Summer ’20 | Seasonal Focus – Sleep & Downtime

Seasonal Update / Summer ’20
Our hearts, prayers & thoughts are still with those effected by the loss and devastation of the bushfires currently burning here in Australia…And from everyone here at Rasasara, we extend our love & support. To those of you who have been fire effected, we would be honoured to assist you, or your loved ones in getting a semblance of your self-care routine back in place. These items although they may not seem essential, in times such as these, go such along way to restoring a sense of wellbeing. Please do get in touch here, if you or somebody you know would benefit from our support.
During this crisis, we have chosen to align with and support Firesticks Alliance. They are a small indigenous led organisation, initiating cultural fire programmes to support affected communities and countries to heal after the devastating fire crisis. If you would like to donate with us, know your money will provide Indigenous leadership, advocacy and action to protect, conserve, and enhance cultural and natural values of people and country through cultural fire and land management practices.
Click here to make a donation to Fire Sticks Alliance.

This summer at Rasasara, we’ve been focusing on the importance of a getting a good nights Sleep.  Because getting enough sleep is imperative to our happiness, well being & longevity.

— Seasonal Focus | Sleep & Downtime —

According to Ayurveda our day begins, not when we wake up, but when we go to sleep. Which indicates that the quality of our day is dependant upon the quality of our sleep.
Sleep is governed by the Kapha dosha, expressing the heavy, dull attributes of ‘tamas’, one of 3 Gunas or modes of mind. Sleep is also an antidote to Vata and Pitta imbalances – owing to these cooling, stabilising, heavy qualities of Kapha. Pitta types & Pitta dosha being hot in nature, benefit from the cooling & therefore anti-inflammatory qualities of sleep, both mentally and physiologically, whilst Vata dosha benefits from the stabilising and restorative qualities of sleep.
Modern science is still trying to understand the importance of sleep, however, Vedic seers established over 10000 years ago that sleep has two main functions; first being rest to the 7 dhatus (tissues layers), allowing proper absorption & repair; and the second, to balance the mind – our mental health depends upon adequate and restorative sleep.
This is because the mind being Vata – light, irregular & mobile in nature, must be balanced by the heavy, stabilising, Kaphic qualities of sleep. Without adequate sleep you may have noticed that we become somewhat deranged, prone to excessive thinking or talking, anxiety, and over time, potentially insomnia. The mind must rest from its constant activities.
If you find you struggle getting to sleep, or staying asleep, which may indicate a Vata & or Pitta imbalance, outlined below are effective Ayurvedic practices and tips to support you in establishing a new sleep routine.
SELF MASSAGE & OILING –
A self massage of the feet, or entire body, using slow, steady, rhythmic touch, is the perfect wind down ritual pre-sleep as it calms the nervous system.  The power of touch which is specifically connected to Vata dosha, has the ability to pacify Vata dosha – enabling deeper peace and relaxation. Oil, being Kapha in nature, easily offers us the grounding, heavy, supportive qualities required for sleep.
TIMING –
Is everything when it comes to getting a good night rest. Getting to sleep before 10pm is essential for deep, restorative sleep, supported by Kapha – after 10pm the body mind switches into a Pitta mode which energises the mind, which makes getting to sleep less available. Unless you are a true Kapha type, you will find that once you miss this sleep window, you either get, over stimulated & struggle getting to sleep, or sleep lightly. Refer below to the Ayurvedic clock which divides the day into 6 quadrants, each of which are governed by the qualities of one of the 3 doshas. Suggested sleep & down time, plus the optimum time for activities, are outlined in each segment as a guideline to support our natural circadian rhythm.
ENVIRONMENT  –
The room you sleep in should be cool, dark, calm, quiet, uncluttered, ventilated and beautifully scented to attract positive energies. Try our room & pillow mist or diffuser essential oils, to detox and uplift the bedroom. Create a space that is only for sleeping and avoid talking about anything related to work, finances, or potentially inflammatory topics when you’re in bed
Leaving your window open during the day is a simple & effective way to refresh the space.
A CALM MIND  –
Evolve a schedule to wind down the day. Gentle yin yoga stretches, a night time walk, reading, writing in your journal, or breath mediation are some things to welcome wind down and sleep.
CONSISTENCY –
Consistency supports the Vata dosha, which when imbalanced may become the obstacle to a good nights rest. Establish a same sleep & wake time for everyday of the week. Create a consistent sleep ritual that supports rising earlier in the light of Vata (2am- 6am) a time of inspiration, where the atmosphere is infused with lightness and clarity.  Avoid waking up during the sluggish hours of Kapha from 6am – 10am.
SWITCH OFF –
One hour before bed, switch off your TV and phone.
Apply a light application of ghee to the eyelids + rose water drenched cotton pads to closed eyes, cooling & nourish the eyes, countering the heating effects of screen time.
Before retiring for the evening, switch off the wifi completely. You will be doing yourself and those surrounding you a powerful act of kindness.
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 — My Country – Tarisse King —