SATYAM. SHIVAM. SUNDARAM
Wherever pure knowledge and happiness is, there lies beauty.
In India with all the mythological figures and deities in my tradition there is one in particular that stands out. A goddess that has eight arms adorned in jewels and is sitting gracefully on top of a fierce tiger often depicted with 3 other goddesses at her feet. She is Chamunda, goddess of beauty. Her eight arms because she embodies within her own form 3 other goddesses. Saraswati, represents knowledge, Kali the fierce destroyer of evil, represents courage and Lakshmi representing prosperity. It takes wisdom, courage, and power to ride the back of a tiger. The essence of being a women is all aspects of these 3 energies.
In life whatever we choose to do we must have the knowledge to do it well, have the courage to overcome challenges along our path. Knowledge and courage gives us the power to achieve abundance in all things.
Beauty in an Ayurvedic view is not just our physical appearance, nor does it mean worshipping Chamunda or believing in any deity. It is about cultivating and harnessing these feminine principles embodied in this goddess. Ayurveda teaches us this very meaning, on living a balanced life in harmony with our environment.
The word Sundara is the Sanskrit word for Beauty. The quality of illumination internally that shines outward. As Khalil Gibran so eloquently writes,
“Beauty is not just in the face, beauty is a light in the heart” ~ Khalil Gibran
Spring is joy, a rebirth and reawakening. The body is stirring after winter and Spring-cleaning is in order, not just our home but also OUR temple, our mind, body and soul!
It is interesting to note that the major organs of detoxing in the spring are the Liver and Gall Bladder. Emotionally the liver also houses the emotion anger. Hmmm.
The first and most important ritual is incorporating aromatherapy and essential oils in your sadhana.
These precious little gems do wonders for alleviating stagnation in the mind, body and spirit.
Use your breath and keep the following oils handy:
Rose – heart vibration/calming
Sandalwood – cooling
Neroli or Jasmine – relieves anxiety
Lavender – energy balancing
Second is increasing circulation! Sloughing off for spring! Remove and Renew!
Dry brushing on a physical level stimulates skin, eliminates toxins and clears the mind. Performing this ritual mindfully can be a symbolic cleansing. Brushing towards the heart, starting at the soles of the feet, finishing with the back and stomach will improve the function of the lymphatic system. If time permits ideally it’s nice to do a self-massage with your dosha specific herbal oil (abhyanga) Then follow with a shower.
Enjoy the Spirit of these Rituals. Make it a habit and soon you will relish in the gift of taking care of YOU!
Ritual Self Massage Oils-customize with essential oils:
One of the most amazing sadhana rituals you can do for yourself is to light some candles, put on some yummy music, heat some oil and begin the nourishing gestures for yourself. I usually have mantras playing when I do this once or twice a week. If you like you can add some essential oils to the base oil to make it even more delicious! I have given you 3 choices for each dosha. Oh happy day!
1 oz of base oil + 10 drops of Essential oil (E.O.)
Vata: Almond, Sesame + (EO) Champa, Jasmine, Vanilla
Pitta: Coconut, Apricot Kernel + (EO) vetiver, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Kapha: Almond, Grapeseed + (EO) Lavender, Bergamot, Eucalyptus
“If a woman, it is said in the Tantra, abandons herself often enough to the dreams that spring from her heart, the mood that arises will color the whole of her person. Is it not one of the most common of commonplaces in conversation that in moments of intellectual or emotional excitement the features of the plainest person assume an aspect of exquisite beauty?”
~ Mulk Raj Anand & Krishna Nehru Hutheesing
Blessings and Love,
Anita has traveled the world inspiring health and wellness through the traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda. She currently facilitates Yoga Alliance approved yoga teacher trainings, offers lifestyle and wellness education programs and women’s sacred retreats at some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
She lives in Seal Beach, California with her husband, Goyo, and their dog, Goldie.