We live in a ridiculously fast paced world. A world that revolves around meetings, school runs and social events. But amidst the chaos, it’s important to schedule in a little ‘me time’. Time to relax, unwind and give your body a bit of love.
The key is stripping back to basics and adopting a healthy dose of mindfulness. Cue Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a holistic concept looking at the philosophy of life, health and longevity. It’s an ancient Indian practice that balances the mind, the body and soul.
Ayurveda is a way of life – ‘the science of life’. It’s about achieving a balanced lifestyle, where the body and the mind are in harmony – resulting in long lasting health and happiness.
In Ayurveda, each individual is unique. The 5,000-year-old tradition is based on three energies (or Doshas) that perform different functions in the body. Your Dosha determines your emotional and physical state, taking factors such as food intake, sleeping patterns and skin type into account.
SUNDÃRI is an Ayurvedic-based skincare brand, taking a holistic and earthly approach to beauty and wellbeing. Massage is the oldest healing system, so combining such natural oils, Dosha assessments and trained therapist, a Sundari Ayurvedic treatment is sure to have you looking and feeling happier and healthier in no time – bringing back a bit of balance.
Backed by the first hand knowledge and experience of Seaham Hall’s Spa Manager, and the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda, the Serenity Spa at Seaham offers bespoke Sundari treatments – using traditional healing remedies to allow mind, body and spirit to gain balance. It’s the perfect solution for guests in serious need of pampered ‘me time’.
Sundari, meaning ‘a beautiful woman’ in Sanskrit, brings harmony to the body through tailored treatments and movements. I’d highly recommend the Sundari Abhyanga massage (£85 – 60 minutes) to anyone who wishes to unwind and really appreciate the good things in life. Your Serenity Spa therapist will get to know you pre-treatment and will help find your core Ayurvedic energy – this will help tailor the treatment to suit your lifestyle and body type. Abhyanga is an oil-based massage, deeply relaxing and rejuvenating the muscles by clearing stagnant energy and restoring the flow of ‘Prana’ – the life force that stimulates your body’s vital energy.
My tailored Sundari treatment makes me feel as good as new. Next level relaxation – I float into a deep state of bliss. I’m not asleep, but I’ve drifted far away from the four walls of the treatment room – my mind and body dreamily wandering as the warm oil is poured across my body. The massage is finished with the Shirodhara (£60 – 30 minutes) scalp treatment. It’s heavenly – pure bliss as the therapist directs a stream of warm oil onto my forehead, relaxing the mind and helping to nourish my skin and hair.
Following the treatment, it’s advised that I leave the oil to soak in overnight for best results. I feel like a new me. My mind at rest. Relaxed, rejuvenated and feeling healthy inside and out.
FINDING YOUR DOSHA…
The three Dosha’s are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha – Each person has two dominant Dosha’s which can change on a daily basis depending on your state of mind, wellbeing and health. You can find your Dosha by following the below guide:
SUNDÃRI MIND/BODY AYURVEDIC ASSESSMENT
A) Slim, fine boned
B) Medium, athletic build
C) Heavy boned, curvaceous figure
A) Easy to have a conversation with
B) Asks a lot of precise questions
C) Says little but thinks deeply
A) Has poor memory
B) Remembers dates and figures easily
C) Slower to learn, strong memory
RESPONSE TO AMBIENT TEMPERATURE
A) Hates cold
B) Gets irritable in heat, especially humid heat
C) Prefers the shade
INTERACTION WITH THE ELEMENTS
A) Energised by heat and sunshine
B) Thrives by being out in nature
C) Enjoys medium heat with breeze
A) Likes to touch, feel and hold things
B) Aware of colour and design
C) Sensitive to smell
A) Loves to travel
B) Needs to be in charge
C) Prefers to be left alone
A) Creative and sensitive
B) Intelligent and courageous
C) Strong willed and caring
A) Dry, coarser hair
B) Silky, straight hair
C) Thick, heavy hair
The highest scoring letter determines what Dosha you are. Remember – it can change; it’s not a constant state. Ayurveda is about finding the balance so, for example if you are a Pitta you may feel hot, and have a reddish skin tone, so a therapist would advise you not to have a heat treatment such as hot stones but have a massage with cooling oil, and use products for a sensitive skin.
GROUP A = VATA
Body: Thin frame, slender, tall
Mind: Creative, quick to learn, flexible, intelligent, can have racing disjointed thoughts
Emotion: Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance – fear, worry and anxiety when out of balance
Skin type: Dry skin/nails and dry hair, do not tend to perspire much
Your fine frame and naturally weaker connective tissues means you need to temper your mind’s natural inclination to “push it”. When it comes to exercise, be satisfied to build strength and stamina gradually. The key words here are calm, slow, steady, grounded, strengthening and consistent. Restorative yoga, sitting poses, sun salutation, standing poses, inverted postures, spinal twists and deep rest are recommended. Tai chi, walking, biking and ball room dancing are great choices too. Learn to waltz through life and just have an occasional tango.
GROUP B = PITTA
Body: Medium build, strong, well-built
Mind: Sharp mind, good concentration
Emotion: Orderly, focused, assertive, self-confident when in balance – aggressive, demanding and pushy when out of balance
Skin type: Fair skin, reddish tones, freckles, rosacea, sensitivity
Your strong physique and love of the outdoors makes hiking and mountain biking a natural choice. Just remember the sunscreen and a lot of water! Swimming is also a great choice as is rowing or any form of water sport. With your naturally warm body, snow sports are both balancing and fun. The key here is to get a great workout without over heating so hot yoga will have to be a short lived thrill for you. Watch words are cooling, relaxing, surrendering, forgiving, and being gentle to yourself. Flow style yoga has the challenge and intensity that appeals. Try moon salutation, shoulder stands and forward bends. Remember to take time to cool out too after any exercise and laugh a lot.
GROUP C = KAPHA
Body: Heavy build, tend to be overweight, sluggish metabolism
Mind: Steady and enduring mind, stable and reliable
Emotion: Easy going, relaxed, compassionate
Skin type: Thick, soft skin – prone to be oily
Your graceful body was but for comfort not for speed. Keeping it moving is key. Walk that dog, climb those stairs, join a gym and work out with a buddy. Find some sort of exercise that makes you happy too. If your plus size makes you shy among the yoga divas, take private classes until you feel more secure in your abilities. Yoga is for everyone not just the size 0-4’s! Being devotional by nature, you might enjoy an ashram type setting or yoga retreat. Reflect on what is stimulating, moving, warming, lightening, energizing and releasing for you. So jump into those poses and get your deeper energy moving with pranayama.