Although its roots can be traced back thousands of years, Ayurveda’s holistic principles are so relevant in today’s world. To some, Ayurveda seems exotic, mysterious and alluring, but in practise, it's less complicated. Ayurveda is about aligning the mind, body and soul. One is not separate from the other, they are all interconnected. If one aspect is working less efficiently, it will directly impact the others. This is self-care with an ancient name. And by following this life system, we can live at our optimum health and well-being.
The science of self-healing supports many of the concerns experienced by men today. When so much of our life is out of kilter, following Ayurveda can restore much-needed balance. With this in mind, here are our top ayurvedic tips for men.
Create Better Sleep Habits
Sleep is one of the pillars of Ayurveda because it has a huge impact on our overall health and wellbeing. More often than not, we delay sleep for other ‘vital’ activities. Men today are working longer hours, being more involved in family life and trying to maintain a social life. Tiredness is our body’s natural way of telling us to rest more. Ignore it at your peril. Burn out is a given otherwise.
According to the Ayurvedic clock, there are six four-hour periods of the day. Each one is characterised by a Dosha, an energy flow around our body (Kapha, Pitta, Vata). This means there are optimal times for sleeping, eating and exercising. Synchronising with our body’s natural circadian rhythms ensures better physical and mental health. Being jolted out of bed by a screeching alarm clock immediately creates a rise in cortisol. We start the day feeling stressed and on the back foot. This may come as a surprise, but our bodies naturally want to wake up earlier, even before 6am. The problem is that our natural tendency has been disrupted by caffeine, alcohol and poor sleep habits.
Too many distractions affect the time we go to bed and our quality of sleep. Our advice is to switch off from technology at least one hour before bedtime (two hours beforehand is even better). Steer clear of stimulating food and drink in the late afternoon and evening. If you can do one thing, go to sleep by 10pm and aim to wake up by 6am. To awaken fully rested and relaxed, replace your alarm clock with a gradual sunrise clock. To further improve sleep patterns, use our Ashwagandha powder on your morning cereal.
Nourish Your Body from Inside
Following an ayurvedic diet means nourishing yourself from the inside out. Gas, bloating and indigestion are all signs that our body is out of balance and our digestive system, unhealthy. Some issues can be resolved just by analysing what we eat and how we eat. Simple changes like eating slowly and sitting in a relaxed posture can make a big difference. Ayurveda also advises to eat the biggest meal at lunchtime when our digestive fire (agni) is most active. Pitta, which controls metabolism and digestion is strongest at this time of day too. Eating when our Pitta is most active, helps with digestion, to absorb nutrients and create energy.
Most stomach problems occur when agni is weak. It’s an ayurvedic practice to ignite the fire before eating. This can be done by consuming a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger with a few drops of lime and a pinch of salt. Think of it as an ayurvedic amuse-bouche. These ingredients activate the salivary glands to produce the necessary digestive enzymes vital for digestion and absorption of food. To combat seasonal bugs, consider adding more spices like turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to your diet to boost immune function.
Ayurvedic Male Grooming
Stress, diet and pollution can affect us from the inside out, and this can be seen in the health of our skin and hair. All too often, leaving us anxious and self-conscious. In India, nourishing oils are used to protect, maintain and help strengthen roots and the scalp for both sexes. This promotes scalp health and healthy, glossy hair. Try our hero Grow Strong Hair Oil. It’s been hand-blended using traditional Ayurvedic methods, the oils and herbs are separately heated at their various optimal temperatures, then cooled and reheated several times over eight to twelve weeks, to ensure the blends mature and infuse. At that point, soothing Himalayan cedarwood and turmeric leaf are added and further left to settle.
One of the perils of shaving is rough skin and ingrown hairs. A post shave and beard oil can counteract these effects. It can also be used to strengthen, protect and promote beard growth. If you haven’t already discovered our blog post about using oil for beard growth, click here to find out more.
Authentic ayurvedic products won’t contain chemicals because many ayurvedic herbs can improve skin texture. Our Radiance Exfoliant and Mask is perfect for male grooming. Using ingredients like turmeric, famed for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities and sandalwood, a natural antiseptic and anti-ageing, it’s an award-winning concentrate. Mix a spoon with our Reawaken wash to remove deep toxins and prepare the skin for shaving.