“Beauty is an inner phenomenon. Beauty is not in objects, not in people, not even in the eyes of the beholder. It lies in the heart of every person,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and this beauty in the heart reflects so naturally as radiance and a glow on the person’s face.
Beauty goes farther than being just skin deep. Yet our skin is one of the most visible expressions of this beauty.
We are made up of both matter and spirit. This means that our skin, beyond being the visible outer layer, is full of life and activity! It is an organ like any other part of our body and needs to be kept healthy and nourished. Most beauty treatments that are available today address the physical needs but do not reveal the secrets of how you can make each cell of your skin glow from within and pulsate with energy and radiance.
Our skin wears down with age, stress, lack of attention and often wrinkles, dark circles, dry patches, age pores, pimples, tiredness and dullness all show up as uninvited guests.
However, there are many natural and simple methods for cleansing and rejuvenating the skin.
#1: Go back to your roots.
In ancient ayurveda lie the secrets of beauty. Ayurvedic scrubs or ubtans gently nourish the skin, and help it breathe better. What’s even better is that you can find the ingredients in your kitchen.
Your perfect beauty pack:
1. Chickpea Flour – 2tb
2. Sandalwood Powder
3. Turmeric Powder – Half teaspoon
4. Camphor – a pinch
5. Plain water / Milk / Rose Water
Mix chickpea flour (besan), sandalwood powder, camphor and turmeric powder in plain water, milk or rosewater to make a thick paste and evenly apply on your face. You may leave on for 20 minutes and wash with water. You could make it an even more rejuvenating experience by dipping two cotton swabs in chilled rose water and place them on your eyes. Better still – switch on some soothing instrumental music! At the end of 20 minutes, what do you have? A glowing skin and a relaxed you!
#2: Sweat it out!
Some running, jogging and a few fast-paced rounds of surya namaskars will give your body the necessary blood circulation. The sweating will be good for you! Be sure to wash yourself with some cool water soon after so that your skin is left clean.
#3: Keep your yoga mat handy
While immersed in the downward dog pose, have you observed your breath? The beauty of yoga practice is that there is attention on the body (as it stretches) and on the breath. Every time you exhale, you get rid of toxins from your body. Yoga and the process of conscious breathing, accelerates the cleansing of the entire body and leaves the skin refreshed and energized.
#4: Know who you are!
Are there some days when no matter what lotions you apply your skin is still dry? Sometimes you and your friend could use the same product yet the effect is not the same on both of you? You might need to acknowledge the role of your unique body constitution. According to Ayurveda, every individual is a combination of two or three elements: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Interestingly, each of these constitutions have specific qualities that define your body and personality type as well as determine the make-up of your skin. If you have dry skin, chances are that Vata is dominant in you. A pitta body type tends to have normal skin while oily skin is usually attributed to those with kapha. Knowing what body type you are will help you understand what kind of food you should eat and avoid.
#5: What you eat is what you are!
We are made up of the food that we eat. So, obviously eating fresh, clean, juicy foods enlivens our skin as well. A balanced diet, with sufficient protein and vitamins, and more of fruits, leafy vegetables, eaten at the right time in the right quantity is advisable.
#6: Indulge yourself…weekly
A gentle facial massage with oils could work wonders. Depending on your skin type, you could choose from psiridala or Narayana taila. Oils from mustard, coconut, almond or Kumkadi are excellent nourishing agents.
#7: Make Sudarshan Kriya your beauty mantra
Do you think breathing right could rid you of spots and pimples? Yes, its true! When we are relaxed, outer manifestations of stress like pimples and rashes reduce. The Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique releases accumulated stresses from both the body and the mind making us relaxed, restoring harmony and balance in our constitution.
#8: Meditate everyday
A candle cannot but radiate light. Meditation greatly influences how bright your inner candle is. The more you meditate, the more you radiate. We often see artists depicting meditators with an aura. This is not just a figment of imagination. This is quite true. Meditators shine from within and without … often with riddance to make-up.
#9: Silence is truly golden
How do you feel when you’ve spoken for a very long time and a lot? Often drained? Speaking nineteen to the dozen can be fun yet can bombard our body and mind with an overdose of frivolity. Silence conserves a lot of energy. If you’d like to try something out – give the Art of Living Part 2 program a shot. The effects of silence combined with deep meditations will amaze you. Not to forget, leave you with glowing skin!
#10: Save your mind at any cost
If you are unhappy, angry, frustrated or sad, your face simply cannot look great. So make sure that you get yourself some peace of mind and happiness that is unshakeable. For this, meditation is the only way. It is not a luxury anymore. It is a simple necessity!
#11: 18 till I …why not?
We have to embrace the journey of life…with all its inevitable wrinkles and greys. Looking beautiful normally also means looking young and having a fresh approach to things. Yet if you feel young, you look young. Meditation slows this ageing process naturally and retains the youthfulness and freshness in us. So go ahead, dream away and remain 18 at heart.
#12: Flex those facial muscles
You’re dressed in Dior and are wearing the most expensive baubles, your Louis Vuitton bag is perfect … yet you need something to complete the look. Your smile! While we spend much time, energy and money on honing our bodies and looks, we forget to express our inner joy and happiness. And this is from a simple stretch of the lips...reaching the eyes!
So smile more, make yourself look beautiful and add beauty to the world as well!
We’re not lying, these tips work.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi meditation Course Teacher and Dr. Nisha Manikanthan, Ayurvedic Expert.