When asked how to bring a little something special into a relationship, most of us think of the typical "solutions" like buying chocolate, flowers or a gift; alternatively, we may want to make time for a special date or sexy evening.
Of course, a date and a box of chocolates often can be just what you or your partner wants. But I'd like to offer a fresh perspective on how to turn up the heat in your relationship, based on the framework of ancient Ayurvedic wisdom.
Aiming to empower your heart and infuse your relationships with love from your own sense of inner balance, here are five fun tips on love from an Ayurvedic perspective for this Valentine's Day season and beyond ...
1. Get to know oxytocin.
One of the most potent medicines of all time is that feeling of falling in love. In fact, "that feeling" is not just emotional; when we fall in love, our bodies produce "the love hormone" oxytocin, leading to physiological stress reduction and increased well-being. Oxytocin is the feel-good chemical our bodies naturally produce during activities such as bonding, touching, hugging, kissing and even simply caring for others.
So give yourself the gift of realizing that your own stress-reduction tool already exists inside of you. Giving your partner an extra caress as you walk out the door in the morning will make both of you more relaxed and happier for the rest of the day. You can give love to get love. What could be more balanced than that?
2. Break out pen and paper.
Sure, it's nice to get a sweet text from your partner during the day. But what about the good old days of writing and receiving love letters. It's almost sounds too old-fashioned to be true, but there is actually recent research that reports some surprising benefits about this "nostalgic" practice ...
Studies have shown that writing love letters expressing affection to one's partner significantly reduces total cholesterol levels in its author. (The addressee benefits too!). This is another totally holistic way of creating more balance in your own body while also strengthening your relationship. OK, I may not be suggesting special Ayurvedic herbs to boost your capacity to love in this instance, but I am suggesting a totally holistic method to heal your own heart while also giving a fresh dose of affection to your partner (and your relationship).
3. Locate the real source of love in your life.
Love because it is your true nature to love. Fully, completely, and unconditionally. When we can't access the love within ourselves, we often feel less "connected" in our bodies. Since the gut is called "the second brain," it can pick up on whether or not we are feeling in touch with our inner well of love or not. Ever notice how when you feel stressed out and bitter toward others you may feel kind of funky in your stomach? Well, by contrast, being loving toward others and toward ourselves has wonderful effects on the way we feel in our bodies. "All you need is love…" — and guess what? You can cultivate it inside of yourself.
4. Enhance your radiance.
In Ayurveda, sexuality is considered an integral part of the spiritual journey, and is linked to a concept called ojas (OH-jas), said to be a golden liquid stored in the heart which is our body's source of core vitality, radiance, strength and immunity. Libido is associated with ojas as well, and depletion of both is directly connected to heightened stress levels, lack of rest, improper self-care and excessive activity.
Replenishing the ojas is a 30-day process of nourishing yourself with nutrient-rich foods and herbs, proper rest, stress reduction and excellent self-care otherwise. Go ahead: treat your body as a temple and feel the glow radiate into your relationship (and the rest of your life)!
5. Boost your vitality.
Shatavari, also known as wild asparagus, is an herb whose name means "a woman with one hundred husbands," alluding to its unique properties that support and tone the female reproductive system at all stages of life. This herb is especially beneficial for women, boosting ojas and specifically balancing the reproductive system.
Shatavari also increases reproductive fluids, vitality, and virility in the body, as well as aiding in digestion and calming and nourishing the nerves. Turning up the heat in the bedroom can strengthen your relationship, and who knew that it could all start with an herb?
So rather than look outward to find the magical elixir to fix yourself or your relationships, your goal can be to become the source of love in your life. Be like the sun that never stops shining, and shine bright throughout the year, including in winter.
Photo Credit: Stocksy