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7 ways to stay Mindful & Motivated this March

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Ayurveda & Lifestyle tips by Ceriftifed Ayurveda Wellness Coach & Ayurvedancer

Nandini Natasha Austin

Dear Reader,

Congratulations on making it halfway through this mad month of March. Is the ever-unpredictable weather driving you around the bend? One day we are wrapped up in winter coats with major snowfall, other days we are walking outdoors on a warm sunny day. One thing is certain, March is a month of uncertainty, so get accustomed to expecting the unexpected.

Photo: My Meditation garden nook

If over winter your body has become a bit stiff, like the bloke in the picture above ;) echoing nature, now your body may seem to “loosen up” in response to March’s atmospheric changes. If you are tuning in you are sensing it. Perhaps your digestion may be off? your appetite may have dulled as your body begins to naturally shed off those unneeded winter pounds. puffier skin may appear as your body tissues become more succulent, and on an emotional level, you may feel a bit more sluggish even lethargic or depressed.

Sound familiar? If like me you are feeling the frenetic energy of March, then read on where I share my top Ayurvedic tips to help you stay mindfully motivated for the rest of this month.

Photo: My Garden

Maintaining Alignment

The first thing to realize is that feeling out of sorts during the spring transition is quite normal. There is a reason for these subtle changes in our bodies and minds at this time of year. The key to maintaining alignment during this transitional month is awareness. And if there is one thing Ayurveda teaches, it's about being self-aware. With my Ayurveda clients, together we focus on bringing consciousness into our daily lives, diets, and everyday decisions- oh, and of course... Sparking Joy!

Photo: View of my office

#1 -Mantra of the Month: Go with the flow

As humans, we tend to hold on too tightly to everything, just as mother nature grips tightly onto winter at this time, as spring arrives she loosens her grip so that in spring we too can become unstuck. To do this we need to Go with the flow’ as there is so much unpredictability in life, especially this month, ‘Going with the flow’ is something I've been saying to myself daily. Example: Last week I woke up at six am to ten inches of snow. As usual, I began my Dinacharya - aka my Ayurvedic daily routine.

Dinacharya (Sanskrit: दिनचर्या "daily routine") is a concept in Ayurveda that looks at the Circadiums rhythm, and cycles of nature and daily activities around these cycles. Ayurveda proves that daily morning routines and rituals help establish balance, and that understanding these daily cycles is critical for promoting health.

Vrinda Maria D’Sa

I stretched and meditated, and drank my pint of lemon water, Then proceed to my office ready to tackle my to-do list when I noted my wifi was out due to the heavy snowfall! #rural living :) Oh, how we humans rely on this tiny bit of technology.

I felt the frustration creeping in but noted the body oil on my desk. Instead of spiraling into frustration, I reached for my Ayurvedic tri-doshic body balancing oil “Poise” and spritzed my palms with the oil, rubbed my hands together, and inhaled deeply. Oh, how those grounding essential blends calmed my nervous system right down. Poise is a nod to my Mauritian culture and heritage and means ‘balance in French’.

Handcrafted upstate here in the Hudson Valley, this bottle of Ayurvedic blend was co-created with my beautiful and witty Aromatherapist friend Helena from Morphologically which is a NY-based holistic aromatherapy company, specializing in handcrafted

and thoughtfully blended essential oils and products for relaxation.

Poise is made with 15-year-old aged sandalwood, bergamot, frankincense, myrrh, and lavender - all Ayurvedically-driven ingredients known for their calming, rejuvenating, and earthy qualities.

With so many of my dance students talking about overwhelm this year, Poise was born to overcome those moments of despair. I recommend a quick whiff when life is not going your way ie partner, not cooperating, your kids not listening, or being unwillingly exposed to someone at work who is negative. When emotions build up, rather than lose it, rebalance your energy and go with the flow.

After a few breaths, my mind settled down, and rather than stress about my neverending to-do list, I refocused my energy and decided to go with the flow. I reveled in my time with my kids who were home from school. We made pancakes, and danced outside in my garden which was transformed into a beautiful scene from 'Narnia'.

Photo: Our House

My husband Yusef made the children and me some of his signature Lemongrass sodas with a coco powder dust rim, made using his artisan line of Enhancer syrups. We lit a fire and we snuggled up and watched Beauty and the Beast, the subtitled 1946 French romantic fantasy film directed by French filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

All of this loving activity sparked some much-needed joy! Going with the flow has been shown to create resilience, flexibility, and the ability to bounce back, change course, and or accept a situation so that you can learn and grow. This also comes with learning to accept yourself another lesson Ayurveda shares with us,

To see our 'Dosha" or imperfections, perfectly!

So remember things are not black and white, especially in terms of our Ayurvedic daily routine. It’s important to go with the flow and be comfortable in the grey areas, to

2. # March into some Mindfulness

Being present and noticing the little details, makes it easier to savor every experience. however, with the incessant chatter in our minds, we need to consciously make time for it. So try some mindfulness to promote well-being and happiness.

"If you can't control your mind, everyone and everything else will" Joe Dispenza

When I moved upstate from our apartment in Brooklyn, just being on the same level of nature, ie walking out of my door and stepping onto the grass was a game-changer for me. Even small things like having trees as opposed to apartment blocks as my eye candy made a huge difference to my soul and senses. But whether you live in a city or are close to nature, just getting outdoors to a park or any green space can enliven your spirit.

Photo: Me in a zen moment - photo Credit Revel Austin

Try this - Immerse yourself in nature, sit quietly in a garden or park, and place your attention fully on your surroundings. Focus on your breath, or on a word repeated silently, or just stare at a flower. Allow thoughts to come and go and when your attention wanders. Focus your attention on the present moment, accepting it without judgment Bring it back to your breath, word, or flower. Try for 5 mins. Being fully present is proven to reduce stress levels and allows you to live in the moment rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, all in all, it leaves you feeling calmer and more content.

# 3 Sip Thirst Quenching - Tulsi Tea

I've been sipping on this tantalizing tea, as I know this plant from my childhood growing up in London and Mauritius. Its restorative powers bring energy and support immunity, emotional resilience, sleep, strength, and stamina. The tulsi plant has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years to help the body adapt to stressors. It's extremely beneficial now as the increase in the environment's biological energies can create excess fluid and congestion in the lungs (common during this common Kapha’s time of Winter) So get your cuppa on!

Also, seasonal blockages and build-up of toxins. Ama in your body can be prevented by keeping a glass of hot water at your side and taking a few sips every 10 to 15 minutes. I boil my kettle and let it sit for a while to cool down so I have room warm water ready to go. The heated water hydrates you and enables the body to let go of what is not serving you.

#4: Make Spice your Vice

Known as a Piment Junkie to my close friends which means chili pepper addict in French, I have a fetish for spices. Yup, not shoes or expensive handbags, much to my husband's dismay, I have rows of jars of spices in my kitchen, like the BFG in Roald dhal.

For centuries, spices have been used in Ayurveda nutrition and cooking to help fend off unwanted bacteria and viruses. Spices also aid digestion, another Ayurvedic hack. During March, spices can help you to build your immunity by introducing warming and drying qualities into your diet. Add turmeric, garlic, ginger, ajwain, tarragon, and dill just to name a few into your dishes and black pepper or cinnamon to teas. Pungent spices like chili and cayenne help open up your airways and flush excess Kapha out of the body. If you visit Adams Faircres farms in Kingston there is even a spice assistant to aid you to find your spices.

A Spice collector of sorts. I use plenty of these spices. in my Dhal Recipe below.

Photo: My Irish Dresser

#5. Curb off those Comfort Foods and lay on the Lovely Legumes

It's time to scale back on those heavier, oiler, protein-rich “comfort foods” needed during the dry and depleting winter season. As your body responds to the earth’s increasingly moist and nurturing atmosphere, you hopefully naturally desire lighter, more bitter, and astringent foods. Your body releases its hold on adipose tissue (which produces and stores large fat globules) in the spring. This is when triglyceride levels are naturally highest.

So begin moving toward lighter sources of protein like legumes or try my Delicious dhal red lentil soup recipe. Head to your local farmers’ markets or specialty stores. I'm like a kid in the candy store at the New Asian Supermarket in Albany where you are spoilt for choice. There are rows brimming with fresh leafy greens. Bring zestier, cleansing ingredients to your dishes like radishes, garlic, arugula, and mustard greens, Now is the time to indulge!

#6 Lighten Up with Movement Outdoors

Felt like you put a few pounds during the winter? Who didn’t? but as warmer weather arrives, your body naturally wants to “lighten up.” Don't let spring’s stickiness slow you down or keep you on the couch. Remember movement of the body facilitates movement within the body - in Ayurveda is not what you eat but what you digest, so get that digestive fire burning. Squeeze 15 mins of dancing outdoors on your deck, or go for a brisk walk, any movement into your daily routine will help. (Bonus: The sunlight will give your vitamin D levels a boost too !)

#7: Release Emotions & Spark Joy

The month of March is my birthday month a time of celebration, and reflection but also sadness and grief as my father died a few years ago around this time. Therefore March can bring up a lot of mixed feelings and emotions. I often wish my father could see the arrival of spring! He was a nature lover, a Hindu priest, and a spiritual teacher! He loved to garden and I miss him more than ever. So to release my sadness I often talk to him when I'm in the garden, pointing out the new flowers as they pop up or telling him about my day as I'm driving around.

If you find yourself bottling up emotions then call a good mate or family member to have a catchup, or do something you love. Dance is a great way to express yourself and release emotions so come to shake off the stress at one of my Global Dance Fusion classes geared to raising our inner vibrations.

March sees the dragging winter taking a final bow to welcome the gentle softness of spring. Puddles of icy water will melt away to reveal new green pastures ahead. We are experiencing the epitome of life rather than the death of winter.

So take advantage of renewed strength and bring about simple changes to maintain alignment in your life. Embrace the earth’s energy and remember it's there to support your well-being. As always, dance more, laugh more, oh and don't forget to Live life in balance.

If you want to learn more about Ayurveda and how it can help you, schedule a free 30-minute Ayurvedic consultation here

See you soon in one of my classes

Love and Abundance

Nandini Austincan loosens

Live Life in Balance

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