Movement and Flow for Improved Stress, Sleep and Mental Performance
In Ayurveda, there is a constant devotion to the well being of each individual, and incorporating practices that work just for you. Exercise is no exception. Our mental health, sleep quality detoxification pathways, stress response, joint and muscle health, digestion and metabolism, cardiovascular and immune system are all impacted by the quality and amount of movement and flexibility in our daily lives. How we incorporate movement and flow within our day is individual to you, and your unique dosha (you can take our Dosha Quiz here).
How Movement and Gentle Flow Impacts Your Life
Mind, body and soul, daily exercise and movement is essential for our wellbeing. Our physical flexibility is also reflective of our mental flexibility. Do you recall a time when your whole body just felt stagnant, with not enough exercise, too much sitting, and inactivity (perhaps even too much screen time lately)? Your mental state was likely reflective of that stagnation as well, with a foggy and slow mind, feeling uncreative, with slow memory. The more we can keep our body agile and spry, the better our brain keeps up with the body’s need for movement.
Our sleep quality is impacted by our daily exercise, too. Throughout the day, we acquire so much energy that we need to dispel including pent up stress, racing thoughts, and unresolved emotions. Our body is designed to move, to work through physical, emotional, and mental barriers, and through daily movement, we can expel a lot of that stored up energy. If we try to fall asleep with a body full of stored energy and emotion, you can imagine how difficult it may be for the body to shut off and fully relax into restorative sleep. Incorporating exercise, gentle yoga flows, walking, swimming, biking, or brisk movement of any kind can improve the quality of your sleep, and your sustained energy throughout the day.
Ayurveda teaches that when we are too brittle, we will break. Just like a tree with dried and withered branches that break in the wind, we too can become too brittle if we remain inflexible. One of the biggest contributors to our agitation, anger, reactiveness and exhaustion is high stress. We can only carry so much with us before our body begins to break down, and we become inflexible - or paralyzed - with pent up stress. Exercise and gentle movement flows throughout our day keep us flexible, energized, fluid, and responsive, while giving us an energy outlet to expel some of our acquired daily stress.
Ways To Incorporate Movement At Home
Gardening is a fun and productive (and sometimes even meditative!) way to stay active and gently work your body and muscles. From container gardening, organic backyard homesteading, or flower gardening your small or large landscape, this is a beautiful way to combine mind and body exercise as your imagination creates the canvas for your gardening dreams, and your body works to create the landscape while your hands move the earth. Gardening practice is ideal for the Vata individual, to focus their attention, ground them into the earth, and expand on their inner creativity. While You Garden: Enjoy a cup of organic tea while you celebrate the abundance of growing life. A delicious and refreshing blend of lemon fruit, aromatic cardamom and whole leaf green tea expertly blended with golden turmeric.
Yoga practice is a foundational part of ayurvedic lifestyle medicine, and there is a yoga flow for everyone that can be easily incorporated into your day. Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour, restorative yoga practice can improve your mind and spirit while improving your flexibility and being gentle on your joints and muscles. Maintaining a daily yoga practice is especially ideal for the Pitta individual, to calm their nervous system, slow them down, and gently dispel excess heat energy from their fiery personality. While You Practice: enjoy a cup of tea to support movement, muscle recovery, and a healthy inflammatory response with this vibrant blend of organic turmeric, ginger and essence of orange.
Dancing - Cooking together in the kitchen? Turn on some music and keep it playful and active. Alone at home? All the better. Dancing infuses joy in our lives and encourages healthy circulation of the lymphatic and circulatory system, all while improving our mental state and giving us some much needed joyful exercise. The joyful energy of dance is perfect for the Kapha dosha, encouraging playful, energetic movement, spontaneous creation, and flexible intensity. While You’re Dancing:, keep a pot of organic Three Ginger tea close by to encourage that zesty movement, and keep your body warm and flexible.
Ayurveda encourages us to especially exercise during the kapha times of day, being 6am-10am, and 6pm-10pm. First thing in the morning, and in the evening closer to bedtime. Practice a routine that works for you, and be gentle with yourself as you explore the movement and flows that are ideal for you and your unique body.
Turmeric Active: This is a perfect morning tea for those who enjoy movement and exercise first thing in the morning. A vibrant blend of organic turmeric, ginger and essence of orange will support movement, muscle recovery, and a healthy inflammatory response to encourage daily movement and circulation.