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Archive for the ‘Ayurveda’ Category

Good Digestion, The Best Beautician Money Can Buy

 

By Kellen Brugman on August 23, 2012

Sophia Loren, one of the world’s most beautiful women and who has a radiant youthful complexion at age 77 once said, “beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes.” To put an Ayurvedic spin on her statement, beauty is how you feel and function inside, and it reflects in your skin.

Beautiful skin is radiant, smooth, well hydrated, and even colored. It has firm elasticity with few wrinkles. What exactly is the secret of ageless beauty? Modern science and the cosmetic industry market beauty as something that can be found in a bottle or created by a surgical procedure. However according to Ayurveda, the secret of ageless beauty relates to the internal balance of one’s digestion, immunity, and state of mind.

Oh, the Elixir of Ojas!

The outer glow of clear, youthful skin is directly related to the inner fire of one’s agni. Agni is the transformational digestive force in the body. It is responsible for the digestion of food, assimilation of nutrients into the body’s tissues, the elimination of waste products, and the production of ojas. According to Ayurveda, ojas is a refined biological substance that is the end-product of healthy digestion. Ojas is the master biochemical substance underlying higher states of consciousness. These higher states are strongly balancing to mind and body and have significant benefits for health. Signs of healthy agni are signs of ojas: they include physical vitality, mental clarity, strong immunity, balanced emotions, and radiant skin.

Ojas is a superfood elixir for immunity and is the vital essence that gives the skin strength and beauty. The quantity and quality of ojas depends on the health of one’s digestive and elimination systems. The skincare products on drugstore shelves, besides having toxic side effects, pale in comparison to the protective and rejuvenating powers of ojas. Ojas is something you can expect to be hearing more and more about as more Americans discover Ayurveda.

Respect Your Agni, Reflect Your Beauty

One’s skin is beautiful because it is healthy. Skin is healthy when the body’s digestive system is balanced. Balance in the digestive system relates to the food one eats and the lifestyle they choose to live. Healthy skin begins within.

There is a computer programming term, GIGO, which means garbage in, garbage out. It not only applies to the processing ability of a computer, but the processing ability of the body and mind. The quality/integrity of the output is directly dependent on the quality/integrity of the input. Consuming junk food, leftovers, soda pop, and excess caffeine stresses digestion and can prematurely age the skin. Likewise, if one is feeding their mind with negative thoughts and living a lifestyle that consists of late nights, frequent happy hours, and constant multi-tasking, the digestive system becomes unbalanced. Poor diet and a high-stress lifestyle cause a build up of ama in the tissues. The result is poor tissue quality, especially in the skin.

Ayurvedic Approach to Beautiful Skin

When it comes to maintaining youthful healthy skin, we can’t turn back the clock. But we can use the time we have now and each day make choices that support healthy skin. Here are some simple and effective ways to look and feel beautiful.

  1. Eat right and be bright. When you ingest organic fresh foods, you invest in your skin. A diet that consists of local organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and energizing proteins like whole milk, soaked almonds, and split mung dal kindles the digestive fire. Here are more tips to support agni.
  2. Support agni and nourish your skin with Digest Tone. This powerful antioxidant is a tonic for the digestive system and an elixir for the skin.
  3. Maintain your skin’s lubrication and collagen levels with Youthful Skin Toner and Youthful Skin Cream.
  4. Integrate yoga, pranayama, and meditation into your daily routine. All support the skin by helping to improve digestion, increase circulation, and lower stress. The Transcendental Meditation® program has been shown to relieve anxiety and promote ojas.

For beautiful skin, there is no such thing as a magical potion or lotion. Rather, it requires maintaining healthy digestion by eating right and managing stress. Beautiful skin begins within. If you learn to tend the home fire of agni, your life will radiate with health, well being, and beauty well into your golden years of life.

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Pacifying Pitta When Vacations Heat Up

 

ocean cloud umbrella

 

by Kellen Brugman for Maharishi Ayurveda Blog on July 22, 2012

 

With just over a month of summer remaining, many folks are planning family vacations and getaways before school resumes. Or perhaps your staycation includes trips to the local beach or amusement park. Wherever you choose to enjoy the summertime frolics, be sure to take care of your pitta dosha.

Pitta, the dosha made of fire and water, is responsible for digestion and transformation in the body and mind. Its main site is the small intestine. According to Ayurveda, summer is considered pitta season. Both share the same qualities of hot, light/bright, sharp, oily and liquid. Because like increases like, it’s important for pitta predominant folks to keep pitta pacified during summer. In balance, pitta provides strong digestion, impressive organizational skills, and strong stamina. Out of balance, pitta is prone to acid indigestion, excessive sweating, stubbornness, and impatience.

As you prepare for a summer excursion, know what to do in order to keep pitta dosha balanced. When the dosha is in its main site, there is balance and ease in the body and mind. In Ayurvedic travel tips, the goal is to keep the dosha at “home”, while one enjoys time on the road. (more…)

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Grounding Vata When You Are on the Move

 

photo by katie mclean of gypsyeye.com

 

by Kellen Brugman for the Maharishi Ayurveda blog on July 19, 2012

 

Summertime is the season of vacations and road trips. It’s a time to embark on new adventures. There is a sense of great excitement and freedom at discovering new places, foods, and customs. Travel stimulates new ideas, creativity, and personal growth. A change of routine and surroundings brings a sense of freshness to our life and relationships.

However, a change of routine also causes irregularity in the body and mind. Due to vata’s inherent mobile quality, travel tends to aggravate the vata dosha. Made up of the air and space elements, vata governs all movement in the body. It’s responsible for movement of the muscles, respiration, heart rate, and the flow of thoughts and emotions. These functions have a natural regular cycle. So, excess movement such as long car rides and airplane travel can upset these functions, causing stress. (more…)

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By Kellen Brugman for http://www.mapi.com/blog on July 5, 2012

Neighborhood barbeques, county fairs, and family reunions are sure signs of summer. Hot wings, fried funnel cakes, and Aunt Verna’s jalapeno potato salad fill the plate. It’s common in summertime to take a vacation from the regular diet and indulge in some junk food. After all, hotdogs and apple pie go well with baseball. And the ice cream man is pretty tempting when the temperatures rise. However, too many hot, spicy, and oily foods can cause the digestive fire to sizzle with increased stomach acid. Even too many sweet treats like ice cream and frozen mochas can throw digestion off balance.

Don’t sweat it or fret it, you don’t have to stop, drop, and roll up your picnic. Nor do you have to go cold turkey with your favorite summer snacks. There is a simple and easy way to support and maintain digestion this summer. You can still enjoy the occasional bag of BBQ chips and spicy bean dips with the help of some balancing and cooling herbs. To help maintain a balanced digestive fire, this summer and beyond, take Maharishi Ayurveda’s herbal supplement Aci-Balance. The special blend balances occasional mild acid indigestion. (more…)

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Simple Ayurvedic Suggestions to Cool the Body and Mind

 

As Billie Holiday sang, “it’s summertime and the living is easy”. This is unless you happen to experience migraine headaches and with greater frequency during this season. In Ayurveda, the seasons relate to the three doshas – the three mind-body types called vata, pitta, and kapha. Summer is referred to as pitta season. The pitta dosha is associated with the fire element and its qualities are hot, penetrating, bright, and moist. Common summer weather conditions such as intense sunlight, heat, and high humidity are common migraine triggers. (more…)

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Don’t know much about astronomy. Don’t know much astrology. Don’t know much about perigee moon. Don’t know much about moon in Scorpio. But I do know this, over the course of the super moon weekend, the energies in the cosmos knocked me out of orbit, in the mental and emotional sense. To put in terms of celestial physics, I was whacked out of a natural balanced state – the place where my life connects me, via a spiritual gravitational pull, to the Divine. (more…)

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Off the Grid and On the Mat

Last week a dear one was away for the week surfing in Mexico. It wasn’t until a few days after he left when I texted him, and did not receive a reply that I realized he was off the grid. Being accustomed to exchanging texts almost daily, it felt weird to suddenly be unable to connect with him.

At first glance, I found myself dancing the twist and shout with the Ego mind (imagine the Elaine Benes dance on Seinfeld) because I felt disconnected from my friend. As the Santa Ana winds blew through Santa Barbara, I watched my vata dosha get all wonky (one of the haha gunas) and the next thing I knew, I was feeling lonely and insecure about being out of touch with this dear one. It only lasted a few minutes, but the feeling got my attention. Where the attention goes, prana goes…and the desire to understand such a sudden and irrational feeling. So I asked myself, “why does this feel like such a big deal and what is there to learn from this situation?” (more…)

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