Tag Archives: spirit

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

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BREATH

BREATHING DIAGRAM-ILLUSTRATION

Breathe.

If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.

If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.

If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.

Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.

BY LEO BABAUTA

KATI VASTI ‘You are as young as your spine is healthy’- Ayurveda

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The term kati refers to low back region. It is procedure where by medicated oil is retained for a certain period of time in the low back area. A completely sealed walled boundary is made with the paste of black gram powder or wheat powder in the kati (low back) region. The medicated oil is heated till it becomes lukewarm. This lukewarm medicated oil is then poured in to the space inside the walled boundary in a constant and continuous stream. It is retained there for a particular period of time. The medicated oil is soaked up, heated to becomes lukewarm and poured back again by adding fresh oil in it. This repeated during the whole procedure. It helps in strengthening the muscles especially those in the low back region. It helps in alleviating neuronal complaints, lumbago and sciatica. The treatment is also effective in muscular spasm and inflammations in the low back region. Dhaanwantaram tailam, Sahacharady thailam, kottomchukkadi thailam, murivenna, karpoora thailam etc. are some of the medicated oils used for the treatment. The ayurvedic oils for the treatment are selecting depending up on the conditions of the patient or direction of the physician. The duration of the treatment varies from 30 to 40 minutes depending up on the condition of the individual. The course of treatment depending up on the directions of the physician or the conditions of the individuals.

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Benefits of kati vasti are relieves occupational tension build-ups, stiffness, spasms, pains and aches, and is very effective for sciatic pains and scolyosis.

http://www.ayurvedasopanam.com/kati-vasti.html

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dreaming

19d2d1c81536c786bc76ef0431395e66There’s a lot we still don’t understand when it comes to sleep. We know certain changes occur in the brain, and we have a few guesses as to why, but even the experts only have theories about many aspects of sleep in general and dreaming in particular.

Sleep has long been thought of as a way to process, sort and store the day’s events, and more and more research is supporting that notion. Imagine the brain as a second gut, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in integrative sleep and dream medicine at the University of Arizona. “At night, the brain metaphorically swallows, digests and sifts through information, and, just like the gut, eliminates,” he says. “What the brain keeps becomes a part of who we are.” Dreaming, he says, is like the brain’s digestive system.

But there’s plenty about dreaming we only think we know. Below, a few of the little-known facts and bogus myths about dreams.

We dream all night long:

You’ve probably heard that dreams only occur during rapid eye movement or REM sleep. But we’re actually constantly dreaming, says Naiman. We’re more tuned in to dreams during REM sleep, he says, but just because you don’t “see” the dream, doesn’t mean it’s not there. As the night progresses, periods of REM sleep lengthen, so the majority of our dreams occur within the latter third of the night, he says.

Insects and fish don’t have REM sleep:

Although some dreams happen outside of REM sleep, identifying rapid eye movement in other species is about as close as we can get to predicting whether those creatures dream, according to University of California researchers. But all mammals and reptiles and some birds do experience REM sleep, and therefore likely dream, according to Popular Science.

You’re less likely to remember a dream if your alarm jolts you awake:

The trauma of an alarm dragging you into the waking world can cause you to forget where you were floating just moments before. The best way to remember your dreams, says Naiman, is to allow yourself to wake up slowly, over a matter of minutes, lolling about in your grogginess. Just don’t try toohard to hold onto those fleeting images. “If you chase a dream, it’s going to run away,” he says.

People who remember their dreams show different brain activity:

A 2014 study found more spontaneous activity in a part of the brain called the temporo-parietal junction among people who regularly recall their dreams, compared with people who rarely do. The differences weren’t just during sleep, but also while study participants were awake. Previous research found that people who remember more dreams also react more to sounds during sleep (and while awake) than people who don’t remember many dreams.

Your body reacts to dreams as it would if you were awake:

There’s little as frustrating as waking up mad at someone from something he or she did in a dream, only to realize there’s no way you can talk those feelings out and still sound sane. But biologically, it makes sense that those feelings linger after your eyes open, says Naiman. “The experience we have in the dream registers in the body and in the brain in almost exactly the same way,” he says. Your blood pressure or heart rate might spike, for example, like in a real-life stressful scenario, helping to cement those emotional experiences of the dream, he says.

We dream in real time:

Despite the myth that our dreams occur in a split second, in reality dreams can play out for 20, 30, even 60 minutes, says Naiman. They’re likely only a couple of minutes long at the beginning of the night and lengthen along with REM periods as the night progresses.

Nightmares aren’t always about fear:

Bad dreams are surely scary, but there are other underlying emotions at work. In a 2014 study, researchers analyzed dream logs of 331 people and found that many nightmares and bad dreams elicited feelings of failure, worry, confusion, sadness and guilt. The researchers also found that men are more likely to have bad dreams centered around violence or physical aggression, while women’s bad dreams focused on relationship conflict.

Your dreams aren’t weird, that is, until you call them weird:

“When you’re having the dream, no matter how ‘weird’ it is — you’re in a poker game with a giant green squirrel and Queen Mary — it’s not weird,” says Naiman. “It’s only after you wake up and step into the waking world and look at the dream that it seems weird.” Comparing “weird” in the dreaming and waking worlds is like comparing dietary customs in two wildly different cultures, he says, making one seem strange in the context of the other. “We need to refrain from exclusively interpreting dreams from the waking world,” he says — which means it’s time to toss those dream dictionaries.

You can die in your dreams — and live to tell the tale:

A great number of people believe the popular myth that dying in a dream means… you’re dead, but Naiman says there’s no truth to it. In fact, he encourages exploring, saying, “If you ever have an opportunity to die in a dream, I say go for it!” Many people report death in dreams to be rather anti-climatic, he says. “Some people would say that’s because consciousness is immortal, independent of the body, but however you look at it it’s an interesting experience.”

12 Tips To Have A Beautiful Yoga Experience

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Take these 12 quick and helpful tips to have a better experience at your next class.

Hydrate all day: Drinking water in the middle of your practice can mess with your flow, so arriving hydrated is necessary. Focus on drinking water all day long; you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make.

Show up early: Rushing into the studio with a harried mind and no time to chill gets your practice off to a rough start. Allow at least 10 more minutes than you think you’ll need to have plenty of time to change clothes, check in with a cool mind, and sip on some tea, if you can!

Dress the part: There’s nothing worse pulling up the waistband of your pants or making sure your top doesn’t spill out of your built-in bra all class long. That’s not where your mind needs to be during your Downward Dog. Wear clothes that are fitted and comfortable, but not so snug that they’re distracting.

Grab props: More advanced yogis sometimes shy away from grabbing props, but there’s no harm in keeping them next to your mat. Grab a block, strap, and blanket before you take your seat. You’ll never know when you’ll need one.

Be quiet before class: I’m known to chat up a storm with fellow yogis in the moments before class, but do you best to stay quiet and turn inwards. Lay on your back or sit up with your eyes close to connect with yourself and prep for class.

Expect nothing: If this is the only piece of advice you take away from this list, you’ve learned a great lesson. Some days you’re going to be able to fly into a crazy arm balance and other days things are going to be more difficult. Every day our bodies are working with something different; don’t expect anything to look or feel a certain way.

Stop judging: You know that checking everyone out in the room isn’t a good use of your time, you might not even be aware of how much you’re comparing your progress to other students in the class. Keep your mind on your mat, and keep your attitude positive and full of possibility.

Breathe deep: It takes years and years to “perfect” your breath. Whenever a pose is feeling difficult or your feel some self-judgment creeping in, take deep ujjayi breaths in and out through your nose. They will help you release any tension or negativity and help you continue class with a more composed, calm perspective.

Listen to your teacher: Obviously, your teacher is going tell you which pose is up next, but don’t tune them out once you’re in a pose! I find that the tiny details or suggestions they offer once you’re in the pose are the real gems. One subtle tip could help you develop a completely new relationship with a pose that seemed too hard — or too easy!

Smile more: Yes, I know; this one is corny, but it works. Once you’re really flowing, your muscles have heated up, and your breath is connected to your movement, get grateful and start smiling. There’s no need to plaster an inauthentic expression across your face for 45 minutes, but there is plenty of opportunity to stop taking yourself so seriously during class. Smile and mean it; you’re taking care of your body just by being in class.

Try something new: If a pose comes around that you always skip or think you’re “not ready” for, try it tonight. The only way we conquer challenging poses is by experiencing the fear and moving through it. You might not nail it right away, but the only way you’ll eventually be able to hold it is if you try.

Stay in Savasana: Don’t leave or mentally check out during Savasana! Let all of your lists and obligations go; I promise they’ll be there after class. That five or 10 minutes of final relaxation is worth it, because you’re worth it.

The Ayurvedic Path to Rejuvenation

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Rejuvenation

Rasayana, or the science of rejuvenation, is ancient; for around 5,000 years Ayurveda has been reputed to increase the body’s resistance to disease and slow down the ageing process. Scientific evaluation of plants and Ayurvedic treatments have borne out the fact that Rasayanas can protect the body against the ravages of age by enhancing its ability to fight pathogens by non-specifically activating immunity. Many Rasayana herbs contain antioxidants which prevent damage caused by free radicals. According to Ayurveda, Rasayanas bring about proper nourishment, growth and function of all seven tissues (Dhatus).

Rasayana therapy is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. It is recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, post partum, for children, those who are debilitated, emaciated, convalescents, for anaemia, nervous exhaustion, and Vata conditions. It is contraindicated in conditions associated with ama (toxins), for obese people, during colds and flu, fevers, infectious diseases and allergies.

Ojas – the Subtle Essence of Life

A substance known as Ojas is central to the discussion of rejuvenation. It is said to be the eighth tissue, or the essence of all the body tissues, the ultimate product of nutrition and digestion, and the prime energy reserve for the entire body. It provides the energy, vitality, and joie de vivre that gets us through life. Our immunity, strength and resistance depend on the quality and quantity of Ojas; when depleted it predisposes us to lowered immunity, low spirits and ill-health. All rejuvenation therapies are, therefore, targeted at improving Ojas.

There are many Rasayana herbs and foods, but for these great healers to have their fullest rejuvenating effects we need to prepare ourselves first by optimizing digestion, cleansing toxins from the system and resolving imbalances of the doshas.

The Digestive Fire

Agni, or digestive fire, is central to health, enabling food to be transformed into nutrition that can be metabolized by the body to keep us well. Low agni can result from eating badly, stress, over-eating, and the resultant poorly digested food particles ferment and produce toxins, lowering vitality and predisposing to ill-health. It is always important to detoxify the system using, for example, massage techniques, diet and herbs for two to three weeks before using Rasayanas. Cleansing diets, such as a kitchari fast, are recommended, as well as herbs/formulae such as guggulu, ginger and Triphala.

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Rejuvenating Foods and Herbs

Kitchari is one of the best tonic foods and is easily digested. Milk (including cow, sheep, grain and nut milk), oils, ghee, nuts and seeds restore vitality, nourish the nerves and increase Ojas. Grains (wheat, oats and brown rice are said to be the best) and sweet tasting fruits and vegetables, such as dates, raisins, figs, pomegranates, grapes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions, cooked in ghee, improve vigour and help re-build tissues. Spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, cloves, fennel, cumin, coriander and asafoetida are warming and strengthening, they stimulate the digestion, and can improve vigour especially when cooked with ghee. Raw sugar, particularly jaggery, is considered to give strength and help to build body tissues. Adequate salt intake is important, especially rock salt.

Ashwagandha: Withania somnifera, Winter cherry

The most highly acclaimed Rasayana, Ashwagandha is a famous tonic, particularly recommended for adults to increase physical and mental stamina and vitality. Taken daily, it is particularly good for balancing Vata,  and strengthens both the muscle and reproductive tissues. It is helpful for insomnia, poor memory and concentration, depression, lethargy and anxiety. Research has demonstrated that Ashwagandha has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It enhances leucotcytosis with predominant neutrophilia.

Shatavari: Asparagus racemosus, Wild Asparagus

Another excellent tonic and rejuvenator, Shatavari root has immuno-modulatory and antioxidant properties, and acts as an adaptogen, enhancing resilience to stress, whether physical, environmental, mental or emotional. It is used for general debility, hyperacidity, urinary problems, infertility, and more frequently to balance female hormones, for PMS and menopausal problems. Shatavari is one of the main Rasayanas for Pitta.

Pippali: Piper longum, Long pepper

With its pungent taste and heating effect, pippali increases agni and clears toxins. It is excellent for catarrhal congestion, and is the main Rasayana for Kapha. It increases circulation, particularly to the lungs, and has a beneficial effect on the immune system. It has been found to significantly increase macrophage migration inhibition and phagocytic activity.

Triphala

A famous compound composed of three fruits, all rich in antioxidants: Haritaki, Amalaki and Bibhitaki. This helps to maintain overall health by harmonizing the digestive functions, and working on all three doshas as tonics and Rasayanas.

Gotu kola: Centella/hydrocotyle asiatica, Brahmi

A rejuvenative tonic for the nervous system, Gotu kola balances all three doshas and helps improve memory, mental clarity and concentration. It is widely used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, learning and behavioural problems, fatigue, chronic skin conditions and non-healing ulcers. It improves blood flow, thus enhancing tissue repair.

Amalaki: Emblica officinalis, Indian gooseberry

Amalaki is the main constituent of the famous Ayurvedic jam, Chayawanprash, a superb rejuvenator for all three doshas, the lungs and the reproductive system. It is also one of the ingredients of Triphala. It has cardio-protective effects, and reduces serum cholesterol levels as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. With its high vitamin C content, it is an excellent antioxidant and is the Rasayana for Pitta.
NB. Tonic herbs are best taken as powders and cooked in milk. To enhance their tonic effect add one to two teaspoons of ghee/raw sugar, and a little spice, eg. ginger or cardamom.

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Behavioural Rasayanas

There are many activities that promote health and happiness by engendering positive emotions and experiences, which in turn promote the production of Ojas. It is suggested to:

  • Discourage negative emotions, such as anger, hostility, and cynicism, and promote positive thoughts and actions that increase happiness;
  • Choose to be with wise people who uplift and inspire;
  • Always speak the truth with kindness and compassion;
  • Maintain personal integrity which helps to inspire confidence and self-esteem, as well as cleanliness, both mental and physical. Keeping a clean harmonious environment will uplift and inspire;
  • Be charitable and generous;
  • Cook for your family with love and respect;
  • Follow your own spiritual beliefs, devoting time for spiritual practices;
  • Do what you love to do and experience joy, for example singing, painting, being in nature;
  • Avoid work and activity (physical and mental) in excess, and get plenty of rest and relaxation.

http://www.positivehealth.com/article/ayurveda/rasayana-the-ayurvedic-path-to-rejuvenation

FINDING INNER BALANCE THROUGH LOVE!

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How to cultivate a healthy mind?

A healthy individual whose mind is healthy and sane is capable of looking at himself without judgment, criticism, and without listening to others. When the essence of your mind is pure and healthy, it is fully connected to the source and you are fully connected to your self.

This brings the mind and the individual in a place of health, compassion and spirituality. Compassion is the fruit of perfect health and a peaceful inner life. Logic has no compassion but compassion can use logic. Logic has no wisdom but wisdom could use compassion. We need logic and we need intellect. We also need love and compassion. According to Ayurveda, we must use our intellect and our knowledge with love. Ayurveda is the science of love, intuition and intellect. To have a healthy mindful essence, a person must maintain a balance between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. Why be present on the earth if you simply want to be spirit. Connecting with your mind, body and spirit is the base of Ayurveda and the base of enjoying our lives as human beings.

There are tools to achieve a feeling of balance and inner peace no matter what is happening in your life. Practicing self-love will bring you into a state of love and bliss, which is your true nature. The molecules of bliss will start flowing into your body and into your life. Love is profound because it has its roots in the universe and its fruit in the heart of every human being. When your heart, love and the intellect merge. You allow your true self to bloom like a flower.

Learn who you are. Learn not to imitate other’s, imitation is a lie and it is going against your true nature. Let go of expectations and self-judgment! When we begin allowing our true nature to come out and shine bright like a diamond with all our faults and all of our qualities, we become whole! To know happiness, is to know sadness, to know sadness allows us to experience happiness. In other words, our duality is a gift, we would not have our qualities if we did not have our faults. Always remember that everyone in this world is not perfect, even a Saint.

This to me is true beauty, beauty is simply a perception. We need to unlearn what we have learned to grow in life. Our race to perfection creates great discomfort because it goes agains all the rules and laws of nature and the universe. We must unlearn what we perceive as perfection, this will create space in our minds and in our hearts to be the perfect-self that we are with all of our beautiful imperfections. Learn to take all the good with all the bad. This is living in humbleness and truth.

Live you life! When death comes you will be happy to not have lived YOUR LIFE for others. As long as the intentions are good and you are not hurting anyone! Strive and never be afraid of change, never be afraid of fear. We our the heroes in our own lives and a hero is not someone who does not feel fear but surpasses fear by facing it.

Self-love is the key to a healthy mind. Observe your mind and when negative thinking comes up, allow a space and fill this space with compassion towards yourself. Your are not the mind, your are not your thoughts and you are not this body. Take the thoughts from the mind and filter them threw your heart. The heart is the root of all unconditional love. Ask the pain or the anger, the emotion your are feeling and transform it into love and knowledge. Life is a flow of energy and if the flow is present between your mind and your heart, unconditional love will poor out and a deep feeling of inner balance will become your inner world.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

Author: Mélika Emira Baccouche