Wednesday, December 9, 2015


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Long before it was a vernacular trend, I was consistently writing and speaking about the need to take time for oneself as an investment in individual health and well being.  Achieving this goal, however, is easier said than done, and often derailed by life's daily challenges, hiccups, and interruptions.  Left unresolved, or ignored, stress can and will eventually take a toll on one's health and well being.  In this article, I'm sharing with you some additional advice and helpful suggestions from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat.


Expert Advice from Shankara Ayurveda Spa 
at the Art of Living Retreat Center

With all that is merry and bright about the holiday season, managing parties, gifts and a lot of festive food also means that seasonal stressors and anxieties are bound to become a reality. Wondering how to cope? The team of experts from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center wants to help people embrace the ancient science of Ayurveda as a method to add cheer and chill to the holidays.  

Stress is a holiday tradition for many. A poll from the American Psychological Association reports nearly a quarter of Americans feel “extreme stress” at holiday time. Specific data show:

~ 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a lack of time 
~ 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a lack of money
~ 51 percent are stressed about the pressure to give or receive gifts

The stress and anxiety of the holiday season can cause headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, aching muscles (including lower back pain), and loss of appetite. For relief, meditation is a great practice, “One of the benefits of meditation is that it helps create a calm, clear mind,” says Venkat Srinivasan, PhD. Srinivasan is the manager of operations & guest experience at Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center. “When the mind is at ease and comfortable, it’s easier to handle stresses or anxiety when they appear.”

A few Ayurvedic tips for handling anxiety and stressful situations during the holidays and year-round:
•       See the larger picture. When we see the bigger picture in the larger context of space and time, we are able to relax and handle the situation with a clear mind.
•       Give attention to your breath and take a few deep breaths. This helps settle the anxiety in the mind. “When breathing techniques and meditation become part of our daily practice, stressful situations are much more easily handled and anxiety doesn't stay with us for long,” adds Srinivasan.
•       Keep energy levels high. A high energy level can help in handling situations with a positive outlook. Drinking more water, eating more fresh fruits & vegetables, sleeping at regular times and an Ayurvedic lifestyle all contribute to higher energy levels.
•       Feel grateful. Focusing on gratefulness can uplift our state of mind. Srinivasan suggests, “When we feel grateful, we focus on the positive, which enables natural contentment and abundance to grow.”
•       Take a break. A few minutes of deep rest, such as during meditation, calms the mind and gives it the space needed to handle situations with skill. 

About Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center - For those seeking physical and internal renewal on their journey toward greater self-awareness and happiness, Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center provides a nurturing environment and service-oriented, educated staff. The relaxing mountaintop location in North Carolina offers wellness adventurers a range of therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments and day or overnight programs perfect for those hoping to cultivate rejuvenation and inner growth.

For more information and to check out various retreat options, visit

~ In Closing ~

During this time of "holiday madness", it's all the more critical to stop, take a breath, and re-focus on what is important.  Taking time for your self isn't's an investment in self that's well worth the effort...and, you deserve it!  

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations on her authored work.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  In addition to her blogs, her social media outreach also includes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  Don’t forget to “Like” her Facebook Page, “Terry’s Second Helpings”.  Please note that the “Comment Section” has been disabled.  For additional information, you can email her at


(Photo credits as represented by the specific brand, or as indicated.)