The beauty industry is filled with smoke and mirrors, cover-ups and false-narratives that it has used to sell products since the business of beauty was created. One such is the make-believe image that behind every beauty brand is a team of formulators, laboratory scientists, plant whisperers and skin care gurus working around the clock formulating your favorite products from scratch using beautiful botanical ingredients. The truth is that most top-rated and even smaller Indie brands depend on generic laboratories to research, produce, and package their products using base formulas and standard raw material suppliers. Nothing special about it.
In Part I of this Kapha series I gave a basic lesson on doshas, their qualities and locations in the body, why it’s important to be mindful of vata no matter what and the impact seasons have on our body/mind/spirit experience.
In this Part II & III I will go into more specific detail about kapha, its attributes, how they manifest and the food and lifestyle do’s and dont’s that will ensure a healthier and happier kapha season. So, let’s get to it. Continue reading
This three part series is meant to share some important fundamental lessons so you can better understand kapha’s qualities, strengths and weaknesses and the routines and adjustments that will best support this dosha during its prime vulnerable season, end of winter-early spring. This also serves as an introduction to a mid-march class (date not set yet. see more at end of this post) that I will be hosting with Dr. Bhavna Singh who was one of the instructors in my Summer Wellness Series last year.
So, before we go deep I want to make sure you have a footing on your three doshas, their qualities and elements and a basic understanding of Ritucarya, the seasonal behaviors and routines that Ayurveda recommends. Also, this first post emphasizes why it is so important to tend to your vata dosha no matter what season or month it is (I cannot stress this point enough) and though it may be tricky to create a balancing act between two polar opposites like kapha and vata it is indeed possible and luckily I’m here to break it down for you.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I have to say that I was more excited about Valentine’s Day this year after having this fun T-shirt to wear, my sweet lil doggie Noodle to hang out with AND knowing that Saint Valentine is a Patron Saint not just for lovers but for beekeepers too. I think this is now one of my favorite holidays.
You guys know how much I love honey and how I source only from beekeepers that allow their bees to be bees. There is no interference, no antibiotics or acids in their hives, no diets of sugar because they took all the honey to sell and no working their bees in monocultures and out of their natural habitat… My network of beekeeper friends would make Saint Valentine proud indeed. Continue reading
While plant oils have been used throughout time in the kitchen and in certain cosmetics, it is only more recently that they are being taken more seriously for restoring the skin’s balance and helping to heal many skin diseases.
Common oils like olive, sunflower seed, coconut, sesame, avocado, borage, sweet almond and rose hip are anti-inflammatory and have nourishing effects that promote wound healing while also repairing the skin’s barrier. If your skin is chronically stripped of its natural barrier, your first line of immune defense is not much of a defense after all.
The skin’s barrier function is primarily dependent on the integrity of the surface layer of the skin and with it constantly encountering a daily onslaught of unhealthy external stimuli, injuries and/or infections happen that can lead to wounds, premature skin aging and even skin cancer. If you are suffering from inflammation, it is happening in response to a damages skin barrier. So, if you are using tons of products or even a few, but they are old, cheap and mass-produced ones made with industrial chemicals, you are definitely compromised. The good news? Knowing that maintaining a healthy barrier of the skin not only has you looking radiant and absolutely gorgeous but you are protected against foreign substances entering the body and causing infections and even disease. Way more important than how you look right?
Yes, your overall health depends first on your skin and a healthy barrier! Continue reading
TIP # 1 On cold and windy mornings, do not wash your face before leaving the house. Instead do three rounds of compressing and then use a warming oil like sesame to cleanse. Wipe skin when done with a warm washcloth. ***Yes do this even if you have acne or blemishes***
WHY? Starting the day with your natural sebum barrier and all its fatty acids and proteins instead of stripping it off with harsh products is important when you are going from cold wind to the office to the car heater back to cold wind and more heat indoors. All of this extreme temperature change will wreak havoc on your unprotected skin and leave it feeling dry, dehydrated and rough. Save your deeper cleanse and more thorough skin care routine for the evening. Continue reading
Maintaining a consistent morning routine with all the bells and whistles can be challenging but don’t fret. Just because you don’t have the amount of time to spend every morning on your self-care routine doesn’t mean that you have to skip it altogether. In fact, doing just a few key things instead of many can boost a healthy mindset and have you looking and feeling your absolute best. You may even notice that the quality of your sleep is better too. So let’s get to it… Below are my top three essential morning routines:
We’ve all been there. Our skin has been troubled, moody and seemingly lifeless for years but then we find the right products and the ideal routine and it comes alive with a glow and clear surface you haven’t experienced in years (or maybe ever). But then, after a month or two, the honeymoon period ends and the blemishes, redness and dryness come back. What went wrong?
If you have had chronic skin woes it is crucial to stick with your new products and routines that are helping your skin for the long run, not just a month or two. And while we all have off days where we go to bed without washing our face, indulge in sugar, more caffeine than usual and cocktails with our friends, bouncing back to those helpful habits is more important than ever if we want to sustain our results and continue to have progress.
The past year has turned our life and daily experience upside down. We’ve been blindsided and have had to adjust in real time to a new lifestyle, new habits and new beauty routines while saying goodbye (for now) to our previous ones. Manicures and pedicures, brow shaping, facials, hair cuts and color, exercise and massage treatments are non-existent and have forced us to be a little more self-reliant. Giving ourselves a manicure, trimming our ends and coloring our hair seems to be quite satisfying for many while we are finding ourselves asking “why on earth didn’t I do this before?”. For many, this quarantine period is helping us look at ourselves in the mirror and with love and compassion, redefine what beauty means while creating routines to go with our newfound vision. Continue reading
Ayurveda pays an enormous amount of attention to daily routines and its enormous impact on preventing illness and disease in the body. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it does not miss a detail and so it is not surprising that dinacharya is written with a very specific sequence of steps – from when you open your eyes (say thank you) to when you finally sit for your breakfast (keep it warm, light and easy to digest). And though there are specific “How & When To’s”, rigidity and repetition of the same steps for too long is contraindicated. In fact, the healthiest daily routine acknowledges what’s happening in the body and mind on any given day as well as what is happening in one’s space and time which includes seasons and other changes in the environment.
Ayurveda asks us to focus on experiencing more right movements in the right context than “right” movements in the wrong ones. For example, if the weather is very windy and dry, practicing more grounding therapies and eating more grounding foods to nourish and lubricate the body would be a good idea. Swap running, cycling, or other fast movement i.e. aerobic exercises for asanas that warm the body and encourage a natural healthy flow of energy throughout it. Vata is the one dosha that can make your body or break it. Literally. Highly considering your Vata on the daily is always a good idea. Continue reading