The golden hour before the sun sets is one of the most beautiful, seductive times of the day. In the right conditions, with the sun free to shine through, a golden hue washes over everything, touching the mountains, the clouds, the ocean, your face. It is a magical time to sit and gaze out into nature and to be fully present, as much as you and your mind will allow. It is easy to become distracted, to think about your responsibilities and worry or stress over them, to guilt trip yourself on the things you need to complete tomorrow because maybe you are tired and needed a break, and perhaps you decided to be more gentle on yourself. I want to share with you, being gentle and kind to yourself is one of the best self-care practices you can have. And one way to thank yourself is by allowing your mind to let go of those things, if only for a small time, day by day through grounding and mindfulness practices.
I am going to give you a routine for grounding yourself and being present in the moment, to help you let go of the worries of your mind for a brief time. Following this routine is a sunset tonic to be enjoyed before, after or during your golden hour grounding. You can watch the video and read the recipe to discover the simple ingredients for the tonic, adjusting it as you like or using it as a base for something more complex.
For this practice, all you need is your senses to make yourself more aware of the world around you, your immediate world, at that time, maybe during the golden hour or any other time you can. Being in nature is the most rewarding place to try this, because there you can ground both mentally and physically. If you choose to do this inside a building, which you can at any time, you are working more on your mental grounding. Outside in nature, you can take your shoes off (if in a safe place), dig your heels into the ground, and maybe sit or lie down if the space permits. You can reconnect and recharge from the earth below you.
GOLDEN HOUR GROUNDING PRACTICE
Using one hand, have each of your five fingers represent each one of your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, sound/hearing. In any order you choose, use this guide to make a mental note of what stands out to you with each of your amazing senses. You can use as many or as little of these as you like, if you have trouble hearing you can use your other 4 heightened senses to make the most of each one. You do not have to use all of your senses, and for those of you who maybe cannot use one of them, you can focus on your other senses, which may be heightened. Make sure you are in a safe place so you can fully focus on what you experience without any worry.
Let's start with your thumb, which we can say will represent sound/hearing. Close your eyes, be still, and really listen. Often we hear things, but we may not truly be listening. Its possible you hear birds singing, or waves crashing on the shore. Maybe you hear the wind blowing, passing through the leaves on the trees. Or maybe it is beautiful silence. Enjoy listening, and think of nothing else. When ready, move on to your index finger, which we will have represent smell. Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, and see what you smell. You can also try small sniffs, such as a dog or cat might do when smelling something interesting. Pine trees? Salty air? Wet dirt? Freshly cut grass? Take the time to explore and find a scent. Next, the middle finger, notice the taste on your tongue, whatever is already there (I do not recommend eating anything you find as many plants in nature are poisonous to us). You can breathe deeply through your mouth and nose at the same time, and see if you are getting any more tastes from the air around you. Since your sense of smell and taste are connected, you may use your sense of smell to direct what you taste. Maybe you notice you are thirsty, and take this as a reminder to have some sips of water. Your ring finger afterwards, can represent touch. You can reach down to touch the nurturing earth and her dirt or grass. If there is a tree nearby, I like to touch the bark from the tree and feel its strength and life giving energy! You can also use this as a transition into the last sense, of sight. Look around you. Really take it all in. The world is so magnificent and magical, and you can find beauty everywhere you turn, if you choose to see it. Sometimes it is easy to see, especially in nature or during a sunset. But often these views become jaded for us over time, where we take them for granted or we think posting a photo or going to watch the sunset is overrated or silly. Do not take this for granted. Each day is a gift and the way the sun rises and sets is a very mystical event. You will not regret taking time to watch the sunset or going outside for that last golden hour of the day.
Transcendent Elixir Tonic
2 mL Ashwagandha Transcendent Elixir (2 dropper's full)
2 mL Shatavari Transcendent Elixir (2 dropper's full)
12oz Kombucha (We used GT's Trilogy Kombucha)
Pour 6 ounces of kombucha into each class (we used stemless wine glasses)
Cheers, sip and in joy!
More on Shatavari and Ashwagandha...
Shatavari is a plant that comes from the same flowering plant family as garden asparagus. It is used in Ayurveda and is known as the "queen of herbs." It is well known for being an adaptogen for women, helping the reproductive system while promoting fertility and vitality. And to be quite honest, when I was taking the Shatavari Elixir in combination with a teaspoon of Maca in my morning yogurt or tea a few times a week for two months, it helped alleviate my PMS symptoms as well as helped regulate my menstrual cycle, as I am usually late or irregular with my period. Additionally, according to a study found in the National Institutes of Health, Shatavari is a well known Ayurvedic rasayana which may prevent ageing, increase longevity, impart immunity, improve mental function, vigor and add vitality to the body and it is also used in nervous disorders, dyspepsia, tumors, inflammation, neuropathy and hepatopathy.
Another Ayurvedic Rasayana (foods and medicine intended to help lengthen lifespan, "anti-aging") is Ashwagandha. One study found that Ashwagandha may be helpful in preventing oxidative stress and premature aging. This ancient medicinal herb is very important in Ayurveda and has a wide range of benefits. It may help reduce blood sugar levels, as well as reduce cortisol levels, which is a steroid hormone that is produced when under stress. Ashwagandha has been studied and shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some studies have found it may boost testosterone and increase fertility in men. This powerful and potent adaptogen is one that I love to include in any recipe and with the new Ashwagandha Elixir, I can simply add one drop under my tongue for maximum benefits and bioavailability. Because the taste is quite strong, I recommend adding into the elixir, though you can take under your tongue for a potent boost, but be prepared for a powerful flavor! Small doses over a long period of time is recommended, and is the most safe and effective way of taking these herbs.
Recipe created & styled by Sun Potion Creative Director, Nitsa Citrine, in collaboration with videographer Abigail St. John and Nikki Haun