Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Therapist Celine Wallace knows first-hand the challenges of dealing with extreme stress, mental health, and exhaustion. Having lived and worked as an actress in New York and Los Angeles, pressure and overwhelm became dominant in her life before she took a hard swerve and set about making her health a priority, studying for thousands of hours around yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic medicine. Having founded Sattva Soul Retreats and Sattva Soul Supplements, today, Celine generously shares her wealth of knowledge about some of the benefits Ayurvedic practice can offer.
“In celebration of Mental Health Awareness week and the beginning of spring, it’s a good time to dust off the old layers of the last few months and step into a new, fresher, and happier version of ourselves. How is your mental health right now, and what layers would you like to shed stepping into this new seasonal cycle?
“As an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Therapist, who runs Sattva Soul, a women’s retreats and Ayurvedic supplement company, I teach my clients that our bodies are always on an evolutionary journey, including our mental health – something that needs to be nurtured daily. Mental health is truly about having a series of tools to balance your mindset with the outside world’s noise. It’s like going to the gym. If you don’t make the time in your day to show up, you won’t get the desired results, and our mind is the same.
“In Ayurveda, the end of winter and the beginning of spring is also something called the Kapha season, which means we are completing the cycle of winter and may feel heavy, sluggish, and a bit lazy, and that’s completely okay. This acknowledges a shift in our outer environment, which takes a period of adjustment for our internal environment; this is expected since we are cyclical beings. A great lens to look at spring is as a time to regain your energy and motivation for the warmer months, actively work on your mindset, and start to invite more summery Pitta Ayurvedic energy into your life so that you can find your flow in this new season.”
Here are Celine’s top Ayurvedic tips for mental health stepping into spring:
Wake up before Kapha time
While the shortest day of the year is now behind us, and our days are getting longer and lighter earlier, it’s still often dark and cold when we wake up. It can feel counterintuitive to wake in the dark, but if you’ve gone to bed early, then getting up before the sun so you can sync with the day ahead is incredibly energising (I know, I didn’t believe it until I found my routine either). Making the most of syncing your body to rise with the sun is also a great way to prepare to move into daylight savings next week to make the transition that much smoother.
In Ayurveda, we believe that all life is about finding balance by offsetting the energies that can affect us, including if you’ve been feeling flat, so look for exercises to pick you up. Kapha winter energy is heavy and makes us feel sluggish, so try a more vigorous workout than you might usually – get endorphins flowing and movement that helps keep you warm and blood pumping. Then that helps to regulate the appetite and make you feel more grounded in your body. It’s always fun to try new physical activities like dancing, cycling, running, and vinyasa yoga can help you find your groove in this new season.
Now’s a great time to start to speed up your metabolism. Often we can have a low move and low energy from a slow digestive system, so begin to sprinkle on that chili, grate up plenty of ginger, and grind up some cloves. Many of your favourite spices are perfect for lifting you this season, plus they can help with congestion and sluggish digestion if that’s what you’re experiencing.
Cut the snacks
To truly let our belly and digestive system do its job, it needs a break, so keep three to four hours between meals. It’s about that fine line between recognising what’s true hunger and what’s not and ensuring you’re fueling yourself enough to keep yourself warm but not snacking between meals. The snacking cycle often disrupts the digestive system’s time needed to reset before your next meal and can leave you heavy and sluggish. If your body is always in a state of digestion, this will affect your mood and leave you tired and lethargic.
There is a lot of noise in the world right now, from constant social media updates to work commitments to family and friends. To have a sense of inner calm, cultivate time for yourself every day to sit with your thoughts by meditating and focusing on your breath. Box Breathing, a method of breathing in slowly for a count of four or six through the nose, holding your breath for a count of four or six, then exhaling out for the same count and repeating for three or four rounds, can be a great way to tune into how you’re feeling and create space between your thoughts.
Many of us have imbalances or vitamin deficiencies we’re unaware of, such as adrenal fatigue, problems sleeping, anxiety, you name it, and this is where high-quality organic supplementation is invaluable. Hundreds of supplements are available for stress, hormones, and sleep, and they’re a great way to start regulating your body without the side effects of harsh and synthetic drugs. In Ayurveda, we recommend Organic Ashwagandha for adrenal fatigue and sleep support, and to begin looking at your gut health, with supplementation like taking Triphala, because 95% of your serotonin (happiness brain chemical) is produced in your gut, so it truly is your second brain.
If you’d like to find out more about your Ayurvedic mind-body constitution or Ayurvedic supplementation, head to Sattva Soul for more info, or if you’re a quiz lover, you can take the free Ayurvedic quiz to discover your Dosha (unique energy type).