ABOVE: Sahara Rose
Five expert Ayurvedic tips to usher in the New Year
The New Year can be a time of drastic change and unrealistic resolutions—keto diets, bootcamp workouts, juice cleanses—which we end up going back on by February. Instead of going to the extreme, usher in the year with Ayurvedic practices that will stay with you, not only for the rest of the year, but for life!
Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and sister science of yoga, based on mind-body balance. Unlike one-size-fits-all approaches to health, it is focused on balancing your unique mind-body type, called a dosha. (The doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha; discover yours at iamsahararose.com.)
Here are my five recommended practices to jump-start your Ayurvedic way of living in the New Year.
1. Drink Warm Water. In Ayurveda, we recommend starting the day with warm water, because it’s the easiest for your body to digest. Your internal temperature is 98 degrees, therefore we should drink our water with a similar temperature for absorption. When we drink cold water, our body has to expend a lot of energy to increase the temperature of the water to our internal organs, leaving us with less energy for healing and mental function.
2. Dosha-Balancing Meditation. First thing in the morning, check in with your doshas (energies) to see how you’re feeling.
- Check in with your Kapha, the grounding Earth energy. Do you feel secure, stable, calm, collected? Focus the energy on your lower two chakras (root and sacral) and envision yourself grounding down into the Earth, with roots growing into the ground below me.
- Then check in on your Pitta fire energy. Are you feeling confident, accomplished and in your power? Bring your attention to your solar plexus chakra to feel the heat within you, envisioning a flame within your belly.
- Then connect with your Vata air energy. Are you feeling open to receiving downloads and intuitive insights? Imagine your mind (third eye and crown chakra) opening up to receive messages from the universe.
3. Tongue Scraping. Tongue scraping is the Ayurvedic practice of removing the white coating on the tongue with a U-shaped device. This practice actually improves digestion because it allows the tongue to be more receptive of the foods we are putting into our mouth. Once you start tongue scraping, You will never go without it!
4. Adaptogenic Golden Mylk. Golden mylk is an Ayurvedic tonic with turmeric, ginger, black pepper and
a healthy fat like coconut oil to aid with absorption in hot water or non-dairy milk. I also add Ashwaghanda, an adaptogenic herb, for extra hormone-balancing benefits. The recipe, from my book, Eat Feel Fresh, follows.
5. Abhyanga Self-oil Massage. End your day with an abhyanga self-oil massage. This massage stimulates the lymphatic system, increases blood flow, reduces cellulite and soothes the nervous system. Massage your choice oil in upward motions, toward the heart, and allow the oil to penetrate your body. I recommend sesame oil in the cooler Vata/Kapha months (such as after the new year) and coconut oil in the hot Pitta months (during the summer).
Sahara's Go-To Golden Mylk Latte
From Eat Feel Fresh by Sahara Rose
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon Bhisaj Turmeric Paste (recipe follows) or ½ teaspoon turmeric + 1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 drops liquid monk fruit sweetener or ½ tablespoon coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon Ashwaghanda powder (optional)
ground cinnamon, for topping
1. In a small saucepan, heat milk over low heat until warm. Whisk in turmeric paste, monk fruit sweetener and Ashwaghanda (if using).
2. Before serving, froth with an electric frother and dust with cinnamon. Enjoy warm.
Bhisaj (“Healing”) Turmeric Paste
Serving, ¾ of a pint
1 cup water
½ cup ground turmeric
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
1. In a small saucepan, combine water and turmeric and bring to a simmer. Add the other spices and continue whisking for five minutes. Add the coconut oil and whisk until fully combined. It will look like a paste.
2. Remove from heat, transfer to a clean airtight container and refrigerate. Paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five weeks.