What is Ayurveda?

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a complete healing system that originated over 5000 years ago.  It’s becoming more and more popular, just like yoga did, but it is certainly not new.  

If we break down the word Ayurveda, Ayus means knowledge or science and veda means life.  It is literally the science or knowledge of life.  It is a complete lifestyle that is focused on giving you tools and practises to create health on a daily basis by using your innate healing ability. I think intuitively we all know that our body is designed to heal and know what to do.  So by living this wisdom and these practises, you begin to thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

There are several principles that make up the foundation of Ayurveda and more and more, modern science is validating these ancient teachings.  

Let's go through some of them here below:

It is a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to health and well-being, so it gives you tools for thriving in all aspects of your life—physical, emotional, and spiritual.  You’ve heard about the mind/body/spirit connection and yet, so often we disregard what is important.  Why do we overlook it when we know it's so valuable?

Your mind, body and spirit are inextricably connected.  What you take in through your experiences (5 senses) creates thoughts, feelings, nourishment, toxins, that affect your body and your mind.  If you have a lot of toxic thoughts, your body won’t run optimally.  

Think about a time where you were in the presence of an intense argument, how did it feel in your body?  Was there tension, sweating, tears?  Or the opposite situation.  Imagine you’ve just been invited to an epic event or trip of your dreams, your friends are on their way to pick you up RIGHT NOW.  What does your body feel like?  Excited, energetic, you pick up the physical pace, perhaps you are smiling.  Now let’s bring it to the body first, you eat garbage food, your mind can't focus or get clear, you feel heavy physically, but also unmotivated, tired.    If you focus on only one aspect and expect to thrive, you may find yourself struggling. Research is confirming that when you address all these aspects of your life, you maximise your well-being. 

Secondly, it addresses all aspects of the person, not just a “problem area” it focuses on the root cause of the issue and teaches you how to reverse the disease process to heal what started it all rather than put a temporary, symptom-specific short-term solution on it.

It’s also preventative, so when you live an ayurvedic lifestyle, you are less likely to build up toxins (ama) and have tools to relieve stress, so that diseases are less likely to ever become present.

It’s important to understand that just because Ayurveda originated over 5000 years ago, it doesn’t mean its outdated.  It’s quite the opposite, because it’s based on the principles of nature which never change.

Ayurveda teaches that the five elements that make up the universe, fire, air, earth, space and water, are also within you, so when you align your daily habits with the rhythms of nature and your natural cycles, you eat colourful, nourishing foods, you have awareness of what you take in through your five senses, you sleep (heal) well and you connect to the deeper part of you, your body comes back into balance.  Not only that, but you can then reach your full potential to have fulfilment, joy and peace in your life.

Ayurveda is personalised, and this is my favourite part.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this healing wisdom.  Thank goodness!  We are so different and what is beneficial for one person, isn't necessarily what the other needs.

Remember those five elements that I said are within you? Those 5 elements are responsible for different aspects of your wellbeing and we all have them all within us, yes, but to varying degrees.  We each have a unique mind/body type, made up of those elements, which in Ayurveda we call Doshas.  There are three Doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata is made up of space and air and is responsible for movement and transportation within the body. It is the principle behind all movement and the force that generates thought.

Pitta is made up of fire and water and Pitta is the principle of transformation. It represents energy, heat, or fire.

Kapha is made up of earth and water and is responsible for protection and structural integrity. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat, bone.

In Ayurveda, you learn about your mind-body type, our dosha, you recognize what being in balance or out of balance looks like for you specifically and we learn the tools to bring yourself back to balance. Not to even levels of all three doshas, but to the level of YOUR essential nature.

You know this to be valuable, because what works for your partner in their physical routine, might leave you depleted.  The foods that your friend has been eating, leave you feeling bloated even though they are “healthy” options.  You know you need more or less sleep than someone.  If you have kids, you can tell that some need naps and others don’t.  So you build awareness of what feels good for you.

Lastly, it’s very practical.  When you start to line up your daily life with the rhythms of nature, the circadian rhythms, the lunar rhythms, the seasonal rhythms, etc. you will see that you’ve naturally and intuitively been practising certain aspects of Ayurveda throughout your life.  You do simple, daily maintenance practises such as scraping your tongue, drinking warm water and walking to stoke your digestive fire.  You connect and create peace, by meditating, walking in nature, or breathing deeply.  You restore your mind and body through proper sleep, self-massage, essential oils, healing yoga., you release toxins through emotional release techniques, seasonal resets, switching out toxic self-care or household products.

It is a holistic, peaceful and joyful way to live that is available for anyone.  You get to decide what elements of Ayurveda you can incorporate in your life.  Just start small and add one bit at a time.  The benefits will be felt quickly and I'll bet the people around you will begin to ask themselves, "what's different about her...she's glowing". 

Tina xo

I teach you all that you need to know to start living an Ayurvedic lifestyle in my program, Glow with Your Flow.  Check it out here www.floatyoucork.com/flow.

4 Ways to Start Healing from Within

4 Ways to Start Healing from Within

Your body is always supporting you.  It so incredibly intelligent and it does so much for you, asking nothing in return.  Even though we live busy, intense and physically and emotionally toxic lives, our body still wants to heal.  It's up to us to get out of the way and let it do what it needs to do.  

Let's take a look at 4 simple ways to begin healing from within.

Heal While You Sleep

Sleep is the time that your body heals itself. While you sleep your organs rest and regenerate, wastes are metabolized and emotions are processed. Your body knows what to do, but when you go to bed late, you lose out on precious healing time.  Ayurveda teaches that going to bed around 10pm to get the most out of this transformative, healing time.  Between 10-2 is PITTA time.  
In Ayurveda, Pitta Dosha is made of the fire and water elements.  Fire is responsible for digestion and transformation.  If you wait to go to bed, you might find that you get a sudden second wind during this time and can have a harder time falling asleep after.
To support you in getting a good night’s sleep, try diffusing lavender and cedarwood essential oils, do a self-massage on your feet to give yourself a little self-love before going to sleep.  Stay off devices for at least an hour before bed, try to go to bed around the same time every night, journal and recapitulate your day or brain dump your thoughts without attachment or emotion.  As you go to sleep, breathe deeply, in and out.  Sink into your mattress.  Feel every part of you sinking deeper and deeper as you breathe.  Expect a deep, soothing sleep to follow.
Heal While You Go Within (Meditate)
When you meditate you connect with the deeper part of you that is connected to all things, a greater consciousness.  You connect to your subtle body, which is exactly how it sounds, more subtle than the physical body.  Meditation is where you practice just being.  It’s turning inward. It allows you to centre yourself and regroup your thoughts.
It has been said that when you pray, you are speaking to God, but when you meditate, you are listening to God.  
Now you can call that Universe, Source, whatever suits your choices, but you get the idea. It means that you are connecting to the part of you that holds the truths, the answers, the peace, the grace and limitless possibilities.  Meditation is often mistaken for “clearing your mind” or “pausing the thoughts in your head”, but that is not it at all.  It is about being aware of your thoughts without attachment. Just letting them go by.  Bringing your focus back to your breath, and image or a mantra, for example. 
Deepak Chopra says, “Meditation is not about forcing your mind to be quiet, it’s about finding the silence that is already there”.
Meditation can bring:

  • Relief from depression
  • Lowered blood pressure 
  • Stress relief
  • Helps you regain your inner calm and equilibrium
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved memory
  • Improved interpersonal relationships
  • Reduced anxiety
  • And overall healing to your body systems because you are turning down the stress response, which most people are currently always in.
Heal With Mother Nature
We often think of the environment as something outside of ourselves, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In Ayurveda, the environment is considered your extended body.  Part of the physical body.  This is why when we align ourselves with the rhythms of nature, we naturally come back into balance.  
The elements found in nature are what makes up the entire universe including you.  For example, the sun in the environment is the element of fire which in your body shows up as your digestive fire (the Sanskrit term for this is Agni) and it is responsible for transformation of everything we take in through our 5 senses.  
When you want to heal, you can replenish your mind, body and spirit by connecting with nature.  If you simply visit a natural area and walk in a relaxed way, you begin to calm & restore yourself, and feel rejuvenated.  Forest Bathing is an example of this.  Forest bathing is basically taking in the forest atmosphere.
  • Improved focus
  • Mood boost
  • Improved intuition
  • A sense of overall well-being
  • Stress reduction
  • Immune boost
  • Lower risk of disease
 They say to let hug a tree, but rather try letting the tree hug you.  Lean against the tree and feel the connection.  If it’s not winter where you are, stand barefoot on the grass, in the sand, in the water.  If it is winter, go out and breathe the crisp winter air.  Listen to the crunch as you step with your boots into the snow.  Observe the brightness of the environment.  Just spend time in awareness.

Even if you can’t get to a forest or getting outside is tricky, you can have plants in your home, spend time sitting near a window and feeling the sun, even looking at a desk fountain and listening to the sounds of nature or looking at a picture of nature and imagining the smells and the feelings.  If you have essential oils, grab a tree oil of any kind like pine or northern lights black spruce, my fave, and place a drop in your hands, rub your hands together and cup over your mouth and. Breathe in and breathe out.  
Heal While You Play
You need to make room for fun in your life.  To do things you love, laugh, have relationships, and interact with others.  This allows you to experience new things, grow, receive from others, give, explore and extract emotional nourishment.  
It allows you to feel good, despite any circumstances you might be facing which makes room for a new perspective or solutions.  It allows you to literally lighten up on your journey of enlightenment.

Be well,
Tina xo

Do THIS Before Setting Goals for 2022

Do THIS Before Setting Goals for 2022
We are at the top of a New Year.  There’s a lot of noise out there.

So many “shoulds” are popping up.  Whether you are looking around and what you see in others that you “want” or you feel like you need to be a certain way for others, the list goes on and on about all the self-improvements you want to make as a woman, a mother, in your career, your family life, your marriage, your body…I could go on.  Can you feel the heaviness in all of that?

This year, let’s simplify.  Before we start adding to all the lists, just as yourself this one question...

Am I just existing or am I thriving?

You might have been “just existing” for so long that you don’t even know what thriving looks like.  When we are in the noise and the business it’s hard to even have awareness of what something different might feel like.  

There is a massive difference between thriving and existing. 

Just existing can be very sneaky because it can even be a habit.  

Signs you are existing:

  • You make decisions that keep you small and safe

  • You don’t try new things

  • You react rather than respond

  • When you make a mistake, you look at is as failure rather than feedback

  • You can’t hear your inner voice and what others say and think about you is what you take as truth

  • You feel restricted rather than expansive

  • You feel like slowing down is wasting time

  • You push and push through the week rather than feeling the pull of peace and balance.

  • You feel like your body isn’t supporting you - low energy, poor digestion, lack of sleep and so on.

So WHY is it worth checking in with yourself, taking a breath and just listening?

Because you deserve to be happy.  A hamster wheel existence keeps you apart from remembering your wholeness.  Keeps you from experiencing  the potential of what this life has to offer.  Keeps you from being able to pour into others using your gifts.  Keeps you from feeling peace in your life and balance in your days.

So what now?  You’ve decided that perhaps you have been just existing.  How does that influence what you want for this year?

It means you should tune in and get choosy. Marie Kondo what is happening within you and around you.  Ask yourself, do you need it? Do you love it? Does it bring you joy?  Ask this about what you take in as food, how you spend your time, where you spend your money, what you watch, etc.

Start to live by the 80/20 rule…because it allows you to give yourself grace.  For example, you might not have a say in 20% of the people you surround yourself with, but for the other 80%, get choosy.

Get choosy about what you take in through your five senses.  It all affects you.  

Get choosy about what you put in your mouth…not based on the latest trend, but by how it makes you FEEL.

Slow down and begin to be aware of how you feel and it will change what you choose to hold on to, commit to, allow in, put out and spend time on.

This year, choose to start with awareness.  It’s the light on the path of thriving.

Burn bright,
Tina xo

I'd love to know, did you take time to reflect and ask yourself the question?  What came up for you? If this was helpful, share it with a friend and be sure to connect with me over on Instagram.

How Often Should You Meditate?

How Often Should You Meditate?
The simple answer is, as often as you can make time for it.  
Ideally, with mantra-based meditation, it is often recommended that you meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. 
Here’s the thing.  At the beginning, when you are just learning to make time for yourself and are trying to make space to squeeze meditating into your day, ANY time that you can get to sit in quiet is the perfect amount of time. 
The goal is simply to start making time for it.  It is like exercising.  It’s pretty hard to make the time for it until you start seeing the results and feeling the benefits.  Once you have a routine and notice a payoff, you make the time.  It then gets easier and easier and suddenly you can’t go without or you miss it.
So, what is the payoff to meditating?  

Well, the #1 payoff is that it reduces stress and increases feelings of relaxation and peace, but in addition to that, it helps you to relax your body, helps you connect to yourself, gives you mental clarity, helps with your focus,  lowered blood pressure, decreased inflammation in the body, helps relationships, better sleep and so much more!  
It really is the simplest way to set a strong foundation for physical and mental health.
I’m at the point in my practice now where I crave it.  If I’m feeling a little off, cranky, foggy brained, disconnected or tired, I just give myself the time to mediate for 20 minutes because I know it will increase my mood and productivity dramatically if I do.  

If you can incorporate 20 minutes twice a day, I recommend you do it once in the morning after you use the washroom and maybe have a glass of water or hot water with lemon.  
The second time would ideally be late afternoon or after work, but before dinner.  It will give you a sense of relaxation, but also energy, so you don’t want to do this too close to bed time or too late in the evening.
These time suggestions are just a guideline to be able to get the most out of your practice and your day.  In the morning, you set your day up for success and in the afternoon, you release any tension and stress you picked up that day.
In the end, do what works for you, but BE CONSISTENT.  As with anything else in life that is when you will see the biggest results.  Focus on the process and the progress, not perfection.
Tina xo

If you’re into it, check out my Facebook community where we chat about meditation and many more ways to get the most out of each day.  Come on in here!

Start Your Morning Like This for an AMAZING Day!

Start Your Morning Like This for an AMAZING Day!
I’m sure you have heard a lot of suggestions on how to create a morning routine.  I know that I have read about them for years, but never bothered to actually DO IT.
When the kids were little I was just trying to sleep enough and get a shower in.  That was enough for me.  
Now that the kids have gotten a little older I feel motivated to get organized.  I am actually implementing a morning routine and it has made me so much more productive and the best part of it is that it has made me so much happier and energized.
My goal with this morning routine was to make time to take care of myself, to have more joy with the family and to not have to nag and feel overwhelmed before the day really even started.
Here’s what worked for me and hopefully you can gather a few ideas too.
#1 Get up at least an hour before the kids
This is non-negotiable.  You cannot accomplish an effective, happy morning if you just roll out of bed at the same time as everyone else and jump straight into everyone needing you and chores, rushing, chaos before you’ve even brushed your teeth or had a coffee.
I give myself an hour and a half because it gives me 30 minutes to get ready, 30 minutes to connect with my inner being and 30 minutes to move my body. For you, maybe 20-20-20 would work better.  
#2 Meditate
I like to meditate for about 20 minutes every morning.  When you first wake up, you are in the best mental space to connect to our inner being, the Universe, Source, God.  You have no negative momentum or resistance built up from the day before.  You are starting fresh.  I like to sync up with the power of connecting to something bigger before I take on my day.   It reminds me that I’m co-creating my life and that I’m not in this alone.  
#3 Connect with yourself and talk to a higher power 
After my meditation, I like to take no more than 10 minutes for some reflection and I put on an essential oil that I love to support what I want to accomplish that day.  I then like to pull a card of positive affirmations to give me focus. I really enjoy Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back card deck for this.  I take a few minutes to think and journal a few things that I’d like support with and I talk to a higher power.  If you like to pray or read scripture, this is when I would that.  I just ask God/Universe to direct me and support me and I clearly state my goals and dreams and express gratitude for the opportunity for a new day and new experiences.  This really changes the energy of your day and sets you up to feel excitement about all that is possible.
#4 Move your body
Moving your body is a great way to get the energy flowing and add some momentum to your day.  When I move my body in the morning, I feel so free because I don’t feel any guilt about not taking care of myself.  I’m more likely to make healthy food choices and drink my water because I’m in a health-consious state.  
I’m not a hard-core workout girl.  I prefer to go for a brisk walk, do some morning yoga or a quick 15-minute workout geared toward the female body.   I love Danette May workouts and Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.
#5 Freshen up, get dressed and put on a little make-up
I like to shower before bed and since I don’t do a really sweaty workout, I just like to freshen up with a quick shower or wash my face before getting ready.  My hair is always dry in the morning, so it makes it faster to get ready.
I have a quick and easy all-natural face cleansing and make-up routine.  I love having a simplified make-up drawer now and just having an easy go-to fresh face for my day look.  I find that even just a little mascara and bronzer makes me feel more confident and ready for whatever pops up in the day.  
I throw a few curls in my hair or a braid and put on the clothes I picked out the night before.
This has eliminated a lot of the decision fatigue I used to start my day with.
#6 Listen to a podcast or audiobook while doing step 5
Personal development is a big deal for me.  It’s something I love and feel that I’m such a better version of myself now that I include it in my every day routine.  I love learning more and more each day.
I listen while I sip my coffee and get “polished”.
#7 Five minute morning energy routine
Each morning, or whenever I need a “reset”, I love to do five-minute energy routine.  It doesn’t even quite take that long, but it’s very effective in getting the energy moving throughout my body.  It activates the chakras and helps me feel grounded, clear and energized.
My tapping on my body and doing a series of breathwork exercises I give myself an energetic tune-up before going out to take on the day.
#8 Fill the diffusers
Just before I go wake up the kids, I fill up the diffusers with a morning joy and energy blend to fill the air and wake up our senses.   Some days it’s lemon, peppermint and lavender and other days it’s orange, valor and grapefruit.  I just use whatever I’m in the mood for that day, but it’s usually a citrus oil combined with something energizing or emotionally supporting.  
That’s it!  It seems like a lot maybe, but it really isn’t.  It’s the only way, as a busy mom, that I can comfortably make the time to connect with myself.  If I don’t do it, there is so much less of me available for my family and work.  
Some mornings I leave some of it out because, well, I’m not in the mood.  I give myself grace and I move on.  I will say though that the days I skip it are mediocre days where I kind of just skim through which is ok for a short bit, but not how I want to live my life.
Setting my morning up this way connects me to my creativity and helps me be a brighter light in everyone’s day.  It helps me feel like I know myself and I’m more cheerful and attentive.
Give it a try!  Maybe pick just one or two of these and try it for a week.  You are going to love starting your day intentionally.
Have the BEST day!
Tina xo

I'd love to hear from you!  Comment below to tell me about your morning...what's a non-negotiable in your morning routine?  Share with a friend who feels overwhelmed each morning - maybe this could bring them some joy!
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