Natural and holistic health practices are surging in popularity as we expand awareness of effective ways to heal the body. Ayurveda (meaning "science of life") is an ancient Indian natural healing practice based on three different Doshas that are categorized as a unique mix of the four elements (earth, water, fire, and air) in the body.
These energies play a role in creating and maintaining physical and emotional balance to achieve a healthy lifestyle. This unique perspective can be beneficial in your skin and wellness regime when applied appropriately.
Here's how you can integrate it into your routine or practice for ultimate overall health!
Vata: The qualities of this Dosha reflect the elements of air and space. Vatas typically have a leaner build and a go-with-the-flow attitude, much like the wind. When balanced, they are creative and enthusiastic; but when out of whack, they can often have dry skin, anxiety, and digestive problems.
Pitta: This Dosha reflects fire and water elements. Their energy is oriented around digestion and metabolism in the body and they generally have a fiery, upbeat, and courageous personality. In balance, Pittas are joyful, mentally sharp, and healthy, but their fire can become unruly resulting rashes, internal inflammation, and anger.
Kapha: The earth elements are present internally and physically with this Dosha. They usually have a sturdier build and showcase qualities of patience, love, and grounded-ness when balanced. However, when imbalanced, Kaphas can experience oily skin, depression, and lethargy.
Not sure which one you are? Take the quiz to find out!
Each Dosha is both nourished and triggered by certain foods and diet styles. For example, since Pitta is so fiery, cooling foods such as melon, salads, and iced teas are most fueling for this type. Learning how to eat right for your Dosha type will help achieve balance internally, increasing energy levels, mental clarity, and overall health.
Vatas: lean toward warm, nourishing foods like warm soups, baked bread, and herbal teas.
Pittas: choose foods that are cool in nature with heavy textures like salads, cold cereal, and fruits.
Kaphas: anything spicy (like Mexican, Indian, and Thai cuisine) to help stimulate digestion is great for you.
Just as diet plays a role in your internal balance, the type of activity and exercise you choose to participate in can be crucial to your skin, body, and mental health as well. Learn your body's tendencies (easily stressed, overheated, etc.) and choose forms of physical activity that best serve you.
Vatas: gentle, fluid movements like walking, yoga or tai chi.
Pittas: moderately intensive exercise without too much heat such as swimming or hiking in cooler weather.
Kaphas: daily exercise that stimulates and energizes the body and mind like hot yoga or zumba.
In the treatment room
Whether you're dry skin Vata or oily-prone Kapha, the first step is becoming aware of your skin triggers and tailoring your beauty routine to what your skin and body need so you can treat the skin accordingly.
Vatas: Typically need warming or stimulating treatments. Warm towels and facial oils that provide both nourishment and hydration.
Pittas: Usually prone to sensitivity and redness, Pittas need more of a calming and cooling treatment or home care routine. Epidermal repair products and soothing masks are great for healing inflammation and relieving irritation.
Kaphas: Can sometimes struggle with oily skin, so products that help to regulate that oil production and neutralize toxins are best. Steer clear of anything too heavy.
While Ayurveda is a great guideline and tool for discovering certain tendencies of the skin, body, and mind, everyone is unique and different and possesses balances and imbalances all their own that can be related to a variety of causes. Get to know yourself and your client and then take some time each day for self-care from the inside out!