Three Steps to Take a Pause

Dear friends,

I recently added a “resources/products” page to my website in the menu bar. Many of you ask me what products I use and recommend and where to get them. You may now find out, here .

One of the products I share is from a woman owned tea company called ” Restore Simply“. I’ve enjoyed drinking these Ayurvedic based teas over the years and often share them as gifts, ever drawn to things made by hand with love. I invited Hema, the company owner to write a post this week to share with you and sure enough it happened to coincide with some thoughts I had on my daily walk.

Listen first to the audio here then read Hema’s post.

Ayurveda describes a “sattvic” mind as enlightened, pure, and light.Increasing “sattva” is absolutely essential to our well being in the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. Peace and balance are attained when we transition through the tamas mind (dark, attached and heavy) and the rajas mind (chaotic, confused, and highly active) to the sattvic state.

A casual observation of the typical modern lifestyle reveals much about the pulse of a society living under prolonged stressful conditions. As the world becomes increasingly connected and the days are busier than ever with commitments and stress we are essentially on high alert for most of our waking periods. This puts our nervous system on overdrive.

We’ve learned that prolonged and chronic stress has been linked to endocrine dysfunction, inflammation, hypertension, central obesity, insulin resistance and mental illness. Simply put, the body reflects the mind.

What Ayurveda has known for thousands of years, is now being researched with the connection between the mind-body. Findings show it is evident the body reflects the patterns of the mind. However, even before the mental response, there is the emotional response. We feel before we think, and everything we sense has been filtered through the emotional brain. The quality of the mind and the emotional response is the place that determines the quality of our lives and of our well being. Put another way, how we react to an emotional trigger has tremendous implications for the body/mind.

What can we do? Fortunately, we have access to the timeless wisdom contained within the ancient Vedas (original scriptures from which Yoga and Ayurveda originate from). Taking a “pause” for mental health is an integral part of both these sister sciences, gaining awareness into the gap between thoughts and emotions.Through meditation, mindfulness, and breathing practices we can tap into the possibilities of witnessing the fluctuations of the mind intercepting our reactions and conditioned beliefs.

If the thought of a formal meditation practice seems daunting, you may consider one of the following three simple steps to take a pause:

Take it outside

Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of time spent in nature lowered cortisol levels in all participants of one particular study *. Lowering stress levels is beneficial for every system in the body/mind. A twenty minute walk morning, lunch break or after dinner can be an easy way to be outside and soak up some sunshine. Yes, walking the dog counts ( a little).

Sip and breathe.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a beautiful sensory experience which honors the process of making tea and savoring the intricacies. As inspiration, let tea time be a mindful experience. From the boiling of the water, to the infusing of the tea leaves, to pouring the tea into a cup. Take pause and sit with the tea, feeling the warmth from the cup, noticing the steam rising, and take in the aroma. Notice the hue of the tea and the way the liquid moves in the cup. Savor the first sip and feel it soothe your whole body. Take a breath.

It’s all in the feet

Plan on retiring to bed 10 minutes early each night and keep a jar of sesame or coconut oil on the bedside table (infused with Brahmi is a bonus). Take a few drops of oil between the palms of your hands and rub it into the feet, paying closer attention to the soles of the feet. With slow deliberate strokes, get to know your feet and where the points of release are. The feet have an incredible connection to the rest of the body, and this mindful practice will leave you ready for deeper sleep (please use caution when getting out of bed with oily feet – use a towel to dry off or wear socks).

Taking pause and practicing mindfulness is equally as important for your mental health as the food you put in your body to eat. More than a luxury, it is an essential part of self-care.

  1. MaryCarol R. Hunter, Brenda W. Gillespie, Sophie Yu-Pu Chen. Urban Nature Experiences Reduce Stress in the Context of Daily Life Based on Salivary Biomarkers. Frontiers in Psychology, 2019; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00722

Thank you Hema for these simple reminders to create special moments throughout the day to expand our awareness into a ” sattvic” state and to take self care.

And don’t forget to look at my Instagram page to see the photos connected to the audio.

with warm regards,