Everyday Ayurveda Rituals

An Indian system of philosophy developed over thousands of years, Ayurveda uses herbs and botanical ingredients to balance the skin, hair and body. The natural ingredients used in traditional Ayurvedic beauty care maintains health and keeps the skin vibrant and beautiful.

Yasmin Sadikot says you can make Ayurveda a part of everyday ritual with these beauty tips:

Replenish and cleanse
Start the day by drinking at least one glass (if not two) of warm water with a squeeze of half a lemon and some thinly sliced ginger. The lemon will alkalize your gut and the ginger will stimulate the agni or fire we sometimes need to help our digestion on cold winter mornings.

Get oily
We lose water content and fluidity in our bodies with age. In Ayurveda this is known as shukhra and a regular oil massage (or Abhyanga) keeps us juicy and supple inside out. After a morning shower, take some almond oil in the palm of the hands and using long, gentle strokes, massage the oil into the body, moving from the extremities toward the heart.

Breathe and move
Do five sun salutations or a longer yoga practice. Meditate to help calm the mind and focus.

The granular powder called “besan” is used to slough off dead skin and relieve oiliness. Besan can also be used in place of soap to wash/cleanse the face or mixed with milk and turmeric powder and applied as a mask to the face. After the mixture dries, it is removed with warm water and a washcloth. While the besan scrubs skin, turmeric (an anti-bacterial) cleanses and milk adds moisture.

Natural fragrances can calm, energise or relax, depending on the scent. Sandalwood, called chandanam, is offered as a stick, powder or paste. With natural cooling properties, as well as a woody, sweet aroma. When applied to the skin, it also can moisturize or alleviate stretch marks and scarring.

Dried sambraani, a tree resin, is toasted over an open flame and the smoke is used to scent the hair. The rich, woody smell helps the hair dry faster and may discourage colds and sinus congestion. Other common Indian fragrances include jasmine, hibiscus, coconut and lily.

There are various useful effects apart from the fragrance it imparts to hair. It aids in drying the hair faster. Also, it tends to draw the excess water in the head & face, being a good treatment for those with a heavy head from cold and sinusitis.

Sambraani smoke is also applied to new born babies, after each bath, to assure that the child does not catch a cold.

Special holders in various patterns are available for burning the coal. When sambraani powder is sprinkled on the burning coal, the smoke drifts out through the nozzles on the cover of the holder. Thus it is safe to hold it near head and face.

Yasmin Head ShotYasmin Sadikot is founder of OmVeda Internationalomveda.com.au

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