Mmmm... Warming Spiced Ayurvedic Sleepytime Mylk is yumminess so soothing, delicious and comforting before bed I find myself turning in earlier just cause I can't wait to make it! This mug of exotic spiced mylk sweetened with a touch of raw honey tingles the tastebuds and warms the insides. Minutes later, tucked into soft jammies and lavender spritzed covers, I'm falling into a deep slumber of fantastical adventures... dreams so beautiful I don't wake up until dawn. Ok, the falling asleep quickly part is definitely thanks to my Warming Spiced Ayurvedic Sleepytime Mylk, excellent for inducing sound, restful sleep. The continuation of a night filled with brilliant dreams leads me to a subject of an upcoming post, however, I'll give you a sneak peek...
Yet another Ayurvedic technique to promote restful sleep is rubbing a little warm sesame oil (cold pressed) on the soles of the feet (which contain reflexology points connecting all over the body). I add a few drops of pure **Frankincense Essential Oil to enhance this and I'm experiencing the affect of ultimate relaxation and beautiful dreams. I adore a night of deep sleep filled with intense dreaming, magical adventure that can't be bothered by waking up in the middle... designed by the universe just for us, stimulating our creative brain until it's perfectly time to open our eyes, look out the window, in a purely refreshed state of excitement for the daytime portion of our lives! Beautifully restful those dreamy nights where anything and everything is possible, preparing our subconscious for the grounded adventure of sunlit days. That's what sesame oil and frankincense do for me - it's no wonder the three wise men brought baby Jesus Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. I'll share in an upcoming post, which essential oils (EO's) I use in addition to the amazing power they have. Not all EO's are created equally for there is a highly refined art to how they're grown, distilled and combined. Therefore, it's important to properly source them. However, I've already delved much farther into this subject than intended, so stay tuned for more exciting details soon!
**Frankincense oil is an ancient oil which has been used for over 5000 years for restoration of the immune system, enhancing skin care, and harnessing spiritual connection to help us release parts of our ego which hold us back from connecting with our soul, as well as releasing feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. Often used in meditation, it's useful for visualizing, improving spiritual connection, centering, and providing comforting properties that help focus the mind and overcome stress and despair. The uses and benefits of Frankincense date long before the time of Christ to the Egyptians and Sumerians. Today, scientific research has shown Frankincense contains 8% sesquiterpenes which stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, and 78% monoterpenes which are known to be calming and restorative.
What I will say - on a seemingly different subject and yet not since everything in life is so inextricably intertwined - is that awakening (pun intended) is pure joy! All the tidbits I share on StyleNectar are simple ways to Live Beautifully, to help us experience the profound joy that is our birthright. People, do not give up. Even if you feel hopeless, do not give up. Trust me I've been there. We all have. However, our problems are indeed opportunities in disguise. They inspire us to look beyond the limitations of conditioned mind - beyond simply meeting ego's needs - as it dawns on us that ego's needs can NEVER be met. It will never be enough. Ego's appetite is insatiable and its promises empty. The good news, however, is our freedom, our bliss, lies not in some external person, achievement or thing. Freedom is in our own hands - we're at the mercy of no one, no thing! It's designed that way - and in fact it's our life purpose to realize. Some might call it learning to love ourselves. I would say it's realizing we are love. Meditation weans us from our addiction to distraction, disatisfaction, drama, and living in stories of past and future. Finding freedom is SO much more fun than the futility of attempting to appease ego. It's why many people who so called "have it all" are still not satisfied, blind to the simple, beautiful fact that we had it all from the very beginning. We always have. Always will. The heart. Love. Through meditation we experience this disrobing of the layers of disatisfaction, to bathe in love, be one with who we are. Experiencing our true nature. Our highest potential. When we bring true nature to our human experience we open our eyes to everything that has been within and around us all along. The magic of life force, of being alive. We see that it's about the process, each moment. Forget the results, they're just another addiction to tear us away from the moment. When we leave the moment we disconnect from the source and dive headfirst into suffering. Meditation and living in tune with nature reinforce our oneness with the source, opening ourselves up to a magical way of living not possible, or encouraged - by the conditioned world.
The science of Ayurveda, based on the ancient healing traditions of India, supports living in sync with nature, adjusting our way of living to balance the affect changes in our environment have on our doshas (doshas being the three mind-body types: vata, pitta & kapha). These changes in the rhythms and forces of nature such as the shift from morning to night and the inevitable seasons have a profound impact on us. According to Ayurveda, a key to good health, peaceful mind and higher level functioning is to live in harmony with these patterns of nature. This means continually balancing our inner ecology and our doshas to adjust to our ever changing environment.
Fall provokes the qualities of the vata dosha, characterized by such physical attributes as dryness, cold, subtlety, mobility, lightness, clarity, instability & astringency. Thus, Ayurvedic guidelines for autumn revolve around pacifying vata and grounding by keeping warm, calm, maintaining a regular routine, eating warming foods & spices and avoiding extreme cold, cold foods and too many raw foods. While there are many incredible reasons to include loads of raw foods into our diets, I'm not dogmatic about a 100% raw food philosophy. Currently, I'm experimenting with a 70% raw food, 30% cooked food breakdown. That said, don't forget, just because food is raw, doesn't mean it has to be cold - soups, entrees etc. can all be warm, yummy and comforting and stay raw. I'll be bringing more of these warming dishes to you this season.
Autumnal shifts in my diet are accompanied by going to bed a bit earlier, the addition of cozy blankets, sweaters, scarves and slippers; you won't catch me without a mug of something warm such as green tea or this Ayurvedic Spiced Mylk. I find myself wearing my hair down in its natural waves around my neck and ears like an extra scarf to keep me warm. Dinnertime brings warming stews spiced with seeds of cumin, mustard & coriander, or spicy thai noodles w/ shiitakes and coconut cream sauce (yes coming soon!)... It's a gorgeous, cold, light, blustery and dry time of the year. Leaves sparkling and rustling in the autumnal gusts. Even my kitty changes her routine, heading back to nap in her pillow-lined basket in the kitchen.
Sleepytime Ayurvedic Warming Spiced Mylk with Turmeric, Ginger & Cardamom
With these adaptations to the change in seasons I've been inspired to incorporate additional Ayurvedic structure to my days. I experience an incredible amount of life force on a 100% raw foods diet combined with my dedicated meditation practice. It's probably something one has to experience to be able to relate to... spiritual breakthroughs of a whole new level, such oneness with nature it's frequency pulses through my veins. However, from an Ayurvedic perspective, though we do live in heated homes, a 100% raw food diet might not be best in winter. While I did remain close to 100% raw last winter, as I was brand new to it and unwilling to let go of the high frequency living a raw food diet was providing, old school Ayurvedic science would feel this could provoke too much vata. On the other hand there are "living" Ayurvedas who would completely endorse 100% raw year round for the level of prana it provides. Which side to take? As Ghandi said, "My life is experiments in truth". So this year I'm experimenting, taking the middle way by incorporating more grounding cooked food into my routine. I find life is constant change, refinement, which forces us to stay awake, keep our eyes open. Far better than falling asleep on auto-pilot thinking we've figured it all out. So here's a peek at the rest of the Ayurvedic inspired daily routine I'm transitioning into:
Ayurveda would recommend waking up early, around 5 am to experience the calm stillness of the morning this time of year. I'm working on that, finding 6:00 am is my current goal :) A bit of yoga is advised upon waking, which I find quite wonderful, only 10-20 minutes or so, focusing on the following asanas especially soothing of vata: Cat and Cow, Spinal Twist, Cobra, Vajrasana, Forward & Backward Bend, and Lotus. Shoulder Stand and Headstand are good in moderation. Additionally, Sun Salutations in sets of 12 at minumum for good exercise or a maximum to the number of one's age -tho work up gradually if you try that! I follow yoga with bathing & oil pulling, breakfast & meditation. If I've gotten up early enough I'll take an early walk in nature, otherwise, I'll soak up the sunshine on a lunchtime walk. After a day's work, supported by my essential oils (again more on these soon!) I have dinner (sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, always warm) relax, and aim to go to bed within an hour after sunset - yes that early! It's fantastic. Just before bed it's a short second meditation then my delicious Warming Spiced Sleepytime Mylk. As mentioned, it completely helps me sleep through the night - and even if it didn't I'd still drink it cause it's SO darn comforting, yummy and freakin delicious people! Yes, it does have turmeric in it- which is of course unbelievable for us on so many levels, and it tastes phenomenal. If you think you wouldn't like it with turmeric, try it, I think you'll be surprised :)
Lastly, after having my sleepytime mylk... I wash up for bed and rub the soles of my feet with the aforementioned sesame oil and frankincense to cleanse my body, sleep like a baby, and dream like I'm in a whole new world. As I said, more on the essential oils coming soon...
**Turmeric has a vast variety of uses. In general it's a good anti-inflammatory. In traditional medicine, it's used to treat liver disorders, parasitic infections, ulcers, skin problems, bruises, joint pain and inflammation, sprains & strains, cold & flu symptoms and as a general digestive aid. Scientific research shows that turmeric aids in breaking down liver toxins, strengthening gallbladder function, aiding lipid (aka fat) metabolization, and preventing blood clotting. Recent studies show turmeric may help prevent lung, breast colon, and other forms of cancer.
PS. I can't possibly discuss Indian science without mentioning one of my top (as in top 3) favorite books, the Baghatvad Gita (translation by Eknath Eswaran). Life changing. Just like us. Just like nature.
Recipe for Warming Spiced Ayurvedic Sleepytime Mylk
- 1 cup of almond, coconut or your fav non-dairy mylk
- pinch of cardamom
- pinch of ginger
- pinch of turmeric
- raw honey
- Pour your favorite mylk into a small pot.
- Add spices to taste and whisk to combine. Start with less and experiment with more later. I actually use 1/2 tsp of each spice which makes my mylk bright yellow and I LOVE it! However, a pinch is all you need.
- Bring mylk to baby bottle temperature to keep it raw. If you don't care about it staying raw, bring it to a light steam.
- Add a raw honey to taste & give mylk another whisking.
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy heavenly sleepytime yummminess! Sweet Dreams :)
Do you meditate or have you ever considered meditating? How are you transitioning into the cooler weather?
Thank you for visiting :)
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