Total Wellness: Your Ultimate Year-long Self-Improvement Plan

Month by month, week by week, day by rejuvenating day, prepare to reinvent yourself the Maharishi Ayurveda way.

Why You Need This Planner

New Year's resolutions are fun to make, but they're hard to keep — not always because people's intentions are not honest enough. Most often, people cannot seem to divide their health and lifestyle goals into bite-sized chunks. And secondly, the resolutions themselves are not varied or inspiring enough.

That is why we at Maharishi Ayurveda have done the homework for you. We've developed a wellness planner for you for the rest of the year, and each month we'll offer you ayurvedic advice to help you stay healthy and happy. The health goals we've set for you are not only easy; they're also fun. All you have to do is consult your weekly chart and try to follow it as best you can.

So get ready to launch yourself on an exciting, 365-day journey toward radiance and bliss. Here is our map for you for February.

Weekend: Rejoice! The Valentine month kicks off on a weekend. Winter is still dominant in most parts of the country, which means the season ruled by Vata dosha. Follow the rhythm of Vata, and maintain a regular routine.

The leisure of the weekend allows you time for a luxurious self-massage (abhyanga), followed by an aromatic bath. Warm the cured sesame oil or one of the special ayurvedic blends offered by Maharishi Ayurveda, such as Youthful Skin Massage Oils for Men or Women or the Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil, and perform the abhyanga. Work the oil into the scalp and skin, using rhythmic strokes. After you're done, sit silently for 10-15 minutes, to let the oil and the massage work their magic on both mind and body. The oil massage will warm up your body, making you feel snug. The soft, smooth feel of the skin after massage comes from the deep layers of your skin getting lipid support from the oil. The bonus, of course, is serenity for mind and emotions.

Spend Saturday on calming activities — reading an uplifting book, spending pleasant time with loved ones, a twenty-minute walk, or listening to Gandharva Veda music. On Sunday, go grocery shopping for nutrition-packed grains and lentils like quinoa, mung dhal, Basmati rice and chickpeas. Grains and lentils provide fiber and energy and combine well with a wide variety of vegetables.

Week One: This week, get in shape for Valentine's Day and the rest of the year. Start an exercise program suited to your body type, and if you haven't worked out in a while, start slowly. Stop as soon as you feel you are getting out of breath. Ayurveda recommends using only half of your total energy for exercise at any given time. The Premium Amla Berry and Stress Free Body supplements from Maharishi Ayurveda can help you get more from your exercise sessions and help boost the body's ability to repair itself and recover from vigorous exercise.

Weekend: Start a few pots of herbs on a south-facing windowsill. With strong sunshine and a little loving care, herbs grow quickly. Fresh green parsley and cilantro, spicy mint and aromatic thyme and oregano taste wonderful, freshly snipped and added to dishes.

Week Two: Ayurveda recommends spending time with nurturing companions, especially during the cool months of winter, when it's easy to get bogged down by "the blues." Stay warm in the circle of love — of your spouse, friends and family — at this time, and you'll sail through the cold, heavy weather. Why not make it Valentine Week, instead of just one day? Every evening of this week, do something special with your sweetheart: cook a healthy meal together, meditate side by side, or simply read to each other. Let your gift for your valentine be a healthy one, too. Maharishi Ayurveda offers a wonderful selection of gourmet foods and beverages, pure essential oil aromas and massage oils to choose from.

Weekend: Eat light this weekend — warm, freshly-cooked, nutritious meals that are easy to digest. Remember, ayurveda believes that the key to good health is good digestion. And good digestion depends, of course, on what and how much you eat and how you prepare the food. Remember to spike cooked vegetables, stews and soups with aromatic spice blends that offer loads of flavor and come with therapeutic properties to boot.

Week Three: Begin this week with a resolve to pay attention to your skin. Winter is on its way out, and now is the time to prime yourself to greet spring. Put instant glow on your face by mixing ingredients from your kitchen to make refreshing face masks and moisturizers. Milk, oatmeal, yogurt, Organic Rose Water, cucumber and honey are possible choices for facials and cleansing. The Youthful Skin regimen is a convenient way to perform the basic functions of cleansing, toning, replenishing and nourishing. Botanicals and pure essential oils in this line protect, nourish and rehydrate the skin, leaving it looking healthy and lustrous.

Love your body with a good herbal lotion after a bath, to keep your skin supple and soft. Choose from Maharishi Ayurveda's all-natural formulations for dry or sensitive skin. A tip for chapped soles of feet: apply lotion on the affected area in generous amounts, then put on a pair of cotton socks to seal in the moisture. Do this for just one week, and watch your feet turn baby soft.

Weekend: This weekend, stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits. Many vegetables and fruits offer natural antioxidant power. Try some unusual vegetables like kohlrabi, fennel bulbs or okra. Look for recipes using a variety of vegetables in our ayurvedic recipes section.

Week Four: Focus on happiness at the workplace this week. Lead up to a great day by starting your morning with a stewed apple. Eat a healthy lunch, such as light mung dhal kichari, or stir fried vegetables with rice. Take a short break every hour; using this time to stretch, drink a glass of water, practice deep breathing, or just to close your eyes, sit still and consciously relax.

When the mid-day slump hits, treat yourself to some hot herbal tea — Organic Vata Tea or Raja's Cup are all-natural, caffeine-free alternatives that can perk you up. If you feel perpetually fatigued, your body is giving you signals that it needs help. For day-to-day mental stress, the Worry Free herbal tablets and tea can help.

Plan your days so you leave work each evening feeling a sense of accomplishment and minimal deadline-related pressure.


Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.