Ayurvedic Beauty Secrets — Inside Out Beauty Fitness
Before there was yoga, there was ayurveda, the “science of life.” This complete healthcare system strives to restore and maintain balance and purify the mind, body, and emotions. In fact, yoga asana practice is a branch of ayurveda. Many yogis are starting to learn and incorporate ayurveda into their practices. Here are four basic tips for getting started:
- Health Starts in Your Gut
Nutrition is important, but ayurveda emphasizes digestive health first. Why? If you’re not digesting food properly, the nutrients you’re eating won’t be absorbed and metabolized properly. Feeling sluggish, dull, or occasionally constipated? Your digestive system could be off kilter. Simple ayurvedic practices can help. Have your main meal at lunch when your “digestive fire” is functioning best. Eat a light breakfast and a light, well-cooked dinner. This will allow better and deeper sleep. Ayurveda offers herbals designed to keep your digestive system in proper balance. Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus), taken at bedtime, rejuvenates an unhappy gut.
- Be Your Own Massage Therapist
If getting on a massage table once a week is out of the question, you can practice the art of abhyanga, ayurveda’s daily oil massage, on your own. A powerful tool before or after a shower, abhyanga aids in circulation, rejuvenates muscles and tendons, and stimulates nerve endings and the lymphatic system. Massage a small amount of organic sesame or coconut oil in a circular direction over your joints and in a back-and-forth motion over long bones, giving extra attention to your feet, hands, and legs. After abhyanga, you can use a natural-bristle body brush with a vigorous motion upward toward your heart, starting with your feet, legs, back, and stomach.
- Embrace Aromatherapy
Ayurvedic practitioners have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. The olfactory receptors travel to the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions, behavior, motivation, and long-term memory. For this reason, aromas have a subtle but very powerful influence on our mind, body, and emotions. There are essential oils formulated to produce a calming mood, encourage sleep, reduce anger, and boost the immune system. Sample different scents to see which you most respond to at any given time. Then keep a few balancing ayurvedic essential oils or therapeutic mists at your desk, at home, or stashed in your travel kit.
- Stop Skimping on Sleep
One of the best ways to restore, repair, and rejuvenate the body is free of charge and requires no skill — sleep. Ayurveda recommends turning in before 10:00 p.m. and waking with the sunrise. If you can’t manage an early bedtime, you can at least improve the quality of your sleep with ayurvedic techniques such as self massage, aromatherapy, and herbal formulations. In the morning, your well-rested body will be more balanced, feeling fit from the inside out.
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