The 8 Limbs Series: Ahimsa & My Bathroom

Yeah, you read that right. I’ve been thinking about how to write this blog. The ways I show (nonviolence) love to myself, the planet I live on and others (species aside). Let me start my saying:

There is a reason Ahimsa is the FIRST of the Yamas, which are the first of Pantanjali’s 8 limbs to yogic life/practice.

Love is the root of it all. It is the ground on which we walk as humanity. To all you cynics and non-mushy-gushy yogis out there- it is the reason you shower, or wash your hands or do your hair in the morning. I think my bathroom, all jokes aside, is the biggest hub for love in my house (perhaps the kitchen…but thats a whole other blog). Now don’t get me wrong hardcore ‘ahimsa-is more- than-an-essential-oil’ yogis, I haven’t forgotten about you either, but I believe there is a blending. Love makes room for it all- physical & spiritual and that is why I think the bathroom is the greatest place to start.

It is the first place you go in the morning, the last place you go at night- where you are with yourself. For many, the shower is where some of the best thinking happens. In my bathroom, I take care of myself- I oil pull, I brush my teeth, I wash my face…I take care of my body and allow my mind to be aware of that. Ahimsa isn’t singularly mushy gushy, and it isn’t all active activism either, it is the two coming together to create a whole (get it, yoga…unity…the whole shabang). The products we use, because we use products- whether its leaves and grass or sulphates and parabens- are direct choices we have made to purchase in order to show ourselves love. Some choose self love in conjunction with the environment or animal safety, which is WONDERFUL! Some choose self love in conjunction with sharing beauty and fab-u-lous-ness which is also WONDERFUL (and also a form of showing love for others)! Some choose it all and decide based on the day (myself).

Which ever way you choose, notice the based of this pyramid is love for yourself. If you love yourself, the world will change.

So, heres a look at how I love myself in my bathroom (ha-ha yeah,yeah the puns keep coming):

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When  I started this year I thought no way would I neti and no way would I oil pull- turns out your resistances are what you end up needing to move towards. I have a separate coconut oil and salt for the bathroom. You don’t always have to use coconut oil for pulling though!! It is very vata (because its cooling) and I should probably use sesame oil, but I like the taste of coconut oil better (another resistance). I never feel cleaner or more ready for the day than when I’ve neti’d and oil pulled. Recently I was traveling for work and didn’t neti for a week- Now I have a major cold and what I’m pretty sure is a sinus infection. I used to get them over and over and over, until I started my neti!! Talk about self love!! (& love for everyone else, i’m not a fun sick person…)

Next to the coconut oil is a solid perfume that Andrew bought me for Christmas. It smells like a field of flowers which I figure must be loving for more than just myself. I’m really smell oriented and honestly would and have bought ‘chemical’ perfume for the right smell ( Bobbi Brown’s ‘Beach) but i’m finding this is just as good (almost…).

Rose water spray. Rose water spray. Is there anything more loving than dousing your face in 12 dozen hydrating and pitta pacifying roses? I think not. Its really just ahimsa for myself.

Andrew also bought me this Peace & Harmony oil blend for Christmas. My best and most thoughtful showers happen with this oil. So delicious smelling and like I said, I’m smell oriented. I feel so relaxed after using it and I could always use more relaxation.

IMG_9368Shampoo is something I usually flip flop on. Sometimes I buy the real expensive kind- you know, the ones they put on a much ‘fancier’ shelf at Shoppers with argan oil or gold flecks or magic? Lately I’ve just been using herbal essences or fructis- whichever is more on sale at the time. Sometimes there is more ahimsa in being able to keep the finances rolling than to have great hair.

A few days ago however I found my favourite brand of natural shampoo & conditioner at Winners for cheap! I had never tried the lavender (I stick to mints or lemon). My showers have been so lovely and I love that they’re all natural and cruelty free.

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Is there anything more ahimsa than a sunny morning with “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” playing and salted coconut SCRUB?!? Probably. But it really does give me a good happiness & love vibe for my day, which then I can go spread! Lush, thank you for making this. It. is. so. good. I use it all over- not just hands.

IMG_9372Now, I’ve been using this for years. I love it. It is a tried and true friend that I simply cannot let go of.  Its one of those bottles I’ve probably seen every morning and every night for the past 7 years. Which is crazy to think of. Products have an influence on our lives- they do. Companies are more than just companies at their most base levels. Our history bonds us- Apircot scrub thanks for helping me tackle the world ‘blemish free’…mostly. P.S I’ve often looked at this and thought “anti-imprefections”…..I think I fall more on the “Anti-perfection” side (cough cough, ahimsa). makeup

Last is my make up. I use whatever deodorant is cheapest at the time, and I know I know. All the all natural hippies who I love with all my heart are going to tell me to go all natural and cruelty free- I have, and I can’t find one that actually works well. If anyone has any recommendations that aren’t $20.00 and work, EMAIL ME PLEASE. I’d love to try. For now, watermelon lady speed stick. (and yeah, I don’t use all natural toothpaste either for the same reason)

Make up wise, I love Tarte cosmetics. Lights, camera, Flashes is my favourite mascara and I’ve yet to find a blush that I really love quite yet. They’re cruelty free & vegan. I also used a ‘dream bouncy blush’ from maybelline…but it fell in the toilet as I was creating this, which means its now in the trash. So i’m not completely natural.

Make up is one of those funny things for ahimsa in my mind. Some days its loving for me to put it on and feel beautiful. Some days I feel just as beautiful with none. Love is what feels right that day.

 

My point with all these products and bathroom talk and ahimsa is that taking time to love yourself spreads. It ripples into the world and the more love and nonviolence the better. The better you FEEL the better we all THRIVE. So do yoga, spend an hour dancing in the bathroom, practice ahimsa in the most wonderful of ways 🙂

 

Love & Light,

Katie

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