Today is Valentine’s Day and while most media and retailers will be pushing the idea of declaring your love to someone else.
This year I’ve something different in mind, however.
Buddha said “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” and today I’m going to ask you to focus on that before you think of others.
The idea of getting personal with yourself is strongly present in Ayurveda, the origins of which have been traced back to around 5,000 BC, when they originated as an oral tradition.
What is Ayurveda?
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
Firstly you must define your ‘Dosha’ or your Ayruvedic blueprint. There are many questionaries online, like this one, where in a matter of mouse clicks you can get your whole profile done.
It’s believed that your chances of getting sick and the health issues you develop are linked to the balance of your doshas.
Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
These combine in the human body to form three life forces called doshas which control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas but one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick and the health issues you develop are linked to the balance of your doshas.
Which Ayurvedic beauty ranges should I try?
There are a number of ranges that use these principles to determine which products are right for you.
Urban Veda is a reasonably priced range of facial and body care products that you self prescribe via their questionnaire.
I am a Vata body type and tried the Radiance Body Scrub and body wash containing Turmeric with a botanical infusion of Marigold, Patchouli and Coriander to revitalise.
The scent is uplifting and feels incredibly luxurious, especially for the price point.
The packaging is recyclable, and the bottles are made out of post-consumer recycled plastic which is going to be a key selling point for any products in the wellness arena as we become more conscious.
Another Irish range that also has Ayurvedia origins, Yoganda is founded by Sinead Duffy.
During the deep meditation of Vipasana she experienced the effect that sacred herbs have on the subconscious mind.
Her custom blends now form a range comprising of rollerballs and oils to ground, balance, relax and restore.
The products are stunning, multi-functional and 5% profits go to Women for Women International which is a very thoughtful touch.
A personal favourite is the Balance Rollerball which is small enough to slip into a handbag but contains a powerful combination of Jasmine, Clary sage, and Cyprus to bring balance and help re-connect with your natural rhythms.
Lastly one of my favourite products of all time is the Aveda Chakra Number 4 Balancing Mist (€36). Chakra Four is the centre of sympathy, empathy and Love. When the heart chakra is balanced, one feels love and connection to self and others.
This bottle contains authentic fusion of pure essential oils, sandalwood, organic mandarin and palmarosa blended to balance the heart chakra.
This is one of Aveda’s bestselling products and when you spray it you’ll understand why. It’s hard to define but it just feels comforting.
Where can I get Ayurvedic treatments?
It seems that Ayurvedic treatments are in high demand. Two recommended therapists Szilvia at the Dublin Holistic Centre and Hazel in thesamadhicentre.com were solidly booked when I contacted them with a week’s notice to try and book in to experience what a treatment would be like, so they must be doing something right!
Either way, this Valentine’s Day, I hope you squeeze in some time for some self-love, in whatever shape or form that takes.
Holly White is a Fashion Journalist and Broadcaster, and blogs on all things fashion, style, wellness, beauty, health and fitness on www.Holly.ie.