A Restorative Weekend With Ayurveda

Feeling stressed and fatigued? It’s time to put your health first by treating yourself to a weekend of regeneration. In Ayurveda, this is considered an important part of disease prevention, restoring balance to mind and body, and getting the most out of your life.

Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines to treat yourself to a weekend devoted to restoring balance - mind, body and soul. You’ll wake up on Monday morning feeling ready to take on anything!

What to aim for:

Try to have a weekend free of engagements. Plan ahead and buy all your food ahead of time if you can, so you don’t waste valuable time shopping. This should be a weekend where you can completely relax, free of any obligations, no checking emails and nothing work-related. However, it helps to structure your day so you don’t end up sleeping on the sofa all weekend!

As much as possible, take a holiday from screens, sugar, alcohol, and limit or eliminate caffeine. Replace them with some wonderful reading material (not from a screen) and some uplifting music. You might even get the urge to dance! Stock up on some delicious organic herbal teas and kombucha to sip on. If you’re feeling screen withdrawal, get outside amongst trees and plants and take the time to really notice the world around you - the shadows, the different shades of colour, patterns and movement, the feeling of the sun and wind on your skin, and fragrances you would normally not register. Allow your mind to shift into a different gear. 

Food

The key is easily digested food, not too much of it, wholesome and nutritious. The recipes on this site are some we have enjoyed.

For breakfast we recommend the Power Drink made using soaked nuts and dried fruit, or Gluten-Free Pancakes made with soaked quinoa.

Lunch can be the Tridoshic Vegetable Soup or the Carrot Soup

For dinner we like brown rice with either Basic Dahl or Tridoshic Vegetable Curry.

Between meals sip herbal tea or try a warming Winter Chai made from a nut milk. If you get peckish between meals, eat some delicious seasonal fruits - strawberries or blueberries for example, or try out the Raw Energy Balls recipe.

Mind

Meditation - Meditate at least once a day. Some find that mornings are best - it sets you up for a calm, pleasant mindset all day. We have found the Headspace app (see headspace.com) to be a great resource for beginners.

Walk - Try to get out for a long walk in the fresh air, free of fumes, preferably amongst trees or on the beach, at least once a day. Walk at a pace that gently raises your heart rate, and enjoy the feeling of your body working. Pay attention to your body and the world around you while you walk - be in the moment. 

Yoga - Yoga is a great way to restore balance and unblock stresses in the body. 

This 10 minute sequence is a useful guide.  Include a second session focusing on stretching, like this one.

Pamper

Abhyanga - This is the Ayurvedic practice of full body massage, traditionally carried out each morning. Massage can be carried out using a variety of oils, we prefer our organic Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil which suits almost everyone, and has a delightful earthy fragrance. Abhyanga is a wonderful practice that can help ease anxiety, enhance circulation, improve muscle and skin tone, and promote overall wellbeing. The full body massage takes around 20 minutes - instructions are on our blog here.

Facial - This weekend you’re going to have time to give yourself a wonderful facial treatment. We recommend following the instructions on our blog here using our Facial Cleanser as a detoxifying mask and gentle exfoliant, followed by Pure Hydrosol Toner, then carry out the Face Massage using one of our Beauty Serums:  Elderberry & Chia or Raspberry & Pomegranate. This is a great one to do before a deep rest, you will feel incredibly relaxed and zen afterwards.

Bath - Perfect for just before bed. Candles and classical music make this a divine experience. Make it beautifully warm and add 1 cup epsom salts and a splash of our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil, then close your eyes and soak it in. Bliss!

Activity

Try not to get distracted from your restoration objective by noticing all the dust and deciding it’s a great time for a spring clean - save that for another weekend! Do the bare minimum of housework: washing dishes, tidying and whatever clothes washing you really must do, so that your surroundings are pleasant and ordered. If you find yourself wondering what to do with yourself, consider trying one of these:

- Read something that raises your spirits: a great novel or biography, or something inspiring.

- Make something simple yet delicious in the kitchen - preferably something healthy, maybe something you’ve never made before.

- Writing - try some stream-of-consciousness writing: just write whatever comes into your head without judging and without paying attention to grammar or punctuation. Keep it for your eyes only. This is a great way to ‘detox’ your mind, nut out problems that have been worrying you and kick-start creative processes.

- Sing and dance - If you can, put on your favourite music and sing or hum along, and just move with the music, once again without judgement. Singing is great for the soul and lifts the spirits, while moving with music is a basic human instinct we often neglect. 

Marion O'Leary