Tag Archives: anti-aging

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

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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/