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With looming to-do lists, invite lists, gift lists, wish lists, and grocery lists, the most wonderful time of the year can quickly become seasonal chaos. It’s no wonder that many of us feel so stressed out during the holiday season!
The expectations of holiday shopping, hosting or visiting family, having so much to do and so many decisions to make, may cause Prana Vata, the subdosha of Vata that governs mental functioning, to go out of balance. Aggravated Prana Vata can cause excessive worry, occasional feelings of anxiety and trouble sleeping — thus making it difficult to remain calm and stay happy during one of the best times of the year. If we become more and more stressed, we enjoy the holidays less and less.
The holiday season does not have to be stressful. Ayurveda empowers us to balance our lives, in body, heart (emotional) and mind. We can utilize healing ayurvedic herbs to stay calm, balanced and de-stressed during the holidays. The experience of holiday chaos is inversely proportional to our state of balance; the more balanced we are, the less we feel that life is chaos. Nothing may change on the outside, but how we experience our world can change — for the better.
According to ayurveda, balancing any part of our bodies (or lives) starts in the gut. If we’re not digesting food properly, the nutrients we’re eating are wasted instead of absorbed. Strong digestion keeps our immune system healthy and our brain happy. If things are off in our gut, our health may fall out of balance, leading to a vicious cycle of imbalance.
Simple Tip: Eat the main meal of the day at lunch rather than at dinner, and add an ayurvedic combination of herbs, called Triphala (Organic Digest Tone, Triphala Plus), into the mix. When we eat a large dinner, we are telling our body to do two contradictory things: deeply rest, but also maintain a higher metabolic rate to digest food. Our body cannot reach the deepest, most restful part of sleep when it is trying to handle a big meal. This is why sleep may feel restless after a big meal. The result: we wake up not fully rested and with a meal that is not fully digested, leaving us with ama, or improperly digested food being metabolized. Ever wonder why you wake up hungry the morning after a big dinner? It is because your stomach is starting to re-digest the food it could not handle the night before… you are not hungry; it is your body still dealing with the big meal.
Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) — A mild laxative, it gently purifies, detoxes and when used over a longer period of time, it allows even the deepest tissues and organs of the body to release toxins. Despite its powerful cleansing quality, Organic Digest Tone actually supports food absorption rather than depleting the body of nutrients. This ayurvedic formula contains three remarkable fruits — amla, chebulic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan — and together in the combination of Triphala they are known as a digestive rasayana, a king of herbal combinations known for amazing rejuvenative and health-giving qualities. Because Organic Digest Tone contains three elixirs in one compound, it is considered one of the most valuable herbal preparations in the world. In addition, a fourth ingredient, cabbage rose, unique to our formula, is added to support the synergy of the other ingredients and promote their effectiveness. Additionally, sinceTriphala can be heating over time, cabbage rose reduces the heating effects.
The obligations and to-do’s of the holiday season can demand our time and energy, leaving us feeling depleted. Ongoing stress can contribute to imbalances in our mind and body, leading to feelings of sadness and physical fatigue. If we take time to check in with our emotions and our heart during this busy season, we can let go of unnecessary stress and choose to let go of unfulfilling obligations. Ayurvedic Stress Free Emotions is a healing herbal formula that can help us reclaim the calm from within.
Stress Free Emotions — A great product for those who experience anger when under stress. For natural support of emotional stress and fatigue, this blend of whole herbal extracts, powders, and minerals nourishes and supports the immune system, which is often taxed by everyday mental stress. Feel more composed and simultaneously alert with Stress Free Emotions. Arjuna, ashwagandha, mica, pearl and holy basil combined promote emotional balance, positive thinking, motivation and feelings of fulfillment. Bacopa, dwarf morning glory, gotu kola and Indian tinospora all work to support learning, retention and long-term memory. Pearl, greater galangal, licorice, jatamansi and ashwagandha support mental energy. This formula supports our natural resistance to emotional stress and helps us adapt to change instead of losing it!
Vata governs movement, and as our movement increases with the “too-much-to-do, too-little-time” feeling and holiday travel, we may start to feel restless, anxious, and overall Vata-deranged! When Vata wobbles out of balance, we might notice that we are anxious, tired, fatigued, forgetful or “spaced out,” and lack the focus to be present and enjoy our quality time with friends and family.
When life gets too hectic, restore balance instantly with a warm, nurturing cup of Organic Calming Vata Tea, especially formulated to pacify Vata-related imbalances.
Organic Calming Vata Tea — A few sips of sweet, soothing Organic Vata Tea will settle a whirling mind and help our body relax. Licorice, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon combine in this organic herbal tea to aid digestion, promote a healthy appetite and relieve occasional stomach discomfort. Whether at work, at home, or on the road, Organic Vata Tea can help us quickly create a zone of inner calm. Whew!
Worry Free — A great product for those who experience worry, indecision, or spaciness when under stress. Bacopa, dwarf morning glory, ashwagandha, jatamansi, licorice, and Indian tinospora combine to create one of our strongest Vata-balancing formulations. Supporting a healthy emotional response, Worry Free helps us step up to the challenge of modern life. Because it simultaneously calms the nervous system while supporting mental acuity and the brain’s ability to cope with anxiety-producing, stress-related situations, we’ll sail through the same situations that used to cause a meltdown. It’s not about having a different attitude — it’s about changing the automatic and immediate emotional reaction to stress.
Our body heals itself during sleep, which is why quality sleep is essential to maintain balance. Ayurveda recommends turning in before 10:00 p.m., during Kapha time when our body naturally supports rest, and waking with the sunrise. After 10:00 p.m., a more active, Pitta-quality sleep sets in. So, if we can fall asleep before then, a more restful Kapha-quality sleep takes hold; we fall asleep more easily, and experience a deeper quality of sleep. If turning in before 10:00 p.m. seems unrealistic, there are simple ways we can at least improve the quality of sleep we’re getting. Slow down a half hour before lights out and power down all electronics in the bedroom.
Simple Tip: If you frequently find yourself not feeling tired by bedtime, try this: Turn out all the lights in your home before sundown. Enjoy a restful activity such as reading, avoid electronics, and allow the light to naturally set in your home. You may find that drowsiness naturally comes on.
Integrate sleep products from vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda, with their three-fold action. Some of the herbs, such as jatamansi and Indian valerian, help us to relax into sleep. Other herbs, such as bacopa and ashwagandha, restore our body’s own inner intelligence to promote a deeper quality of sleep. A third group of herbs helps address the effects resulting from prolonged sleep issues, such as weakened immunity or weakened coordination between heart and mind. Due to the synergistic combination of a variety of whole plant parts, there are no side effects. Instead of feeling groggy, wake up feeling fresh, with a renewed ability to concentrate and reduced stress.
Deep Rest — For uninterrupted deep and restful sleep, Deep Rest promotes sleeping through the night. This herbal formula is especially formulated for those of us who have difficulty staying asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning after less than six hours of sleep. This herbal formulation supports the overall quality of sleep while helping to calm the mind, senses and nervous system. The result is a normal, refreshing sleep. No more waking up night after night in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep!
Blissful Sleep — Formulated for those of us who have trouble falling asleep. This natural sleep aid produces a calming, balancing effect on the mind, senses and nervous system. If we’re worried or agitated before bed, our mind stays connected to the senses, keeping them active. That’s when falling asleep becomes a challenge — or if we do, our sleep is light and restless. It’s when the mind is relaxed, and disconnects from the senses, that sleep is sound and deep. Blissful Sleep helps us fall asleep faster; enjoy deeper, more restful sleep; and wake up recharged, vitally alive, ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.
Underneath all of the holiday activities, remember that the end of one year and the beginning of another is a time to practice gratitude and find divine connection within and around. Through ayurvedic practices, we empower ourselves to find balance and de-stress during chaotic times!