Ayurveda for Health & Beauty
By Shahnaz Husain
Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing. Actually, it is not merely a system of healing, but an entire way of life. The treatments prescribed by Ayurveda are all-encompassing and take into consideration, diet, exercise, lifestyle, relaxation, massage and so on. Ayurveda is not only for those who are ill, but also for those who wish to come closer to a state of perfect health. We have become more aware of fitness and yet, our lifestyle and diets take us away from good health and an attractive appearance. The highly competitive career world and the so called “rat race,” coupled with lack of exercise, lead to stress. All this can leave both men and women vulnerable to excess weight, heart ailments, circulatory problems, strained necks and backs, or diabetes.
Ayurveda believes in the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself. The way of life it advocates raises the level of fitness, strengthens the immune system and keeps diseases at bay. The influence of the mind on the body is upheld by Ayurvedic principles. Good mental health and freedom from stress are necessary for total well-being. This is the reason why Ayurveda prescribes Yoga and meditation, to bring about harmony of mind and body.
The old adage “Internal health for external beauty” holds true. The ancient sages of India placed high value on raw, natural foods, fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Detoxification of the body through raw foods and juices is considered to be the first step in curing disease and achieving good health, bringing about a sense of well being and vitality. Men are as concerned as women about their looks and the condition of their skin and hair. Vitamins play an important role in maintaining skin and hair health. A diet that is high in fresh fruits, vegetables, unprocessed cereals, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds and yogurt can make you look and feel much better. The general feeling of well being and vitality actually improves the mental outlook too, helps to cope with stress, boosts self confidence and adds a zest to life.
The same goes for exercise. It not only benefits the figure, but reduces stress and improves the health of the skin and hair. The body looks and feels youthful. Exercise tones the muscles, increases stamina, improves blood circulation, imparts vitality and promotes good health. Without physical activity, you actually encourage premature ageing, lack of energy, chronic fatigue and lethargy. Ayurveda recommends Yoga and Meditation for good health of both body and mind. In fact, yoga is very relevant to our modern lifestyle. The yogic exercise of Pranayama encourages correct breathing. This helps to reduce stress, increase oxygenation and improve blood circulation. Taking deep breaths makes you feel the purifying effects of oxygen intake. It instantly revitalizes you. Such exercises are now being followed worldwide. Yoga improves blood circulation, which helps to supply essential nutrients to the skin and hair. It also promotes the removal of toxins. It tones the skin and imparts a healthy glow. It also keeps the scalp healthy and promotes hair growth.
When we talk of good looks, we do not talk only about the face. We also include a slim figure, with suppleness and good posture, essential for both men and women. A slim figure can take years off and make you look well groomed. Since yoga helps to induce relaxation and reduce stress, it also helps in dealing with stress-related conditions like acne, hair loss, dandruff, etc. Studies conducted on those who practice yoga have shown that positive changes also occur in the personality, in attitudes, emotional stability and self-confidence. It has a direct effect on the mind, emotions and mood. In fact, Yoga is a regular stress-buster! Feeling good makes you look good too!
Whenever we have gone away from nature, we have suffered, in terms of losing both health and beauty and even in the destruction of the world we live in. Ayurveda brings us closer to Nature. I firmly believe that India has a great deal to offer the rest of the world, by way of our great tradition of herbal healing. Today, the entire world is looking at Nature and holistic systems like Ayurveda with enlightened eyes.
(Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of Shahnaz Herbals Inc. Known as the Global Ambassador of Beauty and Ayurveda, she is credited for revolutionizing and transforming the Beauty Business with her sheer passion, grit and vision. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2006 for bringing laurels to the country and for assiduously promoting the concept of Ayurvedic herbal products. She is a first generation entrepreneur, a pioneer, visionary and innovator, who introduced a new concept of Ayurvedic Care and Cure worldwide, with universal appeal and application)