Category Archives: anti-aging

Ayurveda on the 5 Senses-Deepak Chopra-Find Your inner Pharmacy

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In this very moment, you are seamlessly connected to the cosmos. The same deep intelligence that streams through the rivers flows through your bloodstream, and the same breath that nourishes your cells animates the life of a rain forest. Although it may seem like you are separate from the world “out there,” in reality your body and the universe are made up of the same molecules, obey the same principles, and are inextricably connected.

More than 5,000 years ago, the Vedic sages of India understood what quantum physicists are just beginning to recognize: we are all part of an infinite field of intelligence that orchestrates all of the activities in the universe. With every breath, we exchange our personal energy with the energy of the universe, and we are constantly taking in impressions via the five sense organs—the ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose.

In Ayurveda, sensory impressions are considered crucial to health. Just as the food we eat creates our bodily tissues, our sensory impressions determine the quality of our thoughts and emotions. If we want greater physical and emotional well-being, we can use sounds, feelings, sights, tastes, and smells to balance and heal our selves. At the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program, patients learn how to awaken their inner pharmacy using the tools of the five senses. Here are a few suggestions that you can use in your own daily routine.

 

Sound Therapy

 

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Every sound has a physiological effect. When you listen to a beautiful piece of music or inspirational words, a cascade of pleasure-producing chemicals course through your body, supporting health and wholeness. In contrast, studies of urban environments show that people subjected to ongoing noise pollution are more likely to suffer from stress and lowered immune function.

Ayurveda recognizes that music is a valuable therapeutic tool for balance and healing. The specific sounds that will benefit you most depend a great deal on your mind-body type, known as your dosha in Ayurveda. If you don’t know your dosha, take the Chopra Center’s complete dosha quiz online to find out. It is also important to simply tune in to your body and discover which sounds are healing and inspiring for you. If you feel refreshed, joyful, and alert, the music is working.

 

Healing Sights

 

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The visual impressions you take in have a surprisingly profound effect on your mind, body, and emotions. Watching violent movies or television shows triggers your body’s stress response, creating jittery cells and suppressing the immune system. In contrast, looking at peaceful or beautiful images creates a cascade of soothing neurochemicals in the body.

Surrounding yourself with images that uplift your spirit is as important for your health as nutritious food. Spending time in nature is healing for your mind, body, and soul. When you view a gorgeous sunset, look into the eyes of your beloved, or see a magnificent painting, you cultivate the power of your inner pharmacy.

Aromatherapy

 

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The most primitive of the senses, smell connects us directly with our memories, emotions, and instincts. When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules, making aromatherapy a form of natural medicine. Here are some specific suggestions for balancing fragrances:

Invigorating            Cooling            Calming

Lemon                  Jasmine            Lavender

Orange                  Mint                  Vanilla

Clove                  Lime                  Sandalwood

Cinnamon            Rose                  Neroli

You can also use a process known as neuroassociative conditioning to consciously link a healing response to a given smell. First choose a favorite aroma and inhale it whenever you are feeling relaxed, calm or happy. Your body will begin to associate pleasurable feelings with the smell. Before long, just a hint of the fragrance will invoke your inner healing response.

 

The Sense of Taste

 

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Ayurveda categorizes food into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the tastes has a unique effect on our mind-body physiology and provides the flavor that makes eating a pleasure. If you include the six tastes in a meal, you will get the nutrients you need and will feel completely satisfied and energized. If one or more of the tastes are missing from a meal, however, you may feel full but unsatisfied and find yourself snacking two hours later. You can find more in-depth information on the six tastes here.

 

 

 

Therapeutic Touch

 

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Touch is fundamental to health and well-being. When your skin is stimulated by loving touch or massage, it releases many healing chemicals that enhance immune function, improve circulation, and promote restful sleep.

You can give yourself the healing benefits of touch every day with an Ayurvedic self-massage or abhyanga. For those who are feeling excessively stressed and ungrounded, use heavy, warm oils such as sesame or almond. If you are feeling irritated or overheated, try cooling oils such as coconut, sunflower or olive. Finally, if you are feeling sluggish or lethargic, massaging yourself vigorously with oils such as safflower, sunflower or mustard will help invigorate you.

  • Being by pouring a tablespoon of warm oil onto your scalp, vigorously working in the oil. Use small circular strokes to massage your entire scalp, as if you were shampooing your hair.
  • Now move to your face and ears, massaging more gently. Put a bit more oil in your palms and massage your neck, front, and back, moving out to your shoulders.
  • Vigorously massage your arms, using a circular motion at the shoulders, and back-and-forth motions on the arms. Then massage your chest, stomach, and lower abdomen using gentle circular motions. Use a straight up-and-down motion over the breastbone. Reach around to your back and spine and massage them as well as you can.
  • Energetically massage your legs, using circular motions at the ankles and knees, and back-and-forth motions on the long parts. With the remaining oil, thoroughly massage your feet, giving your toes extra attention. Massage your body with love and tenderness—your state of mind is as important as your technique in creating a healing experience for yourself.
  • Leaving a thin, almost imperceptible layer of oil on the body is extremely beneficial, toning the skin and warming the muscles throughout the day. It’s therefore recommended that you use very mild soap and lukewarm water to rinse your body after the massage.

Link : http://www.chopra.com/articles/healing-through-the-5-senses

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LAVENDER LEMONADE FOR HEALTH

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So many people suffer from anxiety and headaches these days. I believe this to be a mixture of our lifestyles and many of the changes that are taking place in our world that are pushing people to question what we’ve been doing as a society repetitively for many years. You know what I mean… that feeling that there is something more than just going to work, making money, coming home, eating and repeating it all. It may sound cliche, but it’s evident.

Deep down we can feel it, that something isn’t quite “right” with our world anymore and there’s a certain sense of freedom from it all that is calling us from deep within ourselves. Not knowing what that feeling is exactly or what to do, we sometimes will feel anxiety or overwhelm as we look at our lives. How do we deal with these things? There are a number of actions we can take to address the core issue which you can explore here.

It’s important that we begin to explore this feeling inside. That knowing that things can be different, that our world doesn’t have to be the way it is. Whether it is people getting fed up with the 9 – 5, feeling disconnected from themselves and others or feeling the desire to do what we love and are passionate about, our patience with avoiding these things is continuously growing thin. It’s time, it’s time to explore it!

Other than inspiring people to begin that exploration and letting them know “you’re not crazy, many people are feeling this too,” I also wanted to share something simple that can aid us while we are making more long-term adjustments.

Lavender Lemonade

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials. The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system. These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.



The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis. The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

9 Essential Oils + How To Use Them For Clear, Radiant Skin

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Essential oils are highly potent, steam-distilled plant extracts. Though completely natural, they must be handled and used with care.

Essential oils are used medicinally by aromatherapists. Like any medicine, these natural chemicals can be harmful if used improperly. It’s important to research any essential oil before using it in your routine. You’ll need to determine its recommended dilution, and check to see if the oil has any restrictions for use. Certain essential oils can be disruptive to medical conditions like pregnancy, high blood pressure, or epilepsy.

As a rule, any essential oil you are working with should be diluted to around 1–3% for use in skin care. That means that the oil needs to be blended with a carrier oil to be used directly, or used in very small proportions in recipes and formulations.

It’s important to note that essential oils should be used with extreme care on children and babies. Kids and babies can’t process the chemicals in essential oils as easily as adults. If you’re, I recommend consulting a doctor or aromatherapist before using or handling any essential oils.

While there are thousands of essential oils available, I tend to lean on a handful of favorites. Choose one or two that suit your skin type, and invest in small bottles of high quality oil.

The ultimate oil for mature skin care, rose essential oil is treasured for its ability to help soothe and soften. Rose essential oil is soothing to all skin types, and is an excellent addition to any of your most precious facial recipes.

Geranium essential oil makes a great alternative to rose essential oil and is far less expensive. It can still help balance skin pH, fight fine lines and wrinkles, and benefit facial recipes. Though any variety of geranium essential oil will do, my personal favorites are rose geranium and geranium bourbon.

Neroli essential oil is another great choice for facial care. Like rose essential oil and geranium essential oil, it helps to balance skin’s moisture. Which of the three you choose mostly depends on budget and personal preference.

Personally, I adore the smell of neroli essential oil. It is made from orange blossoms, giving it a delightfully sweet and floral scent.

Roman chamomile essential oil is very effective at soothing itchy, red skin. It also has a calming effect emotionally, which as far as side effects go, is not too shabby.

 

Another great essential oil for soothing inflamed skin, yarrow is also slightly astringent, making it a good choice for oily or combination skin.

 

Helichrysum essential oil is expensive, but a worthwhile investment for those fighting acne. It not only possesses potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can help reduce scarring. Helichrysum essential oil’s restorative properties also make it a good choice for mature skin.

 

Niaouli essential oil is a close relative to tea tree essential oil, an ingredient commonly used to combat acne. While both boast potent antibacterial properties and are excellent for acne-prone and combination skin, niaouli essential oil is more gentle on the nervous system and overall health. I recommend using niaouli essential oil in place of tea tree essential oil in recipes.

 

I use peppermint essential oil in almost all of my lip balm recipes. The hint of cooling mint will make your lips tingle. That stimulating feeling can also benefit tired muscles in your feet, legs, and hands.

A word to the wise though: a little peppermint essential oil goes a long way, so go easy with this particular essential oil. By the way, do not use peppermint essential oil with babies or toddlers.

 

Rosemary is a popular essential oil in haircare recipes because it encourages a healthy balance of oils in the scalp. It is believed to discourage dandruff, soothe inflammation, and may even stimulate hair growth.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22268/9-essential-oils-how-to-use-them-for-clear-radiant-skin.html

How to Look More Beautiful as You Age

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No matter what your age, you can keep your skin looking like a teenager’s by paying attention to the four pillars of youthful skin:

  • Nourish your skin all year round, both from the inside and from the outside.
  • Rehydrate your skin internally and externally — maintaining moisture balance is crucial for skin health and appearance.
  • Detoxify from both the inside and outside to prevent the build-up of toxins and help keep skin clear and radiant.
  • Practice stress management — stress is the number one enemy of youthful skin.

Paying attention to these four pillars increases prabha, the natural luster and glow of the skin, and it is important to address all four aspects from the inside and the outside.

Nourish Your Skin

To nourish your skin from the inside, The Council recommends following the ayurvedic dietary guidelines for the season and your skin/body type. In addition, try adjusting your diet to become more skin-friendly:

  • Eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits, including a stewed apple or pear for breakfast, to enhance skin suppleness.
  • Include multiple whole grains in your diet (quinoa, couscous, millet, barley, amaranth, rye and wheat) to provide a variety of minerals and the full range of nature’s intelligence to your skin.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, cooked with skin-friendly spices such as turmeric, cumin and small amounts of black pepper (see recipe below). Green leafy vegetables provide fiber and nutrients such as iron and calcium, which help to nourish the blood and skin tissue.
  • Eat light, easily-digestible proteins such as milk, lassi (yogurt blended with water and a dash of cumin and fresh mint), and panir (freshly-made cheese), as well as nourishing proteins such as mung dahl, which is helpful for all skin types.
  • Take Youthful Skin Tablets and Premium Amla Berry tablets daily to support your skin with herbs, which represent the concentrated intelligence of nature.

Skin-Friendly Spice Mixture

  • 3 parts turmeric
  • 6 parts coriander
  • 6 parts fennel
  • 1 part fenugreek
  • 1 part black pepper

Sauté the spices in ghee (clarified butter), add steamed vegetables and stir. Cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to be absorbed.

Turmeric is the greatest friend of your skin because it is deeply purifying and is also a potent antioxidant. Cumin and fenugreek purify the blood and fat tissue, and black pepper and turmeric do the same, plus cleanse rasa (nutrient fluid) and sweat (the waste product of fat tissue). All of these factors have a direct link to the health and appearance of the skin.

Rehydrate Your Skin

For internal rehydration, drink more pure water; eat sweet, juicy fruits; and include moderate amounts of high-quality fats such as ghee or olive oil in your diet. A completely fat-free diet is unhealthy for the skin, and diminishes both luster and aura. But always cook fats with skin-friendly spices to improve digestion and absorption.

Vata skin-types require more fat content in the diet because their skin tends to be naturally dry, and Kapha skin types require less because their skin naturally has relatively higher oil content.

For external rehydration, massage daily before your bath or shower with the Youthful Skin Massage Oil: this oil includes herbs such as Sacred Lotus, Sandalwood, and Ashwagandha. The Youthful Skin Massage Oil is formulated for enhanced absorption, has an anti-aging effect, and increases glow and luster. It is the most effective oil for youthfulness, and incorporates new processing techniques that result in faster absorption and more satisfying aroma.

Facial skin can benefit from the deep-layer lipid support offered by the Youthful Skin Oil. Here’s a tip for fast, even, light application: barely moisten your hands, then pour 3-4 drops of the oil onto one palm. Rub your palms together to spread the oil, then pat your palms on your face to apply the oil. Gently massage it in with your fingertips, using even, upward strokes.

Royal Milk Anti-Aging Skin Bath

This time-tested beauty aid was recommended by traditional royal physicians for the queens of India to enhance glow and luster of the skin:

  1. Mix a large quantity of 70 percent rolled oats, 10 percent Indian Sarsaparilla, 10 percent Marshmallow Root and 10 percent Rose Petals.
  2. Place two tablespoons of this mixture in the middle of a small square of cheesecloth, gather up the ends of the cloth, and tie with a string.
  3. Dip the cloth into warm milk and pat the entire body with the herbal sachet to deeply moisturize your skin.
  4. Make enough mixture for one or two months and store in an airtight container.
Detoxify

The number one detoxification target should be the colon. If you have a problem with Apana Vata and are constipated, for instance, your skin will only become dryer and duller. Take daily walks, eat more fibrous foods, and drink plenty of water. If you still have irregular bowel movements, take Herbal Cleanse.

To seasonally detoxify from within, take Elim-Tox-O along with Organic Genitrac for 45 days whenever the seasons are in the process of changing: in the transition weeks between summer and fall, fall and winter, winter and spring, and spring and summer.

http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/ayurvedic-beauty/ayurvedic-aging-secrets.html#gsc.tab=0

Ayurvedic beauty tips for great skin

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Ayurveda was a very early adopter of the mantra that “beauty comes from within.” The 5,000 year-old-science is known for extolling the benefits of balancing the whole body, supporting digestive health, optimizing energy, and treating each individual according to her specific dosha (constitution)—and not just finding the right facial cleanser or aesthetician.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore skin and hair. In fact, Ayurveda’s got more beauty practices than Estee Lauder—and they all do double duty, boosting your overall wellness while they give you a glow.

Some of them might not sound all that intuitive—traditionally there’s a lot more oil used than lotions or creams, and exfoliation is part of the drill for detoxing purposes—so we asked top Ayurvedic practitioners to share some of their favorite holistic beauty tips that you can do easily. Put them in your routine now for that inner-outer beauty balance. —Ann Abel

1. Know your dosha. Your Ayurvedic constitution also points to your skin type, says Lisa Amechazurra, marketing manager for skin-care line VPK at Maharishi Ayurveda. (The VPK line stands for the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.) Vata is thin, dry, fine-pored, delicate and wrinkle-prone; Pitta is susceptible to rashes, breakouts, and rosacea if out of balance; and Kapha is thicker and oilier, prone to enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, and eczema. Her company’s website provides great information about treating each one, as well as other Ayurvedic beauty secrets.

2. Let the seasons dictate your skin care. Siva Mohan, an Ayurvedic doctor at Svastha Health in Long Beach, California, says constitution-based skin care has it’s place, “there are seasonal approaches that are even more important. Even if someone has a Vata constitution, they will have to balance Pitta during the heat of the summer. Our climate is a significant energetic input. All approaches to summer beauty from an Ayurvedic standpoint are about balancing Pitta dosha, or bringing in the opposite qualities of Pitta.”

3. Moisturize your face with coconut oil and whip up facial masks. Dr. Mohan likes coconut oil for daily use because it’s cooling in nature, and not too heavy. Some women swear by ghee (clarified butter), which you could also try. Dr. Mohan says masks are your go-to: dry and irritated skin will bounce back with an organic castor oil mask. And if you suffer from the opposite, you absorb excess oil with chickpea flour. Use it as base for masks to absorb excess oil from the face, chest and back, she says.

4. Exfoliate with sugar instead of salt. Sugar helps boost cell turnover and retains moisture, and it’s considered cooling (not heating), which makes it good for summer. Svastha recommends mixing it with cooling, rejuvenating herbs and botanicals such as rose petals, slippery elm, and bhringraj, for a facial scrub. (She stocks them; your local drugstore probably won’t.)

5. Swab your skin with raw milk—or bathe in it. “Full-fat milk or cream-based masks are wonderful for soothing and cooling irritated or inflamed skin,” says Dr. Mohan. Once a day dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of raw milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores. Thanks to its fats and lactic acid, “it has tremendous moisturizing, softening properties,” says Ritu Srivastava, spa manager at the Ayurvedic spa, Ananda in the Himalayas in India. Adding milk or cream to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin. And if you’re vegan, coconut milk has similar properties, says Dr. Mohan

6. Use rosewater as a toner. Dr. Mohan likes rosewater spray because “it smells good and feels great” and can be used several times a day. “Roses are cooling and support soft, supple skin.”

7. Spot-treat with neem oil. Use a cotton swab to apply it directly to pimples or spots of minor inflammation and “let it do its magic overnight,” says Dr. Mohan. “It’s drying and similar to tea tree oil but more cooling and better suited for the summer.”

8. Add aloe vera to your regular regimen. Srivastava says the plant isn’t just for sunburns. It makes the skin smooth, supple and younger looking. Some women apply it topically, like a toner or treatment. Others swear by a daily swig or sipping it in a juice.

9. Practice oil pulling. Swishing sesame or coconut oil instead of Listerine has become a super popular practice of late. And while you’d think its immediate benefits would be related to oral hygiene, the idea is that a healthy mouth boosts your overall wellness (healthy gums are related to healthy heart) and that it aids in all-over detoxification. Here’s how to do it.

10. Use a raw silk gharshana glove or natural bristle dry brush on your body. It’s key to toned and firm skin, great for places that retain fluid, and helps cellulite, says Dr. Pratima Raichur, author of Ayurvedic beauty bible, Absolute Beauty. For Vata and Pitta skin types (dry or sensitive skin), use a raw silk gharshana glove for an effective but less abrasive form of exfoliation. For Kapha skin type (thicker, oily skin), use a natural bristle brush. Starting with your feet, massage in upward, circular motions toward the heart. Then rinse off.

11. Make hair lustrous with coconut oil. In addition to imparting sheen, it provides strengthening nourishment to the hair, says Srivastava. Take your time massaging it in (add essential oils of geranium, lavender, and rosemary, like at the spa, if you can) to improve circulation and slough off dead skin cells, which is said to help hair growth.

12. Slather yourself in oils—and learn the art of self-massage. Jenoa Navarrete, product development manager for VPK, says massage is as important to boosting radiance as it is to helping manage stress. “For example, Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic massage done with warm massage oil, not only deeply moisturizes but afterward, you’ll look and feel more radiant. It offers many health benefits when done regularly, as well.” Can’t slip away to the spa? Use an Ayurvedic oil and work from your face down to the soles of your feet. And good news—even two minutes before bed helps.

AYURVEDIC & YOGA THERAPY

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According to Ayurveda, India’s traditional medical system, each one of us has an inborn constitution, or prakriti, that shapes our bodies, minds, and predilections. Most yoga teachers know at least a little about Ayurveda and have some notion of the basic constitutional types (doshas) of kapha, pitta, and vata. According to the Ayurvedic Practitioner Swami Shivananda, the Sanskrit word “dosha” literally means “that which becomes imbalanced.” This reflects the Ayurvedic belief that people of different constitutions, left to their own devices, often make lifestyle decisions—and choose yoga practices—that tend to put them further out of balance. Ayurveda also holds that people of different constitutions are prone to diseases that reflect the ways the doshas become imbalanced.

The Stable Kapha
In Ayurvedic thinking, kapha is associated with the earth and water elements. Think heavy and stable. Kaphas tend to be strong, with tremendous endurance, but they also tend toward laziness. Kaphas are more likely than people of other constitutions to be sedentary. Kaphas are prone to depression, mucus-forming conditions such as bronchitis and sinus infections, and Type 2 diabetes (the kind associated with being overweight). If they take care of themselves, though, Ayurveda says they are also likely to live longer than people of other constitutions.

If kaphas do yoga, they are likely to choose gentle styles or restorative classes, things that feel good but don’t challenge them too much. Anyone can benefit from relaxing yoga, of course, but to get the full benefits of the practice, kaphas usually need to be encouraged to work harder and do more. Inertia—that is, the tendency to stay still if you’re not moving, and to stay in motion if you’re already moving—is the operative principle of this dosha. Sandra Summerfield Kozak, coauthor with David Frawley of Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your asana Practice, has found that 15 minutes of vigorous activity at the beginning of practice sessions is often enough to get students out of the so-called “kaphic slump.” After that, they may be energized and ready to give it their all. Similarly, if you can motivate kaphic students to do a challenging practice regularly, they may be able to stick with it, and that can make a huge difference in their mood and overall health.

The Passion of the Pitta
Pittas are typically passionate and highly intelligent, but they are also prone to anger and aggressiveness. Think of Type A personalities. People of this constitution—in which, according to Ayurvedic teaching, the fire element dominates—are more likely to develop inflammatory conditions such as lupus, skin eruptions, and heart disease. Many heart attacks, for example, happen in the aftermath of an angry outburst or other high emotions.

If pittas do yoga, they are often drawn to challenging practices, such as vigorous vinyasa classes, or to conceptually-oriented styles, such as Iyengar yoga, and they can get competitive about their yoga. Even though relaxation is what they need more than anything, they often resist it because they think it’s not a good use of their time (in fact, time urgency is one of the hallmarks of the type A personality). One of the challenges of working with people of this constitution is to get them to back off, try less hard in the poses, be less achievement-oriented when they do yoga, and build relaxation into their routines. They often benefit from just the styles of yoga and practices that many kaphas gravitate toward.

Vata in Motion
Vatas tend to be creative and high-energy, in constant motion, but easily distracted. According to Ayurvedic teaching, in vata dosha the air and space elements dominate. Vatas are more likely to develop conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, and diseases of nervous system. Constipation and insomnia are common complaints.

Vatas tend to choose active, movement-oriented classes. They are less likely to be happy in classes in which the flow is broken up for too long to discuss philosophy or explain the subtleties of anatomical alignment. Due to their restless minds, some vatas may have a hard time with slower, more meditative practices. At the beginning of a practice session, vatas may benefit from flowing poses, such as multiple sun salutations, to burn off some steam. Afterward, grounding practices, such as standing poses held for a minute or longer (depending on the student’s level), can help reduce vata. Some vatas are drawn to vigorous pranayama practices such as bhastrika, kapalabhati, and fancy ratio breathing with long breath retentions. Unless they’ve gotten themselves well-grounded first, however, these practices can put them even more out of balance.

Going Deeper
In reality, the Ayurvedic understanding of constitutions is much subtler than what I’ve described above. Each person has elements of all three doshas, so reducing a student to a single type will always be an oversimplification. Furthermore, prakritis like vata-pitta, in which two doshas are balanced fairly evenly, are common; and a few people are tridoshic, meaning they’ve got a more or less even balance of all three. People may also manifest temporary imbalances (vikruti) that do not reflect their underlying prakriti. For example, people of any constitution who undergo the movement, disruption, and stimulation of travel may find their vata getting out of whack. That, according to Ayurveda, is why insomnia and constipation are so common when you’re on the road, and why travelers may benefit from vata-pacifying routines.

Ayurveda is a very deep well, and I believe that yoga teachers and therapists should make this field part of their ongoing study. In addition to the perspective it provides on yoga and yoga therapy, Ayurveda as a form of complementary medicine relies upon a broad array of tools including herbs, a variety of massage and bodywork practices, the multiday detoxification ritual known as panchakarma, and even surgery, although Ayurvedic practitioners tend to start with simple dietary and lifestyle interventions. Learning more about Ayurveda can help you better practice yoga therapy, and you may discover in the process that you also learn more about yourself.

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/teach/ayurveda-and-yoga-therapy/

Abhyanga Ayurvedic Self Massage

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There is no greater expression of self-love than lovingly anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil—this practice is called Abyanga. The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth.

A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity. Regular Abyanga is especially grounding and relaxing for Vata dosha imbalances, but everyone can benefit from this practice.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
(One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging

Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body

Imparts a firmness to the limbs

Lubricates the joints

Increases circulation

Stimulates the internal organs of the body

Assists in elimination of impurities from the body

Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification

Increases stamina

Calms the nerves

Benefits sleep—better, deeper sleep

Enhances vision

Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy

Softens and smoothens skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear

Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha—to learn more about Doshas.

Abhyanga Routine and Oils

Massage your body with love and patience for 15-20 minutes. Here are the recommendations for frequency and oil type, based on the doshas:

Vata Dosha: 4-5 times a week using sesame, almond, or a Vata-balancing oil, such as the Relaxing Abhy Oil.
Pitta Dosha: 3-4 times a week using a coconut, sunflower, or a Pitta-balancing oil.
Kapha Dosha: 1-2 times a week using safflower or a Kapha-balancing oil.
Good for all Three Doshas: Jojoba oil
Steps to Follow for Self-Massage:

Warm the oil (pour approximately ¼ cup into a mug and warm using a coffee-cup warmer.) Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist, oil should be comfortably warm and not hot
Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room
Apply oil first to the crown of your head (adhipati marma) and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp (home to many other important marma points—points of concentrated vital energy)
Face: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears, especially your ear-lobes—home to essential marma points and nerve endings
Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage toward the direction of your heart
Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points
Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body
Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap on the “strategic” areas, avoid vigorously soaping and rubbing the body
When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently. Blot the towel on your body instead of rubbing vigorously
Enjoy the feeling of having nourished your body, mind, and spirit and carry that with you throughout your day.

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-benefits-of-ayurveda-self-massage-abhyanga#sthash.Mzsb9y9w.dpuf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HQLsfZh5js

7 Amazing Benefits of Ashwagandha Root for Women

Indian-Bride

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is an Ayurvedic herb commonly used in traditional Indian medicine. Investigations into the herb’s powerful effects on the body have sparked an explosion of interest, and research has reported exciting potential for human health, specifically its effects on mental, physical, and emotional health.
Benefits of Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha may enhance energy, support aging, and stimulate sex drive. Here are 7 benefits women may experience with ashwagandha.

1. Promotes Graceful Aging

Stress, both metabolic and emotional, dramatically affects aging. Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive impairment. Research has found that ashwagandha improves resistance to stress, possibly decreasing cortisol production. One study of 64 individuals observed a reduction in stress and a significant decrease in cortisol levels in individuals taking ashwagandha compared with placebo.
2. Menopausal Support

Ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system by encouraging hormone balance. A study involving 51 menopausal women supplementing with ashwagandha noted a significant reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, and mood.

3. Sexual Potency

The Kama Sutra, one of the oldest surviving texts on human sexuality, mentions ashwagandha in its literature as a potent sexual stimulant. Research indicates that the herb supports sexual health and vitality by increasing blood flow and reducing bodily tension. Women taking ashwagandha typically experience an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction.

4. Memory Support

Recent research has shown that ashwagandha reduces memory impairment in animal models. The herb may also protect the brain from the oxidative stress that leads to neurodegeneration. Relaxation, a benefit derived from the herb’s stress-fighting effects, also improves long-term visual memory.

5. Revitalization

Another benefit many women report after taking this herb is in regards to energy levels. This anecdotal evidence is supported by scientific investigation; a recent study reported ashwagandha’s benefits for improving energy while reducing stress-related disorders.

6. Mood Booster

Ashwagandha is a known mood-boosting herb, and research suggests that the therapeutic plant may play a potential role in fighting mood imbalance. Women battling mood swings may benefit from supplementing with ashwaghanda.

7. Fertility

Stress, illness, hormone imbalance, and nutrient deficiencies — all of these issues threaten female reproductive health and make it difficult for a woman to conceive. Research shows that ashwagandha supports thyroid function, an organ responsible for regulating hormones.  Also, by decreasing stress, ashwagandha may encourage a situation that is optimal for fertility.  More research is needed to clarify whether or not ashwagandha is effective for helping infertile females struggling to conceive.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-amazing-benefits-of-ashwagandha-root-for-women/

NATURAL TEETH WHITENING AND GLOWING SKIN FORMULA!

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Oil pulling is one of Ayurveda’s most ancient forms of detoxification for not only the teeth but the entire system.

It is a great way to achieve better digestion, healthier skin and to cleanse toxin’s out of your body. In this holistic ancient medicinal approach, there is a term my teacher often uses, ” more wants more”.

In terms of cleansing the mouth, why put something acidic in your mouth in the morning or evening when the mouth is usually trying to eliminate acidity? Toxins often taste acidic?

Acidity in the mouth comes from a P.H. unbalance in the system. In other words, more acidity with more acidity will not help cleanse the mouth. This will usually even damage the teeth by burning the enamelled protection layer of your teeth.

There are different types of toxins and you can easily determine this by looking at your tongue in the morning. In Ayurveda  the best time of day to practice oil pulling is in the morning. Toxins surface on the tongue after a night of rejuvenation. This is the most effective time of day to practice oil pulling.

It can also be practiced in the evening or any time of day. Make sure to buy good quality organic oils to receive the full benefits.


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“How Does Oil Pulling Work?

Sesame oil, coconut oil all have benefits. Sesame and coconut oils herbalized with  are used in Ayurveda regularly to detoxify or “pull” toxins from the skin that they are applied to. The theory is the oils are lipophilic, meaning they attract other oils. The fatty layers in our skin are well-known dumping grounds for fat-soluble toxins.

Some of the fat-soluble toxins that we are regularly exposed to are:

o heavy metals
o parasites
o pesticides
o preservatives
o additives
o hormones
o environmental toxins

When applied to the skin, these oils may attract toxic fat molecules to the surface, cleansing them through the body’s largest detox organ: the skin.”  ( lifespa.com- The truth about oil pulling)

I practice this in the morning when surfacing toxins are released from the tongue for 15-20 mins. Finish by scrapping your tongue. A  free tongue scrapper will be a small teaspoon that you must wash a disinfect after each use. After you finish oil pulling, I highly recommend you scrape the leftover oil and toxins off your tongue and you might just discover a beautiful pink tongue! To save time in your busy schedule you may want to practice oil pulling in the shower. 🙂


By practicing oil pulling you can eradicate symptoms according to the colour of your toxins

Symptoms related to the colour of your toxins

Brown tongue coating on the tongue-Sesame oil

  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity to cold drinks, stains on the teeth, febrile teeth
  • Abdominal pain, distention, gas and constipation
  • Nervousness, anxiety, fatigue, dullness

Yellow coating on the tongue-Coconut oil

  • Bitter our sour taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Little thirst, loss of appetite
  • Sensitivity to warm drinks, and external heat
  • Anger, irritability, impatience, fatigue, dullness
  • Acid reflux, sensitive skin, prone to external and internal inflammation including the gums

White coating on the tongue-Sunflower oil

  • Salty, sour taste in the mouth
  • Throat and sinus congestion
  • Congested chest, the chest may feel tight and painful
  • Pasty rich saliva, nausea
  • Mucous in the urine and the stool
  • Lethargic, depression, attachment, difficulty letting go ( emotion’s, objects, idea’s)

Start today for brighter and whiter teeth, beautiful skin, a pleasant breath. It can slowly eliminate stains from the teeth. Oil pulling even gives healthier hair,  healthier gums and a lustre to the eyes! Coconut and almond oil can be used on all 3 types of toxins but the one recommended is the best.

Thank-you!

Author: Melika Emira Baccouche