• By Acharya Shunya

6 Gifts You Can Give Yourself This Valentine’s Day

February 14th is often thought to be for lovers, but a healthy relationship begins with the love you give yourself. Ayurveda returns us to pure love through simple, yet highly effective, lifestyle practices that nourish the body, mind and soul. Give yourself the gift of vibrancy, joy and health by embracing the following self-care practices.

1. Pamper yourself with roses.

Elevate the traditional Valentine’s Day gift by washing your face with homemade rose cleanser. Combine half a tablespoon of rose water and whole milk. Gently apply to your face, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

2. Spend time alone.

It is important to spend uninterrupted quality time alone. Simply sit comfortably with eyes closed, and relax your body and mind for five minutes. You don’t need to engage in a lengthy, formal meditative practice in order to gain connection with the self.

3. Give yourself a massage.

Abhyanga is a relaxing, healing and nourishing self-massage with oils. Apply about a cup of warm oil (preferably sesame during winter, coconut in summer) to the skin for about 10 minutes. Use gentle, but firm strokes. Close your eyes and feel the love. Take a warm shower afterwards for total bliss!

4. Make it fine dining every night.

Turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one with beautiful and eye-catching table settings and choice utensils. Even if eating alone, music in the background, a lit candle, and centerpiece of fresh flowers and fruits add pleasure and enjoyment to the heart and senses, which together play an important role in digestion, too.

5. Take a healing bath.

Soak your muscles in a healing bath for at least 20 minutes, once a week. You can infuse your bath water with one to two full eight-ounce cups of botanicals such as fresh or dried flower petals, leaves, roots, or fruits. Ayurveda’s top recommendations include roses of any color, marigolds, jasmine flower, and amalaki, the Indian gooseberry.

6. Spice up your dreams.

To wind down your evening, drink a calming cup of warm spiced milk. The best spices to add for sleep are turmeric, cardamom, and nutmeg. For adults, the dosage of spices per cup should be no more than 1/4 teaspoon per glass of milk, which is brought to a boil, along with the spices. This delicious recipe ushers in sweet dreams every time!

While these Ayurveda self-care practices are simple, they go a long way towards supporting a vibrant you. Over time, you’ll discover that loving yourself does not need to be a rare luxury, like an expensive spa massage, but instead, a beautiful daily lifestyle dotted with self-loving rituals that lead you to richer, more meaningful and enjoyable relationships with your self and your significant others.

Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda, Vedanta and Yoga. She is the driving force behind an online wisdom school and worldwide spiritual community, and the author of best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017) and forthcoming second book with Sounds True to be released in 2020, Sovereign Self. Acharya Shunya is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga. Receive her free online teachings and browse her current eCourse offerings here or see more about her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel where she holds live Global Satsangs once per month. Study Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya in her online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.

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