What is Ayurveda?
Over 5,000 years ago a natural system of healing from within was created by the Vedic culture in India. There are roots of this natural, healing medicine in Tibetan and Chinese medicines as well. After many years of being suppressed, the Ayurveda lifestyle has once again found its way into modern-day cultures around the world.
According to Deepok Chopra, “recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure." These three energies are known in Sanskrit as "Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth).
Chopra explains that they shape and influence our individual nature and characteristics, "if Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing."
These three forces are present in everyone, but there are typically two predominant energies in each of us.
What are the health benefits?
Recognizing how ayurveda can teach us about our own health, our health problems as well as how to relieve them, is one of the largest benefits of this ancient healing art. Chopra explains that: “The guiding principle of Ayurveda and the other Eastern healing arts is the interconnection of all things. We aren’t simply an isolated collection of atoms and molecules, but are an inseparable part of the infinite field of intelligence. From this holistic perspective, health isn’t merely the absence of illness or symptoms ― it is a higher state of consciousness that allows vitality, well-being, creativity, and joy to flow into our experience.”
From a beauty perspective, this healing art can help us understand more about the products we currently use, compared to those we should be using on our skin (as they have effects internally and externally). Here’s a quick list of some easy, at home, “remedies” from Try Ayurveda:
- Wrinkle-free Soft Skin: Smooth castor oil on the face to keep it soft and wrinkle free.
- Clear Skin and Pores: Clean the skin and pores with unpasteurized milk on cotton wool.
- Natural Moisturizer: Make your own moisturizer for normal skin. Mix eight ounces of yogurt with a tablespoon of both lemon juice and orange juice to use on the face as a masque. Remove with damp cloth in about fifteen minutes.
- Skin Conditioner: To condition the skin, make a paste of two tablespoonfuls of cream stirred with one of honey. Leave mixture on skin for five minutes and remove with a wet facial cloth.
- Skin Tone and Pigmentation: A raw potato rubbed on the skin helps lighten pigmentation problems and improves skin tone.
- Smooth Complexion: Apply orange juice to the face for a smoother complexion.
How to try an Ayurvedic lifestyle
The Ayurvedic principles for restoring and maintaining mind-body balance are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago:
- Take time each day to quiet your mind (find a quiet place and learn how to meditate).
- Eat a colorful, flavorful diet.
- Engage in daily exercise that enhances flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
- Sleep soundly at night for 8 to ten hours.
- Eliminate what is not serving you (foods, unhealthy relationships, etc.)
- Cultivate loving, nurturing relationships.
- Perform work that awakens your passion.
Ayurveda for your hair
In order for your hair to benefit from Ayurvedic treatments, your body must be treated just as kindly. A wholesome mix of natural foods, water and nutrients , as well as quality sleep and physical activity, will benefit you internally, and externally. When your diet becomes a healthier, more wholesome, one, your skin and hair will begin to reap the benefits as well. Here are a few ideas and tips to include in your healthy ayurvedic habits for your hair.
What you'll need:
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 3-4 rosehips
- raw sugar or honey to taste
A warm oil scalp massage two times a week will help stimulate and moisturize the scalp. Use quality coconut, almond or olive oil. Apply some mildly warmed oil to your hair and gently massage into your scalp evenly with your fingertips. Leave on overnight if you can, if not, leave on for at least an hour or two, then , shampoo your hair. The scalp massage helps you relax and aids in a sound sleep as well.
Ayurvedic Hair Pack
1 teaspoon henna powder
1 teaspoon amla powder
1 tsp aritha powder
1 tsp shikakai powder
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh aloe vera gel
Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and apply to dry hair for 30 minutes, and/or, up to 4 hours. Wash off in the shower and shampoo as usual. Do this regularly- once or twice a week- to experience amazing hair protective results.