December is the official start of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. When viewed through the Ayurvedic lens, December (winter) is a season for rest, reflection, and preparation for the rising new year.
Unfortunately, our modern-day season is mindlessly weaved with stress, busyness, overindulgence, and exhaustion. The increased demands (physical, emotional, social, financial, and sensory) during the holiday season can undoubtedly send us spiraling into depletion and hibernation during the early winter months.
In a time where we should be moving with ease, consciously gathering with community, and intentionally celebrating joyous reflections of the passing year—we are instead unconsciously hurrying and hustling to make ends meet. Before we even blink the new year has arrived. And when we finally awaken, we find ourselves fatigued, lethargic, and inert.
Remember, the happiest people are not those getting the most, but those giving the most. Embellish the spirit of the season, and give the gift of health this holiday! By giving an intentional gift, you can inspire ripples of consciousness for improvements in overall health and well-being.
Below you’ll find my list of six must-haves for healthy (Ayurvedic inspired) stocking stuffers. These items are sure to nourish you and your loved one’s all season long!
- Tongue Scraper. According to Ayurveda, cleaning the tongue every morning is an important part of our dinacharya practice (daily routine). Gently scraping the tongue with a stainless or copper tongue scraper can effectively reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Using a tongue scraper daily can remove undigested food (and emotions) helping to abate ama (toxic residue) build-up and regulate Agni (digestive fire). Suitable for all doshas.
- Nasya Oil. The nose, our gateway to consciousness. The doorway for prana (breath / life-force), and one of our five sensory organs. The nose is one of the entrance doors that allows us to understand the outer world (through smell). Daily nasya oiletaion, is suitable for all doshas and helps to soothe and protect the nasal passages while nourishing the tissues. This ultimately creates a healthy pathway for prana to enter and enliven the body and mind. Nasya oil is also known to improve quality of voice, strengthen vision, and promote mental clarity. My personal morning routine wouldn’t be the same without my Nasya oil!
- Dry Brush or Garshana Gloves. Our skin is our largest organ – we must tend to it! The self-care act of dry brushing assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. It helps to release toxins and encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, so the body is able to run more effectively. A daily garshana practice rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin, and helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. Why wouldn’t you want to brush away dead skin cells and encourage new cell renewal – promoting smoother and brighter skin?!
- Abhyanga Oil. Daily massage oil, suitable for all body types. Abhyanga (aka. Ayurvedic self-massage) is one of the most powerful techniques used in Ayurveda. A true act of self-love. A self-massage done with warm herbalized oil brings lubrication and oleation to the body while also grounding the nervous system. The blended herbs in the medicinal oils provide nourishment to the dhatus (tissues). The benefits of a daily Abhyanga practice include: increased circulation by stimulation of the internal organs, decreased signs of aging, increased softness, strength, and color of the skin; and improvements in sleep patterns.
- CCF Tea. An ancient three spice blend that promotes healthy digestion, helps in the breakdown of ama (toxic residue) and assists in rekindling proper balance of Agni (digestive fire). This is simply the perfect, post-holiday daily detox beverage! Enjoy CCF tea before, during, or after meals to encourage proper absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Blend equal parts (1 tsp) cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds. Place in a cooking pot with 3 cups of purified water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and serve. Simply bag up a blend of CCF seeds for all your favorite people and include a tag with this easy recipe!
- Homemade Winter Churna Spice Blend. Another DIY gift to show how much you care—make your food your medicine this season with this seasonal spice blend. Spice blends are traditionally used to boost immunity, digestive fire, and to aid in the inclusion of all six tastes. Add this blend to soups, cooked vegetables, stews, and or frankly anything to nourish proper balance and nourishment. Grab a small mason jar, mix together the spices in the linked recipe, and “spice” it up this holiday!
Each day we have hundreds of opportunities to shift our thoughts and align with the source that intended us for lives of joy and peace. —Wayne Dyer
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season and a Nourishing New Year!