5 Aryuvedic Practices for Better Skin, Health & Life.
Beauty comes from within. If you disagree, you can argue with the 5,000 year-old-science of Aryuveda. A practice that goes far beyond finding the right cleanser, and which, from time, has been 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). Here are a few key changes from Aryuveda experts, that you can adapt to your everyday life.
A consistent yoga practice allows you to spend more time in your parasympathetic nervous system, rather than solely your sympathetic nervous system - I know I just threw a ton of jargon at you, but to put in words, the sympathetic nervous system is the part of our bodies that controls fight or flight responses, which many of us are habitually in. Being far from anxiety, and present in our parasympathetic nervous system feels really good, and what more euphoric time than directly after a good yoga practice.
Yoga is a great way to center yourself within your body and quiet your mind from all the daily noise (whether it's anxiety about work, relationships, or anything else).
Real healing happens when we engage the parasympathetic nervous system, and through yoga, we are able to heal, and really nourish your body on a cellular level. Yoga has also been specifically shown to help lower cortisol which is the stress hormone that can degrade collagen and dehydrate your skin. It also works to improve digestion and circulation, stimulating blood flow to help you retain luminous skin.
Drinking Room Temperature Water
The benefits of drinking room temperature water is one of the first things you learn when getting into Aryuveda. Like you, I too only found a few things more refreshing than a tall glass of ice cold water, but once I got into the habit of drinking room temp water, I couldn't go back. What I found was that it was easier to drink more water throughout the day when it wasn't too cold and I could tell this small modification to my lifestyle was helping with my digestion. "Within Ayurveda, Agni—the internal fire—is key to good metabolism and digestion of nutrients," says Shrankhla Holecek, an Ayurvedic expert and the founder of UMA Oils. Cold water is believed to 'dim the digestive fire,' which can lead to poorer digestion and low metabolism, as well as a consequent build up toxins in your system, and so when you put anything wet and cold in your gut while trying to digest, it’s going to slow the process down. Laura Coburn, a certified Ayurveda yoga specialist and the director of Serenity at the Inns of Aurora, also recommends drinking room temp water about 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after eating a meal, so as not to dilute the digestive juices or dampen 'the fire'.
Skincare by Seasons
Like I mentioned, Ayurveda draws on a system of scientific and practical knowledge, which is rooted in ancient belief systems about the constitution of the human body, and its close relationship with the environment it exists in. This means that your environment, and seasons in particular, can wield a strong influence on your body's constitution and physiological processes—ranging from metabolism to the secretion of hormones. For winter, Ayurvedic guidance on skincare is centered around keeping your kapha in balance (greater exfoliation), while during summer, pitta style aggravations, like redness and breakouts, call for cooling ingredients like aloe, rose water, and sandalwood.
Swishing sesame or coconut oil instead of Listerine has grown in popularity, 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.
Oddly enough, a full-fat milk bath or cream-based masks are wonderful for soothing and cooling irritated or inflamed skin. Now I'm not saying bathe in a bucket of milk, NO. All you need to do is dip a cotton ball into a small bowl of raw milk and wipe your face thoroughly with it to remove dirt from your pores. Adding milk or cream to your bath will also soothe and nourish your skin. And if you’re vegan, try coconut milk, for the same effect.