Category Archives: self-care

GOLDEN EYES – NETRA TARPANA

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Ayurvedic “Golden Eyes”

If you use a computer, this treatment is for you.

Netra tarpana is an Ayurvedic treatment for the eyes. It strengthens and protects the eyes from the sun’s strong rays.

Therapeutic Purposes: Netra tarpana is a rejuvenating treatment. It relieves tired, achy and sore eyes and improves vision. It is an ideal treatment for people who use computers, drive long distances, operate machines and those who keep long hours.

Experience:  First a marma (vital) point face massage is provided. Next, sterilized, warmed ghee is gently poured on the eyes while the client is led through relaxing, simple eye exercises. It is an enjoyable, relaxing and effective treatment that lasts about 20-30 minutes.

Benefits:  I addition to aiding the conditions above, this treatment aids in gradual improvement of eye conditions and has the added benefit of improving mental clarity.

  • Whitens the sclera of the eyes
  • Cleanses eye of environmental particles on the cornea
  • Decreases sensitivity of light
  • Relieves eye strain
  • Moisturizes dry eyes
  • Improves blurred vision
  • Relieves burning sensation
  • Reduces darkness around eyes

PERIOD CRAMPS ANYONE? HERE ARE SOME KEY POSES TO BALANCE YOUR UTERUS!

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If you have heavy, painful periods or your uterus has dropped into your vaginal canal as a result of weakened ligaments and pelvic muscles — a condition known as a prolapsed uterus — yoga poses may be able to help. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, in an article for “Yoga” magazine, asanas can also help correct a retroverted, or tipped, uterus. 

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BOAT POSE

Boat pose, also called navasana or naukasana, helps with balance during pregnancy. According to MyYogaOnline.com, it also strengthens your abs, hips and thighs. In this pose, you balance on your butt and lift your upper body and legs into the air so your body looks like the letter “V.” As you reach past your knees with your extended arms, your lower abs work to help you keep your balance. Over time, YogaWiz.com reports, boat pose can help a prolapsed uterus fall back into place.

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UPWARD ABDOMINAL LOCK

Upward abdominal lock, or Uddiyana Bandha, incorporates a specific breathing technique that combines with a standing posture to engage your lower abdominal organs. To do this pose, bend at the waist, bend your knees slightly and rest your hands on your knees. Inhale through your nose, exhale strongly through your nose and pull your abdominal muscles in tight to push the rest of the air out of your lungs. Expand your rib cage without inhaling, which pulls in the lower abs. Hold for 10 to 15 minutes before you exhale and return to breathing normally. Repeat three times.

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SHOULDERSTAND

Sarvangasana, or shoulderstand, usually takes place at the end of a yoga class. In this pose, you rest your upper body on a folded blanket with your head hanging off or directly on the mat if it doesn’t hurt your neck. By reaching behind your back with your elbows bent and the palms of your hands resting on your mid-back, you can lift your legs straight up in the air. Tucking in your lower abdominal muscles, pointing your toes and keeping your back straight help maintain the posture. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this common inversion, usually held for at least three minutes in class, helps relieve the pain of a prolapsed uterus and return it gently to its correct position in the body.

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YOGA DURING MENSTRUATION

Certain yoga poses, particularly inversions, such as headstand, handstand and shoulderstand, are contraindicated during menstruation. Backbends and standing balancing poses may also be difficult when you have your period. Instead, focus on restorative poses, such as forward bends, seated twists and supported bridge. Replace wheel, or backbend, with supported bridge by placing an upright block beneath your sacrum. Yin Yoga classes, which focus on restorative poses for the lower body, can also be particularly comforting during menstruation.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/362293-effective-yoga-postures-for-uterus-strength/

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.

My Body, My love

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Loneliness is an illusion—we are never truly alone.

I say this as someone who used to feel lonely most of the time.

Even with my spouse, even with my best friends, in my heart I felt separate, as if behind an invisible wall. At first, I chalked this up to poor socialization. Beset by frequent moves, childhood trauma and family unhappiness, I had grown up isolated. I hadn’t learned how to relate to others, so I could not connect with them.

Years later, I learned about attachment theory and realized the problem ran deeper. My mother suffered from low moods (she died in a psychiatric hospital when I was six years old). I have good reason to believe she was feeling poorly after my birth, a condition now called postpartum depression. She probably found it hard to resonate with me, her infant son, so my feeling of being walled off seemed traceable to gazing at my mother’s face, who was pained and distant rather than joyful and attuned.

Understanding that my feelings of isolation grew out of my earliest experiences, did not lessen them.

There seemed little to do but muddle through life as best I could, alone behind my wall.

Luckily, I was wrong.

There has turned out to be a way I can feel profoundly connected with another being, not just on occasion, but all the time.

Who is that being?

My own body.

How I came to appreciate my body as an intimate partner is a long story

Key factors include my training as a surgeon and familiarity with the body’s biology. Then came a series of medical crises, that both ended my clinical career and forced me to pay attention to my health. When a yoga institute enlisted me to teach anatomy and physiology to its trainees, I found that these sciences could be used to deepen my self-understanding. In meditations and yoga poses, I explored how human awareness relates to the organism who supports it.

This led to the key insight: the body isn’t a mechanical conveyance, as I’d assumed on the basis of medical training, it isn’t a blood-filled robot.

The body is a lively, responsive animal.

Like a beloved dog or cat, the body is capable of wordless love. In other words, my body and mind are in a relationship. My mind, who felt so lonely, is not alone—at every moment it is embraced by the warm animal who surrounds it. By upholding my consciousness in myriad ways (breathing air, circulating blood, digesting food), this sensitive, vulnerable body is holding me with love.

Consider: If another person did as much for us as our own bodies, we’d have no doubt about that person’s affection.

One of the main points of yoga is to help us recognize the unity of body and mind.

How can the body love the mind if the two are one?

There are many answers to these questions—here, I’ll offer an analogy:

Two people in a marriage are separate, yet in their loving partnership, they are one.

Perhaps the goal of yoga practice isn’t to erase all distinctions between the mind and physical body, but to build a sweeter relationship between them.

To get a sense of how this relationship can be developed, here’s a simple but useful meditation.

It is best done after relaxation practices or a period of mindful breathing.

Bring to mind an adored partner, child or pet. Visualize the beloved in your arms. Feel the warmth that blossoms in the center of your chest. Now imagine holding your body with that same tender regard, feeling the same sweet glow of affection. As your mind honors the organism who gives it life, recall how the body supports the mind with its own encompassing embrace.

Your body works on your behalf every minute of every day.

Feel how your consciousness arises within this living, vibrant animal we call a human body. Appreciate how your body surrounds you with boundless concern for your wellbeing. Even in times of illness, it does its best to keep your life on track. You are your body’s beloved.

Practices, like this one, gradually melted my sense of isolation.

As my mind grew to understand its intimate partnership with my body, it no longer felt walled off. Instead, I felt nurtured and realized I was never alone.

At every moment, human awareness is wrapped in a sort of biological hug.

How wondrous! How healing!

CUTTING THE LINK WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE OR EXPERIENCES

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Cutting Cords
“Cutting cords doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you or care about you anymore.” Cord cutting doesn’t necessarily lead to break-ups or abandoned relationships. It simply means that you are releasing the dysfunctional parts of your relationships. Remember, fear is the opposite of love, and etheric cords (and all attachments) are created from fear”. Doreen Virtue

Positive and Negative Cords

Cords are a method of high speed communication and sharing energy. Healthy cords create a nurturing sharing of information and energy. Unhealthy cords can be a huge drain or a means of control. They are attached by mutual agreement, but there are lots of ways to persuade, trick, or con people into being corded. Often they were useful, but outlive their usefulness. The cord may have been very important when you were 2 years old, but now in adulthood it is no longer useful, but the cord is still there.

Cords can be a temporary telepathic and energetic link between two persons. Usually, a cord doesn’t last long and dissipate within a few days or even hours. Cords aren’t necessarily bad however if you find yourself constantly thinking of someone in particular, you may form a cord that will drain you and make you feel bad for no reason.
Energy cords show themselves as that surge that you get when you connect with someone. It depends hugely on the person, the circumstances, and on your openness to the feeling. You can easily suppress feeling it with your own mind. I think it still happens, but you can shut down your awareness of it.
Etheric cords can form between people, objects, and situations where there is a fearful attachment, afraid to let go, scared to be alone, afraid to be without. These are invisible energy links. We normally cord to other people and also allow them to cord to us throughout the course of our everyday lives. Many of these cords are short lived and dissolve quickly. There are some however, normally the intensive, volatile, or the longer term relationships, that create cords and with a build-up of numerous energies and emotions, such as need, desire, love, anger, jealousy, envy etc. These cords can create problems in the form of aches and pains, depression, rage, exhaustion, burn-out etc.
Most people aren’t even aware of these energy cords, the few that are aware can only vaguely describe their experiences… and the smallest handful of people who actually have high sensitivity are reluctant to speak about it. There are also a multitude of frauds, phonies, gurus and religious zealots who use cording to attach to their followers to make money.
It is normal for parents to form cords with their babies, this is both a necessity and a positive thing, as these cords help parents communicate with and understand their baby’s needs. Healthy cords dissolve naturally over a period of time, as the child grows.  Negative cords feed the energy and emotions of one person to another, both positive and negative, so you may be feeling particularly angry and not know why, you may also be feeling depressed for no apparent reason. Cords are normally formed on a subconscious level, through a person’s need for strength, manipulation, control.
If you have decided to move on from a relationship and you find it particularly difficult to “let-go” it may be that there are cords of attachment from the other person holding you back. A person going through a divorce may be feeding their anger, rage, stress, and jealousy to the other person and vice versa. Without realising it, parents feed these emotions to their children and partners, creating all sorts of problems for everyone.

If you have a cord attached to someone you love and that person is going through a major crisis, they may be draining energy from you. So you will feel drained without knowing why. In this case some healthy boundaries need to be created.

Is it safe to cut them? 
I’ve discovered that just randomly cutting cords causes more harm than good. Any healing process requires a conscious awareness and respect for the fact that it is a process. It is better to work with the cords, and learn how to adapt and understand them.  I believe we have choice about becoming attached by unhealthy cords if we are operating on an entirely conscious level.   The first step you may need to take is to take a break from being around a person, given the intensity of the energy that flows between you. Sometimes these cords reach across time and space, so we have to so we have to work with them on all levels.
When we give power away to other people because our relationship with self is dysfunctional, we actually allow cords of energy to tie us to those people. You can cut the cords, but unless you resolve the underlying reason why you corded in the first place, the cords will keep coming back.

The following methods of Cord removal I teach preclude removing any healthy cords and offer opportunity to heal the underlying issues.

Gentle loving ways of Releasing the Cords

• One method for removing the energy cords is to imagine yourself sitting in a beautiful natural setting. Imagine a circle around you.  The circle can be made of fine silken rope – literally a “cord”. Sit in it, feel yourself protected by it. Imagine a column of light coming from the heavens encircling you in high frequency pure light.
• Then imagine the people you want out of your life also sitting in a circle made of cord. The two circles are close to each other but not touching. Look at the other people from your circle and wave good bye! You are gently and peacefully allowing other people their space while affirming your own. Instead of cutting, you are transmuting the cords. Let their cords remain whole. Let yours remain whole. Just disentangle and detach.  Stoke the fires of love and compassion. Say good bye with love and move on!

As life is lived, the process of sorting and disentangling is obviously much more complex and subtle.  As you make the music of your life less dysfunctional, the people attracted to the dysfunctional part will fall off. Chords are better than cords.

Higher-Self work to Remove and Heal Cord Attachments 

Connection to High self…

First do a Mediation to align the client (or yourself if doing the work on yourself) with their High self.

Bring in Highself of the person with whom you have an unhealthy attachment.

Have the client (or yourself, if doing the work on yourself) imagine and call in the presence of the high self of the person with whom they feel they have unhealthy cords connected to. Remind them that this is the person high self without all their fears, doubts and control issues. Have them imagine the person as their whole, light filled loving self.  If they have difficulty just tell them to imagine it.

Speaking from the heart…

Once they feel the presence of the person, have them begin to tell the person how they feel about the past. Tell them to speak from their heart, telling the person about how they have hurt them and how they have suffered because of their relationship. They can do this silently if they are not comfortable speaking it out loud.  Encourage them to get everything off their chest.  And then once that is completed have them tell the person what it is that they need from them now.

Listening…

Now it is time for the high self of the other person to speak. Remind them that they are safe. This is the persons loving, true self, without fear or anger. Tell them that they are speaking from their heart now and telling them all the things they have needed to say. Ask them to listen now with an open heart and be willing to receive what they are being told. (It may be telepathic or come in as a feeling ) Encourage them to receive the information however it comes in.  Have them ask the person what they need now.

Remind them that is they asked for forgiveness that forgiveness is not condoning it is making the decision not to carry it any longer.

Are you willing?

Now ask your client (or yourself if doing the work on yourself) if they are willing and ready to help this person with what it is that they need.  It is okay if they are not willing to do anything for the other person. Ask them what they are willing to do for themselves.

Pruning the Garden.

Once this process feels complete I ask the client to call in a high spiritual being to assist them.

Tell them, “Look at the space between you and this person. There you will see attachments some will be healthy and light filled some will be unhealthy looking like the old dead branches on bushes and trees. Now ask your spirit guide to give you a tool to prune away all the dead and unhealthy looking connections. As you trim away these attachments your guide heals the places where they were cut away with healing light. You may help them select the prefect colour of light to do this work with. Continue cutting way the unhealthy attachments until only the healthy light filled connections remain. Your guide will take the old cords and offer them to Mother Earth to be transmuted into new life. If the person you are doing this work with wants to help you… allow them to be part of the process. Once the pruning is complete and all the old connecting points are sealed with light. You now are free to end this relationship or continue it on a basis that is healthy for both of you. Thank the high self of the person you are working with and say good bye allowing them to return to whatever they were doing. Thank your high self and your guide and come back into waking consciousness”

Removing a cord is a three step process:

1.unplugging the cord

2. disposing of the cord

3. cleansing and healing the anchor point / attachment point.

Cord Pulling/Cutting

Some practitioners advocate cutting or removing all cords. Some attachments simply should not be removed because they are as yet too deeply engaged with our energy systems. Additionally, cord cutting can result in shocking both your energy system and that of the person on the other end, creating a host of unwanted sensations, feelings, and emotions. Cord pulling, is safer, more effective, measurably gentler, and longer lasting. Cord pulling does not shock the system of either party, and allows the practitioner to more effectively heal and seal the connection points.

Although similar to cord cutting, cord pulling requires coming from a very compassionate perspective from both practitioner and client. It requires  practice, using tempered skill adequately, repeatedly and with continued success.

In cord work, there is more than the practitioner and the client involved – there are others at the opposite end of each cord and they too must be taken cared for.

Pulling cords doesn’t necessarily lead to break-ups or abandoned relationships, unless that is what you are seeking. Cord pulling will help you move forward with confidence and clarity since it releases the dysfunctional parts of your relationships. Fear is the opposite of love, and all attachments are created from fear.

If there are negative energy cords attached.  Ask how many, if the number is large, begin with the most prominent. Begin pulling the cords one at a time. Handle them lovingly and then connect them to the positive energy of crystalline Earth grid.  Repeat the process and continue pulling cords one by one and connect them immediately to the positive energy of crystalline Earth grid or dispose of them by placing them into a violet flame.

Next use high frequency spiritual light to heal the areas where the cords were attached and create a beautiful shield around each chakra to prevent further attachments.

Keeping yourself Clear with the Violet Flame

The Violet Flame works by raising vibrations. Vibration can be understood to be the speed at which electrons orbit around the nucleus of an atom. The empty space between the nucleus and the electrons is where negative energy can become stuck. When the atoms in our bodies or our auras become clogged with this negativity, the electrons move slower and slower…we have a lower vibration and are less connected to our true spiritual nature.

The Violet Flame transmutes negative energy by turning it into light which causes us to vibrate to a higher energy pattern, releasing more spiritual energy into our bodies. The Violet Flame is a tool of self-transformation. It has the unique ability to transform fear into courage, anxiety into peace and hatred into love. It re-establishes harmony and balance.

The Violet Flame is a Divine gift and tool for everyone, given to us by Ascended Master Saint Germaine. It is a sacred fire that exists on the Higher Dimensions.
The Violet Flame is Spiritual Alchemy in action, transmuting  denser feelings, actions, deeds, thoughts and karma. The Violet flame helps prepare us for our Ascension, which means becoming a Divine Human, also known as a Christed Being – This level of Consciousness obtainable by any person who strives to embody their spiritual self fully within their physical self. You may use the Violet Flame in perfect harmony with any belief system, religion or practice. There are absolutely no conditions attached to it.

You can memorize an invocation or use the words and feelings from your own heart.

There are unlimited ways to use the Violet Flame. This is the basic method Saint Germaine offers to use as a foundation for Violet Flame work. It is very simple with only four steps. Once you understand the principles behind this practice, you can adapt it and use it in unlimited ways.

Step 1. Bring the Violet Flame into your body. Ask your Higher Self, a Master, Guide or Angel to assist you or just ask the flame to “be made manifest”. Do your best to visualize it. It doesn’t matter if you can actually see it.

Step 2. Imagine the flame spinning around your body. Bring it inside your body and  through your heart chakra.  The flame fills your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.

Step 3. Ask the Violet Flame to transmute everything you wish to be changed or eliminated from your life. You can say “transmute anything and everything standing in the way of my fully embodied God/Goddess self.”

Step 4. Use the flame to change negativity into Divine Light and fill your body.

INVOCATIONS

The Violet Flame Invocations below turn everything into the golden light of the Christ Consciousness.

The following are two simple invocations which will transmute negative thoughts, actions and emotions. You can individualize the Invocation using words from your heart. Say them with feeling and intention.

Saying the words out loud is best because the power and vibration of the spoken word has energy, which helps create the maximum results of the Violet Flame. If you are with people who might be uncomfortable with the spoken word, you can just say it quietly in your mind.

Center yourself. Take a few deep breaths to prepare. Then say these words:

I AM a being of Violet Fire
I AM the purity God desires
(repeat 3 times)

or

Beloved I AM presence bright
Round Me seal your tube of light
From Ascended masters flame
Called forth now in God’s own name
Let it keep my temple free
From all discord sent to me
I  AM calling forth violet fire
To transmute all desire
Keeping on in freedoms name
Till I AM one with violet flame
(repeat 3 times)

http://www.soulconnection.ca/cord-cutting.html

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.

How To Get Your Best Skin Ever With The Ancient Power Of Ayurveda

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Often referred to as “the science of life” and “the mother of all healing,” Ayurveda looks at the whole being (body, mind, and spirit) to find the underlying sources of imbalance and disease, as opposed to simply treating symptoms. This holistic approach provides a practical, intuitive way of looking at skin and the care you provide it.

From increasing your digestive fire to detox your skin from impurities to eating foods that feed your skin and hair, Ayurveda can greatly enhance your overall appearance and wellness factor. The first step? Determining your dominant dosha.

Dosha is a Sanskrit word used in Ayurveda to describe one’s unique body-mind constitution. There’s no one-size-fits-all, even when it comes to a so-called healthy lifestyle because what may be beneficial for one dosha could potentially be detrimental to another. For example, if you’re primarily a vata dosha (the air and space type), then eating a raw food diet may be too cooling for an already cold and airy system, weakening your digestion and potentially causing excess dryness … even constipation.

It’s important to know your dosha so you can implement traditional balancing practices to enhance your positive attributes and also lessen or reverse the more negative aspects of your physiology and even character. Here’s a very simplified way of understanding the three main doshas (keep in mind that this is a very general guide and it is possible to be a combination of two or more doshas):

Vata: This is the air and space type. An agile, thin frame with dry skin and hair are all common physical traits. It’s said that most people in the West need balancing in this dosha as it’s often associated with an overactive mind. Vatas desperately need stillness, a regular meditation practice, and silence for balance.

Pitta: This is the dosha associated with fire and transformation. Pitta skin tends to be warm or hot to the touch with a red or pink undertone. Their hair may have a reddish tint with a tendency toward thinning hair or balding. Pittas often suffer from inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Kapha: The skin of someone who is primarily Kapha tends toward oily and moist. The Water-Earth elements make up the Kapha dosha. They typically have a thicker bone structure with full, oily, and wavy or curly hair. Because Kapha holds a tendency toward stagnation it’s important to use herbs and oils that are invigorating and non-comedogenic.

Here are four steps to incorporate Ayurveda into your new radiant skin care routine:

1. Garshana (dry brushing)

Dry brushing is great for lymphatic drainage, circulation, detoxification, and exfoliation. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start at your feet and use a friction-like motion to brush each area of the body working your way up toward the heart (to promote purification and circulation). Use long strokes on the longer parts of the body like the calves, thighs, forearms, and upper arms.
  • Move in a circular motion around joints.
  • Be gentle in the sensitive areas of the body such as the breasts, armpits, and belly, but these areas should not be avoided — just use lighter pressure with shorter strokes.

2. Abhyanga (full-body oiling)

Not only is our skin our largest organ, but it also absorbs oils through the pores to lubricate, hydrate, and nourish joints, organs, and deep layers of the epidermis. Practicing a daily self-massage is not only good for our overall health, it’s also a simple yet profound self-love practice. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take a warm, organic oil and slather it on from head to toe. Then, start at the top of the head and scrub the scalp with the oil as if lathering shampoo. Oil your face with circular motions and leave no area of your body untouched.
  • Moving all the way down to your feet, spend quality time on each area of the body with a firm friction/rubbing motion.
  • When you’re done with your oiling, leave the oil on your body and jump into a warm/hot bath or steam room. The heat opens up the pores, allowing your body to release impurities in the system and let the oils penetrate deeper.

3. Facial steaming

Steaming is a cornerstone to good health in Ayurveda. The trick is to apply a pure oil to clean, dry skin first. The oil enters through the pores, binds with the amma (toxins) and then is expelled through the pores, detoxing the entire body. Once your skin is clean and ready, it’s time to steam.

While steaming with simply a bowl of hot water will definitely benefit your body and skin, adding an herbal blend to the mix is even more beneficial. My favorite is dashamula, a traditional 10-herb blend used in conjunction with heat or steam treatment. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place two tablespoons of dashamula or another blend in water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Very carefully place the pot on a table and sit closely in a chair with a sheet or towel over your head and the pot of steam. Breathe normally and allow the steam to penetrate the pores.
  • Alternatively, you can strain that same dashamula water and place it into a hot bath and soak for 10-15 minutes. If you opt for a bath and don’t have any herbal blends, a simple salt soak will also do wonders.

4. Neti pot and pranayama (breathing exercises)

Neti pots are used to treat many ailments, but one of its greatest uses is to clear the nasal cavity of any debris and mucus that prevents proper oxygen flow to your entire body. Try using a neti pot with Himalayan sea salt in the morning followed by some pranayama exercises to send fresh oxygen to all your cells for glowing, radiant skin.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21504/how-to-get-your-best-skin-ever-with-the-ancient-power-of-ayurveda.html

7 Inner Habits of Remarkably Happy People!

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Your life is precious.

You yearn to make the most of it.

Yet on some days, you wake up dreading the day ahead.

You find yourself asking, ‘What’s wrong?  Why do I feel so flat?’

You’re not alone, most of us experience times like these.

What sets happy people apart, is their way of being in the world – even in difficult times.

Remarkably happy people bounce back from whatever life throws their way.

For them, happiness is a habit.

The good news is we can all learn how to make happiness a habit.

Here are seven ways remarkably happy people approach life (and you can too).

1. Tackle tough situations directly

Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese proverb

Perhaps problems with your boss, a financial crisis or health issue are bringing you down. Maybe you feel stuck in the drama, or try to bottle up your feelings?

Happy people take a different approach

Rather than spend time telling themselves, ‘All is well’ –  while sweeping their problems under the rug,  they allow themselves to experience sadness, disappointment and anger at what’s happened.

Their energy continues to flow; their hearts and minds remain open.

Simply being with what is, keeps you honest and open about what’s going on –  as well as receptive to suggestions for handling the situation.

If you remain present and open, you can quickly let go of the part that’s not within your control.  And you can access creative problem-solving abilities to address the part that is within your control.

2. Master the art of having fun

Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. – Michael Jordan

Recently, I saw a commercial where a father is watching his young son play baseball.  The son misses every catch.  The game ends.  A look of concern comes over the father’s face.  He approaches his son and asks him how he’s doing.  A huge smile spreads across the boy’s face.  He responds “I was awesome!”

When was the last time you felt like that?

Like children, the most happy amongst us master the art of having fun.

How can you master this art?

Do what brings you joy and connect with that joy, instead of judging yourself on your performance.

Put time and money aside to fund your fun. Do you need a new guitar, or some biking equipment?

Turn a jar into a “fun things account” and put your loose change in it each week.

3. Let go of goals if you outgrow them

 We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell

Back in your teens, what dreams did you have?

Perhaps you imagined a certain career, finding the love of your life, traveling the world, or making a lot of money?

The more you imagined it, the more you became attached to the outcome.  You set goals, invested time and energy into your dreams of the future.

But our journey through life often doesn’t turn out as we imagine.  And what we thought would make us happy, sometimes doesn’t.

The most happy among us leave themselves open to possibilities.  Instead of seeing life as something to control by rigidly sticking to plans, they see it as an adventure to be experienced.  They have goals, yet allow their life to unfold, tweaking plans or creating new ones when a better option appears.

Let’s take a look at how this could play out in your life.

If a goal no longer matters to you, don’t worry about what might happen if you change course.  You aren’t limited by other people’s opinions about what’srealistic.  Embrace your hunches and look for new options that appeal to you.

Step through your fear into a new future.

4. Protect your priorities

Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so that you can say ‘yes’ to the best. – John C. Maxwell

Ever said yes to something and then found yourself feeling resentful, or burned out from doing it?  In today’s busy world many demands are made on our time and most of us struggle with saying no.

When we try to be all things to all people and taking on too much is one of the ways we limit our happiness.

In contrast, happy people know each moment offers them a chance to spend their time, attention and love on what matters most.  They honor their gifts and value their priorities.  When no is the best answer, they not only say it gracefully, they feel okay doing so.

How can you phrase a graceful ‘no’ to protect your priorities ?

Next time you need to protect your own precious time, you could say something like, ‘I’m really honored you asked me, but I just don’t have the time to take you up on your offer.  Thanks so much for thinking of me, though.’

To be able to say yes to what brings them happiness and fulfilment, you also need to say no to protect your priorities.

5. Dedicate your life to something bigger than yourself

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Happy people dedicate their lives to something bigger than themselves, something challenging and meaningful.  They spend years honing their skills, stretching just beyond their comfort zones.

When you become deeply involved in this way, you forget yourselfand experience a heightened awareness of each moment.  Much like what occurs during meditation, you can reach a state of harmony, flow and ease.

These activities give your live meaning and make you happy in a deeper, long-lasting way.

6. Speak out for positive change

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. – Margaret Mead

It’s natural to want to fit in.  We are all influenced by others.

And it can be a good thing.

If you’re trying to lose weight, being around someone committed to the same goal can truly help.  Want to improve your skills at work?  Finding a mentor makes the process a lot easier.

Fitting in this way increases our happiness.

But then, there are those other times.  Someone at work tells an off-color joke, or your new boyfriend’s brother hides a put-down in an amusing story about another person.

Suddenly, fitting in feels awkward.

And while saying nothing and letting the moment pass may feel like the safest route to take, it won’t increase your happiness.  In fact, it will lower it.

Happy folks tend to speak out if they feel uncomfortable about a situation. If you want to be happier,  stay true to who you are and honor your values and beliefs, even if it means not fitting in.

7. Make mistakes

Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”–Adventure Time (the cartoon)

Think about the engaging, magnetic people you’ve met in your life.  Maybe they had a talent you really admired, an air of confidence about them, or they did things you could only dream of.

Odds are, they made some huge, slap-your-forehead mistakes along the way.  Yet they weren’t afraid to admit their blunders; they may have even turned them into funny stories.

The most joyous amongst us know that lasting happiness isn’t about playing it safe.  They’re curious and adventurous by nature.

Here’s how you can do it…

Be willing to take risks, explore and grow, even if it means forgoing comfort or momentary happiness.

Even if it means failing.

Because the most awesome things in life reside just outside what’s comfortable and familiar.

Are You Ready to Create Some Happy Habits of Your Own?

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. – Ralph Marston

The world has too many people who are just going through the motions.  People who do what society tells them to.

What the world needs are more remarkably happy people.  People who light up their corner of the world and lift up others.

Because happiness is an energy that enhances the lives of those around us.

If you want to live a remarkably happy life, one that leaves the world a better place for you having been in it, you can’t just read about remarkably happy people.

Being happy isn’t a philosophy to be analyzed or debated, it’s a way of life.

You have to live it.

That means accepting what’s outside of your control, instead of breaking yourself against it.

It means budgeting your time and money for things that make your life more meaningful.  And saying no to things that don’t –  even when it’s uncomfortable.

It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  Scheduling time to dedicate your talents and strengths to something bigger than yourself.

You have to realize you’re in charge of your happiness.  And, by taking steps to become happier, you will brighten up so much more than just your own life.

These seven habits of remarkably happy people are your steps toward a happier life.

So, take that first step.

The world is waiting.

THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” Audrey Hepburn


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