Eternal youth is a never-ending quest for many of us. We try and capture youth through many natural and artificial methods. Yet there is a healthy way to age; and the holistic approach to healthy aging addresses not just the physical, but also the spiritual and mental well-being of a person.
Glow in Body, Mind and Spirit
Meditation: In the words of the enlightened master Swami Sivananda, “Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of freedom.” This freedom is not just the freedom from negative thoughts or vibes, but liberation from the illnesses of body, mind and soul. Due to our fast-paced lives, we lose touch with our own selves, and keep on piling up the baggage of unfinished jobs, unsolved quarrels and negative emotions. In a nutshell, our own desires and aversions become the cause of our misery.
We do not realize that we have something incredibly important that is available to all of us our breath. Anyone can meditate using one’s breath. When we’re dealing with the breath, we’re dealing not only with the air coming in and out of the lungs, but also with all the feelings of energy that course through the body with each breath. If you can learn to become sensitive to these feelings, and let them flow smoothly, without obstruction, you can help the body function more easily, and give the mind a handle for dealing with any challenges.
The brain waves of meditators show why they are healthier. Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.
Ways of Meditating On Breath
On incoming and outgoing breath as an observer.
As you breathe in, chant “So” and as you breathe out chant “Hum” internally.
Yogasanas and Mudras
Yogasanas: Pavan Muktasana (Wind relieving pose), Balasana (Child pose), Viparita Karni (Simple Inverted pose), Halasana (Plough pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist), Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), Gomukhasana (Cow Face pose) are some of the important poses focusing on physical beauty along with mental fitness.
Prana Mudra: It acts like a store house of prana or energy and is also called the “Glorious mudra.” It is highly recommended in case of poor, blurred vision. It enhances the absorption of vital nutrients and vitamins from the diet, boosting the energy levels of the body.
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Glow and Youthful Skin
Water: Splash the face a couple of times with water at room temperature (in winter) or cold water (in summer), while filling up the mouth with water. This improves the blood circulation in the fine cheek capillaries, massages the facial muscles, and brings a healthy glow to the face.
Green Tea: A study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light (such as the burning rays of the sun), and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer. Polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that are also beneficial to the overall health.
Oil Massage: Oil significantly acts as a moisturizer when the skin is dry and rough. Simply massage the face and neck with coconut butter or coconut oil to bring a glowing brilliance to the skin. Massage the body on a daily basis with sesame oil/ almond oil/mustard oil. Massaging in a clockwise direction in small circles towards the heart helps in encouraging lymphatic drainage and boosting immunity.
Aloe: Aloe Vera is a cellular re generator and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects. Use Aloe Vera juice or gel to massage the face every day. It not only hydrates the skin but also fights infections and allergies. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to it in case of infections, acne, allergies etc. Make sure that you do not massage vigorously in case of acne or breakouts. Intake of around 10 ml of Aloe Vera juice helps in neutralizing free radicals and reducing the oxidation process.
Self-Acupressure: Press the point above the elbows on the upper arm (between the elbow and shoulder region) and massage upwards in medium pressure using the thumb. This is excellent to encourage energy flow in the entire body and to boost metabolism.
Water: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to ensure that your skin remains well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water every day helps in flushing the kidney and skin of toxins and bacteria.
Healthy Diet: Eating a well rounded, healthy diet is incredibly important. Be sure to include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet, as the nutrients provided by these items are critical, they make a fiber base for regular bowel movements, and flush out toxins.
Healthy Face Mask: A simple formula for a balancing face mask that you can make for yourself is by mixing one teaspoon of clay, a half teaspoon of sandalwood powder, one-fourth teaspoon rose leaves powder, and one-eighth teaspoon turmeric powder in rose water or honey. Apply over the neck and face. Let dry and then wash off for a toned, balanced and healthy glow on the skin. Apply this mask twice a week.
Exfoliation: Removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface makes way for radiant, glowing skin and maximizes moisturizing effectiveness. Use oatmeal or rice flour for exfoliation by mixing it with full cream plain yogurt or honey. Exfoliate your skin once a week.
Sleep: You need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night for the body to relax and unwind. An afternoon nap also acts as beauty sleep – 30 minutes of sleep in the afternoon can act as a great stress buster and rejuvenator. Research has proved the importance of regular sleep for healthy skin, hormonal balance and combating stress.