The word Ayurveda literally translates to the “science of life” in Sanskrit. This buzz word is certainly trending, and for good reason. We asked founder of Aika Wellness, to give us a break down of Ayurvedic beauty, and we hope it helps inspire you to embrace the power of rituals and true wellness. Discover the power we all have within ourselves, to reveal our most radiant beauty using the basic principles of this extraordinary ancient knowledge.
What is Ayurveda?
Originating in India thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is the oldest and most complete medical system that encompasses a whole being approach to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health in the context of being part of the larger universe.
Ayurveda takes a holistic approach and includes lifestyle, diet, herbal remedies, spiritual practices such as meditation, movement and exercise such as yoga, physical therapies such as Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation therapies and Pranayama or breath work to bring balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
Increasingly Ayurvedic beauty is becoming more mainstream in Western culture because we are starting to see that through these times of global health crisis and the increase in stress and mental health disorders that the return to nature for health, healing, and beauty is essential.
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"...the increase in stress and mental health disorders that the return to nature for health, healing, and beauty is essential."
How Ayurvedic Beauty is Truly Different
Ayurveda is a holistic science and promotes that true inner, outer and lasting beauty which is composed of three vital elements: a well-nourished body, a balanced mind, and a peaceful spirit.
Roopam (or outer beauty) personified by shining, healthy hair and a clear, radiant complexion. This does not specify a type of figure, skin colour, or length of hair. Outer beauty is simply a reflection of good health—good digestion, healthy eating habits, and a balanced lifestyle.
Gunam (inner beauty) is the beauty that shines from within and characterized by a warm, pleasing personality and purity of intention, heart and mind.
Vayastyag (lasting beauty), is looking and feeling younger than your chronological age
In other words, outer beauty reflects our inner health and wellbeing and we all know that our mental and emotional state has a direct bearing on our physical health. Following a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress are the cornerstones of a holistic, long-term beauty regimen.
"...outer beauty reflects our inner health and wellbeing and we all know that our mental and emotional state has a direct bearing on our physical health."
Nature’s Elemental Laws
According to Ayurveda all matter in our universe including us humans is composed of the five fundamental building blocks of nature - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. These elements combine to form what are called the ‘Doshas’ which are the three elemental Mind-Body types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha has its own unique quality and all three are found in our bodies although one is usually predominant.
So which Dosha is most true to you?
Vata oversees our movement and our nervous system and is present in muscle contractions, heartbeat, the flow of breath, neurons firing and our thoughts, ideas, creativity and imagination. Vata skin is lacking in moisture and firmness and is often dehydrated, dry and more prone to premature ageing, lack of tone and dark circles under the eyes. Aika Vata products are intensely hydrating, nourishing and vitalising for the skin and promote elasticity, suppleness and brightness while helping to ground the emotions and reduce feelings of anxiety and tension.
Pitta governs transformation and metabolism and oversees body temperature, the digestion of food and thoughts to give the energy needed to move and think and feel. Pitta skin is reactive and prone to increased rashes, redness and sensitivity. Aika Pitta products gently treat sensitivity and redness with cooling, calming and soothing ingredients for managing breakouts, redness and increasing hydration while helping to reduce stress, anger and impatience.
Kapha is the dosha of support, structure and hydration and is important in our cellular structure, ligaments, bones and the flow of fluids in our lymphatic system and plasma. Kapha skin often is normal to oily and prone to congestion, cystic breakouts and water retention. Aika Kapha product contain ingredients that are invigorating, detoxifying and energising for reducing breakouts and moving lymph and for uplifting and enlivening the emotions and mind to clear feelings of apathy and depression.
Daily Rituals of Wellness
As nature has rhythms such as the seasons, the rise and fall of the sun and moon, so do our bodies have a daily circadian rhythm and for women there is the monthly menstruation cycle. Ayurveda teaches us to respect these rhythms and include diet and lifestyle factors that work in harmony with them so that we remain healthy and well for the long term. Having a morning and evening ritual helps us stay grounded in our body’s natural rhythms and is the best way to stay in harmony with mother nature.
Morning Rituals should include rising early with the sunrise, tongue scraping, Abhyanga self-massage for the body, movement and exercise, cleansing our body all help us wake up to our day with vigour and purpose.
During the day eating our largest meal at midday helps our digestion, as we say in Ayurveda when the sun is at its fiery zenith so is our digestive fire ‘Agni’ which makes this is the ideal time for our body to process the largest meal. This is the time to focus on our purpose and working with intent and mindfulness.
Evening Rituals should include meditation or a spiritual practice, massage of the head and feet and turning off bright lights two hours before bed. Getting into bed before 10pm helps release melatonin and promote deep sleep which is when our body regenerates and repairs from the day.
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The Ayurvedic approach begins and ends with deep self-care considering the whole of who we are – body, emotions, mind and spirit and living in harmony with nature’s laws. It teaches us to honour and care for our individual needs while living in harmony in our community and our planet with ‘Ahimsa’ gentleness and kindness. The true goal of Ayurveda is freedom from dis-ease and finding joy in physical, mental, spiritual and social fulfilment.
"The true goal of Ayurveda is freedom from dis-ease and finding joy in physical, mental, spiritual and social fulfilment."
Eranthi Bonney is the founder of Aika, a world-first 100% certified organic, Ayurvedic-inspired skincare range for luxe purists. She is an Australian spa and beauty entrepreneur and an advocate for the Ayurvedic way of life.