and grammar expert, to name a few. And all this with little or no sleep! Often times there is also a professional career thrown in there to add some more color to an already diverse landscape of roles and responsibilities. How does she continue to take care of her kith and kin, day after day, month after month, and year after year, 24/7, with no payment other than in pure love (at least we hope so!) without replenishing her own reserves of strength and sanity?

With Mother's Day upon us, it is a good time to remember, reflect and resolve. Ayurveda says that it is our dharma/responsibility to take care of ourselves, first and foremost. And as moms, on whom the health and happiness of the entire family usually depends, it becomes supremely important for us to prioritize our physical, mental and emotional health before anything else.

Here is a quick list that can help you to make small changes to get back on track or can serve as a good reminder to stay on track, if you're already taking care of yourself!

 

 

Body Care

 

 

 Diet : 

Eat a sensible diet that is abundant in fresh, organic fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Eat at fixed times of the day and don't skip meals to accommodate the routines and needs of the rest of the family. Eat according to your individual mind-body constitution/prakriti and according to the season and in accordance with the state of your digestion. Don't succumb to the trend of starving yourself or following the latest fad diets in an attempt to lose weight. Three square meals a day are better than snacking through the day according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Drink enough water and keep yourselves well-hydrated as well.

 

Exercise

Exercise regularly because you love yourself, not because you hate your body. Adopt and follow a sensible routine for exercise. Some examples of good cardiovascular workouts are brisk walking, running, dancing, playing a game and taking a cardio class. These should be done on a regular basis. Practicing yoga asanas, pranayama/breathing techniques on a regular basis helps not just in toning, but also in regulating several intrinsic physiological body functions.

 

Sleep

"Early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise." Getting your zzz's in the earlier part of the night ensures that you get a deeper rest that your eyes, skin, hair and sanity will thank you for the next day! Resist the temptation to vegetate for long hours in front of the television after the kids are in bed. Rise earlier than the rest of the family and enjoy some quiet time planning and organizing your day before the din of a regular day starts!

 

Routine

Take some time for you to have a regular self-care daily routine/dinacharya. Give yourself a regular abhyanga/self-oil massage as often as you can. Treat yourself to natural herbal facials and hair masks every once in a while. Get a massage!

 

 

Mind Care

 

 

 Meditation

The mind needs some rest after all that multitasking and activity. Sleep does not guarantee rest to the monkey mind that wants to keep racing from one thought to the other, even during sleep sometimes. Meditation gives you deep relaxation. Studies have conclusively proven that a few minutes of meditation every day improves memory, sleep, cognitive ability, creativity, mood regulation among its many benefits.

 

Relaxation

Schedule time for relaxing activities every day or you will end up becoming overwhelmed with all that you keep doing day after day, without respite. Do whatever it takes to unwind - go for a walk, listen to music, talk to a friend, hang out with your girl pals, take a long shower, read a book - some exclusive "me-time" will go a long way in helping you take on the rest of your day.

 

 

Soul Care

 

 

Hobbies

Do what you enjoy. Hobbies are not a waste of time. Indulge in hobbies that make you happy - dance, sew, paint, photography - whatever!

 

Solitude

Learn to spend time in solitude and enjoy your own company. You don't need anyone else to complete you - you are all you need!

 

 Service

Spend some time in service - help another with no personal gain in mind. Helping others in need helps us deflect focus from ourselves and gives us respite from incessantly lamenting our own little problems and making ourselves miserable. Helping another in need is also great karma. You'll be setting a great positive example for your kids to follow!

 

Happy Mother's Day to all you hardworking, talented, beautiful moms and moms-to-be out there! 

Love yourselves, dream big and believe in your ability to make a positive difference in the world - but  start with yourself!

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About the Column : In this column,"Ayurveda with Anushree"  I'll post recipes with Ayurvedic analyses, home remedies for common ailments and sometimes blogs for my take on several Ayurvedic principles like how to do a quick Ayurvedic home facial or how to detox safely etc.

About the Author : Until a few months ago, I was in a high-tech job as a software engineer at EMC, California. I left the job 9 months ago, to pursue my passion, and now don several different hats. I actively run a website, http://TheAyurvedicLife.com, which is my effort to share with others the learnings of Ayurveda that have positively changed my life. The website gives Ayurvedic analyses of food recipes, home remedies for general maladies and also contains a blog for Ayurvedic concepts and my thoughts in general, on topics like Detox, Facials etc. I have used the better part of the last year to become a certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor. As women of the 21st century, in mostly nuclear homes on foreign or home lands, juggling a professional and family life, with little or no help, we have some unique challenges that were likely unknown to our mothers' and grandmothers' generations. However, despite societal norms and other pressures, we need to rise above it all and see that our (and our family's) mental and physical health is a primary pillar, which when cared for will bring about amazing positivity and harmony in the rest of our lives! This is, in a nutshell my life’s purpose – to help people bring about this harmony in their lives through good diet and lifestyle routines!

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Health is wealth

Mind, body, soul rejuvination with a dicscipled life is the key for health. This column gives good awareness. The tips are truly informative and helpful.

Maaya Dev

Well being

Ancient wisdom in the 21st century, covering all essentials for a general well being of an individual in balance. You have covered every aspect in your blog. I am a yoga teacher based in Cyprus, and would love to expand my knowlegde in Ayurveda. Could you recommend a basic course, or a course similar to what you have done and whether there are any requirements qualifications wise to do a course online?

Neelu Sharma

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