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Balanced Body, Mind & Soul : Festive Edition

The festive season is upon us and with it begins sprucing up our homes, gorging on festive delicacies, getting gussied up for the celebration, and so on. This often results in late nights, irregular sleep cycle, sugar overdose, overeating rich, heavy foods, increased alcohol/caffeine intake, etc.

Changing our daily routine to adapt to a festive mood and lifestyle such as visiting family and friends, attending late-night parties, gorging on party food and drinks, etc. can act as stressors and affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. These stressors manifest as
- Insomnia, Restless sleep
- Digestive troubles
- Muscle pain
- Headaches
- Anxiety
- Irritability
- Lethargy

With these celebrations after effects in mind, we decided to take a page from Ayurveda, the ancient system of health and well-being. 

The ancient science of life seeks to restore the natural balance between body and mind and counter the unbalancing effects of the holiday season. Here are some suggestions to help you better align with your vibrant self during festive times, rather than a tired, grumpy, agitated, niggly version.

Balance The Agni
According to Ayurveda, our overall health is directly related to our ability to digest. Agni, also known as 'digestive fire' determines our digestive capacity. When our Agni is balanced we can digest food, thoughts, emotions, and experiences with ease. However, imbalanced digestive fire leads to undigested food, experiences, etc. which tends to get stored in the body and later manifest as health problems. So, here's how one can keep the digestive fire burning and in balance during the festive season:

- Morning flush - Sip 1/2 cup of warm water first thing in the morning to flush out the accumulated toxins(Ama), detox the system, and help get the bowels moving.

- Ignite the 'Agni' - Practice traditional cleansing practices such as 'Uddiyana bandha' and 'nauli kriya' on an empty stomach to engage the upper abdominal area. When done right, these practices are excellent ways to ignite your digestive fire. It is advised to practice under guidance if you are new to it.

- Mid-day meal wisdom - Try and eat the heavier festive meal between the hours of 10 am-2 pm as the digestive system is at its most efficient between these hours. Before 10 am and after 2 pm, the digestive fire dwindles down. Therefore, it's best to opt for smaller, simpler meals for breakfast and dinner when digestive power is lower. Practicing this eating schedule can significantly even out our energy levels throughout the day.

- Mindful Eating - Be mindful of what you consume and show gratitude towards the plate of food in front of you. Before consuming a meal, ensure that you are free from all distractions. Set the intention to let go of any emotional tension you are carrying as our digestive capability is hugely affected by the state of our mind, especially while eating. Therefore, the way we eat and the intention with which we eat determines how well the food will nourish and nurture our mind, body, and spirit.

Look After The Liver
The liver, aka the king of all organs, is in charge of numerous vital body functions such as detoxification, digestion, metabolism, etc. However, this major organ is often overburdened during the holiday season due to our tendency to overindulge, especially in alcohol, desserts, and processed food, and thus becomes sluggish when working overtime.

Therefore, it's important to give our liver a break, and here are some ways to support your liver and digestion during the celebration season. 

- Ayurvedic liver tonic - An Ayurvedic/herbal tonic can do wonders for our overworked liver, especially during the festive season and Butterfly Ayurveda's LIVOFLY is the best liver detoxifying tonic for it. This herbal concoction is made from a unique blend of Ayurvedic herbs such as Triphala, Guduchi, Kutaki, Kalmegha, Vasa, Amalaki, Bibhitaki, Haritaki, Nimba, Kakmachi, Bhumyamlaki, Bhringraj, Peetpapra, Vidanga, Sarpunkha, and Muli. This liver tonic improves metabolism, relieves hyperacidity, promotes gradual detoxification, and boosts overall liver health.

- Hydrating Beverages - Since the liver is known as the 'seat' of ‘Pitta’, therefore, staying cool and hydrated is the key to maintaining a healthy liver and making the detoxification process easier. Beverages such as Pineapple juice, orange juice, sweet lime, beetroot juice, etc. serve as effective hydrating options to explore. Sipping on herbal teas such as dandelion root, rosemary, etc. throughout the day also helps support liver health.

For more liver-friendly tips, check out our blog 'Show Your Liver Some Love With Ayurveda

Balancing The Five Senses, 'Pancha Indryani'
Ancient Ayurvedic scriptures highlight the importance of the five senses and the direct impact they have on the intricate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. 

Misuse of the senses, also referred to as 'Asatmendriyartha samyoga' results in overstimulation or deficiency of sensory activity. This phenomenon is distinctly defined in the Ayurvedic text as 'Astanga Hrdayama', one of the three primary ways disease enters the body and mind. The delicate body-mind connection requires moderation and harmony both internally and externally for healthy functioning. However, when the senses are overloaded, our mind usually gets blocked and we lose our ability to discern between what is appropriate and what is not.  

Some ways to create harmony among all five senses are as follows
- Rest - Celebrations can become chaotic and often leaves us feeling restless. So, our advice would be to rest all your five senses and give them a break. Take some time off and go for a walk alone or take an afternoon nap or curl up with your favorite book and a soothing cup of tea to break away from the sensory overload.

- Meditate - Meditation is the perfect way to calm your nerves, soothe your senses, and relax your mind. The best time to practice meditation is before sunrise during these pre-dawn hours. This time is the ideal time for meditation as it is Vata time of the day, and will uplift your mood and leave you feeling refreshed. So, roll out of bed before sunrise and savor the stillness by indulging in a brief round of yoga, deep breaths, or meditation to awaken your mind, body, and spirit.

We hope that these suggestions help you restore the natural harmony and balance of things and help you enjoy a contented festive time. After all, balance is the key! Wishing you all a very happy and mindful festive season!


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