Because the ancient teachings of yoga and Ayurveda didn’t view the mind and body as separate entities, they created nutritional and lifestyle techniques that helped boost our satisfaction and joy in both the physical and soul realms. These techniques help us connect — and stay connected — to our core vitality and inner wisdom.
Of course, as we age, it is normal to begin to lose some of our natural juiciness. The body shrinks, the joints dry out, and the mind can lose its sharpness. That’s why one of the main practices for staying healthy involves keeping the mind/body machine well-oiled, well-loved, and juicy.
Here are my top five Juicy-Boosting tips. They are especially helpful for those of us who fly in airplanes, burn the midnight oil in front of a computer, or run marathons (or just marathon-style errands).
1. Breathe deep into your belly.
The belly holds some major life-juices. Think of your belly as the whole pelvic girdle — the entire region of your pelvis from your navel to your tailbone. It is your sacred womb. It is where we digest our food, make babies and access our wise-woman intuition. If life feels too hectic, take some conscious breaths deep into your belly every day. Remember, if you can’t breathe into your vagina, you can’t access the super-powers that sit there! Bonus practice: Try ParaYoga’s Deep Breathing.
2. Oil up.
Ancient beauty rituals held that body-oiling was the most important practice for boosting the feeling of contentment in a woman — and modern science is proving it today! In fact, a regular 20-minute self massage with an organic oil like sesame, sunflower, almond, coconut or jojoba has been shown to boost the body’s feel-good hormones, such as DHEA and oxytocin. Read this how-to on oiling your body.
3. Drink some fennel, fenugreek and/or licorice tea.
These are some of my all-time favorite plant foods. Ayurvedic medicine considers licorice, for example, as the cure-all for flagging vitality in women. It helps boost the juicy-factor of the body by reducing the exhaustion that comes from drying up and burning out in life.
4. Take a bath with natural nectar.
In Ayurveda, women rejuvenate their tired bodies in a bathtub full of natural ingredients. Try mashing together some organic banana, a splash of milk, one teaspoon of sesame oil, a dollop of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Massage the creamy mixture into your skin and soak in the bathtub for at least 15 minutes. Bliss! Bath
5. Be grateful.
The teachings of yoga — and now science — show that having an attitude of gratitude reduces the stress hormones that dry us up and burn us out. Can’t seem to get in the groove of gratitude? Rent the movie Life is Beautiful.
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Katie Silcox is a nationally-known yoga teacher, New York Times Best Selling author and passionate spiritual mama. More at www.katiesilcox.com
Photos by Naomi Huober