“Self-Care is about thriving as you age and supporting longevity in the process”.
Would you like to live a hundred plus years?
According to a 2018 article published by the National Library of Medicine “By 2030, 1 in 5 of the world population will be over 65 years old. The elderly will use between 3 to 5 times more healthcare services compared to the younger population!” Wouldn’t make sense to take care of yourself NOW so you can thrive in your golden years?
In the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #61 Sarah Kruse and I talk about longevity and the concept of rejuvenation under the umbrella of Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda is the science of knowing oneself and attaining longevity for optimal life to feel our best as we get older. Everything in Ayurveda supports longevity and guides us how-to live a fulfilled life in harmony with nature.
The following information highlights just a few of the golden nuggets from this episode, listen to the entire episode here.
How Do We Rejuvenate?
All activities that we do on a daily basis can help support us in rejuvenating. When we think about rejuvenation, we must consider cleansing. In Ayurveda, rejuvenating the body means to have strength, vitality and vigor into our older years is the aim of cleansing. There are 3 stages of Ayurvedic cleansing:
- Preparing for a cleanse: Getting the body prepared to release toxins or excesses.
- Cleansing/ detox/ release stage: Depending on what type of cleanse a person is doing there’s a lot to let go of during this stage.
- Rejuvenation stage: Once we’ve prepared & released our excesses it’s time to replenish our essences and restore & build strength going forward by doing strong, rejuvenating restful yoga or consuming restorative foods and herbs.
‘Rasayana’ in ayurveda means rejuvenation and translates to ‘the path of getting juicy’ by creating juiciness in the tissues, hydration and zest for life. According to Sarah when we bring this juicy quality into our daily life, it enhances how we feel. This logical concept implies that if we’re constantly rejuvenating, then there is no room for burnout, stress or anxiety. We not only aim to restore and rejuvenate but to prevent depletion and burnout as well. Sarah calls these ayurvedic rejuvenation principles, “reverse aging” and some tips to help achieve this that we talked about in this podcast include:
- listening to the body’s wisdom,
- getting proper rest,
- eating appropriate foods & herbs and,
- following certain practices to slow the aging process.
I invite you to listen to the podcast “Busting 3 Major Ageing Myths” on the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #27, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Why Do We Age?
According to Ayurveda aging is an aspect of the Vata Dosha. When Vata sets in and is more dominant than it needs to be, daily, then aging can take place. The primary attributes of Vata are dry, light, cold and mobile. If a person has chronic dryness in their skin or intestines it can lead to aging, feeling cold or being too mobile (constantly on the go). This can tax the nervous and endocrine system leading to aging, but oftentimes, these experiences can be reversed. If we can catch the processes in their tracks, for example if someone’s an on-the-go busy type of lifestyle and feeling depleted, we can shift that and reorient them back to a path of balance with a specific lifestyle. There are different cleanses in Ayurveda, in my podcast we discuss the ‘Punch of Karma’: This can range anywhere from 5 to 21 days of deep cleansing and rejuvenating. We can bring in these cleansing rituals into day-to-day practices or do cleansing by the season. Sometimes people will notice their Vata Dosha getting more increased in fall season; which is a good time of year to bring in rejuvenating practices and foods for deep nourishment. An Ayurvedic concept called Ojas, which is your vital immune essence in the body is considered to be the refined essence of all bodily tissues. When we keep the Ojas strong and potent in the body, then we experience rejuvenation and this way we are not simply cleansed but also consciously rejuvenating to have optimal energy and feel the best going forward for months and years to come.
To learn more on the different types of Doshas listen to the amazing episode #43, “Embrace Ayurveda to Ignite YOUR Life” on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Food First Medicines In Ayurveda
Food, herbs, practices, thoughts, relationships can all be used as medicine. In Ayurveda, for rejuvenation with food and digestion we include nourishing foods that are also recommended for new mothers – comfort foods. Foods that boost Ojas and lead to rejuvenation are fresh vegetables and fruits, sweet potatoes, soaked almonds and cashews. A few other rejuvenating foods are coconut, healthy fats like avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter and olive oil that nourish our nervous and endocrine system to restore suppleness in the body. All the different milks are considered rejuvenating – seed milk, cow milk or goat milk. Fruits that are in season, local, and juicier like peaches, plums, mangoes, grapes, cherries are on the top list for Ojas. Herbs that are rejuvenating and considered to be adaptogens help the mind and body adapt to our surroundings or be less impacted by stressful scenarios.
For more information on herbs, listen to podcast episodes #19 and #20, “The Role of Herbs in Holistic Healing” on Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Often adaptogenic herbs are roots like ginseng and ashwagandha. They’re considered tonics. Most herbs can be taken any time of the day in the morning or as a warm beverage before bed. They can be taken as a powder, tincture or even in a capsule or tablet. Some Ayurvedics make a paste by mixing the powdered herbs with some honey, ghee and cardamom. Most tonic herbs can be taken ongoing for months at a time. Sarah recommends to take a break – take herbs for three months & then take 2-4 weeks off. Notice how you feel and then bring them back in. Dr. Vasant Lad recommends tasting your herbs on your tongue and having that connection with the plant. When we taste and consume the herbs, it causes a physical response throughout the body. Some herbs and their benefits that Sarah and I discuss in this podcast are listed below:
- Ashwagandha supports the immune system, gives strength, energy and vitality and nourishes deeply. People notice their sleep improve and have more energy and vigor in their day. Ashwagandha is used by men for increasing virility and fertility for healthy sperm count and to build body weight and muscle mass. Women take it for overall strength and vitality.
- Shatavari is used for strengthening the endocrine system & balancing hormones. Shatavari tends to be on the cooling side where Ashwagandha is warming, thus it’s a nice herb to take during the hot season.
- Brahmi is wonderful for the brain and nervous system. It’s Tridosha – balances all three Doshas and helps enhance mental clarity, focus and memory.
- Tulsi has more of an affinity for the lungs, heart and cardiovascular system.
- Licorice is good to give the adrenals the daily dose of nourishment and fits into many tea blends. If a person has high blood pressure, then do not use licorice.
- Avianca nourishes the skin and all the tissue layers, it calms the nerve endings, relaxes and rejuvenates the nervous and endocrine system to boost our energy.
- Triphala is an Ayurvedic combination of three dried fruits that balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It aims to cleanse, rejuvenate and strengthen the intestines. It’s not only a detoxifying laxative but it nourishes, builds and is loaded with vitamin C which is rejuvenating for the tissues, builds collagen and detoxifies the GI tract from different toxins that build up along its lining. Triphala is best taken it by itself. Don’t take it with your multivitamins or nutritive supplements because it can take them out of the body. Sarah usually takes triphala before bed, or first thing in the morning away from other supplements.
- “The crown jewel” of all rejuvenating blends is called Chyavanprash. This Ayurvedic herbal jam looks like Marmite or apple butter. It has a sweet, spicy rich flavor and includes many herbs mixed together with a lot of amalaki (Indian gooseberry). Amla is considered the highest source of vitamin C in the world. Try out this magical drink “Vitality Elixir” recipe which is loaded with rejuvenating Ayurvedic benefits here.
I invite you to read my interesting blog post “How to Balance YOUR Hormones with Ayurveda?”
The subtle practices of pranayama, yoga and meditation will rejuvenate our nervous system, consciousness, and chakras (which are physical and energetic layers of who we are) to get the desired boost and rejuvenation. Some of Sarah’s favorite restorative yoga practices are:
- Viparita Karani, the legs up the wall pose. Ancient yoga texts say that out of all yoga asanas this is the most beneficial and restorative. If you’re having a busy workday take 5-10 minutes in the mid-afternoon and bring the legs up the wall to refresh and replenish the energy.
- Especially for women is the Recline Cobbler, pose where you’re laying down on the floor with a support under the back, the knees open & feet together. The heart and lungs open up and this is rejuvenating for the whole body.
- Yin yoga is amazing for ultimately rejuvenating and restoring the consciousness which affects every side of who we are.
- Nadi Shodhana pranayama is the alternate nostril breath. Simply sitting quietly with the hands resting on the lap, watching the breath and quieting the thoughts so that meditation is more accessible.
- Watch me demonstrate Alternate Nostril Breathing For Anti-Anxiety & Calming Effects on my YouTube channel.
- Dr. Ladd recommends Hum meditation – sitting quietly and on the inhale, breathing in that sound. Then exhaling, breathing out that sound hum “hmmmm”. Following the natural movement of the breath with the humming sounds is a beautiful meditation.
- Self-massage is an awesome tool for rejuvenation and anti-aging.
For free guided meditation videos and Breathwork demonstrations subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Other Useful Websites:
Listen to the full podcast episode #61 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.