Category Archives: skin 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
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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.

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

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