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The skin is the largest organ of the human body.   Since we can see and touch our skin, we’re able to get a very quick picture of what’s going right, and what’s not going right.  Finding out roots causes of skin problems is — as always — where the real work comes in.

Skin care through ayurveda begins in the stomach; our digestion is key.  Once you know what your constitutional makeup is (best determined through an ayurvedic practitioner) you can begin to re-think the way you’re eating.  Even small changes can have truly profound positive results.  This is most important for those people who suffer from heartburn, bloating, IBS, or constipation.  But everyone can benefit from knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid.  Food — the right food — is the primary pathway to becoming more healthy and vibrant.  Puja Wellness offers periodic sessions on food and cooking.  Watch for upcoming workshops.

Second on the list of primary go-to’s is exercise.  Not all exercise forms are of the same value to all people.  In fact, some forms of exercise can exacerbate a problematic skin condition.  If, for example, you have trouble with rosacea or acne, you should probably lay off the more strenuous exercise of running and high-energy competitive sports.  Try more low-impact forms of exercise such as walking or bike riding (especially in nature).   Also try hatha yoga–active standing poses in the early part of the day with a focus on form and alignment,  and restorative (yin) poses in the evening.  Listen to your body.  If you feel pain in any area, back off.  It might take you a while to find the right teacher and class but stick with it ad shop around until you find a teacher who resonates with you.

The last is pathway is getting adequate rest.  This can be a very real struggle for many people. American culture is active and competitive and focused on striving for a better life.  This is all great–until it negatively impacts your health and sense of well being.  Driving, texting, phoning, multi-tasking make the pre-sleep process of unwinding challenging. Try avoiding all electronics before sleep–including T.V.  If you have a T.V. in your bedroom, move it out.  It’s also worth searching your area for a “yoga nidra” class–a deep relaxation technique that both calms and sharpens the mind, and restores the overall nervous system.  If there is one new thing to do (or return to) in 2016, this would be it.

Aside from these healthy lifestyle choices, your daily skin cleansing and moisturizing routines are also important. Don’t use soap on your face–it’s just too harsh.  Many ayurvedic skin care cleansers use milk powder as a base, along with oat or rice flour, and ayurvedic herbs. These fine-grain cleansers should be used gently, avoiding any “scrubbing” action. They work wonderfully–both gentle and effective for all skin types.  To moisturize your skin, try an ayurvedic facial oil–one that is either suited to your specific skin or a “tri-doshic” one for all types. Try the Ajara, Bindi, or Pratima brands.  Explore and experiment. And embrace the practice of caring for your health and yourself!

Lastly, be kind to yourself and to others. The glow on your face starts internally, in more ways than one.

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