The Importance of Turning Inward with Tara Grodjesk - Rancho La Puerta
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The Importance of Turning Inward with Tara Grodjesk

Are you looking for more ways to stay grounded and calm during these uncertain times? Ranch Presenter Tara Grodjesk shares her wisdom about self-care in the article below. Tara is the president and owner of TARA Spa Therapy, Inc., and has a B.A. in Psychology with Honors from the University of Michigan. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Educator, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Aromatherapist.

Cultivate a Relationship with Self

In Ayurveda, we say, that life is a relationship. We have a relationship with all matter in the universe. Our internal world is our microcosm, and the external world is a macrocosm. Ayurveda says we need to know who we are in relation to our world, so we know what right actions to take to live a joyful, balanced and vibrant life. Toward the beginning of this pandemic, we all had to shelter in place, and it was a shock to people. We are so outward-focused – going out and having fun, socializing with people, and hopping on planes. All of a sudden, we had to be sheltered in place. Instead of feeling forced to stay put, I encourage people to view the time they spend at home as an opportunity for self-reflection.

Cultivating a relationship with self is not narcissistic; rather, it is about becoming strong and resilient in these changing times and unchartered territory. It is time to examine how we carry ourselves out into the world and what we react to. Are we reacting out of fear or out of anger? It is more important than ever before to learn how to reestablish our center and maintain our balance, our groundedness and our well-being. Our homes are our shelter from the storm.

Feed the Body

I believe they say, “It is not the virus out there, or the microbes out there. What is more important is the host environment.” We are the host environment. What is going on for us internally—physiologically and emotionally —is so important right now. We need to have self-care practices on a daily basis. So, is self-care as simple as doing a face care routine? Sure, in some ways it is. Every action, whether it’s applying product to the face or body, is about energetically feeding and giving to ourselves.

Now is a wonderful time to put more attention to a skincare routine and a bathing ritual. Taking the waters is an important ancient saying about healing. If you can, take a bath at home. The bath is a thermal therapy because of the warm temperature, it vasodilates, relaxing the muscles. And when we put healing agents like mineral salts and essential oils in the bath, we are absorbing them by osmosis into our body tissues.* Even if you are lucky enough to have a jacuzzi or hot tub at your house, most need chemicals to maintain their PH balance. So, an even purer, more healthful approach is to take a therapeutic bath with your own healing agents. You can add any body oil that has essential oils into the water or add bath salts to the water for mineralization benefits. That, I think, is so special. You get the thermal therapy benefits you would in a hot tub, but you have the addition of essential oils and mineral salts which are absorbed into the body for balancing and restorative benefits.

The La Puerta Core Essentials™ Neroli Hydrating Mist is superb skincare; use it in lieu of a toner or as a refresher. Neroli is known to help reverse signs of aging and can help diminish the appearance of scars or stretch marks. Moreover, Organic Neroli Hydrosol calms the nervous system by slowing down brainwave activity. This induces an alpha wave-like meditative state. It can help combat stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Keep one in your purse, backpack, and on your bedside table.

Rest and Restore

Healing treatments are important, and we also need to restore and revitalize from the inside and out. People are experiencing a lot of anxiety and stress right now. The nervous system is affected by everything that’s going on in the world, which is quite dramatic. We can’t underestimate that. We may think, “I’m fine, I’m fine,” but the global unrest and COVID-19 pandemic hit us all energetically on some subtle levels and we take that on consciously or unconsciously. I believe one of the most important things we can do is experience deep rest, so our bodies can rebuild and restore the nervous system. This has to do with sleep, but you can also achieve deep rest by laying down doing yoga nidra on a yoga mat or by practicing a simple breath awareness exercise. Anything that shifts the neural transmission of the brain from the fight or flight mode to recovery and restoration is profoundly beneficial to the whole being.

We Are All Connected

This pandemic is showing us that we are all connected. One touch or one breath can spread the virus. It is a good reminder of how impacted we are by others, and that is why now is the perfect time to get our house in order. Our health and well-being, our state of mind, and the way we respond, as opposed to react, have an impact. We are seeing it throughout the world…even within the Black Lives Matter movement. We are all connected, so let’s get our own houses in order. Let’s find our center. If we get thrown off, we must come back. Inner training is about knowing when we’re thrown off: to recognize when we’re thrown out of balance, like if we make poor eating choices for a couple of days, so we can come back more quickly, more easily. The practice is not to say that we’re never going to fall out of balance – it is about when we become out of balance, we know how to bring ourselves back to that center. The inner training comes from self-care practices and rituals, and cultivating this relationship with self. And that’s on all levels of your body – fitness and self-care for your physical body and meditation and healthy thought for your mind. Many health and wellness-related programs are available online, from Pilates classes, yoga, or online breath exercises to immune-boosting diet plans. The Ranch now offers an Inner Fitness Online Program. I have launched three Wellness-at-Home Kits to help people during the current crisis: Immune Booster, Stress/Anxiety Relief, and Sleep/Deep Rest. They include full-size body oils, bath therapy salts, and other wonderful wellness products that are substantial enough for an ongoing home practice. Ultimately, we need to know ourselves in order to know what right action to take.

*Though essential oils can be helpful in preventative care, they are not a substitute for professional medical treatment. Rancho La Puerta makes no health claims for these essential oils.