Welcome to Summer of Ayurveda, a 25 day Instagram series offering you an Ayurvedic approach to summer’s biggest topics. Each week we will cover a new theme, hosted by some of the best Ayurvedic Instagramers. Follow us on Instagram @banyanbotanicals for inspired daily posts!
This week in our Summer of Ayurveda Instagram series, we’ll explore Daily Routine & Self-Care with our guest host, Adena Rose.
Adena is well-steeped in the practices of self-care and daily routine. Her personal exploration of wellness has lead her to a deep understanding of the value of taking time to care for the self and maintain daily healthful habits. Every day this week, Adena will be sharing tips and ideas on our Instagram account (@banyanbotanicals) to inspire and educate you to live in the Summer of Ayurveda.
Recently, Adena and I took the time to discuss what Ayurveda means to her and how it is an integral part of her life. Read on to hear her story!
How did you first learn of Ayurveda?
I first heard of Ayurveda when I was in my 200 hour YTT. My teacher had brought in an old crate of Yoga Journals and I grabbed one. I opened up to a story about an ancient sage who explained how food affects our consciousness. I was like, ‘whoa, this is the real yoga, the yoga of food.’ I needed to know more.
When you first heard of Ayurveda, what made you want to learn more?
I felt like everything I was reading about Ayurveda was reiterating a truth I had known, or felt I had somehow known, my whole life. I grew up in rural Maine, spending a lot of time outside, in the woods, near the ocean, immersed in nature. The Ayurvedic principles of the elements and the doshas just gave me a language to explain patterns I had already seen.
Was there a moment when the concepts of Ayurveda really “clicked”? When it all made sense to you without having to research every answer to every question? When was it and what was it like?
Different things click often; concepts become clearer and deeper with regular reading and study. It’s so important to hear the basics over and over and over again. I go outside and I am always looking for the elements…the doshas…the gunas. I want to really understand them and feel them in my senses. As I said, little aha moments happen all the time, but really, from day one, it all made sense to me. (And I think for others, too, that’s why so many people connect with Ayurveda right away!)
How did you first begin to implement ayurvedic practices into your daily life?
First, I’d say I started with Abhyanga, or self-massage, and trying to eat three meals per day. I’d noticed right away a Vata imbalance, so I started there, with a better routine, and taking care of my dry skin.
What is your favorite daily ayurvedic practice? Why?
My favorite daily Ayurvedic practice is going to bed early. I love sleep, I need sleep, and I love how much Ayurveda values sleep for health and healing. And with a lot of Vata and Pitta in my constitution, I really need that heavy quality of a good night’s sleep to stay balanced. But really, it’s hard to pick a ‘favorite’; there are a handful which are just invaluable.
Tell us about how you practice self-care and daily routine in your daily life.
Dinacharya is ‘daily life.’ Well, it is noticing the rhythms of the doshas, and acting with awareness to maintain balance. I won’t go a day without scraping my tongue,or drinking warm water in the morning. Most every day I do self-massage with oils, and I truly do feel best when I start my day slowly with yoga and meditation.
Have you studied self-care and daily routine in depth? How?
Studied—well, I’d say so. As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Dinacharya is the crux of healing through daily living. It’s that elusive ‘lifestyle’ component, when you go for a ‘Diet and Lifestyle’ consultation. Yes, Ayurvedic herbs and ingredients shifts can be healing, but without Dinacharya, it’s more of just an herbal consultation, rather than ‘Ayurveda.’ Dinacharya is the key to empowering our clients and students.
How has your life changed since you began practicing self-care and daily routine regularly, with focus and intention?
It is changing all the time - the practice is constant, and comes in waves. It is the yoga of life. My attitude has changed—forgive me for using the term more ‘sattvic.’ I am more patient with people, with my life. I am more confident in the direction of my life – I feel I have tools to take care of myself and my mind and body in another way, forever. No one can take this stuff away from you!
What is your “elevator pitch” for Ayurveda? How do you describe it to someone who has never heard of it before?
I usually take the back seat approach. I’ve found the best way to pitch Ayurveda is to say few words, and see if someone bites. Or just to set an example. This might sound pretentious, but sometimes even just the word Ayurveda causes eyes to glaze over…
When I am in an appropriate setting, say a workshop, my quickie is that Ayurveda is a system of medicine which comes from India, and uses herbs, bodywork, and diet to bring the body into a place of healing…
If there was one ayurvedic recommendation you could give to every person, what would it be?
Tune in, slow down, don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself. In fact, make it a priority. When you as an individual are feeling more stable, clear, and healthy, you make better decisions, and you’re a better influence (even if only energetic) for the rest of humanity.
Recently I’ve decided that I teach Ayurveda the ‘wise woman way,’ a term which is often used in Western herbalism. This way of teaching and ‘healing’ is about empowerment and self-discovery, within a framework. Every single one of us is an individual. There may be 4 billion Vata-Pitta’s out there…but every herb or food that supposedly balances Vata and Pitta is NOT going to be right for all of them. It takes that tuning in, that listening, perhaps with reflection from a teacher or practitioner, to figure out what’s really going to serve you.
How would you like to continue including Ayurveda in your future?
It’s personal and professional for me. And I don’t see that changing, only expanding. Sometimes the expanding is subtle – this doesn’t mean I see myself super ambitious and a rockstar face for Ayurveda – I mean that I want to live this truth deeply and set an example for others who also feel called to go deeper. Just like my favorite teachers / human beings.
Adena Rose is founder of Adena Rose Ayurveda. Her service is about Natural Health for Women using Ayurveda and Mayan medicine. She also teaches courses focusing on healing stubborn digestive imbalances and helping women find a path to natural fertility. Visit her blog at www.adenaroseayurveda.com.
Instagram | @adenarosebright
Facebook | www.facebook.com/pages/Adena-Rose-Ayurveda/231971076841751
Twitter | @awarenivore
Pinterest | www.pinterest.com/adenarosebright/