As an Ayurvedic enthusiast and practitioner for over 18 years, I've noticed something interesting with many clients and friends who live an Ayurvedic lifestyle. There is a youthful radiance and vitality that gets expressed. Every time I see my dear friend Annie, who's in her early 50's, I remark, "wow, you are ‘youth-ing’ each time I see you!" It's true, the longer she cultivates her Ayurvedic self-care practices, the more youthful she appears. Ayurveda really works! It is the science of health and longevity, and it shows us how to live long and vital lives, all while exhibiting sundari (or beauty) along the way. In Sanskrit, sundari literally translates as beautiful.
Living a lifestyle in alignment with the rhythms of nature is the key to maintaining our health and beauty throughout our lives. When we awaken at a consistent time with the rising of the sun and go to bed by 10 p.m., our sleep and bliss hormones remain balanced. Likewise, when we eat our meals at regular times each day, our metabolic processes thrive and we experience easeful digestion. When we are sleeping and digesting well, it shows.
14 Ayurvedic Beauty Factors
Get 7–9 hours of sleep every night, preferably 10 p.m.–6 a.m. This supports your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour clock, governed by the presence of light that regulates all biological functions including sleep, digestion, and energy. There is no herb or super food that can replace sleep to rejuvenate and energize the body and mind.
When possible, choose local, organic, seasonal foods that are appropriate for your Ayurvedic constitution. Foods that are organically grown and free from pesticides and preservatives enhance the quality of every cell in the body, therefore affecting how you look, feel, and age.
It is commonly advised to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if someone weighs 140 pounds, they would drink 70 ounces of water each day. Ayurveda recommends drinking water at room temperature or hot rather than cold or iced. This supports healthy agni (digestive fire). To promote deeper hydration, I often suggest my clients turn their hot water or herbal tea into an electrolyte beverage by adding a pinch of sea salt, a teaspoon of honey, and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Electrolyte enhancement helps water stay in the body longer and not get eliminated too quickly.
Many Ayurvedic herbs are renowned for enhancing beautiful skin. Perhaps the most well-known is turmeric. I also recommend triphala, amalaki, manjistha, ashwagandha, shatavari, and the formula Chyavanprash for healthy skin. One of my favorite herbal formulas is Blood Cleanse tablets. When our blood is purified, our skin tone and luster improves.
Moving Your Energy
Movement for at least 30 minutes a day is recommended to enhance circulation, detoxify the body, and reduce stress. This may be yoga, walking, swimming, and dancing. It should feel good to move!
Breath practices such as Nadi Shodhana pranayama purify the channels in the body and focus the mind. This practice oxygenates the blood and gives luster to the skin.
Daily meditation dissolves stress and worry. Meditation yields an overall sense of peace and calm within the consciousness. I often recommend So-Hum meditation, as taught by Dr. Vasant Lad.
“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much, even if subjected to accidental injuries or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts, and becomes strong, charming, and least affected by old age.”
Keep your channels of elimination open. This means observing regular bowel and bladder elimination, sweating, and seasonal cleansing practices such as panchakarma. In Ayurveda, it is advised to follow cleansing with rejuvenation.
Communing with Nature
Communing with nature reminds us of the bigger picture of life, connects us with the five elements, infuses us with prana (life force), and brings forth our natural beauty.
It is important to resolve grief, anger, resentment, and any other negative emotions. When we go through an extended emotional experience, our inner glow may subside. When we resolve those emotions, and return to ourselves, the glow returns. Cultivating true happiness is one of the best ways to bring forth beauty. And inviting regular and genuine laughter brings beauty to the surface!
"There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness."
The most important keys to beauty, I feel, are self-love and self-esteem. When you truly love and accept yourself as you are, true beauty from within shines forth.
A Strong Immune System
In Ayurveda, ojas is considered to be the essence of all bodily tissues. Ojas is the most refined product of digestion and the essence of kapha dosha. In the same way that is the pure essence of milk, ojas is the pure essence of the dhatus (tissues). The quality of our ojas depends on our lifestyle, diet, stress, traumas, and relationships. The ancient Ayurvedic texts share that a person who has good ojas has healthy immunity, stress response, sleep, emotions, libido, and vitality.
Regular implementation of these practices leads toward bliss and lasting beauty. In this way, “youth-ing” seems to magically happen!