Valentine's Day Self-love Rituals

Valentine's Day - a time to celebrate love. Today, we choose self-love by sharing two of our favourite self-focused rituals to nourish your mind and body.
This decadent, ancient-inspired scrub works like magic and is customisable to your senses. The recipe is remarkably simple and is made up of just two ingredients you're likely to have at home - oil and sugar. The sugar acts as a gentle exfoliator while the oil nourishes and hydrates the skin and the formula is non-comedogenic so won't clog your pores.
Ancient Goddesses used sugar scrubs to exfoliate and prepare the skin before applying sacred oils to beautify the skin.  Raw sugar has alpha-hydroxy agents which act as a deep skin exfoliant and hemp oil was famed in the Sacred Oils of Egypt noted in the Eber Papyrus 1550 BC (this was the ancient book of healing remedies over 3500 years old!).
Customise your body scrub by adding in a pure essential oil of choice. The ancient Goddesses were known to favour sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh for their powerful healing qualities, while lavender was known for soothing and reducing stress and lemon or orange for uplifting benefits.

1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup hemp oil (use coconut oil if you don't have hemp)
10 drops of your choice of essential oil (we are loving the Frankincense Oil from Young Living)
Optional hot tip: 5 Vitamin E capsules for boosted nourishment (available from your nearest health-food store)

Place sugar, hemp oil and essential oil into a bowl.
If boosting with Vitamin E - pierce the capsules and squeeze them into the bowl.
Mix well. Aim for a consistency that's not too runny.

Step into the shower and prepare your skin by rinsing it with warm water.
Starting at your neck, work the scrub into the skin by massaging in a gentle, circular motion inwards towards your heart.
Massage body scrub into your arms, legs, and whole body making sure to pay special attention to any extra dry areas like elbows and knees.
After your body is totally exfoliated, rinse in warm water and pat dry.
Finish by applying your favourite moisturizer or oil.
Enjoy your beautifully smooth, naturally exfoliated skin.
Meditation - the ancient practice of quieting the mind and going within. Originating from India as early as 1500 years BCE (Before Common Era), what is commonly known as Vedic style meditation set the precedent for other cultures to develop their own versions of practice.

The Buddha, who lived and taught in Southeast Asia about 2600 years ago, founded a spiritual path to inspire generations to sit in mindful awareness and breathe their way to lasting peace. According to his teachings, mindful meditation is one of three trainings that when practiced together result in awakening or enlightenment.

In this modern age we can take inspiration from the many ancient types of meditation available to us and introduce them into our daily rituals to develop a deeper connection to oneself and nourish ourselves from within.

Today we are sharing a simple meditation technique we love and use ourselves from one of our favourite meditation leaders at A-Space.Step 1: Find a comfortable posture
A-space suggests sitting down on the edge of a seat; elongate your spine; rest your hands (right on top of your left) on your lap; relax your shoulders and steady your gaze.
Step 2: Close your eyes and breathe
With a comfortable posture and a steady gaze, you can now begin to slowly close your eyes; take a few deep breaths (inhale through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth) and consciously relax your body from head to toe.

Step 3: Observe and then select a sensation
Stop to notice the many sensations occurring throughout your body -  your body placed against the chair, your feet touching the ground or any discomfort. It’s important here to be aware of them without reacting to them. Once you’ve observed the sensations, select a specific one (e.g. your breath entering and exiting your body) and focus your attention on it.

Step 4: Bring your mind back to the sensation
Your mind is bound to wander over and over again; chasing thoughts as they come in. The practice is noticing that your mind has wandered and bringing your attention back to a sensation (often the breath) and the present moment.

Step 5: Slowly open your eyes and enjoy your day
When you’re ready — whether that’s 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes — slowly open your eyes. Remember that even though your meditation practice has ended, your mindful state can continue throughout the day.

The benefits of meditation are endless! Research shows that this self love practice can improve your mood, sleep, self-awareness and focus whilst reducing stress, anxiety and pain and chronic disease.

Continue to nourish your body and mind with self-love rituals. If you have a loved one in mind, why not let them know you’re thinking of them this Valentine’s Day and share the love?